Retraining a greyhound

tigger01

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Having found a lovely black bitch I was told was cat friendly I got her home to find she most definitely isn't. She is far too interested in anything small and furry inc my Siamese and our working terrier. She is a lovely dog in all ways apart from this. And it's a big problem. Can it ever be drummed out of them not to chase small creatures? I don't have all the time on the world as work away 3 days a week. I wonder if she just isn't ideal for us. Very upset by the whole thing. Poor girl. She's a gorgeous thing. Any advice?
 
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Advice, mmm, you have a sight hound. I assume an ex racing Greyhound, and only a lot of time and a lot of effort will make any difference, to her learning to respect the cat and terrier. If you don't have the time, then it would be far kinder to return her.

You will never ''drum'' the sight hound out of her.
 

tigger01

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I'm no troll thank you very much. Have two cat friendly greys already and wanted to rehome another. They are sight hounds and obviously that brings risks but my two oldies are as cat friendly as the breed can be. Just asking if anyone had any experiences. Each dog will be different I know. I don't want to give her back but if that's what's best for her then so be it.
 

Alec Swan

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……... Can it ever be drummed out of them not to chase small creatures? …….. . I wonder if she just isn't ideal for us. …….. . Any advice?
Line 1; Those dogs which are focussed on only one thing, will remain so. To attempt to undo perhaps 1000 years of programming would call for a specialist approach, and even then, most would give up!

Line 2; If it's your intention to keep your cats alive, then I'd say that she's a long way short of 'ideal'! Greyhounds are often 'gingered-up', by throwing half grown kittens in with them. If that's what's been done, then she will have a penchant for pussy-cats, and it's HIGHLY unlikely that she will be dissuaded.

Line 3; Certainly. When the supplier of the dog described the dog as 'Cat friendly', was that what they actually said, or did they say "She likes cats"? There's a difference! :)

Alec.
 

Shady

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it's unlikely that you can change her Tigger, i'm sorry, the best you could get is that she behaves with yours in the house after a period of time but not outside if they run from her, or your neighbours cats venture in.
from a puppy, no problem, as an adult, its rare.
iv'e got a big French hound that are used to chase down boar here, most amazing dog iv'e ever had, comes from the oldest , purest line of hounds in the world and despite her ' 1000 years of programming' to go off on a scent she never leaves my side, i re home hunting hounds all the time and they make amazing companions but greyhounds are nearly always impossible as they chase
 

Leo Walker

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Its easy enough to raise them from puppies with cats, or if you have one thats not bothered. My dog has an incredible prey drive, hes a whippet, working bred through and through, and his best friend is the cat. But he grew up with him from being tiny, and he also received several hefty wallops as a puppy that taught him cats are sharp and really hurt when cornered! 3 years down the line, they sleep curled up together and genuinely like each other. They greet each other with "head bumps" every time one or the other has been out of the house.

He would still chase him if he ran in an open space. He will occasionally give a half hearted chase if the cat jumps out in front of him, but the cat isnt phased and there is no intent. However there is NO WAY as an adult dog that I could have introduced him to a cat without an awful lot of time and stress on every ones behalf!
 

gunnergundog

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Having found a lovely black bitch I was told was cat friendly I got her home to find she most definitely isn't. She is far too interested in anything small and furry inc my Siamese and our working terrier. She is a lovely dog in all ways apart from this. And it's a big problem. Can it ever be drummed out of them not to chase small creatures? I don't have all the time on the world as work away 3 days a week. I wonder if she just isn't ideal for us. Very upset by the whole thing. Poor girl. She's a gorgeous thing. Any advice?
I would do everyone a favour....you, the black bitch, your siamese and working terrier................return the black greyhound NOW and find another dog that does tolerate cats.
 

Dry Rot

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Aren't there show greyhounds that are suitable as pets? And you'll know they are beautiful because The Kennel Club says so and has them certified! :D

Where I was a farm student, the boss had an ex racing greyhound. It could not be let out because it chased anything that moved. So I used to sneak out at 4am and give the local hares some exercise. Then I was caught and had to help with morning milking to keep me out of trouble!

