Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of the greyhound?

Greyhounds are the oldest purebred canine, originating as a hunting breed in the Middle East over 8,000 years ago.  Today’s modern greyhounds are the result of careful, controlled breeding in England where they were associated with nobility, royalty and prestige. Some notable past owners included Queen Victoria and King Henry VIII.  They are the fastest dog in the world.  Built for speed and agility, they can reach top speeds of up to 70kph during a race.  Greyhounds are sight hounds. They can see clearly up to 1 kilometre and have amazing peripheral vision of 270 degrees.

Do greyhounds make good pets?

Greyhounds are quiet, well-mannered, and very easy to live with.  They are all very individual but can be friendly, lazy, calm, playful, easy-going, independent, affectionate, loving, trusting, good-natured and very social.  With this in mind please note that they do not make good guard dogs.  They tend not to bark and rarely alert owners to the arrival of people at their home.

How big are greyhounds?

Males usually weigh between 28-37kg and can be as tall as 60 - 75 cm at the shoulder.  Females generally weigh between 24 - 30kg and stand between 55 - 70cm at the shoulder.

How many different types of colour are there?

Greyhounds come in a variety of colours including brindle, fawn, black, white, black and white, white with brindle, red fawn, blue fawn, light fawn and blue.

How old are the greyhounds in the program and how long do they live for?

Greyhounds coming into the program are usually 2 to 5 years old with the average age being around 3 years old.  The expected life span of a greyhound is anywhere between 12 - 15 years. The adaptable, stable and loving nature of the greyhound predisposes an easy transition to companion dog regardless of age.  Generally, younger dogs will be more active, while older dogs will be quieter.

Do retired racing greyhounds adjust quickly to life as a pet?

Yes.  Following retirement, greyhounds are placed in foster care by GAP SA for approximately six weeks to expose them to as many new experiences as possible.  The dogs are usually settled in a family environment well before the foster period is over.  Teaching greyhounds a new routine and making them comfortable in a new home environment generally only takes a few weeks.  Older greyhounds tend to be well mannered from the start while younger dogs are generally more curious and active.

Do greyhounds get along with other dogs?

In the kennel environment, greyhounds have most likely lived with other greyhounds and they are likely to make friends with any other pet dogs you have at home.

Are they good with other animals?

The greyhound’s suitability with other animals needs to be assessed throughout the foster care period.  Extra care is always required when introducing any new pet to a greyhound for the first time.  As is the case with all breeds of dogs, some may not be suited to living with other animals.  GAP SA strives to best match the adopted greyhound to your individual living situation.

Are they good with children?

Greyhounds have a very gentle and quiet disposition and are typically patient and sensitive with children.  As with any dog, education of children is vital, however a greyhound will normally walk away from an agitative child rather than growling or snapping.  Children should be taught to respect the greyhound and not disturb them when they are sleeping or eating.  We recommend actively supervising when dogs and children are together in the home.

Do retired greyhounds require a lot of exercise?

No.  Greyhounds are sprinters and therefore tire very quickly.  They enjoy, but are not dependent on, moderate exercise.  In most homes, the shared experience of a 20-30 minute daily walk is enough to keep both the owner and the greyhound in good physical health.

Do greyhounds have to be muzzled in public?

All greyhounds must be muzzled while in public unless exemption status has been granted by the Dog & Cat Management Board SA (DCMB). GAP SA greyhounds go through a stringent behavioural assessment prior to being adopted.  Our assessors provide GAP SA greyhound owners with the muzzle exemption safety certificate which allows them to apply for the DCMB muzzle exemption card.  Once you have received approval from the DCMB, your greyhound will no longer require its muzzle in public. They will however always be required to be on lead.

Are the greyhounds for adoption house-trained?

Greyhounds are intelligent, clean animals that learn very quickly.  They have been house-trained whilst in foster care however within a new environment some accidents can be expected until a new routine has been established.

Do females make for a better pet than males?

There is little difference between males and females behaviourally. Female greyhounds can tend to be more independent, while males are generally more affectionate.

I’d love to adopt or foster a greyhound.  How do I go about it?

Please complete an application form on GAP SA’s website,   Should you have any questions in regards to possible foster care or adoption, you are can call us on 8243 7124.

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