Recognized by the AKC as a
BREEDER OF MERIT
Look at these greyhounds fly! If heart and effort expended made all Greyhounds winners, all would be successful racing greyhounds. The truth is, however, the competition is so keen, so tough, that very few greyhounds enjoy long careers at the track. Thanks to proactive measures by the National Greyhound Association and a huge network of greyhound adoption agencies, ex-racing greyhounds can be adopted into homes at a nominal fee.
Racing greyhounds are professional atheletes and reflect much investment in care and training. Please review this link for a look behind the scenes of greyhound racing~http://www.greyhoundfacts.org/
Greyhound puppies from reputable AKC breeders are rare and difficult to acquire. Please consider adopting an ex-racer. We can hope you locate the perfect one!
We were actively involved in Greyhound Adoption long BEFORE we ever bred AKC dogs.
WINDROCK LLC celebrates the 275 plus dogs we have assisted in re-homing--most of which have been retired racing greyhounds. For over 30 years we have been active in rehoming greyhounds and licensed by PACFA. We are glad to provide contact information on local greyhound adoption agencies.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you are considering adopting a retired racing greyhound. . . [email protected]
Be a Hero to an ex racing Greyhound. You will give him a second career as a companion and enrich your life in the process.
Whether you've recently adopted, or you're a long time admirer of these beguiling creatures, here you'll find plenty of information to help you introduce your new friend to a whole new world, and train and care for the retired racers who have stolen your heart and your sofa.
Much of what you'll find here is my opinion and experiences of 50+ years with all kinds of animals-- horses, cattle, birds; with many breeds of dogs and sighthounds. Add almost 30 mind-broadening years in dog rescue.
A lot of the information that follows is credited to one of the best Greyhound books ever written: Retired Racing Greyhounds For Dummies by Lee Livingood. I have included information from that valuable volume that provides a foundation to a successful relationship with your retired racing Greyhound.
Throughout this site, you'll find a lot of things are still "works in progress." Some pages will always be in development with new bits of info added as I think of them or learn about them, so stop back soon if what you're looking for isn't here.
Information on this website is not EVER intended as a substitute for professional medical or behavioral advice. It is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Everyone has a bias. Those who know me as a person and through my writing will quickly learn that I don't mince words and have strong beliefs. My writing reflects my personal philosophies and lifelong experience. Now that we understand each other, enjoy!
I think Greyhounds are the perfect dog. But that doesn't mean you will. And even if you do think retired racers are perfect that doesn't mean that you and a retired racer are right for each other.
Many people adopt dogs for all the wrong reasons or without knowing anywhere close to enough about the breed or about dogs. As careful as the best adoption groups are about choosing the right adopters for the right dog, dogs still end up being relinquished--returned-- to adoption groups.
The reasons for the returns, are often incomprehensible to me. The biggest problem in Greyhound adoption is that living with a Greyhound often looks too easy. When an adopter brings a retired racer home, at some point he realizes he is living with a real dog--and a very large dog at that. Real dogs have real needs. Take the time to learn what you need to know to make your match a successful one.
It's my opinion, that the more often a dog is re-homed, the more likely it is to develop behavioral problems. And naturally the more severe the problem, the less adoptable that dog becomes. I can hope that by educating prospective owners and asking them to be truly honest with themselves will help keep every Greyhound in the home in which it is originally placed.
Everyone involved in Greyhound adoption goes through mental anguish because of retired racers that are returned. They second guess their placement strategies and policies, they question if they should have or could have seen something that might have prevented each unsuccessful adoption. They lose sleep and shed tears and wonder why they keep doing adoptions.
So I'm going to do all I can to convince you not to adopt a retired racer. Every item on the list below relates to a reason that has resulted in a retired racer being returned.
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant,
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
1. They shed.
Yes, they have a short light coat. Yes, they are easy to groom and maintain. But they are dogs and like every other breed they shed. They shed lightly, but they do shed. Get used to it or get a stuffed toy. If you don't think you can become accustomed to thinking of dog hair as a condiment, don't get a real animal. For the record, YOU shed, too.
