The facts about the greyhound industry
Key Facts about breeders
Breeding a litter of greyhounds is a life time responsibility and serious consideration should go in to your decision on whether to breed. Greyhounds can live up to approximately 12 years of age, and breeding must come with a commitment to the greyhounds full life cycle.
Want to breed ? Here is what you need to know.
To become a breeder licencing must first be obtained from Greyhound Racing NSW. You must complete the appropriate paperwork including questionnaire in order to be approved as a Breeder. Head to TheDogs for this application form and information.
Greyhound Racing NSW also provides Breeding Code of Practice and is available here
Brood Bitch selection is typically where most breeders start. Reasons for selecting a Brood Bitch are varied, but could include:
- Racing Career
- Bloodlines – comes from a high producing Dam Line
It is important to understand the regulations on Breeding and criteria that must be met in order to continue to breed with your selected Brood Bitch. See www.thedogs.com.au for this information and respective forms.
NSW Breeder Martin Hallinan give us his insight to Brood Bitch selection:
“I will assess each of our females for their temperament, racing traits and performance plus bloodlines. Performance isn’t everything, they really need to have the right temperament. I might have a bitch that only raced moderately but there is something about her I like. You need to then track how things go, you can’t continue to use a brood bitch where she doesn’t produce suitable off spring.” – Martin Hallinan
GRNSW provides assessable guidelines for mating of a Brood Bitch for her fourth litter and beyond, and / or over eight years of age. Find these guidelines here
Stud Dog selection then needs to be made based upon your Brood Bitch. Again theories differ, but reasons for Stud selection might be:
- Racing Career
- Progeny record
The NSW GBOTA is currently working on providing a comprehensive Stud Dog directory, in the interim Stud Dog information can be found on websites like Greyhound Data or in Greyhound Publications such as National Greyhound Form, The Chase & Greyhound Recorder.
NSW’s largest breeders, the Wheeler family share information around their Sire selection process:
“We will first look at the Brood Bitches racing traits, if she was slow out but strong we would select a sire that offers speed in order to seek a more rounded off spring. Same applies if the Brood Bitch is fast we would look for strength. We would also assess the bloodline of the Brood Bitch and decide if we need to introduce an international line to the off spring. In the end we may narrow to two or three selections, we would then review what worked in other similar breeding breeding lines. ” – Brendan Wheeler
Budget – it is imperative that prior to breeding you understand and can manage the costs involved in breeding a litter. The below is an approximate guide, costs will vary depending on region, range of services available and breeders selections.
|Licencing|| May include:
GRNSW fee schedule is available here
|Stud Service||Depending on Sire selection this can vary between||$1,000 – $20,000|
|Veterinary Fees||Veterinary Fees vary depending on the type of service undertaken. A mix of the below would therefore need to be considered, with an exact care plan worked through with your local veterinarian:
|Ongoing treatments||Flea & worming treatment / tablets||$20 per month|
|Nutrition||Quality nutrition is required from an early stage. GRNSW’s Code Of Practice speaks to introduction of solids timing, but you must also consider items such as bones for dental care assistance also.||variable|
|Equipment||You should ensure you have an adequate whelping area, hot water bottles, shredded paper is advisable for easy cleaning.||$1000 + depending on needs|
|Vaccinations||C5 between weeks 6-8 & C5 between weeks 10-16, some veterinarians may recommend further booster injections. See rules relating to vaccinations here||$75+|
|Rearing||Process where by greyhound is given adequate shelter, nutrition and care typically 3months – 14months of age.||$60-70 per week
|Education (break in course)||Courses vary from 3 – 6 weeks depending on the establishment undertaking the education process. This education is critical to the greyhounds understanding of exiting a starting box, chasing race lures and finishing a race or trial. Educators book out early, so it is always advisable to plan well ahead||$400+ per greyhound|
|Pre training||Can be undertaken by trainer or specific pre trainers, and would include lead and handling work, more rigorous exercise possibly trialling. Different approaches apply to this process in terms of number of weeks between Education conclusion and commencement of racing||$60-70 per week|
The NSW GBOTA has created a excel document to allow Breeders to track their greyhounds. This file looks to assist with having information centralised and easy to access for form completion. Download here If you need assistance please call.
Key facts about owners
Greyhound racing is the most affordable and easiest code of racing to become involved in as an owner.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) controls regulations around licencing and offers 3 forms of ownership (general ownership, syndication or partnership) – details and applications forms are on their website www.thedogs.com.au under the Forms section.
The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance is always happy to assist in becoming a participant. Please contact us through this website.
Looking to become an owner?
Up front purchase – this can vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Cost varies on age of greyhound, breeding bloodlines – proven sire/dam, costs already incurred such as vaccinations, rearing, break in, registration fees.
Ongoing costs – significant vet fees, training fees by trainer, prizemoney share with trainer
- Understand your expectations
Do you want to see the greyhound regularly in person ?
Do you want to it to race regularly for significant prizemoney ?
Do you want the trainer to be communicating trial times and expected performance to potentially wager on the runner ?
- Consider post racing career
Do you want to have as a pet post racing ?
What are you expectations if the greyhound is injured or ill and can no longer race – have you communicated these with the trainer ?
Do you want to be able to breed other litters ?
- Arrange a training agreement – templates are available from GRNSW
Once you have considered these things, where do you start ?
Firstly arrange a trainer.
- A trainer must be a listed ‘public’ trainer through GRNSW to be authorised to trainer for a third party.
- Trainers phone numbers aren’t readily available online due to privacy. The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance however can provide your details to trainers who you may be interested to speak with – call 8587 1206 for more information.
