Greyhounds: New Beginnings

Animal Welfare League of Qld, breeds

I am a huge fan of Paws and Claws magazine. Which is why I was so excited to be asked to write an article about Greyhounds and why they are such amazing pets. Pick up your copy of Paws and Claws from all good pet stores, rehoming centres and anywhere animal related or you can read my article below.

P&C has a new owner a new layout and a new website with lots of great pet tips. make sure you check it out by clicking here

At the Animal Welfare League of Qld Hugo sat in the sunshine in his cosy bed watching the world go by. For 4 months he would see dogs come and go and would push himself up against his pen wall when people stopped to say hello, hoping to get a scratch and a little bit of affection. Although not his ideal environment Hugo was content, he was safe and his racing career was a distant memory.

Most Australians would be privy to Greyhound Racing – the national sport where long and lean dog’s race around a track after a stuffed bunny to win money for their owners. What you might not know however, is that around 20,000 Greyhounds are bred in Australia for the ‘sport’ of racing EVERY YEAR and less than half of these make it to the track.

 Thousands upon thousands of healthy, young Greyhounds are destroyed each year for no other reason other than they become surplus to racing industry requirements. There is a phenomenally high mortality rate for these dogs and a huge misconception about the temperament of the breed as a direct result of the racing industry.

Greyhounds make amazing pets. Gentle, quiet, and affectionate they are not considered a high energy dog and in fact when indoors, they will often curl up and take a nap. Greyhounds are good with children and often compatible with other family pets. The greyhound is not prone to excessive barking and is generally easy to housetrain.

Due to the lack of knowledge about this majestic breed, Greyhounds that are lucky enough to be surrendered to a shelter after their racing career finishes will often stay for months at a time watching potential families pass them by.

The Animal Welfare League of Qld currently has six ex racing Greyhounds currently calling their Gold Coast rehoming centre home. For ‘Hugo’ his new beginning came in early August when a lovely girl named Megan saw his photo online and knew she had to meet him. “A picture tells 1000 words and his photo was just beautiful. His eyes are to die for and I immediately fell in love”, she said.

Megan had never owned a dog before but says she can’t imagine a dog more perfect then ‘Hugo’. “He gets on so well with our whole family and is perfect with my 3 year old niece and 4 year old nephew. “He has the most amazing personality and is so well behaved. He doesn’t smell or shed hair, he is just perfect”.

AWLQ spokesperson Brooke Whitney said that the day ‘Hugo’ found a home the entire shelter stopped to wave goodbye and held back tears of happiness. “Hugo holds a special place in all of our hearts and we can’t wait for the days to come when all of our Greyhounds start their new beginnings in homes that will truly love them and treat them the way they deserve to be treated”.

Every one of the AWLQ Greyhounds has a unique personality. But they all have two things in common:

  1. They are ex racers
  2. They pine to be loved

‘Hugo’ loves human companionship. Any chance he got to lean on his dog walkers he would, he craves affection and is a real smoocher. This type of behaviour is typical of the breed which makes them an ideal family pet. “Greyhounds are faithful and loyal and adore their human families,” Brooke said.

The Animal Welfare League of Qld is known for their creative rehoming campaigns and their latest ‘Adopt Cuteness, Adopt a Greyhound’ had social media sites buzzing. “It was great branding for Greyhounds and our aim was to promote the positive attributes that they all possess”. “The Greyhounds currently in our care have a thriving support network online who share their photos, their stories and ask after them on a daily basis. Our supporters were so thrilled to see ‘Hugo’ find a home after months of waiting”.

The Animal Welfare League of Qld will continue to find homes for Greyhounds and be active in working with Friends of the Hound and other rescue organisations to help give these beautiful animals a second chance at a new beginning.

If you are looking to extend your furry family then visit the Greyhound’s at the Animal Welfare League of Qld. There are dogs just like ‘Hugo ‘waiting patiently for their new beginning.   Visit awlqld.com.au for more information or like the AWLQ on Facebook.

10Reasons you should own a Greyhound

  • They are clean, easy to care for and gentle – even a child can handle a Greyhound.
  • They rarely bark, usually only when something is wrong or when they get really excited. They are not generally suitable as a guard dog (however the size is generally a good deterrent).
  • They are very social and can learn to live with other pets in your family
  • A patient and tolerant dog, the Greyhound is usually very good with children and due to their calm, sensitive and friendly nature Greyhounds are very suitable as Therapy Pets for Aged Care facilities and special needs homes.
  • They make great indoor pets due to their short sleek coats, the absence of doggy odour and  placid, sedentary nature
  • A walk each day is more than enough to keep them healthy and happy.  A small yard is fine, particularly if they are getting regular short walks.
  • Greyhounds tend to be “couch potatoes” and are content to laze around on their cosy bed or on the lounge beside their owners.
  • They are toilet trained and are very tidy
  • Their life span is approx 12-14 years

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50 Shades Of Grey(hound)

Photographers

Now that I have your attention I have to break the bad news.. This blog post will not be about the book, (50 shades of Grey) but the good news is I am talking about Greyhounds.