2. No matter how gentle Greyhounds look, they are still large to very large dogs.
An overly excited, untrained 45-95 pound Greyhound may knock down smaller children or a a frail person. And Greyhounds tend to hold their ears back and their tails tucked and balk when they are stressed. Some "smile" by showing a mouthful of scary looking teeth. Folks that don't know the breed might mistake this for aggression and find it too frightening to live with --especially in a dog this large.
3. Dogs and lawns are not a great combo.
Unless you have a very large yard that you can section off so your dog has his own area, it isn't likely that you can have a great lawn and a dog. Get used to it or get a cat so you can use a litterbox. Greyhounds love to run and while they don't need a lot of exercise, when they run they will destroy your landscaping. If gardening is your passion, a dog may not be your best choice. Stick with plants.
4. Dogs make messes.
Even the best mannered, best trained dog gets sick. and if he gets sick, he isn't going to rush to the kitchen or the bathroom or some other easy to clean surface. The rugs are where the traction is--that's where he'll barf. Even elegant-looking dogs like Greyhounds get gas, barf, and/or get diarrhea at some time in their lives. Dogs track in dirt. Dogs and fancy furnishings, expensive rugs, and elegant decor aren't a good mix. If you can't stand a little dirt and hair, if fancy things are really important to you, or if your life's dream is replacing Martha Stewart, don't get a dog--even a quiet, clean dog like a Greyhound. Get a fish instead.
5. Greyhounds love, soft, warm places.
If you want a dog that you can house outdoors or if you can't stand the idea of a dog on your bed or furniture, this is not the breed for you. Greyhounds are not suited to living outdoors and those bony joints need padding and a soft warm place to rest.
6. Do you have active children?
If you have children and all your time is spent at soccer games and school activities, unless your Greyhound can be part of the activities, you don't have time for a dog. Dogs are social animals that need physical and mental stimulation. And just because they are quiet, gentle dogs, doesn't mean they don't need to be trained. Training isn't about obedience as much as it's about forming a trusting relationship and establishing a way to communicate.
7. Dogs and children are not as compatible as Hollywood would have you believe.
Greyhounds have little padding over their bones and they have delicate skin that tears easily. They have little protection from falling toddlers or rowdy children. They have a quiet nature and do best in a tranquil environment. If any of your children are under school age or your kids are out of control monsters that even Grandma doesn't want coming over, don't get a Greyhound.
8. Just because your lifestyle and interests change doesn't mean you can abandon a dog like a used toy.
Divorces, job changes, relocation, and new babies happen. If you can't be as close to certain as humanly possible that your retired racer will be part of your life for all of his life, don't adopt. A dog is for Life.
9. Greyhounds are easy live with but they do have special needs.
Their lack of body fat, long thin bones, fragile skin, and sensitive souls means they need to be protected from extremes of temperature, rough environments, and inappropriate handling. Thousands of years of breeding to build quick reaction times, create blazing speed, and to foster work away from and independent of human direction means they must be kept safely in fenced areas or on leash at all times. A loose Greyhound is often sadly, a dead one.
10. Adding a retired racer should never be an impulsive gesture.
Don't adopt because you feel sorry for them or because it's fashionable. To paraphrase a bumper sticker from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, A dog isn't just for Christmas. It's for life.
Now that I've given you sound reason you shouldn't adopt, Let me share a chapter from Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies. I've adapted the chapter and the contents slightly to fit this format.
I can give you almost 25,000 reasons to adopt a retired racer. That's the estimated number of retired racers who were available for adoption each of the last three years (based on calculations from the National Greyhound Association and the American Greyhound Council). Only 18,000 retired racers are being adopted annually, which means that more than 7,000 Greyhounds are still needlessly being put to death every year.
But, just because I can't think of any reasons not to adopt a retired racer, doesn't mean they're the right dogs for you and your lifestyle. Do your research carefully before you make a retired racer or any dog a part of your life.