I don't know why people have to take a dog bred for work and drum it into becoming a pet. If I was a dog, I think I'd prefer the needle and to end up on a dissecting table at the vet college. At least that would be a quick and useful end.
 

Leo Walker

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I don't know why people have to take a dog bred for work and drum it into becoming a pet. If I was a dog, I think I'd prefer the needle and to end up on a dissecting table at the vet college. At least that would be a quick and useful end.
I'm not sure thats fair! I didnt set out to end up with a working bred dog. I picked him up on Christmas Eve from a Facebook ad, he was a 13 week old puppy and I was his 4th owner because he was demonic! It wasnt going to end well! Once I realised what I had and that I didnt have the knowledge/skills/physical ability to work him I got help from people who have forgotten more than I know. They taught me how to "work" him without tramping about in the dead of night with a lamp.

He flirt poles, used to lure race until we moved and no one does it, but hopefully in the new year I'll get a lure machine, he gets walked a lot in places there's lots of rabbits to chase, we taught him to retrieve, he doesn't do it for the retrieving, he does it for the chasing! but he now happily retrieves a fair way out in water in the lake, he runs 5 to 10k 3 times a week with my OH, he goes for car rides, and walks in a different place almost everyday. We did some agility the other day and he got the tunnel and A frame straight away so its something we will probably do more of, depends how he feels going forward. He isnt one for being drilled!

He also sleeps in the bed with us and is a cosseted pet. If you asked him if he'd rather be a working dog or a pet I know what his answer would be :lol: However, I do agree a little bit, in that if you have a working bred dog and dont work them and dont spend your time making them think they work, then it must be a miserable exsistence
 

gunnergundog

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I don't know why people have to take a dog bred for work and drum it into becoming a pet. If I was a dog, I think I'd prefer the needle and to end up on a dissecting table at the vet college. At least that would be a quick and useful end.
Cos that's the PC way of allowing Joe Public to own the dogs they want to nowadays, regardless of their inherent drives. And that's why we have such pathetic working dogs nowadays as well. Hmmmm.....did I actually say that? Germany here I come!
 

Shady

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I don't know why people have to take a dog bred for work and drum it into becoming a pet. If I was a dog, I think I'd prefer the needle and to end up on a dissecting table at the vet college. At least that would be a quick and useful end.[/QUOTE]

you need to come to France , you might re think that statement, the working dog over here spends 6 months locked up in a run on crap food with no exercise, then 6 months of only being able to ' work' 3 days a week and because they have had no exercise they are unfit, go lame and are shot and replaced, they go crazy with boredom and freeze to death in the winter, i can assure you all the ones i have helped rescue and re home are quite happy being pets.
 

gunnergundog

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Maybe we've misunderstood each other??

Certainly the professional hunters I worked with when living in Germany treated their dogs as vital tools of their trade and therefore accorded them due respect.

The KS and VGD and various other accolades ensure that dogs are treated and trained accordingly. I can't speak of the french system. If it is how you describe them so be it...more's the pity.
 

gunnergundog

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I don't know why people have to take a dog bred for work and drum it into becoming a pet. If I was a dog, I think I'd prefer the needle and to end up on a dissecting table at the vet college. At least that would be a quick and useful end.
you need to come to France , you might re think that statement, the working dog over here spends 6 months locked up in a run on crap food with no exercise, then 6 months of only being able to ' work' 3 days a week and because they have had no exercise they are unfit, go lame and are shot and replaced, they go crazy with boredom and freeze to death in the winter, i can assure you all the ones i have helped rescue and re home are quite happy being pets.[/QUOTE]

Some working dogs, I grant you will settle to and be grateful for a PET life, but not all of them by any means.....many become frustrated at not being able to work and exercise their natural instincts and would prefer death to the existance they are offered in this country.
 
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2Greys

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While its likely to be possible with a lot of hard work, personally with a dog that's showing such an interest in your cats & small dog I'd return as there's greyhounds that are well tested or in foster homes with cats available and let this one go to someone without cats and time to socialize with other breeds. Prey drive indoors can be totally different to outdoors hence even some talented racers can be ok to live with cats very much depends on the individual dog. Where did you get the dog from?

