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FIRST CONSIDER ALL THE ASPECTS PRIOR TO ADOPTING

I find that greyhounds are almost perfect dogs. But perhaps you think otherwise. Even when you do find that an ex racing the perfect pet is, it doesn't mean that you and a greyhound where meant for each other. Many people adopt a dog for all the wrong reasons, often without knowing anything about the breed of dogs in general. No matter how hard a re-homing organisation tries to place a dog with the ideal family, it cannot avoid some adoptions going wrong. The biggest problem in adopting a greyhound is that greyhounds appear to be very easy to live with. This is also very true, but doesn't detract from the fact that these are real dogs and relatively large dogs at that, with real needs. The message is then to take your time to learn about what it is that makes the adoption of a greyhound a success. From past experience I know that if a dog is regularly re-homed there is a greater chance of it developing behavioural problems. It is also a fact that dogs with behaviour problems are much more difficult to re-home. To prevent an adopted greyhound having to be re-homed I try to give the candidate adoptive families as much information as possible and ask them to be completely honest with themselves. Not one of the volunteers is left untouched when an adopted dog is brought back. We start to have doubts about our methods and torture ourselves with the question as to why we couldn't have foreseen that this adoption was doomed. We lay awake at night crying our eyes out and asking ourselves why for Gods sake do we continue trying re-home greyhounds. Therefore I have taken it upon myself to do my best to deter you from adopting a greyhound. Each of the following items is connected to unsuccessful adoptions.

TEN REASONS WHY NOT TO ADOPT A GREYHOUND

1 Greyhounds moult. They have a short light coat, which is very easy to groom. But greyhounds are dogs and like all dogs they loose hair. It is true that they don't moult as much, but they do moult. Or you get used to it or buy yourself a big cuddly toy. If you cant put up with dog hairs in the house you shouldn't adopt a dog.

2 However gentle greyhounds are they are large to very large dogs. A very excited, untrained greyhound weighing anything between 25kg (55lbs) and 45kg (+/-95lbs) can easily bowl children and frail people over. Greyhounds in stressful situations hold their tails between their legs and their ears flattened against their heads. For those who aren't acquainted with greyhounds this can wrongly be interpreted as a sign of aggression and fi d this behaviour frightening and sometimes find it difficult to getused to this habit especially where very large dogs are concerned.

3 Dogs and the perfect lawn, a nigh on impossible combinatin. Unless you have a very large garden, where you can section off a part of it for the dog, the possibility of being the proud owner of a fantastic dog and a perfect lawn is slight. You can either accept this fact or opt for a cat, which you can train to use a litter tray. Although greyhounds don't need lots of exercise they love a good run and when they race around your lawn it will certainly show signs of wear and tear. If gardening is your passion, choosing an ex racing dog isn't advisable.

4 Dogs make a mess. Even well trained dogs are sometimes unwell. When this happens it won't run to the kitchen or the bathroom to answer the pressing call of nature. It is at this moment in time when carpets appear to be irresistible! Even elegant looking greyhound vomits sometimes, have diarrhoea or pass wind. Dogs aren't house-proud. Dogs and expensive furniture, priceless carpets or a stylish interior aren't therefore the ideal combination. If you can't abide any hair or dirt in your house, if beautiful expensive possessions mean a lot to you, don't adopt a dog not even a quiet and easy to groom greyhound.

5 Greyhounds adore warm and soft places. If you think that dogs belong outside in a kennel, or if you can't stand the thought of a dog in your bed or on the sofa, then a greyhound is certainly not for you. Owing to their having a minimum layer of fat greyhounds are not meant to be kept outside and owing to their sparsely covered bones they are only really comfortable when lying somewhere soft and warm.

6 Who doesn't have time for a child probably won't have time for a dog. If you have children and you spend all your free time going to sports contests, plays and school functions, you don't have any time left for a dog, unless the dog can accompany you at all these functions. Dogs are social animals and require both physical and mental stimulation. Even though greyhounds are by nature quiet and friendly dogs, it doesn't mean that they don't need to be trained. Training in the case of a greyhound does not mean obedience in the true sense of the word, but more in the sense of developing a relationship of trust and an effective means of communication.

7 Children and dogs are not the ideal combination, as Hollywood would have us believe. Greyhounds are slender dogs with a delicate skin, which is easily torn. They can quite easily be injured by infants falling on them or by boisterously playing children. Greyhounds are by nature quiet dogs and are best suited to peaceful surroundings. It is better if you don't adopt one if you have very small or very active children. It is advisable that if you wish to adopt an adult dog you should wait until your children are older, especially when you consider that dog bites are one of the foremost causes of deaths in children. (Biting a child is without doubt the foremost cause of deaths in dogs). Should you decide to combine both children and a dog, then you should opt for the dog best suited to all your requirements and take all the necessary steps to ensure that the combination is a total success.

