GREYHOUNDS AS PETS

Greyhounds Make Great Pets

Retired racing greyhounds make wonderful pets, Surprised?  Have you ever gone to the dog track and seen only a long, lean running machine attired in a racing jacket and muzzle?  Perhaps you surmised, “They must wear that Muzzle to sheath those teeth!  And all that energy!  Greyhounds must need to run all day, everyday just to calm down even a little!”

Actually racing greyhounds wear muzzles as a state requirement and they have all that energy because they are about to do what they were bred for, a quick sprint around the racetrack.  Unlike most sporting dogs, who were bred to be able to run all day, greyhounds are capable of expending enormous amounts of energy in a few minutes; but after the race, it’s back to the business of kennel life:  a drink of water, a turn in the exercise pen and a three day rest in the kennel before running again.
Greyhounds belong to a family of dogs known as sight hounds, so called because they hunt with their eyes rather than with their noses.  In fact, greyhounds can see a moving object up to half a mile away.  They are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, breeds of dog known to man.
Their image is found on the walls of tombs of Egyptian Royalty.  Their name in Britain seems to stem from the Saxon word Greu which mean a running dog.  For centuries common Brits were not allowed to own the dogs.  This was to prevent poaching of game and thus spoiling the “sport” for the wealthier class.  Indeed, prior to the signing of the Magna Carta (the inspiration for our own Bill of Rights), destruction of a greyhound was considered a serious crime.
From their very beginnings, greyhounds have been bred to outrun their prey.  Traditionally they were walked on a lead until game was sighted and then they were released.  From that moment on, they pitted their grace and intelligence against that of their quarry.  The necessity of making their own hunting decisions has made them self reliant and quick witted.  Subsequently, the prestige of owning the fastest running dog led gentlemen to race their dogs against each other, often with a substantial bet on the outcome.  If in the context of the race, a dog interfered in any way, it was put down immediately.  Centuries of this type of genetic selection have created a very peaceful dog.
While many may think that the retired racer is not a good choice for the family dog, their history says otherwise.  They possess a calm and gentle nature and are easily walked on a lease by children.  They do well in small houses, needing only their own special soft spot upon which to sleep and rest.  A walk once a day and an opportunity to run off leash once or twice a week in an enclosed ball field or park are all that is necessary in terms of exercising a retired racer.  (They should also be given the opportunity to go outside four or five times per day to empty themselves.)  A more loyal and devoted companion you will not find anywhere.  They are known as watch, but not guard dogs.  They are gentle and intelligent and not given to fits of barking.
Before you go on….
Please consider these questions carefully.  If in all honesty you have to answer “no” to one or more, adopting a greyhound wouldn’t be in your best interest of you or the dog right now.
Am I willing to share my home with a greyhound?
Greyhounds are house pets and people animals that should be exercised  on a lead (and off the lead only in enclosed areas).  A greyhound is so quick that one allowed to roam free won’t live long if there is traffic anywhere near.  A greyhound must never be chained up or left neglected in a yard to be miserable, bored and lonely.
Do I have the time to explicitly follow instructions for helping a greyhound adjust to life in a home?
Greyhounds learn quickly, but they need you to teach them where to go to the bathroom, how to climb stairs, stay alone, get along with other pets, adjust to a new diet, etc.
Am I a firm but gentle disciplinarian?
Greyhounds are sensitive creatures that want to please.  They will not respond to a loud voice or threatening manner.  Violence will be fatal to your relationship.  Any dog will make “mistakes” at first.  Can you be patient with him/her?
If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, you’ll have one of the smartest, most devoted pets you’ll ever know.!
MAKE YOUR NEXT FAMILY PET A RETIRED RACING GREYHOUND!
The greyhound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs, dating back to before era of Egyptian kings and pyramids.  It’s long legs, sleek body and agility make it perfectly suitable for chasing small wild game which eventually led to the gambling sport of greyhound racing.  In the past decade, many thousands of retired racers have been adopted out to pet homes, and people are once again discovering the wonderful nature of a greyhound.
SIZE
Adult greyhounds usually range from 26” to 29” in height at the shoulder any may weigh between 50 and 85 pounds.  Female greyhounds tend to be smaller.
COLORATION
Greyhounds come in a wide range of colors, they are all beautiful and graceful and we urge potential adopters to consider personality, temperament and activity level over physical appearance.  We promise you that your greyhounds coloration will soon come to seem the most beautiful.
GREYHOUNDS IN THE HOME ENVIRONMENT
Because of their short coats, thin skin and low body fat ratio, greyhounds must live indoors.  They are companionable animals and want, and need, to be part of family life.  They’ll be happiest if their crate is placed in the family room and have a blanket in a corner of the bedroom.  Never confine your greyhound in a room by closing the door.  He will very likely become frantic and do damage.  Greyhounds have been known to dig through a closed door.  If you want to confine your dog to one room, use a baby gate he will feel less insecure.  Their short coats also mean less shedding than many other breeds, along with low maintenance grooming.  Greyhounds are very clean and need bathing less frequently than other breeds.  We place greyhounds as house pets, which means the house….not a patio, garage or basement.
