A Cut Of Meat From The Front Of An Animal The Forty Mile an Hour Couch Potato and Other Greyhound Myths

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The Forty Mile an Hour Couch Potato and Other Greyhound Myths

It’s a mystery why hounds seem to inspire so many misconceptions, but new ones seem to pop up with the frequency of urban myths. Some time ago a letter to the editor appeared in our local paper with an attack on the character of greyhounds and the training and practice of dog racing which was caused by his pet cat being killed by a running greyhound in escape. This angry uproar sparked a second that spawned further inaccuracies about the nature of hounds and their training.

I don’t think either person wrote their letters with any intentional malice. Friends often ask me if dogs are abused or killed when they finish the race. Animal rights groups have spread misleading information about the hound industry and hound owners have largely chosen to ignore them rather than validate them by responding to them. This, in my opinion, was a misjudgment. Kind, well-meaning individuals donate millions to animal rights groups, and they use these fat coffers to advance many causes, including banning greyhound racing. By not hitting back at these accusations as they come, the hound people seem to be hiding a dirty secret.

HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumble had a story about greyhound racing in 2004 that also highlighted the misconceptions, and its reporter Bernard Goldberg did his best in this segment to convey the animal activist’s cause. The story spoke of the cruelty of keeping hounds in small cages all day, except when they were let out for a run. However, don’t all good dog trainers suggest that we keep our pet dogs crated during the day when we are away for both feeding and sleeping? Pet dogs spend much longer hours in a crate than racing hounds as they are usually crated while the owner is at work. The hounds are let out to lie down and potty several times a day and every hound person I’ve ever met is fanatical about out time. Many a night out is cut short to run back to the kennel for nine o’clock. Keep that in mind the next time you stop by happy hour after work instead of heading home to walk Fido. The suggestion that hounds are kept imprisoned all the time in small crates is completely false. Hound crates are large enough for larger dogs to move around and rest comfortably.

It may surprise many people to know that one of the big adjustments a hound has to make when starting life as a pet is loneliness which sometimes manifests itself in separation anxiety behaviors. Greyhounds begin life as puppies with their mother and siblings who are followed around all day by their human caretakers. They are then weaned and spend the next year of their lives growing and playing with their siblings in large enclosures where their human caretakers attend them throughout the day. At one year, the pups are out of bed in the kennel and spend all day being trained, groomed, medicated and touched and handled all day, separated from naps and snuggles with all the other dogs in the kennel several times a day. This continues when they move after high school to the racetrack. When the dog leaves the track for a pet’s home, it often finds itself left alone all day while its owner is at work, as it is used to having people around it talking, caring or petting it all the time. . Many people mistakenly think that it is wise to start with just one hound, as they do not want to bite too much, so he is also often in a home where he is the only dog ​​after spending his entire existence with a large pack of friends . Dogs are naturally social anyway and that’s why they make great pets. While I don’t advocate letting dogs take over your life or taking on more than you can properly support – often two hounds are easier to keep and happier than one.

On the Real Sports segment, the guy with the blackened face stated that dogs get killed all the time when they don’t make it on the track. He also said that the dogs are just driving cars there to make money and that’s how they see the people as hounds. I have to be careful how I write here as it makes me angry. As in any animal business, there are dirtbags trying to make a quick buck who don’t care about animal welfare, hence the guy’s blackened face. These guys are now the minority rather than the rule and don’t last long in business. To be honest – there is an awful lot of back breaking, dirty, hard work, long hours and heartbreak in the hound business and not a lot of money to be made. The day at the kennel starts at six in the morning and ends with the final attendance at ten in the afternoon. In his closing, reporter Bernard Goldberg told Bryant that all the greyhound owners were breeding hundreds of puppies in hopes of producing a $200,000 stakes winner. While this may have sounded clever to the ears of the journalists themselves, to a person who has been in the hound business for many years it is laughable. No one would put years and years of hard work towards such a goal as it only happens once in a lifetime if you are very, very lucky. The simple fact is – most people who are in the hound business are in it because they love hounds. They love them as little puppies and they love the old mother or the salty-muzzled mushroom dog. This is evidenced by the fact that many hound farms have several pets that run around the property and live in the house as pets.

