Cats, Children and Greyhounds

If you’ve done some “research”, you’ve probably read that Greyhounds make wonderful family pets. That’s true, but not all Greyhounds react equally well to specific home situations such as cats, other small animals, or small children. More often than not, a Greyhound, due to its natural instinct to hunt and chase, won’t peacefully co-exist with cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters and such (although there are always exceptions!) That’s why we cat-test every Greyhound that enters our adoption program.

A Greyhound’s reaction to our test cat gives us a good initial indication on whether the dog can classified as cat-friendly. But because a dog’s first introduction to a cat is not always accurate, cat-testing is unfortunately not a 100% guarantee of harmonious living with a cat or other small animal. Because Greyhounds are animals and not machines, our initial cat-testing may not always be accurate. Despite our best efforts, the dog selected for your cat home may not work out. If this situation occurs, GPA-Wisconsin will take the dog back and make every effort to find a more compatible dog for your home, or refund your adoption donation.

GPA Wisconsin also tests the Greyhound’s 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. Without sounding alarmist, 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. How to tell if a Greyhound likes children: a non-dominant dog who wants to be with a child will seek out the child’s attention, and enjoy the interaction. A Greyhound who looks away or walks away is a dog who will probably not be happy with kids, and is a dog who should not be placed with youngsters. If your family includes small children under the age of eight, it’s important that you strongly reinforce appropriate behavior with your children, such as:

  • Instructing your children to never disturb a sleeping dog.
  • Teaching 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.
  • Instructing 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.