Adopting former racing dogs – meaning Greyhounds – has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Those who do not live in states that allow dog racing may have no idea that there are many shelters and agencies that deal exclusively in placing such animals in loving homes. In areas where it does take place, many people consider it a point of pride to have taken on a former racing dog.
In 2005, a scandal involving a number of unaccounted-for Greyhounds (suspected to have been killed) brought the issue to light all over again, eliciting a horrified yet heartfelt response from the public. Even so, as well-meaning as those who adopt Greyhounds may be, there are a number of factors to consider before making such a long-term investment of emotion and treasure. If the following paragraphs don’t turn you off to the prospects of Greyhound adoption, then you might be the right owner for a former racing dog.
Not Your Typical Household Pet
Former racing dogs, in many instances, have not been treated at all like a pet. They are considered by the industry to be running machines. A good deal of socialization (and probably time) will be required before your dog becomes comfortable in your home. As a rather large dog, 45 to 90 lbs. and extremely athletic, a Greyhound may not be suitable for small children or elderly adults for obvious reasons. It is also important to remember that Greyhounds are typically trained using small live animals as bait (so cats, small dogs and other like pets may not be safe around them).
Like any other large dog, a Greyhound is not likely to be considerate of your landscaping efforts. They can wear down a lawn pretty quickly, may tend to dig holes, and will certainly leave indiscrete piles laying around. In short, owning a Greyhound will demand a good deal of work from its owner. And, with their short coat and lean bodies, they also have a fondness for soft, warm places (read: Couches and beds). There are other challenges and quirks to Greyhounds so it takes a dedicated owner to provide a good home for a dog that truly deserves one.