I’d really love to give a home to a retired Greyhound, as I am opposed to racing and feel so sorry for the dogs and what happens to them after their short careers have ended. I’m not a very experienced dog owner and have never had sighthounds before. What would I need to consider and how are ex-racers going to differ from other rescue dogs?
Kirsten Dillon advises…
Retired Greyhounds make wonderful pets and there are so many needing homes that I am thrilled you want to do this.
Contrary to what many people think, Greyhounds are affectionate, gentle couch potatoes on the whole, and they don’t require any more exercise than any other breed.
Where they can differ somewhat from other typical rescue dogs, however, is that they have been bred to have a high preference to chase small furry things. This doesn’t mean that every Greyhound wants to kill every creature, but it must be something that is taken into consideration if you have a house full of cats, rabbits or hamsters, for example.
Occasionally, you will see a muzzled Greyhound when you are out walking. This is simply to ensure everyone and everything stays safe and the Greyhound gets a good run around without restriction. They wear muzzles well and don’t mind them, as it has been part of their upbringing as a racing dog.
Sometimes ex-racers may be a little nervous around people, so if you have a particularly busy household, bear in mind they may need patience and understanding to adjust from a kennel environment to a house full of humans.
Despite the rumours, Greyhounds can be taught a reliable recall, but even if you did find yourself with a dog that is especially driven to chase, they can easily get sufficient exercise on a long line and comfy, well-fitting harness.
I highly recommend retired racing Greyhounds as pets, but be warned, once you succumb, you will not stop at just one!