1. You know what you're getting when you adopt an adult dog.
Regardless of breed, adult dogs make good adoption choices. You can easily put your common sense aside when you look at a cute little puppy and make choices only from your heart. But many people who get a dog because they couldn't resist that cute puppy face live to regret it, because they don't realize what they're in for. Looking at an 80-pound dog is good reality therapy. When you adopt an adult dog, you get to see the adult personality and temperament. The temperament a dog has as an adult is often different than what you would have seen in the same dog as a puppy. You also get to see the physical characteristics of a full-grown dog. You know exactly what size the dog is going to be. That can make it easier to make a good choice. Plus, aside from getting a great companion, you just plain feel good about adopting a grown dog whose fate is otherwise uncertain at best.
2. Adult dogs require less work than puppies do.
As cute as puppies are, they are a lot of work. Aside from having to be housetrained, puppies teethe, chew, and need much more exercise, attention, and training than adult dogs. And the work doesn't last for just a few weeks. Many breeds have the characteristics of puppies until they are well over two years old.
3. Retired racers are great house mates.
Retired racers are low-maintenance. They require minimal grooming; their exercise needs are low to moderate for a dog of their size. They're compliant and have a personality that helps them adapt quickly to a new lifestyle. Most Greyhounds are naturally laid-back, well mannered, and sensitive. Plus, they're intelligent and respond well to the right training methods. Sounds like a great house mate to me!
4. Retired Racers adapt to a variety of lifestyles.
A retired racer isn't perfect for every family, but he can fit perfectly into almost any lifestyle, as long as you take the time to pick the right retired racer and teach him what he needs to know to be a valued family member. Retired racers are adaptable and do well in loving homes with families who understand their needs. They deserve no less. No dog does.
5. Greyhounds are gentle and quiet.
One of the misconceptions about retired racers is that they are aggressive dogs because most people have only seen photos of Greyhounds racing, with muzzles covering their faces. The muzzles are used to help protect racing Greyhounds from injury and to determine the winners of close races. Outside of the racetrack, however, Greyhounds are usually quiet, gentle, docile, and compliant. If you're looking for a watchdog, choose another breed. They blend well into families with well-mannered children. Most Greyhounds love the company of other dogs, and many live happily with cats as well. Some Greyhounds adapt well to homes with very small animals.
6. Greyhounds don't need much exercise.
Another myth about Greyhounds is that, because they're bred to race, they need lots of room to run and constant exercise. But Greyhounds aren't marathon runners; they're sprinters. At the track, they only race once or twice a week. In homes, however, they romp for short bursts and then turn back into couch potatoes. While a fenced yard is best, a daily walk or two and a chance to run in a fenced yard or field from time to time are sufficient.
7. Greyhounds are very clean.
The coat of Greyhounds is so light and short that grooming is a breeze. They shed only lightly. Many Greyhounds groom and clean themselves much like cats do. Their coats aren't oily, so they aren't as prone to doggy odor as some breeds are.
8. Retired racers are healthy.
For the most part, Greyhounds are free of many of the inherited ailments that plague other breeds. For example, hip dysplasia is virtually unheard of among Greyhounds. Their average life expectancy is longer than that of most large breeds--12 years or more. Racing greyhounds DO suffer from bone cancer and genetic eye problems and GVD is a concern as in all large, deep chested breeds.
9. You can find the racer that is right for you.
With nearly 25,000 retired racing Greyhounds available each year, you can "design" your perfect dog. Know what color you want? You can find a Greyhound to match. Know what size you want, from 40 to 100 pounds? You can find a racer to fit your needs. Want a couch potato or a fishing buddy? No problem. Need a dog who can live happily in the city? You'll find him. Want a companion for your aging mother? There's one that fill the bill. Whatever you're looking for, somewhere there is a retired racer waiting to race into your life and into your heart.
10. Greyhounds are Fun.
Many adoption groups have an annual reunion picnic and sell the obligatory event T-shirt. Our group's T-shirt from a Greyhound reunion picnic said it all: " Life with a Greyhound is one big picnic." And that's why most of us have more than one!!
Double the fun! Adopt more than one!
Tough Questions….No Answers
Those of you who believe that you are somehow more humane and morally superior to the people in the Greyhound Racing community, have... a lot to learn about populations of dogs, and managing them. Each and every individual Greyhound for whom you profess to care so much, has emerged from a unique population of Greyhounds.
