Post # 1
My last elderly dog died in October. I’ve owned dogs all my life and this is the first time I’ve been without one. We have 4 cats, one is a 6 month old kitten I adopted at 7 weeks. He’s my baby and he’s fearless. I’ve taken care of 3 elderly dogs who subsequently died in the past 3 years and it really took a lot out of me. While I miss having a dog, I’m enjoying the freedom of only having cats.
On Saturday, we went to Petco and they had a Greyhound rescue group. My husband and I fell in love with them and we spent all weekend talking about applying for one. We’ve been researching and reading up on everything we can find. We filed an application with a local rescue group that sends all its dogs through foster homes before adopting them out.
If anyone owns a greyhound and can weigh in on a couple of big questions we have, I’d appreciate it:
a) Do you have cats with your grey? Can this work and have the cats be safe?
b) Is there a difference male vs female dog? I’ve had two male dogs and swore I’d never have one again because they marked everywhere. However, I’ve been told that male greys are very sweet and can be trained not to mark inside. True??
Post # 3
My brother fosters greyhounds rescued after theyre no longer “useful” to the track operators (scum, but that’s another story). He always has two of his own and one or two fosters. He also has cats, sheep, goats and chickens and 3 little kids. The greyhounds are consistently very adaptable, calm dogs and like to be kept on a routine. They are easy to train. They don’t mess in the house if you keep them on their schedule but their schedule is really not flexible. If they’re used to having a walk at 5:30pm then 5:45 might be too late. They strive on structure and predictability. They are gentle and social but they need a LOT of exercise. They can jump fences pretty easily, especially if there former track dogs so you absolutely cannot have them off the leash unless there’s a sturdy, tall fence to keep them in. They also tend to have very thin, soft paw pads so if you walk them in the winter on pavement they have to wear booties or their feet freeze (especially if the pavement is icy) and they can tear their paw pads. as a breed, they tend to have a lot of health problems as they age, so budget more for vet care than with other breeds (especially if the tail is not docked– tail injuries aren’t exactly rare in older greyhounds).
Post # 4
@lorie: My fiance and I have a greyhound that we adopted about a year and a half ago. To answer your questions:
a) We do not have cats, but we do have a bird which could seem a lot like prey. We also have a 6lb dog as well. A lot of rescues will assess the hounds for whether or not they are “cat trainable.” Believe it or not, ours was not considered to be cat trainable. We don’t think they evaluated him very well in that respect. He’s really a very gentle dog. I’d never leave him in the room alone with the bird who isn’t in his cage or anything, but I’m fairly certain that he wouldn’t go after him.
b) Our dog, Badger, has never actually peed in the house (that we’ve discovered). I think this is mostly because we crate him whenever we aren’t home. I couldn’t stress this enough- greyhounds are very used to being crated so it becomes their safe place.
Overall I’d tell you that greyhounds are quirky dogs. They aren’t the type that run up to you and greet you (usually). Ours is a very sweet guy. He IS very energetic at times and will jump on people and has pooped in the house quite a few times. I don’t really blame this on the dog, however. My fiance believes that greyhounds are really couch potatos. They are pretty lazy dogs, but they still need to get their energy out somehow. This is why I think ours can be highly annoying at times. Although we’ve only had him for a year and a half, we’ve never had any medical issues with him. Once he scraped his paw pad and we had to get him some antibiotics to be on the safe side, but he’s been okay otherwise. PP did note that they have more health issues as they age, but we aren’t quite there yet as Badger is 3 years old. I’d recommend going to training classes with your greyhound should you get one. That’s something I am trying to talk FI into doing- not because the dog is aggressive, but because I don’t want an 80lb dog jumping on me.
