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We’d Love to Hear From You. Here’s How to Get In Touch With Us!

Call 1-800-4HOUNDS (1-800-446-8637)
or 510-525-3844

Barbara Judson
800-446-8637 (800-4HOUNDS)

or contact your local Greyhound Friends for Life volunteer
Scroll down for a list.

Barbara Judson •  (bajudson@gmail.com) • 510-506-6225

Julie Carroll • (julie_m_carroll@yahoo.com) • 510-434-0701

Barbara Judson • (bajudson@gmail.com) • 510-506-6225

Michele Czaja • (mbczaja@comcast.net) • 831-659-9225

Nora Star • (startimm@pacific.net) • 707-277-9167

Bonnie Amiot • (Rescuehounds@sbcglobal.net) • 650-359-6262

Laurie Appling • (llappling@gmail.com) • 650-218-8948

Deb Chadbourne Dennis • (greyhoundfriend@comcast.net) • 707-372-9555

Mary Lynne Strupp • (10greyhounds@comcast.net) • 916-879-5918

Betsy McGee • (betsymcgee@yahoo.com) • 415-925-1314

Jon Cabarrus • (jsurrabac@aol.com) • 707-575-7120

2020-03-28T09:12:36-07:00May 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Adoption Application

Personal Information

Pet Ownership History

Dog Selection Criteria

2015-08-12T13:11:41-07:00February 26th, 2015|Adoption|


Jina, a petite brindle greyhound girl (40 pounds), came to us from Korea the first of February and has been in a foster home since her arrival.  This sweet little girl is initially shy, but bonds very quickly with her humans and is very affectionate.  She defers to the other dogs in the household, is already house trained, and walks well on leash.  Jina has met the cat at King’s Kastle on two occasions and ignores her.  Jina is heartworm positive (early stage) and will require treatment (provided by GFFL) for the next several months.  Leash walks are OK, but no vigorous exercise until she has cleared the worms.
2015-08-11T15:59:07-07:00February 24th, 2015|Adopted Dogs|

How to Best Recover a Lost Greyhound

How can you maximize your chances of finding your greyhound if it gets lost? 

  • First, always keep a collar with the GFFL tag and your personal information tag on your greyhound. Microchipping is also a great idea – if your lost dog looses its collar, vets and animal shelters will still be able to contact you if they have the dog.
  • Second, introduce your dog to your neighbors – not just the people next door, but people within a several block radius of your home. Encourage people to come up and pet your greyhound. Take your greyhound to obedience class for the basic behaviors (“come”, “stay”, etc.) and additional socialization.


If the worst happens and your greyhound gets loose:

  • First, get organized.  Unless you are extremely lucky, you won’t be able to recover your dog by yourself.  Time is of the essence, so notify GFFL IMMEDIATELY so that we can help organize volunteers.
  • Second, decide on a team leader or co-leader.  This person(s) will direct the search.  This person will have a map of the area and will be provided with a list of places where postings should be made –veterinary offices, grocery stores, post offices, schools, other community gathering places, etc.  This person will also let volunteers know what streets still need to be posted.


Three kinds of flyers will be used in the search: 

  • One is for posting on telephone poles, fences, etc that can be viewed from a car.  These will have a silhouette of a greyhound, the GFFL phone number (800-4HOUNDS), and if requested, the adopters phone number. These should be printed on neon yellow or bright yellow 8.5 x 11 paper for maximum visibility.  These flyers should be posted on as many telephone poles, fences, etc that you can (in clear plastic sheet protectors if the weather is bad).  If you have 10 people out searching, you have 10 sets of eyes looking for the dog.  If you post flyers on poles, fences, etc, you will now have hundreds of eyes searching.  Bicycle and walking trails near the latest sightings are great.  The easiest way to flyer is with 2 people – a driver and a poster.  The driver stays in the car, while the poster gets out and quickly posts flyers on anything that can be posted.  While driving to the next pole, the poster can put tape on the next flyer so it’s ready to post as soon as they get out of the vehicle.
  • The second 8.5 x 11 flyer will have a color photo of the lost dog.  These can be posted in areas where people are walking and can stop and look.  Great places for these flyers are schools, post offices, front windows of storefronts, gas stations, grocery stores, community centers, churches, parks, vet offices, police stations, walking and bicycle trails, etc.
  • The third kind of flyer is a 4 x 6 handout with a color photo – a reduced version of the 8.5 x 11 color flyer.  These will be handed out to mail carriers, neighbors, landscapers, UPS and Fedex drivers, and people at grocery stores or other community gathering places.  Knock on doors – make sure that the community knows that you’re looking for your dog and what he or she looks like.  Most people don’t know greyhounds, so a good photo is important.


