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Up until the 1800’s Greyhounds were the dogs of noblemen, indeed in history commoners were not permitted to own a Greyhound and it was once a capital offence to kill one.

The Greyhound has sadly fallen from its aristocratic connections and with the introduction of oval racing in the 1920's, became debased and at the mercy of a betting industry which sees the dog only in terms of financial gain.
At 4 years old, or less, they become too slow to continue
racing but a Greyhound can live up to 16 years old. There are many excellent owners and trainers who keep their retired dogs, but there are probably more Greyhounds than any other single pure breed in pounds and kennels throughout the country.  

About 30,000 Greyhounds per year are bred for racing alone in the UK and Ireland, just for the chance of a few winners; a Greyhound is seen as a possession which pays for its keep by winning races. Of these 30,000 dogs approximately 10,000 are destroyed as puppies because they fail their first racing trials, approximately 12,000 are injured, even a minor injury can have serious consequences for the dog who cannot win, many are destroyed or abandoned. Even a successful dog, once it reaches the end of its career, is rarely rewarded for its success and loyalty with a home and many meet the same fate as their unsuccessful siblings.

Owners who race their dogs at registered tracks can often have their dogs rehomed by the Retired Greyhound Trust. However, there are more unregistered tracks which have no regulations and are not covered by the Trust. Many owners do care and will keep their dogs as pets themselves or try to rehome them, but in an industry driven by money and gambling the dogs will always be a disposable asset. There are one or two differences to be remembered. Greyhounds are sight hounds and their schooling for the track teaches them to chase small furry animals. You must keep a greyhound on the lead when outside until you are absolutely certain that, firstly your dog will come back to you and secondly will not chase other peoples small pets. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Greyhounds are a dream on the lead, are well mannered, rarely pull and the majority learn, with the correct training, to come back when called.

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