Post # 5
My grandmother rescued a racing greyhound. Since she sometimes rabbit sits for my parents they made sure she got one that was ok with cats (apparently ok with cats is code for won’t chase small animals). She had a male and he was about 100lbs, huge dog and the slowest dog I’ve ever seen 😛 There were a few bursts of speed here and there but otherwise he’d plod and lay around. He never marked in the house and the only time he ever barked is when small children ran at him (not all greyhounds are bad with kids). He never licked or slobbered which as someone with dog allergies I really appreciated. He was super soft and he would just let me hang on him. He loved getting petted and getting hugs he would lean against your legs for hours if you let him. He was a real sweetheart. The only issue my grandmother really had that didn’t stem from nana’s crazy dog inducing behavior (seriously she makes every dog she gets neurotic) was that he could not be a lone dog, so she ended up adopting a german shorthair as well and the two were great buds. The shorthair actually taught him how to be a dog which isn’t something he learned at the track.
If I weren’t increasingly allergic to dogs I would absolutely adopt a greyhound someday.
Post # 6
@DuckEBee: Thanks for your input! Your dogs are adorable! Glad to hear all the positive things you’ve said. We would definitely take a new dog to training. Like you said, if I’m going to have a big dog it better be well-mannered. I’ve owned many dogs over the years and any dog with bad manners is annoying. I’ve been reading up on training methods and I know it’s the humans who have to be trained too 🙂
Post # 7
@Eckle: Wow – he’s huge! But lovely 🙂 I’m glad to hear what you’ve said and I’ve read they can be very intelligent and sensitive dogs. I want to have no neuroses! Glad to hear he gets along with small creatures. Thanks!
Post # 8
@lorie: We have a greyhound cross (also called a lurcher). He is seriously the best dog. They are very quirky, and down right odd sometimes but I couldnt ask for anything better! We had a room mate for a while who had TINY dogs. one was about 10 lbs and the other was 3 lbs when he was a pup. Our greyhound LOVED these tiny dogs. Everyone was worried that his prey drive would be high but he would literally let the little puppy climb in his mouth and lick his teeth. All reputable rescue’s will see if the dogs have prey drive before placing them in a home, and would willingly accept a dog back if it were not working out with your cats. As per male / female – ANY dog can be trained to go outside. You may have one or two accidents in the house but it should be minimal. Have fun with your new couch potato! ours sleeps 22 hours a day 🙂
Post # 9
@lorie: Hey there! Greyhounds are the best! I was the lucky owner of one for his retirement, and I was totally, but crazy in love with him every day of his life.
We have a cat, they lived together, and honestly, the greyhound could have cared less about her being in the house…its all a case sensitive issue, some have a much stronger prey drive than others, but the adoption group usually has a pretty good idea of which ones will do better with cats than others, so don’t worry about it.
The day we brought him home, he walked straight into the house and lifted his leg on my peace lily….but you have to understand, that boy had only been neutered a week before, and he’d been lifting his leg on anything and everything for five and a half years with no ill effect whatsoever. We bought a belly band, and those incontinence pads, threw that on him and after a few weeks, he just didn’t want to do that anymore.
He was the sweetest, most loving, snuggly, funny, goofy dog I’ve ever owned and I was so totally enamored with him. My Dark Prince passed away this summer, and I still miss the sound of that gorgeous creature galloping through my house.
Here’s a photo of him groovin with his little brother, who only weighed 9 ounces at the time this was taken, he loved the little guy so much!
Post # 10
Would a Greyhound be a good dog for a “cat person”?
We are dealing with fertility issues. If the baby making thing doesnt work out, I’m thinking of getting a dog. We are a 3-cat family. I’ve always had cats, never dogs. DH had dogs as a child. I dont like hyper dogs or musty smelling dogs. Greyhounds seemed to be large couch potatoes that dont drool or smell. So I thought maybe a cat-friendly greyhound.
Post # 11
@KoiKove: Greyhounds are considered the cats of the dog world, and they are very happy in both homes with yards and apartment life…they like to sleep, a lot, they love their walks, are intelligent and sweet. Their breath can get kind of amazingly stinky, but dental cleanings are just a part of life with them…so yeah, I’d say so!
Go to the next meetup in your area and wait for the one that licks your soul!
