Greyhound Adoption Disappointment

posted 1 month ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
849 posts
Busy bee

In a household with cats, it’s going to be easier to start from a puppy with any breed, purebred or mix. Dogs have to learn to coexist with cats in a polite fashion. It’s socialization as much as anything else. That being said, hunting dogs and larger terriers can be a tough sell with cats, no matter how early you get started. That’s a lot of instinct they have to overcome. I have basenjis, which are members of the hound group. They love their indoor cat, but if a neighbor’s cat comes in the yard, the chase is on. Thankfully, they’ve never caught one. I’ve encouraged my neighbors to keep their cats inside, both for the safety of their cats and the safety of local birds and wildlife, but naturally, they don’t listen. 

What I’ve found is that a lot of the dynamic depends on the cat. Most any dog will chase a strange cat that runs; it just seems like a fun game. A dog-savvy cat knows better than to run and will stand it’s ground. 

Introducing a new pet into an existing group of pets can be done, but it takes time, a slow introduction, and a dedication to training and supervision. There is nothing wrong with wanting a purebred. There are many breed rescue groups with dogs needing homes, and also, many reputable breeders out there. You just have to do your research before choosing a breeder. Also, mixed breed dogs can make great pets in any household, even with cats. Once again, you get out what you put in. Dogs definitely take up your time, much like a toddler… they’re perpetual 2-3 year olds their entire life. Haha 

Post # 3
Member
280 posts
Helper bee

It really is all about the cats. Do you know how they will react to dogs? My cat is very dog savvy and learned from the beginning that if she didn’t run, they wouldn’t chase (and we adopted a coonhound!). But, she had grown up with cat-friendly dogs so was comfortable putting up with them following her around with their nose up her butt. My parent’s cat grew up without dogs but decided her tactic would be to attack when first introduced to their adopted 1yr old lab/hound mix (just a scratch on the dog’s nose). The dog gave the cat a wide berth after that.  

You might want to reach out to a resue that fosters their dogs in homes. I’m sure there is a dog out there that loves cats and needs a home. 

Post # 4
Member
95 posts
Worker bee

I had a puppy so I knew that my dog would be okiie around cats. The problem with greyhounds is that they’re sighthounds so they’re bred to chase things cat sized. It’s in their nature unfortunately. 

So yea a puppy would likely be your only option if you wanted to ensure you had no problems. Also it depends on the nature of your cat as well. One of my cats just hated my dog. There was no way around that. 

Post # 5
Member
2524 posts
Sugar bee

Not all young dogs are a lot of work. My two youngest are less maintenance and stress than three of my older ones. It’s all about the personality of the dog. In fact, my 20 month old intact male is the easiest dog I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot, I’ve rescused a lot, I’ve trained a lot.

Find a rescue and do some dog interviews. Don’t eliminate any one criteria (male/female, big/small, old/young) etc and get some experience with different dog personalities. 

Post # 6
Member
7416 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You probably want to stay away from any hound breed/mix, as hounds have more of a prey drive than other dog families. Dogs with strong prey drives are difficult to manage with cats, especially multiple cats. While there are lots of hounds that get along fine with cats and don’t bother or chase them (or worse), your odds for a bad match go way up with a prey-driven dog breed.

You should also be aware that adopting a retired racing greyhound can be very challenging, as these dogs may need a lot of socialization (many have never spent much time around people, and some don’t even know what stairs are), they can be territorial, and they are fairly high-maintenance. if you are a first time dog owner, you may want to start out with something a little less specialized.

Post # 7
Member
6398 posts
Bee Keeper

We got a golden as a puppy and he has never chased the cat.  But since we had it him at a young age he was taught to respect and leave the cat alone.  Even though now he’s 10 times her weight he won’t mess with her if she gives him the look

Post # 8
Member
1431 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

You can absolutely have dogs and cats coexist together happily, but the timing of it is important. Adult cats being introduced to a dog for the first time may not adjust well at all, and have the tendency to flee from them, and thus never really get used to them. Similarly an adult dog who has never met a cat before may have the initial reaction to chase and catch the cat, which will certainly not lead to a good relationship between them. 

We had a 4 year old Rhodesian ridgeback (also a dog breed with a strong instinct to chase and hunt, since they were bred to hunt lions) and he grew up spending lots and lots of time at my in-laws house, where they had cats (who were also used to dogs). He learned very young to interact with cats and they never bother him at all. We got a kitten and our ridgeback was completely indifferent. The kitten didn’t know to be afraid of him since he never gave her reason to, and the two coexisted very nicely. Several months after we got the kitten, we got our puppy- an Australian Shepherd. They have a serious drive to chase and herd other animals (and children). She was 8 weeks old and when she met our kitten, I think she thought she was meeting a fellow puppy. We have trained the pup not to be too aggressive in play with the cat, and we don’t let her chase her (although I’m sure she still does when we aren’t home and I actually think the cat instigates it most of the time 🤷‍♀️). The two are absolute best friends.

First meeting of pup and kitten 

Best buds

Post # 9
Member
7715 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Just wanted to say that many senior dogs still love kids. We adopted our bonded senior pair (now 11 years old) from the humane society and they love our three daughters who range from 2-16 years old. Obviously the dogs need to be respected but at 9 and 11 your kids are definitely old enough to do that. 

