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Crazy Dog Man

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I'm moving out of my cramped flat and finally getting away from my horrible neighbours.

I was thinking of adopting a JRT but they can be quite a handful with their energy.
I thought about a German Shepherd but my mother isn't too keen on me owning saying that they're aggressive but in my honest opinion, dogs are only aggressive if they've been brought up the wrong way.

So I will be adopting a staffy but one that's a bit older and is well trained because although I enjoy walking dogs, I get easily exhausted and my muscles and joints ache a lot after long distance walking.
I have a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome aka Myalgic Encephalomyelitis but I reckon I was misdiagnosed and may have inherited Fibromyalgia as it runs in my dad's family and the symptoms I experience are the same as my grandmother's who has Fibromyalgia but I can walk for at least 30 minutes whilst stopping for breaks to rest my legs so I think 30 minutes twice a day would be enough for a dog and it'll be good for my benefit to get out and walk around 30 minutes twice a day.

My mother said staffys can be very good for protecting their owners as well because I have been physically attacked in the past. I know martial arts but ever since I was told I have ME, my body has slowed down and my muscles and joints are weak.

Last week I saw a group of greyhounds that need rehoming and when I socialised with them one became very fond of me.

Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions on what type of dog would be suitable for me? I might be moving into a bungalow but it's most likely I'll get a flat or a house. I'd like a dog that'll be protective, playful but not too excited and doesn't require excessive walking just a minimum of half an hour or an hour twice a day and is very affectionate and social.
Greyhounds sound a good match and are large enough to make anyone wary of approaching you, although in all honesty i don't really think it is a regular pet dog's 'job' to protect you. If you are anxious after being attacked before, which is of course understandable, there are many better strategies than putting a dog in the role of protector. For example, choosing where you walk, carrying a walking pole, carrying an attack alarm all come to mind. I am sure you could find more suggestions online.
Staffies and greyhounds are both cracking dogs. And older greyhound would be happy with to half-hour walks a day, though they'd happily have more. You might find that as I did (I have fibromyalgia) that as you walk more, your health improves and you can walk even further :)

I would forget about looking for a dog that will protect you - finding a dog with the right nature so that they will threaten people who threaten you but not threaten friendly people, small children or so on, wouldn't be easy and it's not something you'd want to go wrong. Staffies may look more intimidating, though, and be less likely to get really anxious if someone does threaten you - sighthounds are very sensitive.

My son has ME/CFS and I reckon there's an overlap between the two conditions. He's found that Co-enzyme Q10 helps a lot with his 'mental fog'.
Retired greyhounds are great. They are not too bad at pulling although they cant be off lead ( most anyway).
Please think before putting any dog in the role of defender. Although its great to have a dog that will bark if youre in trouble the law is so quick to find a dog 'dangerous' so that if anyone said they felt threatened by your dog you could loose him/her.
I definitely wouldn't assume that a greyhound can't be let off lead - most of the ones I know can be let off, and it is far better for a dog, particularly a running dog, to be able to run free. It does depend on the sort of places you can walk though, as they can cover a lot of ground very quickly.

So I would aim to be able to let them off lead eventually, but accept that this may not happen.
@JudyN I guess you know more greyhounds than I do ... its just that our local rescue always marks ex-racers as not suitable for off lead..
@Mad Murphy it could just be that the ones that can't be let off lead tend to be walked in different places to where I walk, maybe ones where they're less likely to have a boisterous offlead dog bowling up to them! But rescues do tend to play safe, probably because so many adopters let them off lead too early - and then discover that their dog is still on a mission to chase small fluffy things.
Speak to your local rehoming centre they should help and they could guide you to a 'special someone (Dog)'

Most of the sighthounds i've met or known, not 'only Greyhounds' or 'only ex-racers', couldn't be off leash 'cuz they'd chase down most critters smaller than they were, which included free-roaming cats or even cats on their own front-porches, small dogs - particularly TOY dogs such as Chis, Poms, & similar - & other domesticated animals, not including of course the unlucky wildlife they took after.
Rescues get doggone tired of being chewed-out by adopters who foolishly let their adopted sighthound off-leash outside a fence, & then had to pay the purchase price & often a fine & court-fees, too, when their adoptee joyously killed someone's pet. // It doesn't make good public-relations.

