The beginning of the year seems like a good time to clear up a few common myths about retired greyhounds, so for Greyhound days in January, we’ll be clearing up myths about abuse, glass doors, and going off-lead.
Myth #1: My foster greyhound or adopted greyhound is afraid of the broom. The poor dog must have been abused at the track.
When we first became involved with retired greyhounds and adopted greyhound groups, we heard horror stories of abuse these gentle dogs endured while existing within the racing track system.
So naturally whenever one of our foster greyhounds got scared of something like a broom we assumed the greyhound had been abused. We soothed fears with our fosters and shook our heads at a flawed system.
Then, years later we were at a wonderful event sponsored by our greyhound adoption group and we learned the more likely, and less frustrating, explanation.
Our group adopts greyhounds at the end of their careers out of a Florida track and our president brought in the greyhound rescue coordinator to share pictures and teach us about the life and retirement of working greyhounds. He explained how things work within the kennels at his track and we suddenly had a better understanding of our foster greyhounds and the greys we’d adopted from his track.
Being at home with your new greyhound is a whole different dynamic than how that dog lived with its peers at the track.
In the pack mentality of the kennel, dogs have a hierarchy and they fight for position even, or especially when they go out in the yard. If a fight breaks out, trainers will use whatever they have on hand to stop it, and brooms and long handled tools top the list.
Greyhounds move fast and they’re powerful when they need to be. So even if your sweet retired greyhound lounging on the couch looks as if they’d never think of any kind of trouble, in the kennel it might have been different. Even if they were the most innocent in the kennel, they likely learned to stay on the safe side of that long handled tool no matter which dog started or finished the trouble.
So, Myth #1 is busted. Brooms don’t automatically equal an abusive situation. (although I know plenty of abuse does go on). In the case of this particular track, abuse is not tolerated on any scale and people work together for the well-being of every greyhound – working or nearing retirement.
Live the greyhound adventure!
Find out more about how to adopt the right greyhound for you with the Adopt A Greyhound Guide!