Everything you love or may not love about those dogs, is inexorably linked by cause and effect, and by the highly selective process which racing demands that breeders employ, to the well being of that greater population of Greyhounds.
The idea that the cessation of racing and breeding for racing, would not devastate your Greyhound population and all future populations of them, resulting in the loss, forever, of unique and irreplaceable strains and entire families of Greyhounds-- some of whose lineage can be documented as far back as the 18th century--is short-sighted, to say the very least, and hardly more humane than whatever it is you find to be so distasteful about racing itself.
The inconsolable, "ban everything I don't like" activist, who has no capacity or desire to engage in constructive (not destructive) behavior, or to participate in the cultural and material evolution of racing, is essentially promoting "advocacy by extinction", which is not now, nor will it ever be, a humane concept.
Why is there a such gaping disconnect between the individual Greyhound and the population of Greyhounds, from which every individual Greyhound has emerged?
How does one suppose to be any sort of an advocate, and how do you claim the moral high ground, until you mend that disconnect?
These dogs don't suddenly appear from Unicorn dust. They are a result of thousands of years of breeding, and in modern times, dozens of female families and generations of having been bred to race---for nearly a century now. They are the embodiment of all that, the good, the bad, and the faulty.
The Racing Greyhound today, is possibly the most fowardly adapted canine in the world, to its present function. That didn't happen by serendipity. It is the result of a design, a process, a model, where there are inputs (breeding, raising, training, handling) and feedbacks (the results of head to head racing competitions and how they are perceived to enable accurate selectivity) that forged the modern, Racing Greyhound, and which support the population of Greyhounds.
You can't have a thriving, genetically diverse, and highly functional Greyhound, without having a thriving, genetically diverse, highly functional population of them. The Greyhound is a manifestation of his/her genetic wellsprings and their effect upon phenotype, temperament, disposition and function.
Unless you have a better design or method in mind, to support, manage and preserve that Greyhound population--in all its diversity and functionality--your advocacy is simply, when it's all said and done, a call for the margination of a breed, and nothing more. And by any rational, humane standard, you aren't an advocate at all.
So what are the anti-racing communities' plans---book, chapter and verse---for the future of the Greyhound, and future populations of them, to insure an array of genetic diversity and to maintain the high levels of functionality and stalwart disposition for which the breed is renown and embraced, once racing has been forcibly ended?
Or will it be every dog for himself, "see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya", and your job is done?
If anti racing organizations like Grey2K get their way, this may well be the future of greyhound pet ownership--robotic dogs. AKC breeders breed far too infrequently to meet public demand. AKC registered greyhounds are considered a rare breed and AKC registers less than 200 greyhounds annually.
Grey2K is a nefarious lobbying organization which claims to help ex racing greyhounds. No they do not, none of the charitable donations Grey2K has bilked out of an unknowing public helps greyhound adoption efforts. Worst of all, Grey2K vilifies people in the racing industry by their public crusade of negative propaganda that does not even remotely portray the actual reality of greyhound racing in this country.
We SUPPORT greyhound racing here in the US and will NOT knowing place any of our WINDROCK LCC greyhounds to people that are Anti Racing.
Unlike most days at RainBow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a
swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were
confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never
experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time
waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began
to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was
It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy
and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the
pathway...the ones who had been at RainBow Bridge for a while...knew the
story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many
Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally
overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any
illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been
restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He
approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now
watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place
for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the
happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was
barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and
apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only
those animals who were with their special people could pass over the RainBow
Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on
With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields
before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of
other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets
waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply
lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway
leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join
them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and
One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special
people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the
pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.
"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of
him. They way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was
exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made
it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers
could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for
good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has
nobody to escort him across the Bridge."
The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what
will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly
parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be
seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite
ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth
forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended
outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently
above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each
was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life.
From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group
of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the
passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or
a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure
softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line
behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they
all crossed together.
The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?" "That
was a rescuer," came the answer. "That person spent a lifetime trying to
help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who
found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their
families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes.
When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of
rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on
Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to
them...just as they are special to all animals."
"I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival.
"So does God," was the reply.