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Greyhound Warnings
by Judy Kody Paulsen, Founder, GCNM

(Excerpt from Fall 1999 issue of GCNM News)


Some of our past issues of GCNM News have included warnings and tips for greyhound adopters. We are printing some of these as reminders:

1. Never, never, never tie a greyhound to anything for any amount of time. Greyhounds are thin-skinned and have thin hair, and if they become tangled in a leash, rope, etc., can become seriously injured or even die. Other mishaps can occur as a result of tying a greyhound to anything – the scenarios are too numerous to mention and unfortunately have already occurred to remorseful people who have made this mistake.

Don't let your greyhound become a statistic. Never tie your dog to anything.

2. Does your greyhound get "weak in the knees" when it is being bathed? Does it act a little dazed? It may be that the water is too warm – they are temperature sensitive. Don't use cold water, but be sure it is only light lukewarm. Keep a close eye on them during bathing so they don't collapse and injure themselves. They can be revived by quickly cooling the water if they begin to look a little wobbly.

Probably everybody knows how silly a wet dog can get when the bath is over. Supervise your greyhounds after bathing to make sure they don't slip on a slick surface if they take off running through the house.

3. Dangling cords, such as from window coverings, telephones, lamps, and various electrical appliances create a serious hazard for pets and small children. Pets that get entangled can quickly become agitated and can hang or severely injure themselves. A large dog can demolish a room or portion of it in its attempt to free itself. Outdoor cables for TV or telephone can produce the same disastrous effects if left unsecured or unburied. Be sure all loose lines and cords are secured up and away from a pet's or child's reach. Small unobtrusive "cord keepers" can be attached to walls or window frames on which excess cord can be wrapped.

4. When greyhounds are placed in their new homes, we emphasize the importance of keeping them on a leash whenever not enclosed in a fenced area. All too often, our warnings are met with skepticism and sometimes downright defiance. As a result, the number of greyhounds lost and ultimately killed is beginning to make it difficult to justify rescuing them from the track only to have them destroyed (albeit unintentionally) once they get an adoptive home. Never use retractable leads. The plastic handle, if dropped on a hard surface, makes a loud cracking noise and will most certainly cause even the most docile greyhound to spook and start running. The tragedies that can occur from this scenario are too numerous to list and the disastrous outcomes have been the source of much grief for adopters who make this mistake.

By far, the most common method of escape for greyhounds is bolting out open doors and gates. Next comes the dog that is trusted off lead, only to have instincts take over and lead him into the path of an oncoming car.

Please don't subject a greyhound to practices that will ultimately end in a tragedy resulting from your complacency or poor judgment. Your greyhounds (and GCNM) are trusting you to keep them out of harm's way.

(Your dogs should always have ID tags on their collars. Please contact GCNM if you need replacements for GCNM tags that should be worn in addition to the tag with your own information. Call 505-377-0124 for GCNM ID tags.)

5. Many adopters complain that their greyhounds seem overly sensitive about their ears. If your greyhound ever raced, it's very likely the ears will be a spot they wish not to have handled much. Not only have these dogs' ears been traumatized by tattooing, but they are vigorously inverted for inspection before each race to verify their identification. Next time your greyhound lets out a yelp when its ears are being tugged on, keep this in mind – he's not just being a "wimp"!


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