View Full Version : Please don't kill me for this one, but......

Airman Doors, USAF
06-04-2001, 06:12 AM
I just have to ask. I thought of this the other day at Jonathan Chance's house.

If a grayhound sees a rabbit, do they chase it? They chase the phony one at the track. Would they chase a real one? He has two grayhounds, and the wiseass in me just couldn't help but wonder.

Pardon the Gallagheresqueness of the question, but it's been gnawing at me for a few days now.

06-04-2001, 06:34 AM
No idea about greyhounds, but I've seen my rabbit Kiki chase malamute pups many times her size all around a pet store once...

I would suspect that, like most dogs, greyhounds would give chase to any sort of small furry thing running away from them.

06-04-2001, 07:25 AM
No need to kill you, except for not putting the question in the thread title (really helps when the boards are sloooooow).

I am not yet a greyhound owner (tiny condo right now, getting one when I get a larger house). Most of the books I've read about greyhounds, (in preparation for getting one) advise that greyhounds, borzoi, and other sight hounds**, can take off at a split-second after cats, squirrels and other small animals. They advise keeping the animal in a well-fenced backyard and on a leash when outside the yard.

Now this is a generalization, and individual animals may be well-trained to stay on command or if raised with small animals may regard them as companions rather than potential prey.

**hunting by visual cues, unlike scent hounds (IIRC beagles, bloodhounds) which hunt by olefactory cues

06-04-2001, 07:42 AM
Through a relative, I have some experience with retired racing greyhounds. Owners of these beautiful and temperate dogs are specifically warned about introducing into the greyhound's environment any other animals that they might perceive as "prey," specifically any which are small, furry, and possessed of a tendency to bolt away from a threat.

Hope this helps.

06-04-2001, 09:40 AM
My family used to own a retired racing greyhound (she raced under the name OSR Debbie until she hurt her leg). As a young teenager, I had a winter hat, beret style. It was white and fuzzy, with a puff on top. I suppose, if you looked at it right, it looked like the tail end of a bunny.

One day, I was digging through the closet, and found this hat. I pulled it out, the (normally quite mild-mannered) dog saw it, and went wild. She tried to attack it. If she'd do that to a hat, I'm guessing rabbits were fair game. I walked her once or twice sans leash, until the time she caught the neighbor's cat. She dropped it after a little coaxing, but if she hadn't... well, I couldn't have caught her.

Someday, I'll have another greyhound. They are wonderful animals with sweet natures, despite their urge to site-hunt small animals. Many are trained to live peacefully with cats.

And that, my friends, is my inaugural post.

06-04-2001, 10:38 AM
Welcome to the SDMB, Phoebestar! And what a nice inauguration, too, with an interesting, informative post.

06-04-2001, 01:56 PM
>> Please don't kill me for this one

I would kill you for posting thread titles which say nothing about the contents of the thread. Choosing a brief, descriptive title is courtesy to others. It will call the attention of those who may be interested and not waste the time of those who are not. And, as you probably know, the *search* feature in this boards leaves somewhat to be desired. A concise and precise title helps greatly in searches. A title like this just clogs the system with gargage. So, i'm sorry, but I *have* to kill you for this. Now assume the position... ;)

06-04-2001, 02:15 PM
My former bosses were involved in Borzoi rescue. They had three rescued dogs (which are huge *AND* stupid) but thankfully, there was about eight acres of fenced-in land out where we worked, so they had plenty of room to run around. One day, a cat was caught on a fairly low branch in a tree. The alpha male of the three borzois had it in its mouth so fast that I didn't even know he was in the area. He would have killed it too if we hadn't forced him to drop it.

06-04-2001, 03:29 PM

I have two retired racing greyhounds right now and I've had a total of four (lost two others to old age). I've been involved in ex-racing greyhound adoption for almost 10 years now.

A greyhound most likely will give chase to small game (which in their minds often includes birds, cats and sometimes even small dogs too). Hounds have been bred and trained for thousands of years to chase small fuzzy things that move, and while the majority certainly will do it, some couldn't care less. Kind of like people, they do tend to have their individual characteristics :). A single greyhound on its own may also act differently than he or she would in a pack of hounds.

A responsible greyhound adoption group will tell you to never, EVER, let your greyhound run loose in an unfenced area. If they do bolt after another critter, they cannot be called back due to the chase instinct kicking in, and they are not aware of their other surroundings. They zero in very intensely on what they are chasing, and they can very easily be hit by a car or otherwise become hopelessly lost.

Over the years, my dogs have caught a couple birds in the back yard (one was snatched out of the sky in midair) and we did lose a baby rabbit (talk about dumb bunnies, some mama bunny actually dug a nest in our back yard and one of my old fellas found it by scent and then snapped up one of the babies as it attempted to run away. Even the old dogs still have amazingly fast reflexes).

In England, they still have the Waterloo Cup coursing matches too, though I expect someday due to political pressures, it will be discontinued. It's an event where greyhounds are sent (or "coursed") after live hare for points. It's illegal to do that in most states here, so while we do have coursing matches in this country, artificial lures are used.

There are also some farmers out West who use packs of greyhounds to course and kill jackrabbits and coyote.

Now that you know more than you ever wanted to about this subject, I will shut up :D.

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