Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to our most commonly asked questions, work out whether a greyhound or lurcher is right for your family and learn more about what it's like to own a sighthound.
If you have any further questions about rehoming or owning a sighthound, please do not hesitate to contact us. We give full support to all our adopters and will answer any question no matter how big or small.
- What is your rehoming process?
See our Adoption Process page for detailed information about rehoming.
Our rehoming process is tailored to meet your needs so that you can find the right dog for your family. Be aware that in situations where small animals or young children are involved it may take longer to find a dog that suits your needs.
- Why do I have to pass a homecheck before reserving a dog?
Before you reserve a dog we need to successfully see that your boundaries are high enough and that your home environment is safe and secure, this is done for the safety of the dog. If you were to reserve a dog and then fail a homecheck, or find you are unable to home a dog, it would be very disappointing for both us and yourselves. For this reason we will not reserve a dog before a homecheck is passed.
- Do you require all homes to have a secure garden?
Yes. We require all potential adopters to have a secure garden area with minimum 6ft fences/boundaries. If your boundaries are made up of trees/hedges you will need to make sure there are no gaps, and secure any areas where a dog could squeeze through. It is important to have a secure garden for your own piece of mind, we have known lurchers in the past who can jump 7ft from a standing start. So we say 6ft minimum for a reason!
- Do you rehome dogs to live with cats or small animals?
Yes. Despite the fact that racing dogs have been trained to chase a lure, many greyhounds do well in homes with small pets. We never call any of our kennel dogs 'small animal safe or friendly', as this implies that they will behave perfectly with small animals in all situations. For example, it is common for hounds to try and chase cats whilst on a walk, even if they happily live with a cat in the house. Instead, when we believe a dog has potential to do well in a home with cats or small animals we refer to them as 'cat workable'.
If you have small animals and would like to home one of our dogs please phone the kennels for more information before visiting, we do not state on the website which dogs are cat workable as we will recommend dogs based on your circumstances and level of experience.
Please be aware if you have small animals it may take longer to find the right dog for you.
- What is your adoption donation?
We ask for a minimum donation of £200 when you home a dog. This is a minimum amount which goes towards veterinary bills, worming, fleaing, microchipping and caring for the dog whilst in our care. There is no upper limit, every penny helps. Click here for more information on rehoming requirements.
- Are your dogs neutered and microchipped?
Yes, all of our dogs are microchipped, neutered, fully vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms before being rehomed. You will receive a vaccination certificate for your dog and microchip details will be transferred into your name during adoption.
- Do you have any dog supplies available at your kennels?
Yes, we stock leather fishtail collars and leads, house collars, muzzles, lightweight rain macs, fleeced rain coats and warm house coats for dogs. All of which are available for a minimum donation at the kennels. Be aware that stock is sometimes limited so please call before visiting.
- Are your dogs housetrained?
We can't offer any guarantees for this. However our greyhounds are generally kennel clean and accustomed to toileting outside. In most cases the dogs work it out straight away, providing you give them plenty of opportunities to perform. You do need to praise them well once they have performed outside so that they very quickly learn to want to use that place again. They thrive on praise and will soon work out that toileting outside is a positive thing.
- Why do you supply a muzzle?
We provide a muzzle for safety reasons. Please remember that ex-racing greyhounds have spent most of their lives in racing kennels and therefore haven't met other breeds of dog. At first we recommend you keep your new dog muzzled when out walking. Introduce it to as many different shapes and sizes of dogs as you possibly can, whilst keeping it under control on a firmly held lead. Praise friendly reactions and discourage growling or lunging with a firm "no". Most dogs accept other breeds straight away, some take a little longer. Keeping your dog muzzled in the early days is a protection for both you and other people's dogs. Once you are certain of your dog's reactions you can, if you wish, dispense with the muzzle.
- Do you home your dogs to families with very young children or babies?
Yes, we do. The vast majority of greyhounds are good with young children. Having said that, we need to find one suitable for the age of your child/children. For very young children, a slightly older, more sensible and 'laid back' hound would be better, as younger bouncier hounds could potentially knock a child over. Each adoption is assessed separately and we can guide you towards a selection of hounds which we feel will suit your circumstances. Many times, where young children need to be considered, we would require multiple visits to get to know your family requirements.
- I live in a flat, can I home a dog?
Potentially, living in a flat is not always a problem, But there are important issues that need consideration. Examples of these are: What floor do you live on? Ground floor is preferable as racing greyhounds have never encountered stairs before. Do you have a private garden? If not, consider if you are really prepared to take your dog out in all weathers, several times a day and possibly in the night to accommodate it's toilet needs. We would not normally home to a property without it's own private secure garden.
- Can I adopt a dog if I rent my property?
Yes. If you are a tenant, we will need to see written confirmation from your landlord that large dogs are accepted. This needs to be shown before your homecheck is arranged, you can either bring it with you on your visit to the kennels or email it over to us. If you are buying, please check for any restriction in your leasehold agreement.
- I work full time, am I able to adopt a dog?
