Frequently Asked Questions

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Greyhounds make terrific pets. They are affectionate, friendly dogs that thrive on attention and human companionship. Raised with their litter mates, Greyhounds love becoming the center of attention as household pets. Greyhounds do not usually make good watch dogs, because their friendly nature is not threatening.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 More so than most breeds. They are not as playful as puppies, of course, being mature dogs, but they are very tolerant of children and will usually walk away if children become overbearing. Like any dog, however, Greyhounds have their limits and cannot be expected to remain placid if they are tormented for long periods of time.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Greyhounds are friendly by nature and socialize well as a result of encounters with other Greyhounds in the racing kennel. They can learn to accept cats, but the introductory period must be very closely monitored.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 The retired racers are usually between two and five years old.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 These pure-bred athletes enjoy many years of good health. With proper care, they have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years .

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Greyhounds cost about a dollar a day to feed and all the love you can afford.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Frequently an adopted Greyhound is practically house-broken right from the start. In their kennel environment they are "turned-out" three or four times a day to relieve themselves. Therefore, racing Greyhounds are kennel-broken, which means they're trained to go outside and keep their kennels clean. They need to be walked frequently at first, but they quickly learn that their new home is the place they keep clean and outside is where they go to relieve themselves.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Greyhound males stand 26 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 65-75 pounds. Females stand 23 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 50 to 65 pounds.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Actually the Greyhound is a wonderfully unique creature blessed with both the ability to be very competitive and aggressive while on the track, yet a very loving and docile companion, living to please a beloved owner. They wear muzzles while racing for two reasons: to help racing officials determine the outcome of a photo-finish race, and to protect the Greyhounds from injury during the excitement of the chase.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Because Greyhounds have little body fat and thin coats, they certainly aren't suited for outdoors in extremely hot or cold weather. Greyhounds live in temperature controlled kennels with a soft bed . After adoption, Greyhounds enjoy their own soft spot where they can feel protected. Some Greyhounds often cuddle with stuffed animals, and old couches are quickly claimed as a home.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 A leash assures the Greyhound protection from disasters. Greyhounds have no fear of cars and other hazards in our world. And as history has proven, the Greyhound is an animal born to run. Greyhounds are accustomed to walking on a leash and enjoy the exercise, as well as the attention they receive from the people who pass by.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Greyhounds should be given a nice long walk three or four times a week and taken to a grassy open space, where they can sprint once or twice a week. Greyhounds can make excellent jogging companions once they are trained to go at the new pace.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Not at all -- they are many colors: brindle, white, black, brown, fawn or a combination of these colors, approximately sixteen variations. The name Greyhound is not derived from the color of the animal. The name has three possible sources of origination.

The ancient Greeks may have called Greyhounds "Greekhounds," or may have named them "Gazehounds," since they relied on sight rather than smell in hunting. The name may have also been derived from the Latin "gre" or "gradus" meaning degree, which related to the principle and care in breeding.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Greyhounds are like any other competitive athlete, they eat heartily (up to two pounds of meat and vegetables per day while racing), but burn off excess weight when they run. After leaving the track, most Greyhounds eat two cups of dry dog food twice a day.

For more information, contact AZgreyhounds at (520) 378-1763. 

FIRST AID

We are often asked about a First Aid Kit for our hounds. This is a list of commonly used items, or items that should be readily available in case of an emergency:

First Aid Kit

The Greyhound

               Animal anthropologists generally agree that the Greyhound - type dog is one of
     the seminal canine breeds from which virtually all domestic dogs descend. They
     can be traced back over 8000 years to early cave drawings and decorative
     artifacts. The distinguishable modern Greyhounds are descendants of an
     ancient identifiable breed that goes back to the Egyptians and Celts. The
     Egyptians worshiped Greyhounds as a god and frequently showed them on
     murals in the tombs of kings. In old England "You could tell a gentleman by his
     horses and his Greyhounds." Old paintings and tapestries showing hunting
     feasts frequently included Greyhounds.
 
               The English Waterloo Cup is one of the oldest open field Greyhound coursing
     events in the world dating to the 19th century. Master McGrath, one of the most
     famous winners of the Cup, traveled by private train for an audience with Queen
     Victoria who was a devoted dog lover. In the U.S. the Greyhound Hall of Fame 
     features famous American racing Greyhounds at the National Greyhound
     Association  in Abilene, Kansas.
            
