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This page was updated on February 8, 2018

(More articles will be added here from time to time. Please check back frequently.)

The information in this page is meant to be a general guide and is not a complete literature about greyhounds. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask any of our vice presidents or adoption representatives listed in the Contact Us section. For a general adoption guide, please check here - Adoption Guide

Before adopting a greyhound, what should I know about:





    Greyhounds are bred for speed, health, intelligence, and sociability. This makes them excellent house pets. They are clean, odor free, indoor dogs that don't eat a lot nor require extensive exercise. The greyhound is basically a quiet dog and will spend much of its time sleeping in the corner of the room or may even bid for part of the sofa, if allowed. It is happy to follow you around in the house and loves to go for car rides.

   Greyhounds live to be about 12-15 years old barring any accidents or illness. Racing Greyhounds are bred for health and speed. They are not predisposed to genetic disorders like blindness, deafness, hip dysplasia, etc.

Greyhounds have thin skin, no undercoat, and little body fat to insulate themselves. This means they need protection against the cold and the heat. Because the greyhound's skin is thin, it can tear easily. Greyhounds are also sensitive to certain drugs and chemicals.

Greyhounds are meant to be "skinny". An overweight Greyhound is an unhealthy Greyhound. You should be able to see the last two or three ribs and feel their hip bones.

Watch out for those long tails - they are prone to being trapped in doors.

When you adopt a greyhound he/she has had all his/her shots, been spayed/neutered, been wormed, had their teeth cleaned if necessary, been micro chipped and been seen by a vet.

While generally healthy, you should be aware of certain things about greyhounds. Because your greyhound has been an athlete, we do see some arthritis in greyhounds as they age. Depending upon where your greyhound has raced, it may have been exposed to tick borne diseases or valley fever. These are very treatable.

In order to keep your greyhound healthy, it is very important to keep your greyhound's teeth clean and keep them at a healthy weight (not overweight). Talk to us about the options. It is also important to keep their nails short.

These dogs, like all living beings, are not free from terminal diseases. Our goal is to ensure that each greyhound that comes to us is given the best care possible and to provide you with the best information we can. Opening your heart and home to one of these beautiful creatures can be a wonderful, lifetime experience.
(Please check our Links page for some important information and articles regarding Greyhound health.)

   A greyhound has been raised in a bustling kennel and racing environment that requires extensive handling and they crave human company. While not all greyhounds suffer from separation anxiety, some greyhounds get nervous and afraid if left alone by itself. A greyhound must learn by experience that we will return, and being alone in the house is safe. If frightened, it can result in destructive behavior. Your dog may try to get out of the house and find you, and may decide that he has to chew through the door to get out.

To minimize difficulties, never put your dog in a separate room when you leave. If he normally has the run of the house, give him the run of the house when you leave. Also, don't ever, ever lock the dog in the basement, garage, bathroom, or laundry room when you leave; it will think it is being punished. You want to change as little as possible for the dog when you leave.

Putting him in a separate room emphasizes that something different is going on, and may make him think he is being punished. Don't make a big deal of leaving or returning; make several "false starts" in leaving. Start by leaving your dog for a few minutes and gradually work up to longer periods. Surprisingly enough, most incidents of damage by dogs with separation anxiety occur shortly after leaving. Soon your dog will feel secure alone in the house and will not cause problems. If you are having difficulty, consider using a crate. After he settles in, a well adjusted dog should be comfortable alone for up to four hours. (Greyhound Pets, Inc. rents out crates if needed). Of course, two dogs do much better alone than one dog alone, as they keep each other company. Consider getting another greyhound if you have to leave your dog alone.

Not every dog suffers when left alone for short periods of time, and your dog may never have any difficulties, but it is one of the most common problems with greyhounds and you should be aware of the possible problems so if they do arise you will be prepared.

There are some great reference tools as well on Separation Anxiety:
- The Greyhound Pets, Inc. "The Greyhound Adopter's Guide"
- www.greyhoundlist.org/separation_anxiety.htm (an article by Lynda Adame)
- "I'll Be Home Soon! How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety" by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.

    The breed's gentle, loving personality makes it a compatible family member for those with children. While we have had great success with greyhounds and children, including babies, we have had situations where snapping incidents have happened. Remember, no dog likes to be scared or surprised by active small children. To prevent any instances of a startled dog snapping at a child, please be aware of the following situations where the child might surprise the dog:

  • Where the dog is sleeping, and the child decides to give it a hug or jumps onto it.
  • Where the dog is resting, and children are playing noisily around it.
  • Where the dog is eating, and a child gets too near to it.

Greyhounds tend to view children as puppies. While it is not always the case, female greyhounds will sometimes act maternally by instinct to discipline children behaving in manners which she considers out of hand. Therefore, we recommend an older male greyhound (4 years and above) as opposed to a female greyhound as the first dog for family with children. Please work closely with our adoption representative who will help you pick a greyhound suitable for your environment.

Please read a GPI document regarding Children and Greyhounds.

