Thursday, 14 August 2014

Tessie is ten! Plus 10 reasons to adopt a retired racing greyhound

We've reached a couple of big milestones with our lovely greyhound Tessie. On 1st of July she turned 10 and then 2nd August marked 5 years since we adopted her.

Tessie has been a complete joy since the day we brought her home from the kennels.  We haven't had a moments trouble with her (if you ignore the cake stealing) and I can't imagine life without her, so I thought this might be a good time to give 10 reasons why you should consider a greyhound as your next dog.

1.  They don't need a lot of exercise. 
This is one of the main misconceptions about greyhounds, that because most are ex-racers they need a lot of exercise, when in fact the opposite is true. A greyhound is happy with two 20 minutes walks a day. Of course, they will walk for longer but they really don't need it. 

2. They are low maintenance 
Greyhounds are easy to look after, don't need a lot of expensive grooming and are happy to spend most of their day sleeping.  They also have little or no body odour, which means none of that doggy smell in the house.

3. They are very quiet 
Greyhounds rarely bark, and are very quiet dogs. When we were considering adopting a dog I didn't want a loud, yappy dog, and discovered that greyhounds are one of the quietest breeds. They like to 'roo' when they make a low howling sound, but not very often. Tessie only barks when she needs/wants something - food, a walk, or needs to go in the garden.

4. They are very clean and easy to housetrain
Ex-racers in particular are trained to keep their kennels clean and do their business outside, which makes it easier to transfer to their new lives when they're adopted.  Tessie has been clean in the house since day one.

5. Greyhounds are good with children
They're just as good as any other breed and better than many because of their gentle nature. Plus ex-racers are used to being handled by their trainers at the racetrack and as a result are patient with children who can be a bit rough and tumble with pets. 

When I was thinking of adopting a greyhound, a friend said she was concerned it might be aggressive because they're trained to chase small animals. I promised her I wouldn't let my children dress up as rabbits or hares.

6. Black greyhounds are 'hypoallergenic'
Greyhounds don't have 'undercoats' which means they are less likely to cause allergies in humans, particularly black greyhounds which shed less than the other types.

7. They are loyal, gentle animals
Greyhounds have a very gentle temperament and are very eager to please their owners. They are usually so grateful for a home and a warm comfortable bed that they prove themselves to be loving, gentle pets. 

8. Many greyhounds can live happily with cats 
Despite their high prey-drive and training to chase small furry animals, many retired greyhounds are trained to co-exist with other animals and are safely rehomed to families with cats. The Retired Greyhound Trust will match a greyhound to your family's requirements, and make sure they get the best fit for both you and the hound.

9. Watching them run is a thrill
Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth and can reach speeds of 40-45mph. The first time I stood close to Tessie running at top speed was  one of the most thrilling things I'd seen.  To watch her run around me in circles, purely for pleasure, at such close range was amazing, and even now that she's older and runs less and less it's still wonderful to see her run across a field.

10. There are literally hundreds of retired greyhounds looking for their forever homes. 
Racing greyhounds are retired from racing at the age of 5, and even earlier if they are not successful racers, so there are hundreds of them around the country just waiting for someone to adopt them.  If you want an elegant, eye-catching pedigree dog then a greyhound might be the dog for you. 

If you are interested in adopting one of these beautiful animals, please contact the Retired Greyhound Trust who will put you in touch with your local branch.

10 reasons to adopt a retired greyhound