View Full Version : Attention dog people - anyone here ever owned a greyhound?

01-12-2010, 08:44 PM
I cannot even believe I'm entertaining this idea, but my children really, really, REALLY want a dog.

My girls are 7 and 11 and never beg for anything. But they're begging now.

I'm doing some research and I keep coming back to the greyhound as an excellent fit for our lifestyle. So, I wanted to see what experience and advice you guys might offer.

Here are my list of quasi-parameters -

-We're not terribly outdoorsy
-I'd like to minimize the hassle of drool and hair
-need a dog that's good with kids, obviously
-I'm pretty sure my husband will not tolerate much barking

Of course, I know that each dog has its own temperament, but adopting an ex-racer - what do you think?

01-12-2010, 08:48 PM
I don't own any dogs, but I knew a couple who adopted two greyhounds, ex-racers. They loved them. The dogs were gentle and great with the kid. I think the owners and the kid had an eye-opening experience in that they had to teach the dogs to play and climb stairs. The dogs were for racing only and the dogs didn't have a clue how to do anything else. The new owners had no regrets.

Hope this helps.

01-12-2010, 08:51 PM
Although it's in the UK, the Retired Greyhound Trust has heaps of good information. We've looked into getting a dog and a greyhound was the best for us, but - and i know this sounds stupid - whilst they are fantastic dogs, they are big. Other than that, a greyhound fits with your needs; the factor of being good with children varies from dog to dog, but a good rehoming place will make sure the dog is happy with children first.

01-12-2010, 08:53 PM
My friends have a retired greyhound and I farkin' love that dog. She's very mellow ( a little on the timid side, but she warms up quickly). When she stretches out on the couch she takes up the whole thing. Those are some long dogs. From what they've told me, greyhounds shy away from physical play, but they will soak up the lovin'. When we get a dog, a greyhound will be on my shortlist.

01-12-2010, 09:02 PM
Yeah, that's perfect for us. We are not the rough-housing sort. And if I were to get a dog, I'd prefer a big one, but only if it wasn't a spaz. That's one of the reasons greyhounds have been drawing me in, during the research phase, at least.

01-12-2010, 09:15 PM
JeanneTGC has had two. Sweet dogs. Almost never bark. HUGE couch potatoes. Because they are racers people think they need/want lots of exercise, but that isn't true. Just your standard walkies. I don't recall that they shed much, and absolutely not droolers.

Saw the greyhound rescue people at an art fair one time. A man asked if they made good watchdogs. The guy with the dogs said yes: they would lay there and watch the burglars remove everything you own.


01-12-2010, 09:16 PM
Saw the greyhound rescue people at an art fair one time. A man asked if they made good watchdogs. The guy with the dogs said yes: they would lay there and watch the burglars remove everything you own.

Lol! See? That's perfect.

01-12-2010, 09:37 PM
Sounds like your dog, Perks. They are laid back and easily adaptable. They can be downright casual.

One thing to keep in mind>>> they can be a bit wide-eyed if they're coming from that racing lifestyle. Be VIGILANT in the great outdoors until they have time to adjust. Especially around cars. There's a LOT that an ex-racer has not yet experienced.

And they can possibly see doors as starting gates of sorts...ready to make a run for it when they hit them. This isn't always the case, but it CAN be the case.

Other than that...it sounds like it would be a perfect fit for your family...from what you describe.

01-12-2010, 09:42 PM
Does anybody know if they can (or maybe I should say 'do') wag with those whip-tails?

Wayne K
01-12-2010, 09:44 PM
I owned three Salukis. They're Egyptian greyhounds. They're gentle and lovable, but they do need to run. They're also super intelligent. I miss them very much, and if I was to get dogs again, they would be Salukis.

01-12-2010, 09:44 PM
Their tails do wag.

01-12-2010, 09:49 PM
I think greyhounds would be great for you. They like to run when they get the chance but unlike many hounds they are basically couch potatos and very laid back. They do wag but they tail has very little clout, not like a lab :)

Wayne K
01-12-2010, 09:56 PM
If you do something waggable...


Wayne K
01-12-2010, 09:57 PM
Oh, Saluki puppies are about $5,000

01-12-2010, 10:00 PM
They do wag but they tail has very little clout, not like a lab :)I'm reading up on things, but I just can't tell if a tail like that can break windows and such.

