Few animals have inspired such loyalty, admiration or national controversy as the Racing Greyhound. It is astounding to consider the amount of publicity received by these fun-loving sporting dogs and the amount of public misinformation surrounding them.
Let's take this opportunity to address some of these misconceptions and see if we can shine a different light on the incredible dog that inspires one of the leading spectator sports in America ....
To begin with, Racing Greyhounds are very valuable. The average Greyhound is more expensive than practically any other pure breed of dog. While most purebred dogs of other breeds are sold as cute puppies because the general public doesn't want them much older than the tender age of Eight weeks or less, Racing Greyhounds are an entirely different story. The value of a Racing Greyhound goes up, not down, the closer it gets to maturity.
Racing Greyhounds are not the only purebred dogs with income potential. If managed intelligently, purebred animals of the highest quality earn their owners and handlers considerable incomes whether they be horses, dogs, birds or any purebred animal of carefully developed and sought after bloodlines. But few dogs have the potential to earn $250,000 or more as a Greyhound can do. This being said, it should be clear that Greyhounds are valuable to their owners and to those who care for them.
Most people, even those who believe they are experts in what Greyhounds are all about, have never seen a Greyhound puppy. They have never hoped with excitement for a prized litter, have never sat up all night drinking coffee to stay awake, and brought a Greyhound into this world with their own hands. They haven't comforted the mother, helped that puppy to nurse or fed it with a bottle because mother might need a little help. Because of this, they miss out on the sudden ways a Greyhound puppy rushes even before its eyes are open, the way its body feels compared to other breeds of dogs and the almost wild quality of its natural instincts. In other words, they have never completely known the love of the Greyhound and its nature.
Greyhound puppies are generally raised with their brothers and sisters as a family. They are not mentally or emotionally confused as to whether they are human or animal as many purebred dogs are and consequently they develop their natural instincts very well. The family bond remains unbroken throughout their puppyhood and often longer.
At most kennel facilities, they can romp and play, argue and fight, and run to their heart's content in large fields. As they grow up, they are taught how to nest in a crate, walk on a leash, have their nails trimmed, jump up on things, climb steps, walk on different surfaces, swim, chase after toys, go for hikes in the woods, go for walks in crowds of people, run out of a starting box as fast as they can -- in general, anything that will help them succeed at the track. Could you train a Greyhound for the track? Anyone who loves dogs could do a good job of getting Greyhound puppies ready for the track as long as they understand the work the dogs will be doing once they get there. The important thing is keeping it fun for them -- and for everybody else!
Some of the foremost sports veterinarians and experts on the cutting edge say that most racehorses and racing dogs have lost the race before they ever get to the track. This is a surprising thing to say, but has to do with "Going the extra mile." Anything that can be done to develop and protect the Greyhound athlete's mental, emotional and physical health can only pay off at the track and afterwards.
Because of this, many of those in the Greyhound industry use chiropractic care, acupuncture, magnetic therapy and massage as well as the latest, most up to date vitamins, supplements and fresh foods for their dogs. And why not? Their livlihood depends on healthy Greyhounds winning exciting races and giving the public first class entertainment in what is considered to be one of the largest spectator sports in America and around the world.
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