Here are some great tips from Michael McCann, President of the Greyhound Project, greyhound adopter, and lost greyhound search expert


Change your mindset: This is most important, and most difficult step. You have to stop checking every street and back yard yourself, and start recruiting an army to do it for you. Most greyhounds are found within a mile or two of where they were lost, but a two mile radius is nearly 13 square miles, an impossible area to search adequately alone. You have to stop looking for your dog, and start looking for people. Everything that follows depends on it. With every hour that goes by, your chances of finding your dog, on your own, diminish. You now have to find someone who has seen your dog. You need a sighting and in order to get a sighting , you need help! Ask everyone you know, including your friends, co workers, adoption group and son’s cub scout pack to help you. Don’t wait until tomorrow, do it now.

  • Knock on doors and talk to everyone you see; the mail person, the UPS driver, the local landscaper. Any of these people may see your dog, and if they do, now they won’t just think it’s some dog on his way home, they’ll know he’s lost. Give everyone you talk to a flyer.
  • Schools are a great resource for search help. Ask the principal to make announcements about the lost dog and leave flyers to pass out and post on bulletin boards.. Kids see everything in the neighborhood but will ignore dogs running around unless asked to look. If you hand one kid a flyer, five more will have seen it by the end of the day. Don’t ignore the little kids either. They tell their folks everything.
  • Call every veterinarian’s office, animal control officer and police department within two or three miles from where he was last seen. In rural areas, expand your calling to every nearby town. Follow up with a flyer or several. Faxing them will save you some time but it is important that they see you, rather than just a piece of paper. If you show people how concerned you are, they’ll want to help you. Don’t just call them once, call them every few days and in the case of the police, during every shift, to make sure everyone knows about your dog.
  • Run newspaper ads in the local papers, and while you’re at it, talk to a reporter and see if she’ll run a local interest story on the lost greyhound. Local cable access stations often will run your lost dog ad for free and local radio stations and TV stations will often run the story on a slow news night
  • Check your local animal shelters every few days, in person. It is amazing how many folks who work in these places don’t know dog breeds. Your greyhound could be hanging out at a local shelter, up for adoption, because they think he’s a Whippet or a Doberman mix.
  • Get in touch with your local Department of Public Works, or Highway Department. Sadly, they often will pick up an animal’s body from the road, and if there is no identification, the owner will never know. Collars often fall off when a dog is loose or struck by a car.
  • Make sure that there is always someone available at the phone number you posted. You don’t want people to call with a sighting, then hang up because they got a message service.


Don’t assume anything: Don’t assume your dog has been picked up, it’s the trap that everyone seems to fall into: “No sighting, someone must have picked up my dog!”. Greyhounds are notorious for disappearing in the woodwork. A person can walk right by a brindle Greyhound laying in a pile of leaves and never even see him. Some go for months or even years without being found, because people assume they have been picked up or are dead.


Don’t assume that the call you got about a dog five miles away is yours. Follow it up, yes, but when you start getting calls about dogs, ask questions: What color was the dog you saw? How big? Which way was it heading? What time and on what day did you see him? Have you ever seen him before? You don’t want to be running out of your search area just to find that someone called you about a beagle they saw running through the yard. These false leads are actually a positive sign, they mean your efforts are working; people are looking out for your dog. It’s just that they don’t know the difference between a Greyhound and a Jack Russell terrorist.


Don’t lose hope: A few days or a week of searching can be discouraging. A lack of sightings, or no word at all can be tough on a positive attitude. Just remember, your hound is still out there, and someone has seen him. All you have to do, is to find that person. It’s only natural to start thinking the worst. But, as non-street savvy as greyhounds are, they are survivors. Keep looking. Don’t give up, your Greyhound is counting on you.

Be aware that many people will not want to take a dog to the shelter for fear that it will be euthanized. If your dog has no tags or has lost its tag collar, these people will look for an ad in the paper or for flyers posted in the neighborhood. Don’t give up and keep GFFL informed.




(female/male – color)


“Dog’s Name”

Shy – Please Don’t Chase – Call

(800) 4HOUNDS

And Adopter’s phone number


(female/male – color)

WEARING (Color) COLLAR w/ID tags

Lost in XXX area


“Dog’s Name”

Shy – Please Don’t Chase – Call


(800) 4HOUNDS and Adopter’s phone number


Lost in the xxx area

Wearing black collar with tags

Description: female/male, color named “xxxx”

Please call 800-4HOUNDS or (adopter’s phone number)

Please do not chase!!



Lost in the xxx area

Wearing black collar with tags

Description: female/male, color named “xxxx”

Please call 800-4HOUNDS or (adopter’s phone number)

Please do not chase!!


