Retired Racing Greyhounds 101

If you're on the hunt for a canine addition to your family, consider rescuing a retired racing Greyhound. It will be one of the best decisions you ever make.

There are a lot of misconceptions about Greyhounds, largely because you don't often see them off the racetrack in companion roles. The fact is, these former race dogs make wonderful companions and are readily available for adoption with Greyhound rescue organizations and adoption groups located all across the country. Read on to see if the Greyhound is the right dog for you.

Greyhounds are sweet-tempered, docile dogs, and make stellar family pets. They do well with children, provided the children are taught how to treat them properly. Many Greyhounds do well with other pets, although, like any dog, a Greyhound's tolerance for other pets in the home depends on his or her individual personality.

One of the myths about ex-racer Greyhounds is that they're high-strung, high-energy dogs. Quite the opposite is true, however. In adoption and rescue circles, Greyhounds are known as "45 mph couch potatoes" because they spend upwards of 18 hours a day napping, which makes them good candidates even for apartment living. People may think rescue Greyhounds have "special needs" due to their training but that's not necessarily true. They are more low maintenance than you think!


Although retired Greyhounds do require daily exercise, they require much less than what a higher-energy breed does. Greyhounds are sighthounds, meaning that they are bred to chase small animals, so when outside, they should be kept leashed unless in a completely enclosed area, such as a fenced yard or dog park.

Greyhounds are relatively quiet dogs, and are less prone to the "doggy odor" that so often accompanies other breeds. They have few health issues, with the exception of their teeth. Due to the soft diet they are fed during their racing careers, they are more prone to dental issues than some breeds, so regular dental care is a must.

Greyhounds have long lifespans for large dogs. Most end their racing careers between two to five years old, but their life expectancy can be 12 to 14 years, or longer in some cases. They come in all colors and range from 50- to 80-plus pounds.


So, the next time you're looking to expand your family, consider saving a life by adopting a retired racer. You won't be disappointed in these gentle dogs and will make a fast friend in the process.

Interested in adopting and giving a Greyhound a loving home? You can find a directory of Greyhound adoption agencies, nonproft organizations, and more about the adoption process here.

Do you have a Greyhound? Did you adopt to provide a forever home? Tell us in the comments below.

Photos courtesy of Talia Oren

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