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Retired Racing Greyhounds

retired-racing-greyhounds

Meet the "45-mph Couch Potatoes"

Who would think that dogs capable of racing at 45 miles per hour actually make a calm and loving family pet, once they retire from the track?

When I first learned about greyhound rescue and decided to adopt one of my own, it was the beginning of a love affair with the breed. Although he was raised as "livestock" at the track, my ex-racer soon learned to love another, gentler, slower way of life... and I was forever hooked on retired racing greyhounds as companion animals.

Since then, although I've also had other breeds of dogs in my life as well, my great joy has been to foster, train and share my home with these beautiful, gentle, endlessly fascinating long-legged hounds.

Photographs by the author, unless otherwise noted.

Greyhounds as Pets

45-mph Couch Potatoes

Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, capable of reaching up to 45 miles per hour in just three strides! They can sustain speeds of 30 mph for as much as a mile, but they run in short bursts - a race lasts little more than half a minute, and a typical "grey play" time is no more than a few minutes, typically. These are not "hyper" or extremely active dogs, contrary to popular myth -- in fact, just the opposite is true!

Although they do love to stretch their long legs with a good run, greyhounds often actually need less exercise than most large dog breeds. There are sprinters, not long-distance runners, so a 20-minute walk each day will usually do them fine, with the occasional rip-roaring play session. In fact, many owners will tell you that their retired racers become quite lazy, once their racing days are done! They truly enjoy snoozing on a soft bed or mat for most of the day, and many retired racers live very happily in city apartments and suburbs as well as in country homes.

Obviously, all dogs are individuals within a breed, so you will find a few higher-energy hounds among the couch potatoes, especially when they're young. I have one of each type, right now - a cute and feisty little female who loves to go on long hikes with me, and a big super-gentle male to cuddle up with on the couch. Perfect!

Off the Track

Off the Track - Two of my own greyhounds are enjoying their retirement together.

Off the Track - Two of my own greyhounds are enjoying their retirement together.

Best Books on Adopting a Greyhound

It is strongly recommended, before you adopt any dog, to read up on the breed to learn more about its nature and requirements, to make sure this particular type of dog will be a good fit for your family's lifestyle. Here are the books I suggest - you don't need to read them all, but do pick one to read (and discuss with your family and veterinarian) before applying to adopt an ex-racer.

Greyhound Breed Information

As members of the Sighthound family of dog breeds, greyhounds are characterized by their lean and muscular build, deep chests, and powerful hindquarters.

The neck is long and muscular, carrying a long-nosed elegant head. The rosette ears are normally carried flat against the head but they can stand at attention to indicate interest or alarm. Long tails are carried low and slightly curved. Greyhounds are lean by nature, with very low body fat, and at first may seem undernourished to people who are not accustomed to seeing these athletic dogs in a home setting.

The American Kennel Club breed standard gives the size range for AKC "show" greyhounds as 65 - 70 pounds for dogs (males) and 60 - 65 pounds for bitches (females). Racers are judged on their speed and spirit, not their appearance, however, so there is a greater range of sizes among racers registered with the National Greyhound Association (NGA) racing industry organization than there is with the AKC strains.

It's not uncommon to see a large male with a lean racing weight of 80 pounds, for example, though I've had two who were so big-boned that they easily carried a retirement weight of 95 without being an ounce overweight, while the very small female I have right now is still only 58 lbs though two years since she last raced. Similarly, a greyhound's height at the shoulder can range from 25 to 30 inches or so. Basically, whatever size of dog (from medium, to large, to extra-large) you prefer, there's probably an ex-racer of just that size, ready to be adopted!

Born to Run

Greyhounds, Born to Run

Greyhounds, Born to Run

All the Colours of Grey

Greyhound ancestors living in the wild did not need to rely on colouring for camouflage, as their great speed let them catch prey and escape from predators. Domesticated, the breed has been bred traditionally for qualities of health, speed, and endurance above all - not necessarily for their appearance, as is the case with many companion dogs.

As a result, the greyhound's short-haired coat may be almost any colour or combination of colours - not just grey!

Eighteen "official colours" are recognized by the American Greyhound Track Operators (AGTO). These are black, black & white, black brindle, blue, blue brindle, brindle, dark brindle, fawn, fawn brindle, light brindle, light red fawn, red, red & white, red brindle, red fawn, white & black, and white & brindle ticked. But that's just the broad strokes - more than three times that number of colors are listed by Greyhound-Data, an international database site for pedigree and race records information.

Oddly enough, grey (called "blue") is most rare -- only one in about 500,000 greyhounds are actually grey in colour!

Looking for a Long Term Commitment? - A retired greyhound could be the love of your life...

The Greyhound Project produced a series of PSAs a few years back to promote the cause of ex-racing greyhound adoption. Cal, the black greyhound who is "looking for a long term commitment" in this spot, was adopted soon after filming. But there are thousands more retired racers just like Cal who are waiting to find their forever homes. To find an adoption group near you, please visit The Greyhound Project at www.adopt-a-greyhound.org.

