Greyhound Racing

greyhound racing

About Greyhound Racing

  • Invented: 1912
  • Founded By: Owen Patrick Smith
  • Highest Governing Body: National Greyhound Association

The Greyhound is a breed of dog that has the basic instinct to run. They are incredibly fast and majestic animals, as they can run around at top speed and seemingly never lose energy. When Owen Patrick Smith invented the mechanical lure, which allowed him to bait the dogs to stay on course around the track, greyhound racing was invented. Greyhound racing became incredibly popular near the end of the 20th century, and as much as $3.5 billion was wagered on these races as of 1992. However, many inhumane practices have surfaced around how the dogs are trained and treated throughout their lives. These ethical dilemmas have led to many states banning greyhound racing due to the gross mistreatment of these animals.


What is greyhound racing?

Greyhound racing is the competitive race in which breeders force the naturally fast greyhound breed of dog to compete in. Many Greyhounds are bred and trained to be racing dogs from the time they are born. Their training typically begins about eight weeks after birth, and they are kept in warehouse-sized kennels in small cages for most of the day unless they are actively training. The dogs are also often injured during the races, mostly suffering broken legs, as well as head injuries, back injuries, and even electrocution. These disturbing practices cause a heated ethical debate over greyhound racing, and many legal issues have arisen over these conditions.

Each state and country has different rules and regulations regarding greyhound racing. Overall, the sport is on the decline as many states have passed legislation making it illegal. Currently, 40 states have banned greyhound racing because of the inhumane practices that go along with the sport. These dogs are bred and then held in their cages for 20-23 hours per day while they are trained and turned into racing dogs.

How long are greyhound races?

Just about every greyhound racing track is a quarter-mile oval. The dogs race around the track more than once in each race, as the two common race lengths are 5/16th miles and 9/16th miles. The races typically take between 30 seconds and a minute, depending on which distance the dogs are running. When greyhound puppies are being trained to run, they typically run 250-300 ft races against other puppies from as young as eight weeks old.