Lost in the xxx area

Wearing black collar with tags

Description: female/male, color named “xxxx”

Please call 800-4HOUNDS or (adopter’s phone number)

Please do not chase!!



Lost in the xxx area

Wearing black collar with tags

Description: female/male, color named “xxxx”

Please call 800-4HOUNDS or (adopter’s phone number)

Please do not chase!!


2017-08-23T14:27:19-07:00March 21st, 2014|Lost Greyhound|

The 3 Bees of Adopting A Retired Racing Greyhound

Body, Behavior, Basics


  • Teeth (Demonstration)
    • Brush daily if possible with flavored DOG tooth paste (most brands come with the toothbrush).
    • Use teeth cleaning tool or your thumb nail to pry tarter off the teeth – being careful not to score the tooth enamel – if you get behind on brushing. Provide toys that control plaque (ie, Dent-a-rope and Nylabone).
  • Nails (Demonstration)
    • w  Clip or file nails once a week.  Filing the nails with a Dremel-type rotary sander is a great alternative to the nail clippers!
    • w  With the nail clippers, less is more.  Cut very little to avoid bleeding.
  • Ears
    • Right tattoo is birth date.
    • Left tattoo is track number.
  • Fur
    • Most of the fur will grow back with good food.  Your adoptor can provide information on brushes that will help get rid of dull racetrack fur.  Some dogs come with bald butts.  This may never grow back.
  • Skin
    • Some scars will disappear, some will not.
  • Soft Paws
    • Paws are soft from racetrack surface.  Build up to long walks on hard surfaces.
  • Weight
    • Do not over-feed your greyhound.  You should be able to see the last three ribs.  Some dogs off the track will need to gain  2-4 pounds.  Some will be fine.  Ask the advice of your adoptor.
  •  Stitches (Females only)
    • w    Remove stitches after 10-14 days.
    • w  Use round-ended scissors.
  • Bathing
    • You can bath the dog after stitches are removed, or approximately 14 days after spay/neuter.  If you must give the dog a bath, do “spot” bathing to avoid getting any incisions wet.
    • Greyhound skin is sensitive, so be sure to use a mild dog shampoo, such as oatmeal and lanolin or oatmeal and aloe.  Human skin has a lower pH than dog skin, so shampoos formulated for humans lead to dry flaky skin in dogs!  Diluting the shampoo makes rinsing easier.
    • The chemical compounds found in various flea shampoos, dips, and sprays can be toxic to greyhounds. If a flea shampoo must be used, Adams Flea Shampoo is safe for greyhounds.  Wait at least 48 hours after using a greyhound-safe flea shampoo before applying Frontline or Advantage.


Please contact GFFL at the first sign of a behavior that concerns you for recommendations on how to correct it!

  • Housebreaking
    •  Be sure to take your greyhound out often (every 2 hours or so) at first and give praise when the dog does his/her business outside.
    • In the beginning, until you know the dog is housebroken, do not let your greyhound have the run of the house.  As soon as you are not looking, the dog may have an accident or mark.  Keep your greyhound in the same room with you when you are home.
    • If a dog has a tendency to “mark” inside the house, belly bands can be a useful tool for stopping this behavior.
    • If your greyhound has an accident inside clean it up with a rag and place the rag outside where you want the dog to pee.  Spraying enzymatic cleaner on the spot will remove the smell and help deter further marking.
    • The dogs are used to having one door to go out of for relieving themselves.  Pick one door in your house.  Be consistent.
  • Separation Anxiety
    • Greyhounds may have some separation anxiety when left alone, so start leaving your dog alone, crated, for 10 to 15 minutes at first, then gradually increase the time that the dog is left alone.  It may take a little time to settle into a new routine, so be patient.
    • Help your dog associate time alone or in a crate as a positive experience by giving treats when you leave (rather than when you return) and providing a treat-filled kong or other safe toy to play with.
  • Crates
    • They are used to being in crates.  This is where they feel safe.  In the beginning, always crate them when you are not around, but never longer than 4 hours.  You can stop using a crate when they are fully housebroken and you know that they will not destroy things in the home.
    • A 42-inch wire crate or 500 size plastic crate is a sufficient size for most female; a 48 inch wire or 700 size plastic crate will be needed for most males.
  • Sleeping/Waking
    • Never touch a sleeping greyhound.  You will surprise them and they may wake up growling and/or snapping.  Call their name first to get their attention and make sure you have eye contact.
  • Windows, Stairs
    • If you have sliding glass doors, tape a paper towel or post-it notes at dog’s eye level until they know it’s a glass door.
    • Most dogs have never seen stairs.  Be patient with the process.  Don’t force them to go up.  Try a couple of stairs at a time until they get used to them.
  • Training
    • Training is always a good thing.  It helps you bond with your dog and gives the dog confidence.  Greyhounds are extremely smart dogs that catch on very quickly.  Note: most of these dogs come from a harsh environment.  Please take a gentle approach to training.  A firm “No” usually does the trick.
    • Many greyhounds find the “sit” position uncomfortable, so it’s OK to immediately place them in a “down” position or go quickly from a “sit” to a “down”.
  • Exercise
    • Long walks are plenty of exercise for your retired racer.
    • Use extreme caution when entering a dog park.  Use common sense.  If there are dogs who appear to be aggressive, do not enter.  Never hesitate to ask someone if their dog is friendly.  A completely enclosed dog park or playing field is the ONLY place where you can let your greyhound off leash.  NO EXCEPTIONS.


