Greyhound FAQ

Why do greyhounds make good pets?

Greyhounds are affectionate, friendly dogs, who thrive on attention and human companionship and make terrific pets. They’ve been bred to be fast, healthy, intelligent and good tempered. Greyhounds have spent most of their lives in the company of other dogs, their trainers and handlers. The greyhound’s sociability makes them great with other pets, and their calm temperament makes them wonderful around children and friends. They are intelligent house pets, clean, quiet, and a loving companion. Because they have very little body fat for insulation from heat and cold, greyhounds are totally inside companion pets. Greyhounds are low maintenance pets when it comes to grooming due to their short, sleek coats. Many adopters who have previously been allergic to other breeds report having no trouble with a greyhound in their home.

How old are retired greyhounds?

Retired racers are usually between two and five years old, which is the mandatory retirement age. Occasionally the older brood matrons or stud greyhounds will be available for adoption, usually around the age of 8-10 years.

What is their life expectancy?

These purebred athletes enjoy many years of good health. With proper care, they have a life expectancy of 12-14 years or more.

What is their size and weight?

Most females stand 24 to 28 inches and weigh between 55 and 65 pounds. Most males stand 26 to 30 inches and weigh between 65 and 85 pounds. Although greyhounds are not small dogs, many folks say that they are very feline-like in the home, as they can fit into the smallest of spaces.

What colors do greyhounds come in?

Greyhounds come in a wide variety of colors, including brindle, red, fawn, black, white, and/or a combination of these colors. Various shades of brindle and fawn are the most common. Grey, which is called blue by the breeders, is somewhat rare.

Are retired greyhounds already housebroken?

Racing greyhounds are kennel trained, which means they’re trained to go potty outside and keep their kennels clean. Take your greyhound outside frequently at first, and they’ll quickly learn that their new home is their new “kennel”. Greyhounds love a routine, as their life at the kennel was very regimented. Housebreaking is usually easily accomplished by merely following a regular routine for potty breaks.

How much exercise does a greyhound require?

Greyhounds adapt well to the lifestyle of their owners. They need no more than a chance to play around a completely fenced yard, and/or daily walks to keep them fit. Greyhounds do very well on a leash. While having a fenced yard is ideal for both greyhounds and their owners, it is definitely not required. Many retired racers are happy living in apartments and condominiums provided they are taken out for daily walks.

Are greyhounds good with children?
Greyhounds possess one of the best temperaments of all dog breeds. They are very tolerant of children and will usually walk away rather than growl or snap if children become overbearing. Like any other dog, they have their limits that children need to respect, especially the greyhound’s personal space and when he/she is sleeping.
How are greyhounds with other pets?
Most greyhounds will get along fine with other dogs. They have been around other greyhounds from puppyhood to racing kennel, but cats and smaller dogs are unknown to them. About 40-60 percent of greyhounds are cat-safe, and do just fine with cats inside the home. While GALT greyhounds are cat-tested to ascertain their level of interest in cats, this is not absolutely foolproof. It does, however, provide a reliable indicator of how the greyhound will react to a cat. As with any new dog, you should take great care when introducing your greyhound to other pets, and never leave the two alone together until you are sure there are no problems.
What is the cost of owning a retired racing greyhound?

The non-refundable adoption fee of $550.00 includes neuter/spay, all vaccinations (DHLPP, Bordetella & Rabies), a CBC (complete blood count with serum chemistry panel), a tick-borne disease panel, heartworm test, dental cleaning, a special greyhound collar, leash, muzzle, adoption package and a ‘bronze’ GALT membership for one year. For greyhounds aged 8 and up, the adoption fee is $450.00. It is your responsibility to keep your greyhound current on all annual vaccinations, on monthly heartworm preventative, and diligent about dental care. It costs about $1 a day to feed a greyhound.

Why do greyhounds need to be kept on a leash?
A leash provides your greyhound protection from disasters. These dogs have been bred for 4000 years to do one thing – chase. That instinct is further reinforced in their track training. In addition, they can see clearly for up to one-half mile, and their instinct keeps them alert in this regard. If they are not restrained, they risk getting hit by a car, mauled by another dog, and given their speed, they can easily become lost and frightened. 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. They must never be let off-leash in an unenclosed area. It is also recommended to keep them on a fixed leash. Flexi-leads are a hazard, given that a greyhound can attain full speed in three or four strides.
How old are retired greyhounds?
Retired racers are usually between two and five years old, which is the mandatory retirement age. Occasionally the older brood matrons or stud greyhounds will be available for adoption, usually around the age of 8-10 years.
What should I expect if I adopt a greyhound?
Adopting a greyhound will give you a gentle, loving companion, who, with a little time and patience, will be a GREYT addition to your family. Greyhounds are very polite dogs, eager to please, delight in your attention, and prefer to be alongside you when you are at home. Because everything in the home will be new – stairs, sliding glass doors, mirrors, linoleum floors, etc., some time will be required for adjustment. Expect him/her to be a bit confused and very curious at first, but they learn very quickly. Your tone of voice and a firm “NO” will quickly let your greyhound know how to behave around your home. A note about dental care: Racing dogs have a totally soft diet and so the tartar builds quickly. To maintain clean teeth, brush your dog’s teeth at least twice weekly with special dog toothpaste and have annual dental check-ups performed by your veterinarian. Greyhounds do not make good watchdogs, as they bark very little and are usually as friendly with strangers as with their own family.
What are some other good online resources for greyhound information?

The Greyhound Project, Inc.: From this site, you can locate adoption groups in your area, research health issues, and subscribe to Celebrating Greyhounds, a premier quarterly magazine about greyhounds.

Greyhound-List: An email list where more than 2000 greyhound lovers network. Topics of conversation include medical information, behavior problems, current greyhound events, greyhound products, and more!

Greyhound-Data: An online database of greyhounds from around the world including pedigrees and racing records.

ROSNET : Have your greyhound’s racing name? Look up their racing record here along with their dam, sire and siblings.

Trackinfo: Another online database with greyhound racing records.

National Greyhound Association: The NGA can tell you your greyhound’s racing name if you give them the left and right ear tattoos. They will also give you the owner of record’s name, address and phone number so you can print out the Application for Transfer of Ownership and mail it to the owner of record with a request to sign and return to you. You can then transfer the registered ownership to yourself with the NGA with a fee of $30, $10 of which can be designated to go to GALT. Email or call 785-263-4660.

Have more questions?
If you have a question that was not answered in one of our FAQ pages, please call or email GALT!