Sighthounds?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by CrystalGSD, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Does anyone want to tell me about sighthounds? Yes, I know that is a really broad term that includes many dogs, but I don't know enough about them to single out a breed I want to hear about. I absolutely love how majestic they look, yet know nothing about them. How are they with other dogs, shedding, and energy wise? How about training wise? I've heard they are pretty low-medium energy, but I'm unsure of how correct that is.

    So basically tell me anything about Sighthound breeds. :D
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    NC
    Home Page:
    I've always said that if I ever need a slower breed I'd look for a rescued racing greyhound. All the ones I've met are true to the "40 mph Couch Potato" description and super great pets. I know many of the ones I've met are also therapy dogs.
     
  3. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    I love the thought of adopting a retired racing Greyhound, but sadly Crystal has a complicated relationship with other dogs so taking in another adult dog would be too complicated with her. With Crystal, we are basically limited to puppies.

    (She is ok with all puppies and dogs she has known since puppyhood, big or small, but is fear aggressive towards strange female and/or larger dogs. She is ok with all small dogs.)
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,348
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ahhh, I love sighthounds!

    I only have lots of experience with whippets and rhodesian ridgebacks, but have spent some time around most other sighthounds besides the much rarer ones.

    They definitely range a lot in energy from lower (retired racer) to pretty high (Ridgebacks). The pet/show bred ridgebacks I've known have been more of a medium-high range, and the whippets for the most part, medium energy.

    They can be a little bit independent or stubborn, like most hounds, but approaching it right they can definitely be very trainable. They are typically pretty soft dogs, it will break their hearts if you raise your voice at them. My boss's whippet was counter-surfing in front of me and I said "XENA!" quite suddenly and she ran to her bed and wouldn't look at me for two days. They're not all THAT sensitive, but they are definitely not like a terrier or something where you can be really intense and loud and pushy and it doesn't phase them.

    With other dogs, they're sometimes iffy. They almost always have a pretty high prey drive, so small dogs/cats can be an issue. Lots of them are ok with small dogs/cats in the house, but outside, like at a dog park, if they see a tiny dog bolt, they'll go after it. They need to be leashed in open areas, ALWAYS. But I've seen a lot of them do fine with other dogs, large and small.

    All the ones I've known have been pretty low shedding, but they've all been bathed fairly often and blown out, plus fed high quality food.

    It's a big group. They range from the more common, typical pets, such as whippets/greyhounds/ridgebacks, Borzois, which from what I've heard/seen are highly biddable but BIG, to less common dogs like Salukis and Sloughi which are way more independent.

    Oh, Basenjis are another one I've some experience with. They're also a bit aloof, and less typically easy to train, you've got to get creative with them. They're popular apartment dogs. They're quite, clean, catlike. Some don't care for other dogs in their face, but mostly they're fine with them being generally around.
     
  5. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for all the information!

    I'd have to say the ones that I find most aesthetically pleasing to me have to be either Borzois or Salukis. They have to be my favorite, but again, I know nothing about them personality wise, so I can't really say I enjoy them. My friend has a whippet x terrier mix, and that is basically the extent of experience I have with them.
     
  6. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    I love sighthounds :) I have spent a lot of time with AKC Greyhounds. Sighthounds are generally speaking, good, lazy house dogs that love to run as fast as they can (and love to chase down prey). Some of the more primitive ones such as Salukis, azawakh and even Pharoah hounds are be fairly independent. The more "developed" ones though, like Greyhounds and Whippets respond extremely well to positive training. I raised a Grey puppy and she learned things very fast and honestly, was pretty easy to train. However, they are really sensitive dogs. They don't tolerate rough handling or force training very well and it can be really easy to turn them off of things training wise. Whippets for example have potential to be awesome flyball and agility dogs. And some are! But for the ones that are, there's others who were promising to start but...just didn't pan out. IME that is often because things didn't go quite right one too many times and they got turned off of the activity. Training really needs to be very upbeat, positive and fun with them or they will become...sad.

    I think most sighthounds are relatively good or at least tolerant with other dogs. They are generally aloof, friendly or shy towards people, not really prone to guarding. Except Azawakh, which can be very guardy. IME Greys definitely can have resource guarding tendencies and can in general be protective of their space when resting. Startle aggression is a concern with them around small kids. I'm not sure how much of an issue that is with the other sighthound breeds. The Greys I knew lived with young kids and it went ok but some did have those tendencies. I have known more than one retired racer returned to rescue for that reason though.

    There's some breeds in the AKC sighthound group that aren't truly sighthounds. They're pretty easy to pick out because they don't look like sighthounds :) Those breeds IME don't have sighthound temperaments. Not that they aren't worth considering, they're just different.
     