Greyhound clicker training

Greyhound clicker training

Obedience Training for Greyhounds

and other "hard-to-train" dog breeds

I'm a huge fan of clicker training for retired racing greyhounds and other rescue or shelter dogs. It seems to build confidence in the dog as he learns to solve problems, make choices about his behaviour, and "learn to learn" - all the while, creating a strong bond between dog and handler.

To find a clicker trainer in your area, check with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) if you're in the United States, or with the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT) if you're in Canada. In other countries, your best bet is to look for someone who has been through either the Canis Clickertraining Academy or Karen Pryor's clicker training program.

If there is no clicker training facility in your area, don't worry, you can still learn to use this gentle, positive, science-based method. There are many excellent books and online training programs that can help you learn to teach your own dog good manners.

Unfortunately, there is also a lot of rather poor advice out there, as well - choose carefully, and step quickly away from any training that uses the old-fashioned "leash jerk" or similar "corrections" based on the outdated "dominance" theory. Be aware that the harsh old-time type of training methods can be downright dangerous for both you and your greyhound, and it won't create the kind of strong bond that you will develop with your pet by using more positive training methods.

When choosing a dog training method to follow, ask yourself, "Is this something I would do to my small child?" If the answer is NO, find yourself a new trainer or training program.

In general, positive, reward-based dog training is the approach advocated by most greyhound rescues and adoption groups, as the kindest and most effective approach to re- training your ex-racer to be a companion animal.

Greyhound learns to wear his winter boots.

Greyhound learns to wear his winter boots.

How to Teach a Greyhound to Wear Boots

Lots of people say that their dogs "don't like" wearing paw protectors -- they kick them off, or simply refuse to let their owner put the boots on their feet in the first place, wiggling and pulling the feet away.

Fortunately, with a bit of patience -- and some good dog treats! -- you can train a greyhound to wear winter boots quite easily, especially if you choose to clicker train your greyhound.

The key is not to rush the process, so you and your pup don't get all stressed out, and to make the boot-wearing experience a pleasant and rewarding one for your greyhound. When he learns to associate the boots with getting treats or with going outside to play, before long he'll be cool with sporting footwear.

Are Ex-Racing Greyhounds Good With Kids? - You might be surprised by the answer - Have a look!

Greyhounds fresh off the track have not generally had a lot of experience with children, if any at all, so they will need to be introduced properly to these quick-moving, squealing, shouting little humans. On balance, however, racing greyhounds are used to being handled by strangers and most are surprisingly calm "zen" dogs who make the transition to family life well, with training and supervision as you'd give any dog and kids. A lot depends on the age and personality of the child, too!

In the video below, a 3-year-old retired greyhound and a 3-year-old girl get to know each other. The dog has learned his "Leave It" command, and is able to take treats very gently, and only when they're offered to him. The little girl, in turn, is learning how to interact safely and gently with a large dog.

Yes, You Can Teach a Greyhound to Sit!

Yes, You Can Teach a Greyhound to Sit!

As with any breed of dog, some individual retired racing greyhounds are better with children than others - and of course kids and dogs need to be supervised AT ALL TIMES, no matter what breed of dog it is. Retired racing greyhounds will typically have had very little experience with children, in their life at the track, so may be skittish, scared, uncertain, or just overly playful with your little ones at first. In general, "if the child is good with the greyhound, the greyhound will be good with the child."

Certainly, you'll want to do some good solid training right from Day One with your new pet, to make sure the child and the dog both understand the "rules of engagement" -- for the happiness and safety of everyone. The adoption groups I've worked with, and our local SPCA shelter, follow the DogGone Safe bite-prevention program and often do presentations in local schools, based on their excellent "Be a Tree" program, flashcards to teach dog body language, and other resources.

If there are young kids in your life and you're thinking of adopting a dog of any breed, do take a look at www.doggonesafe.com for lots of good advice.

Retired racing greyhound... serious about sleeping!

The typical up-side-down pose of the relaxed greyhound is known in dog circles as "cockroaching" in reference to the long legs in the air, often held stiffly - too funny!

The typical up-side-down pose of the relaxed greyhound is known in dog circles as "cockroaching" in reference to the long legs in the air, often held stiffly - too funny!

Greyhound Health & Fitness - Reliable Sources of Medical Information for Greyhound Owners and Their Veterinarians

  • Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (GHWP) - Ohio State University
    With the increasing popularity of retired racing Greyhounds, veterinarians are likely to evaluate dogs of this breed more frequently in their practice. The Ohio State University-Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (GHWP) is currently working on...
  • International Greyhound Research Database
    The searchable International Greyhound Database of published scientific papers on greyhound health is maintained by the American Greyhound Council. The editors of the database are veterinarians Dr. Linda Blythe and Dr. Morrie Craig, both of whom ...
  • Making Sense of Blood Work in Greyhounds
    Due to the way the Greyhound breed has developed over thousands of years, there are some key differences between greyhounds and other dogs in their physical make-up, and what's a "normal" blood test result for another breed may not be typical ...
  • My Greyhound Has Epilepsy
    I've just adopted a 7- year- old retired racing greyhound who has seizures. Buster has idiopathic epilepsy with grand mal seizures that can be managed to some extent with medications but for which there is no cure. Here is my article about the ...

