Amazing Greys40+ blogger Claire Marie on why greyhounds are infinitely better off snoozing in homes across Yorkshire than in one of our many dedicated but hard-pressed rescue homes.
Despite the introduction of The Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations in 2010, the racing industry is not known for its compassion. Once dogs are of no use, the luckier ones are put up for adoption or dropped off outside rescue homes, but others are simply destroyed or sent to breeding farms. The fate of many is unknown and, based on some of the stories I’ve heard but will spare you from here, unimaginable.
But in a time when it would appear that everyone has – or wants – a dog, I’m on a mission to raise awareness of what wonderful pets greys make, and I’ll start by tackling a few of the common misconceptions:
They need loads of exercise: You’d be forgiven for thinking this was true given that the majority of greyhounds have racing backgrounds, but let me assure you, they’re bone idle. As long as my dog Ozzy gets two walks a day, he happily spends 90% of his time asleep on his beloved bed. That’s why greys are such fantastic dogs for working households. While we do enjoy long walks, Ozzy doesn’t need them - just ten minutes is fine. If it’s 100% safe for him to have a run, (safety if you do go off-lead is essential due to their strong prey drive), after five minutes he gets tired and wants to come home!
They’re not affectionate: Greys are the warmest, most loving dogs I’ve ever come across. Although probably far too big to hop onto your knee, they love to be stroked and are wonderful with children as long as they’re treated with respect
They’re highly strung: Gentle and calm, greys couldn’t be less diva-like! They rarely bark and are exceptionally quiet and laid back, although they do sometimes make a strange singing noise when they’re particularly excited (something Ozzy only does in the company of other sighthounds)
The huge potential to love and live has never been realised in many greyhounds who have raced. When they join your home, it can take them a little while to understand things other dogs might take for granted. This is something I was utterly charmed by. Imagine a dog that has been so neglected that it doesn’t know how to play, and the subsequent joy you feel when they start to engage in activities such as throw and fetch. In our case, this is actually ‘throw’ as Ozzy loves running after the ball, but I have to run after him to get it back.
The lack of accountability in the racing industry astounds me, but the good news is that as we get better-educated about the racing back story, the industry is declining. Although there will be even more greyhounds in need of care, my hope is that more and more people will consider one of these wonderful creatures before going to a breeder. After all, a grey so callously discarded after racing is infinitely better snoozing on a comfy bed in your home than adding to the load of one of the many dedicated but hard-pressed rescue homes in Yorkshire. If you choose to rehome a greyhound, you’ll get a beautiful, elegant and kind animal that expects very little and will flourish in return for any love you give. And thanks to groups like the Sighthound Social Club (@SighthoundSC on all social media platforms), there’s even a thriving social scene!
Interested in rehoming? Simply Google ‘greyhound adoption yorkshire’.