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Cats and Greyhounds....

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I live in CT and we have a dog track closing. My husband and I are adopting a Greyhound - there are hundreds that need good homes. Cadence and Velocity are just about 3 years old and we've had them since 12 weeks.

I know they CAN coexist and I know it'll take time and to muzzle the dog etc etc - any tips/tricks you can recommend? HELP! Dog coming home today!
post #2 of 10
make sure the dogs is very well trained, take it to obidience (spell) school. they can coexsist but often because they have been brought up with cats from puppies.

i would be very wary of adopting a greyhound when you have cats, especially one who has been trained to chase small furry things.
post #3 of 10
It depends on the dog itself, but it is not always a good combination, as some greyounds can kill cats or other domestic animals. Not all greyhounds can live with cats or other domestic animals.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
she was tested for cat safety before we brought her home. she shows interest but does not lunge for them and walks away after about a minute. we will keep her muzzled and leashed in the house until we know we can trust her.
post #5 of 10
You are to be commended for your compassion, but be careful, as harm to your cat from the dog can cause a severe conflict in your attitudes, not to mention not being in the cat's best interest. Good luck. Leonard.
post #6 of 10
Thanks for adopting one of those poor dogs! There were about 500 that needed to find a home or they were to be euthanized. There were rescue groups all over the country trying to relocate them for adoption.

Had 2 greyhounds at one time (both are OTB) with 11 cats plus a feral colony living on the property. Doug was older and adopted from the track at 2 years old (he failed to qualify in races). Tyler was rescued from a breeder at 3 months and under medical care for 3 months before I adopted him. He had no formal track training.

The greys were very good with my indoor cats only because they were used to living with dogs and they never bolted out of fear. We did lose 2 feral cats over the years to Tyler. In both cases they were young (under 6 months old), both bolted from him, and in both cases I wasn't watching him close enough. Tyler was about 2 with the first cat and about 5 with the second. Yes it was gruesome and yes I had to punish him for a trait that was bred into him for 1000 years. The second time was a charm - he never chased a cat after that (until he crossed at 10 years old).

My hard lessons with greys:
- Use the muzzle for at least a week upon introductions anytime they are around a cat
- take them to obedience training and get control of them immediately. You must get them to respond to a "come" first time around regardless of any distractions they may encounter (like a cat).
- Never let them loose outside with a cat running around unless you are watching them 100% of the time and they respond immediately to come
- Discourage them from chasing any small animal - birds, squirrels, etc. If they are allowed to chase those, cats are also fair game
- "Let sleeping dogs lie" is very true with greys, particularly for the first few years after you adopt one. They were raised with a lot of dogs, lots of contention, and they will snap if woken up rudely. My (OTB) Bogart wound up in Doug's mouth as a kitten - Doug was asleep and Bogart bumped him while he was playing. Doug woke up and without thinking, grabbed Bogart in his mouth. Since I was sitting there, I simply shouted STOP to Doug and he woke up enough and set him down gently (with an apologetic smile). Keep the cats away from the grey while they sleep or kennel them for a while.
- Greyhounds are big "sluts". They love nothing better than to get scritches, lay on a soft sofa or chair (with you if possible), and they will lean against you for loving. Encourage a close physical bond with you and it will make training easier. Since they love all humans, to build your role as alpha person is more difficult, but over spoil as well as over obedience train.

And on a lighter note:
- Just give them a sofa as a bed. Use slip covers if you don't like the hair (they don't shed much). Tyler eventually took over the guest room waterbed as his bed. Doug preferred to sleep with me.
- They are very clean dogs, but get them used to a bath.
- Being raised trackside, they are used to being kenneled for long periods of time. They house-break very quickly.
- Keep a consistent feeding schedule with them. We fed ours at 7AM and 7PM daily. You know when they have to poop if you feed them the same time each day.
- They are chatterboxes. If you haven't seen yours chatter yet, you will laugh when he does it.
- They are leaners and mine used to knock over my young nieces and nephews. Too funny! Jessica took one look at Doug (she was 3) and declared "horsey!", then laughed as she fell when he tried to lean on her.

I loved my greys and if we didn't have 2 dogs right now (that is our limit these days), we probably would have driven to CT to adopt one.

I'd love to hear details of your new baby. PM me if you have questions as you go thru this process of integration.
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by MtnBikerChk
she was tested for cat safety before we brought her home. she shows interest but does not lunge for them and walks away after about a minute. we will keep her muzzled and leashed in the house until we know we can trust her.

This is good to hear..
Though with this type of hound who was bred to chase small furry things, life can be unpredictable..
Any dog can suddenly change its thought process and lunge or go for something one day when it simply has not for weeks, months or years.
I am so glad you are rescuing, but if I were you, I would NEVER allow the dog and cats alone together without you there to supervise.
So, when you go out for anything, they are separated.

And as other posters have said, you can never allow this dog to be offleash
(no dog parks for example). One errant squirrel and this dog will be gone!
Its simply too dangerous.

Also, most rescued greyhounds are also not housebroken (they didn't need to be)

And depending on where you live, get the dog a coat for the winter. THey are prone to chills due to their hair being so short.

Let us know how the integration into your home goes!
post #8 of 10
Good luck on the greyhound!
post #9 of 10
When I volunteered for an animal rescue group, we adopted out two cats into a home with a retired racing greyhound that had never seen a cat before in his life, he loves those cats to death the day they brought them home. It may just depend on the dog, and how well you can train it.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by MtnBikerChk
she was tested for cat safety before we brought her home. she shows interest but does not lunge for them and walks away after about a minute. we will keep her muzzled and leashed in the house until we know we can trust her.
Tyler did great for 18 months before he went after the first feral cat. You really can never let your guard down, even when tested for cat safety. He was very young as greyhounds go when we adopted him, and didn't have the track training to go after small furry animals. But that instinct runs back for 1000 years and it is just part of their nature.

I used to put a (human) sweatshirt on my greys in the winter. The arms are about the same length of theirs and you can synch up the chest area to keep them warm. There are also a lot of coats available online at greyhound rescue sites. They don't have any body fat (unless of course you fatten them up) so they really have a hard time keeping warm.
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