    We have placed greyhounds in homes with small furry animals and other small dogs or dogs of another large breed and have had a lot of success with these adoptions. However, some greyhounds are not compatible with any small furry animals - cats or small dogs - and once again, we ask that you work closely with our adoption representative to ensure that the right greyhound is chosen for your environment. Below, please find our updated Cat FAQ.

Question: How are our greyhounds cat tested?
Answer: Several ways. In some cases the group sending us dogs is able to cat test. Each group does it differently, so explaining it here would be lengthy and complex. Then we also test them once they arrive here (after they have settled some). We have several wonderful volunteers who test the dogs for us. They take the dogs to their homes and spend up to half an hour with each dog and the cats trying to determine the dog's cat friendliness. Also any other traits about the dog are noted for possible inclusion in their write-ups.

Question: What does the cat trainable designation mean:
Answer:  No:  They should not live with cats  Yes:  They passed our cat testing.  How they will do in your home with your cat(s) will depend upon the individual dog, individual cat, and the adopter's willingness to work with the dog.

Question: Does the cat testing assure that a dog will be able to live with cats?
Answer: No it does not. There are many different personalities and breeds of cats and many different dog personalities. The same as with people, not all people get along, well neither do all cat friendly dogs get along with all cats. So it is important at first to treat all dogs going into homes with cats as if they were not cat friendly. Take precautions at first and then once the adopter is comfortable with the dog and cat together, slowly reduce or relax the precautions.

Question: Which greyhounds are put into foster homes with cats?
Answer: If a greyhound isn't adopted right away and we have an open foster home with cats, we will put a dog that has tested as cat friendly or cat trainable into a foster home to learn some more about him/her and give them some more exposure to cats.

Question: If a dog is ok with cats inside does it mean they are going to be ok with cats outside.
Answer:  This is usually true, but do not assume anything.  While most greyhounds that are cat trainable do fine with small dogs, there are a few that will not do well with some small dogs.

Question: If a greyhound is ok with small dogs does it mean they are ok with cats?
Answer: No it does not. We have seen many a greyhound that is absolutely fine with small dogs but they are not ok with cats.

Question: If a greyhound is ok with cats does it mean they are ok with small dogs?
Answer: This is usually true, but do not assume anything. We have yet to see a greyhound that is cat friendly that isn't ok with small dogs, but you never know.

Cat Trainable Dogs - There are many people with cats looking to adopt greyhounds.  If you do not have cats, we ask that you only consider adopting a dog that is not cat trainable.  These dogs need homes just as much as the cat friendly dogs and we ask your help in reserving the cat friendly dogs for those homes that truly need them.


  • You should be looking for a house dog and a companion. Our dogs are adopted strictly for house pets and are the finest companions you could ask for. They do not do well outside, since they have little body fat nor a thick coat to keep them warm. And, as your best friend, they want to be with you.
  • You need a fenced yard (minimum height 4ft; no electric fences, invisible fences or barbed wire) unless you're in an apartment/condo, to protect your dog when it goes outside to relieve itself. A door to your house must open into the securely fenced area.  All gates must be secure.  The fence should be in good repair, with no missing parts or boards.  Certain types of fencing are not acceptable because the greyhound can slip through them or are unsafe for greyhounds.  Our home visit representative will work with you to determine if your fence is safe for a greyhound.
  • If you are in an apartment or condo, you must provide a copy of your lease or condo association rules that show you are permitted to have a greyhound or large dog.
  • There should be no obstacles near the fence that a greyhound could use as a jumping point to get over the fence.
  • The greyhound is totally innocent and will likely be killed on the road if allowed to run loose.  You must plan on your dog being confined in the house or a fenced yard.   If you walk or jog with it, make certain it is leashed at all times.   Retractable leashes (or similar devices) are not acceptable for use with greyhounds.  Often people say that they live on five or more acres and they think this should be plenty of room for a dog to live without a fence.  This simply doesn't work because of the dog's breeding and extensive training. 
  • You must agree to never stake, tie up, or chain your greyhound to anything.
  • You must agree to never use your greyhound for breeding, research, experimentation, hunting, or professional racing.
  • Plan to spend several days at the start with the dog in its new home.  There will be a transition period for the greyhound as it adjusts from track and kennel life to home life.
  • Greyhounds may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.  In many instances we will recommend you purchase or rent a crate for housing your greyhound while you're gone for short periods or several hours.  Remember, crates are not cruel.   They've been the dog's home while it resided at the track and kennel.   However, be realistic in how long you leave the dog crated, since it will have to relieve itself within several hours.  We do not recommend crating for more than 4 hours so plan on coming home at lunch or asking someone to come in and let the dog out.
  • As a sighthound, a greyhound must never be confined to a room without a view such as a laundry room, garage, basement, etc.
  • Our adoption donation is US$350. The senior adoption donation is US$250.
  • If you have not adopted from us before, you understand that you will need to fill out an Adoption Application, have a home visit, and be approved in order to adopt a greyhound. If you have adopted from us before, contact your Regional VP for information on how to proceed.
  • You agree to allow future visits to check on the dog.
  • You have patience and time available to help your former racer adjust to its new life (on average it can take up to three months for an ex-racer to be completely settled into its new home).  Please be willing to work with your adoption representative and/or VP in trying to solve issues with your dog.
  • You must agree to keep a hound safety choke collar with identification on your dog at all times. The identification tag with your name and phone number on it, and the Greyhound Pets, inc. tag must be kept on the collar; to call Greyhound Pets, Inc. if your dog becomes lost or missing and to keep GPI informed at all times of the dog's whereabouts, and to return the dog to Greyhound Pets, Inc. if for any reason you cannot keep the dog.  If you move, you must notify Greyhound Pets, Inc. and give them your new address, phone number and email address, if applicable. 
  • You must agree to keep the greyhound in good health and proper weight and fitness and to provide at least annual Veterinarian examinations, current vaccinations, teeth cleaning, and worming.  After adoption, all veterinary expenses for the greyhound are solely the responsibility of the adopter.
  • You also agree to allow Greyhound Pets, Inc. to repossess the dog if at any time in their opinion the dog is not being properly cared for.
  • GPI reserves the right not to place a greyhound under 3 years of age in a condominium, townhome, or apartment, due to their expected energy levels and activity needs.
  • GPI reserves the right not to place greyhounds deemed as high energy in a condominium, townhome or apartment.

