Reasons why we love this dog…
He's lived in a home before
He gets along with other hounds
I am a:
I would like:
A quiet home environment.
I would not like:
To walk in busy areas.
My favourite thing is:
Bouncy but sensitive
Adult only home (no children)
Needs to be an only dog
Not cat trainable
Rio is a 4-year-old ex-racing greyhound, looking for his new home. He has spent some time in a foster home, where he was house-trained from day one! He does have some quirks which are a product of his time in the racing industry, and which made it difficult for him to fully settle and feel safe in the foster home environment. He’s looking for a patient adopter who will understand that like many ex-racers, his early life experiences have not made it easy for him to transition into life as a loved family member.
Rio is an affectionate boy, who enjoys human contact and is a big fan of leaning on legs! Although he generally loves fuss and affection, he can start to feel overwhelmed at times. Rather than making it clear that he’s worried, Rio will tend to quietly tolerate things that he isn’t comfortable with, until he reaches a point where he really can’t cope. His adopters will need to be very aware of his body language and actively give him opportunities to move away when he’s not comfortable. Our behaviour team can provide guidance on how to do this.
Rio also suffers from a sleep startle response, meaning that he can react defensively if woken up whilst sleeping or dozing. This is not uncommon in ex-racers and is probably a result of sleeping alone in a kennel for most of his life (where he would always have been awake by the time someone approached him). This can be easily managed by not approaching Rio whilst he is sleeping, dozing or resting. In kennels he does not show any of the worries he has shown in a home environment, most likely because kennel life is all he’s ever known. Given a very low-pressure environment he should gradually start to settle, feel safe in a home and build up trust in his adopter – it is important that he is allowed to do this at his own pace.
Due to his anxieties, we are looking for an adult only home for Rio and he would need to be separated from any visiting children (e.g. using a dog gate or similar). He needs a quiet home environment where he can relax and feel secure.
Rio is very sociable with people out on walks, and often likes to introduce himself to anyone passing by! He is under-confident about walks in new places, and will “plant” (stop still and refuse to keep walking) when feeling unsure or overwhelmed. We know from his time in foster that Rio will not want to go out for walks for at least the first few days! He will then need a gradual introduction to short walks at first, always at his pace and letting him go home as soon as he’s had enough, then building up to longer walks over time. Rio has some stiffness left over from his life as a racing dog, so very long walks will leave him feeling sore. About 20 minutes per walk will be plenty! Once he feels comfortable enough to actually go for a walk, he’s very gentle on the lead.
Rio gets along well with other polite sighthounds out and about but will need to be the only dog at home – he did share his foster home with another greyhound but wasn’t overly interested in her company (and it is likely that this added to his stress levels). Rio isn’t quite sure about different breeds of dog, especially smaller dogs! He will tend to just stand and stare at them rather than lunge or bark – but he will need to stay on-lead and muzzled in public as a precaution whilst he learns about non-houndy friends.
The way to Rio’s heart is definitely food! He’ll do anything for a treat and loves his mealtimes. He has never shown any resource guarding behaviour over food but will probably help himself to anything left within reach! He doesn’t show much interest in toys (unless they’re stuffed with food, of course). He travels well in the car and should be fine spending a few hours on his own, given a gradual introduction (and something tasty to keep him occupied).
Poor Rio is a classic example of how starting life in the racing industry can make it so difficult for some greyhounds to adjust to home life. Having said that, we know that in the right home, patience and understanding, Rio can learn to enjoy life as part of a loving family. He so deserves to be given a chance at living his best life – if you think you’re the right person to help support him on that journey, please get in touch!