  7. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    The 'upbeat' and 'fun' training methods you said was best for sighthounds seems like it would be... well, fun! I understand completely with a dog getting turned-off of something because they get it wrong one too many times. I'll keep that in consideration.

    By startle aggression, would it be like they were sleeping and you accidentally scared them when they were asleep? There are no small children in this house, so ability to live with small children isn't an issue.
     
  8. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    Yes that is exactly it. If they are asleep and are startled, they might snap. They don't all have the issue but it's worth mentioning because I don't think a lot of rescues talk much about it.
     
  9. Whitewave

    Whitewave New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have mainly experience with Greyhounds. Adopted my first when I was 18 and have had them ever since. Also fostered one Afghan Hound and 3 Italian Greyhounds.

    I have had 2 Greyhound puppies and the rest retired racers and a few senior that lost their homes.

    They are generally pretty calm indoors, but do benefit from regular exercise and being able to run full speed is the best.

    Puppies are NON stop go go go go energy. Into everything. Greyhound puppies are jokingly called Landsharks. If it can go in their mouth, it will and will not come out the same way it went in!

    Training can be done. They can do agility or obedience, but are not as easy as say a Doberman to train. I find retired racers are just naturally pretty obedient and don't require a lot of training if you just want a pet. I have never done any formal obedience on my hounds. As long as they come when I call them, that is about the only command I'm big on.

    Most get along with other dogs and many will get along with cats and other pets. Mine live with a cat and she is indoor/outdoor and they have no issues with her.

    Shedding varies a lot between dog. Some with the bunny rabbit fur type coats shed more than the shorter/slick coats.

    Some retired racers do have sleep aggression. I had one that was pretty severe, but I adopted him as a senior and I learned really quick when he sank his teeth into my forearm not to touch him while sleeping. But most are just fine. Out of about 25 I've had thru my house, only Linus was the one with a bad issue. The rest have all slept in my bed with me. Ronon would die if he couldn't be in my (or his in his mind) bed.

    They also vary from very friendly with strangers, to very shy. Ronon would love it if no one ever touched him besides me again in his life. Joey is friendly and loves people.
     
  10. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Ah, ok, I'll keep it mind. :)

    The bolded part reminded me of German Shepherds. :D Everything is in their mouth, and the mouth everything. They aren't called landsharks for nothing, ahaha. But yes I've dealt with extremely mouthy dogs, so I don't think it'll be an issue.
     
  11. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    The sleep aggression in rescue greys isn't a breed trait, it's an environmental one. At the track, once they are separated from mom they spend the night in individual crates sleeping totally alone and separate. When you consider that some retired racers are 4-5+ years old when they come off the track, most probably don't remember a time when any living thing touched them while they were sleeping. Greys raised in homes don't develop that problem.

    Dog aggression is pretty uncommon, but it can happen. Once in a while you can have a serious bitch fight, but those are really really rare and usually between siblings raised together. In some breeds males can be SSA or intolerant. Ibizan hounds, borzoi, and deerhounds I know for sure can be SSA. It tends to run in lines, so it's something to research and ask a breeder about if it might be an issue. Strider became male intolerant when he matured, but after he got epilepsy he became overly defensive with other males to the point of being a jerk.

    Borzois are awesome. Giant couch potatoes, yet they love to go for 10 mile hikes and run full blast for two hours if you give them the chance. Pretty much the most perfect dog ever except that they're totally oblivious to prowlers unless the prowler is a raccoon.

    Zois have a long silky single coat. I rarely brush mine and they look nice. Some zois tend to get mats behind their ears and in their skirts. Mine don't, except Kaia behind the ears so I just take some thinning shears and trim a little out once or twice a year to keep it manageable. She seems more comfy that way.

    They do shed, but it's not bad. You know how a lab or GSD has short bristly hair that pokes into couch upholstery and carpets? They leave long silky hair, like human hair, and it vacuums up really easily. Mine go months without any significant shedding and then blow their coats. Strider blows his once a year-ish and Kaia blows hers a couple of months after she goes into season. Spayed females won't blow coat like that and end up coated like males.

    They are really easy to live with. I specifically looked for biddable individuals, and they're independent but they listen to me. They don't usually listen to other people and that drives my parents nuts. A couple of Kaia's puppies were giant hellions. lol. I'm helping one puppy buyer get through the terrible teens right now. Z is very feisty and independent. When you get a dog like that, the best thing is NILIF whenever they get too full of themselves and tricking them into thinking the stuff you want them to do is really their idea. And they're wicked smart, so that can be a lot harder than it sounds.
     
  12. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks a bunch for all that information. I really do appreciate it!