Possibly. This very much depends on your situation. If you will be leaving your dog alone for more than 5 hours a day you will need to make arrangements for a greyhound friendly dogwalker, friend or family member to pop in and walk your dog/spend some time with your dog whilst you're not in. In our opinion leaving a dog alone most of the day, and naturally most of the night, is not fair on the dog. Greyhounds and lurchers thrive on human company, a hound that is left alone for long periods of time may become distressed, destructive or otherwise unhappy. The well-being of the dog is our prime concern and as such, if you cannot answer with a firm yes to all of the above then no, until circumstances change, we would not home one of our greyhounds to you. Remember getting a dog walker will add extra cost to owning a dog, so please think carefully.
Greyhound & Lurcher FAQ
- What is a sighthound?
Sighthounds are a group of dogs whose primary sense is that of sight, unlike many other breeds who use scent as their primary sense. There are 16 breeds of sighthound, greyhounds being the most well known, they are among some of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Both greyhounds and lurchers are part of the sighthound group.
- What is the difference between a greyhound and a lurcher?
A greyhound is a pedigree dog breed which is used in the modern day racing industry. A lurcher is not a breed of dog, it is a cross between a sighthound and any other breed, they therefore come in all shapes and sizes and vary in temperament.
- What is a greyhound or lurchers life expectancy?
The average life expectancy of a greyhound or lurcher is around 10-12 years old.
- What is a lurcher?
A lurcher is not a breed of dog, it is a cross between a sighthound and another breed (usually a working breed). They therefore come in all shapes and sizes! Lurchers can be as small as a Whippet or as large as a Wolfhound. They can have smooth short coats, fluffy coats or a rough broken coat. Depending on what they are mixed with they can have low, moderate or high energy levels. However in general lurchers are more active than greyhounds and make great pets to run with or train in obedience and agility.
A lurchers temperament will very much depend on what breeds it is crossed with, so if you are thinking of adopting a lurcher it can be beneficial to research the breeds of the particular dog you are interested in.
- How old are greyhounds when they finish racing?
Most greyhounds finish racing between the ages of 3-5 years old. However many younger greyhounds end up in rescue as they are not deemed fast enough for racing, and are therefore unwanted in the industry.
- Where do your adoptable dogs come from?
The majority of our adoptable greyhounds are rescued or relinquished from the racing industry. While our adoptable lurchers are often saved from dog pounds. Each dog has a different background which we will inform you about when you visit the kennels.
- How much exercise do sighthounds require?
It is a common misconception that greyhounds require large amounts of exercise. Greyhounds are built to sprint at fast speeds for short periods of time, they therefore only require low-moderate amounts of exercise and are happy with a minimum of two 20 minute walks a day. They are known as 'the worlds fastest couch potato' for a reason! Lurchers may require more exercise than a greyhound depending on what they are crossed with, they often make fantastic dogs to do obedience or agility training with as they are very intelligent.
- Will I be able to let my greyhound or lurcher off lead on walks?
We strongly recommend you keep your newly adopted dog on lead for a minimum of 6 months and practice recall before thinking about letting it off lead. Greyhounds can cover 20 metres per second and reach speeds over 40mph in under 6 strides, if your dog decides to run off you will not be able to catch it! You must remember that an ex-racing greyhound has never been outside of a kennel environment so needs to get used to the 'real' world before you consider letting it off, they have no road sense and do not instinctively use their sense of smell to find their way back.
Some dogs will never be able to come off lead during walks as they have a high chase instinct, or are not trusted to come back. We always recommend using a safe, enclosed area if you are thinking of letting your dog off lead for the first time or want to allow your greyhound or lurcher to have time off lead.
- Why do sighthounds often wear different collars to other breeds?
Sighthounds commonly wear two types of collar, a Fishtail collar and a House collar.
A house collar is a 'regular' comfortable collar which your dog will wear 24/7 and have it's ID tag attached to. A fishtail collar is only worn when you take your dog for a walk, they are worn higher on the neck and are designed specifically for sighthounds. They have a large surface area so that if/when your dog pulls on lead the collar does not dig into the neck and damage the trachea or larynx. Sighthounds should wear a fishtail collar when on a walk because the anatomy of their skull means they can easily slip out of a 'regular' collar. When worn correctly a dog should not be able to slip out of a fishtail collar.
- Is there a difference between male and female sighthounds?
It seems to be a common misconception that female dogs are easier to own than males, this is simply not true as each dog has their own individual personality. In general, both sexes of greyhound are fairly similar and it makes little difference which you pick. Female greyhounds are known to be more dominant and independent. Compared to the males who are more easy going, calm and submissive. Please do not dismiss a dog based on it's sex, colour or size as none of these effect how easy or hard they are to own. It's the personality that counts!
- Do greyhounds and lurchers suffer from many medical conditions?
Greyhounds generally have good health. The racing industry breed dogs to be fast and healthy, therefore hereditary diseases are rare. Greyhounds are the only large breed of dog who do not suffer from hip dysplasia. Sighthounds are more prone to developing bloat (GDV), which can be deadly if not spotted in time. To help prevent bloat do not allow heavy exercise 20 minutes either side of a meal and use a raised water and food bowl for your dog.