Today’s News – Wednesday 26th October 2011

New Greyhound Arrivals

River and Max are our latest arrivals. Details of all our available greyhounds can be found in the Greyhounds Needing Homes Gallery.

Great news of Greyhounds being homed

Lara, Woodstock, Diggs and Damsel have been homed.

Give Blood by Donating Your Greyhounds Blood

Our next Pet Blood Bank session is set for Sunday 20th November at the kennels. Please help to save the lives of desperately sick dogs everywhere by donating some of your dog’s blood. Each donation saves 4 other lives and as a bonus your dog will receive a lovely goody bag as a reward for being heroic.
Acceptance criteria for greyhounds donating blood apply.
To make a booking please email FarnhamSVN@vets-now.com or call 07868 380287. We hope to see you there.

Remember, You Can Run Too

Congratulations to Kate, one of our Saturday staff for completing a recent 10k race around Fleet. Not only did Kate manage to run the distance in one hour and 3 minutes she also managed to raise around £200 for the Retired Greyhound Trust in the process.
Well done Kate!

Bargains To Be Had!

We now sell good quality, degradable, dark green poop bags for £1 per pack of 50 bags.

Greyhound Christmas Cards

RGT Christmas cards are also now in stock too. Packs of 12 cards cost £3.99 per pack. All profits go to support the greyhounds.
Sorry, but we are unable to do mail order.
Goods are available only from the kennels during our regular opening hours of 11am – 1pm daily.

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Choosing a Boy or Girl Greyhound

Greyhound dog or greyhound bitch

Are you thinking about greyhound adoption? Have you already decided that you want a bitch? Then you won’t be alone, many people are of the same mindset and unfortunately that choice is often at the expense of the equally deserving greyhound males.

Please take a moment to read on and perhaps when you have finished you might just be a little more open minded about the sex of your potential new greyhound pet.

A common problem within greyhound rescue and rehoming organisations is that the greyhound boys are far harder to rehome than the greyhound girls. Sometimes a greyhound male will see a “production line” of ever changing female kennel mates arrive and be successfully re-homed before his turn finally comes.

Why are the boys harder to home?

Many people might have a pre-conceived beliefs that the girls will be easier and more pleasant to have in the home. Below is a summary of opinions expressed about the boy or girl issue:-

Greyhound bitches are more gentle or loving than the greyhound dogs

This belief is incorrect. There are huge variations in both behaviour and temperament in greyhounds individually. It is therefore unfair to judge based on a greyhound’s sex alone. There are gentle boys and girls, there are extremely affectionate boys and girls and equally there are also some “real handful” greyhound girls and boys.

A greyhound bitch will be less “keen” than a greyhound dog

Simply untrue. There are greyhound boys and girls that are easy to detrain around other breeds of dog and sometimes cats too. There are also several “keen” greyhound bitches and dogs, both of which will require hard work and re-training in order to become safe around other animals.

“I’ve always had female dogs and it’s a female I want again”

A commonly heard phrase. It can sometimes also apply to the males and for that most greyhound homing centres are extremely grateful.

A greyhound dog will be too big and strong

This too is a very generalised opinion. There are size and strength variations amongst the boys and amongst the girls too. There are gentle and easy to walk boys and girls, there are some real “powerhouse” bitches and dogs. Strength and ease of walking out does not relate directly to a greyhound’s size. There are small sized, but incredibly strong greyhounds and there are some huge greyhounds that are extremely easy and pleasant to walk.

A male greyhound will be oversexed or suffer the “wanderlust”

This is possible, every breed of dog will have its share of overtly sexual males, but it is a very rare in greyhounds.There is an effective cure available – castration. Castration (given time for the dog’s hormones to settle) will remove all sexual urges, but it won’t change the character of your dog. Castration is a far less risky and costly operation than that of spaying a bitch.

Greyhound bitches can also suffer from “hormonal moments” and until they are spayed you have the potential problems of changes in temperament, the desire to mate or create a “nest”, the unpleasant mess of a season, the bother of neighbourhood dogs being attracted to your bitch and the worry of a major operation combined with a comparitively more expensive veterinary bill.

Other points worth considering:-

The big greyhound boys are commonly known as the “gentle giants”.

