Cats, Children and Greyhounds

You have probably heard that greyhounds make wonderful pets. While this is true, not all greyhounds react equally well to living situations with cats, other small animals or small children. Many times, due to its natural instinct to hunt and chase, a greyhound cannot peacefully co-exist with cats, rabbits, ferrets or hamsters, although there are always exceptions! Because of greyhounds’ instinct to hunt and chase, GPA-WI cat-tests every greyhound that enters our adoption program.

Greyhound and cats

A greyhound’s reaction to our test cat gives us a good initial indication on whether the dog can be classified as cat-friendly. But because a dog’s first introduction to a cat is not always accurate, cat-testing is unfortunately not a total guarantee of harmonious living with a cat or other small animal. Despite our best efforts, the dog selected for your cat home may not work out. If this situation occurs, GPA-WI will take the dog back and make every effort to find a more compatible dog for your home, or refund your adoption donation.

Greyhounds and children

GPA-WI also tests greyhounds’ reactions to children if consideration is being given to a home with children. This is an important consideration, especially if smaller children are present in the home. It’s important to note that some greyhounds, like other breeds of dogs, may view a child as a “pack member” rather than a small human, and vie for dominance or the adult’s attention. A a non-dominant dog who wants to be with a child will seek out the child’s attention and enjoy the interaction; a greyhound that looks away or walks away is a dog who will probably not be happy with kids and should not be placed with youngsters.

If your family includes children under the age of eight, it’s important that you strongly reinforce appropriate behavior with your children, such as:

  • Instruct your child to never disturb a sleeping dog.
  • Teach your child to respect the dog’s need for a quiet place of its own. This includes telling your child not to play inside the dog’s crate, if you have one.
  • Instruct your child not to disturb a dog while it’s eating.

All potential adopters with children will need to read Brian Kilcommons’ Childproofing Your Dog prior to adoption.