10 Reasons NOT to adopt an Ex-Racing Greyhound
By Lee Livingood, author of Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies
1. They Shed
Yes, they have a short light coat. Yes, they are easy to groom and maintain. But they are dogs and like everyother beed that has fur they dog shed. They shed lightly, but they dog shed. Get used to it or get a stuffed toy. If you don't think you can become accustomed to thinking of the dog hair as a condiment, don't get a real animal.
2. No matter how gentle Greyhounds look, they are still large to very large dogs.
An overly excited, untrained 45-95 pound Greyhounds may knock down smaller children or a frail person. And Greyhounds tend to hold their ears back and their tails tucked and balk when they are stressed. Folks that don't know the breed might mistake this for aggression and find it to frightening to live with -- especially in a dog this large.
3. Dogs and lawns are not a great combo.
Unless you have a very large yard that you can section off so your dog has his own area, it isn't likely that you can have a great lawn and a greyt dog. Get used to it or get a cat so you can use a littlerbox. Greyhounds love to run and while they don't need a lot of exercise, when they run they will destroy your landscaping. If gardening is your passion, a dog who loves to run may not be your best choice.
4. Dogs make messes.
Even the best mannered, best trained dog gets sick. And if he gets sick, he isn't going to rush to the kitchen or the bathroom or some other easy to clean surface. The rug are where the traction is -- that's where he'll barf. Even elegant looking dogs like Greyhounds get gas, barf, and/or get diarrhea at some time in their lives. Dogs track in dirt. Dogs and fancy furnishings, expensive rugs, and elegant decor aren't a good mix. If you can't stand a little dirt and fur, if fancy things are really important to you, or if your life's dream is replacing Martha Stewart, don't get a dog-- even a quiet, clean dog like a Greyhound.
5. Greyhounds love (and need) soft, warm places.
If you want a dog that you can house outdoors or if you can't stand the idea of a dog on your bed or furniture, this is not the breed for you. Greyhounds are not suited to living outdoors and those bony joints need padding and a soft, warm place to rest.
6. If you don't have time for a child, chances are you don't have time for a dog.
If you have children and all of your time is spent at soccer games and school activities, unless your Greyhound can be part of the activities, you don't have time for a dog. Dog are social animals that need physical and mental stimulation. And just because they are quiet, gentle dogs, doesn't mean they don't need to be trained. Training isn't about obedience as much as it's about forming a trusting relationship and establishing a way to communicate.
7. Dogs and children are not as compatible as Hollywood would have you believe.
Greyhounds have little padding and they have skin that tears easily. They have little protection from falling toddlers or rowdy children. They have a quiet nature and do best in a tranquil environment. If any of your children are under school age or your kids are particularly active, do not get a Greyhound.
I'd even go a step farther and tell you don't get any adult dog if you have young children. Dog bites are one of the leading causes of injury and death in children. And I can assure you, biting a child is a leading cause of death in dogs. If you insist on combining children and dogs, research breeds very carefully and commit yourself to learning and taking all the steps necessary to make the combinations work.
8. Just because your lifestyle and interests change doesn't mean you can abandon a dog like a used toy.
Divorces, dog changes, relocations, and new babies happen. If you can't be close to certain as humanly possible that your retired racer will be part of your life for all of his life, don't adopt.
9. Greyhounds are easy to live with but they do have special needs.
Their lack of body fat, long thin bones, fragile skin, and sensitive souls means they need to be protected from extremes of temperature, rough environments, and inappropriate handling. Thousands of years of breeding to build quick reaction times, create blazing speed, and to foster working away from an independent of human direction, meaning they must be kept safely in fenced areas or on leash at all times.
10. Adding a retired racer should never be an impulsive gesture.
Don't adopt because you feel sorry for them or because it is fashionable. To paraphrase a bumper sticker from the Associations of Pet Dog Trainers, A dog isn't just for Christmans, It's for life.
10 Reasons TO to adopt an Ex-Racing Greyhound
1. They don't slobber
You won't need to be wiping drool off the ceiling every time the dog shakes his head.
2. They hardly shed.
See above....they DO shed, but not like other breeds. They don't have an undercoat, and they have very short hair. If you brush them a couple times a week to get the excess hair off, the dog hair in your house will not be unbearable.
3. They like to hang with well-behaved kids.
In most cases, greyhounds do like kids. But they are typically not the 'fetch a ball for 2 hours' type of dog. They like to play Nintendo with your kids (i.e., sit on the couch and watch). they just love to be around anybody.
4. They're the fastest dog on the block, but don't brag about it.
While we encourage you to NEVER patronize racetracks, it IS beautiful to watch the dogs run. Take them to a securely fenced park and let'em go. You will be amazed.
5. They're bigger couch potatoes than you are.
They make you feel industrious-- just because YOU don't sleep for 20 hours a day!
6. They Could Qualify for Mensa (most of them...).
They're smart dogs. You can tell just by looking into their eyes they know exactly what you're talking about. Now, that does NOT mean that they'll do what you're asking all the time. But they do know! These guys have been bred for thousands of years to work independently, and they have minds of their own.
7. They always unfailingly sweet and polite.
Greyhounds make fantastic therapy dogs for hospitals, schools, libraries, anywhere you want to take them. Even people who are afraid of most dogs are soothed by the greyhound's calm and gentle nature.
8. They don't smell like dogs.
Like I said above, they have no undercoat, so you don't get that wet dog icky smell every time they go out into the dewy yard. Typically they don't like to get dirty. Although occasionally on a hot day, you will see one go roll in a cool mud puddle...
9. They look you in the eye when you talk to them.
Sometimes you really feel like they are reading your mind. They give you such wonderful companionship -- You never feel lonely when you have a retired racer in the house.
10. They're forever thankful to you for saving their lives!
People with former racers are always saying that they literally feel how grateful their dog is to be with them. These dogs know when they've got a good thing going. And if you are thinking of adopting a dog, please consider a former racer.... there is still such a need for homes, with over 10,000 still getting killed every year by the racing industry. Save a life, adopt a greyhound!