  • Collar (Demonstration)
    • A “Martingale” is a special sighthound humane-style choke collar.  It’s designed so it will not slip off over the head.  Make sure it’s adjusted correctly.  A good alternative to a martingale collar is a harness.
  • Leash
    • Unless you are in an enclosed area, NEVER LET THEM OFF LEASH!!
    • This is the number one killer of retired racers.  Because they don’t look both ways before crossing the street, most dogs get hit by cars.  This should be your No. 1 concern. You are supplied with a 4-foot leash, which gives you good control over your greyhound.  Insert your hand through the loop and wrap a part of the leash around your hand for firm control.  Do NOT use a retractable leash!
  • Muzzles
    • Use the muzzle when introducing your greyhound to cats or other small animals. Do not trust your greyhound with your cat or small dog for at least 3 weeks after adoption.  Keep the animals separated when you are gone and keep the greyhound muzzled when you are home but cannot watch them.
    • Until you know how your dog will react in public, use the muzzle if you plan on being around small animals.  When greyhounds are playing together at a dog park or playing field, all dogs should be muzzled to avoid accidental nips – which can turn into gashes requiring stitches!
    • Please return the muzzle to GFFL when you no longer need it.  It will save us the cost of replacing it.  Thank you!
  • Food
    • Feed twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart.
    • Usually 1 1/2 – 2 cups per feeding, depending on the size and initial weight of the dog. Add enough water to cover the kibble.  Wait at least 15 minutes.
    • Optional: Add a spoonful or two of wet food for flavor
    • Choose a high quality dog food—your greyhound is worth it!
    • Some greyhounds will not eat for a day following the adoption.  As long as your greyhound is drinking some water, this is not a concern – it’s how the dog is dealing with the stress of a new environment.
  • Bloat
    • SOAK, SOAK, SOAK the dog food.  Bloat is usually fatal.  Do not allow vigorous exercise 1 hour before or after feeding.  Please read carefully the insert enclosed in your adoption packet regarding “Bloat.”  This should be your No. 2 concern.
  • Treats
    • High quality treats are fine in moderation.
    • No Rawhide.  They can get stuck in the throat and cause choking.
    • The only bones we recommend are “knuckle” or marrow bones.
    • No raisins, grapes, or chocolate – these are toxic to dogs.
  • Toys
    • Most greyhounds will learn quickly to love playing with toys.  Some dogs, however, will rip soft toys apart, so rope toys and “tuff” toys that are difficult to tear apart are best for these dogs.  If dogs swallow the filling of a soft toy, the intestinal track may become blocked, requiring surgery, so keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior with these soft toys.
    • Don’t forget to remove eyes, buttons, etc. from stuffed toys.
  • Lifting Your Greyhound
    • If your greyhound won’t jump into the car or other high place, lift the front paws on the surface, then move around to the rear (hang onto the leash!) and boost the back end of the dog up onto the surface.  Do not lift from the midsection as this can cause stress on the back.
    • For cars or SUVs with a back hatch, have the dog enter the vehicle from a side door whenever possible.  It is always a risk that the dog will slip out the back while opening or closing the hatch.  If another person is present and the back hatch is used, have the other person get in the car, then lift the dog in, hand the person the leash to keep the dog away from the open hatch, then close the hatch.
  • Poop
    • Some dogs will have diarrhea at first. This is usually caused by the stress of moving to the new home and/or new food.  Cooked white minute rice or oatmeal, boiled chicken or boiled hamburger, canned, unsweetened pumpkin, or cottage cheese will help with this, along with a spoonful of kaolinite/pectin (NOT Kaopectate, which now contains an aspirin-like ingredient) or a single Imodium tablet.  Add water to the rice/oatmeal/chicken/hamburger mixture as well.  Slowly transition with small amounts of kibble.  They usually only need this special mixture for a few days.
  • House and Yard:
    • Establish awareness among family members regarding gates and doors to ensure that they are completely closed each time they go through them.  Greyhounds, especially newly adopted ones, see an open door as the starting gate of a race and will dash through it.
    • Many greyhounds learn how to open latches, so put locks or clips on gate latches to prevent the dog from opening the gate and getting loose.
    • Having secondary containment (screen door, gate across front porch, secondary gates to back yard) will greatly decrease the chance of your dog getting loose.
    • Check your yard and house for possible injury‑causing areas. For dogs that are prone to chewing, beware of wooden gates. Also check metal gates and fences; some dogs may be able to squeeze through them. Watch for tails before shutting a door. If you have a swimming pool, make sure that your dog knows how to get out.
  • For you and your Vet:

