Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of pets do ex-racing greyhounds make?

Greyhounds are affectionate, friendly dogs who thrive on attention and human companionship and make terrific pets. Raised with their littermates, where they competed for affection, greyhounds love becoming the center of attention as household pets. Greyhounds do not usually make good watch dogs. Their friendly nature is not really very threatening.

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Are they good with children?

More so than most breeds. They can be as playful as puppies or laid back couch potatoes, but being mature dogs they are very tolerant of children and will usually walk away rather than growl or snap if children become overbearing. Children must never be allowed to torment or pester any dog for fear of pushing the dog beyond their limits. Please read 'Childproofing Your Dog', by Brian Kilcommons for more information on dogs and children.

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How are they with other pets?

Greyhounds are friendly by nature and socialize well with other dogs as a result of living with so many other greyhounds in the racing kennel. You will need to introduce your greyhound with caution to the family indoor cat. Most greyhounds are cat tested before being adopted but you will still need to keep a careful watch until you are sure the greyhound has no interest in the cat.

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How old are retired greyhounds?

The retired racers are usually between two and four years old when retired.

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What is their life expectancy?

Keeping your greyhound in good health and with proper care they could have a life expectancy of 12 years or more.

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How much does it cost to own a greyhound?

After the adoption fee, you will have annual veterinary care, vaccinations, heartworm test and preventitive medications, flea & tick control, etc. (contact your veterinarian for fees) and it costs about $1.00 a day to feed a greyhound. Don't forget the treats & toys.

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Are ex-racing greyhounds hard to housebreak?

Frequently an adopted greyhound is completely housebroken right from the start. In their kennel environment they are turned out three or four times a day to relieve themselves. Walk them frequently at first, and they quickly learn that their new home is the place they keep clean and outside is where they go to relieve themselves.

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Is there a big size difference between sexes?

Greyhound males stand 26-30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 65 and 85 pounds. Females stand 23 - 26 inches tall and weigh 50 - 65 pounds.

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Why are they seen wearing muzzles?

The greyhound is a wonderfully unique creature blessed with both the ability to be very competitive and aggressive while on the track, yet on the other hand, a very loving and docile companion, living to please a beloved owner. They wear muzzles while racing for two reasons: to help racing officials determine the outcome of a photo-finish race, and to protect the greyhounds from injury during the excitement of the chase caused by bumping each other.

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Do greyhounds need a lot of exercise?

Greyhounds easily adapt to the lifestyle of their new owners. If you enjoy jogging and walking by all means take your greyhound with you but please let your adoption agency know you are looking for a running or jogging companion. A fenced in area is the best way to exercise your greyhound.

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Can I let my greyhound run off a leash?

As with any dog running free without a fenced in area is just an accident waiting to happen no matter how well trained a dog may be. The answer is NO. A greyhound can reach speeds of 35 to 40 mph in just three bounds, they would be out of hearing range in seconds and running at that speed leaves them in grave danger of being hit by a car!

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Aren't all greyhounds gray?

There are many colors - brindle, black, fawn, white or a combination of these colors. The name greyhound is not derived from the color of the animal. The name originates from three possible sources. The ancient Greeks may have called greyhounds "Greek hounds" or may have named them "Gazehounds," since they relied on sight rather than smell in hunting. Thirdly, the name may be derived from the Latin "gre" or "gradus" meaning degree, which related to the principle and care in breeding.

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Why are greyhounds streamlined?

Greyhounds are like any other competitive athlete. During their racing career, they eat heartily (up to two pounds of meat per day), but burn off excess weight when they run. As a pet, they eat much less, just three to six cups of dry food per day depending on the size and activity level of the dog.

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What has the life of a racing greyhound been like?

Greyhounds spend most of their lives in the company of other dogs. When they are born, the average litter size is about eight pups. Young greyhounds are given a lot of attention and handled as much as possible. As they approach their first birthday, their training begins and they are taught to chase a lure, eventually progressing to a racetrack. Track life is very routine - feeding in the morning, turnouts in the exercise yards to relieve themselves and retiring between races to individual kennel crates. Dogs race every three to seven days and most racing kennels have about 60 dogs. Most greyhounds have seen very little of the every day world including houses, stairs, mirrors, and cats, and have seldom, if ever, ridden in a car. The transition to living in a home requires love, patience and time.

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What should I expect if I adopt a greyhound?

Expect a gentle, loving pet who, with a little time and patience, will be a great addition to your family. Because everything is brand new to the greyhound, expect him/her to be somewhat shy, confused and very curious or you may come across a happy-go-lucky dog and nothing will phase him. House manners have to be learned. Greyhounds are very intelligent dogs and learn quickly.

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Does my dog need a special space in the house?

In the kennel, your dog has always had its own kennel crate where he felt safe and secure. There are a number of ways to accomplish this in your house. Using a large crate or having a special bedding area during the first few weeks will help the greyhound adjust at his/her own pace to the unaccustomed freedom of your house. Although many people feel uncomfortable about using a crate, greyhounds are quite at home in them. Indeed, using a crate can provide for a completely successful transition by affording the dog actual physical security when left alone during the adjustment period and thus preventing any possible damage due to separation anxiety. It also can eliminate any temptation to investigate the garbage. Another advantage to the crate is that greyhounds, like other dogs, instinctively will not soil their own living space. This makes crate usage a very effective tool in the housebreaking process. 

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