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Greyhounds will race straight to your heart

Sooks: Compulsory muzzles for greyhounds has created a perception that greyhounds are an aggressive breed, however most greyhounds are actually very gentle with people. You might have seen them around your neighbourhood, or heard about the controversy of greyhounds as racing dogs. Greyhounds make excellent pets though, and April is Greyhound Adoption Month.
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So if you’ve ever thought about adopting one, now is the perfect time to learn more about this unique breed of dog.

If you’re adopting a greyhound, it’s likely that it will be an ex-racer, or have been deemed unfit for racing. Having grown up in a racing environment means that greyhounds sometimes need extra time to adjust to daily life with a family. Things like the sound of a TV, the phone ringing, stairs, rugs or glass doors may be unfamiliar to them, so it is essential to be patient with your greyhound.

If your greyhound hasn’t been in foster care, it may not be toilet-trained for indoors life, so be prepared to use reward-based toilet training techniques.

In many parts of , it’s compulsory for greyhounds to wear a muzzle when they’re out in public. This has created a perception that greyhounds are an aggressive breed, however most greyhounds are actually very gentle with people. In some states assessment programs are in place that can grant a greyhound exemption from public muzzling, and the ACT recently did away with the muzzling requirement altogether.

If you already care for any other animals, as with any other dog, make sure you introduce them to any greyhound you are thinking of adopting very carefully. While some greyhounds get on fine with smaller animals such as cats and rabbits, others have a strong prey drive, which means that their instinct to chase might make them unsuitable around these animals. And as with any other dog, children should always be supervised when around greyhounds.

There are plenty of myths out there about greyhounds either needing lots of exercise, or that they are complete couch potatoes. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Greyhounds need to be exercised regularly and prefer short, brisk walks, but they also appreciate a warm place to retreat to when it’s time to rest.

Greyhounds have several endearing quirks, and one of them is that they are not able to sit very well due to their body structure.

Some greyhounds also love collecting things. While they don’t usually chew the things they collect, you might want to keep shoes out of reach.

If you are ready to meet a greyhound, chances are that your local RSPCA shelter or animal rescue organisation will have several available, or will be able to refer you to organisations who specialise in rescuing and rehoming greyhounds.

The RSPCA also has a free Greyhound Adoption booklet available online, to help you build a grey-t relationship with your new hound.

Dr Bronwyn Orr is withRSPCA . TheRSPCAis an independent, non-government community-based charity providing animal care and protection services. TheRSPCArelies on donations from the public in order to carry out its work. If you would like to make a donation to theRSPCAplease visit theRSPCAwebsiteand follow the links. You can also ring theRSPCADonation Line on 1300 RSPCA1.

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