Thinking about Greyhounds and Racing

by Kate D’Arcy

There was a post by a fellow Pro-racing person, who got me compelled to put my thoughts on paper, or rather in type, about racing and doing research before deciding … and also the urban myths that often come from an AR person, related to number of greyhounds born, etc.

There are many misconceptions about greyhound racing, starting with the number of greyhounds born each year, even though it is a documented number made public by the National Greyhound Assoc … and those of us in the greyhound industry know that the number of greyhounds born each year is so much less than anti-racing people estimate and also publish in their propaganda!! Much less. Every greyhound pup is accounted for. Another misconception, the myth about why greyhound pups are not made available for adoption … they are!!! Only a few, because most breeders will keep puppies with their littermates until they are at least 12-13 months old … typically you won’t know talent levels in a greyhound until they are 1.5 years old … and the few pups that are made available for adoption are usually snapped up in MINUTES!! There are waiting lists for puppies, if and when one becomes available. You would really have to trust and adoption family and/or adoption group to give them an un-spayed un-neutered greyhound pup. Some breeders rather wait until the pup is older. We have adopted out unraced and never trained pups of ours, but we waited until they were at least 12 months old, so they could grow up with their littermates and get canine social skills needed. It seemed more fair to the pup to let her grow up in their family, and not get taken away. That was one of my un-raced pups, and my reasoning for waiting. I could have adopted her at 12-16 weeks, but I wanted her with her siblings growing up in a family.

People need to do their research before their decide PRO or ANTI racing. Sometimes a dog may get carried off a track, and it looks like a major issue … 1 minute later that dog is walking 100%, wagging their tail and all fine … they cramped in a race! People should not always assume that its an injury. I am pro greyhound racing person … I am a pro horse racing person. I have educated myself in both and made my decision. However, I am anti-racing when it comes to trotters or harness racing. I don’t like it. Its not natural to me. BUT, and here is the BUT …. I don’t go assuming that trotters are mistreated, abused, etc, etc. That is my biggest issue with anti-racing people who slander greyhound families. We love our dogs. We want them fit, healthy, happy! I am a dog lover and have been my entire life. I am a dog lover who loves greyhound … and loves watching greyhounds race and respects their true and innate ability! A greyhound racing and competing, nothing more amazing to watch …. and feel the buzz of racing greyhound zoom past as you watch them trackside. Its what they want to do … its what they yearn to do! Greyhound don’t have jockeys and/or whips … they race because they want to! At the end of a race, all the greyhounds will be wagging their tails, happy and proud of themselves … its pure joy to see a greyhound walk off the track after a race and see true happiness.

People don’t have to like racing, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but please do your research … go see a race, talk to breeders, trainers .,… and MOST of all, see how the dogs react, as they walk out onto the racetrack and how they are walking off the track. They are happy!!! greyhounds are the adrenalin junkies of dogs!!! They want that excitement and racing. If you have ever held the leash of a greyhound who sees other greyhound racing, you would know that not anything in the world is more exciting to a greyhound than racing. If anti-racing people had their greyhounds at a track, they would quickly realize how UNimportant they are to their greyhound in that instance that their dog sees/hears a race … NO amount of stuffies, milk bones, kisses, snuggles and treats could compare to that greyhound’s desire to race … and only a naïve owner would think otherwise. Just my opinion, and I needed to get it out of my system. One of my fav pictures of my retired girl Orla is this one …. her first school at Derby Lane. Tell me she isn’t thrilled to be racing. Look at her eyes!

Picture of Orla

Orla (c) Kate D’Arcy