Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does racing come naturally to greyhounds?
A: Greyhounds love to run, and are competitive by instinct. In racing, there is no stimulus other than the mechanical lure to make the greyhounds run. When the starting box opens, the animal’s natural instinct is to chase the lure, and try to reach it first.
Q: What are they chasing?
A: The greyhounds are chasing a mechanical lure. The lure is a stuffed bone attached to a bar that travels around the track. The lure makes a squeaky noise as it circles the track and the greyhounds chase the lure by sight and by sound.
Q: Why do greyhounds wear muzzles?
A: They wear muzzles while racing to help racing officials determine the outcome of a photo-finish race, and to protect the greyhounds from injury.
Q: How often does each greyhound race?
A: Each greyhound races no more than three times in two weeks.
Q: How old are greyhounds when they begin racing?
A: Most begin at about a year and a half, and continue until three and a half to four and a half years old. Some will race beyond their fifth birthday, and a select few past their sixth.
Q: Is racing safe for greyhounds?
A: Yes. If an injury does occur, the race track has a Veterinarian and an equipped office on the premises to attend the animal immediately. However, prevention of injury is a top priority. The industry has funded extensive research into methods for ensuring the safety of racing greyhounds while they are competing. Much of that research is conducted at the University of Florida’s Center for Veterinary Sports Medicine, the only facility of its kind in the nation.
Q: How are greyhounds trained to race?
A: At about a year old, greyhound puppies are transferred to training kennels. They run and chase by instinct, so initially their training consists of chasing a lure dragged along the ground. As they mature, they are taught to run on circular tracks, with the mechanical lure suspended above the ground. At about a year and a half, they graduate to longer, oval tracks, starting boxes and competition.
Q: Do greyhounds make good pets?
A: Greyhounds are very well suited to life as a pet after racing. They are used to being around people, living indoors and sharing the attention with other dogs. The breed is generally laid back and mellow when they’re not racing. Information about our local adoption program is available on the site.