What do I need to teach the dog while in care?Generally, the focus should be just on teaching the dog basic manners-Not to steal food or counter-surfNot to climb on furnitureTo walk on a loose leash (walking without pulling)To go to their mat or bed when toldTo respond to their own name (recall isn't necessary, as long as the dog reacts in some way when its name is used).What are normal behaviours for a new dog?Normal behaviours for a dog in a new situation will include most of the usual stress behaviours (panting, pacing, refusing to move, etc.)In new, stressful situations you may also notice the greyhound licking at its lips, slight bulging of the eyes, tail remaining tucked between legs and the back appearing slightly hunched.Depending on the temperament of the dog, this behaviour can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. If you have any concerns about your foster dog's behaviour (especially excessive panting or any indications the dog is actually physically uncomfortable, please contact us immediately.How do I introduce the foster dog to my existing pets?All introductions should take place with a muzzle on the foster dog. Being in a new home is a stressful event and meeting existing pets (who may be very confident and not respond correctly to the new dog's body language) may result in the new dog using teeth to defend itself if it feels it cannot get away. Introductions are best done outside the house and with all dogs on lead and watched closely to ensure the foster dog is not put in a position where it will feel the need to defend its space. Wait until dogs are calm before walking them towards the new dog. Ideally, take dogs for a walk together to allow quiet, indirect contact in a setting where all dogs are on an equal footing.For information on introducing your foster dog to cats, please see here. All greyhounds are tested before being released into foster care with cats
however, overly nervous, flighty cats can provoke chase behaviour. If you have any concerns about the possible behaviour of your cat, please contact us prior to fostering to discuss.How much exercise does the foster dog need?Exercise requirements will vary from dog to dog so generally, you will be given instructions from the dog's assessor as to exercise, possible training issues, etc.That said, greyhounds generally do not require long walks and sometimes simply do not have the endurance (or firm enough paws) for extended periods of exercise.Three to four walks per week (of about 20 minutes each) is a good guideline for the average greyhound. How long do I have to leave the muzzle on for?Provided you have no other pets or children, the muzzle can come off whenever you're ready. Before taking the muzzle off, we recommend doing a walk-through of your house to make sure any food is stored away and that nothing valuable (and chewable) is within easy reach.For homes with other pets or children, we recommend leaving the muzzle on until any acute stress behaviours have diminished and the dog seems comfortable. Close supervision is recommended in the first few days as this is the time were issues are most likely to arise.How much should the foster dog weigh? How to I know if it's getting enough food?Greyhounds, like many breeds of dog, will continue eating long after they need to and so demand feeding is not generally a good way to assess needs. When your dog arrives, you will be given a feeding guide. For raw feeding, the usual amount is one kilogram per day, divided between two or three meals.For more information on weight, please see here.What should I feed the dog and are there any foods to avoid?This article contains a list of dangerous foods as well as further information on feeding. We recommend raw diets however packaged food (supplied by GHT if carer wishes to feed) is also acceptable, provided the diet is also supplimented with other things.What is bloat and how can I prevent it?Bloat (Gastric Torsion)is a medical condition in which the stomach usually twists and then becomes overstretched by excessive gas content, causing life-threatening injury to surround organs.More information on bloat is available here.
General feeding guidelines-Do not feed within an hour before or after exercise.Feed smaller amounts, more frequently.Monitor water consumption (especially if feeding a commerically prepared diet).What sort of experiences should I introduce the foster dog to?In your foster pack, you will recieve a foster exposure chart (Form T) listing all the things (ideally) to go through. Generally speaking, the experiences required are the sorts of things a dog might reasonably be expected to encounter in a pet home and so if you are interested in providing more than what is listed, keep in mind things that will be useful for the dog.How are greyhounds used to living (while still racing)?
Generally, racing greyhounds are kept in runs and this can have some implications when helping them adjust to life in the house.
Any food that enters their run is their food and so some greyhounds will have trouble understanding that not all food belongs to them. The same can be said for anything the dog could sleep on.
Kenneled greyhounds are usually let out at intervals during the day to toilet and so are often used to routine. Mainting a routine for toilet, food and bed will help your foster greyhound adjust more quickly.