Frequently Asked Questions

Greyhounds as Pets

Are Greyhounds high-energy, active dogs?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about this breed. Greyhounds are bred and exploited as racing dogs for their natural speed and ability, however off the track they are docile, gentle, and friendly animals who love human attention and companionship and are known to be quite lazy. Often described as the ’60km/hour couch potato’ Greyhounds like to spend much of their time relaxing or sleeping, and they love comfort. They are low-energy, low-maintenance dogs that only require regular, short walks to keep them happy and healthy.

Do Greyhounds make good indoor pets?

Greyhounds are low-energy dogs that love human companionship. Their calm and quiet nature, combined with their relaxed and sedentary behaviour make them perfect indoor pets. Minimal shedding, a distinct lack of doggy-odour, and an aristocratic appreciation of the good life supports such indoor privileges. Greyhounds love to be part of the family and are grateful for ‘creature comforts’ and are very well-suited to indoor life.

Are Greyhounds able to live with small animals?

Greyhounds are sighthounds, whose natural prey is the hare. Greyhounds are taught to chase as racing dogs. Some Greyhounds have too strong an instinct to chase – or ‘prey drive’ – to live with small animals.

However, many Greyhounds are able to live in harmony with small, furry animals. Friends of the Hounds Inc. has rehomed many Greyhounds, including ex-racers, to homes with small dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, pet rats, guinea pigs and even rabbits. Dogs with a low prey drive, or non-chasers, or those that have successfully ‘let-down’ in their retraining can live happily with other animals.

Do Greyhounds require a large yard?

Greyhounds do not require a large yard. They are very suitable pets for high-density suburban areas as they are quiet, docile and adaptable. Surprisingly, these sleek, sinewy, stylish hounds do not require a lot or room or excessive exercise, being quite content with regular short walks. Short bursts of energy and long bouts of lethargy typify the Greyhound’s character, and they can often live happily in homes with a small backyard or courtyard (this is apparent when you consider that they are routinely kept in small cages or kennels by racing owners and trainers).

Those who have access to a yard do enjoy occasional “zoomies” – running a couple of laps around the yard, lasting only a few minutes, before returning to their bed!

Greyhounds are often recommended for those living in townhouses, duplexes or apartments due to their quiet, calm and sedentary nature.

Do Greyhounds need a coat for winter?

Greyhounds have no undercoat and very short fur. They also have little body fat to insulate them from either the heat of summer or the cold of winter. The rule of thumb is that if it is cool enough for you to need a jacket or coat, it is cool enough for your Greyhound to need one too. Greyhounds tend to love wearing their coats on cold, winter nights.

Greyhounds also do not tolerate heat as well as other dogs of their build and coat type; even if all your Greyhound does is loll in the yard on a hot summer day, you must provide shade and plenty of cool water to prevent heatstroke. Small, wading pools can provide relief from summer heat.

What age do Greyhounds live to?

Greyhounds can live up to 12-14 years of age.

Are Greyhounds good with children?

A placid and tolerant dog, Greyhounds are generally very good with children.

In fact, their calm and sensitive nature, combined with their relaxed and easy-going behaviour, make them highly suited as pets-as-therapy dogs and suitable as companions for people of all ages, including young children and older members of the community.

As with all dogs, it is recommended that children are supervised at all times when interacting with the Greyhound.

The Adoption Process

How do I meet a Greyhound for adoption?

The first step in the adoption process is to provide us with your contact details and information. This can be done by completing the online adoption application

You may view the dogs currently awaiting adoption on our Available Greyhounds pages.

The next step involves the arrangement of a brief home visit at a convenient time by one of our representatives. This helps us to ascertain which of our Greyhounds may be suitable for your situation and whether your home is appropriate and safe for the dog, and provides the opportunity for you to ask questions and find out more the breed. It is possible that we may bring along a dog, or dogs, for you to meet at this visit. If not, we keep in contact about any potentially suitable hounds that we have available and set up a meet ‘n greet with them as soon as convenient.

How will I know if my home is right for the Greyhound?

All adoptions have a two week trial period in which the Greyhound is given time to settle into the home, get to know other pets and members of the household, become accustomed to the routines and lifestyle and ensure the situation is right for the hound and everyone involved.

We like to know that every adoption is going to be successful and much of this depends on the blending of personalities and temperaments of other pets. The trial period can be extended in some circumstances.

