Training and racing Greyhounds can be an enjoyable and profitable hobby.
Greyhounds are a pure breed. It is mentioned that they have not evolved from crossings with other canines since the Egyptian times, going back to 4000 BC. They were used for coursing games for many centuries, probably since the Roman times. Although the Greyhound is used for racing and coursing, it is basically a lazy animal.
When choosing a Greyhound pup, you have to examine its mother and her bloodline. The breeding process starts with the female, and if she has got a good history in racing she will usually produce top grade pups. Pups should have been brought up on a large block of land with plenty of room to run.
Many people who race Greyhounds for a living spend enormous amounts of money to purchase a top grade pup. If you are a beginner it is suggested you purchase a Greyhound that is inexpensive. Even if the Greyhound you purchase does not come from a champion background, you can use it to learn the techniques involved for training and racing. Some beginners do not want to take the chance with a low grade Greyhound and sometimes purchase a trained Greyhound that will be a guaranteed performer. This is very expensive and I do not recommend it for someone who is inexperienced.
When the Greyhound is 14 months of age it should begin its education. This begins with box launching – how to launch itself out of the starting box. It is also taught how to chase a lure. Over a three month period, gradually increase the distance the Greyhound runs when leaving the box. Starting with 50 metres and then increasing the distance to 500 metres. When the Greyhound is 18 to 19 months old, start practicing with other dogs and with lots of people at the track. The Greyhound has to get used to the sound of a large audience.
Greyhounds do not have to be exercised very much. Twice a day let the Greyhound have a free run of a block of land (approx. 50 metres square). With this and the practice runs at the track will supply the Greyhound with ample exercise. It has been mentioned that Greyhounds, when over exercised, can slow them down.
Greyhounds are an affectionate breed of dog and enjoy the company of people and especially children. Not unlike children, Greyhounds need plenty of praise and affection while being trained. It doesn’t do them any harm to make them a member of the family.
As Greyhounds have a very thin coat, always make sure they have warm sleeping arrangements. Provide them with a coat during the day in winter, and if kenneled, install inner slab heating on the base of their kennel. Note that Greyhounds do not need to be kenneled, top breeders have produced champions by just letting the Greyhounds roam freely around the yard.
If you have a successful male dog he could earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars in stud fees alone. However, when your Greyhound reaches retirement (which could be at an early age of 4 years), show some passion and do not have it destroyed. Besides being excellent racers, Greyhounds also make excellent pets.