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When does a greyhound start racing? A greyhound starts racing between the ages of sixteen and twenty months.

What are the ages of the greyhounds available for adoption? They are usually between two and five years.

Why does a greyhound retire? A greyhound is usually retired when he/she reaches his/her sixth birthday, if the dog has been an acceptable racer up to that point in time. If a racer loses four races in a row he/she is moved down a grade (A-D). If this continues the dog is no longer considered an acceptable contender. Dogs are also retired due to injury even though the injury may only be temporary.

What is the life expectancy of a greyhound? The life expectancy is approximately 12 to 15 years.

How large is a greyhound? Greyhounds usually stand 24 to 29 inches at the shoulder. The females average from 55 to 70 pounds, the males average 65 to 85 pounds.

Do greyhounds require a lot of exercise? The greyhound has been trained to run fast short sprints. They do not require a lot of exercise. They enjoy walks and are usually mellow, calm, easy-going and quiet. Most require little exercise and are frequently described as the "worlds fastest couch potato".

Do greyhounds require a fenced yard? Not necessarily. If you don't have a fenced yard they need to be leash walked at least 4-5 times a day.  Typical schedule is out upon waking up, after breakfast and before you leave the house for work, upon arriving home for work, after dinner and before bedtime.. Greyhounds should always be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard.

Can/Should I take my greyhound to the dog park?  No.  While greyhounds love to run and are beautiful to watch, dog parks are not appropriate venues for a variety of reasons.

1)  Greyhounds can be nippy and competitive when running, and therefore should always wear a greyhound muzzle when running with other dogs.  However, in a dog park with other dogs who are strangers, wearing a muzzle leaves the greyhound unable to defend himself if another dog shows aggression. 

2)  Greyhounds are prey-driven animals by instinct and breeding, and smaller dogs, especially vocal ones, appear as prey.  Occurrences of injury or even death have resulted from a greyhound going after a small squeaky dog.  It's not the dog's fault that he is doing what he was bred to do - it is the owner's fault for putting their dog in the situation.  Even worse, once an attack starts, the other dogs in the park are likely to join in, and the human owners are likely to suffer injury as well.

3)  Greyhounds have thin skin and long thin bones, and rough-playing dogs can cause the greyhound to sustain injuries.

4)  Other dogs in the park may not be neutered/spayed, vaccinated or well-trained.

GREAT prohibits foster parents from taking foster dogs to dog parks, and discourages adopters from taking their own dogs to dog parks.  We advise greyhound owners to find other more suitable venues to give their greyhounds the opportunity to run in a fenced, safe area.

What does a greyhound eat? A greyhound has been fed mostly raw meat (4D meat deemed unfit for human consumption) during his/her racing career. They are converted to a dry dog food prior to adoption. They require approximately four cups, depending on the size of the dog, of Quality dry dog food (protein content between 18-22%) divided into two meals per day.

Are greyhounds suitable pets for children? Most greyhounds that have been racers have had limited exposure to children. Even though their temperament is very gentle and affectionate, due to the inability of very young children to understand dog safety rules, GREAT does not place greyhounds in households with children under the age of six.

Are greyhounds good with cats and other small animals? The greyhound has been trained to chase a lure, but that does not mean they will chase small animals. GREAT cat-tests and if needed, small dog-tests every foster dog and if the dog shows a tendency to chase, we place that dog in a home with no small pets. The majority of greyhounds that have been placed do live harmoniously with cats and small dogs.  Owners should always be aware that even if their greyhound is small animal friendly, they should never allow their greyhound to run in the back yard or to roughhouse with the smaller dog, to avoid triggering the prey instinct.

Why do greyhounds wear muzzles at the track? The muzzle prevents any altercations during a race. The fact that there are eight dogs unfamiliar with each other, combined with the frustration of not catching the lure, could lead to unpleasant encounters between the dogs. The color of the dog's muzzles are all different and are used to tell which dog won the race.

Are greyhounds house-broken? The racing greyhound has never lived in a house, however they are kennel-broken. This means they have been trained not to soil their kennels. To help the greyhound adjust to a home environment GREAT will loan you a crate (for a refundable deposit) for three weeks. Greyhounds are very routine orientated. A adoptive parent must establish a "going-potty" schedule and stick to it to reinforce the routine established by the foster parent.

Do most greyhounds get placed?   No.  Although greyhound rescue and adoption agencies are placing more greyhounds in pet homes than ever, continued efforts are still needed to find homes for thousands of ex-racing greyhounds that are put to death annually in the United States .  For most greyhounds, placement as a pet is their only hope for survival.  

Are greyhounds good watch dogs? Greyhounds, friendly to people by nature, are usually glad to greet anyone, including burglars!  Don't rely on them to protect your home.

Is GREAT, Inc. "racing-neutral?"  No.  Our articles of incorporation state that one of our primary objectives is to educate the public about the over-breeding of racing greyhounds and the mass euthanasia that results due to this practice.  Our volunteers are not prohibited from making statements about the racing industry, as long as they can back those statements up with facts.  GREAT volunteers do not discuss specific numbers that are killed each year, because without accurate tracking of every greyhound that is born to race, those numbers cannot be known.



This site owned and maintained by Greyhound Rescue and Adoptions of Tampa Bay
Contact GREAT at (813) 971-4732

Last Update: 07/22/11