Dog Gates - Keep Your Greyhounds Safe on the Porch

We built a set of easy-to-open dog gates to close off our veranda/porch, to make life a bit easier when we're all hanging out on the porch on a summer evening, or when I've got a few greyhound friends over for a playdate or a long weekend stay.

Even the best-trained dog can be tempted to dash off the deck if a neighborhood cat happens to run by - so, better safe than sorry!

Our gates match in well with the porch railing, much more attractive than a typical pet gate or baby gate and they're designed to close off a wider space than a typical doorway, as the opening where the steps go down to the driveway is wide enough for two people or more.

How many greyhounds can you count in this video?

Are there 4... 5... 6 dogs...?

retired-racing-greyhounds

Want to Adopt a Retired Greyhound?

Adoptions are most often arranged through a local non-profit adoption group that works directly with tracks and racing kennels to match up newly retired greyhounds with their new homes and families.

These adoption agencies also serve as a great social circle and network of experience, advice, and support to new adopters in helping a greyhound make the transition from life at the track.

International List of Greyhound Adoption Groups

The Adoption Agency Directory from The Greyhound Project, Inc. lists a huge number of greyhound adoption groups in every corner of the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe including groups in Belgium, England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, and Wales.

Greyhound Adoption in Canada

Although there is no greyhound racing industry in Canada, many retired racers from the United States come to find their forever homes north of the border. See my round-up of greyhound adoption groups in Canada to connect with one of these not-for-profit organizations in your region.

My Playful Pooch

My Playful Pooch

My Playful Pooch

Shape your hands to make a fun greyhound dog shadow on the wall!

Shape your hands to make a fun greyhound dog shadow on the wall!

Shadow Puppet Greyhound

This shadow puppet greyhound idea came from an old book that I found on Project Gutenberg a couple of years ago - Hand Shadows To Be Thrown Upon The Wall by Henry Bursill, originally published in 1859.

I had forgotten all about it until we had a power outage during the winter, when the neighbour's grandkids were over visiting, and we were trying to find fun things for all the generations to do together with only the light of a couple of candles and camping lamps!

Greyhound Craft Projects - DIY Greyhound Crafts

Free or very inexpensive craft patterns are here to help you celebrate the beautiful greyhound in your life!

  • Life-Sized Stuffed Hound Dog Pattern
    Free sewing pattern to make a life-sized stuffed hound dog... in case your greyhound needs a furry friend!
  • Life Size Greyhound PDF Crochet Pattern
    Here's another pattern to make your own greyhound -- this time, a crochet project and the hound is really, really big! Available on Etsy for only $6.00 (price as of June 2013). A portion of every purchase is donated to benefit Greyhound Adoption. (Th
  • Greyhound Crochet Purse
    Crochet a casual greyhound bag to carry your pet essentials around in - or maybe even your own gear. The Greyhound Purse Crochet Pattern comes as a PDF file for instant download. Available on Etsy for $4.00 (price as of June 2013).
  • Free Greyhound Santa Craft Pattern
    Santa Greyhound is an adorable holiday table decoration, made of polymer clay (like Sculpey or Fimo) and bits of leftover fabric and craft materials. The free instructions are courtesy of Greyhound Manor Crafts, a nonprofit group that promotes greyho

Sew Your Own Greyhound Coat, Martingale Collar, and Dog Boots - Free Sewing Patterns and Instructions

Skinny dogs need protection from the weather, but regular dog clothing doesn't quite fit a greyhound... Hound owners who know some basic sewing skills often really enjoy the chance to pamper their greyhounds by making custom dog coats and other apparel to keep the dogs warm in winter!