Greyhound Pets, Inc. always represents the dog’s interests and will not allow it to be put in a risky or compromising situation. We have seen too many tragic incidents occur to people who chose not to follow our advice. If our requirements are not acceptable, please consider another breed.

    We request a non-refundable adoption donation to cover part of the medical costs we incur in taking care of the dogs.

Our adoption donation is US$350.  The senior adoption donation is US$250.

The adoption donation will include a leash/collar combo, a muzzle, as well as the usual vet check, blood panel (if appropriate), spaying or neutering, current vaccines, teeth cleaning (if needed), microchipping, a comprehensive adoption packet, and follow up support.

We accept money order or cashier's checks made out to Greyhound Pets, Inc. for most adoptions. We do not accept personal checks or cash. If an adoption occurs at our kennel in Woodinville, we will accept credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express). There is an additional charge for the use of credit cards for adoptions to cover the fees charged to GPI ($10.50 for a standard adoption, $7.50 for a senior/special needs adoption).

You might also want to consider purchasing one or more of the following items prior to, during, or sometime after the adoption. We do accept cash or credit card for these items. All these items are sold by our Needlenose Rootique. Find out more about each items usage from your Adoption Representative:
- Squawker/Squirrel or Rabbit Call
- Winter coat
- Rain Coat
- Fleece Coat
- Fancy Collar
- Tag Collar

GPI’s adoption donation structure for senior greyhounds is as follows:
- Senior dogs are defined as those who are 9 years old or older
- The adoption donation for 9, 10 and 11 year olds is US$250
- For any greyhound over 12 years old the adoption donation will be equivalent to any costs that GPI has incurred on that dog, up to,  but not exceeding $250.00
- If the dog’s birthday is within two months of the adoption date, then the next fee would apply
- All dollars are in U.S. dollars.
- All seniors will receive a vet check if they haven’t had one in the last six months. Any greyhound 12 and over that will be traveling to their new home for any distance will do so only on the OK from a vet.

The quiet dignity and noble bearing of the senior greyhound lends itself to being the perfect companion for seniors, a quieter household, or anyone else for that matter, in our community. In most cases they are already house trained, know stairs, and sliding glass doors. Originally they were adopted when they were young but then lifestyles and circumstances in their families change. The greyhound, now in its golden years, is returned to Greyhound Pets, Inc. Or perhaps the greyhound was used as a brood matron or stud dog and after several years of breeding puppies, the greyhound is no longer able to do its job. Whatever the reason, a greyhound is available for adoption. These seniors make EXCELLENT companions and deserve the change to be loved again. Please consider making a senior greyhound part of your family.

If you have any questions about our senior dog adoption structure, please contact our closest VP or Adoption Representative.

If for any reason the dog you picked does not work out, you are required to return the dog to us and if returned within a reasonable period, you can pick another dog to work with. We want you and the dog to be happy!

    You can get in touch with any of our adoption representatives nearest to you listed in the Contact Us section. You can also visit any of our weekend booths scheduled in the Calendar section. To expedite your adoption application, please download and fill out the application forms in the Forms section.

    If, for whatever reason, you can't keep your greyhound, you must return him/her to Greyhound Pets, Inc. Please contact:
North Puget Sound: Kathy Kreyling, 425-643-2076
South Puget Sound: Chris Nooney, 206-228-8942
Mid Washington: Moira Corrigan, 206-718-0475 
Canada, all areas: Shana & Barry Dunn, 604-833-8635

All other areas: Moira Corrigan, 206-718-0475 


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