Rescues in the USA, especially the ones that specialize in sighthounds or ex-racers, almost universally have a repossession clause in the adoption contract, to the effect that if the dog is picked up astray, U get just one error - the 2nd time, they reclaim the dog, & U do *not* get that adoption-fee refunded. That money is forfeit. :(

some examples, lest U think i exaggerate:
2. Your dog must be on a leash anytime s/he is outdoors unless in an appropriately fenced area. Greyhounds are sighthounds with strong instincts to chase things you may not even be able to see. Never walk your Greyhound off leash or "trust" her/him not to run away."

from Greyhounds as Pets - Greyhound Friends of NC
"Greyhounds are members of the sighthound group, and have exceedingly keen eyesight – they can see clearly for up to one-half mile! They also have a genetic chase instinct and a love for running.
This combination of genetic traits, plus their racing training, makes it necessary to keep your greyhound on leash when not inside a completely-fenced area. Greyhounds hunt by sight, not by smell, and if they become lost are very unlikely to find their own way home."

from Adoption Application - Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest
QUOTE, bold in the original form:
[_] Yes [_] No"

Sighthound rescues do this for the plain & simple reason that a dog who can hit 40-mph & can also see a moving target half-a-mile off, long-B4 they've a hope in H*** of knowing what they're pursuing, won't be swiftly reunited with their owner - when coursing a critter, they're entirely engaged, & most are stone-deaf to calls from behind. // They're not doing this "to be stubborn" or to "blow U off"; they're far-too excited to see anything but their prey, & the rest of the world is out of their ken.

I love sighthounds, & ex-racing Greyhounds in particular, for their sweet personalities, calm indoor manners, & easygoing natures - they love to run, yes, but they're willing to take as much exercise as U can give them; walking is fine, a leash is fine, jogging is good, bike-jogging is great, a long-line in an open area is terrific, a fenced field is wonderful - they'll also wade, altho i haven't met any that truly loved to swim [yet - there may be some merdog-Greys out there, somewhere].
But i wouldn't take the leash off any sighthound, mine included if i owned one, outside of a fence. The chance of heartbreak is too high - HBC, shot by a farmer, lost & taken in by someone, lost & NOT taken in & dying, who knows?
It's just not worth the possible cost, to me. If i had an ex-racer, i'd do my damnedest to find some fun lure-coursing or other safe sighthound events to enrich their life, rather than risk their life by free-running.
If i lived west of the Mississippi, there might be areas with long sightlines & few roads to let a dog run safely - but not here in the congested Northeast, & not in the Southeast, either, unless U're on a saltwater beach. Venomous snakes are pretty common from Virginia down, & gators start to pop up in South Carolina - many gators just love a nice meal of dog, attested to by the number of undigested collars found inside nuisance gators, when they're shot by Fish & Wildlife officers. Pausing for a drink along a creek or pond edge can be a fatal mistake.

The only sighthound whose leash i'd take off outside a fence would be so old & arthritic, i could jog-trot & outrun them without breaking a sweat! :D

- terry

That's simply not my experience at all, LfL. Most sighthounds I've met know perfectly well that a small fluffy dog is a dog and respond to it accordingly. I meet off lead sighthounds on almost every walk and very, very few of them have come croppers.

I went on a lurcher/greyhound walk once in the New Forest, with most of the dogs off lead, and we passed a group of ponies, far enough away that the dogs didn't react to them. But then the ponies set off at a gallop, and the dogs took off after them. The owners whistled and called, and every darn one came back again. Sighthounds tend to stick close to their owners if not actively in pursuit of a prey animal. If I hear someone calling repeatedly for their dog, the dog often turns out to be a beagle... they don't even have to see a prey animal to go completely deaf.

Yes, they can get into trouble quicker as they cover the ground so much quicker, so I'm aways weighing up the chances of spotting a deer, the distance to the nearest road, whether there's a lot of barbed wire in the area. It's not risk free, but if we went for zero risk we'd never let any dog off lead ever, and we'd never let our children out of our sight either.

To an extent you get out what you put in. Jasper's recall is better than just about any of the other dogs I know, but then I have had him from a pup and he's both clever and food obsessed. I don't like blanket rules - if someone has a greyhound or other sighthound they need to assess that dog's recall, work on it as far as possible, consider the risks in the places they walk, and judge accordingly. To have a running dog and only occasionally, or never, let it off lead when it could go off lead is a terrible shame - it'd be like taking a child to a playground and never letting go of their hand. And if you keep it on lead for weeks without bothering to train recall, and then decide to let it off - chances are it's going to grab its chance to have proper fun, reinforcing the notion that you can't let it off lead.

So... be aware that some sighthounds can't ever be let off lead unless in an enclosed area with over 6' fences, but unless the rescue has made it clear that your particular dog will never be safe off lead, work on recall, assess your dog and the areas you walk, err on the side of caution till you know what your dog is like and, IF POSSIBLE AND SAFE, let it off lead when its ready.
I think a retired greyhound,(or one like May who didn't take to racing!) would be a good choice, I adore staffies but they can be quite strong on the lead. Most of what I can add has been said above.
A great thing to do! Every rescue dog I've had has repaid me 1000%. Get a dog as a friend and a companion not a bodyguard- and certainly something like a whippet might fit the bill. Staffies are really lovely too. A good local rescue will advise you about each dog they have to make sure you and the dog are a fit. Good luck.