  • Free Easy Sewing Pattern for Dog Boots
    Jen's all-weather dog boot pattern was designed for a greyhound but also can be sized up or down to fit other breeds of dogs. Easy to sew in fleece fabric with vinyl soles for paw pad protection. The combination of velcro and elastic on the fasteners
  • Free Hound Coat Instructions - the Original Greyhound Manor Pattern
    This is a "web archive" version of the popular Greyhound Manor Hound Coat instructions, which has since disappeared from the Internet. (What a good thing the "Way Back Machine" saved a copy!) This pattern is easy to make, and the coat is easy to put
  • Tutorial - Sew a Cozy (Custom) Canine Coat
    Greyhound males are much larger than females and greyhounds come in a good range of sizes within the breed in general, so It can be hard to find a well-fitting greyhound coat pattern. Here's a fantastic free tutorial for how to design a custom dog co
  • Tutorial - Upcycled Greyhound Coat from Fleece Vest
    In this free Instructables tutorial, learn how to "upcycle" an old fleece vest into a greyhound jacket. Lots of pictures to walk you through it, and I can tell you I've done this one - it works great to make a custom greyhound coat. For a big male gr
  • Greyhound Tuxedo - Free Sewing Pattern
    Sew your hound a spiffy coat with tuxedo style - free pattern! (My friend used this pattern to make a tuxedo for her greyhound when she was getting married, so the dog could be in her wedding party. Too cute!)
  • How To Make an Adjustable Martingale Dog Collar
    DIY instructions (free, with pictures) for how to make a martingale dog collar - and while you're over there at Instructables.com, take a look around at the other tutorials for making various hound collars and martingales. Different people do it a bi
  • Sew a Dog Collar Cover
    Fabric scraps are all you need to make a simple-to-sew dog bandana that slips over the dog's tag collar for special occasions or to dress him up for "meet and greet" events with your greyhound rescue / adoption group. If you'd like to make a kind of

Knitting & Crochet Patterns for Greyhound Clothing - Free Patterns & Low-cost Patterns

  • Cable Knit Greyhound Sweater Pattern
    Don't be confused by the picture of pugs you'll see on this page! "This dog sweater pattern was designed for a Greyhound..." As written, it's sized to fit 26" long, width 22" - "but can be easily adjusted to fit a variety of larger dogs." Thanks to D
  • Side Button Greyhound Sweater Pattern
    My knitter friend made this side-button sweater (pattern by Terri Lee Royea) for her two greyhounds, one in the rib pattern, one in Aran style. She found the Aran cables a bit challenging to get the right fit, but the simple rib style was a breeze.
  • Quick & Easy Greyhound Dog Sweater Crochet Pattern with Snood
    Quick and easy, yet gracefully styled for the Fashionable Greyhound, this crocheted sweater-coat is well suited to the beginner's crochet skills and calls for chunky yarn so it makes up fast. I like how the full folds of the matching snood drapes so
  • Crochet Pattern for Greyhound Sweater and Snood
    This pattern for a greyhound crocheted sweater and matching snood (ear and neck warmer) is by A & B Originals Designer Crochet and available on Etsy.com for $3, digital delivery.
  • Crochet Pattern for Greyhound Vest
    This pattern is for a short and simple crochet vest for a greyhound, quite similar to the full-length sweater listed above. PDF pattern, $3 from the A & B Originals Designer Crochet store on Etsy.com
  • Greyhound Fisherman Sweater Crochet Pattern
    This handsome Fisherman-style sweaters (with matching snood) is by far the best-looking crocheted sweater for greyhounds that I've seen out there, but it's likely to be a bit too challenging for a beginner to tackle. $6 for the pattern PDF on Etsy.co

The Race (Video) - from Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada (GPAC)

Watch this beautiful video compilation of photographs of racing greyhounds - at the track and in their "forever homes" - and see if you can't keep a tear from your eye!

In Loving Memory of BB's Fly Catcher (1999-2010) & Kiowa Boyd Barry (2007-2013). Run free, my big beautiful boys.

Guestbook - Throw 'em a Bone!

emilytjohnson on August 13, 2014:

I wish I could also own a greyhound! I think they're awesome pets.

aliciadonley on August 07, 2014:

I would love to adopt a retired greyhound... maybe someday when I don't live in tiny cheap places!. My italian greyhound mix has that weird shaped, lean, fast body and it's really hard to crochet him a sweater but I love the way those ones look!

John Dyhouse from UK on June 11, 2014:

Just browsing and came across this great lens again. I have read it before but I am sending a link to my son who took on a rescued lurcher from a dogs home three years ago yesterday (the reason for noticing this again) and they have found him a beautiful companion. A few problems at first because of (possible) previous bad treatment, but with patience and help from the dogs home the dog has become part of the family. And they have two children, the dog is fantastic, loved by all.

jenjelly on June 02, 2014:

I remember when I was a kid I was scared of my friends' greyhound the first time I met him, he was so calm it actually scared me. He turned out to be the sweetest dog ever though; the fear only lasted til he licked my face.

I think the next time I adopt an animal it's going to be a greyhound.

islanddays on May 16, 2014:

Love Greyhounds..wonderful dogs

brianvallois lm on May 10, 2014:

@GuyB LM: Nope!!

empressabelle on May 01, 2014:

@GuyB LM: It is very true. I have two older retired hounds who both have needed teeth removed.

GuyB LM on March 30, 2014:

@flycatcherrr: I know a guy who runs a greyhound rescue and he literally has a jar of greyhound teeth. At least that's what he says they are. (he's kind of a creep)

flycatcherrr (author) on March 30, 2014:

@flycatcherrr: Oops, typo - "dental" care is important for all dogs, that should say!

flycatcherrr (author) on March 30, 2014:

@GuyB LM: Yes, it's quite common for greyhound to have poor teeth when they come off the track - it's thought to be related to the soft diet they're fed while racing. That's why I tend to go on a good bit about the importance of dental care for greyhounds - see https://discover.hubpages.com/animals/how-to-brush... for tips.