    It seems like a lot of breeds I like seem to have SSA depending on the lines. :rolleyes: Of course it is something I can deal with, since I'd be getting a male anyways if and when I got another dog.

    The thing I love most about what I've heard from sighthounds is that they can be calm indoors, yet exercise all you want outdoors. They have a nice off switch. I could never imagine myself with a dog that didn't have an off switch. They would drive me absolutely crazy!
     
  13. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    13,667
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Dog Trainer CPDT-KA
    Location:
    Fredericksburg
    A message from Joey: "ohhhhh the wonderful thing about beezers is beezers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs. They're bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy fun fun fun fun fun...."

    I have experience around greyhounds, whippets, borzoi, saluki and Ibizans mainly. But... I'll stick with explaining my experience around Ibizans (beezers as they are often called too).

    Mind you my clown is a young male and absolutely nutters so he might not really represent the breed as a whole. Momto8 has more Ibizan experience than me and can paint a better picture of the breed probably.

    Joey is an independent dog for the most part which tends to get him into trouble. He's always curious, watchful and always wandering around finding stuff to get into. Very easygoing. He's super soft and shuts down pretty easily if you raise your voice. You can't use force training with him at all. He does respond real well to the clicker and is definitely teachable, but he does seem to catch onto things much slower than my other two dogs. I don't know if that is necessarily an Ibizan thing so much as a Joey thing. He's just not all there upstairs sometimes, but he's young and needs some maturing. I think he will always be a little bit of a dur dur dur though.

    He's VERY barky when he wants to be. He has learned to play a little quieter for the most part, but when he plays he tends to be all over the place, bouncing over other dogs, barking, running... literally all over the place. He definitely likes to bark a lot though. The bouncing... oh god the bouncing... he jumps SUPER high. The other day I took him to the dog park. There was a crowd of dogs in one spot. He was running full speed towards the group of dogs and instead of going around them he flew right over all the dogs. After that I heard multiple people talking about him at the park and they all paid pretty close attention to him since he can be pretty comical when he gets to bouncing around.

    Shedding... he does shed. He's a wire coat so maybe it's just more noticeable with him, but he does shed... though nowhere near as bad as Bamm.

    Joey is always on alert when we are outside. He's always searching for squirrels, rabbits, anything he can chase and I do not trust him offleash in an unfenced area except when he is chasing a lure at a lure course event.

    He's not a fantastic example of the breed, but he's my favorite sighthound... of course I'm biased lol.

    And a few videos of the crazy monster...

    First time ever practicing lure coursing
    [YOUTUBE]<iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YQs54nHrsyg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/YOUTUBE]

    Running the other day at the dog park
    [YOUTUBE]<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8hs4q1wwhJM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    [/YOUTUBE]
    Another dog park one...
    [YOUTUBE]<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HKpGjSPS9NU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    [/YOUTUBE]
    Playing on the bed with Cricket
    [YOUTUBE]<iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zAfTB6L9On8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/YOUTUBE]

    eta: not sure why my videos aren't showing up on my screen?
     
  14. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 felis catus (Rockefeller)
    Location:
    Oakville, ON
    Arguably my favourite group. I love the extreme appearance and exaggerated features of some of them. Ibizans are one I have been obsessed with for most of my life. Also a big fan of the Azawakh and Sloughi, Basenji, and Scottish Deerhound. Those are my favourite sighthounds.
     
  15. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,072
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    UT
    Regardless of where the akc puts them, ridgebacks are cur dogs not sight hounds. So personality, energy and exercise requirements are more like those for a black mouth or catahoula or even a heeler.
     
  16. MilliesMom

    MilliesMom Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Canada
    You used the wrong code from the YouTube page. Click the "Share this Video" link on the YouTube page and just copy the letter/number combination after the last backslash. Click the YouTube icon above the message composition box here in Chaz and past the letters/numbers between the tag brackets. Fixed yours :)

    Errrr, more on sighthounds after I have a coffee or two. :)
     
  17. chaospony

    chaospony New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3 dogs, 1 cat and several frogs
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Afghan hounds are pretty intimidating to a lot of people considering their first sighthound but they are where most of my experience lies so I will sum them up for you.

    The thing that sticks out most is they have an amazing off switch, like most sighthounds. They'll chill on the couch all day with you or hike for the entire day. Where ever your energy level is at that day they are pretty happy to match it.

    Very independent, especially around the house. They don't need to know she you are every second of the day. They'll come check up on you once in awhile but they aren't going to follow you from room to room.
    Unless there is food involved of course!
    They can be very food motivated. Most are not really toy motivated, and if they are they loose that after they are a few years old.