As for greyhounds not being suitable for a pet life, that's a joke they love the home comforts & I know greyhound trainers that also have some as house dogs once retired.
 
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gunnergundog

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As for greyhounds not being suitable for a pet life, that's a joke they love the home comforts & I know greyhound trainers that also have some as house dogs once retired.
Totally agree, but the emphasis is on SOME and not all! :) Many are couch potatoes in retirement but others can be and remain deadly killing machines. :)
 

Shady

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Maybe we've misunderstood each other??

Certainly the professional hunters I worked with when living in Germany treated their dogs as vital tools of their trade and therefore accorded them due respect.

The KS and VGD and various other accolades ensure that dogs are treated and trained accordingly. I can't speak of the french system. If it is how you describe them so be it...more's the pity.
if i sounded snippy i apologise, i am surrounded by desperate dogs living in tiny cages and because there is a huge traditional history of working dogs living this way, it will never change, i know things are very different in Germany as i have been there but sadly here their lives are short and hard.
i accept that some working dogs do not make good pets but remember that before dogs were selectively bred for certain disciplines they were migratory animals and as such love just 'moving on' , some of the most well balanced dogs mentally are the ones who get to go for long walks in different places.
i am one of the few women hunters around here , i have my big scent hound and a weimeraner, both work well but both prefer the sofa!
 

gunnergundog

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if i sounded snippy i apologise, i am surrounded by desperate dogs living in tiny cages and because there is a huge traditional history of working dogs living this way, it will never change, i know things are very different in Germany as i have been there but sadly here their lives are short and hard.
i accept that some working dogs do not make good pets but remember that before dogs were selectively bred for certain disciplines they were migratory animals and as such love just 'moving on' , some of the most well balanced dogs mentally are the ones who get to go for long walks in different places.
i am one of the few women hunters around here , i have my big scent hound and a weimeraner, both work well but both prefer the sofa!
No need to apologise at all! :) Interested in learning about different ways and cultures re dogs all the time.
 

Dry Rot

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I spent a lifetime breeding high powered working gundogs only to find increasingly that UK buyers expected them to live like pets and couldn't train them. Kennel Club field trials actively tweaked the rules so they were bent (and I chose the word carefully!) in favour of the show dog/pet dog. That's fine, but they also carried out a campaign to make sure no one ran separate trials specifically for the proper working dogs. So Britain, once the source of the best working dogs in the world, has now become a country to avoid if you are looking for a dog for work. It would be difficult to find even a handful of trainers in Britain who can manage these dogs.

To me, that is no different to someone going into an art gallery and slashing a painting by an old master with a razor or spraying it with graffiti. I wince every time I watch Adam Henson's dogs on Countryfile. The poor things probably have all the work trained out of them and certainly have no remaining instinct to get out there and find game. By all means have your pets and lap dogs but leave the working breeds (which have taken selection and culling over centuries to produce) alone and leave those who want this type of dog alone too. Don't get me started on The Kennel Club! :D When I retired, the few that were left in my kennel were all exported out of harm's way and I'd refused to sell within Britain for years.
 

Swirlymurphy

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We have had rescue lurchers and greyhounds and without fail, they have all learnt to tolerate the cats inside the house. Our latest pair let the cat (who is absolutely NOT afraid of dogs and won't ever run from them - this is important) curl up with them in their beds, and wash each other.

It takes about two weeks and you have to be absolutely diligent in that time. Start off with the dog with a muzzle and a lead. Bring them into the room where the cat is and don't let the dog move a muscle. Get someone else to pick the cat up and give them a cuddle, make a big fuss of the cat, virtually ignoring the dog. Then take the dog out of the room and make a big fuss of them. Repeat frequently gradually keeping the dog in the room for longer but always with muzzle and on a short lead. It is really important to keep picking the cat up and making a big fuss of it.

Never leave the dog and cat in the same room without the dog being on a lead and someone else being present. As the dog stops watching the cat, you can reward them with a stroke and a 'good boy'. They should after about 10 days be able to be in the room with the cat without watching them intently. Anytime you see the dog locking on to the cat, you need to say 'no' really firmly and then go and pick the cat up and cuddle them.