Well, detal care is important for all dogs, of course, but especially an ex-racer as they can start out with teeth that need a lot of attention to clean up and get healthy. Fortunately, most of the retired racers tend to be really good about plaque removal and tooth brushing - and the occasional "tartar buster" bone to gnaw on is very helpful, too.

GuyB LM on March 30, 2014:

Me heard that greyhounds are known for having teeth problems. Any truth to that?

hjohn1024 on March 26, 2014:

Great lens. I've really learned quite a lot from this. I love just about everything on this lens, even more so I have learned a great deal about greyhounds. I have always admired those dogs.

Robert Connor from Michigan on March 24, 2014:

Greyhounds are awesome dogs that need a good home after the racing is done, but be aware they still like to run nice lens!

blestman lm on March 24, 2014:

Greyhounds are real loyal. And fun. Thanks for a great lens

Lynn Klobuchar on March 01, 2014:

I've been meaning to take a look at this lens for awhile. So glad I took the time. Talked with a friend last night who has a greyhound pit mix therapy dog. She is very involved in bringing the love and joy of her beautiful pup to those who just need that nonjudgmental love and support a dog can offer. We have not been able to have animals since my youngest has severe fur allergies but this lens and my friend's stories makes me think there may other ways for me to connect with dogs again. Had a grouchy Scottie and a rescue "Speagle" (that dog could run, too) growing up. Miss them. Beautiful lens.

Amine from Doha, Qatar on February 21, 2014:

Loyality is everything on the dog, greyhound is really good dog, a big company named it self after this gorgeous creature.

Thank your for sharing all those usefull tips

ologsinquito2 on February 14, 2014:

I bet they make wonderful pets. You've included some really nice pictures of these beautiful dogs.

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on February 05, 2014:

I would love to own a retired greyhound if my apartment allowed it.

dwelburn on January 23, 2014:

These are really nice dogs. I knew someone who had three retired racing greyhounds. They were so placid and peaceful. Great pets. And this is a great lens.

flycatcherrr (author) on January 22, 2014:

@John Dyhouse: They have a way of doing that, @artyfax - you should see my place! :)

John Dyhouse from UK on January 21, 2014:

My son and his family have a retired greyhound. They all love him to bits and he is verfy much a part of their family. He makes a wonderful pet. The only problem is that he is so lovable he has taken over the home bit by bit.

Judy Filarecki from SW Arizona and Northern New York on January 17, 2014:

Loved you lens. I've had patients with greyhounds and they were the best companions for the elderly I had ever seen.

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on January 15, 2014:

I love the idea of people adopting retired Greyhounds!

penny-richens on January 14, 2014:

This is fascinating. Where I live Greyhounds aren't popular, so I can honestly say I've seen only 2 in my whole life. Your pictures are great, and you put so much information and time into this lens. I learned a lot from it.

Wingersiow LM on January 02, 2014:

Fab - both my girls have had greyhounds (one a retired successful racing dog and the other history unknown) and they are both so soft and funny. Excellent!

buttercake on December 29, 2013:

I've always wanted to adopt a greyhound thanks for the information! Its plentiful in this lens. :)

ChalhoubCassidy on December 11, 2013:

Great lens and great dogs! Its nice to read something that describes a more intimate experience with greyhound racing

SBPI Inc on December 11, 2013:

Very nice lens, from the heart.

The Satan Records from The Satan Records on December 10, 2013:

They are great animals !

Giovanna from UK on December 09, 2013:

Wow it is such a responsibility! They are magnificent dogs who all deserve a nice comfortable retirement home! I love the video of your little girl feeding the dog who is being so gentle. A great lens very informative.Thanks.

bower24 on December 07, 2013:

i love greyhounds and the raceing part so nice lens :)

Mohan Babu from Chennai, India on December 02, 2013:

So much to know about Greyhounds. Nice lens.

cookiebear98 on November 19, 2013:

Great job! You really know your stuff about greyhounds. When my pug passes I'd consider a retired greyhound. Keep up the good work.

paleo-cavewoman on November 17, 2013:

Wonderful and thorough coverage of a very special subject. I walk a rescued greyhound and they're truly sweet dogs.

Boyd Carter on November 01, 2013:

Our hounds are Bassets, but you make a great case for considering Greyhounds. Your tips are well-documented and apply to many breeds; guess I'd better stock my pockets with treats. Thanks for a very interesting lens.

flycatcherrr (author) on October 26, 2013:

@TerriCarr: You'd be surprised how cuddly a greyhound can be. :)

Yes, the racing industry has come a long way, but like anything in the world there are still a few not-so-good individuals among the really wonderful ones. We work directly with kennels at the tracks to place the retired dogs, and I can't say enough about how truly caring most of those people are.