               The Greyhounds placed by adoption organizations are generally retired, trained
     athletes. Although organizations may very infrequently have Greyhound puppies
     or dogs that have never been trained for the track, these are much more the
     exception than the rule. 
 
               Professional breeders who look for speed generally breed greyhounds,
     endurance and even temperament. Most are bred on "farms" located throughout
     the country where the breeders pay close attention to the physical soundness
     and emotional disposition of the puppies. As a result, hereditary physical and
     temperament problems have been avoided in the breed. 
 
               For the first year of their lives Greyhound puppies live together with their litter
     mates and are handled frequently by the breeders and other staff associated
     with the breeding "farm," but they are not exposed to other breeds of dogs.
     Consequently, they are surprisingly socialized to people and strangers but not to
     other breeds of dog.
 
               Basically a Greyhound is like all other dogs, but because of its training and
     racing career has some unique characteristics. 
 
               Greyhounds, like all other dogs, are pack animals which means that they are
     social creatures who live in a social hierarchy. This socialization is particularly
     strong with Greyhounds because they have been in the company of a large
     numbers of other dogs from birth.
 
               They need to know whom the "alpha" figure, the pack leader, is so that they 
     know how to behave. The "alpha" figure sets the rules, enforces discipline and is
     responsible for the safety, health and well being of the pack. There is always
     competition and testing in a pack for taking over the role of leader; the strongest
     member leading the pack insures its survival. As a pet, your dog will look to you
     to be the "alpha" figure. One of the first behaviors you will probably notice is your
     new dog following you from room to room looking to you for leadership. If you do
     not fill the role of the "alpha" figure in terms your dog can understand, it will be
     perfectly willing to take over if it is allowed. 
 
               Most dog behavior problems arise out of an owner's misunderstanding of the
     proper role of the pack leader. Among the more common problems arising out of
     a misunderstanding of the leader role is the reinforcement of shy insecure
     behavior by trying to avoid all distressing situation in an attempt to comfort an
     insecure dog. 
 
               There are several very good books available on dog behavior. We recommend
     that you consult your veterinarian or a qualified dog trainer for specific
     recommendations.
 
               A Greyhound is a sight hound descended from southern wolf strains and related
     to Afghans, Salukis and other sight hounds. As hunters they work cooperatively
     with other hounds and develop strategies of pursuit spontaneously during the
     chase. This characteristic can be seen in the independent behavior frequently
     exhibited by even the best trained show Greyhounds in obedience competitions. 
 
               Although they have exceptionally keen eyesight, Greyhounds also have keen
     hearing and sense of smell. 
 
               Retired race dogs have been trained to chase lures, usually mechanical but
     sometimes live. They are NOT vicious predators as many believe, but chase
     things that move by nature. It is the Greyhound's nature to run. They are
     sprinters who can run up to 45 miles an hour for very short periods. Some of
     them love to run; others are simply not interested after they retire. 
 
               In spite of their early training for the racetrack, Greyhounds love people, in fact
     more than most breeds, and tend to be quite sociable. They have been handled
     a great deal during their early years by dog walkers, trainers, veterinarians and
     others. Many trainers are women who bring their children to work, so the dogs
     frequently have been exposed to children of all ages.
 
               Generally, Greyhounds are quizzical, sometimes shy, very sensitive and
     surprisingly gentle. They possess superior intelligence, and can exhibit a quiet
     but surprising independence. These are not animals whose spirit have been
     broken by their training or racing experience.
 
               Because of their early training, retired Greyhounds have never been without the
     company of other Greyhounds and have never had the opportunity to really be a
     puppy. They may need to act out some puppy behavior, like chewing, which they
     typically quickly outgrow. They are anxious to please and can be trained to
     standard obedience commands with patience and consistency. They are used
     to a leash, love to walk and will learn to heel quickly. Most Greyhounds do not
     know how to sit, climb stairs or play games only because they have not yet
     learned. With time they can learn all of these things. 
 
