What makes a greyhound such a great pet?

More and more people are adopting greyhounds - but one trainer says there remains 'misconceptions...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

17.00 16 Nov 2020

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What makes a greyhound such a...

What makes a greyhound such a great pet?

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

17.00 16 Nov 2020

Share this article

More and more people are adopting greyhounds - but one trainer says there remains 'misconceptions' that may be putting people off getting one as a pet.

With recent years seeing increased calls for reform of the racing industry, there have been increased moves towards ensuring greyhounds are taken into a good home.

Over 1,300 greyhounds have been rehomed this year so far.


A new greyhound care centre in Co Tipperary helps greyhound transition from racing to retirement, and currently caters for 18 greyhounds.

Rásaíocht Con Éireann - which runs greyhound racing in Ireland - and the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust hope to open more of these care centres around the country.

But what makes greyhounds such a good dog breed for adoption?

Viara runs the centre, and she told The Pat Kenny Show reporter Barry Whyte that greyhounds are very calm pets when they're in a house.

What makes a greyhound such a great pet?

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She said: "The misconception is that you need a lot of land, and they need to run all the time - but that's not true.

"A walk a day... like 30 minutes... or even two walks is plenty. They're sprinters, so they use up their energy very quickly.

"After five minutes, a greyhound is just pooped - all they want to do is lie down and relax. They'd be the opposite of a Border Collie, Dobermann, Rottweiler or German Shepard that have much more endurance."

She explained that most greyhounds will happily 'sit on the sofa with you', and want to be close with the humans in the house.


Deirdre McGuirk from Dublin recently adopted a greyhound named Tia Maria.

She told Barry: "[The process] was very easy. I filled out an application form, and a couple of weeks later, a man came out to the house to have a look around. The next day I came home with Tia.

"She is a fantastic pet. I was thinking... 'they're full of energy'... but I have to say she is the best dog I've ever owned. Sorry to all my other dogs.

"She sleeps all day, she loves a cuddle... a short walk or maybe two short walks a day, and she's fine. She gets on with all other dogs, big or small."

Deirdre said walking with a greyhound also means you're constantly stopped by people as they draw so much attention.

She observed: "I've never spoken to so many strangers before in my life.

"Everyone I speak to, I tell them: if you're looking for a dog, greyhounds are the ones to go for."

Care home

Rásaíocht Con Éireann says the Tipperary centre is entirely focused on the Irish adopter, and they'll focus on making sure a dog is a good fit for a home.

They say they're trying to put out the message that greyhounds make wonderful pets, and that they want to see all retired greyhounds rehomed.

However, the Ban Blood Sports Ireland group - which wants greyhound racing completely stopped - argue that such centres don't go far enough.

Activist Teresa McVeigh said: "We welcome any move towards retiring greyhounds rather than putting them to sleep... but we feel it's too little, too late.

"The care centres... the point of them seems to be to socialise the greyhound, so they go from being a racing greyhound to being a family pet.

"A care home that can take 18 greyhounds is absolutely just a drop in the ocean."

You can find out more about adopting a greyhound from the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust.

Main image: File photo of a greyhound. Image by Akiko Campbell from Pixabay

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