Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted May 30, 2015
My greyhound Murphy was a rescue dog from a local racetrack. He was rescued by my family after several years of living as a racetrack greyhound, and as a result, he was a challenging dog to take into a family home. We wanted to give Murphy a better life in a loving environment, but his years at the racetrack had made him extremely jumpy and wary of strangers. He came with various warnings and instructions. When Murphy was in a calm state he was a joy to be around. Happy for attention when he was ready to receive it, but only on his terms. Whenever it was necessary to leave him at home alone, we had to keep the radio on (also at night), because the sound of trucks and engines outside would make him very nervous. Murphy only barely tolerated children. On two separate occasions, he bit children who came too close to his bed or reached out to pet him too quickly, which ultimately resulted in our need to find him a more suitable home. Since he was such a big dog, we couldn't take the risk of any one being hurt. For our family, Murphy wasn't the right fit, but he flourished when we gave him to an older couple with no children. They were able to focus on him more than was possible in my house, and he made great strides at adjustment that were not possible in previous environments.
All things considered, I would stress careful thought before adopting a racetrack greyhound. It's important not to underestimate the effect that kind of past can have on a dog's behavior. These dogs are not suitable for an environment with small children who may not know any better about reaching out to pet them. I also would not recommend an environment with other dogs. These greyhounds have spent their whole lives in smaller spaces with other dogs, and they need more singular attention (Please keep in mind that I can only speak of my experience with racetrack rescued greyhounds specifically.)
Despite the lack of social versatility, racetrack rescued greyhounds have great potential to be loving and happy pets, but families with children or other dogs should think carefully before adopting one.