I love the size of a greyhound. It's only the destructive power of the tail that worries me.

(See? Can you tell I've never had a dog before?)

01-12-2010, 10:00 PM
Oh, Saluki puppies are about $5,000Ha! The greyhound I'm looking at adopts for $200.

01-12-2010, 10:12 PM
Dairyland Greyhound Park just closed here. (http://www.dairylandgreyhoundpark.com/Available.asp) $175.

01-12-2010, 10:41 PM
My PT lady had a greyhound. She just walked around a bit, slept, and she did seem to enjoy being petted. Hard to tell... that's the kind of laid-back we're talking, lol :)

I met a man who owned 4 inside and did the racing rescues. They all had their own cute blanket and lay around, even with all the kids coming up to see them. He said that's what they did at home, too.

01-12-2010, 10:44 PM
The most the tail might do is push a cellphone off a coffee table. It would not leave a bruise or break glass.

Elaine Margarett
01-12-2010, 11:01 PM
Ex- racers make great pets! They are gentle, quiet companions. They probably won't play fetch with your girls but they'll happily participate in dress up and slumber parties and curling up on the couch.

I'm sure whatever rescue org. you deal with, will try to find the appropriate dog for you.

Wayne K
01-12-2010, 11:12 PM
Ha! The greyhound I'm looking at adopts for $200.
Salukis are royalty. In Egypt a man will put the dog on his camel and walk.

Oh yeah, and they are chick magnets.

01-12-2010, 11:13 PM
Oh yeah, and they are chick magnets.Ah, well that's good. I seem to be failing at picking up the ladies, so maybe this will help.

Jersey Chick
01-12-2010, 11:17 PM
I wanted a greyhound. They are awesome dogs. I'm not really sure how I ended up outvoted on the greyhound...

And from what I've heard, retired racers make great pets because they are the ultimate in couch potatoes because they're glad to just be able to not run.

And they are good with kids - but not necessarily cats.

01-12-2010, 11:24 PM
Yes, they can whip their tails. No, they're not superhero dogs, so while they can knock something off and cause it to break, they aren't going to wag their way through walls or glass panes. LOL. I think the only dogs with that kind of tail destruction potential would be mastiffs of Great Danes, and I still doubt they could do it.

Greyhound rescue goes out of its way to match the right dog to the right family. As Mary said, we've had 2, and we've also had cats, other dogs and small kids around while we've had those 2. No issues, ever. None of our friends who have Greyhounds have ever had issues, either.

They're great dogs for everything other than guarding. And they're also great in apartments or small houses, because literally all they wanna do is have some fun, and their version of fun is SLEEPING. Oh, and eating and getting loved on.

A Greyhound is a love bug/couch potato combo, and they're awesome pets.

01-13-2010, 12:07 AM
They can be a little neurotic, though. Some of them don't know how to be... dogs. They live their whole life at the track and can have trouble learning how to deal with other dogs. But hopefully the adoption people will help you with any of that...

My neighbor I lived next to in Davis had three. They were sweet and gentle. He and his wife had triplets, and the kids would grab the dogs tails and walk around the yard! It was very cute!

01-13-2010, 05:39 AM
I wrote a nice reply on my experience with my greyhound, but I accidentally closed the freakin' window and lost it, and don't want to retype it all. So here are some pictures of my girl, Poppy--

My favorite photo of her, sitting amongst my daylilies.

She hates the camera, and as soon as she heard me turn it on, she sat up from her nap, and jumped off the couch just after I snapped this photo.

Poppy on a dead run, heading for me!

01-13-2010, 05:46 AM
I was raised around greyhounds. My parents raced them, and when they retired we kept them as pets. As big animal lovers, my folks also adopted a few who'd been abandoned after their careers were over.

My opinion? You're not going to find a much nicer dog. They really are sweet, lovable couch potatoes. When my sister was an infant, they'd lie down beside her on the floor and--at worst--lick her on the nose. I'd have them again without reservation. They're simply great family dogs.

01-13-2010, 05:59 AM
I don't know, my husband just revealed that he thinks greyhounds are categorically ugly. He's not real keen on this whole idea.