Shelters and rescue groups are inundated with Greyhounds because the racing community disposes of these animals when they are no longer running faster enough or winning enough money. They magestic dogs make incredible pets and are such loving companions it is a shame that more people so not consider them when wanting to adopt a pet.

Here are some quick facts about Greyhounds as sourced from Friends of the Hound, a rehoming orgniasation located in Brisbane whose sole purpose is to help find homes for Greyhounds.

    • There are around 20,000 Greyhounds bred in Australia each year for racing purposes.
    • Just under half the number bred don’t even make it to the track.
  • Most racing Greyhounds are destroyed by the age of 3-4 years when their racing careers are finished or after suffering an injury that prevents them from continuing to race.

Sadly, thousands upon thousands of Greyhounds are destroyed each year when they become surplus to racing industry requirements. Thousands of dogs are injured each year on the track.

It is wrongly assumed by many that Greyhounds are not the ideal family pet or childhood companion. This could not be further from the truth. Greyhounds are kind, loyal dogs that make fantastic household pets and are great with children.

You may be surprised to learn that Greyhounds do not need much exercise at all. In fact they are affectionately described by their owners as 45mph couch potatoes and love to spend their time indoors or on a sofa in the sun.

Greyhounds do not require a large backyard and do not have high energy abundance. Their friendly, gentle temperament makes them an ideal indoor pet. Greyhounds also make fantastic pets for the elderly as they are usually very patient.

Another misconception of the Greyhound stems from past law requirements, which have forced them to wear muzzles. This has created a common belief that Greyhounds are an aggressive breed. Reasons behind the muzzle are not due to aggression, but are to discourage chasing, as many greyhounds are trained from an early age to chase anything fluffy. Although greyhounds may not have the same social experiences as other breeds while growing up, they can adapt to a domestic life with a little help from their new owner.

If you are considering adopting a Greyhound here are some more fun facts:

HAIR
Greyhounds have little or no body fat, and short, smooth coats, and as a consequence, they tend to feel the elements more than other dogs. They should sleep indoors at night and have adequate shelter during the day if left alone. A greyhound that gets overheated or too cold can lose condition very quickly and their health can deteriorate rapidly. A warm coat is required for those cold winter days and nights.

BATH TIME
How often a greyhound gets bathed very much depends on how soiled they get. They have very little oil in their skin, which means very little “doggy odour”. Select a mild all natural, conditioning shampoo – oatmeal shampoo is fantastic for dogs with dandruff or dry skin. Unless a greyhound gets particularly dirty it will not need bathing very often – certainly not weekly. Washing too often strips the coat of its natural oils and dries the coat and the skin.

EARS
It is advisable to check your greyhounds’ ears once a week. Clean the outer ear gently with a baby wipe or damp tissue. When bathing a dog it is also a good idea to plug the ears with a cotton wool ball to avoid shampoo dripping down into the ear.

TEETH
It is not uncommon for ex-racers to have bad teeth, partly due to the soft diet they are fed when racing. Any deep cleaning is done before adoption, but like humans it is possible for plaque build up to occur after this. Brushing with a specially designed toothbrush or a gauze pad can help stop tartar from occurring. Brisket and raw chicken bones are also good for keeping teeth clean. It is advisable to have your dog’s teeth cleaned by your vet on a regular basis.

NAILS
All the weight of a dog is placed on its feet. Therefore it is vital to regularly attend to trimming a greyhound’s toenails. Most greyhounds are used to having this done while they stand. Using good quality clippers; lean over and bend the foot backwards to find the underside of the nail. A vet or a groomer will be only too happy to show the inexperienced or nervous owner how to cut them. Greyhound’s nails are often longer than other breeds, but should be trimmed to keep them from getting too long. As a general rule they should be trimmed to keep them just off the ground, but they will still look like they are a little longer than you’d be used to!

SAVE A LIFE – ADOPT A GREYHOUND

The Animal Welfare League of Qld is running a Greyhound adoption drive as they currently have 7 Greyhounds in their care who are looking for a new home. I was lucky enough to attend a photoshoot with these beautiful dogs at the beach on Monday with Diana from K9 Photography who once again captured some beautiful images. The AWLQ’s online campaign runs for 2 weeks and they hope to rehome all 7 Grey’s. Their design team have come up with the following posters to promote the great qualities unique to the Greyhound breed.

SEE BELOW

Down at the beach with the AWLQ Greyhounds & Volunteers

If you are looking for a family companion or a big dog that doesn’t require much work then consider a Greyhound – you will not be dissapointed.

Bronx the Greyhound

Bess the leaning post