- ABOUT GREYHOUNDS -
Greyhounds Then & Now
Two very interesting facts about Greyhounds are that they are both the oldest and the fastest breed of dog known to man. They are the only breed mentioned in the bible and are known to have been cherished pets & hunters belonging to royalty in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome thousands of years ago. During the middle ages, they were bred for British noblemen and there was a time when only nobility was allowed to own them by law. The British also popularized lure coursing, which, back then, consisted of two dogs competing to chase the same live hare. This practice was brought to America and racing of today was developed over time. There are also many pieces of art and many poems written about the breed, dating back hundreds of years.
Greyhounds, though also bred for show, are mainly bred for racing because of their speed and their chase instinct. You may have seen images of them racing and noticed that they wear muzzles. Although many assume it is because they are vicious, they are actually there for the dogs' protection and also so judges can tell better who won a race.
It used to be that many thousands of dogs were euthanized or given to medical science when they were finished their racing career. These practices are decreasing as more adoption groups are able to take in more dogs, and in turn, find great homes to adopt to. Many of the U.S. tracks are working with Greyhound Pets of America and the National Greyhound Association, as well as some other groups to help adopt dogs out directly from the tracks themselves. Greyhounds are raced in many other countries like Holland, Czech Republic and others. The dogs from Europe that are raced are usually house pets in their owners homes and not kept in kennels like in the states. They are couch potatoes just like the ones we adopt out. They are treated as members of the family in most cases. Racing is not a money maker in Europe as it is in the states. There are exceptions to every rule though, as you might have heard about the atrocities with dogs in Spain being sent from Ireland when they are finished racing there. England, Scotland and Ireland also have racing, in most cases much like in the U.S.
Frequently Asked Questions About Greyhounds
How Much Do They Cost?
Our group does not (technically) have a fee to adopt a dog. That is to say we do not profit by adopting out greyhounds. The only thing you pay is what we have already paid out of our pockets. This includes the vet bill (spay/neuter, vaccines, heartworm testing, deworming, dentistry) and our added expense of fostering the dog for approximately 1½ to 2 months (which would include food, medication, etc.) The fee also includes a collar which you take with you.
How Old Are The Dogs?
If you are receiving a dog we have rescued from a breeder, they can be literally any age. In most cases, you will be receiving a dog that is a retired racer from the track. Depending on the dog's racing career, they can be anywhere between 2 and 5 years old. We sometimes have people return a dog they have adopted and those dogs need homes too. In those cases the dog can be ANY age.
Are Greyhounds Safe Around Cats (or other small animals)?
The family that is fostering the dog and has it in their care for the 1½ to 2 month period will determine whether the dog is what we call 'cat-safe.' Greyhounds are trained to chase and so some of them will NOT be safe around small animals. On the other hand, most can be trained to behave well around them.
Are They Safe Around Children?
Greyhounds, in most cases, are very friendly with all humans. Very small children can sometimes be considered small animals (in the eyes of the dog, anyhow) and the foster family should be able to test the dog around children and let you know how the experience went.
Do I Need a Fence?
We strongly recommend having a fenced in back yard, since Greyhounds can NEVER be let loose, EVER. Unless you plan on putting on collar & leash 3 or 4 times a day and walking them around outside to do their business, you SHOULD have a fenced in yard.
Do Greyhounds Need a Lot of Exercise?
Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds have very little stamina. They have short bursts of energy, but sleep a great deal of the time. They enjoy a good run (in a very large area, such as a fenced-in ball diamond) about once a week, and of course they love to be walked, but for the most part they are quite laid back.
How Much Training Do They Have?
They don't have any obedience training, but they have had the benefit of being trained to be led around (and so are very good walkers) and also, because of the period of time with the foster family, they have many 'kinks' worked out before they come into your home.
How Greyhounds Differ From Other Breeds
1 ~ First of all, greyhounds are very bony! So unlike most dogs who are comfortable almost anywhere, greyhounds require a lot of padding to be comfortable. Most of us who have a greyhound use lots of comforters or really comfy oversized dog beds. Crib mattresses work great too!
2 ~ Greyhounds aren't barkers. That's not to say that they can't bark, but rather that they pretty much choose not to. Sometimes they will bark in playfulness, but other than that, they are very quiet and laid back. So if you're looking for a guard dog, greyhounds are not the best choice! (The rare greyhound will bark in protectiveness, but note the word 'rare.')
3 ~ Greyhounds can not be tied up! Being tied up to a chain/rope is something a puppy can learn to get used to, but greyhounds come into your home as full grown dogs who have never been tied up, therefore it is likely that the experience would be traumatic for them.
4 ~ Greyhounds can NOT be left outside for long periods of time! Unlike most breeds (though not all), greyhounds don't have a protective layer of fat under their skin. Therefore they are very sensitive to temperature, both hot and cold. Many greyhounds that have been exposed to cold temperatures for too long have lost the tips of their ears!
5 ~ Greyhounds are very sensitive to certain drugs & chemicals. This means they can't wear flea collars, can't be exposed to insecticides and vets must take special precautions when administering anesthetics. If you adopt a dog, we would give you detailed info on this subject.
6 ~ Greyhounds are accustomed to being led around by the collar (many people handle them at the track, for grooming, feeding, being led to start boxes) so they tend to take very well to walking on a leash.
7 ~ Greyhounds are very much like puppies when it comes to living in a home. They may have the benefit of being used to other dogs and being handled by people, but when they come off the track, they have had virtually no experience with houses, cars, cats & many other things. They have no idea how to climb stairs (since they didn't learn as pups and now their legs are two feet long!) and they act very strange when they see their reflection in a window or mirror. These are just a few of the things they need to get acquainted with when they go into a home. Keep in mind though, that in most cases, you would be adopting a dog that has lived with a foster for a while and so has begun to grow accustomed to these things.
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