 Your dog has already been tested for the following tick-related and fungal diseases :



Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Valley Fever

See insert enclosed in your adoption packet for more information on tick-related diseases.

    • Valley Fever.  Dogs contract Valley Fever by inhaling spores distributed by wind and construction, and probably by digging and poking their curious noses in rodent burrows.  Many dogs become infected with Valley Fever but do not become visibly ill or have only mild symptoms that goaway on their own.  A lot of dogs are not so lucky and get very sick from the fungus.
    • Your dog has already been tested for Heartworm.  Take your test results to your Vet for appropriate medication.  Give heartworm preventative medication once a month.
    • Rabies Vaccination certificate.
    • You have been provided paperwork showing proof of spay/neuter and dates of other vaccinations.
  • Flea Control
    • Your dog may have had one or more applications of flea and tick control.  The date(s) when this was given is on the Adoption Information page.  Make an appointment with your Vet to start a flea and tick control program.  Never use a flea collar or flea dip – these are toxic to greyhounds!
  • 1-800 GHOUNDS and Loose Greyhounds
    • GFFL has provided you with a 1-800-GHOUNDS dog tag.  You must keep this on your dog’s collar AT ALL TIMES and you must keep the collar on the dog AT ALL TIMES.  Your dog has been assigned a number with GFFL that includes all your contact information.
    • Should your dog get loose, call the 800 number immediately.  We will help you find the dog by calling the local shelters, police, etc.  We can also put together a poster with a photo of you dog and get volunteers to put up the posters and help look for the dog.
    • If someone finds your dog, they can call the 800 number, read the ID number on the tag, and we can call you.  If you aren’t reachable at the time that the dog is found, someone in the group can pick up the dog and keep it safe until it can be returned to you.
    • Order a personalized tag with your contact information as soon as possible and use the temporary tag provided until it arrives and is attached to the day collar.

Words To Live By:

Can’t Keep Jack, Bring Him Back!

And Never Let Go of That Leash!


2018-11-23T17:16:57-08:00March 21st, 2014|Care Package|


Reprinted from the Fall 2006 Greyhound Friends for Life Newsletter

So you’ve welcomed your new greyhound into your home.  Ideally, you know something about how your ex-racer fared through the testing process following his track life when he became a part of the adoption program.  You may already know he may not do well with c-a-t-s, or small children and maybe you were even cautioned about his attention to small dogs.  Perhaps your home was dog-less before he joined your family, or maybe he’s coming into another greyhound home or a “dog” home with no other greyhounds.  Whatever the scenario, it is now up to you to continue the socialization into your hound’s new world.

Whether your dog is a single or now lives in a multiple dog household, he should be looked at as an individual canine with an emerging personality.  I say emerging because as many of us already know, an adopted dog begins a sort of transformation from the track to your home which over a period of weeks and months allows this dog to form canine to human bonds.  This process may include novelties such as tennis balls, squeaky toys, stairs, children, other pets, road trips, and a soft bed in or outside of a crate.

Living in a world of non-greyhounds, regardless of whether you have others or not, is also a new experience for many of our fast friends.  As a dog trainer of all breeds, including dozens of greyhounds, people often ask me about the best ways to socialize a new dog with other dogs outside of the dog’s own home pack, if there is one.  The question of dog parks often becomes a part of the conversation.  I, and most other trainers agree, believe that dog parks are best suited for already socialized dogs.  This does not mean you take your newly adopted dog and turn him loose in an enclosed park to see how he fares.  The running factor alone is enough to bring out chase aggression in other dogs, and even so-called “play” mouthing could send your tight-skinned hound to the vet for a suture job.  Your dog might also prove to be the aggressor, or at the very least, his curiosity towards that cute, little white dog might leave you anxious and perplexed as to what to do next.

Generally, my advice towards new adopters is to start in the dog’s home environment; that is, to take Swift for a neighborhood walk, without the company of other household dogs.  By focusing your attention on Swift, you’ll see his initial reactions towards kids, bikes, men, women, cars, other objects, perhaps even c-a-t-s.  Swift will begin forming his own opinions and learn about his new environment without initially feeding off the other dogs’ reactions; however, if Swift is shy or timid, taking him out with his more confident housemates and/or a friend or neighbor’s dog might prove extremely beneficial from the start.

