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Why greyhounds need to stay on a lead in public

Effective 1 January 2019, pet greyhounds are no longer required to wear a muzzle in public. This is great news for greyhounds, but please don’t forget that greyhounds are still legally required to be on a lead in public.

It may be tempting to let your mild-mannered, gentle greyhounds off their lead in the park from time to time, but the greyhound leashing laws are there for a reason: to keep your pets safe.

As you know, greyhounds are sighthounds with incredible speed and eyesight. If your greyhound is off their lead, they may spot something in the distance and run off to investigate. Greyhounds tend to focus on an object and not have great spatial awareness. This means they could hurt themselves while running off without their lead; they could slip or hit something in their path or run into traffic.

Greyhounds are also notorious for getting lost. They may run off and not know how to get back to you.

Additionally, greyhounds have very thin skin and can easily hurt themselves while running or playing with other dogs. This is another reason why greyhounds are required to be on a lead, even in off-leash dog parks, and why some owners choose to muzzle their greyhounds, or encourage other owners to muzzle their dogs when they are playing.

The new laws allow all non-racing greyhounds in Victoria to be muzzle-free in public. Prior to this, only greyhounds who had gone through the Greyhound Adoption Program and had a green GAP collars were permitted to be in public without a muzzle.

While this change confirms the fact that greyhounds are non-aggressive dogs that make great pets, it also puts more responsibility on greyhound owners to maintain the reputation of the breed as pets.  It’s also further reason why it’s important to keep your greyhound on a lead in public and to make sure they are properly trained before choosing to remove their muzzles.

Take our lead and learn more about the new muzzling laws at