Want a chilled out quirky dog? Consider a rescue greyhound. Unfortunately, many greyhounds require rehoming from the greyhound racing industry. Adopting a greyhound gives them a second chance. We wanted to learn more about rescue greyhounds so interviewed local greyhound owners, Jamie and Ash to find out more.
Thanks Jamie and Ash for taking the time to answer questions about Flash and Sandy.
Tell us about your dogs
Flash (male 7 years old)
Flash, Flashy or Mr Flash is a big sook. Greyhounds are known to be sensitive, and Flash is no exception. At times we make the reference to the children’s book “The Princess and the Pea” as he loves soft furnishings and can feel any stone, stick or hard object even if it’s covered by layers of blankets. In part that’s because greyhounds don’t have a lot of body fat, they’re predominately lean – although Flash become accustomed to the good life with treats and lazy days lounging about on our sofa!
Sandy (female 5 ½ years old)
Sandy / Sandy Pants is more adventurous and cheeky than her older “brother”. People often comment on her “mascara” eyes but little do they know she is quite a mischievous hound. Any chance she gets, Sandy loves digging and when she digs, it’s like a scene from a roadrunner cartoon… dirt flying everywhere, tongue hanging out, eyes glazed with excitement.
What are rescue greyhounds?
Generally speaking, rescue greyhounds are dogs that more often than not, are rehomed greyhounds (sight hounds, long doggos, noodles – affectionate nicknames). Unfortunately, many greyhounds require rehoming from the greyhound racing industry.
They have become quite popular dogs to adopt due to their gentle nature and despite what people often think, only having short bursts of energy. Overall, they don’t usually want much exercise as they’d prefer to spend all day (up to 18 hours) sleeping and lounging about.
How did you end up adopting greyhounds?
My partner and I were living in Sydney at the time and decided we wanted a fur family so I started researching what would be the best breed considering we both worked long hours. Initially, I looked into a beagle at his suggestion but after a very frank chat with a beagle rescue group, whom were pretty direct in telling me an active breed like a beagle wouldn’t suit us (they were very passionate and a bit horrified at my idea!), a chance encounter with a very chilled greyhound got me researching them.
I then contacted a rescue group who were much more reassuring and offered to come and do a home visit to see if our home would suit a rescue greyhound. They also told us how they arranged fostering and trials prior to adoption. Basically, you foster the hound for several weeks and if all works well for both hound and parents then you adopt (it’s then called a “foster fail”). So, both Flash and Sandy are foster fails. Sandy was adopted a year after Flash and whilst there were a few moments at the start when Flash was territorial and didn’t like having a younger sister, he soon became accepting and now they get along really well.
Tell us about the greyhound breed. What do people need to know about greyhounds before they consider adoption?
As a breed greyhounds, are very chilled and they also make great family pets due to their gentle nature. Greyhounds are super quirky!
There’s the “greyhound roach” – they lie down on their backs in awkward positions with their legs going in different directions.
There’s also the “screech” where they let out a chilling/blood-curdling scream/yelp like something terrible has happened to them but in actual fact, they probably just stood on a bindi in the grass or got frightened by their own shadow.
Greyhounds make great pets – they are sweet-natured, don’t eat a huge amount and because they only have short bursts of energy (known as “zoomies” where they run around crazy, often in circles), they’re perfect if you have a busy lifestyle.
The main thing to think about is probably if their sensitive and chilled nature would suit your home if you’re thinking about adoption. I’d suggest finding out as much as you can about the individual greyhound’s nature. It’s good to know if they are social and like many breeds would need human or dog company all day or if they are happy to be alone.
Do you need a large space to have a greyhound? Are they apartment dogs or do you need a big backyard?
Despite what people often think, greyhounds are good dogs for anyone living in small homes and even apartments. Flash and Sandy despite access to a big backyard rarely use it as they prefer the comfort of their beds …or our sofas! When we lived in Sydney lots of people with greyhounds seemed to be living in small apartments in the inner-city and their greyhounds seemed perfectly happy. If they have a couple of short walks daily they’re content.
Our two are taken on outings once or twice a week by their beloved dog walker – Nadine from Walk and Sort because they love the adventure of a car ride and visiting new places.
Are greyhounds good with kids and other dogs or cats?
Despite misconceptions, greyhounds can be cat friendly. Flash is not interested or bothered by cats. Unfortunately, Sandy shows a bit too much interest. They love kids though and with their placid nature are great with little people.
If people are interested in adopting greyhounds, is there an organisation they should adopt from?
There’s a quite a few rescue groups for adopting or simply fostering greyhounds. In the Hunter, there is Friends of the Hound.
There is also Greyhound Rescue, an independent greyhound rescue facility who called their rehoming centre “Greysland’.
If people want to help greyhound rescues but can’t adopt another dog, are there other ways of helping with greyhound rescue dogs?
If you want to help greyhound rescues but aren’t able to foster or adopt then Greyhound Rescue are often fundraising and accept donations. They sell a lot of great merchandise for humans and dogs online.
Are there any meetup groups for rescue greyhound owners in Newcastle-Hunter area?
When we first moved to Newcastle almost four years ago there was a meet-up group called HAPPY Hounds Go Walkies that arranged walks but at the moment I don’t think are active.
There is a Facebook group Maitland Rescue Greyhounds that organise meetups twice a month.
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