Dog on dog socialization should also include obedience training in a group class or with a private trainer.  Either way, be sure to ask whether the trainer is greyhound-savvy, otherwise you may want to keep looking for other options.  Although many greyhounds can be taught to sit, it isn’t essential, especially at the beginning of your dog’s new life.  But I have had people tell me the trainer of their group class didn’t quite get that, nor did they always understand the prey drive of a keen sighthound.

If you’ve done your “homework” with Swift for a few weeks or months, then perhaps you are ready to visit the nearby dog park.  Dog parks can enhance your dog’s life and social skills.  They can also help with the training.  I advise adopters to take Swift for a training walk on the outside of the park, alternating working on his attention, heeling, and other new skills while also letting him absorb the goings-on inside the park, watching, taking it all in, sniffing.  Many dog parks also have a small dog area and this is an ideal way to gauge Swift’s reaction to watching the smaller dogs move around and interact with each other.  When I do take my own hounds into a dog park, I have already assessed the other types of dogs already there, playing style, breed types (for instance, herding breeds can be mouthier or more assertive as they “herd-play”), and I don’t necessarily take the leashes off until I see how the others will meet and also how attentive their owners are.  On occasion, I have left dog parks when play was too aggressive and owners did little to monitor their dogs’ behavior.  Fortunately, many parks are large enough to allow for different play areas.  Most dogs fare better with more space and no leashes.  Leashes can certainly accentuate dog aggression but are a necessary part of our dogs’ lives.

If your hound seems too keen with his scrutiny of the other dogs, especially the smaller variety, entering the dog park is not a good idea.  This may be the time to enlist the aid of a private trainer to further assess your dog and help you continue his training and socialization.  Hooking up with other greyhound people or more experienced dog owners may further help you and your dog.  Greyhounds make great companions for us humans and most can learn to live happily in a multiple dog environment while others may very well be suited for solitude.

Marian Pott is the owner/operator of Miramar Dog Training and lives in Half Moon Bay, California.  She shares her home with two greyhounds and two German Shepherds, one cat who would prefer a zero dog household, and three other humans (husband, daughter, son).  Questions about this article may be addressed to:  miramark9@comcast.net; or call 650-712-1192.

Editors Note:  Every year, GFFL receives calls from adopters whose greyhounds have been attacked at a dog park. In every case, the owner of the attacking dog has magically disappeared or has given a phony name and telephone number, leaving the adopter to pay for expensive veterinary bills.  As the article states, dog parks can be a good place for socializing your greyhound. However, checking for aggressive dogs or aggressive play before entering the park and maintaining unwavering vigilance while at the park is critical for keeping your greyhound safe. 

2017-08-23T14:27:19-07:00March 21st, 2014|Training|


Susan Netboy

Founder, Greyhound Friends for Life and Greyhound Protection League



You must expect an adjustment period and, during this time, and you must spend quality time with your new hound.  If you work, your evenings will be committed and you might have to get up a little earlier.  Not so much of a problem if you are at home all day, but then you must remember your new dog DOES need to rest!

The adjustment period varies from dog to dog, but unless you have chosen to make a new life for a badly treated dog, you should see marked improvement in a very few days.

A few basics first:

  • Always have fresh water available in a location where it will not be knocked over by human or animal.
  • Dogs are creatures of habit and a schedule for exercise, eating and sleeping will add to the dog’s security. 
  • Public access gates to the dog’s area should be padlocked; those within your property should be latches that dogs cannot open.
  • Your dog should have his own area.  A place with a blanket that is his alone.  This is NOT a place for punishment.  Placing your dog in a corner with a dunce cap does not work anyway!
  • Dogs like to please the pack master (YOU, as adopter) and regular training exercises will benefit both dog and owner.  Training can be as little as the “shake hands” variety to an obedience course.  An obedience course is highly recommended.  There is no better way to get a dog to respond to a new adopter (and vice versa!)  The rewards are tremendous.

A few other things for your consideration…perhaps reminders if you have previously adopted (or been adopted) by a Sighthound (ie, Greyhound, Afgan, Saluki, Borzoi, Deerhound, Wolfhound, Whippet):

All Sighthounds are chasing (coursing) hounds.  Your new Sighthound should NEVER be allowed off-lead in an area that is not closely fenced.  Whippets, for instance, can wriggle through a very small opening (don’t leave your car windows down more than ½ inch).  And Afghans notoriously (and some of the other hounds less often) climb!  Watch carefully for this tendency in your fenced back yard the first few days.  It may be amazing, but all too true, as you watch an 80 pound Greyhound climb a six foot cyclone fence.