Rose English
01-13-2010, 06:41 AM
I think they are beautiful. I like to keep a list of dogs-we-may-one-day- own, and I'm adding greyhounds to it based on what I've learnt from this thread. And whippets.

One thing I'd like to say though, if either you or your husband have doubts, think about it really really really carefully.

Much as I love our German Shepherd I said all that shedding would drive me nuts and it does.

01-13-2010, 07:49 AM
There are more important things than looks :)

01-13-2010, 07:59 AM
To be fair, I wouldn't sign on to live with an ugly dog. Shallow or no, it be the truth. So, I have sympathy for his complaint, although I think they're beautiful.

01-13-2010, 09:33 AM
We adopted a gentleman former racer (he was 11 years old when we got him--a couple had him first but divorced and couldn't keep him). He was huge, but he just loved to snuggle on the couch. I swear he thought he was a lap dog. He was great with the kids, too, and immediately bonded with our yellow lab (and vice versa). He wasn't the least bit ugly. In fact, even at his age, he was an incredible athlete. That's the thing with these dogs. They generally have little body fat and such well developed muscles they "ripple" when they move. And to see one in a dead run is the most impressive thing I've seen on four legs (him, not me). We looked up the code from his ear tattoo and he had only thirteen races, won two, dead last on two, and the comments on the races were entertaining. Some can have over 200 races, I'm told.

The down side in general - they can have problems with the cold since they have little body insulation. We had a couple of dog sweatshirts for when it was cold outside. He didn't mind wearing them in the least. They also need plenty of exercise. If allowed to run, they may just sleep most of the rest of the day away. We were told to leash him always when not in a fenced area because of their desire to "just run."

The down side with ours - they are given little dental care from the time they are pups, so they tend to have tooth/gum problems when they get older. Our older gentleman had gum disease that made his breath awful. He wanted to snuggle all the time and we had to plug our noses. But we did it gladly because he was such a nice companion.

We had to put him down when he started losing muscle control. The thing I remember most fondly is how he would lean in when standing next to my leg. If I moved fast he would almost fall over.

Elaine Margarett
01-13-2010, 03:49 PM
To be fair, I wouldn't sign on to live with an ugly dog. Shallow or no, it be the truth. So, I have sympathy for his complaint, although I think they're beautiful.

Maybe he just needs to see them; up close and personal. I agree with the poster about how marvalously athletic they are. And they come in all colors (brindle is my favorite).

01-14-2010, 05:56 AM
^Agree. My boyfriend's dad thought they were ugly, from pictures he'd seen, but once he saw Poppy, he changed his mind.

01-18-2010, 11:00 AM
I don't know, my husband just revealed that he thinks greyhounds are categorically ugly. He's not real keen on this whole idea.

Has he seen them in person? My husband hated them with a passion, he thought of them as scrawny, shivering, bug eyed creatures. Sort of like a giant badly bred chihuahua.

Then I dragged him out to meet some at the rescue's kennel. He fell in LOVE. They had two giant boys there, both 35" at the shoulder, fawn brindle, and completely ripped. Seeing them in person, he realized how macho they are up close.

We ended up not being able to get one because I was pregnant and the rescue wouldn't adopt to us because of it. So instead I got into borzois. Very similar, only more hair to maintain. Here are my two:

Kaia, she's 12 weeks old and folds for easy under bed storage. It's a sight hound trait.

And our first boy, Strider. He's Kaia's cousin. I love him so much. Here he is being athletic.

but this is what he usually looks like

With any sight hound, you can NEVER let them off leash outside of a fenced area. Especially a greyhound. It only takes a greyhound three strides to hit 45 MPH. That is the end of an 8 foot leash. Even if you have trained an excellent recall, there is a point where they are just too far away to hear you, and at 45 MPH they hit that point very quickly.

Depending on the individual you get, you will need to find a large fenced area for it to run. A fenced in playground can work. When we lived in an apartment for a couple of months, I took Strider to a fenced tennis court on the grounds when nobody was using it. If your yard is big enough that can work too. Sometimes dogs are retired due to injury. Depending on the injury (ankle fractures are common in racing dogs) the dog may not be able to run at top speeds and be fine with walking and playing in smaller areas.

You might talk to some rescues and see if they would let you foster greyhounds for them, to see if you really want to live with the breed. If it's a good fit, you'll know. If not, at least some dogs will have gotten help.