About the pros and cons of greyhound racing

There is always a lot of discussion about greyhound racing. Some people see it as cruelty to animals, while others are totally enthusiastic about it. The argument most often put forward is that such a race suits the natural running instinct of greyhounds and that they therefore feel good.

Special characteristics of greyhounds

Unlike many other dog breeds, greyhounds do not rely on their sense of smell. They hunt by sight. The visual acuity of this dog breed is many times better than most other dog breeds.

Since they can only hunt what they see, they have to be fast. If a dog relies more on its good nose, it can take its time to pursue its prey. The scent trail usually lasts a very long time. That is why he does not need to be able to run so fast.

Greyhounds have adapted over time to have a slender build and strong leg muscles. However, it should be mentioned that there is not only one greyhound. There are numerous sub-breeds. These are all counted among the group of foxhounds.

Not every greyhound can be used as a racing dog

Not every greyhound is suitable for competing. Although every dog of this breed can reach a speed of 70 to 80 kilometres per hour, a race is still not possible with every animal. There are reasons for this, of course. The dogs actually only run to hunt their daily prey. If the animals are fed, then they don’t even need to run that fast.

But when these animals are trained to run, their natural play instinct is exploited. Younger animals in particular have a strong urge to move. Not only do they play, but they love to run for their lives. In most cases, greyhounds cannot live out this urge at all. Who has enough space for a dog to let off steam and run at such speeds?

This is not possible on most properties. In public parks or other areas it is usually not possible either. Therefore, the track is sometimes the only place where a greyhound can really let off steam.

That is why many greyhound owners already take their puppies to the racetrack. On some racetracks, even smaller animals are allowed to run outside of a greyhound race in order to take a liking to it. This ultimately leads to the dog looking forward to participating in a dog race later on.

How the dogs are brought to the race

In greyhound racing, the natural hunting instinct of the animals is exploited. A hare’s skin is therefore pulled on a guard rail. A modified chain saw provides the drive. The dogs follow this lure and try to get it first.

That is why they run at high speed. However, each dog must wear a muzzle so that it cannot harm other dogs during the race. If one of the dogs bumps into other animals during the race or obstructs them in any other way, that dog will be disqualified and will not be allowed to take part in a greyhound race in the future.

The racecourse is covered with a layer of gravel, which is levelled and moistened before each race. This prevents injuries to the paws. In addition, the running dogs do not create so much dust. This would otherwise hinder the other animals or even cause damage to the nose or eyes. So care is taken to ensure that the animals do not suffer any damage to their health.

Betting at greyhound races is illegal in some country

There are some greyhound races in Germany, for example, but betting is not allowed at these races. The organisers can charge admission fees and make money on drinks.

But no profits can be made directly with the dogs. However, this is not the case in many other countries. In Great Britain in particular, betting on greyhound racing plays a major role. Sometimes there are six-figure winnings there.

What are the arguments against greyhound racing?

There are many critical voices. Many people argue that it is cruelty to animals. Proponents, however, claim exactly the opposite.

The following statements can be heard again and again:

  • Greyhounds love to run for their lives
  • If you train your dog every day, you take good care of the animal
  • There are also horse races

These arguments are only convincing at first sight. It is true that greyhounds love to run and can reach high speeds. However, they only run because they hunt prey. Once they are full, the animals actually have no reason to run around at high speed. Only very young greyhounds actually need running for their development.

Therefore, if you exercise regularly with your dog, you are basically doing it some good. However, only the fastest animals are taken to the races. What happens to the dogs that are not suitable for racing? If a greyhound is not fast enough or shows aggression towards its fellow dogs, it is not suitable for a competition. In that case, the owner no longer cares for the animal. Some dog owners have more than 30 animals.

If only one greyhound is suitable for the race, the other 29 dogs fall by the wayside. Animals unsuitable for dog racing are often sold for a small price. However, it is very difficult to find interested parties for these dogs because they always need a lot of exercise. That is why there are always reports of dog owners simply killing or neglecting superfluous greyhounds. Of course, this should not happen.

There is another problem. In a competition, many dogs run close together at high speed. If one dog stumbles, other animals can fall over the crashed greyhound. Therefore, sometimes several dogs sustain injuries.

However, it is often the case that these then also have to be euthanised. It can sometimes take a long time for fractures in dogs to heal. During this time, the greyhound can no longer train. In most cases, this means the final end of his time as a racing dog.

Drawing a comparison with horse racing isn’t entirely apt. Horse owners typically prioritize the well-being of their animals, maintaining rigorous care standards, and regularly consulting veterinarians. In fact, betting is a sanctioned and regulated aspect of horse racing.

While skepticism might linger around any sport involving animals, the level of scrutiny and safeguards in place for horses surpass those for dogs. Nonetheless, it remains ethically contentious when animals are pushed to their physical limits solely for the profit of a few individuals.If you’re looking for an alternative form of entertainment that doesn’t involve such concerns, consider exploring the popular casino games at Stay Casino Australia. Experience a world of thrilling possibilities without compromising the well-being of animals, all from the comfort of your own home.