GREYHOUNDS AND CHILDREN
Most greyhounds have never seen a child until they leave the racetrack.  Children must know how to respect animals and give them their space.  Since greyhounds have been confined to their own crates and beds, they can be possessive of these areas.  Eating and sleeping have been very private times in the past for greyhounds, and children should be taught not to disturb them during these times.  Younger children may also not understand how important it is to the greyhound’s safety to shut gates and doors.
BENEFITS OF CRATE TRAINING
We strongly recommend using a crate for several reasons, racing greyhounds are used to being kenneled, for most dogs, crates provide a safe, comforting environment for them when their owners are not home or cannot supervise a new dog properly.  Crating a new dog when you are gone means that you know that they are safe and will not come home to soiled carpets or chewed furniture.  After they have adapted to home life you will need to wean them from their crate.
GREYHOUNDS AND OTHER PETS
Many racing greyhounds never see dogs of a different breed until they leave the racing environment.  However, most greyhounds will soon treat other dogs as members of their families.  We test each ex-racer with cats, because some are cat friendly and others seem more anxious.  We recommend that owners not allow cats outdoor in the yard with greyhounds, as outside is considered fair game.
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS:
HOW TALL SHOULD THE FENCE BE?
Greyhounds are not jumpers, 4’ is tall enough.  Never take your greyhound outside a fenced are without his lease on.  Your dog is a sighthound, which means he hunts by sight, not scent.  He can see a small animal move for a distance of half a mile and he can run at forty miles per hour.  If he sees the neighbor’s cat , a squirrel or rabbit in the distance, he will not only chase it, he will probably catch it.
WHAT DO THEY EAT?
We recommend a premium dog food such as Pro Plan, Purina One, Iams, Nutro Max or Science Diet.  We also recommend feeding any large dog twice a day to help prevent a serious condition known as bloat.
HOW DO YOU DISCIPLINE A GREYHOUND?
Greyhounds are sensitive creatures who want to please.  They will not respond to a loud voice or threatening manner.  Violence will be fatal to your relationship.  Any dog will make mistakes a first.  Can you be patient with him?  A simple ‘no’ is all that is needed.
DO I HAVE THE TIME FOR HELPING A GREYHOUND ADJUST TO LIFE IN A HOME?
Racing greyhounds have never been in a house, seen a window or sliding glass door, seen a TV or stairs.  They learn quickly, but it takes patience.
WHAT KIND OF BEDDING DO THEY NEED?
Provide your greyhound with a soft bed, blankets or sleeping bag.  They have very little padding on their elbows and can develop a fluid condition if forced to sleep on a hard surface.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ADOPT A GREHOUND FROM OGGA?
Our adoption fee is $175.00.  This partially defrays our cost of spaying or neutering,  a dental is done, heartworm tested, dhlppc, Bordetella and 3 year rabies.
WHAT DOES OUR PROGRAM LOOK FOR IN APPROVING AN APPLICANT?
We look for a long-term commitment, a willingness to listen, financial stability and a safe and loving home.  We feel the dogs deserve this.
IMPORTANT TIPS TO HELP YOUR GREYHOUND THE FIRST FEW DAYS
Allow a couple days off for taking your greyhound home, provide a padding in your vehicle for the ride home, do not crate your greyhound upon arrival, show your greyhound their fenced area.  Prepare the home by shutting off any unnecessary rooms and have the crate set up in the main living area.  Show your greyhound your home by walking them on a short lease, remember the greyhound does better sleeping in the same room with people since they have never been completely alone before.  Walks should start short and gradually increase due to their soft pads.  Take the greyhound out more often the first few days to help with stress.
ITEMS YOU WILL NEED
SPECIAL NYLON SAFETY COLLAR
This will be furnished at the time of the adoption.  A greyhound can back out of a standard buckle collar.  Additional lease and collar sets are available from us.
NAME TAG
Your name/address/phone are to be used on the tag.
LARGE CRATE
We will recommend the size to best suit your particular dog prior to adoption.
STAINLESS STEEL OR CERAMIC BOWLS
One bowl is for food and the other for water.
DOG FOOD
We recommend a premium brand such as Purina One, Pro Plan or Iams.
DOG BED OR THICK QUILT
Something soft for your greyhound
TOYS
Fleece squeaky toys are popular, Nylabone, and Kong toys.  Try to avoid small Vinyl/rubber toys.
HOUND GROOMING GLOVE OR RUBBER CURRY COMB
This will pull out your dog’s dead hair and reduce shedding.
FLEA AND TICK PRODUCTS
Advantage and Frontline are safe to use.  Any mild shampoo that is safe for puppies and kittens will be safe for your greyhound.  NEVER USE A FLEA COLLAR!
INTRODUCING YOUR GREYHOUND TO YOUR CATS AND DOGS
Much care has been taken in testing your greyhound’s compatibility with small animals.  We ask that you follow directions when introducing your new dog to your current pets.
MUZZLE
Please use the muzzle we have provided if you have small dogs and/or cats.  The muzzle is also helpful if your dogs chews it’s stitches.
DOGS
Introduce your greyhound to your other dogs on a neutral territory, with leashes on.  Let them greet each other and then take them for a short walk together.  When you arrive back home walk them around your property (leases still on) and then bring them into the house.
CATS
Introduce your greyhound to your cat indoors with the greyhound muzzled and leased.  Hold the lease in your hand.  Leave the cat on the floor.  Your greyhound will be curious.