    They are fairly quiet. Alert barking and barking at other dogs to play is about it. Most are not going to bark just to hear themselves bark.
    Aloof with strangers for the most part but loving with family.
    They are also very smart and you need to be careful what you teach or they will often use it to their own advantage. Many figure out how to open cupboards, doors, turn on taps. They are perhaps a little too good at problem solving!:lol-sign: Despite their appearance they are pretty unobtrusive housemates. If there is a fuss going in that they don't like they just leave. They also have more funny quirks than you can shake a stick at and can often be utter clowns.

    I have only had a saluki for 3 months and I've only had limited experience with other salukis but here is what I've noticed.

    All the saluki's I've met are more people oriented than my Af's. They enjoy meeting strangers and love to be loved. They also are more vocal. Not with barking per say but they chatter and howl and mutter and sing for numerous reasons. Many also love to climb on tables and things so beware! Like Afghan's they are smart and often problem solve in ways you would rather they didn't!
    I haven't really spent much time training my guy yet but he seems less interested in the whole learning process. All my Afghans have loved to learn, and all been very quick learners.
    They have the same off switch and are just as willing to chill out as to run a marathon.
     
  18. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    That has not been my experience. Remember that I said most of my experience with the breed has been with AKC Greyhounds. There are Greys raised in homes from puppyhood who have issues with sleep aggression or just being touchy about their space while resting.
     
  19. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,348
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    A few things I forgot:

    Pops is right...Ridgebacks aren't very typically sighthounds (and as far as I know, there is very little sighthound in their backgrounds if even any at all). But I figured they're worth mentioning to someone who's not really interested in specific sighthound traits, just the general group....they do have some similar personality traits, in my experience with pet/show bred ridgebacks, they're soft, though not as soft as others, and maybe more trainable than a whippet or greyhound, but still more independent and stubborn than a lab. I also don't think DA is nearly as common as it is in catahoulas and heelers, and they can be trained a pretty reliable recall.

    I think they're probably bigger/"more dog" than you're looking for, though.

    Borzois are also very large dogs. I'm not sure what your size requirements are.

    I've also never known a sighthound that was aggressive when roused from sleep.

    I also totally forgot about the pharaoh hounds. I've only worked with one Pharaoh, and he wasn't as primitive as I think some northern breeds and shiba inus might be...he seemed more shy than primitive, honestly. But I guess compared to a lab or German shepherd, they're kind of primitive. He was well trained and very bonded to his owner.
     
  20. momto8

    momto8 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My sighthound experience is with Ibizan Hounds.

    They are the clown of the sighthounds. They are silly and goofy. But natural hunters, they can and will kill small game. I can't even count the amount of rabbits and squirrels that Courtney has caught. They are very elegant and deerlike. They carry themselves like they are very proud dogs.
    As far as getting along with other dogs, I have heard of some issue's with intact boys being around intact boys, other than that I know people that have 5-10 ibizans and they all live peacefully. This can vary from bloodline to bloodline. My bloodline tends to be more tolerant, my breeder having 2 male brothers that are uncles to her girl, and they have never ever had a problem, and both even came into the home after they were older and both are still intact.
    They are extremely smart and learn things very quickly. Depending on bloodlines and upbringing these guys can be very easy to train. Some, like Courtney are very biddable and loves to please their owners. I know many people who compete in agility, rally and obedience with these guys. Training needs to be kept fun and upbeat!
    They are excellent with kids, they will pick a kid out of the crowd just to say hi! They tend to be a little aloof, very bonded with their owners. Typically they love their one person and everyone else is just chopped liver.
    They are a pretty vocal breed, every time we go coursing we are told that we own one of the loudest sighthounds aside from Pharoh Hounds lol! I swear Courtney starts barking and screaming the minute we step out of the car. At home she's quiet in the house unless she see's something out the window. Outside for potty time, it can get nuts. If rabbits, squirrels, cats ect are about everyone knows!
    Like most sighthounds they are clean and don't have alot of dog oder and can go months without baths.
    They can jump, secure fencing is a must. Courtney can jump up and look over my 6 ft wood fence, several people in our breed have had them fully clear 6ft fences.
    As far as living with small animals I think it depends on the dog. Courtney is not small dog or cat safe, however my breeder has 3 Ibizans and also has 2 cats. And several breeders have Ibizans and IG's.
    They come in 2 coat varieties, smooth and wire. Wire can range from very tight wire to extremely long. They are always red and white, and come in 3 different varieties Irish ( mainly red) pinto ( white with red splashes) and white ( white with a small amount of red markings) Their eyes are always amber colored and nose is always pink/flesh colored.
    They are one of the sweetest breeds ever in my opinion but I'm biased <3 They are a breed that will touch your heart and your soul and you'll never understand how you were without one <3

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

Share This Page