Racing Greyhounds are usually not very old, when they become available for adoption.  They are typically 2 to 5 years of age when they retire and have an average life span of 12 to 14 years.  Occasionally, we get younger dogs who were not interested in chasing the lure or an older Greyhound who is retired from breeding.  All Racing Greyhounds are purebred dogs which are registered through the NGA (National Greyhound Association).

Greyhounds in our adoption program have their health checked, are spayed or neutered, have their rabies and all other vaccinations updated and receive a dental cleaning prior to adoption. Each Greyhound comes with a free bag of premium dog food, plastic kennel muzzle, buckle collar and a Recycled Racers ID tag with our phone number and an ID number that is unique to each individual Greyhound in our database. Our adoption fee is $175.00 which is applied to the above costs. You also get a professional quality 6-foot leash, matching tag collar and matching Martingale collar for your new dog.

You will need to complete our Adoption Application and return it to us so we can process it before you visit the kennel.  To learn the details of our adoption process, read our 'How to Adopt a Greyhound' web page.  For details on care and training after you adopt, read our Greyhound Care Manual web page.

Is a Greyhound grey?

Greyhounds actually come in a large variety of solid colors and brindle (striped) combinations!  Such as: Blue (grey), Fawn (light yellow gold), Light Red Fawn, Red Fawn, Dark Red, Liver (chocolate), Black, White, White & Black, Black & White, Red & White, White & Brindle Ticked, White & Brindle, Dark Brindle, Light Brindle, Red Brindle, Fawn Brindle, Blue Brindle, Black Brindle and Brindle!  The American Greyhound Track Operators Official Color Chart shows these color combinations.

How long do Greyhounds live?

Greyhounds have a long life expectancy for a large breed.  They normally live 12 to 14 years.

How big is a Greyhound?

Males weigh between 65 to 85 pounds and stand 26 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder.  Females weigh 50 to 65 pounds and stand 23 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.

A Greyhound is a large dog, but their movements are graceful.  This breed is not "in-your-face" and "in-your-way" every minute of the day.  They often curl up in a tight ball when they sleep and are happy to just be in the same room with their person.  Because of this they tend to fit into the household routine quickly.

Are Greyhounds hyperactive, high-strung dogs?

Although Greyhounds display a very competitive attitude when racing, once off the track they are extremely docile, gentle, and friendly animals who love human attention.  In fact, Greyhounds love to relax and take it easy so much that they are often called, "45 MPH couch potatoes".

Do Greyhounds get along with other pets?

Greyhounds have been bred for thousands of years to be sociable, non-aggressive and work with other Greyhounds when hunting.  Racers are raised and live in the company of other Greyhounds their entire careers.  Therefore they usually accept the company of other dog breeds.

Most Greyhounds can learn to live with cats as well.  But, they are hunters by nature and some dogs are unable to distinguish between cats/toy breed's of dogs and the small, furry animals they were bred to hunt.  Nonetheless, Greyhounds will come to accept almost any animal once they learn the other pet is a member of the family "pack".  There are exceptions, of course, that is why we need to know what other animals are part of your family before an adoption is made.  Read our Greyhound Care Manual for detailed information regarding Greyhounds and other pets.

Are they housebroken?

Racing Greyhounds are "kennel broken" which means they know to keep their sleeping areas clean and to relieve themselves outside.  This knowledge is usually readily transferred to their new adoptive homes, but these dogs have never seen nor lived in a home before, so they must be taught where and when it is acceptable to relieve themselves.  Read our Greyhound Care Manual for detailed information regarding housebreaking your Greyhound.

Are Greyhounds good with children?

Better than most pure breeds. Greyhounds are generally gentle and patient dogs, but they do not want to be harassed or harmed (by accident or on purpose) by a child, or anyone.  They tend to walk/run away rather than snap, but like all dog breeds Greyhounds do have limits, which can vary from dog to dog.

Young children under 6 years of age must always be monitored when with a Greyhound (or any dog), and must be taught to respect the dog and not tease or harm.  Young children should never grab or fall on a greyhound, or pet a sleeping Greyhound, or bother one while he is eating or chewing a bone/raw hide.  No Greyhound, or dog of any breed, should be left unsupervised with babies or young children.

Some Greyhounds are better with small children than others.  It is important we know the make up of your family so we can try to match the dog's personality to your family situation.

If you are expecting a baby, already have young children and are considering adopting an ex-racing Greyhound, then read one of these books:
'Childproofing Your Dog'
- by Brian Kilcommons or
'There's A Baby in the House: Preparing your Dog for the Arrival of your Child'
- by Michael Wombacher.

Please read our Greyhound Care Manual for detailed information regarding Greyhounds and children.


How much exercise do they require?

Greyhounds should be walked every day to go "potty and poopy", unless you have a completely fenced yard in which they can relieve themselves and play.  If you have a totally fenced yard, then a walk once a week will be greatly enjoyed by your Greyhound.

As a breed they are friendly, comical and generally laid back.  They do have their 2-3 minute spurts of energy, when they will let you know its time to play usually doing the "play bow" with bottom up and tail wagging, and front down!