               Greyhounds have never been exposed to other breeds of dogs. They know 
     other Greyhounds but may be perplexed, frightened or simply ignore other breeds.
     They do not know cats. Greyhounds do not know how to defend themselves
     except by flight and will often "freeze" if attacked. 
 
               Greyhounds are used to traveling and adapt quickly to riding in cars. 
 
               Greyhounds do not typically bite but sometimes show affection as a wolf does
     with mouth agape, gently grasping. They will lick your hand, too. They show
     affection with their whole body and may rub up like a cat or lean against you. 
 
               Greyhounds have no fat layer on their bodies which makes them sensitive to
     winter cold or rain. If outside for more than a short time in bad weather, they
     should be protected with a coat. No dog should be left outside in the cold. 
 
               They are not barkers by nature, but will bark if excited or trying to tell you
     something like needing to go out.
 
               Sometime between four and eighteen months, they generally are placed in
     individual crates in the kennel where they spend most of their time between
     exercise periods and training. The crates become the dog's private, safe space
     where they cannot be bothered by other dogs. 
 
               Generally, Greyhounds are not abused or mistreated, although their handling is
     straightforward and utilitarian. They do not ordinarily get anything in the way of
     attention or handling that is not needed as a part of their training for the track.
 
                         Text by the Greyhound Project, Inc. 
 

 

Greyhound Retirement

From television sitcoms, advertisements for Nestle’s Success, to threads on the Internet, the racing Greyhound is shown in public places as a pet after retirement.

A number of groups and individuals are involved in placing Greyhounds as pets once their racing careers have ended. The vast majority of tracks in the United States have their own adoption programs or help support non profit independent adoption organizations.

Since 1994 AGC provided a grant to Canine Working Companions to train Greyhounds to assist people who are physically disabled or hearing impaired.

The industry also realizes that placing Greyhounds in homes as pets is only part of the solution to retired Greyhounds. The board of directors of the National Greyhound Association passed a resolution urging its membership to reduce the number of dogs being bred. In 1993 breeding were down 16 percent for 1994 and dropped another 8 percent. The number of Greyhound whelped in 1995 was 37,650, down 11 percent from 1994, down 29% since 1991)

Care and Treatment

The livelihood of owners and trainers depends on the health and well being of their Greyhounds. In order to be competitive, Greyhounds must be in superior physical condition.

At the racetrack, Greyhounds race a maximum of twice a week which provides them with a lot of vigorous exercise. In addition, they are let out four times daily for less rigorous exercise and play. In addition to the care and attention Greyhounds receive at the racetrack, the industry wants to be sure that the same attention is being provided at farm. The AGC funds a farm inspection program that is implemented by one full time and 75 part time inspectors who make unannounced visits to Greyhound farms.

The majority of people in the industry take excellent care of their Greyhounds, but there have been isolated incidents of abuse. In those few cases the NGA has acted quickly and banned those responsible.

Of the over 700 inspections conducted in 1996, it was only necessary to ban four people from the industry.

Race track operators also hold random, unannounced inspections of racing kennels located near the racetrack. With the encouragement of the industry, most state racing commissions have implemented additional inspection programs of their own.

In the event that a Greyhound must be euthanized, the contract between the track and the kennel states that it must be done either by a track veterinarian, a licensed veterinarian or an approved agency (county animal control agency or local humane society) and must include humane disposal. The problem has not been totally solved, but a great deal of progress has been made.

Training

The Greyhound industry endorses training by artificial lure devices only, and the contract between the track and the kennel states that anyone found to have trained a Greyhound by any other means will be banned from racing at the track. In fact state cruelty laws and racing commission regulations prohibit training other than with artificial devices.

Facts About The Greyhound

Greyhound racing is the sixth largest spectator sport in America. There are 55 Greyhound tracks in 18 states (plus two in Mexico), yet, surprisingly, attendance at Greyhound races is over 27 million.

Greyhound racing contributes, from the mutual handle only, over $226 million to state and county governments. This does not include payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc. By comparison, 20 years ago, only $29.9 million was generated in revenue to state and county governments Greyhound tracks contribute to charities in excess of $2 million annually.

Eighty percent of the money wagered (the handle) on a given night is returned to the holders of the winning tickets (percentage varies from state to state).

