Do greyhounds make good pets?

Yes! Greyhounds make great pets, they are quiet, well mannered and very easy to live with. They are friendly, lazy, calm, affectionate, clean, loving, trusting, good natured and very social.

Why should I adopt a greyhound through Greyhounds as Pets WA?

The GAP behavioural assessment and training programs are vital to ensuring greyhounds are matched with suitable homes and are well-prepared for the move from racing to life as a pet. We take a careful and steady approach, including time with foster carers, to set greyhounds up for success with their new families and make the transition as smooth as possible.
When GAP issues a greyhound with a green collar, it shows the dog has been through the behaviour assessment program and can confidently be taken out and about in the community. GAP is the only greyhound rehoming group in WA able to issue green collars.

Do greyhounds adjust quickly to pet life?

Yes. Greyhounds are fostered by GAP for four to six weeks to expose them to as many new experiences as possible. Evaluation of the greyhound as a companion animal is an important part of helping GAP to ensure that the right dog goes to the right home.
Foster carers introduce greyhounds to new things like vacuum cleaners, glass doors and stairs. Life in a racing kennel environment is a relatively sheltered existence and people’s homes offer many new experiences for most greyhounds.

Do they need a lot of exercise or room?

Contrary to what a lot of people think, greyhounds are more like sprinters than marathon runners. This means most of them only require a 15-20 minute walk each day. Many can sleep for up to 20 hours a day so are great for families and busy working couples. However there are exceptions to the rule and some greyhounds will require more or less exercise dependent on their energy levels and age.
Although large, greyhounds require much less room than other breeds of a similar size and will often be found curled up somewhere in the home. We have greyhounds living in studio apartments, units and townhouses, as well as large homes and rural properties. They are well suited to most environments.

Do greyhounds have to be muzzled in public?

The WA Government has amended the Dog Act 1976 and pet greyhounds no longer have to wear muzzles in public. However, the process at GAP links the muzzle coming off with the green collar going on. This shows the dog has been assessed by trained animal behaviourists. Everyone fostering to adopt or fostering a greyhound through GAP is issued a wire muzzle to be worn at all times in public areas, including when on walks. The foster period is the last step in the behaviour assessment and greyhounds can only receive a green collar once they have officially been adopted from GAP.

Anyone wishing to leave the muzzle on when introducing a greyhound to other pets, children or new environments – such as a busy dog park – can rest assured the dog is used to wearing one, it does not hurt and they can drink normally while wearing it.

Can I let my greyhound off leash?

No. Western Australian law stipulates greyhounds must be kept on leash in public places, including off leash dog parks. Greyhounds are sighthounds and are very fast, even a greyhound with great recall can see something in the distance and run off to reach it. A sighthound in chase mode can easily run onto a busy road so for both legal and safety reasons, please keep the leash on.

Will my greyhound be toilet trained?

Most greyhounds do not come toilet trained but they are generally very clean dogs. Living in a kennel environment, most dogs do not like to soil their sleeping quarters and will wait until turned out to relieve themselves. When first brought into the home, the greyhound should be treated in a similar manner to a puppy being housebroken. Take the dog outside every couple of hours for the first week or so, especially after meals, play and long naps.
It is important over the first few days to watch the greyhound closely when it is inside your house, so you may correct it immediately if it tries to go to the toilet. When catching the dog in the act, say a firm NO and immediately take the dog outside. When it then continues to go to the toilet outside, praise the dog profusely. Do not tell the dog off if it has an accident inside when you are not there to catch it in time. Correcting the dog after the event will only confuse and frighten the dog – corrections must be made at the time, not afterwards.

Are greyhounds good with children?

Greyhounds are great with children that know how to respect dogs. The nature of the greyhound breed means they are relatively tolerant and accepting of situations like children playing with them but this should not be taken for granted and children should never be left unsupervised around the dog.
We recommend, as with all dogs, that children are taught to respect the dog, especially around the dog’s bed, around its food and at meal time.

Are greyhounds good with other dogs?

GAP aims to ensure the greyhounds going through our program are sociable with other dogs. They generally get along well with other dogs, although they may not play with them. Common sense should be used during the introductory period and supervised feeding is always recommended in a multi-pet household. During the foster period, each greyhound must be introduced to other dogs. In order to experience different living arrangements, for example living alone or with other dogs, foster dogs will be moved between foster homes accordingly.

Are greyhounds good with other animals?

Like all breeds, some greyhounds are more compatible with some types of animals than others. During the greyhound’s time at GAP, we try to expose them to as many different situations as possible so we can understand how each dog will respond. Then we can provide advice on the best living arrangements for individual dogs, including their compatibility with other pets.
Many will learn to accept other pets if introduced slowly and carefully, always with strict supervision. Any introductions should always be carried out on lead and with the greyhound properly muzzled, until the dog’s reactions can be assessed. Risks should never be taken with the safety of pets.

What gender makes a better pet, male or female?

Both! It depends on what kind of dog you are looking for. We tend to match greyhounds to homes based on the individual personality of the dog and the adopter’s requirements rather than gender. We have placed approximately equal numbers of males and females we into pet homes. In considering a second dog for your household, there is no hard and fast rule as to whether you should get a male (if you already have a female) and vice versa. We have many happy families living with two female dogs, two male dogs, one of each or an uneven mix of genders. It all depends on the dogs’ personalities, which is why we offer all adopters a trial period before finalising any paperwork.

How much should I feed my greyhound?

For an average sized greyhound, it is recommended to feed a good quality dry food twice daily according to the manufacturers’ recommendations and then adjusted as required to maintain an ideal body condition. This is usually about one to two cups of biscuits. For variety and interest you can combine this with fresh meat, tinned sardines, vegetables, pasta, rice and eggs. If you intend to feed a dry-food only diet, please ensure it is labelled as ‘complete’ to ensure your greyhound is getting a balanced intake of all necessary dietary requirements. More in-depth feeding suggestions can be found in our re-homing manual which will come with your greyhound.

What is the average age of a greyhound at adoption and how long do they live?

Our dogs usually range from two to five years old but we occasionally get puppies and older dogs into the program. The average lifespan of a greyhound is 12 to 14 years.

Are greyhounds prone to particular medical issues?

They are quite a healthy breed, with very few inherited health conditions due to centuries of selective breeding. As a large breed dog, many of the medical problems such as hip dysplasia that are quite common in dogs of the same size do not commonly occur in greyhounds. As a breed, they can have sensitivities to anaesthetics so it is best to take them to a vet that has greyhound experience if an anaesthetic is required or greyhound-specific condition is present. Other ailments found in this breed include minor digestion related conditions, bloat and Pannus (an eye condition which is easily controlled with daily drops).

What are the adoption fees and what is included?

The adoption fee for all our greyhounds is $350 which includes a dog that is vet-checked, vaccinated, microchipped, de-sexed, wormed and updated dental care.
Greyhounds that are rehomed via GAP have been through a behavioural assessment and issued with a green collar. GAP also provides all adopted greyhounds with a lead and muzzle, in case there are situations where this may be useful such as when introducing your greyhound to other animals.

Unfortunately, my situation has changed, and I can no longer keep my greyhound, what should I do?

Should the situation arise where you need to find your greyhound a new home, regardless of the amount of time passed since the adoption, please contact GAP for assistance. GAP is committed to ensuring the greyhound has a suitable home for the whole of its life.

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