The Greyhounds placed by adoption organizations including ours are generally retired, specially trained, professional canine athletes who have competed at greyhound race tracks across the country. Although we may very infrequently receive greyhound puppies or dogs that have never been trained for the track, these are much more the exception than the rule. These ex-racers are very intelligent and adaptable dogs that fit easily into their new home environment, following a brief adjustment period. They are eager to please and respond positively to the individual attention given them upon retirement. The majority of ex-track greyhounds are quiet, clean, gentle, good-natured dogs who adapt and get along well with other animals and people. They seem grateful for their new homes and reward their new owners with never-ending affection.
Greyhounds have been generally bred by professional breeders who look for speed, endurance and even temperament. Breeders at “greyhound farms” pay close attention to the physical soundness and emotional disposition of the puppies. As a result, hereditary physical and temperament problems have been avoided in the breed. For the first year of their lives, puppies live together with their litter mates encouraging development into a well balanced adult. They are handled frequently by breeders, trainers, kennel operators and other staff so they are surprisingly socialized to people and strangers. They usually have not been exposed to other breeds of dogs or cats until they enter retirement.
What kinds of pets do retired racing greyhounds make?
Greyhounds make terrific pets. They are affectionate, friendly dogs that thrive on attention and human companionship. Raised with their littermates and large numbers of greyhounds at the racetrack where they competed for affection, greyhounds love becoming the center of attention as companion pets. Due to their nonthreatening nature they are not considered good watch dogs.
What size and color are they?
Greyhound males stand 26 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 65 and 85 pounds. Females stand 23 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 55 to 70 pounds. They come in a wide and wonderful spectrum of black, white, shades of brindle, fawn, red, blue or any astounding combination of these!
What is their age & life expectancy?
Greyhounds placed through the Greyhound Pet Adoption Las Vegas program are usually between 2 and 6 years old. There are also senior greyhounds retired from breeding programs available for adoption to special homes. These purebred athletes enjoy many years of good health. With proper care, they have a life expectancy of 12 years or more.
Is it true greyhounds are hyper and need a lot of exercise?
No! Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog but they are sprinters without a lot of endurance. They are very laid back as you can observe at our Meet and Greets. As with any dog, individual activity levels vary depending on age, health and temperament. They do not require a great deal of space to run, as many people think, but they do need exercise and stimulation for a happy, well balanced life. Exercising with daily walks and occasional opportunities to run in a safe, fenced area is all that’s required. Inside the house, they are known to be “Olympic Sleepers” so most commonly you will find them curled up on a soft bed, snoozing. They are also fondly referred to as “couch potatoes” spending most of the day relaxing and sleeping. Greyhounds can never be trusted off-lead in an unfenced area since they have been bred and trained to think independently and chase objects of fascination!
While racing, greyhounds are “kennel broken,” which means they are trained not to relieve themselves in their living area. They are clean dogs by nature and would prefer to relieve themselves outdoors when given a choice. These two factors, combined with specific advice from a trained GPA representative at the time of adoption, lead to an easy transition into life as a house pet.
What kind of grooming do greyhounds require?
Greyhound coats are short and sleek, so they stay sweet-smelling for long periods between baths. As with any short-haired dog, they do shed year round to varying degrees depending on the climate they live in. While frequent bathing is unnecessary, they enjoy and require an occasional brushing with a hound glove.
Greyhounds generally are not suitable for families with children under six years old. These “skinny” dogs cannot tolerate rough play due to their sensitive and delicate skin, sleek fur, and little body fat. Their natural speed, strength, and athleticism are not the best combination with babies, young children, or persons unsteady on their feet, as they could easily be tipped over by a playful greyhound!
How are they with other pets?
Greyhounds are friendly by nature and socialize well with most family pets as a result of encounters with other greyhounds in the racing kennel. Even cats and small dogs are often easily accepted as family members. GPA chapters have successfully placed thousands of greyhounds with happy owners who also have cats and small dogs. We get to know each and every dog as an individual and do our best to match the dog’s personality to an ideal home environment.
Greyhound Adoption Information, Books & Resources
There is plentiful information on this website and good web links! There are excellent books to help you decide if a greyhound is the right choice for you. We recommend reading: “Adopting the Retired Racing Greyhound” by Cynthia Branigan, “Retired Racing Greyhounds, For Dummies” by Lee Livingood, “Greyhounds” by Carolyn Coille, and “Childproofing Your Dog” by Brian Kilcommons for homes with children.
Nine Fantastic Facts About Greyhounds
Greyhounds are pretty quiet on the whole when we see them being walked in my village. Who would think that these noble and striking dogs can change instantly into a speeding bullet. Never mind Superman. Is it a bird, is it a plane? – well, no actually – it is a purpose built dog. Laid back, calm creatures that can make terrific pets, here are a few insights into the sighthound world from Susan at the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust.
Greyhounds are thought to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs, with their ancestry being traced back as far as ancient Egypt. Here are some interesting facts that you may not know…
1. Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog in existence. They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour over a short distance.
2. In 1014 AD the English Forest Laws stated that only noblemen could own and hunt with Greyhounds. To kill a greyhound was punishable by death, the same sentence as for murder.
3. Racing Greyhounds are bred for speed. Therefore, they are not susceptible to the congenital defects or temperament problems of many other pedigree breeds of dog. Generally only the fastest, healthiest and most even tempered animals are used as breeding stock.
4. The monarchy has always had a keen interest in dogs and both Queen Victoria and King Henry VIII kept greyhounds. Queen Victoria even painted several pictures of her greyhounds.
5. Most greyhounds are physically unable to sit. A few can manage the sit, but for most the length of their back and their heavily muscled hind legs make the position impossible or at the least uncomfortable.
6. Greyhounds have a short and almost odorless coat which molts’ less compared to other breed of dog. This means that sometimes greyhounds can be suited to live with people who are commonly allergic to other breeds of dog.
7. Greyhounds have stereoscopic vision, which means they are ideally suited to seeing moving objects. It is not uncommon for a greyhound to focus purely on the object it is chasing and subsequently “not see” the tree trunk or fence it runs into!
8. The Greyhound is the only breed of dog mentioned in The Bible. Proverbs 30, verses 29-31.
9. The collective noun for a group of greyhounds is a leash. Personally, though, we think a giggle of greyhounds sums up a group of them more appropriately!
There is plentiful information on this website and good web links! From the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust.
Read more about Greyhounds in the Greyhound Guide
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