The largest purse of $152,800, Bomb Threat, May 27, 1996, The Woodlands, Bernie Collette owner, Clinton Blair Kennel; in the Great Greyhound Futurity at The Woodlands in Kansas City, KS.

Most Greyhound programs consist of 13 races, each with eight Greyhounds. However it is not uncommon to see a 14 or 15 race card. 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 and 9/16 mile, are the most frequently run distances in Greyhound racing. Greyhounds will cover the 5/16 mile course in approximately 31 seconds reaching speeds up to 45 m.p.h.

The American Greyhound Council works jointly with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to promote Greyhound adoptions.

Florida is the leading state for Greyhound racing. Its tracks generate millions in revenue.

More than 27 million people visit the 55 racetracks resulting in more than $228.8 million in revenue for state and county governments. More than $3.2 billion will be wagered each year.

A track capable of sustaining a pari mutual handle of more than $500,000 will employ a minimum of 600 people. This figure does not include "area" economic impact for restaurants, motels, gasoline sales, etc.

Greyhounds are bred to run and love to do it. They are muzzled to prevent any chance of over zealous play in the turnout pens and to assist in determining photo finishes (a camera technique developed for dog racing).

This information provided by the National Greyhound Association.


AKC REUNITE

This 24 hour-a-day worldwide pet identification and recovery service utilizes a central database that will record identification numbers for pet owners using any permanent form of identification. As of August 23, 1999, 433,786 companion animals have been enrolled in the database. Most importantly, 21,003 lost pets have been successfully reunited with their owners in the United States and abroad. CAR is the largest database of microchipped pets in the U.S.

About Identification

Permanent identification is essential for your pet's recovery. Should you and your pet ever be separated, a permanent form of identification will increase your chances of being reunited. Microchip identification is not required in any way for AKC registration or to participate in AKC approved events.

About Microchips

A microchip is a rice-sized device encoded with a unique and unalterable identification number. The "chip" is implanted just under the skin in the scruff of the neck and is read by a scanner. AKC Companion Animal Recovery will enroll pets identified with a microchip from any manufacturer. The AKC has formed an alliance with Schering-Plough Animal Health and recommends the HomeAgain™ system. The manufacturer of the HomeAgain™ microchip is Destron Fearing. A rapidly growing network of more than 15,000 HomeAgain™ scanners has been placed with animal shelters and veterinarians nationwide. A portion of our enrollment fee helps to fund the free distribution of universal scanners to animal shelters. A universal scanner will read all microchips.

The Recovery Process

Anyone who finds an animal identified with a microchip may contact AKC Companion Animal Recovery and give the identification number for the pet. If the animal is taken to a shelter or participating veterinarian it can be scanned to determine if a microchip is present. A toll-free 800 number is provided on the collar tags and on the HomeAgain™ scanners. If the animal is enrolled in the program, AKC Companion Animal Recovery will call the owner immediately. If the owner cannot be reached, an alternate contact or the veterinarian will be called. The owner will be asked to contact the locator to make arrangements to reclaim their pet.

Enrolling Your Pet

The best way to begin is to contact your local veterinarian for information about having permanent microchip identification for your pet. Participating HomeAgain™ veterinarians will provide you with an AKC Companion Animal Recovery enrollment form and collar tag at the time a microchip is implanted. The enrollment form must be filled out and sent to us immediately so AKC can recover your pet. If your pet is already identified by another brand of microchip or tattoo, call the AKC 800 number. AKC will mail or fax you an enrollment form immediately. You may also enroll on the Internet. The one-time fee for enrollment is only $17.50 (on-line) unless enrolled at a microchip or tattoo clinic. If you have an assistance dog, the enrollment is FREE. Address, phone number and other changes are also unlimited and FREE to encourage updated and accurate information on the database. The fee for a transfer of ownership is $19.95. Replacement Collar tags are $9.95 as well and can be ordered via email at collar tag@akc.org. Please be sure to include your pet's microchip or tattoo number, the quantity of each tag you would like and a credit card number including the expiration date to complete your order. AKC has stainless steel, gold-plated or blue plastic engraved tags to choose from.

To report a lost or found animal, contact AKC Companion Animal Recovery by phone: (800) 252-7894 Fax: (919) 233-1290 E-mail: found@akc.org

see also: HomeAgain