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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm excited to announce that our first race dog has made it to the track (Southland Greyhound Park).

Her racing name was approved today: Fast Fluffy. And her call name is Bunny. The trainer said she's doing well and going round the track like she should. He's taking his time schooling her, but she should be running in her first race in the next month or so. I can't wait to go see her race (about 8 hour drive for us)


And a picture of her litter as puppies
 

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So is this also a dog that comes home with you and part of the family, or an investment. And if she does poorly what happens to her? I know they love to run full speed, but there must be that other side of a dog that also wants to live and be love in a human & dog relationship. I guess these dogs are put up for adoption if they do not perform. From my perspective I feel sad for the dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So is this also a dog that comes home with you and part of the family, or an investment. And if she does poorly what happens to her? I know they love to run full speed, but there must be that other side of a dog that also wants to live and be love in a human & dog relationship. I guess these dogs are put up for adoption if they do not perform. From my perspective I feel sad for the dogs.

She'll live in the racing kennel with the other dogs until she retires. When she retires she'll either come home to us or we'll place her through an adoption group.

If you've never been to a racing kennel and met the dogs there or seen any of this first hand, then you are feeling sorry for something you really have no clue about. There are plenty of dogs you can feel sorry for, my race dog is not one of them.

I live with 14 retired racing greyhounds, with 9 others at the Bridge. None of whom I owned as a racer. For you to insinuate for one second that we are in this for any reason other than our love for our dog, our love for our breed and our love for our sport is insulting. We bought our first racer so we could be a part of making the sport better. Being good owners and supporting good racing kennels and good tracks.

Some of the happiest dogs you'll ever see are in a racing kennel. I know because I've been to racing kennels and seen it with my own eyes.
 

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Most people only hear about the bad things that can happen in dog racing, that's why they assume the worst. I'd guess very few people really know much about the sport.

It's funny that there are bad and good things in horse racing too, but folks don't automatically assume the horses are all being mistreated when you talk about that. There are unethical people in every sport; but that doesn't make the entire sport bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most people only hear about the bad things that can happen in dog racing, that's why they assume the worst. I'd guess very few people really know much about the sport.

It's funny that there are bad and good things in horse racing too, but folks don't automatically assume the horses are all being mistreated when you talk about that. There are unethical people in every sport; but that doesn't make the entire sport bad.
Thank you for that. :) It's all very true...and dog racing definitely has a worse image than horse racing (pockets aren't quite as deep LOL ).

I'm more than happy to talk to anyone about dog racing - the good and the bad. But it's really bothersome when someone judges me based on knowing little-to-nothing about me or what I'm talking about. I have a very good friend who is anti-racing and that's fine. I completely understand where he's coming from...but he's also been to lots of tracks, lots of kennels and taken the time to educate himself.
 

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She's a beautiful girl. Good luck with her.

I've met a few retired racers. They've all been sweet, loving dogs.

At what age do they start racing? How long do they generally race? I've never seen a dog race. There are none anywhere around me. Can you give a short "greyhound racing for dummies"?

Some people think that having dogs pull a sled is cruel. But if they've ever seen huskies pulling they'd know that the dogs love it. I assume the same is true for the greyhounds and other racing sighthounds.
 

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awesome, lmg....but she's not very fluffy:D.....there are, also ppl that think working Borders and "putting them in danger of cows or rams horns" is terrible, but what do they think these dogs were meant to do?

keep us updated, def...
 

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You are right, I know absolutly nothing about the dog racing scene, and especially how best to handle and groom these dogs for racing. And please do not feel I am insinuating anything about you or the sport. I am walking a fine line and feel I will soon be booted off this forum for maybe being a little too much veracious.
Everything I heard about these dogs is hear say and often unfounded.
Like there may have been a time when these dogs were PTS, because there may not have been a rescue put in place as there is now?
I met my first greyhound when I was visiting a rancher friend of mind, and he adopted several of the dogs. I remember this one really cute female sitting and watching me, so I walked over to her and got ground level and petted her and felt how soft her coat was and she had the cutest pink nose. I think she was surprised, and after I walked away, man she just stuck to me like glue. I could see it in her eyes she wanted to belong and the rancher said I could have her. I past on it and now always feel that is one mistake I will never forget.
I just view dogs differently then horses, horses to me are more independent then dogs, feed'en water them, and give then shelter in bad weather and they are are happy among thier own.
I am sure you could teach me alot about the sport and I may come to appreciate the intricacies. But to me a dog is truly mans best friend no matter what breed, and they just need human contact as I need theirs.
 

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I don't know much about the sport either, except what HSUS has said about it. Just from randomly Googling the topic, it seems there have been great improvements in how the dogs are treated and in how many are rehomed after retirement, but I havent read enough to form a final opinion yet.

A lot of animal-based sports still need reform. Both dog AND horse shows, breeding, and races have their share of bad stuff going on; I've been researchig both topics a lot lately. However I'm of the opinion that it is possible to humanely participate in those activities, and I really don't know hard facts about the extent of reported abuses (I'm always suspicious of AR sources claiming otherwise), so I personally won't make blanket judgements out of hand.

Isn't Lure Coursing basically the same as racing, only without a track?
 

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Oh, good, you're introducing Bunny over here. Congratulations, again. May she have a long, safe and successful racing career.

Lure coursing involves dogs chasing a plastic bag tied to a line and run on a pulley system. The course has curves and zig zags that mimic the way a rabbit would run from a predator. Racing is chasing a lure around a track.
Lure coursing is over rougher ground, say a large field, while racing is over a carefully prepared sand based track. So not really the same.

