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The retired racing Greyhound makes a superb pet. Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are not highly-strung or aggressive. They are, in fact, very calm docile animals. Greyhounds have been, by necessity, surrounded by unfamiliar people and dogs their entire lives. They have little or no problem fitting into a variety of situations. Another trait of the retired racing Greyhound is its need to be near its human companions. Owners often comment on their "second shadow". These dogs seem most content sitting on the couch beside you with their long, elegant head nestled snugly in your lap. If this is what you are looking for in a pet, a retired racing Greyhound may be the dog for you.

Some commonly asked questions about adopting a retired racing Greyhound:

What is the Greyhound Adoption Program?
The Greyhound Adoption Program, or GAP, is a non-profit division of Greyhound Racing Victoria dedicated to finding homes for Greyhounds that are no longer suitable for racing. We keep the dogs for a period of six to eight weeks in order to expose them to as many different things as possible (eg. Cats, children, small animals etc). All our dogs are thoroughly temperament tested, and we will always take the dog back if your situation changes at any time.

Why does a Greyhound make a good pet?
They are quiet, well mannered, and very easy to live with. They are friendly, affectionate, lazy, calm, clean, loving, trusting and good-natured.

Do retired racing Greyhounds adjust quickly to life as a pet?
Yes. Greyhounds are fostered by the Greyhound Adoption Program for around two months to expose them to as many new things as possible, and the dogs are quite settled in a family environment well before the foster time is through. Greyhounds thrive on human companionship and bond very quickly. Bonding usually only takes a matter of days, and becoming accustomed to a new routine and environment generally only takes a few weeks. The older Greyhounds tend to be better mannered from the start while the younger dogs are generally more curious and active.

Do retired Greyhounds require a lot of exercise?
No. Greyhounds are sprinters and as such, tire very quickly. They enjoy, but are not dependent on, moderate exercise. In most homes, the shared experience of a short brisk walk once a day, or every second day, is enough to keep both the adopter and the adoptee in good physical health. They can make good jogging companions, but only after they are properly conditioned for long distances.

Do Greyhounds have to be muzzled in public?
All Greyhounds in Australia, except for those adopted as pets from GAP (Victoria), are required by law to be muzzled in public.

Can Greyhounds be let off lead?
In public places, no. Greyhounds are one of the fastest land mammals, with speeds reaching 41.72 mph. Horses, by comparison, have been known to reach 43.26 mph. If you think that you will simply run and catch your Greyhound if he bolts, consider this: a sprinting man can run only 27.89 mph. Therefore, catching a running Greyhound is only slightly less difficult than catching a running horse, impossible. Greyhounds have been bred for thousands of years for one thing: speed. In the case of retired racers, the situation is more acute because they have had the speed / chase mentality reinforced in them from the moment they were born.

There are safe, fully fenced areas in Victoria where it is legal to allow a Greyhound off lead. Please contact GAP for more information.

Do Greyhounds make good guard dogs?
No. Greyhounds are placid, friendly animals who tend not to be protective about their property or people. They tend not to bark, and rarely alert owners to the arrival of strangers at their home.

Are the Greyhounds housetrained?
Most of our dogs are housetrained before adopted. Greyhounds are intelligent, clean animals who learn very quickly. As they are already kennel trained, housetraining is usually quickly learnt. You should, however, expect some accidents until a routine has been established.

What ages are available, and how long do Greyhounds live for?
Our dogs are generally around two years of age, but it is standard for GAP to have a range from eighteen months up to eight years at any given time. The adaptable, stable and loving nature of the Greyhound predisposes an easy transition to companion dog regardless of age. Generally, younger dogs will be more active, while the older dogs will be more quiet and well mannered. The expected lifespan of a Greyhound is twelve to fifteen years.

What is the average size of a Greyhound?
The males are taller than the females, weighing from sixty to eighty pounds and standing from twenty-six to thirty inches at the shoulder. The females can weigh from fifty to sixty five pounds, and stand from twenty-four to twenty eight inches at the shoulder.

What colour are Greyhounds?
The most common colours are black, brindle and fawn. Other colours include blue and white, and a combination of these colours (e.g. Black and white). It is important to note that GAP does not select dogs by colour.

Do females make better pets than males?
No. There is little difference between males and females, except that the males are larger. Female Greyhounds tend to be more independent, while males are generally more affectionate.

Are Greyhounds good with children?
Retired racing Greyhounds are very tolerant with children. If a child becomes overbearing, the dog will usually walk away rather than snap or growl. Male Greyhounds tend to be better with children than female Greyhounds. Females can sometimes regard children as puppies. It is in their nature to discipline their own puppies when they get too boisterous, and some do the same with human children. This is usually evidenced by growling or barking when their patience has been pushed to the limit. Males, however, tend to see children as siblings, and are more likely to enjoy playing with them. Like with all dogs, small children should not be left unsupervised with your greyhound.

Are Greyhounds good with other dogs?
Greyhounds have been well socialized and are friendly by nature. They get along well with other dogs, although they may not play with them. Common sense should be exercised during the introductory period and supervised feeding is always recommended in a multi-pet household.

Are Greyhounds good with other animals?
It depends on the dog. While some Greyhounds are not suitable for homes with small animals such as cats and rabbits, a lot are. At GAP we test our dogs very thoroughly to ensure that a correct match between Greyhound and adopter is achieved. Care should be taken when introducing your new Greyhound to your cat and they should never be left alone until you are sure there are no problems.

What happens if things don't work out?
GAP will always reclaim Greyhounds should your situation change or in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the dog.

What does it cost to adopt a Greyhound?
The Greyhound Adoption Program is a non-profit organization. An adoption fee of $165 (includes GST) per dog is a donation which only partially defrays various pre-adoption services.

Further Information
  Books - Greyhound Pet Love
  Products - Black Dog Sighthound Collar

Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP)

Last Update: 27/03/07 16:15 Views: 4295

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