Meet & Greet FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions About Greyhound Behavior and
The Colorado Greyhound Adoption Process
Important Note: Colorado Greyhound Adoption is neutral on the issue of racing.
We are neither pro nor anti-racing. CGA’s primary interest is in the welfare of the
greyhounds, and the placement of greyhounds into good adoptive homes.
Don’t use the word “rescue”, rather, CGA finds permanent homes for “retired racing
Our Web site is coloradogreyhoundadoption.org. It’s an excellent, informative site and
includes an application that you can retrieve and complete.
Colorado Greyhound Adoption Process: (Condensed)
1. Adoption Application
The first step is to fill out an application that may be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to CGA.
2. Home Visit
Upon receipt of your application, an Adoption Counselor will phone you to set up a
home visit. The visit will take about 1-2 hours and should include all members of your
household including other pets. The Adoption Counselor will explain how CGA matches
your family situation with the greyhound’s personality.
3. Meet Foster Hounds
If you are approved for adoption, we will arrange for you and your family to meet a few
of our foster dogs. CGA works hard to match a dog that suits your family’s lifestyle and
discourages choosing a greyhound based on color or appearance. Depending on what
your specific needs are (cat safe, good in an apartment, good as an only dog, etc), it
may take up to 6 months to match a dog with your situation.
4. Finalizing the Adoption
After deciding on a dog, you pay the adoption fee and sign a contract with CGA. By
signing the contract, you agree to the terms which stipulate that you will care for the dog
for its entire life, and that if for any reason you have to relinquish the dog, you will do so
only to Colorado Greyhound Adoption.
General Questions and Answers:
How old are the dogs when they retire?
Usually between 1.5-5 years of age. Occasionally, we get older dogs that were used for
breeding purposes or that were relinquished due to the owner passing away, or moving
away, etc. We rarely get dogs younger, but it does happen occasionally.
How big do they get?
Females are generally between 50-65 pounds, males between 70-85 pounds.
How long do they live?
For large, purebred dogs, they are remarkably long-lived: about 12-14 years. They are
not prone to most genetic diseases commonly found in many purebred dogs, such as
hip dysplasia, but no breed has perfect health. Greyhounds, in our experience, tend to
be somewhat susceptible to bone cancer and kidney disease.
Are the kennels/tracks mean to them (or, I’ve heard that they shoot/abuse the
dogs, or, I saw something on TV that said….)?
The kennels that we work with treat their dogs well, which is a win-win situation for
everyone involved, we get healthy, socialized dogs that adapt very quickly to life in
Aren’t they really high-energy (or, don’t they need a lot of room to run)?
Generally, the right greyhounds can make an excellent apartment/condo dogs, as they
don’t need a lot of room to run. On the racetrack they are sprinters, not long-distance
runners. We like to call them “45 mile per hour couch potatoes”. In general, they are
very calm; they like to just “hang out”. Since like with any other breed, some show
tendencies to be more active than others, that is part of the process of matching a dog
to your circumstances and your families level of activity.
How are greyhounds with children?
Typically greyhounds are okay with children. They are patient and would rather walk
away from a situation than bite, however any child should be supervised when
interacting with a dog or other animal. If you have children at home you will be shown
dogs that have been determined to do well with children. Some dogs, regardless of the
breed love to be around kids and enjoy the attention and play whereas others would
rather not be bothered. We do not place dogs in homes with children under 4 years
Are they good with other dogs?
Generally, Yes. They are used to being around lots of other dogs their entire racing
lives. However, some greyhounds have a high prey drive towards small dogs. Care
should be taken when introducing a greyhound to any other dog.
Are they good with cats or other small animals?
All of the dogs brought into our adoption program are screened to determine their
disposition and whether or not they may be placed into a home with a cat, small dog or
other small animal. If there is any doubt at all, the dog will only be placed in a home
without small animals. Dogs that are determined to be cat friendly are placed into a
foster home with a cat if possible. Over half of the greyhounds brought into our program
are determined to be “cat friendly.” Greyhounds often enjoy living with other dogs, as
they have been raised in a kennel with many other greyhounds around them.
Are they smart?
Greyhounds are highly intelligent and easily trainable. They are very eager to please,
and with consistent training, usually pick up commands quickly.
How much does it cost to adopt a greyhound?
