Welcome to Greyhound Rescue & Adoption (GRA) - Utah Chapter
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to finding homes for retired racing Greyhounds, founded in July 2001. Located in North Ogden, Utah, we are an official chapter of Greyhound Rescue & Adoption of Louisville, KY.
Retired racing greyhounds make wonderful pets. Surprised? Have you ever gone to the dog track and seen only a long, lean running machine attired in a racing jacket and a muzzle? Perhaps you surmised, "They must wear that muzzle to sheath those teeth! And all that energy! Racing greyhounds must need to run all day every day just to calm down even a little!" Actually racing greyhounds wear muzzles as a state requirement and have all that energy because they are about to do what they are bred for - a quick sprint around the race track. Unlike most sporting dogs, who are bred to run all day, greyhounds are capable of expending enormous amounts of energy in a few minutes, but after the race, it's back to the business of kennel life: a drink of water, a turn in the exercise pen, and a three-day rest in the kennel before running again.
Greyhounds belong to a family of dogs known as sight hounds, so called because they hunt with their eyes rather than their noses. In fact, greyhounds can see a moving object up to half a mile away. They are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, breed of dog known to man. Their image is found on the wall of tombs of Egyptian royalty. Their name in Britain seems to stem from the Saxon word Greu which means running dog. For centuries the common Brit were not allowed to own a greyhound, this to prevent poaching of game and thus spoiling the "sport" for the wealthier class. Indeed, prior to the signing of the Magna Carta (inspiration for our own Bill of Rights), destruction of a greyhound was considered a serious crime.
From their very beginnings, greyhounds have been bred to outrun their prey. Traditionally they were walked on a lead until game was sighted and then they were released. From that moment on, they pitted their grace and intelligence against that of their quarry. The necessity of making their own hunting decisions has made them self reliant and quick witted. Subsequently, the prestige of owning the fastest running dog led gentlemen to race their dogs against each other. Often with a substantial bet on the outcome. If, in the context of the race, a dog interfered in any way it was put down immediately. Centuries of this type of genetic selection have created a very peaceful dog. While many may think that the retired racer is not a good choice for a family dog, their long history says otherwise. They possess a calm and gentle nature and are easily walked on a leash. They do well in small houses, needing only their own special soft spot upon which to sleep and rest. A walk once a day and an opportunity to run off leash once or twice a week in an enclosed ball field or park are all that is necessary in terms of exercising a retired racer. If you have a large yard, they don't even need the daily walk. (They should also be given the opportunity to go outside four or five times a day to empty themselves.) A more loyal and devoted companion you will not find anywhere. They are known as a watch, not guard dogs. They are gentle and intelligent and not given to fits of barking.
Before you go on.
Please consider these questions carefully. If in all honestly you have to answer "no" to one or more, adopting a greyhound wouldn't be in the best interest of you or the dog right now.
Am I willing to share my home with a greyhound?
In retirement, a greyhound's exercise needs are no different than any other large dogs. It helps during the initial adjustment period to keep your greyhound well exercised to work off his tension and nervous energy. Greyhounds make excellent jogging companions once they learn to adjust their stride to yours. Summer's heat and winter's salt can injure his pads, however. Keep this in mind when choosing a place to jog with your dog. If your greyhound does any strenuous running, give him a chance to relieve himself afterwards and again about an hour later to prevent kidney tie-up. NEVER take your greyhound outside a fenced area without his leash on. He may become confused and run away or he may chase a small animal. He does not know about traffic and if permitted off leash he is likely to run into the street and be hit by a car. Your dog is a sighthound, which means he hunts by sight, not scent. He can see a small animal move for a distance of half a mile and he can run at forty miles per hour. If he sees the neighbor's cat (or a squirrel or rabbit) in the distance, he will not only chase it, he will probably catch it.
Do I have time to explicitly follow instructions for helping a greyhound adjust to life in a home?
Greyhounds learn quickly, but they need you to teach them where to go to the bathroom, how to climb stairs, stay alone, get along with other pets, adjust to a new diet, etc.
Am I a firm but gentle disciplinarian?
Greyhounds are sensitive creatures who want to please. They will not respond to a loud voice or threatening manner. Violence will be fatal to your relationship. Any dog will make "mistakes" at first. Can you be patient with him?
If you can honestly answer, "yes" to all these questions, you'll have one of the smartest, most devoted pets you'll ever know.
HOW TO ADOPT A GREYHOUND
If you've been thinking of acquiring a pet, will you consider adopting a retired racing Greyhound? We know you will be rewarded with many years of love and enjoyment. Adoption applications can be obtained by calling or writing the G.R.A. representatives listed on this site or filling out our online application. We do require that the adopter keep his Greyhound as a house pet and never let it run loose in a non-fenced area. Because the breed is so special, we are looking for special people who will love and understand them as we all do.