We at Greyhound Ranch Adoptions, Inc. work tirelessly to make sure that ALL of our adoptions are “forever”. Therefore, we want to make sure that everyone thinking about adopting a greyhound will take the time to make sure that they are willing to do what it takes to make the adoption work. We go above and beyond to match greyhounds with people but we know that greyhound adoption is a two way street. It takes work on our part to profile each dog that we place but it also takes an adopter with the commitment to make the adoption work as well. 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 and profiled, you MUST do additional training to have that dog fit into your home. Your greyhound will not know what to do unless you take the time and make the effort to train it. We can do part of the work but you will have to do the rest. 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. The amount of work you put into helping your greyhound adjust to your home in the beginning will result in a happy ending for everyone.
Many greyhounds seem to be aloof in a new home. They have often been described by many first time adopters as being “depressed” and/or “unhappy”. This is not the case. Greyhounds often are very low key and reserved when they first go into a new adoptive home; therefore, many people take this to mean that the dog doesn’t like his/her new home. Greyhounds’ personalities take weeks and sometimes months to unfold. You will see a different dog if you give that dog enough time to adjust. Please keep in mind that your greyhound has had its entire life changed and must be given enough time to adjust. Establishing a good routine, having patience and understanding will most certainly result in a very contended greyhound!
He/She Doesn’t Like Me!
Some greyhounds prefer one person over another. It may have to do with the amount (or lack) of contact with certain people at the tracks (male vs. female) or it may be because the hound is a little shy. Some greyhounds may pick up on the nervousness or anxiety of a person. 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.
Greyhounds are crate trained and house trained during fostering. However, chances are that you WILL have to clean up accidents in the house if you do not have a fenced in yard and need to leash walk. Most greyhounds are used to going to a turn out pen (a fenced in area) to relieve themselves. 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. If you cannot tolerate having to clean up accidents in the house, you should reconsider adopting a greyhound. We cannot guarantee that any greyhound will go into a new home and never have an accident.
Easy Does It
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 until he/she gets used to being in a home. 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. Although we foster and test all of our greyhounds for sleep/space aggression, you must also be willing to understand and accept your greyhound’s past to succeed in helping him/her adjust in your home.
Landscaping and Greyhounds
Greyhounds will tear up your yard in winter and spring. Freezing and thawing of the ground in addition to moisture from rain, etc. will soften the ground and make it very easy for a greyhound to wreak havoc. Be prepared to do lots of maintenance work on your lawn. A greyhound’s 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. If your landscaping is important to you, you should think hard about whether you can tolerate having it torn up. You must be willing to accept this as part of living with a greyhound.
I Didn’t Expect THAT!
Greyhounds are known for their non-aggressive, docile nature. However, 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.
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.
Dogs and Cats as Buddies
Many people, when adopting a greyhound, have visions of their new hound becoming bosom buddies with all of the other animals in the house. They picture the dogs all cuddled up on the same bed together. They all play in the yard together. The cats all purr as they lay next to the greyhound. It’s all peace and contentment. Sometimes this happens – and sometimes it doesn’t. Dogs and cats do not show friendships in the same way as humans. They may all live in a house together for years with little interaction. But the connection may be revealed when one of the animals dies. Then you may see the loss each animal experiences. Don’t expect every animal in your house to be friends and “bond” to your greyhound and don’t expect your greyhound to “bond” to the other animals. They may all have that connection through a quiet acknowledgment of one another that you might not ever see. Allow your animals to be what they are.
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.