TerriCarr on October 26, 2013:

They are so incredibly gentle. Too bad they aren't a little more chubby. Makes it hard to really cuddle up to them. Though they are so cute, it breaks your heart to think of them being mis-treated in the racing world. Maybe race tracks are more enlightened nowadays.

deified on October 02, 2013:

i just want to squeeze 'em!!! thanks for an awesome lens :)

SydShyne on September 17, 2013:

Great lens! Thanks for being so thorough. I have long thought about adopting Greyhounds. They are so sweet and gentile.

Anja Toetenel from The Hague, the Netherlands on September 16, 2013:

Such a great Lens about a great breed of dogs! I Love yours :) All dogs are great, can't imagine living without my doggies :)

PatandCody on September 16, 2013:

@Northerntrials: I just ordered a pattern from Etsy, and it includes a small dog sweater pattern for a pug. Perhaps, that would suit your need. The crochet pattern is called Quick and Easy Greyhound Sweater. The standard Greyhound sweater also includes a pattern for a separate snood to cover the neck and top of the head. It would not be difficult to size it down for an Italian Greyhound. What I am going to do is use the finished crocheted pattern as a pattern for a quilt lined winter coat. I hope this helps.

sierradawn lm on September 10, 2013:

I was deeply touched by the work you do in helping these beautiful dogs to have a happy retirement.

MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on September 09, 2013:

A great lens on greyhounds, thanks for reminding us to share the love with all dogs, no matter what. I loved the videos too. My dog teaches me so much about love.

anonymous on September 09, 2013:

Such amazing dogs, I am of the opinion that greyhounds are often under appreciated and taken for granted

jura on September 08, 2013:

Interesting lens I did not know much about Greyhound dogs so I learn some today .

Kate Fereday Eshete from United Kingdom on September 07, 2013:

My Great Aunt Dodo lived to be almost 104 and she always had a retired greyhound as her pet. To me, they seemed skinny, bony and not at all cuddly! Well, we all have different tastes. I've just published a lens about my poodle (Judy Poodle in Ethiopia) but since her demise I've come to the conclusion that the best dogs are those that most resemble their wolf ancestors. The majority of dog breeds are at most a few hundred years old, so it's a relatively modern fashion to have selectively-bred, designed dogs. In Ethiopia few dogs are identifiable as belonging to breeds. I've never seen a greyhound here. Indeed, I wonder what Ethiopians would make of them! Nevertheless, here you show your passion for your chosen breed, and I commend you on a comprehensive and informative lens.

girlfriendfactory on September 07, 2013:

These are awesome tips and ideas! My mom always wanted to adopt one and I love the idea of a 45 mph couch potato! lol

DreyaB on September 06, 2013:

What a lovely page. My Border Collie cross is actually crossed with Greyhound so I've seen some of the traits you describe and it just confirms our thoughts about her. She has coutch potato in her too! Such a lovely page and well worth the purple star. :)

thecrochetcubby on August 28, 2013:

Wonderful wonderful lens!! I worked with the adoption group here where I live. I adopted Libby and fostered a few more. I will always have a greyhound in my home. They are the best!!!

flycatcherrr (author) on August 25, 2013:

@mel-kav: My first greyhound was a therapy dog, actually! Greyhounds tend to be calm as a breed, so the right dog can often do very well in the role.

mel-kav on August 24, 2013:

Such a wonderful lens. I know several people who adopt retired greyhounds. and every one of these dogs have been kind, gentle, and loving. I work with special needs children. One of our staff had a greyhound named "Penny". She would bring Penny in as a form of therapy. It was great watching Penny and these children.

Greathaul2013 on July 29, 2013:

Beautiful dogs. I love this lens and I hope more people will consider adopting. I don't have time for a pet right now, but hopefully in a couple of years I will and I will consider a greyhound. I was surprised to read they can even be content living in an apartment. Good stuff.

anonymous on July 25, 2013:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For everything. And especially pointing people to rather adopt instead of buy a new puppy. There are so many lovely pets out there needing someone right now. Please consider adopting a pet if you can. I loved this lens to bits and will sure to come back many times. Five star!

flycatcherrr (author) on July 23, 2013:

@ThoughtsFromGreg: It's just their racing muzzles, the same as they wear on the track. No, they're not particularly agressive dogs but they do get competitive when they're running - everyone wants to be at the head of the pack. And of course they go so fast, even an accidental graze of a tooth on another dog's haunch (a "fender bender" as it were!) can do a lot of damage at 45 mph.

ThoughtsFromGreg on July 22, 2013:

Nice lens! Any certain reason why a couple pictures have the dogs wearing muzzles? They don't seem like aggressive dogs, but maybe they just eat/chew anything they can get their mouth on ?

Northerntrials on July 19, 2013:

Thanks for the links.... my Dad has a rescued Italian greyhound (the little ones) but they can't handle the winter and we have trouble finding the dog clothes to wear... we'll be making one custom now.