Greyhounds and Children

Greyhounds and Children

YOUR GREYHOUND AND CHILDREN

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME SIMPLE RULES TO ENSURE A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP;
LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE
Do not jump on or even pet a sleeping greyhound.  Some greyhounds sleep with their eyes open.  When a sleeping dog is startled it may growl or come up with teeth before it is fully awake and realizes that the culprit is its best friend.  If you must wake your sleeping greyhound, call its name and have it walk to you.
PRIVACY AND QUIET
All dogs are entitled to privacy and quiet when they eat and sleep.  Children must be instructed to not bother the dog during quiet times.  This has to be consistently enforced.
FOOD
Do not let your child take away the dog’s food or interfere with its mealtime in any way.
HANGING ON
Do not hang on the dog’s neck or climb on its back.  Greyhounds can be injured or feel threatened.
DOOR BOLTING
Make sure you have hold of your greyhound by the collar before any door is opened to let anyone in/out of your house.
OPEN DOORS AND GATES
Be extremely cautious about leaving doors and gates open (this goes for car doors also).  Greyhounds move so quickly that they will be out the door and down the street in a blink of any eye.  Teach your children and their friends about the importance of keeping doors and gates closed at all times.
KINDNESS
A child old enough to have a dog is old enough to treat it with kindness.
CRATE
Do not let your children crawl into the greyhound’s crate.  Privacy is important.  Just as you would not leave a toddler or infant alone unsupervised, children of any age and dogs should never be left alone unsupervised.  Dogs should not be permitted on the furniture or to sleep with anyone on their bed for at least one month.  Greyhounds do not understand the meaning of a child or children rushing, crawling, running up to it or trying to kiss it or hug it, when it is laying down (even if it is awake).