Older dogs tend to be more relaxed than younger ones, but all enjoy taking a walk with their person and a quick sprint once in a while in a completely fenced-in area (ball fields work great if you don't have a fenced yard!).

A Greyhound can make an excellent jogging companion, but must be slowly introduced to long distances.  They are used to sprinting on a track with very fine "sugar sand", so it is important to give them time to toughen up their pads and let their muscles adjust to going longer distances at slower speeds.

They truly enjoy their retirement, and love to find the softest place in your home to enjoy a nice long nap.  Greyhounds are known as "45 MPH couch potatoes" so don't be surprised to find out that your Greyhound can sleep 16 - 18 hours a day!

Can Greyhounds live outside?

No, Greyhounds are strictly inside, house dogs!   They have very thin, short coats, with little to no body fat which makes them ill-equipped for life out-of-doors.  Inclement weather (hot or cold) can not be tolerated for long by these dogs!  Their thin skin, thin fur coats and low body fat make it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature.  When its cold put a coat on them, when its hot don't risk it.  Walk your Greyhound in the morning or evening when the pavement and air temps have cooled down and always bring water for you and your hound!

That doesn't mean that they don't enjoy being outside with their owners.  In fact, most Greyhounds love to jump around in fresh snow and will not complain about going out in most any kind of weather. 

This is why it is up to the owner to use common sense!  When it is cold and you and your hound will be outside for longer than 20 minutes, then you must put a winter coat on your Greyhound!  These dogs are used to wearing jackets and coats at the track in the winter and are kept in air-conditioned kennels in the Summer.

A good rule of thumb is, if it is cold enough that you have to put on a coat to go outside, then put one on your Greyhound too.  If it is hot enough that you have to use the air-conditioner or open the windows of your car, then it is too hot for your Greyhound to be outside for long!

Their grace and moderate temperament truly make the Greyhound an ideal house pet.  If you want a dog which will spend all or most of its time outside alone, the Greyhound is not the right dog for you.  If you want a gentle, sweet dog with super soft, crushed velvet fur, you can cuddle up to then the Greyhound is the right dog for you!

Will a Greyhound walk nicely on a leash?

Most Greyhounds have been broken to the lead.  Greyhounds prefer to walk on a slack lead, and for dogs of their size, are unusually easy to handle.  They respond very well to gentle touch and firm voice commands.

Do Greyhounds shed?

They have very short coats and slight undercoats.  Regular brushing, especially in the spring and fall, is all that is necessary to keep shedding to a minimum.  Most Greyhounds really enjoy being groomed with a very soft bristle brush (cat brushes work well and don't scratch the skin) or a "hound glove".

Can Greyhounds be let off their leash while outside?

No, Greyhounds must always be kept on a leash when outside of a completely fenced area!  Greyhounds belong to the Sight Hound group and can see clearly for very long distances (more than half a mile!) and their attention can be easily captured by any small animal or motion.  They are not "street wise", and do not consider the traffic. Greyhounds can not find their way home after a romp on the loose and they can run 45 mph (as fast as a horse at full speed!) so catching one on the loose can be next to impossible.  So why take the risk?  If you do, it could cost your Greyhound his/her life.

Do Greyhounds have any special medical requirements?

Greyhounds have been carefully bred for thousands of years and as a breed are one of the healthiest, having no inbred genetic physical problems, like most other large pure breeds do.  Greyhounds are however, very sensitive to certain chemicals and drugs.  Their liver metabolizes drugs more slowly, and it is also thought that their very low ratio of body fat (10-15%) is another cause of this sensitivity.  In general, the levels of some drugs in a dog's system falls (gets metabolized) by going into its fat.  The less fat a dog has, the longer it will take for the drug blood level to fall.

For a detailed list of safe and unsafe chemicals, drugs and anesthesia procedures for the Greyhound, please read, Adopting the Racing Greyhound (3rd edition) by Cynthia A. Branigan.  This fully updated 3rd edition (published July 2003) features ground breaking veterinary information not available anywhere else.  It provides newly updated information on medical conditions in Greyhounds and the latest in tests and treatments.  It also has a listing of products which can safely be used on/in a Greyhound for fleas and ticks, and internal parasites such as worms and specific anesthesias which are safer than others for Greyhounds.

If you think your veterinarian may not be familiar with these special medical needs, then you may want to photo copy the medical sections and give to your vet or lend him/her this book so they can read it themselves for up-to-date information on the subject.  It may save your Grey's life.

Recycled Racers maintains a list of Greyhound savvy vets and Animal Hospitals on our "Greyhound Savvy Vets in Colorado" web page for your reference.

Tons of other detailed Greyhound medical articles and information can be found in the Health section of The Greyhound Project web site.  Check it out, you'll be glad you did!

What supplies should I get before I bring my Greyhound home?

Please read our Greyhound Care Manual for a suggested list of supplies and information regarding what to expect when you bring your Greyhound home.

We suggest that every adopter and potential adopter read one or all of the following books:

Adopting the Racing Greyhound (3rd edition) - by Cynthia A. Branigan
Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies - by Lee Livingood or
Greyhounds: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual - by D. Caroline Coile

For a detailed description of these books and a list of other recommended Greyhound books take a look at our Suggested Reading list.

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