I have often heard that hounds are fed dangerous raw meat made from dead animals that have often started to rot and that is why their teeth decay. The “lean” the hounds are fed is a mixture of quality red meat, meal and supplements with the correct balance of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins, designed not only to keep them lean, as the fats in the world of animals tend to be just as slow. and unhealthy as in man, but also to maintain healthy muscles with plenty of energy for sprinting. Greyhounds are the ultimate canine athletes, and as such, need food to support their systems. The food they feed costs 2 to 3 times what a pet dog eats. Greyhound racing is very competitive; in fact I often compare it to breaking into Hollywood as an actor. It would make little sense to invest thousands in breeding stock, facilities, equipment and time to save a few dollars on feed. The downside is that like canned dog food, hounds get food, it tends to stick to their teeth and cause tooth decay. A testament to the quality of a hound’s diet is that they tend to live much longer than other dogs of their size.

Hounds are not neurotic, and it is highly unlikely that an adopted hound has ever been physically abused. Hounds are very sensitive dogs and abusive treatment will always destroy them. They also seem to have an amazing memory and mistakes made in handling them although usually forgiven are rarely forgotten. An abusive trainer’s dogs would all fail and he or she would immediately go out of business. Abusive kennel aids would find themselves immediately removed from the premises, perhaps with a good smack from the trainer for good measure. When an adopted dog exhibits neurotic behavior, it is generally due to the issues mentioned above. Although they are called forty mile an hour couch potatoes, like all dogs they need to get out and see the world. It is absolutely imperative that dogs are taken out for daily walks in the neighborhood. This is their whole world and they want to investigate it. The hound’s metabolism is like that of a Cheetah. They lie around and rest to conserve energy for that explosive sprint. A couple of times a week at the dog park for a good run on leash is plenty – watch out for the little furries and muzzles please, just in case someone walks in after you’ve let your Ferrari loose. Greyhounds are perfectly capable of learning to remember, you just have to be careful to never let them off the leash in open parks where they might run into traffic. This as far as I’m concerned is true of all dogs.

Yes, it is true that over the centuries hounds have been bred and trained for human greed and pleasure. Name a domesticated animal that does not. I’m so glad greyhounds are here and the racing industry has made them, perhaps coincidentally, the healthiest dog breed when it comes to genetic disease. Hip dysplasia in greyhounds is in the opinion of every breeder and racing trainer I have ever asked, (these guys have all known and treated literally thousands of dogs) all but unknown in AKC show lines as well, according to OFA’s database is still only at two percent. When tenths of a second separate, fantastic structure from failures is imperative. Since generally only great runners are used for breeding, things like bad hearts, elbows and hips are never perpetuated in the bloodlines. The narrow deep chests seen in show hounds that contribute to the tendency to bloat should not be productive for running as you don’t find that conformation in a runner. The bone cancer that seems to plague all large breeds of hounds is generally believed to result from previous bone damage, often undetected while growing up.

There are some hound owners who still breed many dogs. Taking a chance that an average female bred to a great sire will come out a winner. These dinosaurs are being driven out of business by economic pressures. If only the best females are bred to the best males, the results will be fewer and fewer top dogs and that means fewer dogs to be petted outside. The shotgun method of producing hundreds of puppies to get a few good ones is no longer feasible. Very few healthy adoptable hounds are euthanized right now and we work towards the day very soon when that number drops to zero. Owners, breeders and trainers will be responsible for the welfare of these wonderful animals in their care.

All who have been given the great gift of knowing and loving a hound know that there is nothing like them out there. The day may come when racetracks close and the flow of adoptable dogs slows. Then thousands of hound lovers will have to buy their hounds as puppies and the price will be high and the demand high. The Missouri and Oklahoma puppy mills will smell the easy money and then the moms and dads of the hound puppies will no longer live in comfortable kennels with big spacious huts and caretakers armed daily with flimsy clippers, nail clippers, soft brushes, milk bones. and embrace, but will be imprisoned in filthy cramped cages with their urine burning their unprotected elbows and crotch. Then the pups will end up in cramped pet store cages, waiting for someone to come along and buy them with no background checks, no mentoring, and not as a carefully considered family member, but from sympathy when you look into those deep soulful eyes. Then the folks at PETA, HSUS, GREY2K and others can pat themselves on the back and know they’ve done a good deed.

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