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5 Things to Know about Adopting A Greyhound

Have you thought about adopting a Greyhound, but not really sure where to begin, or who to ask about their behavour?
How much exercise do Greyhounds require?
Where do I find a reliable breeder?
How do Greyhound's act around other breeds? 

Today Hoobynoo interviewed The Greyhound Trust to find out all this and more! 


5 words to describe a Greyhound.

Lazy, loving, sofa-hogging, 45mph couch-potatoes


1) Find a Suitable Adoption Centre.

How many Greyhounds Retire from the racing life each year and come to your charity for respite?

Around 4,000+ dogs retire nationally each year for a variety of reasons: end of career, injury, or just not very good at racing! Greyhound Trust Canterbury branch kennels have 24 spaces and as soon as we find a home for a hound another hound will take its place so we’re always full.

Our hounds are usually aged between 18 months and 5 years when they retire and are more than ready to take it easy by that point!

What would you say are the benefits of adopting a Greyhound from charities like yourselves as apposed to finding a Greyhound breeder?

Nearly all greyhounds are bred for racing so there are very few greyhounds available directly from breeders. I would always say “adopt don’t shop” though anyway as there are so very many hounds looking for homes - more than we can find homes for – that we would not want to encourage further unnecessary breeding


2). Know how much Exercise a Greyhound needs.

How much exercise does a Greyhound require? Does this amount change if the greyhound comes from a retired racing background?

Initially we recommend 2 x 20 – 30 minute walks per day on lead. For some dogs this will be all they will ever want whereas others get fitter in their homes and come to enjoy longer walks. Basically they fit in with the family requirements. Greyhounds are essentially sprinters – the Usain Bolts of the dog world hence the relatively low levels of exercise required.

Some dogs love having a run, whilst others are not bothered, but we would always recommend finding a safe enclosed environment for this as they can go from 0 – 45mph in around 3-4 seconds (greater acceleration than a sports car!) so need a safe area with even ground to avoid injury.

3. Greyhound Behaviour and Mannerisms

We’ve read that Greyhounds are a very quiet breed and prefer to be in peaceful environments. Who would you say is the ideal owner for a retired Greyhound?

I’m not sure there’s such a thing as an ideal owner!! Some of our dogs are quieter and would prefer for example a quieter owner or family environment whereas others make fabulous family dogs as they are more outgoing and confident. Greyhounds, like all dogs, should not be left home alone for extended periods of time. However, being a working owner or family does not prevent you from owning a greyhound provided suitable provisions are made to meet his or her needs. Some of our hounds go to young families right up to a lady in her 90s!

Our kennel's owner/manager, Brian, is very good at matching the right dog to the right home environment


Do Greyhounds have any bad or unusual habits such as being overly reliant on their owners or a need to chase anything that moves when out for walks?

I wouldn’t like to say that Greyhounds have bad or unusual habits generally, but bringing a greyhound home is certainly quite different to bringing home any other breed of dog:

  • They are born, grow up and live in kennels right up until they are either fostered or adopted so a house is a strange place initially. Furthermore, most of them have never seen a non-greyhound dogs in their lives. Imagine waking up one day and walking out of your house and discovering that every other living being was “non-human”…..that’s what it’s like for the greyhounds at first. They have never seen labradors, spaniels, chihauhaus or Heinz 57s and it can take a little while for them to realise that these are also dogs!!

    For this reason when our hounds go out to new homes we recommend they are walked on leads and with a muzzle on while they learn about their new world and new friends.

  • They have also never seen televisions, hoovers, washing machines etc but do soon get used to them. They will also colonise your sofa most likely – if you permit them – but are equally happy to stay in their dog beds if you prefer.

  • Greyhounds are sighthounds and like other sighthound breeds they are attracted to movement so careful introductions are required with smaller, fast moving, dogs and other small animals. Some greyhounds can live with cats, rabbits etc but these are the exception to the rule. Many do live with smaller dogs but greyhounds generally love living with another greyhound as they are often kennelled in pairs during their racing careers

4.  Health Conditions of the Breed. 

Are there any health considerations a new owner should be aware of with the Greyhound breed?

    Greyhounds are generally considered to be one of the healthiest breeds genetically there is and as athletes working for a living it is in the trainers’ best interests to keep them fit and healthy.

    All greyhounds adopted from Greyhound Trust will have had a health check, been neutered, had flea and worm treatment and if necessary dental work.

    They are not tolerant of extremes of temperatures but cope well in the British climate with the exception of particularly hot weather when, like all dogs, they need to be kept cool and walked only in the coolest parts of the day

     5. What to do if you're looking to Adopt a Greyhound. 

    Can people come and visit your charity if they are local? If so where are your branches located?

      Absolutely!! Our kennels are based at Shatterling just outside Wingham just along from the Wildlife Park and are open from 10am to 1pm every day to visitors, no appointment required. They are part of the Rosedale boarding kennels set-up.

      Also we are always looking for volunteers either to help walk the dogs from the kennels or to support us at various local events where we have a presence.

      We also hold a Hound Walk on the 2nd Sunday of every month starting from the Botany Bay Hotel, Broadstairs at 10am so people are very welcome to pop along to that and meet greyhounds, their owners and some of the regular volunteers.   We are all happy to “talk greyhound” and answer questions all day long if required!!

      If one of our readers wanted to look into adopting a retired Greyhound from your charity what would they need to do?

        There are many starting points!

        You can have a look at our facebook page or our website  both of which will show potential owners some of the dogs we currently have up for adoption and also give information about greyhounds and some of the events we attend

        You can also phone the kennels on 01227 722847 to speak to Brian, the kennels manager, to discuss your interest and / or go up to the kennels

        If you already have a dog(s) then we always like your dog to meet its potential new mate too so bring them along to visit. Brian will supervise careful introductions to make sure both dogs are happy in each others’ company

        Once you’ve decided on a new pal there is a home check carried out by one of our volunteers and if everything is in order then an adoption fee (much less than buying a puppy!) allows you to bring your new family member home.

        I think it’s fair to say that many greyhound owners have started off with other breeds of dogs (personally labradors, boxers and German Shepherd dogs) but once you’ve had a greyhound you never go back!!




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