Guest post courtesy of Fiona Chisholm from Greyhound Rescue
MYTH ONE: GREYHOUNDS NEED LOTS OF EXERCISE
There’s a reason why they’re known as ‘70km couch potatoes’: greyhounds love sleeping. On the rare occasions they are caught upright, these guys would rather be eating or playing than joining you on a strenuous hike or 10km run. Greys are built for speed, not endurance, so a short daily walk and some play time is fine.
MYTH TWO: GREYHOUNDS ARE HYPERACTIVE
Greyhounds are affectionately considered to be the laziest breed — however just like any dog, they love to play! A grey will bow and vocalise to let their human or animal friends know when they’re ready to have some fun. This usually ends with what are known as ‘zoomies’ – running around in circles and bowing — a hilarious and short display of joy.
MYTH THREE: GREYHOUNDS ARE DANGEROUS AROUND CATS AND SMALL ANIMALS
Greyhounds are naturally gentle dogs, but as ‘sight hounds’ they can easily be incited to chase moving objects. Cut-throat trainers can take advantage of this by taunting dogs with tethered live animals, and tying animals to fast-moving lures. This cruel and illegal practice, called blooding is not the choice of the dogs.
Many greyhounds are discarded by the industry because they simply refuse to chase at all. It’s important to remember that, just like all dogs, each greyhound is an individual – so while some of them may not like cats and other small animals, others see them as best friends. Speak to your local greyhound rescue group for advice about the perfect grey for you and your other furry friends!
MYTH FOUR: GREYHOUNDS ARE NOT LIKE OTHER DOGS
Greyhounds are unique in that they are one of the most exploited canine breeds. To many, their only value lies in their ability to run fast and win money. But to those who love them, these incredible dogs are so much more. They are loyal, devoted, affectionate, playful, sensitive, and loving. In fact, greyhounds are just like any other dog.
MYTH FIVE: GREYHOUNDS MUST BE VICIOUS AS THEY WEAR MUZZLES
NSW state laws require greyhounds to wear muzzles when in a public area. This is based on the assumption that the dogs have been trained to chase (and possibly harm) small animals. If you see a greyhound with a muzzle on – try not to judge! Greyhounds can become Greenhounds, to avoid muzzling requirements – www.greenhounds.com.au/what-is-a-greenhound.html
MYTH SIX: GREYHOUNDS AREN’T CUDDLY
One of the best things about big dogs is that there’s more of them to love. And after a life confined in a small kennel, many rescued greys will relish the opportunity to be at your side (or on your lap … or couch … or bed).
MYTH SEVEN: GREYHOUNDS LOVE TO RACE
They do but a zoomie round the back garden is sufficient, no need for a race on dangerous tracks. Greys may be the fastest dog, but this doesn’t mean they’re happy in the racing industry. In fact, many dogs live a life of deprivation in kennels – kept in pens or crates for up to 23 hours a day. Not to mention those who are injured and/or killed on the racetrack.
MYTH EIGHT: GREYHOUNDS ARE SUITED TO AN OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT
With hardly any body fat and a very fine coat, greyhounds are particularly susceptible to the excesses of cold and heat. Access to a warm, dry and safe area is vital at all times.
MYTH NINE: GREYHOUNDS NEED LOADS OF SPACE TO LIVE IN
Greyhounds are very space-efficient. Not only can they compact themselves into an impossibly small ball for optimum cat-cuddling, they’ve even been voted as one of the best breeds for apartment living.
MYTH TEN: ADOPTING A GREYHOUND WILL TURN YOU INTO A CRAZY GREYHOUND PERSON
Actually this is true. Once you have opened your heart to a rescued greyhound, there’s no going back — these sensitive dogs have a way of leaving their mark on all those who love them and many people come back for another one, or two!!
Help a greyhound find its new ‘fur-ever’ home, say Glebe foster carers
Most people don’t know you can foster a greyhound to see if it’s a good match for your lifestyle.
Glebe couple, Zosia Smith and Yong Guck Gim, were recent foster parents to rescue greyhound Marlon and are happy to say he has just found his ‘fur-ever’ home.
The couple were able to foster – a long held dream – when they moved into a Glebe rental townhouse which allowed pets. Marlon lived with them for several months.
“Marlon will be two in September. It’s been hugely rewarding to see him develop his confidence and personality. He was quite shy of other dogs at first. Over time, he’s now the first one to go say hello to passing dogs. His new adoptive mum and dad will make friends everywhere they go,” said Zosia.
“It doesn’t get much better than coming home to a dog that’s joyfully happy and excited to see you. It’s the miracle cure for any bad day. Marlon’s just gorgeous!”
Zosia’s advice for those considering foster care is: “Go for it. We loved taking care of Marlon.”
Yong Guck said becoming a foster carer is a simple process involving an online questionnaire, a house visit by Sydney charity Greyhound Rescue (GR), followed by a visit to meet your greyhound.
“We found it straightforward. They made sure the greyhound we fostered was the right fit for us. When we visited the kennels, we met Marlon and took him home the same day. He settled into family life very quickly,” he said.
Janet Flann, Greyhound Rescue founder, said the charity pays the full cost of necessary vet bills while a dog is in foster, while foster carers cover food, shelter and flea treatments.
“We’ll supply muzzle, coat, collar and lead. We can help with costs if necessary. How long a hound stays with carers depends on the number of adoption applications we get, but foster carers should be prepared to accommodate a dog for at least six months,” she said.
Carers are also required to meet and greet potential adopters when the time comes.
“They can always adopt, but carers tell us it’s great to see a foster go to its forever home. Anyone who’s interested should complete a fostering form via our website. Our greys are de-sexed, vaccinated and heartworm tested. Adopters pay $350 per dog,” said Janet.
Peter Flann, GR co-founder, said in addition to food, shelter and love, foster greyhounds also need basic training: “For many of our dogs, this is the first time they will live as a pet and it can be overwhelming. You’ll also be required to meet and greet potential adopters when the time comes,” he said.
He said some people worry about getting attached to their foster dogs: “Foster carers can always adopt, but they tell us it is a great feeling to see their foster dog settle into their forever home.”
“Greyhounds make great pets for all ages. They are gentle 70-km per hour couch potatoes. They need only a 20 minute walk each day, unlike most other dogs, but would obviously enjoy more. They have no doggie smell, shed little hair and seldom bark, being quiet and calm in nature.”
To enquire about foster care or adopt a greyhound, please submit an application via the GR website – greyhoundrescue.com.au/