Could be i'm just a coward, @JudyN - that's OK, too. :D
I'm not looking for zero risk; life doesn't come with a warranty. OTOH, i've spent time consoling ppl who did exactly what the rescue told them not to do, & their off-leash Greyhound vanished into the distance. I'm SURE these folks hadn't spent time training & proofing recall, but i wouldn't take the chance, personally.

Same with sighthounds & cats - some do fine, others are not trustworthy.
I've met a few Greyhounds who lived very peaceably with the family cat, who was resident B4 the dog arrived - but that said, I wouldn't have trusted those same dogs to ignore a free-roaming cat when away from home.

My own childhood-to-adult dog, GSD-x-Keeshond, never messed with the family cats, & in fact, my half-Siamese tabby left her young litter with him to babysit - BUT he then went to our neighbor's house with his buddies, their own dogs, & he chased THEIR cats, with predatory intent - this wasn't play; if the cats didn't make it up the tree in time, they were dead. :mad: I caught him at it, & gave him holy H*** - it was, so far as i know, the last time he did it. // Apparently at their house, he was happy to fall in with the "when in Rome..." theory, but it didn't wash with me. :p

Those same dogs later killed an 8-MO kitten of ours, chasing her down in a half-foot of fresh snow & playing tug-of-war with her body; her rear leg was torn off, & she bled out, not even 10-ft from our porch. // They were full siblings, F & M, the illegitimate progeny of their lovely white GSD-male & a yellow Lab bitch belonging to another neighbor; horrible dogs, they were sneaky biters who'd tag-team U on the road, one ahead, dancing around barking & snarling, the other coming in to bite yer butt, calf, or thigh from behind.
GSDs are notorious cat-killers, but Snowball got on fine with their cats, while his grown-children were monsters. Not all dogs read the rule-book; we can only go by what we know, & apparently sighthounds in the U-S are incorrigible compared to U-K sighthounds. :oops: Either ours are more predatory, or their owners are just lousy trainers - or maybe both!
But that blanket policy does indeed exist - adopters are told they can't let their adoptee off-leash.

- terry

Not all dogs read the rule-book

Ain't that the truth! Jasper adores out cat (the feeling's not mutual!), but hates any cat outside the house. Fortunately there are very rarely cats in any of the places I let him off lead.

You just need a degree of intelligence, common sense, and understanding of your dog to decide what it's safe to do when. Unfortunately rescues can't rely on adopters having any of them to the necessary degree.

i think U meant to write "our cat", but the gist comes thru, no worries. :D
- t

For me sight hounds need to be free run. OK you choose a suitable area, but I do read at times people with a Whippet that state they always keep it on a lead, I think that is getting near being cruel. These dogs love to run. Now my own experience is with Whippets, and yes most have a prey instinct. But it tends to be confined to small prey, rabbits and squirrels so the chase tends to be short. Rabbits go under ground and squirrels go up a tree. And yes they easily recognise a small fluffy dog as a dog. My present one, Folly lived quite happily with two cats when she came to me, but yes she would have chased any other she saw when we were out. Also, other larger animals do not interest her at all, horses, sheep etc. Obviously I keep her on lead near them but she is not interested. How they compare to other sight hounds like greys I can not say.

here in the USA, rabbits are above-ground, they don't burrow - & a bunny can lead a dog a real merry chase over hill & dale for a good distance!

when i was a kid, our Beagle was lost for 3 days after she took off on a bunny, & got lost - she brought HERSELF home, we had no idea where she'd got to, & the brush she went into was rough & tight - no human could get into it, let alone thru it.
Lord knows how far she went, but she got home footsore, hungry, & very thirsty [It was June, & warm], with some minor tears in her velvety ears from thorns & twigs. She just needed 1st-Aid & a few meals to bounce right back, but i was so relieved that she found her way home - local farmers shot loose dogs on sight, with or w/o collars, they didn't give a damn. // She was only 6-MO, but a keen hunter already.

- terry

I've decided to adopt a retired greyhound.
I never let Lady off her leash so I definitely won't let the greyhound off it's leash.

It sounds like the greyhound is the best one for me.

I apologise about asking for protective dogs, obviously weapons are dangerous as well as illegal in the UK and because of my Autism I don't like loud noises as I have high sensitive hearing so rape alarms will just distress me but I think I can tolerate a whistle, I carry a whistle around with me at the moment when I'm outside alone.

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