I am in no way shape or form able to have a dog at the moment
But hopefully next year, when our circumstances change - we're going to move to the country, buy a proper house and change jobs - we'll be able to consider it.
So this means of course that I'm constantly thinking about what would be the perfect dog for myself and my partner.
My partner likes the idea of a rescue dog, and so do I to be honest, but at the same time we have to consider our personalities. We don't want a boisterous dog - we know that much. We also don't want a dog who is extremely vocal. We want an "inside dog" as this would be basically our child (we've no interest in children, just in dogs! ).
So I've been researching like a mad woman, and I'm leaning towards the idea of a Whippet.
Does anyone here live with one? Can anyone give me more insider information on what they're like to share your house with?
Whippets are lovely dogs, but you'll be hard pushed to find one of these in a rescue. The main similar breeds that are overflowing in the shelters are lurchers and greyhounds - and to be honest, either sounds perfect for your situation.
Greyhounds (I have two rescues) are not widly renound for their ability to be family pets, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although they might be big in stature, they're extremely placid and quiet, and love NOTHING more than a couch to lounge around on. Most rescues won't actually give you a greyhound unless you promise to sleep him/her indoors since they've little body fat and feel the cold easily. They're affectionate and loyal, and don't need a huge amount of excercise - a couple of walks a day and they're happy out.
Most people shy away from greys because of their size, but given their personality and tempremant, I'd rather 10 of these than 1 yappy ankle bitter. They sleep a lot of the time, so aren't 'in your face' like many other more energetic breeds.
If you popped down to a greyhound rescue such as PAWS (www.paws.ie), I've no doubt you'd fall in love!!!
Thanks - to be honest the only reason I was less drawn towards greyhounds was their actual size. I mean, he'd need a couch all for himself!
When we do buy a house next year, it may not be a big one. I mean, it may only be a cottage. So having a waist-high dog indoors may be a bit cramped, no?
Well not all greyhounds are enormous, our female is just slightly taller than a lab, and she takes up a lot less space 'width-wise'! We have two of them in a small-ish semi-d house. I suppose you could make that call when you buy the house, but really, ours fold up in a corner in their basket and are happy enough once they get their excercise....
We get alot of very small lurchers through the pounds, often they're listed as whippet x's. Whippets themselves are rare in rescue, but only last month I helped to transport a gorgeous little whippet to her new home. She was fab and I was so tempted to take her home. So they do come up. My best advice to you would be to get onto the sighthound rescues like PAWS or the Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary when you feel you're ready to home one and they can keep an eye out for a tiny lurcher or a whippet if you're lucky enough.
Correct me if I'm wrong but the impression I get about whippets as pets is that they are not as docile as greyhounds, i.e. thats to say they are not merely 'scaled-down' versions. Of the two the whippet is the more energetic / boisterous / vocal / demanding, although I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.
Greyhounds come in a huge variety of sizes, from the 40kg waist-high coursing dogs to tiny petite 22kg racing bitches. Different dogs for different jobs. Whatever the height, they have a great capability of settling down in the home like furry folding-chairs, and have far less presence physically than a similar height but broader / more active breed.
I have a rescue whippet x (probably 3/4 whippet)
I absolutely adore the dog. He feels the cold but is very healthy and happy and trainable. Of course not all whippets are the same, but in general they make great pets.
There would be a lot of small lurchers in the rescues.
I have a very large grey hound in a small house with three other people two dogs and 12 cats I don't find his size much of a problem he loves to share the coach with every one. Mine came from the travelers and with any dog I've rescued from them they are beaten into submission so they learn quickly to stay out from under your feet, pavo as he's called has no problems with aggression (a good side effect coming from the travelers haven't met an aggressive one yet thats not to say there all like the ones I've rescued) He's great with kids and loves hugs from babies even puts his head down for them to reach and is very carefully around my grand mother seems to understand he needs to take special care around her.
They are great fun at happy hour and love to see whats in the shopping bags to nick and love to spend time with you curled up on the couch and most are use to traveling for one reason or an other the down side is of course some have been coursed or train to race after live animals ie rabbits and hares. so may not take to cats' but if you fully intend on being a responsible owner and keep them on lead outside I can't see any problems.
You could look into a female who has only ever been breed not trained and give her the life she's hasn't had yet they are smaller and more inclined to get on with cats most shelters should be able to give you the heads up on it.
Over all I have to say I've enjoyed him and love having him here and the space doesn't really matter as I also have a big back garden they really are very lovable with there big brown eyes making me give them hugs and my dinner. You couldn't make a better choice there right up there with the collies, labs, boxers and many other family pets.
I found this group very supportive in giving me info when I first tuck in the grey hound and they have lots to adopt as well. I'm near sure she said they take in whippets as well.
The lady and gentleman that run this group are lovely and take in all breeds of dog although they are not state of the art yet!!!(I'm helping fund raise to do so) the have the biggest hearts when it comes to animals I've ever met and will put you on the right track with the right animal for you.
Here's a sight that tells you from peoples own accounts of owning grey hounds/ lurchers and info for anyone who's interested.(I had trouble getting into this one but I think it's only my computer.)
Along with paws who are great as well when the time comes keep a close eye on the pounds these dogs need rescuing first before they are pts.
Best of luck in your choice.
Thanks for all the replys guys - plenty of food for thought! I've never heard anything bad about greyhounds/whippets/lurchers as pets, and I think they would suit us personality-wise. We're both really laid back and calm, and need a laid-back and calm dog.
As has been said before whippets don't necessarily come into rescue that much but there is a lady in Northern Ireland who runs the whippet club up there and she often gets whippets through the club who are looking for homes so she may be able to help. I can pm you her name and email address if you wish.
However, as others have said lots of lurchers come through the pounds and shelters which could be referred to as whippet xs. Currently I know of two in foster care, one who I actually found straying myself and they are just gorgeous little things and tiny.
You should contact MJ at www.orchardgreyhoundsanctuary.com a little while before you are ready to adopt and she will then keep an eye out for something suitable for you and I doubt you will be long waiting. She often has small little whippety types coming through. I can't recommend her and her rescue organisation enough.