The male greyhound will cause less urine damage to lawns than the female. Boys prefer to mark higher places and the boundaries of their territory. Therefore hedges, fences and trees are favoured above short mown grass.

Bitches can’t physically mark high places and therefore tend to use what is convenient – your lawn. A female’s urine is more concentrated than a male’s and it does cause unsightly burn marks on lawns. However a male with a female companion will overmark wherever the bitch has “been”, so this argument does not apply if you have a bitch already in residence.

A sweeping generalisation perhaps, but one that has been noticed within multiple greyhound households particularly. If the main carer is going to be a woman, it is most often the greyhound boys who form the deepest bond to her. If the main carer is a man, it tends to be the greyhound girls that form the deepest bond with him.

If you have a dog or bitch at home already the ideal combination for a second canine would be one boy and one girl. However some boys can live happily with other boys as can some girls live happily with other girls. There are though bitches as well as dogs that will not accept living with a same sex companion. For households with multiple canines it is better to adopt the dog or bitch who “fits in” the best with your existing pack and that could be a male or a female.

Please do consider the boys as well as the girls and not judge any greyhound’s ability to make a wonderful pet on his or her sex alone. The boys are equally deserving of their chance to experience family life.

Greyhound with Special Needs »

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About Greyhound Collars

Looking at different greyhound collars

Options to consider if a greyhound collar alone is not giving you good control of your greyhound. The following article is based on my own personal experience of exercising my own four pet greyhounds and a variety of very different and then unadopted/unsocialised greyhounds over the past few years. Comments made are my opinions only, applying to control aids that I have used personally. There may be other options available that are, as yet un-tested by myself, but which also work well.

by Marie Harris – Greyhound Lifeline

Please note that the majority of greyhounds are well mannered on a lead and require nothing more than a greyhound collar (plus muzzle until your greyhound is 100% reliable) to walk them safely and easily.
greyhound collar
There are a few greyhounds however that it is not so easy to maintain control of. Perhaps they are consistently strong, perhaps they are unpredictable or perhaps your greyhound is a fearful one that when frightened by something can become a “Houdini” style escape artist.

Even a nicely mannered greyhound can change from being a “dream on a lead” into a contestant for Mr Universe crossed with a circus acrobat if he/she sights a squirrel or cat for example. If your greyhound has any of the above problems or reactions then this page could help you find an aid to control that suits you. Please note that all the suggestions below work well in conjunction with a greyhound muzzle and can be used either on their own or in conjunction with a greyhound collar.

Halti

Halti without a muzzle
halti without muzzle
Halti with a muzzle
halti with muzzle
A Halti is similar to a horses head collar, but designed specifically to fit a dog’s head. A size 2 is a good fit for most greyhounds. Once fitted correctly, I would personally recommend stitching the webbing to prevent the adjustment sliders moving over time.

Positive points of a Halti collar:

:: A kind method of control.

:: Excellent for a strong greyhound, a Halti reduces physical effort on your part considerably and makes it easy to control the direction of your dog. A Halti also minimises strain on any part of the greyhound’s body.

:: Gives excellent head control enabling you to prevent pouncing on un-suspecting sleeping cats in hedges etc.

:: Can be used with a greyhound collar or alone (once you are familiar with your dog’s reactions). If using a Halti with a collar you will either require 2 leads (the shorter on on the Halti and the longer one as a back up on the collar) or you could adapt a “couple” (designed to walk two dogs on one lead) by shortening the Halti end slightly. An adapted couple will allow you to utilise just one lead, but retain two forms of control.

:: Readily accepted by most greyhounds. The nose band of the Halti rests around the dog’s nose and likely feels similar to a muzzle which greyhounds are generally accustomed to wearing.

:: Easy to obtain either from your local pet shop or from internet suppliers.

Negative points of a Halti collar:

:: Not suitable for sole use on “head shakers”, fearful greyhounds or those who tend to back away. These types of dog can escape from a Halti.

Greyhound Harness

greyhound harness
A body harness can in my opinion be very useful to prevent neck injuries from pulling or jerking or on a greyhound who has previously suffered a neck or spinal injury although if this type of injury is known about I would suggest seeking the advice of your vet for a suitable method of walking out in the first instance. There are many different styles of harness available for greyhounds.

