Adoption and Education Center
14 West Swanzey Rd.
Swanzey, NH. 03446
(603) 355-1556

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Ex-racers make great pets!

Questions About Greyhound Adoption

Greyhounds placed through Fast Friends are usually between two and five years old. They are intelligent, highly adaptable dogs that easily adjust to their new home environment in one to two months. These greyhounds have been raised in a kennel environment, so life in a home with people is a completely new experience. New owners of a retired racer must be patient and willing to help their greyhound adjust to life after the track.

Greyhounds are quiet, clean, gentle, affectionate, friendly, eager to please dogs. They get along well with children and other animals (including cats). Ex-racers are grateful for their new homes, bond with others, and reward their new owners with constant affection.

Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds do not require a great deal of space to run, but they do need regular exercise. A twenty-minute walk once a day is adequate. Ex-racers are very schedule-oriented because of their life at the track. Adhering to a normal schedule of feeding and exercise is very important. Inside the house, greyhounds especially enjoy having a soft spot of their own, such as a blanket or a pet bed.

Please click here to download an adoption application in PDF format You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system to view and print the PDF file.

Once we review your completed application and reference from your veterinarian, we will contact you to arrange an interview with your entire family. The interview gives us an opportunity to fully explain the nature of greyhounds.

Fast Friends will help you choose a greyhound to match your needs and lifestyle. Prior to placement, each greyhound is evaluated by a veterinarian, spayed or neutered, given rabies and DHLPP vaccinations, tested for heartworm, and has its teeth cleaned if necessary. New owners receive a certificate of good health for their greyhound and a new collar and leash.

If you have cats, other small pets, small children over the age of 7*, or have never owned a dog before, Fast Friends will screen the greyhound and do a home visit before it is placed in your home.”

*To help ensure a successful adoption, we ask that all children in the home be over the age of 7.*

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Adopting a retired Greyhound is truly a rewarding experience. Your Greyhound will quickly become a member of your family and add joy to your home. Their playful and sensitive nature will endear them to everyone. Most importantly, adopting a Greyhound is a serious commitment. Your pet will depend on you for guidance and to meet all its needs; food, shelter, health care and lots of love.

The following information will help you decide if a retired racer is the right pet choice for you and your family.

Greyhounds Are Quiet & Docile
Greyhounds are quiet animals who rarely bark. They love to sleep and are often fondly referred to as "40 Mile Per Hour couch potatoes."

Exercise: Contrary to popular belief, Greyhounds do not require a tremendous amount of exercise. As racers, they are sprinters, not endurance runners. While they enjoy a good romp around a fenced yard or in an enclosed area, they do equally as well with a brisk ten minute walk daily. The rest of the time, they are content resting on a soft bed or sofa.

Walking: At the track the dogs are accustomed to 4 turn outs daily for bodily functions. Additionally, they are taught to walk well on lead. Greyhounds must always be leashed when walked outside of a safely fenced area. They may never be walked without a leash as they are sight hounds and always ready for a good chase, even after a blowing paper bag or leaf

Personality: Greyhounds are quiet, well mannered, loving and sensitive. Because of their gentle nature, they do not make good watch dogs. Greys are easily trained with positive reinforcement. A firm NO! is all that is needed to correct unwanted behaviors.

Age: Greyhounds available for adoption are generally two to six years old. Their racing careers end when they are no longer competitive. Some are not fast enough, while others may have been injured.

Life Span: On average, Greyhounds live from 12 to 14 years.

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Size: Like people, Greyhounds vary in size. Females weigh from 50 pounds for a petite girl to 60 pounds for the more average one. Males tend to be a bit larger, weighing between 65 and 75 pounds on average. Regardless of their size, greyhounds take up very little space and curl up into a ball when sleeping.

Color: Greyhounds come in a wide array of colors with 18 recognized variations. They are solid, patched, brindled, spotted and striped. The least common of all is the "blue" or gray-like color.

Greyhounds Are Great Companions
Greyhounds are happiest in the company of those they love. They eagerly await your arrival with wagging tails. They like to nuzzle, love people, love to love and to be loved.

While racing, greyhounds are "kennel broken," which means they are trained not to relieve themselves in their living area. They are clean dogs by nature and would prefer to relieve themselves outdoors when given a choice. These two factors, combined with specific advice from a COGR representative at the time of adoption, lead to an easy transition into life as a house pet.