- Review race results – see who is doing well
- Visit your local track – look at a number of greyhounds, who has runners that look healthy and happy – approach these trainers, or ask staff on course for some assistance.
- Want to try training yourself – understand you need to first be licenced and have your property inspected. Full information is available with GRNSW or head to our Trainers Page
- Speak with your Trainer about financial arrangements, expectations and form a written agreement.
Buying a greyhound
- Speak with your trainer, they may be able to assist
- Richmond GRC (approx November) has an annual Auction at which you can buy a greyhound – usually between 6-9months. Speak to your trainer about attending the Auction, what you should be looking for and how they work.
- Some participants advertise through publications such as The Greyhound Recorder and National Greyhound Form; available at some News agencies.
- There are online forums such as greyhounddata
Greyhounds As Pets is one option for life after racing. This program is run by Greyhound Racing NSW. The fee for this service has recently just been decreased to $50. In preparation for the Greyhounds As Pets program, owners should ensure they have undertaken the right health and socialisation needs.
Please remember that before considering ownership of a greyhound you should decide who will care for the greyhound post racing career.
If you have information regarding animal welfare or animal cruelty (including ‘live baiting’) or the conduct of a person involved in greyhound racing that relates to the aforementioned, we encourage you to contact the NSW Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Office.
The information provided above is just a guide, any person interested in owning a greyhound should ensure they have fully researched and understand the responsibilities, licencing and costs involved before entering into a commitment.
Key facts about trainers
Training a greyhound can be a rewarding experience.
Within NSW there is a range of participants; with some that manage training around work, others who train as a way of remaining active in retirement, and some which are set up to operate professionally.
No matter your circumstance, commitment to the ongoing care and welfare of the greyhound must be paramount to the training journey.
Each greyhounds training regime will vary, careful monitoring of your greyhound will ensure you understand what works best for your animal.
So you want to train, where to start?
All trainers must be licenced by their respective Controlling Authority, in NSW this is Greyhound Racing NSW. Prior to undertaking licencing you must first understand your ongoing trainer responsibilities which are outlined in GRNSW’s Code of Practice for Training, which can be viewed by going toTheDogs.com.au
The Code of Practice outlines a range of key information including kennels size requirement, socialisation and care needs.
Once these needs are understood you can undertake the appropriate licencing. In the first instance you will be limited to an owner-trainers licence. This being, you must own and train the greyhound yourself. As part of the licencing process you will need to undertake a Police check, kennel inspection and knowledge test. See here for this information
In preparing to take on training yourself other trainers can be a great way to assist in learning. The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance is continuing work to provide forums where participants can share information and continually learn in a range of areas. Further, Branch meetings offer the opportunity for members to meet and discuss racing matters.
Once you have a training licence you will need to also understand:
- Racing Rules which govern the racing. – available here
- What are your greyhounds capabilities and fitness
- How to nominate for a race meeting – information available here
- Grading – how a greyhound is placed in a race – GRNSW Grading Policy available here
Associated race paperwork
- Racing Papers – issued once registration is submitted (around 15 months of age)
- Weight Card – issues with Racing Papers – must be presented each race and weight conditions apply in the Racing Rules
- Treatment Records – Must be kept for all greyhounds in your care, templates are available here
- Kennel notifications (where greyhound enters or leaves your property) This can be done through a trainers online portal or form available here
- Prizemoney split forms – prizemoney at SKY covered venues is distributed by GRNSW into nominated Bank Accounts. Further information is available at TheDogs.com.au here
- Health regime – injury assessment and management, hygiene, general care including worming, flea and tick treatments & dental care. Greyhound Racing NSW also has a hot weather policy, which participants should ensure they have read and understand. This policy is available by clicking here
How to acquire a greyhound is outlined further under the Facts page under the tab Owners.
A greyhounds capabilities & fitness
Greyhounds will respond to a variety of training methods and forms of exercise. GRNSW’s Code of Practice for Training goes in to some of this information. Like a human exercising, it is never advisable to go for an extreme fitness regime immediately. Working your greyhound up in increments is important. Over stressing the greyhound before it is ready can lead to detrimental health consequences such as acidosis, immediate veterinary attention is required if conditions such as this present.
Depending on the facilities you have available to you, exercise options undertaken may include:
- free galloping in a large open yard
- slipping up a straight track (with or without a lure)
- galloping in competing yards – where greyhounds are separated into very wide lanes
Variation to assist in the socialisation and engagement of a greyhound is encouraged. The NSW GBOTA Branch network looks after some slipping tracks in Bankstown, Gosford, Lismore & Orange. Full details on these slipping tracks is available here. Tracks also provide trialling facilities and an overview of the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance operated venues is available here. Full details should however be gained from each tracks individual website.
As your greyhound starts to gain more experience, you will be able to assess its ability to race over greater distances. This is typically undertaken by both reviewing the greyhounds ‘run home’ time and period it takes for greyhound to recover post exercise. A run home time refers the time calculated by deducting the final sectional from the overall race time. For example if a greyhound trialled 30.00 overall at Wentworth Park (520m) and it’s final section was 17.95 the greyhounds run home is 12.05 seconds. The faster this time is, it is believed the stronger the greyhound is and therefore more likely to be able to run a further distance.
Greyhound Racing NSW Veterinarian, Dr. John Newell, presented at the 2015 Trainers Conference on observing the greyhound and looking for injuries. Watch Dr. Newell’s presentation here:
GRNSW have also undertaken some training seminars, vision from some of these sessions is available here