Before You Adopt a Greyhound

A greyhound isn’t for everyone, but if there’s a thoughtful, considerate, would-be adopter out there, we’ll help you with the rough spots and make sure that you’ll fall in love with the newest member of your family. Adopting a greyhound should not be considered a rental to be returned at the first inconvenience. Before you commit to adopting a retired racing greyhound, take a few minutes and consider the issues raised here. If after carefully considering these issues you still believe that a greyhound is right for you, we’ll help you get started with our adoption process.


“What if the dog doesn’t work out in our home?”

We shudder when an adopting family asks about returning a greyhound before it has moved into their home and life. Adoption means to PERMANENTLY accept the new pet into one’s life, which includes sickness and health, good times and bad, and all of the changes of life. Of course Greyhounds Only, Inc. WILL take back any dog it has places for any reason. Having said this, we would like you to consider a few things before you adopt.

If you are thinking of adopting a retired racer, realize that you are considering a dog that has had nothing asked of her except to run fast!

Greyhounds Only fosters dogs to help prepare them to be suitable housepets. We housebreak, teach the dog to navigate stairs, and introduce the dog to normal household “life.” Training should not end at adoption. New adopters are encouraged to and should take their dogs to a basic canine obedience class. Doing so helps owner-dog communication, builds confidence, and aids bonding.

Behavior problems are often cited as reasons for returns. In most cases, simple training techniques can be employed to change most troublesome behaviors. It’s true that most people give up on a good dog too soon because they are not willing to make an effort to work through a trying situation.

Be warned that living with a dog can get bumpy from time to time. A dog is capable of doing things, usually the wrong things, when you least expect it. A growl, snap, or bite can occur with ANY dog, and one incident should not be grounds for divorce. In many cases of a bite, there can be extenuating circumstances that provoked the dog to react the way he did. It does NOT mean the dog is aggressive. Likewise, an occasional housebreaking incident should be expected. Like you, your dog’s body is subject to fluctuations that may mean an isolated instance of house soiling. In the case of any strange or different behavior from your dog, we ask that you call us. We can help get you and your dog back on track.

It’s going to take some time for your dog to learn your routine. Bonding does not happen overnight. As you introduce your dog to your family routines and he becomes comfortable, he will learn to trust you. Relationships take time to develop, so you will have to be patient.

How are your finances? Vet visits are something else to keep in mind. Besides the yearly exams and inoculation, your dog may experience sickness and injury, which can require a visit to the nearest veterinary emergency clinic. Are you going to be able to get your dog to a vet when your dog needs to go?

Examine your long-term plans. Are you planning on getting married? Are there children (or more children) in your future? Are you planning to move? Dogs have been returned for all these reasons. Your canine member of the family is a member of the family. He cannot speak for himself and in most cases is the most disposable member of the family.

People who give us back their dogs for these reasons feel that they’ve made an “honorable” move. They don’t see that when they’ve driven off, the ex-family member watches the door, listens for the sound of a car on the driveway, and mourns for the family that abandoned her.

If it doesn’t seem like the right time, WAIT! There will ALWAYS be a dog available for you. Wait for that time when the dog can be a loved and cherished member of the family.

We have compiled a list of FAQs that you might find helpful in making your decision. Please contact us at with any questions you might have about Greyhound adoption in general or our adoption process in particular.