This beautiful breed has a bad reputation but a real heart of gold. Carrol Baker learns more about Greyhounds and the people fighting to save them.
For the uninitiated, the concept of sharing your home with a Greyhound might seem a little at odds with your beliefs about them. They need lots of exercise, right? Aren’t they an aggressive breed? They’re just an outdoors dog for racing, aren’t they? You might be surprised to learn that the answer to all those questions is a resounding no. Greyhounds can make wonderful pets; they have a sweet disposition and are very loving.
A gentle breed
Lisa White, founder of the Queensland-based Greyhound rescue group called Friends of the Hound says Greyhounds are an easy-going companion pet that will fit into most families with ease. “They are so adaptable. They’re a sensitive, soulful dog,” she says. “I have had so many people come back to me after taking home a rescue Greyhound and saying, ‘Lisa, this dog has changed my life’. “They can also be quite quirky; they have different personalities,” she adds. “They can be goof balls and, at other times, very chilled out.”
Those who are fortunate enough to share their home with one of these gentle giants of the canine world say one of the best things about them is that there is more of them to love, but that doesn’t mean they are hard work to look after. Their short coat just needs a brush to keep it in check every now and then.
Pound puppies no more
Lisa started her rescue group after spotting Zada in a cage at a pound in 2002. “I saw this beautiful blue face looking out at me and another volunteer said ‘that’s just a Greyhound, it’s not here to be rehomed, it’s here to be put down’,” says Lisa. “But I couldn’t forget about it; I kept seeing that poor dog’s face. I was online until 3am; I knew nothing about Greyhounds and what happens to them.” After Lisa navigated her way through mountains of red tape, 18-month-old Zada found her new home with Lisa and her family.
Adjusting to their new home
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet that’s affectionate and rarely barks, these gorgeous pets tick all the boxes. “They’re such an easy-going companion pet and are a very people-focused dog,” says Peter. Peter and Janet have rehomed around 1000 Greyhounds in the last decade. It’s fair to say, he knows a thing or two about these lovable lanky pets.
Many Greyhounds find their way to Greyhound rescue organisations because they aren’t winning races or they’ve reached their use-by date. “At age four and a half, they’re like a 35-year-old rugby player; not wanted as they’re past their prime,” says Peter.
For more information about greyhounds, visit our Greyhound Breed Facts section.