From the farm, to school, to the track and into your home, the racing greyhound has had a fairly structured existence. She has always been part of a group, first on the farm with their litter mates, then at school with their training school buddies, and then at the race track with their track mates. They are always together. Their daily routine alters little, with turnouts, visits to the sprint path, race days and spa days, they always know what to expect and when to expect it.
Then their employment ends, and that way of life is suddenly over for them. No more race days, no more sprint path, no more buddies, no more trainer. Their world has been turned upside down, and they land in your living room.
The degree of change cannot be overestimated for these gentle souls. When you first meet them, they are still in shock and really have no idea what's happened, they just know their world has been rocked. They try to carry on.
If they look around the room and see a crate, it's often the only familiar thing in the room. If they are really fortunate, there's another greyhound there, which will calm and soothe the newly retired racer. These are really the only two things that can cause them to feel like their world isn't over.
When we suggest getting two greyhounds, it's not because we want to move 2 greyhounds Into homes. When a newly retired greyhound sees another greyhound, it makes them feel all is still right with the world. Even a short visit can make a world of difference to your new hound's confidence.
Sometimes the transition from track to home goes very smoothly and a greyhound adapts quickly. Other times, it takes more work. The best thing you can do for your new greyhound is to train them how to be alone, if you have to leave them for extended periods every day. This does take some time, but it's an investment in having a happy and contented hound.
You can find resources and tips about Alone Training on our website and help in our Facebook groups. Simple things can also help. Having a friend drop by or hiring a dog walker for a mid day walk if you can't be there yourself can make a big difference while your new hound is learning. Leaving the radio or TV on for them can also help. And remember, most hounds do learn, it just takes some time. More tips can be found under RESOURCES and on our Facebook page.
If you aren't able to adopt two greyhounds, try finding a greyhound buddy to walk with. Check with one of our reps to see if you can set up a buddy walk with another newly retired hound. If you can't find a greyhound buddy to walk with, try to find a walking buddy of another breed.
If you find your new greyhound "statues" during walks, it's not because they are stubborn. It's because they are overwhelmed with all the new sights and sounds in their world. Try making walks shorter, and if you can find a quieter area to walk in, that can help, too.
These suggestions can help the transition go more smoothly. As always, if you're having trouble or concerns, drop us a line. We're here to help.