Positive points of a greyhound harness:

:: A kind method of control.

:: Good as a secondary method of control for the acrobatic dog, or a sole method for a well behaved dog.

:: Gives good control of the dog’s body.

:: Readily accepted by most greyhounds. Most don’t react at all to wearing a harness, a few are obviously comforted by the feeling of being “hugged” that a harness can offer.

:: If you have purchased the car seat belt variety of harness, it will have the dual purpose of preventing your greyhound becoming a 30kg missile in the event of a motoring accident and it is also ideal for people wanting their greyhound to travel safely when a fixed dog guard or cage is not available.

:: Easily obtained from many pet shops or online suppliers.

Negative points of a greyhound harness:

:: Not suitable for sole use on a determined “escape artist”. To date, I have been unable to find a harness that is 100% escape proof, although for the majority of normal greyhounds a harness would be sufficient.

:: Can rub a greyhound’s sensitive skin if not sufficiently soft or padded.

:: Roughly 2% of the greyhounds that I have walked out, refuse flat to walk anywhere wearing a harness.

:: A harness offers no control of your dog’s head.

Greyhound Canny Collar

canny collar without a muzzle
A Canny Collar is a neck collar fitted with an adjustable additional band that fits around the greyhound’s nose and tightens when pulled. A size 2 will fit most greyhounds. A size 3 will be too big for all but the very largest of greyhounds.

Important note – correct fitting of a Canny Collar is essential in order for the collar to do what it was designed to do. The collar should be snugly fitted just behind the greyhound’s ears with room for just two fingers to be comfortably inserted between the collar and the dog’s neck. Too loose and the dog may manage to slip out of it and too tight your dog could be gasping for air!

Positive points of a Canny Collar:

:: A kind method of control.

:: Excellent as the only form of control on all greyhounds or in addition to other methods if you prefer.

:: Gives excellent head control.

:: Ideal on a strong, fearful or acrobatic dogs.

:: Excellent for a strong dog, a Canny Collar reduces physical effort on your part considerably and makes it easy to control the direction of your dog. A Canny Collar also minimises strain on any part of the dog’s body.

:: Readily accepted by most greyhounds. The nose band of the Canny Collar rests around the dog’s nose and likely feels similar to a muzzle which greyhounds are generally accustomed to wearing.

:: Generally supplied with a 30 day money back guarantee, if you should not be pleased with the result.

Negative points of a Canny Collar:

:: Not easily obtained from pet shops, but a Canny Collar can be purchased from a selection of internet stockists and it often comes with a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

harness halti collar and canny

A Cautionary note:

Please never use a flexi or retractable/extending lead on a greyhound. These leads are highly dangerous for greyhounds regardless of whether they are attached to a collar, a harness, a Halti or a Canny Collar and I believe this for the following reasons::

Please remember the speed capability of a greyhound 0-40mph+ in around 3 seconds! By the time you have reacted to your greyhound “taking off”, he/she has reached the end of the extending lead which could result in one of several possibilities:

:: Your greyhound could break it’s neck by coming to an abrupt stop by neck pressure alone. Your greyhound could also injure its neck or back as a direct result of the jarring caused by the abrupt stop.

:: You could suffer shoulder injury and lose your grip on the lead resulting in a trip to A & E, after of course you have once again found your greyhound and perhaps already taken him to the vet.

:: An extending lead case is held only by your fingers, you cannot wrap the case around your wrist as extra security against dropping it. A loose dog with extending lead attached could get caught on just about any obstruction and your greyhound could severely damage any part of his/her body trying to escape the “cheese wire” style lead wrapped around him.

:: Your greyhound could literally “run his/her heart out” trying to escape from the noisy and frightening bouncing thing that is clattering along behind him (the extending lead handle). Exhaustion, collapse and/or bleeding paws are a distinct possibility and that is not even allowing for the mental condition of the poor greyhound who has been utterly terrorised.

:: An extendable lead and case doing 40mph attached to a panic struck greyhound could do a tremendous amount of damage or injury to any persons, other animals or objects that are unfortunate enough to be whacked or lacerated by it as it speeds past.

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