I lure coursed my salukis a couple of times, but haven't coursed my greys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's my 10cent tour of racing.

There is good and bad in everything. Just like there are great pet owners and bad pet owners, there are good racing owners and bad racing owners. There are several parts to the puzzle when it comes to racing - you have the owner, that owns the dog. You have the racing kennel where the dog lives while it is racing. The racing kennel has trainers and kennel helpers that care for the dogs, exercising them, feeding, grooming and giving them attention. A racing kennel has somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 dogs. This will vary from track to track. Happy dogs win races, so dogs who are having all their needs met are more likely to run well and win races = money coming into the kennel = happy kennel owners and racing owners. If you own a racing dog, you obviously want it to race in a kennel that has happy dogs and does a good job taking care of them. Dogs who don't thrive on the track are retired. GOOD racing owners and kennel owners pet the dogs out. They develop relationships with adoption groups and will hold on to dogs as long as it takes for them to get an adoption slot. IMO, this should be the ONLY option for kennels and owners. However, just like any pet owner can have any pet put down for any reason (and I've heard some pretty lame reasons), so can a racing owner. Racing dog, pet dog...they are property according to the law. As it is, greyhound racing is highly regulated. Kennels and farms are inspected. They undergo much more scrutiny than any pet person or pet home. And they should! Every racing kennel should have an open door. Are dogs still put down? Yes they are. Fewer and fewer every year, and I believe we will reach full adoption in the next handful of years. That's more than I can say for the pet world where thousands of dogs - pure bred and not - are euthanized every month across this country. Dogs that were used and dumped by their pet owners when no longer convenient.

The racing kennel our dog will run for has been a full adoption kennel for as long as I've known them (years!). I've known them to hold dogs for 6 months or more until an adoption group takes them. They fix broken dogs and pet them out. They support adoption groups by raising money and making donations. They are one of the good guys. Even if the racing owner doesn't give a crap, any dog that races for them will always be safe. They are also good friends of mine aside from the racing side of things.

Dogs start racing around 18 months of age. Until then, they are born and live on a greyhound farm. They will stay with their littermates and graduate to larger and larger runs as their growing bones/bodies can handle running further distances. Their only job for the first 18 months of their life is play and have fun. You will usually find the puppies running the fence line with the dogs in adjacent runs. The farmer will socialize the dogs to get them used to being handled and may work them on the lure before the dogs head to the track.

Once at the track, the trainer will start working them on the track and finish up any conditioning that needs to be done. They teach the dogs about life a racing kennel. In order for a dog to keep racing, they must win a maiden race - that's a race against other dogs who are just starting. Once they break their maiden, they become a graded racer and will move up or down in grade as they win/lose. How long they race depends on the dog's ability to compete at the track and their desire to race (you can't make a dog race if it doesn't want to). Most dogs peak at 3 years old and you will be hard pressed to find many dogs older than 5 still racing. While they are racing, they run every 3-5 days or so and get walks or morning sprints on their off days.

That's the big picture. I'm always more than happy to answer questions about greyhounds or racing. I am glad to be a postive influence on the sport - even if we ever only own a couple dogs. And, you know, the decision to buy a race dog was not one I took lightly. There were times I struggled with it...but, I don't stop owning pet dogs because my neighbors keep their two dogs in a pen 24/7/365. Or because the lady down the street had her dog hit by car and killed because she is too lazy to keep it on a leash. Or because other pet owners abuse, neglect or abandon their pets. I just love my dogs and I am the best pet owner I can be. And I will approach racing the same way - I will be the best racing owner I can be. I will make sure my dog is in a great kennel and that she's happy and well taken care of. And when she retires, I will make sure she has a wonderful family to spoil her and take care of her forever. And if that couch isn't in my house, I will always and forever be a safety net for her.

Lure coursing is an amateur sport for greyhounds/sighthounds....and our pet greys participate in that. The courses are much longer and simulate a rabbit running, with turns and straights. In addition to lure coursing, there is LGRA (amateur racing, 200 yard straight sprints) and NOTRA (amateur oval track racing).
 

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There are bad people in every sport.

Growing up, I was told that greyhounds are killed if they don't win. And I'm sure there are people who really do do that! But it's not like that for everyone. It's the same in the horse racing industry-- some poor performers go to slaughter, but there are some that are sold to people who can give them a life they'd much rather live, or they go to pasture and retire completely.

There ARE greyhounds that get killed or abused or sent off for not performing, but there are also greyhounds that are loved and adored despite their bodies not being meant for what it was they were bred and bought to do, and there's a lot more out there than I'm sure a lot of people think there are :) Lovemygreys, I'm glad that you're one of them :)
 

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Thanks for the ten cent tour. :) It's good to get the scoop from someone who participates and sees it from the inside.
 

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Thanks for the great explanation. I have a nephew, who is more like a brother because his mother dumped with off with our mother and we grew up like brothers. Well years later he took me to my first dog race track. And I enjoyed it, but I could not get over how well he did $$ at the track. I just watched, had not idea how you pick a winning dog.

So that leads me to this question, how similar is to horse racing. Meaning they kinda know which horse is likely to win, or place, so are dogs more challenging to pick. Personally I would choose a race that no one has the slightest idea who is going to win, so, I would go by the best name, I bet alot of people bet that way:D
 

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Bunny is such a beautiful color. Good luck to her and you.

BTW, where'd she get her name?
 
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