In my experience, it can be done but you have to be ultra-diligent and it does depend on the cat being unphased by dogs. If the cat shows any inclination to run then I suspect you have a much tougher task ahead of you. And it goes without saying that whilst our dogs love our cat in the house and in our garden, anybody else's cats are fair game as far as the dogs are concerned and if they could get hold of them, they would.

Good luck
 
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I would return her OP - yes of course there are greyhounds that are cat friendly, but she clearly is not and it WILL end in tears in my opinion. It is not her fault - it is what she is bred to do - it is simply the case that she is not suited to your particular situation.

And as for ex-racing greyhounds not being suitable as pets, what an absolute load of rubbish. I have had them for the past 13 years (and other sighthounds for years before that) and they make fabulous pets, they are relaxed, easy to have around, clean, laid back and affectionate. Having said that, any owner needs to be aware of the job they were bred to do and needs to take that into consideration.

From the sound of it the OP knows this, and was unlucky in her experiences with this particular hound.
 

2Greys

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Totally agree, but the emphasis is on SOME and not all! :) Many are couch potatoes in retirement but others can be and remain deadly killing machines. :)
Yes I wouldn't take risk with small animals myself when are ones tested available, but I have one of those high prey drive greyhounds & if your sensible & willing to do some work its manageable so reason they can't also be pets, my girl is wonderful & very affectionate, its not a big deal to.me that she has to stay on lead in public.
 
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SusieT

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Dry Rot- sounds more like you were breeding dogs without a trainable temperment which is the most important thing from day one. If you were breeding neurotic nutcases (as plenty of working breeders do) it's your fault the dogs couldn't lead a graceful retirement not people who let them out of a barren metal box (note nearly all working dogs are kept with very little in their cages as they will destroy anything they have through boredom and frustration - how is that a 'noble' life...)
 

NinjaPony

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I would return the dog- huge shame but will save your heartache in the future. As you have proven, some greyhounds can live happily with cats, but she clearly isn't one of them unfortunately. It's absolute rubbish to say most greyhounds don't make suitable pets! Many of them make wonderful, laidback pets- just a case of doing your research and providing an appropriate lifestyle.
 

Bellasophia

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II also would rehome this particular greyhound. My first st poodle was very high prey drive and remained so for thirteen years...this impacted her whole life..she wasn't allowed in ourfront garden unlike the other dogs as she could ,and did ,easily clear a four ft hedge to chase the neighbours cat.imagine a hysterical neighbour with our dog in her kitchen trying to catch her cat that had climbed on top of her kitchen cupboards!italian hysteria at its best!
In dry rots defense,he isn't talking about greyhounds as working dogs..but rather hunting,mostly scent hounds...the two are very different..we get many many spin one,bracco,pointers etc here in rescue who do have difficulty settling into domestic lifestyles...in contrast the greyhounds seems to thrive on a sofa after a long walk..the former dogs can work all day,whilst the fast- burst racers need to expend their energy and then they are done...happy to lounge and be pampered.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/SOS-cani-da-caccia/174703269276625
I also echo the French poster in that in Italy the life of hunting dogs is very brutal and death or abandonment is high. The dogs are caged for 6 months, then hunted in the season and only the ones that are effective are kept for the next season.
 
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Alec Swan

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Dry Rot- sounds more like you were breeding dogs without a trainable temperment which is the most important thing from day one. If you were breeding neurotic nutcases (as plenty of working breeders do) it's your fault the dogs couldn't lead a graceful retirement not people who let them out of a barren metal box (note nearly all working dogs are kept with very little in their cages as they will destroy anything they have through boredom and frustration - how is that a 'noble' life...)
You've quite clearly known or met some very strange dogs, and their breeders! :D Dry Rot won't be amongst them, nor I, nor any competent person who I know of, and they would be in the majority.

Alec.
 

NinjaPony

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Dogs don't have the capacity to consider the question, or provide an answer, I'm happy to tell you!

Alec.
You don't say.
It annoys me that people seem to think that PTS is always the better option. PTS can be the better option in some cases, but ultimately, it's ending a dog's life. And if a happy alternative can be found, then surely that is the better option.
 
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