Last week, we put out the first part of our Q&As for Sighthound owners. Here is the promised Part II:
Q. Does my Sighthound have some kind of depth perception problem? He can't seem to get his whole body on a bed and always chooses the smallest one in the house.
A. No, he's just weird. Just accept that no matter how big the bed is, some part of your dog is going to end up on the floor--usually his head. A good rule of thumb is to have one more bed than you have dogs, but no matter how many you have they will undoubtedly all try to pile on one bed. Just accept it and grab your camera. Also, if you have cats you should be aware there were intense negotiations (that you weren't invited to) during which it was decided the cats could have whatever bed they wanted and the dogs would take what was left. Please don't worry. Sighthounds have evolved the ability to curl themselves into such a small ball that scientists are still trying to figure out the physics of it. So, yes, you will walk into a room to find your 80-lb Greyhound squeezed into a cat bed. It's okay.
Q. Do I have to crate my Sighthound?
A. How attached are you to the current size and shape of your coffee table? After sleeping peacefully every day for a month while you're at work, you may come home to find that your once rectangular table is now a lovely oval. On a serious note, dogs have also been known to get into real trouble by themselves. They have eaten inedible objects, choked on bones or toys, gotten their collars caught on door knobs, and hurt themselves on sharp items you never would have suspected of being problematic. Until you’re very sure of your dog, crating them while you're gone is a safe bet. If you are going to be crating, we strongly recommend feeding your dog all of his or her meals in their crate, too. This helps keep the positive karma going.
A. Usually -- but NOT always. At SHUG we "cat test" all of our dogs before placing them in homes--and dogs pass more often than not. We find 50-80 percent of Sighthounds are fine with small animals, but those numbers tend to vary with the breed. Galgos and Greyhounds are on the higher end and Borzoi tend to be on the lower end, for example. When it comes to cat-testing, we're usually pretty accurate and we can tell you up front if a dog is a good match with the other members of your household. Cat testing is more of an art than a science though and dogs are living creatures that evolve and change over the years. There is no 100 percent cat-safe dog (and there is no 100 percent dog-safe cat, either). You always need to be aware of how relationships are evolving when you have multiple creatures of any type in your home.
Q. Will my Sighthound make a good watch dog?
A. Probably not. They may randomly bark but unless you're the subject of a vicious squirrel vendetta, it probably won't be at useful times.
Q. So my Sighthound doesn't really bark. What is that strange noise he makes?
A. He's singing you the song of his people. We call it a "roo" and sometimes it can be quite melodic--especially at a Sighthound event with dozens of dogs raising their voices in joyous music. Or, it might just be loud.
Q. Will I become obsessed with poop just like all you crazy Sighthound people?
A. Yes. Yes, you will.
Do you have a Sighthound question we haven’t answered? Post it in a comment below and we’ll try to address it!