SPEEDY J and ARCHER (sister’s dogs)


Putting the boys away at the kennel

Straight from the Track— Retired racers straight from the track don’t know anything about living in a house. They won’t know how to climb stairs. They might jump on your coffee table thinking it’s a scale. Sliding glass doors? They’ve never seen them before. Open windows upstairs? Look out. Everything is new to them. Depending on their personality, they may delight in their new environment, or hide in a corner. Either way, be there for them. With love and support, they’ll get used to their new home. Remember, they love to be comfortable. If you’re not going to let them on the couch or bed, get them their own beds. And toys. They love to play with toys, the squeakier, the better. Trust me, If a toy makes an annoying sound when it’s squeezed, your greyhound will love it.

The Crate— It’s best to keep a dog straight from the track in a large wire crate. It’s calming and safe. Leave the door open when you’re home and you’ll find your dog napping inside. Introduce children to your greyhound thoughtfully. Greyhounds like people and they like attention, but maybe not from groups of little ones and certainly not all at once. 

Cats— If you have cats, take precautions. Some greyhounds have a high prey drive. Hopefully, the one you adopted doesn’t. A high prey drive means your cat is in a precarious position as it runs around your house or in your yard. A greyhound who wants to will catch a cat in his or her mouth and that’ll be the end of it. Even if you think they’re best friends, a dog with a high prey drive is not cat safe. How do you know? Did your dog bring you a squirrel his first time running free in your yard? Does he chase anything that moves? You’ve been warned.

Walks— Greyhounds are great sprinters. Mine have always run laps in the yard. The rest of the 23 plus hours in a day they reserve for snoozing. Except that they really need exercise. So plan to take them on walks, every day, for one to two hours. Shaded walks in the summer, please. Asphalt and concrete heat up in the sun. They don’t have much hair so if you live where it gets cold in the winter, make or buy your dog a coat. 

Thunderstorms— Some dogs, not just greyhounds, are frightened of loud noises. If your greyhound trembles and whines during thunderstorms, try a Thundershirt. They really work. Measure your dog’s chest before you buy. You can’t go by weight.

Leashes— Going outside? Always keep your greyhound on a leash or in a fenced yard. And watch them. They’ll surprise you when you least expect it. I had one (Angelina) run after, catch up with and pass a phalanx of bicyclists, excited by the bright colors. The bicyclists turned around and brought her home. Luckily. Cause I would never have been able to catch her. I have a new gate now and it is always latched. Remember, their mission is to escape and they will find a way if they can. Also, be wary when walking your dogs in the woods or other wild areas. I had a leash in each hand when a bobcat hissed from a tree up ahead. By the time I heard the hiss, the dogs were already in mid-leap. They pulled me right off my feet and I landed face-down. They dragged me several yards. But I held onto the leashes. Ouch.

Collars— Greyhound collars are now readily available. Look online. They’re wider than usual martingale collars. The neck of a greyhound is larger than their head and regular collars are easily pulled off. The martingale tightens so that the collar won’t fit over their head. The width of the fabric (don’t use chain; you’re not an idiot) eases the force on the dog’s neck.

That’s it for now. Questions?


Writer and greyhound-wrangler