Barbara from USA on July 05, 2013:

Loved this lens! If I could Angel Bless I would! I first found out about Greyhound Adoptions when my children were young. There was a second grade teacher who brought her adopted Greyhounds into the school for the children to meet. They were wonderful doges and so friendly! Great Cause, keep up the good work!

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on June 28, 2013:

Never thought about what happens to greyhounds when they retire - now I know and think it would be wonderful to adopt one (not sure my cats would agree though!).

ChristyZ on May 15, 2013:

Greyhounds are beautiful dogs, I would love to see one in person one day. I have met hundreds of dogs in the neighborhood and local dog park but no Greyhounds. I think it's absolutely fantastic that you foster dogs and take the time to properly train them. Terrific article:)

flycatcherrr (author) on May 06, 2013:

@Swisstoons: Good question! Greyhounds are one of the oldest known dog breeds, virtually unchanged in thousands of years - desert dogs, originally, which is why the sighthounds in general evolved to have exceptional vision both for distance and peripheral vision, as well as exceptional speed and acceleration.

Thomas F. Wuthrich from Michigan on May 06, 2013:

Like another of your commenters, I too love all breeds. It's surprising how easily Greyhounds adapt to intimate contact with humans after knowing little else but racing. Was the breed developed by Man over centuries...or is there a similar canine in the wild?

supercelticangel on April 28, 2013:

I love your lens I love dogs of all breeds. Greyhounds have a hard life till they are rescued & adopted! God bless you for your work. Your videos bring a tear to my eye and also a smile on my face.

kerrylea on April 16, 2013:

What a great cause! What a beautiful breed of dog and they have such a gorgeous nature. Lovely to see they are being adopted into good homes and given the life they deserve.

Titia Geertman from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on April 15, 2013:

Applaud for those who dedicate their time and life to rescue these beautiful greyhounds and give them homes where they will be loved and cared for.

Laurabpeterson on April 12, 2013:

I love the pictures on here. We have a neighbor with two (at least) greyhounds. And they are so fast! I've seen them take off every once in a while...amazing to watch. Thanks for a fantastic lens!

darciefrench lm on April 11, 2013:

Such beautiful dogs, they are so elegant

EllieHarper on April 11, 2013:

I hadn't ever considered getting a greyhound because I live in the city but I plan to move to a rural area in the future with a bit of land. So a greyhound might be in my future.

sondra1 on April 10, 2013:

We have owned greyhounds off and on for 20 years. Our latest greyhound is Zeller, a large male that we adopted from Greysave. He is a gentle loving dog who is an outstanding pet. We are happy that we adopted him since he was rejected from the track at Caliente in Mexico and would have ended up discarded on the street!

TommysPal on April 10, 2013:

I think it's great that you all are giving these wonderful dogs a second chance in life. You're amazing.

Michelllle on March 30, 2013:

I'm going to get a rescue greyhound someday.

xscottbx on March 28, 2013:

Great Lens! These dogs deserve a nice calm life after dealing with the stresses of racing.

Torrs13 on March 22, 2013:

I think greyhounds are gorgeous dogs and so loving! I was looking into adopting one at some point. This was a great lens :)

DiddydelDesigns on March 21, 2013:

Great Lens Flycatcher, I was shocked to read that In the United States, prior to the formation of adoption groups, over 20,000 retired greyhounds a year were killed. I have friends who have adopted Greyhounds usually starting with one and ending up with several after falling in love with this majestic, kind and beautiful (inside and out) breed. I personally have rescued a 3 year old, ex-racing, smooth haired, brindle, Lurcher ( predominantly Greyhound cross ) called Mortisha or Tisha for short. The amount of satisfaction I got from bringing home this badly abused, mistreated, malnutreated and emotionally empty

animal and seeing the transformation into most beautiful, loving, loyal and gentle family pet was amazing! What a joy it was when I managed to teach her (a fully grown 3 years old dog) how to bark!

( and yes, I did have to bark at her, such a funny sight and sound ) and the surprised look on her face was so funny, for her to hear her own voice for the first time, and it to be 'ok' for a dog to bark! Tisha didn't even know what a ball was for and just used to blankly look a it as I would roll it past her but she soon got the hang of play time! Unfortunately she never quite lost her fear of feet and a raised hand (this would make her cower a little and needed a lot of reassuring there was no need to fear any more) I think she must have been kicked and hit a lot previously during her 3 years of racing before she joined our family. I would always encourage anybody if they are looking for a dog to consider giving a Retired Racing Greyhound a home because it's so satisfying and they really do have so much love to give back ( I sometimes would wake up in the morning with a wet nose nuzzling the back of my neck and a paw around my shoulder, Tisha, stretched out to her full length, under the covers, snuggled up behind me!)

Thank you for highlighting such a great cause.

