I can give you almost 25,000 reasons to
adopt a retired racer. That's the estimated number of retired racers who
were available for adoption each of the last three years (based on
calculations from the National Greyhound Association and the American
Greyhound Council). Up to 18,000 retired racers are being adopted
annually, which means that more than 7,000 Greyhounds are still needlessly
being put to death every year. But, just because I can't think of
any reasons not to adopt a retired racer, doesn't mean they're the right
dogs for you and your lifestyle. Do your research carefully before you
make a retired racer or any dog a part of your life.
10 Reasons NOT
to Adopt a Retired Racing Greyhound
1. They shed.
Yes, they have a short light coat. Yes,
they are easy to groom and maintain. But they are dogs and like every
other breed that has fur they do shed. They shed lightly, but they do
shed. Get used to it or get a stuffed toy. If you don't think you can
become accustomed to thinking of dog hair as a condiment, don't get a
2. No matter how gentle Greyhounds
look, they are still large to very large dogs.
An overly excited, untrained 45-95 pound
Greyhound 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 too frightening to live with
--especially in a dog this large.
3. Dogs and lawns are not a great
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 litter box. 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 rugs 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,
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
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 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. Dogs 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, don't get a Greyhound.
Don't get any adult dog if you have
young children. Dog bites are one of the leading causes of death in
children, and 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 combination work. See the Resource Review section
for more information.
8. Just because your lifestyle and
interests change doesn't mean you can abandon a dog like a used toy.
Divorces, job changes, relocations, and
new babies happen. If you can't be as close to certain as humanly
possible that your retired racer will be part of your life for all of
his or her life, don't adopt.
9. Greyhounds are easy 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 work away from and independent of human
direction means 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's fashionable. To paraphrase a bumper sticker from
the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, A dog isn't just for
Christmas. It's for life.
Now that you've seen the reasons you
shouldn't adopt, Let me share a chapter from Retired Racing
Greyhounds for Dummies. The chapters and the contents have been
10 Reasons to
Adopt a Retired Racing Greyhound
1. You know what you're getting when
you adopt an adult dog.
Regardless of breed, adult dogs make good
adoption choices. You can easily put your common sense aside when you
look at a cute little puppy and make choices only from your heart. But
many people who get a dog because they couldn't resist that cute puppy
face live to regret it, because they don't realize what they're in for.
Looking at an 80-pound dog is good reality therapy. When you adopt an
adult dog, you get to see the adult personality and temperament. The
temperament a dog has as an adult is often different than what you would
have seen in the same dog as a puppy. You also get to see the physical
characteristics of a full-grown dog. You know exactly what size the dog
is going to be. That can make it easier to make a good choice. Plus,
aside from getting a great companion, you just plain feel good about
adopting a grown dog whose fate is otherwise uncertain at best.
2. Adult dogs require less work than
As cute as puppies are, they are a lot of
work. Aside from having to be housetrained, puppies teethe, chew, and
need much more exercise and attention than adult dogs. And the work
doesn't last for just a few weeks. Many breeds have the characteristics
of puppies until they are well over two years old.
3. Retired racers are great house
Retired racers are low-maintenance. They
require minimal grooming; their exercise needs are low to moderate for a
dog of their size. They're compliant and have a personality that helps
them adapt quickly to a new lifestyle. Most Greyhounds are naturally
laid-back, well mannered, and sensitive. Plus, they're intelligent and
respond well to the right training methods. Sounds like a great house
mate to me!
4. Retired Racers adapt to a variety
A retired racer isn't perfect for every
family, but he can fit perfectly into almost any lifestyle, as long as
you take the time to pick the right retired racer and teach him what he
needs to know to be a valued family member. Retired racers are adaptable
and do well in loving homes with families who understand their needs.
They deserve no less.
5. Greyhounds are gentle and quiet.
One of the misconceptions about retired
racers is that they are aggressive dogs because most people have only
seen photos of Greyhounds racing, with muzzles covering their faces. The
muzzles are used to help protect racing Greyhounds from injury and to
determine the winners of close races. Outside of the racetrack, however,
Greyhounds are usually quiet, gentle, docile, and compliant. If you're
looking for a watchdog, choose another breed. They blend well into
families with well-mannered children. Most Greyhounds love the company
of other dogs, and many live happily with cats as well. Some Greyhounds
adapt well to homes with very small animals.
6. Greyhounds don't need much
Another myth about Greyhounds is that,
because they're bred to race, they need lots of room to run and constant
exercise. But Greyhounds aren't marathon runners; they're sprinters. At
the track, they only race once or twice a week. In homes, however, they
romp for short bursts and then turn back into couch potatoes. While a
fenced yard is best, a daily walk or two and a chance to run in a fenced
yard or field from time to time are sufficient.
7. Greyhounds are very clean.
The coat of Greyhounds is so light and
short that grooming is a breeze. They shed only lightly. Many Greyhounds
groom and clean themselves much like cats do. Their coats aren't oily,
so they aren't as prone to doggy odor as some breeds are.
8. Retired racers are healthy.
Retired racers are free of many of the
inherited ailments that plague other breeds. For example, hip dysplasia
is virtually unheard of among Greyhounds. Their average life expectancy
is longer than that of most large breeds--12 years or more.
9. You can find the racer that is
right for you.
With nearly 25,000 retired racing
Greyhounds available each year, you can "design" your perfect
dog. Know what color you want? You can find a Greyhound to match. Know
what size you want, from 40 to 100 pounds? You can find a racer to fit
your needs. Want a couch potato or a fishing buddy? No problem. Need a
dog who can live happily in the city? You'll find him. Want a companion
for your aging mother? There's one that fill the bill. Whatever you're
looking for, somewhere there is a retired racer waiting to race into
your life and into your heart.
10. Greyhounds are fun.
Many adoption groups have annual reunion
picnic and playgroups, sell the obligatory T-shirt, along with other mementos,
coats, paintings and blings. Our groups mottos are; "Companion of
Kings", "World's Fastest Couch Potatoes",
"Imagine How Fast They Can Fetch Your Slippers".
Re-printed with kind permission of Lee
Livingood of Harrisburg, PA. USA, from the site: "retiredracinggreyhounds.com"