We do try to provide guidance regarding the suitability of our available dogs for each rehoming situation. However, we do understand that there are rare cases where it does not work out, and our adoption policy is that in the event that any Greyhound rehomed by Friends of the Hound Inc. cannot stay in its adoptive home or circumstances require the rehoming of the dog, even if it is years later, the Greyhound must be returned or surrendered back to Friends of the Hound Inc.

What is the role of the foster carer?

To apply to become a foster carer please complete our foster carer application or check out the complete foster caring guide before submitting your application.

Foster carers provide a temporary home as a transition from kennels to family pet. Exposing these gorgeous Greyhounds to living in a house, the joy of walking for fun, and socialising with other animals and humans is most rewarding. It is a win-win-win situation which allows Friends of the Hound Inc. to save more lives, provides the carer with satisfaction and fulfilment whilst enjoying the companionship of a gentle, friendly Greyhound, and the dog gets to live and learn about life as a pet while preparing for a permanent, loving home.

Friends of the Hound Inc. provides dry dog food, health treatments, collar, lead, muzzle and coat, and covers all veterinary expenses; and the foster carer provides love, patience, care, comfort, socialisation, guidance and training.

What does it cost to adopt a Greyhound?

The adoption fee is $340.

Friends of the Hound Inc. provides martingale collar, lead, dog tag, muzzle and warm winter coat with every adopted Greyhound. Single adult membership (12 months) for the new owner and fur friend membership for the hound included. Ongoing support and advice freely available.

All Greyhounds rehomed by Friends of the Hound Inc. are desexed, C5 vaccinated, microchipped, and on regular treatment for heartworm, intestinal worm and flea/tick prevention.

Greyhounds and the Law

Do Greyhounds have to be muzzled in public?

There is a program in New South Wales which allows pet Greyhounds to become muzzle free. Under the Greenhounds program, Greyhound owners can apply for an exemption for their pet from the muzzling laws stated in the NSW Companion Animals Act.

For more information contact http://www.greenhounds.com.au/

In Queensland, you can apply for muzzling exemptions for ‘decommissioned’ Greyhounds by contacting GAP Qld – http://www.gapqld.com.au/faq/#question-13

All Greyhounds rehomed through Friends of the Hound Inc. are supplied with a wire muzzle.

Greyhounds and the Racing Industry

Why do Greyhounds need saving?

There are around 20,000 Greyhounds bred for dog racing in Australia every year.

As a direct result of this over-breeding, there is a mass wastage of this beautiful breed of dog. Thousands upon thousands of healthy, young Greyhounds are destroyed each year for no other reason than they become surplus to racing industry needs, just under half those bred do not even make it to the trackand for those that do race, they are ‘retired’ by age 3-4. For Greyhounds it is the Quick, or the Dead.

Greyhounds are NOT just race dogs, they do make great pets, and it is important that this message continues to reach our community.

There is increasing concern about dog racing and the exploitation of animals for entertainment and gambling – dogs being injured and killed for a betting industry is simply getting harder to justify.

What are the welfare concerns regarding dog racing?

Overbreeding and mass wastage are the main welfare concerns directed at the Greyhound racing industry.

According to industry figures around 20,000 Greyhounds are bred in Australia every year, resulting in an extremely high mortality rate for this breed due to a ‘breeding lottery’ for the fastest dog.

Animal welfare groups and concerned animal lovers in many countries find it astonishing that the mass exploitation and destruction of a breed of one of the world’s most favoured species of companion animal, is accepted and condoned in our society – in the name of sport and entertainment and, incredibly, for the sake of gambling.

Betting or ‘having a punt’ seems so embedded in Australian culture that the destruction of masses of animals continues to go unchecked.

The dog racing industry seems to view these dogs only in terms of commercial gain, glossing over the appallingly negative consequences for the masses of dogs discarded and delivering effective marketing and promotional campaigns and clever ‘spin’ to glamorise the code and deflect welfare concerns. There is very little accountability, transparency or responsibility. Despite claims of welfare initiatives to reduce breeding rates, address wastage, and improve conditions for the dogs, it seems that these activities, and even the industry-associated adoption programs, are only token gestures aimed at protecting the industry – not the dogs.

There is a number of other welfare concerns regarding care, housing, management and treatment of the greyhounds, questionable training methods (the prevalence of live baiting), corrupt racing exploits, incredibly high injury rates, as well as the countless number of dogs used as blood donors and for veterinary science experiments and training in vet practices and universities around the country, along with the hundreds sent to China each year.