Looking for a dog to adopt? Michael McCann, president of The Greyhound Project, hopes you’ll choose an ex-racing Greyhound.
“Greyhounds are graceful, gentle and make great pets and companions,” McCann says. He estimates there are thousands of former racers waiting for permanent homes, the result of the sluggish economy and the closing of 10 tracks since 2008, including two in Massachusetts that were shuttered after legislation was passed to ban dog racing in the state. April is Adopt-a-Greyhound Month.
So what is a retired racer like at home? “Greyhounds are quizzical, sometimes shy, very sensitive, and surprisingly gentle,” McCann says. “They tend to be quiet, and because they tend to like everyone, they definitely don’t make good watchdogs. They possess superior intelligence and can exhibit a surprising independence. These are not animals whose spirit has been broken by their training or racing experience.”
They’re also incredibly adaptable, McCann says. “Though they typically have to learn the ropes of home life, they do so quickly and gracefully,” he says. “Greyhounds are anxious to please and can be trained to standard obedience commands with patience and consistency. They are used to a leash, love to walk, and will learn to heel quickly.”
McCann says most people are surprised to learn that Greyhounds don’t need tons of exercise. “Greyhounds do well with two or three walks a day, and will enjoy a romp in a fenced in area once or twice a week,” he says. “Because Greyhounds are sprinters, and not long-distance runners, they don’t have a lot of endurance, so, after their walks, they’re ready for their nap.”
Visit The Greyhound Project’s website to learn more about adopting.