The REALITIES of Greyhound Adoption

We want all of our adoptions to be happy and we want to have good placements.  Please consider the following REALITIES you will have to face so that before you adopt you will be prepared for them.  You can decide if you are really ready – we respect anyone who will admit perhaps that this may be too much.  It’s better to not move forward with adoption than to get the dog and then be sorry.  It’s not good for anyone – our volunteers, you and especially the dog:

PLEASE THROW OUT ALL ROMANTICIZED AND IDEALISTIC EXPECTATIONS YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW.  THOSE WILL ALL COME EVENTUALLY.  YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THE REALITIES FIRST.

Even though you are getting an adult dog that has been fostered, you MUST do additional training to have that dog fit into your home.  Your greyhound will not know what to do unless you train it.  All of the wonderful adopted greyhounds you see at our meet and greet events were “new” to their adopters at one time; what you see came about through patience, caring and commitment on the part of their adopters.  What you see is what you will also have if you understand and make the commitment.

Many greyhounds seem to be aloof in a new home or seem to be “unhappy” to first time nervous adopters.  Greyhounds often are very low key and reserved; therefore, many people take this to mean that the dog doesn’t like his/her new home.  This is wrong.  Greyhounds’ personalities take weeks and sometimes months to unfold.  You will see a different dog if you give that dog enough time to adjust.

Some greyhounds prefer one person over another.  Many people take this personally.  Greyhounds are like people; they have preferences too.  It’s wrong to be hurt if a greyhound doesn’t accept everyone in the family the same way.  Most are very loving but won’t act outgoing towards everyone as expected.  This may change and it might not.  You need to put ego aside and work past this issue by allowing the dog enough time to trust the people around him/her.

You WILL have to clean up accidents in the house if you do not have a fenced in yard and need to leash walk.  Some greyhounds take to leash walking easily while others do not.  You have to be willing to be patient and understanding and work with your dog until you have him/her leash trained.  This usually does not take long but the process can be prolonged or never work if you are not patient.  Fenced in yard or not, you WILL have to get up in the middle of the night and in bad weather at some point to let your dog outside.  Your dog might get sick and throw up, have diarrhea and/or have to be taken to the emergency vet.  You must be prepared for all of these possibilities.

Greyhounds are extremely sensitive dogs.  If you are stressed out over everything the greyhound will pick up on your feelings and be stressed also.  Calm assertive behavior will help your greyhound adjust faster.

It is wrong to hug, grab, move, touch, stand over top of, and/or wake a resting or sleeping greyhound.  They are not used to this and some may bark, growl and/or bite.  Greyhounds are not used to being handled when they are lying down.  The phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” especially applies to greyhounds.  You must be willing to understand and accept your greyhound’s past to succeed in helping him/her adjust in your home.

Greyhounds will tear up your yard in winter and spring.  Their long nails and running will throw up dirt and grass and even create mud in your yard that will then be dragged into the house.  You must be willing to accept this as part of living with a greyhound.

Do not be surprised if your greyhound growls at you or snaps.  This usually means that YOU did something.  Greyhounds are not aggressive dogs but will growl and/or snap if they are afraid or feel threatened or if they are manhandled.  You must make an effort to understand your dog and learn the signals he/she is trying to give you.

Don’t allow a behavior unless you are willing to live with that behavior the rest of the greyhound’s life.

Some (not all) greyhounds may steal food, counter surf, “collect” your personal belongings, etc. if they are left unchecked.  Most do not chew things up but there are always exceptions to the rule.  You must expect to lose food and/or personal possessions if you are not willing to dog proof your house.

You CANNOT expect the greyhound you adopt to fit the image you have in your head when you decide to adopt.  Unless you are willing to accept the realities and face your limitations, you should not adopt a greyhound.  To be successful, you will have to accept your greyhound and enjoy it for what it is.  You will be richly rewarded.

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