PET GREYHOUND F.A.Q.
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Are they hyper?
No, they are generally couch potatoes. Some do suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. Those that have separation anxiety may need to be crated when left alone.
Why do some have separation anxiety?
Greyhounds are raised with their litter mates in long runs with large dog houses. When they are about a year old, the move into the kennel to begin training. When they are racing, they also live in a kennel with a lot of other racers. A greyhound is never alone, from the time it’s born until the time it’s adopted. They are very social creatures, and for some, the transition to being an only dog can be difficult. But not all greyhounds have separation anxiety, and those that do can learn to live as only dogs.
How well do they adapt to a home?
VERY well! They love people. They are used to having people around them, touching them, clipping nails, checking them for injuries, etc. We call them “velcro” dogs because they will be right at your side wanting attention all the time!
Do they need a lot of exercise?
Not any more than any other large dog. They are sprinters by nature, and are used to exerting all of their energy in a short amount of time. A typical race is between 30 and 35 seconds long.
Do they eat a lot?
About 5-6 cups of dry food per day as pets. Food in the race kennel is typically measured in pounds.
What do you feed a greyhound?
An adopted greyhound should be kept on a diet of a good grade dry dog food. Racers eat a mix of meat, dry food, veggies, rice, vitamins and water. It is a wet mixture and can be on their teeth. We recommend that you start your new friend on dry food mixed with a little water because they are used to eating the wet mixture, and they often try to eat dry food as fast as they did thewet food. That usually makes them choke on the dry, so transition them from wet to dry by adding a little less water over time.
Are they mean/aggressive?
Is that dog snarling at me?
No, that’s a smile!
Why do they wear muzzles?
1. When they are racing, it makes the photo finishes easier to see.
2. Greyhounds have very thin coats and skin. If they nip at each other while racing (like the “little kids” they are), it’s easy to end up with a big hole.
What is their life span?
12 to 14 years.
Do they have health problems?
There are no known breed specific health problems. They tend to NOT have hip dysplasia and are generally healthy. As with all dogs, they suffer from different health problems in old age. Only the healthiest and fastest greyhounds are bred to race. There are some people who believe (erroneously) that greyhounds are more prone to bone cancer than other breeds due to their treatment wile racing. Not true. The oncologists at CSU tell us that all large-boned dogs are at a slightly higher risk of developing bone cancer as they get older.
Are they good watch dogs?
In a manner of speaking, they will probably watch anyone come in the house and wag their tails. They are very friendly, people oriented dogs. They tend not to be barkers.
Are they good with kids?
Generally, yes. We ask that you bring any children in the family to the kennel, too, to meet the dogs. While greyhounds are very tolerant, they can become grouchy if they are stepped on, their ears or tails or pulled or other similar things happen.
Can they live with other dogs?
Usually, yes. On rare occasions there will be some rivalry between new greyhound and old dog in a home. Most problems are initiated by the “old” dog not being willing to accept the new dog. We ask that anyone who owns a dog to bring the dog with them to meet the greyhounds at the kennel. And choose to adopt the greyhound that their DOG chooses. Greyhounds are generally very social with other dogs. They are normally very curious about different breeds when they first leave the kennel. They have never seen other breeds and want to know what that funny thing is. Greyhounds always recognize other greyhounds, and when you are out in public, expect that your greyhound will insist on meeting any other greyhound you come across.
Can they live with cats?
Some can. We are cat testing all dogs and should have a good idea of which ones will be able to live with cats. Some even live with ferrets and rabbits.
Aren’t they trained with live lures?
NO!! It’s illegal and all who race in Colorado must certify that their dogs were not trained on live lures. The tracks here will not knowingly allow any greyhounds trained on live lures to compete.
How old are they when they start racing?
They start training at about 12 months and are usually on the track between 18 months and 2 years old.
How are they trained?
They begin chasing a drag lure across a field. They then go to a “whirlygig” and learn to run in a circle. Then to the training track, where they start off chasing a lure for short distances. The distance is increased over time until they are able to run a full race distance. Then it’s off to schooling at the track for a few races before they run their maiden races.
How long do they race?
Depends on the dog, most will race until 3 or 4 years old, some will race longer, some less. Age 4 is average.
How are they treated in the race kennels?
Contrary to some of the stories out there, greyhounds are generally treated very well in the racing environment. Some greyhounds do have scars, but remember, they have very thin skin and are monsters when they are puppies. Many scars are the result of rough play with their litter mates. Dogs that are not treated well would not have the self-confidence and the loving nature that most greyhounds exhibit. Some greyhounds are shy. That doesn’t mean the dog was abused. They all have different personalities, and are largely influenced by their order in the pack when they were in the puppy runs. Greyhounds are creatures of habit, and new situations can be scary. Some that are raised predominately by women may be shy around men, and vice-versa.
How are they housed?
In crates in kennel buildings that are both heated and cooled. While puppies may live outside until they are a year old, the racers are in temperature controlled buildings, and are not impressed with temperature extremes. The crates are much larger than the crates we recommend for home use. They are big enough that a full-grown man can fit inside them. Some crates in older farm kennels are made of wood. Many kennels now use metal crates that have wooden floors that can be replaced. Crates are cleaned on a daily basis, and bleached immediately if s/he had an accident between turnouts.
Are there “bad guys” in the racing industry?
Of course. There are some unethical creeps in any profession. But the majority of those involved in racing love their dogs very much. We invite all of our adopters to join us on Saturday evenings at Cloverleaf Kennel Club during their live season to see first-hand how they react to being at the track again. It also give them the opportunity to see their old trainers again, and for the adopters to see first-hand how much the dogs love their old trainers.
How much do they weigh?
Females usually range from 55 to 65 pounds, males from 65 to 75.
Can they run off lead?
We never recommend it! A greyhound can run at speeds over 40 MPH. Humans can’t! Running and chasing is bred into greyhounds. They begin chasing each other, and anything else they can find, when they are small puppies.
What is the adoption fee?
$95 for a pure-bred greyhound that has been wormed, spayed/neutered, teeth cleaned and has had its shots. A martingale or “greyhound collar” and a muzzle are included. We have leads that match the martingale collars for an additional $7.
Do you have to have a fenced yard to adopt a greyhound?
No, but you will have to be committed to walking the dog a number of times each day for the dog to go potty and get some exercise. We never recommend greyhounds under age 3 to homes without fenced areas because they are not in the habit of relieving themselves on lead. They are used to being turned out in a large pen 4 or more times a day. Those who have had full racing careers have had more experience on lead from going to the track, and are usually more willing to relieve themselves on lead.
What is the different between an adoption group or a rescue group?
The word rescue has gotten some really bad press and doesn’t accurately describe what greyhound adoption groups do. Greyhounds are not and were never in danger of dying. They do not come from horrible conditions in the race kennels. They are well-fed, well adjusted ex-racers that deserve to be adopted by those who appreciate them for the beautiful athletes that they are.