Re-homing of all adoptable greyhounds is a key goal for GRV. This is reflected in the new racing rules which require owners to make genuine efforts to re-home retired greyhounds. The most common place for greyhounds to be re-homed is through friends, family and contacts of owners, trainers and other participants in the industry. To assist owners to re-home their greyhounds, GRV is continuing to expand and enhance the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) as an important, but not the only, pathway to re-homing greyhounds.
Demand for a place at GAP significantly exceeds capacity. Feedback to GRV indicated that uncertainty regarding access to a pre-entry assessment session is a significant concern for participants. As a result, in October 2016, GRV changed the way participants book a space in one of the 2-3 pre-entry assessment sessions run around Victoria each week. Participants should contact Racing Services on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 8329 1100 at any time.
If all scheduled sessions are full, greyhounds will be placed on a waiting list. New sessions will be released on a monthly basis and participants on the waiting list will be given first access to the sessions.
How do I book?
- To book your greyhound in for a GAP pre-entry assessment, please email Racing Services on email@example.com or phone 03 8329 1100.
- Sessions are run at: Ballarat; Bendigo; Cranbourne; GAP (Seymour); Geelong; The Meadows; Sale; Sandown, Shepparton and Warrnambool.
- There are usually up to 16 spaces available per session. If the sessions are fully booked, your greyhound will be placed on the waiting list and you will be provided with an estimate of when a pre-entry assessment space will become available. Racing Services will keep in touch via phone or email to keep you informed.
- To be eligible for a pre-entry assessment your greyhound must not have been trained, trialled or raced for at least 28 days (preferably at least two months) prior to the testing day.
- Your greyhound must also be fully vaccinated, at least 10 days prior to the testing day, according to the requirements below (please note these requirements are changing on 1 March 2018 to better protect against Kennel Cough):
- For testing days prior to 1 March 2018, must have a current C5 vaccination.
- For testing days from 1 March 2018 onwards, must have had the following vaccinations (ask your veterinarian to contact GRV if they need clarification):
- C3 vaccination (Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis) within the last 2½ years (or within 1 year if the last C3 was given earlier than 12 months of age); and
- Kennel Cough vaccination (both Bordetella and Parainfluenza) within the last 6 months where the Bordetella component is given as an intra-nasal or oral* vaccine. * Note that while the intra-nasal kennel Cough vaccine protects against both Bordetella and Parainfluenza, the oral vaccine only protects against Bordetella. Therefore, if using the oral vaccine, the Parainfluenza vaccine will have to have been given by separate injection (either on its own or as part of a C4 vaccine).
- Only three greyhounds per connection can be booked in per pre-assessment session.
- There is no entry fee for greyhounds into GAP.
- Participants must provide a good quality, well fitted wire muzzle when entering a greyhound into GAP.
GAP UPDATE RE: COVID-19
For the latest news around GAP Pre-entry assessments, please click HERE
What happens at the pre-entry assessment?
- GAP staff will conduct a shortened version of the temperament test with each greyhound. This includes general observation of the greyhound’s behaviour while waiting, when handled by the GAP staff and when interacting with a small dog.
- Dog that are successful are transferred to GAP on the same day.
- Greyhounds that are unsuccessful in their pre-entry assessment test will need to be taken home by their owners. These greyhounds have the option to be tested again at a later date after some further training.
Please note that because a greyhound does not pass the assessment, it does not mean that it will not pass at a later date, nor make a good pet in the right environment.
What is the difference between the pre-entry assessment and the full GAP National Temperament Test (GAPNTT)?
The pre-entry assessment test is a shortened version of the full GAPNTT. It includes general observation of the greyhound’s behaviour while waiting, when handled by the GAP team and when interacting with a small dog, and normally takes about 10 minutes.
The full temperament test is undertaken over three days and includes repeating some of the elements of the pre-entry assessment, including general observations of the greyhound’s behaviour while waiting for assessment, during feeding and in the kennel. Observations are also made when the greyhound is handled by the GAP team and when interacting with other greyhounds and with small dogs. All greyhounds are also tested for resource guarding, which involves using a ‘dummy’ hand to move and interact with their food in the kennel. This is important as greyhounds which are found to be protective with their food may not be suitable for adoption into a family with small children. If the greyhound is considered a low risk during the small dog test, the GAP team may also test its interaction with a cat.
Any temperament test can only ever be an indication of the greyhound’s behaviour on a particular day. However, extending the observations and repeating the tests over several days allows the GAP team to develop a behaviour baseline for that greyhound. Similarly observing the behavior of the dog and different locations including at the pre-entry assessment locations, which are often at racing tracks and at the GAP in Seymour and Ballarat, assist the GAP team to understand how well the greyhound will adjust to a family environment.
What can I do to prepare my greyhound for the pre-entry assessment?
To help prepare a greyhound for their test, it is important to familiarise it 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.
Please ensure that the greyhound has a current C5 vaccination (boosted no less than ten days prior to its session).
Some other ways to prepare your greyhound before attending 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 the 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 the 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 to cope when he or she comes to GAP.
More information about activities you can undertake can be found in the Racing to Retirement brochure available below (click the brochure to enlarge the document).