Post # 12
I work with greyhounds around every day and for me, I really dislike them. yhe owner has some definite discipline issues (she can’t be the bad guy) so they will get out of hand if you let them. This is what I feel:
pros: they are very snuggly, they don’t bark much, they sleep almost all day so you can keep them without a large yard, they don’t have a ‘dog smell’, and they look cool
cons: (from her dogs) they are VERY prey driven. I have seen her oldest one run my cat down, flip him, and put him in his mouth. They terrorize small animals and are NOT safe around cats. They’re bred to chase things so it makes sense.
They are counter/trash surfers. Theyre tall dogs so they are right at eye level with food and trash
they aren’t easily trainable
they do mark everything. They’ve peed on jackets, suitcases, trash bags, car tires, anything. And both are male and they both do this
ive just had a horrible time with them here and really really dislike them. This is what they can be without discipline but the high prey drive will always be there so I just would never trust them around cats.
Post # 13
I think it’s case by case. My family has had retired racers our whole lives. My brother’s died about a year ago- she was 15! We didn’t have cats growing up, but they’ll bring them out to you to see if they’re too interested in the cat you have, and if they’re a good match. None of them ever peed in the house, dug through the trash, etc. They love their runs at the dog park or in fields, and they love walks, but ya. They’re pretty much just tall cats.
Post # 14
@lorie: I absolutely, 100% recommend owning a greyhound. We have had ours for over 5 years and he is amazing. We do not have a cat, but many greyhounds, especially ones with a lower prey drive, can happily live with cats. Some cannot, however, but if you get your dog from a rescue they should be able to match you with a compatible dog. Our greyhound did pee in the house a couple of times when we FIRST got him (it was in our basement, and the previous owners of the house had dogs that, I think, had peed down there). We supervised him while he was in the basement and loudly told him “no” when we caught him about to pee. We also cleaned the carpets and he never peed down there again and has NEVER peed in the house since, even when we have left him in the house for 8+ hours. He now has a dog door to a fenced area so he can go out if he needs to. He learned how to use the door very quickly. We do not crate ours when we leave the house and he does not get onto the counter or into the trash, ever. Greyhounds are hardier than they look and can be conditioned to be quite active. Our grey does fine with just a short walk (like if the weather is bad), but he LOVES to run, hike, backpack and nordic ski with me and my husband. He wears booties if the snow is coarse so he doesn’t cut his paws. He is very devoted and affectionate, super friendly, and he happily greets people he knows. He is always very excited to see us when we get home or if we go out of town for a few days. I cannot imagine life without him and don’t know if I ever want to be without a greyhound in my life. He really is my best buddy and a part of our family. I was an experienced and confident dog owner when we got him and was able to teach/train him about the rules of our house. He knows that my husband and I are the pack leaders. He is very well-behaved and listens/obeys well. Here is a picture of him cooling off on a hike:
Post # 15
@Equine_Breeder: Dogs are only as good as their owners and the woman you mentioned sounds like a pretty bad dog owner. From my experience, greyhounds ARE pretty easily trained, you just have to make the effort and be consistent. Some have much higher prey drive than others, but some have almost none. I’d say our greyhound’s prey drive is average: we supervise him around cats and he has does just fine, but I would not trust him to leave one alone that is running around the house (not an issue since we don’t have a cat, only comes up when we visit family that do have one). It’s a bummer that the greyhounds you’ve worked with turned you off to the breed- they really are wonderful!
Post # 16
@KoiKove: They are still dogs and act like dogs, however, they are very calm in the house, don’t bark much, don’t drool, shed very little, etc. They are quite graceful and mine never “galumphs” around the house. We very rarely bathe him and only brush him in the spring, when he sheds a little, and he seems to always smell pretty good. I REALLY don’t like hyper dogs and ours is the opposite of hyper- he spends almost all his time in the house laying on his bed or the rug (but we also are diligent about exercising him daily, if we don’t he gets whiny, but still not hyper). If you are not at all a dog person there might not be any dog for you, and I’m hesitant to tell you to go for it since I truly believe you need to want a DOG, not just a creature to fill a void, but I do recommend them for the reasons I mentioned above. Good luck to you!