8 Even if your lifestyle and interests change you cannot dispose of your dog as you would an old toy. People move, have children, separate, and change jobs… If you are not reasonably certain that your greyhound can remain for the rest of its life with you, then don't adopt one.

9 Greyhounds aren't exacting, but they do have specific requirements. Greyhounds are particularly delicate dogs. They have very little body fat, delicate bones and a fragile skin. You therefore have to protect them from extreme temperatures and handle them with care. Greyhounds have reactions like lightening and when running, can not be overtaken by man. They are independent and enterprising animals that can perfectly, without any direct orders, perform tasks. If you want to prevent your greyhound from going off alone, when out always keep him on the lead and make sure that the fence in his run is in good condition and adequate.

10 Do not adopt impulsively! Don't take an ex-racing dog in the house just because you feel sorry for it or because it is trendy. Even though these are very good reasons for not adopting a greyhound, I can think of just as many good reasons why you should take an ex-racer as a companion. If after all these arguments against you are still interested, you should take the following points into consideration.

TEN REASONS WHY TO ADOPT A PENSIONED OFF GREYHOUND

1 When you adopt an adult dog you know exactly what you get. No matter which breed, the choice of an adult dog is usually a good choice. Whoever opts for a soft cute puppy is usually ruled by his heart and not by his mind. Considering that it is difficult to foresee what kind of temperament and character the pup will develop, there is a possibility that you later regret opting for a young dog. Whoever opts for an adult dog chooses a dog for its character and bodily characteristics specific to its breed. You have then not only a fantastic friend, but you can rejoice in the knowledge that you have saved an adult dog from an uncertain future.

2 Adult dogs are less work than pups. Even though puppies are so very cute, they are a lot of work. Pups have to be house - trained, they teethe and chew on anything and everything and need a lot more exercise than adult dogs. They can require this extra attention and care in some cases until they are two years old.

3 Ex racing dogs make ideal pets. Greyhounds are easy to take care of. For a dog of these proportions greyhound needs very little exercise. They are very accommodating dogs and adapt easily to their new lifestyle. Greyhounds have a quiet, well -mannered and sensitive character. They are also intelligent and react well to an appropriate method of training. In other words you couldn't wish for a better pet.

4 Greyhounds are very adaptable. Although Greyhounds aren't suitable for every family they adapt superbly to most situations. Your dog will become a well deserving and appreciated member of your family on condition that you give him the time to learn what is expected of him. Greyhounds do extremely well when they are well loved and their needs are taken into consideration. These dogs don't deserve less.

5 Greyhounds are gentle and quiet dogs. People have a mental picture of a greyhound as a muzzled and aggressive racing dog. A greyhound is certainly not aggressive! The muzzle they wear during the race is only to serve as protection and as an aid to decide the winner in the eventuality of a photo finish. Once a greyhound is away from the race - track it is a quiet, friendly and obedient dog. They are therefore absolutely no good as guard dogs. They certainly belong in families where the children are taught to respect animals. They get along well with other dogs and often become very good friends with the cat. Some greyhounds have even been known to get along very well with very small pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs and budgerigars.

6 Greyhounds don't need a lot of exercise. Another misunderstanding is that, as racing dogs' greyhounds need a lot of space and exercise. Greyhounds aren't marathon runners but sprinters. At home they are lazy and like nothing better than to spend the most of their day dozing, preferably on the sofa, and are satisfied with a quick sprint. Of course a fenced garden where a dog can run around is ideal. But with two or three walks per day and now and then the opportunity to have a good run on an enclosed piece of ground is quite sufficient.

7 Greyhounds are very clean dogs. Greyhounds have a light, short - haired coat which is easy to groom. They moult less than other dogs. The majority of greyhounds groom themselves, just like cats. Greyhounds do not have a greasy coat therefore they do not have that "dog smell" which so many other breeds have.

8 Greyhounds are healthy dogs. Ex hunting dogs have been spared most hereditary diseases found in other breeds of dogs. Hip dysplasia, for example is comparatively unknown in greyhounds. Their life expectancy, twelve years or more is also higher than most other breeds of large dogs.

9 You are guaranteed to find a greyhound suited to your wishes. Finding a greyhound answering to your wishes both in looks and temperament is possible. Do you want a friendly, easy going sofa pet? No problem. Do you prefer a more enterprising type? That kind of greyhound exists as well. Are you looking for a greyhound that feels at home in the town? Without a doubt you will find one. Are you thinking of a pet for your mother? There is sure to be a greyhound to fill this spot. Whatever you have in your mind there is sure to be an ex-racing dog who is ready to race into both your life and your heart!

10 Greyhounds are without a doubt fantastic. This explains why so many people have adopted more than one dog!

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