Throughout the US and in many parts of the world, greyhounds are used as racing dogs to support gambling. In the United States alone, there are roughly 40 dog tracks and hundreds of puppy farms and training facilities around the country. Years ago, the greyhound industry was in much worse shape than it is today. Many tracks have established very good policies as well as “no kill” rules that help ensure the health and fate of the greyhounds. However, there are still thousands of greyhounds that after their racing days are in need of forever homes.
From Puppy to Adoption
Soon after greyhounds are born, they are sent to farms for training. They often remain in these training facilities until they are 18 months old. At this age, the dogs are introduced to the track and if they’re fast enough, will often race until they are between 3-4 years old. Aft this, they are usually put up for adoption.
It’s not enough to consider adopting a greyhound for humanitarian reasons alone. Think about the breed’s characteristics to determine if it would be a good fit in your home. Greyhounds are very easy-going dogs. This might surprise you, since we’re used to seeing greyhounds speeding around racing tracks reaching speeds of 40 mph. Despite this, greyhounds are normally good for only a few sprints per day. Otherwise, they are truly happy to relax around the house and casually play with a toy or a companion. The greyhound’s docile personality is complemented by their loyalty, intelligence and excitement about simple things like taking nightly walks or seeing their owner return home from work.
Greyhound come in a variety of colors including solid blue, white, black, red, fawn and combinations of these colors with spotted and brindle patterns. Male greyhounds generally weigh between 65-75 pounds and females tend to weigh between 55-65 pounds. Their sleek, athletic look should be maintained even as they enter retirement. Keeping a greyhound fit and trim should be relatively easy since their metabolism is quite fast and they don’t tend to gain weight easily. Perhaps in part because of their great conditioning, greyhounds have long life expectancies for such large dogs, spanning between 12-15 years.
Greyhounds are available at shelters around the country – many of which are associated with local racing tracks. Be sure to discuss your home situation with the director of the adoption facility. They’ll want to know if you have cats at home, small dogs and very young children. Based on greyhounds’ training and instinct, some maintain left over aggressiveness toward small animals. The facility’s adoption director should be able to suggest a number of greyhounds that match well to your home life.