Ever wondered what greyhounds need to do to be accepted into the Greyhound Adoption Program?
They need to be booked in for, and pass, a pre-entry assessment test, which includes meeting and interacting with a small breed of dog.
To pass the assessment, a greyhound needs to recognise the difference between a small dog and a mechanical lure, and to demonstrate this, they must not try to grab and hurt the small dog, including when it is in motion.
“We do expect greyhounds to be a bit excited at first and we do expect them to be curious,” GAP Manager Larissa Darragh said of the pre-entry assessments.
At least two GAP assessors are present at every assessment test, one handling the small dog and one handling the greyhound. GAP’s assessors have had many years of experience working with greyhounds, and have a strong understanding of dog body language and behaviour.
Darragh said the well-being of the small dogs is always an absolute priority, and in situations where a greyhound is overly excited by the presence of the small dog, “we carefully allow the greyhound to get just close enough to smell the little dog to give them a chance to realise it is a little dog,” Darragh explained.
GAP’s pre-entry assessments are held regularly at various locations across Victoria. Click HERE for a list of upcoming sessions.
What can I do to prepare my greyhound for a pre-entry assessment test?
Your greyhound must have a current C5 vaccination, boosted no less than ten days prior to its pre-assessment test.
To help prepare a greyhound for their assessment, it is important to familiarise your greyhound with what it takes to be a pet. Greyhounds that have been given time to adjust from racing life, and that have had some life experience before they enter the program, have been shown to have a better chance of passing their pre-entry assessment test and finding a permanent home.
Other tips on preparing your greyhound for a GAP pre-entry assessment:
- Afford the greyhound as much time out of work/away from racing as possible – the greater the time between ceasing racing and being assessed, the more likely your greyhound is to pass. A minimum should be 4-8 weeks.
- If you are able to do so safely, gradually expose the greyhound to other breeds of dog. Start with large dogs and work your way down. Dogs should always be on lead and the greyhound should always be muzzled during this socialisation.
- Where possible allow your greyhound some time in a home environment rather than the kennel environment. Let them spend time in a backyard environment and allow them some supervised access inside the house to acclimatise them to a home environment and unfamiliar sights, sounds, textures and smells.
- If your greyhound has never raced, make sure it can be handled. Greyhounds need to be able to walk on lead and be familiar with being in a car or trailer. If your greyhound has never been off your property, the more exposure you can provide to people other than yourself (both adults and children) the easier it will be for him/her to cope when he or she comes to GAP.