The life of a racing dog
Racing greyhounds are bred for their fitness, rather than the physical characteristics of a purebred dog. For most greyhounds, life at racing kennels tends to be very predictable and structured – their life revolves around allotted times for feeding, grooming, exercise, and racing. Before they retire (usually between three and five), greyhounds won’t have experienced the sounds and activities of a home environment – they generally live inside a kennel owned by the trainers, usually with another greyhound, where they can remain muzzled for 21 hours a day.
Greyhounds are retired, and rehomed by charities, for various reasons. Unfortunately, injuries can also be common in the racing life of a greyhound – 35% of racing greys are injured each year – so bear in mind a latent injury could cause issues for your greyhound later in life. There are several reasons that a greyhound will be retired from racing, including a lack of prey drive meaning they do not chase and run, injury on or off the track, they are not fast enough to win the races, or a lack of interest in racing.
Fortunately, British ministers and their shadows have made it clear that they have no intention of banning greyhound racing, provided the industry continues to progress on welfare. The Greyhound Board of Great Britain has just published a new strategy for that; and Premier Greyhound Racing, a company I chair whose owners also own around half of licensed greyhound tracks, is committed to making it happen.David Lipsey Labour, House of Lords
Jane Dodds is right that retired greyhounds make great pets (Letters, 5 June). But greyhounds in this country are not “cruelly treated” as she claims. They are invariably and passionately loved by the trainers and the staff who look after them. And racing is not cruel or dangerous for the dogs. Thanks to sustained industry efforts, the injury rate in races is under 2% and most are not serious; 9,997 out of every 10,000 greyhounds that run go home safe. And today 94% of former racing greyhounds are successfully rehomed; 20 years ago, fewer than one in six were.
Racing is not cruel or dangerous for the dogs, and the vast majority are successfully rehomed after retirement, writes David Lipsey
What happens to greyhounds after racing UK?
“After their careers on the track, many retired greyhounds go on to live at home with their owners or trainers or are found loving forever homes by the many fantastic homing centres throughout the country.
Ex Racing Greyhounds as pets
The majority of former racing dogs are rehomed by the Retired Greyhound Trust, which is part-funded by the racing industry and independent charities, or directly by owners and trainers.