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Want to Add a New Dog to Your Family? Why Not Adopt a Retired Racing Greyhound!

Updated on February 9, 2010
Just look at that face! So cute!
Just look at that face! So cute!

First and foremost I want to say that I am not a fan of Greyhound racing.  Though Greyhound racing has been around for many, many years (there are over forty legal Greyhound racing tracks in the United States alone) it has been brought to the attention of animal rights groups that many racing Greyhounds are abused and neglected (not to mention their living quarters are less than ideal). In November, 2008, the citizens of Massachusetts took a stand and passed a bill that shut down the states dog racing tracks. Obviously, people care about these beautiful dogs and decided to take charge! Bravo! Hopefully, other states will lend a paw and pass similar bills.


Once a racing Greyhound reaches a certain age, they are cast aside…no longer able to race (which means they can no longer make money for the track). What happens next? Well, some retired Greyhounds are rescued by animal rescue groups that specialize in the adoption of these amazing dogs, while others are simply dropped at the pound or euthanized! The sooner the race track is able get rid of retired racers…the better, as they do not want to spend money on dogs that are no longer profitable. Plus, they need to make room for younger, faster dogs.

Most retired racing Greyhounds are beautiful, charming dogs with wonderful personalities! It should be noted that before you adopt ANY dog (no matter what breed) it is important that you understand the needs and demands of the dog that you are about to bring into your home. After all, you want to adopt a dog that is RIGHT for your family and the environment that you happen to live in. For example, if you live in an apartment….a Great Dane might not be the best choice!  To view a very helpful dog adoption check-list, please visit Bunny Roo Beagle. Bunny Roo Beagle is a fun dog website loaded with dog treat recipes, rescue and adoption information and so much more!

The Greyhound Basics!

The Greyhound is the ultimate dog athlete! The fastest of all dogs, Greyhounds can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour (that IS fast!). Though they are known as racing dogs, Greyhounds are also loving and loyal companions that enjoy being part of a family. Greyhounds are 26 to 29 inches in height, weigh 60 to 70 pounds and live approximately 10 to 13 years. They come in several colors including black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow (which is a pale reddish yellow), brindle or any of these shades broken by white (see picture). Naturally clean dogs, their fine, close coat requires minimal care. Weekly brushings or a good rubdown with a "hound glove" will keep your Greyhound's coat healthy and free of dead hair.

Though Greyhounds love to run…they don't require as much exercise as one might expect. In fact, two twenty minute walks (along with some off-leash running time in a dog park) should satisfy your fast friend. You might be surprised to learn that Greyhounds are actually couch potatoes and LOVE to spend time napping in a sunbeam on a comfortable sofa! Though they are not incredibly demanding when it comes to exercise, it is important that they are able to run and stretch their long legs. It should be noted that the Greyhound's chasing instinct is VERY STRONG! You should keep your Greyhound leashed at all times when not in an enclosed area as once they begin to chase something….good luck catching them!

The Retired Racer

Most racing Greyhounds retire between the ages of two and five years old. Why? Obviously, dog racing tracks only want dogs that can run….fast! After the age of five, most Greyhounds begin to slow down a bit.  Don't get me wrong…they are still incredibly fast…however, not fast enough to compete with other hounds that bring in the cash. Once a Greyhound turns five, most tracks consider them useless as they are no longer able to race and provide entertainment to their customers. Sad but true. Because a Greyhound can live up to thirteen years (some beyond) they obviously still have a long life ahead of them once their racing days are over. Dogs, no matter what breed, are NOT disposable! Just because a Greyhound can no longer race does not mean it should be "put down" or dropped at the pound! They deserve forever, loving homes…just as any dog does!

Adopt an Older Greyhound!

I love older dogs. I have adopted several older dogs in my lifetime and each one became a wonderful, loving part of my family. Older dogs hold a special place in my heart. Each year millions of senior canines are euthanized because there is simply not enough room for them all. If you are considering adopting a dog…won't you consider an older friend? Though they are not with us a long as a puppy might be…they still need forever, loving homes and a family to call their own! Besides, if you adopt an older dog…you will by-pass the puppy chewing phase…and that's a good thing!

A Greyhound is considered "older" when they reach the age of six or seven.  Did you know that a little more than a decade ago more than 60,000 racing Greyhounds were bred EACH YEAR for entertainment (racing) purposes!? Just about each and every one of them was destroyed once their racing career was over! That is a HUGE number of dogs…a travesty! Thankfully, various groups such as the American Kennel Club and the Greyhound club of America have stepped in and are trying to end the slaughter. Thanks to these organizations, the public is being educated about the hard, awful lives that most racing Greyhounds lead. Adoption is truly the best option…especially for retired racing Greyhounds!

What type of family is BEST?

Greyhounds are generally good with other pets and children. Young Greyhounds can be quite boisterous, therefore, young children should be TAUGHT how to handle and play with this breed properly. If you are worried that a young Greyhound might hurt your young child, you should consider adopting an older hound as they tend to be much calmer. As previously mentioned, Greyhounds LOVE to chase…just about anything! If you have cats or other small should definitely consider them when deciding whether or not to adopt a retired racing Greyhound.  

As for training, Greyhounds can be difficult to train as they are some-what stubborn. This is not to say that they CANNOT be trained…it just might take some time (so patience is key!). Greyhounds aim to please their "people," therefore if training techniques are fun, consistent and KIND…it can be done! Training a Greyhound to come when called is of utmost importance as they tend to chase just about anything that interests them. Teaching a reliable recall is absolutely essential!

If you are interested in adding an easy-going, loyal, loving, affectionate and mild mannered dog to your family…please consider a retired racing Greyhound! These exceptional athletes deserve a place to call home…AWAY from the racetrack! If you are not able to adopt a retired racer…please consider donating to a Greyhound rescue group that specializes in the placement of retired racers. No matter how big or small the donation…every dollar helps! Woof!

If you have a few minutes to spare, please visit some of my other dog related HUB pages! Thank you.

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