The former life of your rescue is not always known.  Most Sighthounds get along wonderfully with children IF they have been raised around kids.  It is dangerous to assume your new dog will like children.  It is also threatening to the dog to have an 18 month to 5-6 year old stagger, run, walk or jump towards him.  You must remember the Sighthounds were hunters and this ancient art is inborn in any hound, no matter how many years he and his forebears have spent on someone’s couch!

2017-08-23T14:27:19-07:00March 21st, 2014|Care Package|

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Greyhounds are bred and raised on greyhound breeding farms, where they spend their puppyhood in the company of many other greyhounds of all ages.  When they are taken to the track for training and racing, they are housed in kennels with 70-100 other greyhounds.  It’s therefore not surprising that some of these dogs have separation anxiety issues when they are adopted, especially if they are an only dog and the family is gone a large part of the day.  This is why we suggest leaving the dog alone, starting with a short time period, then increasing the time alone, from the time the dog is first adopted.  Use of a crate is highly recommended to keep the dog and your home safe while getting the dog used to being alone.

Below are some links dealing with separation anxiety issues.
National Greyhound Adoption Program. (http://www.ngap.org/separation-anxiety-y589.html)
Northeast Ohio Greyhound Rescue. (http://neogreyhound.com/separation-anxiety/)
Medical Alert Advice.  This article talks about separation anxiety in both pets and their owners  (http://www.medicalalertadvice.com/resources/coping-with-pet-separation)
2017-08-23T14:27:19-07:00March 21st, 2014|Care Package|

Kids’ Pet Safety Tips

(For adopters with children, “Childproofing your Dog” is a “must read”!)

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Get permission from the owner before you pet Rover.

Many dogs are very friendly, but some dogs are not.  Make sure to ask the owners if their dog is friendly and if it’s okay for you to pet the dog; make sure to also ask your own parent or guardian before you pet somebody else’s dog.  And be sure to follow all of the safety tips!

“May I pet the puppy?” is what you say to ask an adult if it’s okay.

It is also important to ask an adult before petting puppies, especially when the mama dog is present.  Mothers of almost any animal are naturally protective of their babies.

Petting under the chin is where you’ll begin.

After you have received permission to pet a dog, you should pet the dog under its chin or on its chest.  This way the dog can see where your hand is and what you are doing.  Many dogs don’t like to be petted on the top of the head.  They might think you are trying to hurt or dominate them.

A dog may sniff your hand in order to understand.

A dog’s sense of smell is much, much greater than our own.  Dogs use this sense of smell when greeting and getting to know newcomers.  If a dog smells you to get to know you, let him sniff the back of your hand.  This will keep your fingers out of the way as well as not threaten the dog.

If a dog has a bone, you must leave him alone.

If a dog has a snack, you must keep back.

If a dog is eating or is chewing on a bone or other item, he or she might think you are going to take it away, which could cause the dog to protect what it has by growling, snapping or biting.

Respecting their space can save your face.

It is common sense to keep a respectable distance between your face and the teeth of a dog, even if it is the family pet. Though humans bring their faces close together with others in affection, dogs may feel threatened and protect themselves by growling, snapping or biting.

If a dog is asleep, don’t make a peep.

If a dog is startled out of sleep, he or she might feel afraid or threatened and snap at you before waking up completely.  Dogs should not be approached or touched when sleeping.  Call the dog’s name and make sure that he or she is fully awake before touching the dog or getting close to the dog’s bed.

If you run and shout, it can freak a dog out.

A shy dog may think you’re the bomb if your behavior isn’t calm.

The way you behave can influence the way a dog behaves.  If you scream, shout, run, or swing your arms or feet around dogs, dogs are more likely to chase or attack you.

Shy or nervous dogs can be even more affected by rambunctious children.  Being calm around a shy dog can make them feel less nervous and more secure.

Quiet and slow is the only way to go.

If you are scared of a dog, do not run or scream.  It is safer to walk away slowly and quietly.   As you calmly walk away, try not to stare into the dog’s eyes or the dog might think you want to fight.

Whether you’re a girl or a boy, never tease or annoy.

If you are teasing or annoying a dog, they can’t tell you in words that they want you to stop; but they can tell you to stop by growling, biting, or scratching.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2017-08-23T14:27:19-07:00March 21st, 2014|Care Package|

Greyhounds and Cats

Zuri GH and Kabuki Mangels-1

By Lee Lavery

Greyhound Guardians, Inc, Northwest Indiana

Anyone who lives with a greyhound and cats has seen some kind of interaction between the two species. If the greyhound has been properly cat tested and properly introduced to the cat, it can be a match made in heaven. If the greyhound has not been properly cat tested and not properly introduced to the cat, it can be a deadly combination.

