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 raw diet 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 to socialize. Each dog is assigned a trainer who is responsible for their care and training. The dogs build a strong bond with their trainers and enjoy spending time with them. Dogs race 2 to 3 times a week depending on their racing schedule and how successful they are. 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?
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 encounters with other greyhounds at the racing kennel. They quickly 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.
Why do they have to be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in yard? Can’t I ever let him run?
Greyhounds cannot be left off-leash for several reasons. First, greyhounds are sighthounds which means they are easily attracted to moving objects and can be easily distracted if something moves on the horizon. Secondly, greyhounds can speeds of up to 45MPH 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 fenced in area while supervised. Also, 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 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.
Don’t they need a lot of exercise?
Greyhounds are known as the 45MPH 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 appreciable amount. “Appreciable” meaning when you use a curry comb you can get loose hair off the dog. There is some thought (and anecdotal evidence) that lighter colored greyhounds shed more than dark ones do! However, bear in mind that even a so-called “heavily shedding” greyhound would shed a lot less than say, a dalmatian or a german shepherd dog.
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 then plenty for a grey and your house should never smell of dog. 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.
Do they need coats in the winter?
Greyhounds do not have an undercoat 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?
How much do they eat?
An average-size greyhound eats anywhere between 4-6 cups of food daily, depending on size and food quality given.