Tisha,..... lived a long and happy life, living to grand old age of 15 years young! and is very sadly missed by all who had the pleasure to meet her.

flycatcherrr (author) on March 20, 2013:

@davidtrust: When a dog can get up to 45 mph in about 3 strides, if they see something that looks like prey and the well-developed "chase instinct" kicks in, it doesn't take long for them to find themselves a long way from home! Interestingly, although in much of North America it is usual to keep greyhounds on leash but that's not so much the case in UK and elsewhere where greyhounds have a longer history of being companion animals or hunting dogs, vs livestock kept primarily for racing.

davidtrust on March 20, 2013:

I met a lady who had a couple and said you have to keep them on a leash because they are so fast they'll just run and then all of a sudden they don't know where they are!

flycatcherrr (author) on March 17, 2013:

@Ana Dilber: Sometimes they are, yes. :(

Ana Dilber on March 17, 2013:

I hope these animals are not hurt during these races...

Michelllle on March 16, 2013:

Love Greyhounds. Great video.

flycatcherrr (author) on March 14, 2013:

@Diana Wenzel: Someday, a greyhound will find you. {{{hug}}}

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on March 14, 2013:

Sniff. Sniff. That video gets me every time. Stopping back by to feed my dream of adopting a retired greyhound.

cornerrue on March 11, 2013:

I love the photos. I tried to adopt one but we didn't really have the space. Maybe in the future. Great lens!

flycatcherrr (author) on March 11, 2013:

@deanna-balestra: Ha, "foster fail" you! I think we've all been there. :) My little female greyhound started out as a foster dog...

deanna-balestra on March 11, 2013:

Our greyhounds are the best dogs! We got two right away and then we did fostering. We've fostered 8 dogs into loving new families - this last foster god we got stole our hearts though and now we have THREE greyhounds and are out of space for more dogs, ha!

hntrssthmpsn on March 09, 2013:

Greyhounds are such beautiful, elegant-looking dogs! I've never had one, but there's a beautiful greyhound who frequents our favorite dog beach. The video of the retired greyhound with the three-year-old girl is precious.

angelatvs on March 05, 2013:

My parents adopted a greyhound off of the track. She was a sweet dog. It was funny trying to teach her how to manage stairs as she had never seen stairs before going to live with them.

Dusty2 LM on March 01, 2013:

Lens well done on getting the word out about retired greyhound racing dogs. Over the years my sis has been a part of this project in adapting retired greyhound racing dogs and has enjoyed it. As far as getting a long with kids; all of the greyhounds she has adapted there has never been one incident concerning her boy. Thank you for stopping by my How To Make A Homemade Yo-Yo with Detailed Instructions lens and giving it a "blessing". I really appreciate it. Have a Great Day! (^_^)

flycatcherrr (author) on March 01, 2013:

@DaveP2307: Yes indeed. It is an on-going exercise in public education for many owners of fast skinny dogs. :)

DaveP2307 on March 01, 2013:

I bought my Lurcher, Lucy (part Greyhound) a muzzle last week. Not that she bites but because it's almost Spring and there will be baby Squirrel in the woods.

Like a Greyhound she is very fast so the poor things have quite a job to get out of here way.

Trouble is it make people think she might be a dangerous dog (far from it).

Is this something you find?

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on February 25, 2013:

I can remember when some of my neighbors adopted a greyhound from the tracks. I was just small. Great tribute lens to the dogs!

agagata lm on February 25, 2013:

I can't have a dog myself but my friend has two adopted two retired greyhounds. They are adorable!

anonymous on February 23, 2013:

I love when ppl adopt dogs! I adopted my dachshund last fall and am considering adopting another dog this spring. I was considering a whippet or greyhound. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and info on this lens.

Tarra99 on February 22, 2013:

My neighbour adopted a retired greyhound, he's adorable.

vsajewel on February 21, 2013:

Maybe I can convince my hubby, 'cause your lens made me miss my wheaten terrier (he died a few months ago of old age), and then I wouldn't have to obsess about tweezers anymore:-)

flycatcherrr (author) on February 19, 2013:

@pauly99 lm: All but my first greyhound have come from Florida, by coincidence. :-)

There are some amazing adoption groups that work right at the tracks to help place the dogs when they are retired or it is determined that they're "not interested" in a racing career. Next time you're there, you should see if you can meet-and-greet a few of the dogs in the on-track pet kennels!

pauly99 lm on February 19, 2013:

Fantastic lens! My wife and I visit a greyhound racing track in southern Florida nearly each year and we've often talked about adopting an ex racing greyhound.

flycatcherrr (author) on February 18, 2013:

@Weremuffin: Ah, then you're one of the pack. :)

Weremuffin on February 18, 2013:

My first family dog was a retired racing Greyhound.

Charlene Delfin from Manila on February 10, 2013:

I never knew about racing greyhounds before. Thanks for writing this.

IamShea on February 08, 2013:

I've always wondered about greyhounds and where they end up. I've had rescue dogs before but never one of these. What a great lens.

Wendy Hughes from Charlotte on February 08, 2013:

Love Love LoOOOVE this lens! Send this BLESSING to one of those angel babies!

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