Our adoption donation is $250. For senior dogs (over 8 years old) it is $150. This
includes a spay/neuter, teeth cleaning, current vaccinations, nails clipped, buckle collar
with i.d. tag that includes a 24 hour pager number in case the dog is ever lost,
Martingale collar (humane choke collar), and lead. PLUS we have a network of
volunteers available to mentor new adopters and answer any questions or concerns that
Can I take one home with me now?
No, but you can fill out an application. We conduct home visits prior to adopting out any
dogs. This way, we can find a dog that best matches your lifestyle and preferences, as
well as advise you of any potential dangers in your home or yard.
Where is your group located?
We don’t have a kennel facility. Our mailing address is in Littleton. We are a 100%
volunteer organization. All of the dogs are housed in foster homes from the time they
leave their vet appointment until the time they are adopted. In the foster homes, dogs
are exposed to things they have never seen during their racing lives: doorbells,
telephones, stairs, sliding glass doors, and car rides. The foster families crate the dogs
since that is what they are accustomed to and this helps in the housebreaking process.
There will still be a transition period from the foster home to your home. Just remember
that the dogs you see here and at any of our other events are owned by families who
have spent a lot of time with their dogs and have worked with them. The more time you
devote to your dog, the better behaved and more secure your dog will be.
I would love to own a greyhound but I live in a house without a fenced yard,
townhouse, condo, apartment.
Many of our dogs are placed in an apartment or house with a small yard, or no yard,
and are perfectly happy. It is up to the owners to provide the dogs with adequate walks
to relieve themselves and be exercised. In the right situation, with the right dog, it is not
unkind to own a dog if you don’t live in a house with a large yard. Most breeds do very
well in any type of living situation provided they get the proper care and attention which
includes interaction with their owner and play time.
I have a house with a large, fenced yard. Can I leave my greyhound outside while I
am at work?
Greyhounds are indoor dogs. If they can access the yard via a doggy door, that would
be great. Due to their short coat and little body fat, greyhounds are sensitive to heat
(including sunburns) and cold. A good rule of thumb is: any time the temperature drops
to where you would put on a coat, you should put a coat on your greyhound as well.
Keep in mind that dogs left outside for extended periods of time might begin digging up
the yard or take to barking out of loneliness and/or boredom.
I like to jog – can I have my greyhound run with me?
Greyhounds can be great jogging companions provided they are conditioned gradually.
No dog should be asked to jog more than just a few miles. Dogs overheat quicker than
we do and cannot control their body heat as well. They should not run in the heat of the
day during the warmer months. Greyhounds tend to be more sensitive to temperature
than other breeds. Greyhounds run on tracks that are either hardened dirt or sand and
as a result have very soft pads on their feet. The pads must be given a chance to
harden before they can run any distance. Most important to remember is that your
greyhound must always be kept on a leash.
I had read that greyhounds must be on a leash at all times, why is that?
That is the cardinal rule for owning a greyhound. Greyhounds are classified as “sight
hounds” which means they hunt by vision rather than scent (like beagles or basset
hounds for example). For over 4,000 years the breed has been trained to scan the
horizon in order to spot prey. Once the prey was spotted the hounds were released and
sent off in hot pursuit of their quarry. This trait has been further emphasized by the
training they receive at the racing kennels. Only the dogs with the most desire to pursue
are selected for racing. These are the dogs we are adopting out. If not kept on a leash a
greyhound will instinctively chase anything that crosses its path or is spotted. More
often than not, you will not even be able to see what they are looking at their vision is
that keen. In fact, their vision is clear up to a mile away. Once a greyhound is on the
chase they will more than likely not respond to your voice command and return. In
general, any breed of dog is much safer being kept on a leash in any unfenced area.
Do they bark?
Most greyhounds don’t bark much, and some do not bark at all. But like any dog, the
amount of barking will vary. But some do like to roo. Rooing is a cross between a bark
and a howl and happens when greyhounds get excited.
Do they shed?
There is no such thing as a dog with fur that doesn’t shed, and greyhounds are no
exception. Greyhounds are a low shedding breed and may be less troublesome for
some allergic people, but no dog is hypoallergenic.
Is it true they are put down if they don’t find homes?
With the rise of adoption groups like ours over the last 15-20 years, along with a
decrease in the number of active racetracks and breeding kennels, we believe that very
few dogs do not move on to adoption groups when their career is over.