We all know that not every greyhound is cat safe, and we all know that cat testing is not 100% accurate. However, if done correctly, cat testing can reveal a lot about a greyhound’s prey drive. Having cat tested greyhounds for almost eight years, I have learned that first impressions are not always accurate. I have always felt it wise to cat test a “raw greyhound” (fresh from the track) at least twice before placing it in either foster care or an adoptive home. The greyhound that shows no interest in the cat during the first test may well try to devour the cat during the second test. Conversely, what appears to be a high prey driven greyhound during the first test may be a totally uninterested greyhound during the second test. Keep in mind that there are many things that can taint a cat test, i.e. unfamiliar settings may agitate a greyhound causing them to either act out or withdraw thus giving you an inaccurate cat test. Strange noises or stimuli may draw the greyhound’s interest away from the cat, also giving you an inaccurate cat test. I strongly feel that it is always better to test as many times as possible before placing the greyhound and, if possible, place the greyhound in foster care with cats prior to adoption.

When cat testing raw greyhounds I have found that a four step process using two people works well. One person works with the cat while the other person works with the greyhound. Between the two people, the greyhound and the cat can always be kept under control preventing any harm to come to either animal. Initially, I like to start off with the greyhound being muzzled and leashed. While the greyhound is muzzled and leashed, the cat is held in front of the greyhound’s face. If there is little to no reaction the cat is allowed to get down and walk around (I have seen many, many high prey greyhounds that will completely ignore a cat until the cat is moving). If there is still little to no reaction the cat is picked up and the greyhound is un-muzzled and we start the introductions all over again. If the greyhound is still showing little to no interest, the cat is allowed to walk around with the greyhound still leashed but un-muzzled. By this time, if the greyhound has shown little to no interest in the cat we consider him/her to be cat safe.

Once a greyhound has been cat tested and is placed in a home, the family should always be given a muzzle and encouraged to use the muzzle until the introductions to all existing house pets have been made and things have “settled down” a bit. This process might actually take a couple of days (or a couple of weeks

[baj]). I’m not saying the greyhound should be muzzled for the entire time; however, the greyhound should only be un-muzzled when there is strict supervision between greyhound/cat meetings. I also strongly recommend the use of a crate until everyone in the family – animal and human – is completely comfortable with the situation. Once the greyhound is well integrated into the home and family, it is fairly common to allow the greyhound and the other house-pets free, unsupervised run of the house. I do advise anyone with cats to arrange some sort of “escape route” for them, just in case. This can something as simple as a baby gate that the cat can get over or under, while still preventing the greyhound access to a certain area of the house where the cat can “relax.”

While, very often, greyhounds and cats can peacefully cohabitate with one another in the comfort of their own home, one must consider the potential dangers of allowing cats and greyhounds to run freely together outdoors. In all the years I have been working with greyhounds, cat testing greyhounds and placing greyhounds in “cat homes,” I have seen only a select few greyhounds that were cat safe outdoors. In most cases, there’s something about the “great outdoors” that can change a cat safe greyhound’s prey drive in a heartbeat. The most cat safe greyhound inside the house can become a very determined hunter in the backyard. I have seen my own greyhounds, which live quite peacefully with six cats, try to attack one of their feline housemates in the yard. It almost seems that the greyhounds don’t understand that that cat in the yard is the same cat they sleep with on the sofa. To put it bluntly, in dealing with cats and greyhounds, if they are outdoors, all bets are off.

Sadly, I have received more than a handful of tearful phone calls from adopters telling me their cat safe greyhound killed their cat out in the yard. This always upsets me for more than one reason. Reason one, obviously, is the death of the cat. Being chased down and killed by a greyhound must be a violent death for a cat. Reason two is the senselessness of it all. There is no reason for this to happen if greyhound adopters will only heed the advice of their adoption representatives and never, ever allow their greyhounds and cats to roam the yard together.  We stress to all our “cat families” that greyhounds and cats in the yard together is a deadly combination no matter how cat safe the greyhound may seem in the house. We explain to them that greyhounds are hunters by nature and this is not something that can be un-learned. The bottom line is that, to a greyhound, if it’s small and furry and moving in the yard – it’s mine!

So, can greyhounds and cats live together harmoniously? Yes, many can if you understand the rules and follow them. Rules Quimby and Blueberry Foss-1  are put in place for the well being of all parties involved in any given situation and, unfortunately, breaking the greyhound/cat/yard rule may well end up in disaster, for you and for your cat.  

2017-08-23T14:27:19-07:00March 21st, 2014|Care Package|