Add this content to your
In an effort to save retired Greyhound dogs from being killed after their usefulness as racing dogs has come to an end, many new initiatives are being formed to transition the speedy canines from racer to house pet.
The Greyhound is a unique breed, and whilst today they are primarily bred for racing, their popularity began among the pharaohs of Egypt. Greyhounds were popular among royalty for many years and were historically used as hunting dogs because of their unique style.
Greyhounds are unlike most hunting dogs who typically use their sense of smell to track down a particular thing or person. Greyhounds, instead, have excellent vision and can see small targets from a long distance, according to Greyhound Outreach. Couple that with top speeds of 40mph and it’s no wonder that they are bred to race.
The history of Greyhound racing is muddy but it became mainstream in the early 1900s. The sport took off around 1920 in the Americas and England and has increased in popularity since. Greyhound racing associations claim Greyhounds love racing and run for the sheer enjoyment of chasing a target. The great debate, however, is focused less on the racing itself, and more on what happens once a dog’s racing career is over.
There are reports that some Greyhound breeders and handlers kill dogs that are unfit to race for any reason. There are even reports of retired dogs having been killed after they earned the right to leave the track. For this reason, many new initiatives have been launched that ask breeders and handlers to forfeit the dogs to shelters where they can be placed with loving families for the rest of their days.
The National Greyhound Adoption Program, for example, helps reintroduce former race dogs to proper pet etiquette. NGAP said that since most Greyhounds are raised to be racing dogs, life as a house pet is foreign to them. They can, however, be great, docile and loving companion pets with proper patience and care, the organization states.
Greyhounds are not only to be used for racing. Like all dogs, they are worthy of finding loving forever homes. They make great pets and if breeders do not want to keep former racing dogs they should forfeit them to organizations and families that will bring them into their homes and love them unconditionally.