Frequently Asked Questions

Greyhounds make amazing best friends! While we have covered a lot of information throughout our site here is a collection of questions and answers regarding greyhounds. If you have a question that you can not find the answer to, or have a suggestion for us please send us a message.

Where does GPAC get the dogs? How old are they? Where does GPAC house the dogs?

The greyhounds come to us either directly from the track or from a kennel which obtains them from the track. They are generally between the ages of 2-5 when they come to us. We either maintain the greys at our kennel, or place them in foster homes until we can place them with their new family.

What was life like for greyhounds at the racing kennels/tracks?

While racing, greyhounds are traditionally fed a balanced diet consisting of good quality kibble and raw foods specially formulated to accommodate the needs of a high performance athlete. The dogs are turned out several times a day in large pens to relieve themselves and socialize. Each dog has a separate kennel where they can rest undisturbed. Trainers and handlers spend many hours with the dogs and are responsible for their care and training. The kennel staff form strong bonds with their dogs and many enjoy connecting with adopters to follow their beloved racers throughout retirement. The dogs typically race 2 to 3 times a week while the other days consist of exercise, training and rest. Once a greyhound has retired from their racing career they are adopted out as pets.

What is the adoption fee for a greyhound? What does that cover?

The adoption fee is $300.00. All dogs adopted by GPAC are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, dewormed, have had a flee & tick treatment, blood drawn for tick borne diseases + heart worm and have had a vet examination. They are temperament tested, cat & small dog tested, and we offer our ongoing support 24 hours a day should you need anything for the duration of the time you have your greyhound.  We are only able to maintain a low adoption fee due to the ongoing fundraising efforts of our volunteers and GPAC community that offset the extra costs our fee doesn’t cover.  

Are greyhounds good with children?

Many breed description books will list the greyhound as being too “high strung” to tolerate children. This is false. Most greyhounds have a very calm, gentle disposition, and many of them are good with children, especially if the children are well-mannered and respectful of the dog. To ensure the safety of both the dog and child GPAC recommends that all encounters be supervised by an adult no matter how trustworthy either are.

How are they with other pets?

Greyhounds are friendly by nature and tend to socialize well with other dogs as a result of living with other greyhounds at the racing kennel. Some are considered cat safe, some are not.  Cat safe greyhounds learn to live harmoniously with cats, but, as with all dogs, introductions should be carefully monitored. Being sight hounds, greyhounds may instinctively chase anything fast-moving. Greyhounds are cat-tested at the kennel and provided with a muzzle to use during the introductory period.

What is a martingale collar and why does my Greyhound need one?

Greyhounds need a martingale collar because their heads are smaller then their necks making conventional dog collars unusable when the dog is leashed because they can back out of the collar. The unique design of the martingale collar allows the collar to tighten and loosen as the dog walks on a leash. The design of the martingale when properly fitted virtually eliminates the risk of the dog backing out of their collar should they pull or spook while on-leash.  On adoption day one of our volunteers can show you how to adjust the collar to ensure a proper fit.

Why do they have to be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in yard? Can’t I ever let him run loose?

Greyhounds cannot be let off-leash for several reasons. Greyhounds are sighthounds which means they are attracted to moving objects and can be easily distracted if something moves on the horizon. Secondly, greyhounds can reach speeds of up to 45 MPH in as few as 3 strides. And thirdly, greyhounds have never been taught to return on command (recall); they have always been taught to chase objects until they catch them. You can let your greyhound run off-leash within a fully fenced in area while supervised. Please note that invisible fencing is not effective for sighthounds as they will run through it when something attracts their attention. Invisible fencing also does not prevent other animals from entering your yard. Greyhounds also cannot be tethered outside as their natural instincts to chase moving objects combined with their ability to accelerate rapidly will cause them serious injury if they give chase to something while tied.


Can’t my greyhound be trained not to run away after I’ve had him for a while?

No! The instinct to chase has been inbred for thousands of years within all of the sighthound breeds, greyhounds included. Although training on recall is important in the event of an emergency you simply cannot override this natural instinct to chase. 

Do they need a lot of exercise?

Not really.  Greyhounds are known as the 45 MPH couch potato with good reason! They are not endurance runners but rather sprinters. Greyhounds will be happy with several good walks/runs a week and will happily lie on your couch the rest of the time!

Do they bark a lot?

Not usually, although some bark more than others. They are not typically good watchdogs or guard dogs.

Do greyhounds shed a lot?

It all depends on the individual dog; some will shed very little while others will shed an average amount. “Average” meaning when you use a curry comb you can get loose hair off the dog. Bear in mind that even a so-called “heavier shedding” greyhound would still shed a lot less than most other breeds. 

What types of grooming will my greyhounds require?

All dogs require regular grooming and greyhounds are no different. Brushing your dog 2 to 3 times a week will maintain the quality of the dog’s coat and remove any loose hair. Greyhounds do not have an undercoat and therefore do not retain the oils that most dogs do on their skin; because of this greyhounds do not require as much bathing as most dogs. Bathing once every few months usually with the change of season is more than enough for a grey and your house shouldn’t have that ‘doggy’ smell. Good oral hygiene is also important.  Brushing your dog’s teeth a minimum of 3 times a week will ensure that your dog’s teeth stay healthy and that you spot any potential issues before they become painful to your dog.  Regular nail clipping is needed with either ‘scissor’ style clippers or a pet dremel tool.  If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, they need a trim.  Leaving nails too long causes unnecessary pain as the long nails cause the toes an upward pressure when walking.  It’s also more difficult for a dog to walk on slippery surfaces with long nails.  

Do they need coats in the winter?

Greyhounds do not have an undercoat or much body fat and therefore will require a jacket to make them comfortable in our Atlantic Canadian winters. If you are heading out on a walk or for extended play times during the winter months your greyhound will require a jacket. If your dog is only going out to relieve themselves a coat is not necessary.



Why are they so skinny?

Greyhounds are high performance athletes and because of this are naturally slim and muscular. After adoption it is normal for a retired greyhound to put on a little weight but they are a lean dog.  They are considered overweight if you cannot just slightly see the ribs or you can’t feel the ribs.  Obesity can cause serious problems with their joints as well as their heart and other organs   

How much do they eat?

An average-sized retired greyhound eats between 2-4 cups of food daily, depending on the size of the dog and food quality given.  

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