Frequently Asked Questions
- How long do greyhounds live?
- How old are greyhounds when they retire?
- Why do greyhounds retire from a track?
- What happens to ex-racing greyhounds when their career is over?
- Can I let my greyhound run loose on my property?
- Are greyhounds housebroken?
- Do greyhounds make good watch dogs?
- Are greyhounds good with children?
- Can I choose the color and sex of my new dog?
- Aren’t greyhounds “hyper”, requiring lots of exercise?
- Will a greyhound be compatible with other animals, especially cats?
- Can a greyhound live in an apartment?
- How do greyhounds handle cold conditions and snow?
- If greyhounds are not wanted at the track, why aren’t they free?
- How much does a greyhound eat?
- Do greyhounds shed?
- Can greyhounds swim?
- Additional Questions?
The average healthy greyhound will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Most greyhounds begin their career at about 16 months and are ready to retire between 2 and 4 years.
Each race is a photo finish, running 40 miles an hour instead of 41 may lead to greyhound’s retirement. Racing injuries are another reason that dogs are retired. And finally some dogs just lack the talent and skill to be a first class racer. None of these things keeps an ex-racer from being a world class companion and pet.
Moving into a caring loving home is the best finish to career for a greyhound and adopting one is a wonderful way to add a companion into your life.
Greyhounds are not altered during their racing careers so that the superior runners can be used for breeding. However, few greyhounds are deemed good enough to be used this way.
- Sold to a less competitive track
A good track will sometimes sell a dog down in class, meaning that the greyhound will not be retired but will run against slower competition.
- Medical research
Many ex-racing greyhounds have been sold into medical research. Because greyhounds are used to being handled by humans during their racing careers, they make ideal animals for medical researchers. Depending on the research project, this can be a horrific fate.
Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year because they are no longer winners at the track, are not good candidates for breeding and are not sold into medical research.
GReAT works with “no kill” tracks and objects to some of the methods and treatment that some owners, tracks and trainers use on racing dogs.
There are good, kind owners and trainers just as there are good people in all walks of life. GReAT does not wish to vilify all people in the racing industry, just those who use inhumane methods.
NEVER! Greyhounds are sight hounds and will chase anything that catches their eye, even up to half a mile away. Something as simple as leaf blowing in the wind can trigger a greyhound’s instinct to chase. Because a greyhound is able to reach top speed in three strides, catching a loose greyhound is almost impossible. Greyhounds must be on leash unless they are in a safe, fenced environment.
Before entering a foster home, greyhounds have never been inside a home. They live in a crate and are crate trained. They will not eliminate in their crate. GReAT recommends that adoptive families use a crate as a transitional tool. Most dogs learn in a few days that the house is an extension of their crate and are easily housebroken.
Not in the way most people use the term “watch dog”. Greyhounds generally do not bark and are happy to greet strangers and friends alike. There are some exceptions, of course, but most greyhounds are very aware of their surroundings. They do let you know that someone is about, but they do not guard.
Greyhounds are gentle and patient. They tend to walk away from a problem rather than confront it. Be aware, though, that even the most gentle, tolerant dog has its limits and should not never be left alone and unsupervised with children.
Greyhounds come in an amazing variety of colors. The National Greyhound Association registers 27 coat colors. GReAT feels that every color is beautiful. Greyhounds are selected at the tracks for their suitability as pets, not for coat color. The goal of GReAT is to select a dog whose personality and behavior best suits your home. If you feel strongly about a certain color or sex, GReAT will try to honor your request, but please realize that the amount of time waiting for your adoptee will probably be longer.
Not at all. Greyhounds are “45 mile-an-hour couch potatoes” when at home. Most love a walk on leash and/or a sprint in a fenced area. They do not require more exercise than any other breed of dog.
Greyhounds enjoy the company of most animals and a wide variety of dog breeds. There are only a small percentage of greyhounds that would not be able to live with small animals such as cats. Our dogs spend time in foster homes with cats and other critters to identify those that are not suited to life with a little furry friend.
Greyhounds are quiet and used to a crate and tend to be excellent apartment dogs. We must have permission from your landlord prior to placement.
Greyhounds are house dogs. They are comfortable where you are comfortable and should not be left outside alone for extensive periods in any weather condition. If you walk your dog on an especially cold day, GReAT recommends a dog coat. This can be as simple as an old sweatshirt but GReAT also has coats available in many pattern choices. Many dogs love snow, but be sure to check between their pads for pieces of ice after a walk or romp in the yard.
Your tax deductible donation is required to provide the appropriate care of the dogs. Each dog has extensive blood testing, including evaluation of kidney function, tests for tick-born disease and heartworm tests. All of the dogs are spayed or neutered and have their teeth cleaned during the foster period. Your dog will also have routine vaccinations, have a stool examined and be treated for worms and possible fleas. In addition, he/she will be placed with a special safety collar and matching leash. You may call your veterinarian to investigate the costs of these services for any other dog.
That depends largely on the size of your greyhound and the type of food chosen. The quantity can range from 3-5 cups a day. The pet food manufacturer, your foster family, adoption coordinator and veterinarian can determine the proper quantity of food for your greyhound.
Although greyhounds do lose hair, they do not shed as much as many of the larger breeds. A good brushing with a hound glove or a soft brush will remove loose hair and put a gleam into the dog’s coat.
Some greyhounds can swim, but this tends to be an individual thing. Just as some humans are good swimmers and some are not, the same applies to greyhounds. Be cautious and supervise your dog’s introduction to the water and gage his/her ability to swim.
Search this site and visit our links for more information about the incredible, lovable ex-racing greyhound.
Please feel free to call 716-839-4275 with any additional questions.