Are Greyhounds good with children?
Many books on dog breeds describe the Greyhound as being too "high-strung" for children, which is entirely false. Most Greyhounds have a very quiet, calm disposition and are good with well-mannered children. However, any dog of any breed that has not been raised around children must be watched carefully, and all interaction between dogs and children, no matter how trustworthy the dog or the children, should be supervised by adults. Most Greyhounds have never seen children before leaving the track, and because very young children can behave unpredictably and in ways that are frightening or threatening to dogs, we generally do not recommend placing Greyhounds in homes with children under the age of 7.

Cats: Greyhounds and cats can and do get along! Many Greyhounds live happily with cats and other small animals. Be sure to let your adoption consultant know the make-up of your household so they can assist you with finding a cat friendly pet.

Greyhounds Are Smart
Many Greyhounds excel as therapy dogs. Others score well in agility and obedience. All find the perfect way to make themselves a member of the family.

Shedding: Greyhounds have short coats and are not big shedders. Some believe that lighter color dogs shed more than darker colors. A good weekly brushing with a comb or glove eliminates most shedding. Greyhounds are considered hypo-allergenic and are often suitable pets for those with allergies

Are retired racing greyhounds already housebroken?
While racing, greyhounds are "kennel broken," which means they are trained not to relieve themselves in their living area. They are clean dogs by nature and would prefer to relieve themselves outdoors when given a choice. These two factors, combined with specific advice from a COGR representative at the time of adoption, lead to an easy transition into life as a house pet.

Feeding: The average grey requires 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food daily, spread over two meals. Thinner dogs may need more food until they reach their "pet weight."

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Greyhounds' livers metabolize toxins from their bloodstreams more slowly than other dogs of comparable size, and they have a very low percentage of body fat in proportion to their size, so it is easier for harmful concentrations of toxins to develop. Additionally, Greyhounds are very sensitive to certain medications, including anesthesia. Make sure that your veterinarian is aware of a Greyhound's special anesthesia requirements before allowing your Greyhound to undergo surgery. Information on the use of anesthesia in Greyhounds can be obtained from the Small Animal Teaching Hospital of Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Colorado (303/484-9154).
Flea collars and long-lasting pesticides such as Hartz Blockade can be harmful or even fatal to a Greyhound. Additionally, products which release flea-killing chemicals into the bloodstream of the dog should be avoided, as should products such as Rabon, Bayon, ProSpot and Ex-Spot. Any product containing organophosphates such as Dursban cannot be used on a Greyhound, on a Greyhound's bedding, or in a house where a Greyhound lives.
The monthly pill Program, which renders flea eggs sterile after the flea bites the dog, is safe to use with Greyhounds, but it does not actually kill the fleas themselves. Advantage, which is applied monthly, is also safe for Greyhounds and does kill the fleas. Advantage has been found by some to be more effective for fleas on Greyhounds than Frontline , perhaps because Frontline is distributed by the oils in a dog’s coat and Greyhounds’ coats have very little oil. COGR uses Frontline, however, because it also kills ticks. Products containing Pyrethrins are safe for use on Greyhounds, as are products with d-Limonene. The human shampoo Pert Plus kills fleas on the dog but has little or no residual effect. In general, if a product contains Pyrethrins and the label states that it is safe for cats and kittens, it will be safe for Greyhounds.
Dewormers with an organophosphate base must be avoided. For hookworm or roundworm infestations, use pyrantel pamoate (the active ingredient in the non-prescription wormers Evict, Nemex, and Nemex2, and the prescription wormer Strongid-T). For tapeworms, Droncit is the most effective drug, but must be obtained from a veterinarian. Panacur, which also is a prescription wormer, is effective for whipworms, hookworms, roundworms and some tapeworms.

Like other deep-chested breeds, Greyhounds can be prone to bloat, or torsion. This is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach becomes twisted. Symptoms include a distended abdomen, repeated vomiting with no results, pacing and restlessness. Bloat is a very painful condition that can be fatal quickly; immediate medical attention from your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic is absolutely essential. You may wish to discuss bloat with your veterinarian so that you know in advance what to do should it happen in order to improve your dog's chances for survival. In order to prevent bloat, do not allow your Greyhound to exercise just before and for an hour or so after eating, and don’t let it drink large amounts of water immediately after eating dry dog food.

Special Needs: A Greyhounds short hair and lean body requires a coat when the temperature dips below 40 degrees. A non-slip, humane collar accommodates his/her narrow head and wider neck. Raised bowls make eating easier. A soft bed is always appreciated. Most of all, patience and love are the best tools to ease the transition from track to home.


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