Post # 10
Member
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - Lincoln, NE

Have you considered a toy breed dog? They’re not for everyone, but many are the same size or smaller than cats (I have a 4 pound chihuahua, and despite the chihuahua stereotypes she is the nicest, quietest little dog ever!). They also don’t have that strong prey drive (as long as you dont get a working-toy type, like some terriers for example) so they are often great with cats even when introduced as adults. We introduced my chihuahua to cats as an adult and she couldn’t care less about them. Chihuahuas are actually the most common breed in shelters (maybe second-most common?), so maybe consider adopting that way instead! 

Post # 11
Member
1170 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

A couple of reassuring facts for you:

1. MANY dogs are completely fine with lots of cats (even outdoors) even if you get the dog as an adolescent / adult

2. Many seniors are definitely NOT over kids

3. There are LOTS of purebred and mix-breed rescues coming from terrible conditions that need rescuing – particularly from southern and eastern Europe.

How do I know this? Because I have a Bulgarian rescue and my sister has a Greek rescue and both were adopted around ~1 year old and both are fine with cats (even outdoors).

Now for another fact:

– Both dogs needed TRAINING and socialization to understand that cats are not to be chased anywhere. Similarly for horses, chickens, and all livestock. 

Sighthounds are harder to train vs HPR (hunting breeds eg. pointers, brittanys, labs, etc) because they’re naturally independent hunters rather than instinct to hunt in partnership with humans. My Bulgarian dog is a sighthound and you can see it takes more willpower from her to leave off chasing animals because she’s battling stronger instincts vs my Romanian wirehaired pointer foster who was just so happy to please his human.

I would HIGHLY recommend going with a rescue that does fostering in homes. Be wary that many rescues that are in countries like Greece, Spain, Croatia, etc will say they foster but not all do. While many rescues in Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, UK will import dogs in from lower-income countries and foster them out in homes until adoptable families are found. I’d go with the latter!! That way too you can meet the dog in advance.

 

We did both our adoptions sight unseen and both worked out but required WAY more work upfront then the descriptions given to us would have had us believe. Ultimately I’m glad because we probably would hav walked away if we’d known how much work they needed and both turned into IDEAL family pets – but it was months of training, behavioral training, and confidence building to get to that  point with each! 

If you want to message me I’d be happy to talk through my experience adopting and fostering dogs in Europe! 

Post # 12
Member
930 posts
Busy bee

Shesaidyes :  we had (he is with my parents now), a boxer mix (emphasizing MIX), and he is calm and loves people, kids, just not other dogs. He is dog ‘aggressive’. BUT my parents have a cat, and we adjusted him to the cat since it was a kitten, they both live outside in the backyard and cuddle. It can happen, but some dogs have a temperment. And most are going to follow their instincts and try to hunt and mangle the cat.

BE VERY cautious. Our dog shook that cat once when he got too close to his food. It never happened again, but he couldve killed the cat in a second. The easiest way is to let the cat roam the yard and then bring the cat in and dog out so they can smell each others scents. do that for some days, and let them see each other through a window, and then try to bring the cat close to the dog, look at the dogs eyes, if they dilate or constrict, remove both animals from the situation immediately. 

Post # 14
Member
2130 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Shesaidyes :  oh bee sorry you’re disappointed! I’ve also always wanted to adopt a greyhound for the SAME reason!! Darling Husband and I have 2 cats and have had experiences with 2 dogs 

1) Senior mastiff lab mix rescue. Did slow introductions. Once very early on one cat got out of the safe room and she chased the cat and got her in her mouth and shook her. I almost lost my mind. Our mastiff (Maggie Mae) immediately dropper the cat (Gracie) when I reacted but again it was SCARY. We continued to take it slow and eventually she lived happily with both. Cuddles and playing very gently. She was really smart and learned her lesson right away. We have a mischievous male (Tyrion) who would paw at the tv and if we shouted at him Maggie would trot over and stand near him and puff out air from her jowls and her jump down and walk away with her. My god she was amazing. She passed from cancer and Tyrion was devastated. Looking for her in her usual spots and snuggling her toys. 

2) Lab/pit mix 9months old (shelter told us dane/Lab and they said she passed a prey drive test) But when we got her rabbies cert from the shelter it said pit mix. Did slow intros. Did. Not. Work. She’d stare and bark. She’d slip collars and chase. We spent over $3k in private training from a behavior specialist who used treats/positive reinforcement. After 6 months nothing changed. The cats were constantly locked away. The dog was always on edge literally waiting for the cats to come out. She leaped onto an antique table ruining it to get to the cats. The cats were vomiting daily. We contacted the shelter to surrender her back and have her listed as NO CATS (unpopular I KNOW). We seriously tried everything and it wasn’t a good situation for any animal. 

I’d look into getting a puppy or a dog that is fostered WITH cats. As far as seniors. Love them. They love with every part of their hearts and give you looks that are undeniably filled with experience and gratitude. 

Post # 15
Member
2524 posts
Sugar bee

 

Shesaidyes :  You can do it! My last 4 puppies have never had an accident or chewed up anything in the house. Two of those are intact males. They grow soooo fast that it’s like maybe 4-5 months of “real” puppy time. Find a good trainer, that’ll do wonders!

I also have never had a male dog lift his leg, mount my females, hump household items, etc. Nor have I had females marking territory, be aggressive during heat cycles, or resource guard.

It’s all in how you want them raised. It’s definitely easier to mold a puppy to your family dynamic but I’ve had and worked with many older dogs who adapt perfectly fine. My best advice is to know exactly what you expect from the dog, down to the most “irrelevant” details. Then you can start looking for personalities that fit that criteria. 

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