Returning a Greyhound
Greyhound Crossroads takes any greyhound in for any reason. We do NOT take other breeds, greyhound mixes or Italian Greyhounds, we can help you find someone who will take one though. If you adopted your greyhound from us you signed a contract that legally requires you to return the dog to us rather then giving it away, selling it or dropping it at a shelter. If you did not originally adopt your greyhound from us we will still take it. We will need to know where you got your greyhound so we can update that adoption group and get permission to rehome the greyhound. If you originally adopted from another local group it is better to return the dog to the group you adopted it from if they are still in business. If you found a greyhound, we will help identify it and get it back to it's owner or find it a new home.
The decision to give up a family member is a big one that most people take very seriously. We hope this page helps you make the best decision for you and the greyhound you are thinking about returning. There are some good reasons to re-home a dog and some that are not. You may find our choices of the best reasons surprising. These are NOT in any particular order.
To return your dog call the number at the bottom of this page and email the closest representatives to you here Contact Page.
1) My dog has a medical condition that I can’t afford to have fixed. Should I turn him over to an adoption group so he can get expensive treatment?
Most things can be made better by throwing money at it. No one we know has an endless supply of money though. We all have a budget and it may be $100 or $10,000. Just because your vet suggests a long line of specialists or an expensive treatment doesn’t mean that those are the only options. Adoption groups have very limited funds, so chances are, we won’t be able to afford the most expensive treatment either. It boils down to a quality of life question. Will it lengthen the dog’s life a little or a lot? What percentage of dogs actually get well with this procedure? Could there be side effects to the procedure that cause suffering? If the dog is already old, should he even be put through this procedure to extend his life just a little? Many of us have had expensive, painful treatments recommended for animals that were at the very end of their life expectancy already. That is not always best for the animal. Is there a cheaper procedure that will give results that are acceptable?
Consider the animal’s emotional well being. Would you give up your family, all your friends, everyone you know and go to live in a strange place to have an expensive medical treatment, that extended your life a year or maybe just a few months? Older dogs often are in foster care 6 months to a year before they are adopted. Dogs with serious medical problems can take even longer to adopt out. Will your dog even find another home in the time the treatment buys if you give it up? You can’t explain to your dog why you gave it up. While giving a dog up so he can get better medical treatment may make you feel better, the dog will suffer and will have no idea why it was abandoned when it was sick. In most cases it is better to do what you can afford for your family member and then make the decision to end the dog’s suffering humanely, when it is time, with the family that loves it around it. If you would like a second opinion, we have some excellent vets we can recommend.
If your dog is suffering and you can't afford treatment or to humanely help it cross the bridge, we will take it. If this is the case please let us know it is an EMERGENCY situation so we can get your friend from you and get it treatment or humanely end its suffering quickly.
2) My dog growled or snapped at me or a family member. It may be vicious. Should I get rid of it?
Greyhounds are rarely vicious and are known as one of the least aggressive breeds. They make lousy watch or guard dogs because of it. The only way a dog can tell you that it doesn’t like something is to growl or snap since they can't talk. Dogs also growl or snap when playing. A growl or snap is no more aggressive or vicious than you telling someone to “STOP” or “Cut it out!” When a dog growls or snaps it is actually showing restraint and showing that it would rather warn than actually bite. Dogs can snap flies out of the air so they usually do exactly the amount of damage they intend to do. Snaps are rarely "missed bites" like people often assume. If there was no damage the dog intended to warn and chose to do no harm. If it was truly aggressive and wanted to hurt you it could have skipped the warnings.
Growling or snapping should be taken seriously, of course. Find out what was done to the dog that it didn’t like. Maybe refrain from doing that again. If the dog was guarding territory or food or exhibiting some other negative behavior, you should seek advice from your adoption group. Most have staff with a lot of dog experience or professional trainers they will recommend. Most adoption groups will work with you at no charge. A growl or snap is fixable, IF it is even an actual problem at all.
3) My dog doesn’t seem “happy”. Should I give it up?
If your dog has suddenly changed its behavior, it often is a medical problem. Rule that out first. Thyroid problems are common in greyhounds and can cause a drastic behavior change. Thyroid testing and treatment is pretty inexpensive and easy.
Is your dog a new addition? An outgoing greyhound can take a month to adjust to a new home, but a shy greyhound often takes months to a year or even longer. Your shy greyhound will need that length of time with ANY family it is adjusting to. Please don't think that your new dog just doesn't like you. Give a new dog plenty of time to adjust rather than return it and make it start the entire process over with a new family. When you get a shy dog to finally trust you and feel comfortable, you will have the most devoted dog, that will be well worth your wait.
Talk to your adoption group for insight on the behavior. In most cases, even dogs that don’t seem to be that happy in a home, grieve for their families when sent away. Most of the time their behavior doesn’t change that much in the next home. Like people, dogs’ personalities vary. Some are more reclusive while others are the life of the party. It doesn't mean that the recluse is unhappy because it chooses to hang out in the bedroom instead of out with the family.
It is important to be aware that a "happy" greyhound may not act like "happy" dogs of another breed. Greyhounds aren’t typically waggy, bouncing, hyper dogs. They are calm, low energy dogs, so show their affection in calm ways. That is why many people prefer them to more rambunctious breeds. Just because they don’t leap on you when you come home, doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to see you. Greyhounds also keep their ears folded back when they are relaxed and comfortable - it is not a sign that they are scared or upset like in most other breeds. They often walk with their heads hanging down which can make them look sad and uncomfortable - that is normal for the breed though. Greyhounds need 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day. Napping all day is normal and doesn't mean they are depressed - they really ARE that lazy. For this reason Greyhounds will aften choose to sleep away from loud, playing children. It doesn't mean the dog is uncomfortable around the kids or doesn't like them - it just needs to sleep.
Greyhounds are a very sensitive breed so yelling or harsh corrections can be stressful for them. You may need to treat them more gently than other breeds to avoid this. Rewarding fearful behavior by talking to the dog and petting it will make fearful shy behavior worse rather than better. It is better to ignore fearful behavior and reward the friendly, outgoing behavior you are looking for.
If the dog is really miserable – not eating, losing weight, and showing other signs of extreme stress it may need to be rehomed after ruling out medical problems. We rarely see cases like that though. In most cases the dog just needs to be left alone and given time to get comfortable. It most cases it just needs to be accepted and loved for who it is and not expected to act a certain way to be considered “happy” or "normal".
4) I don’t have the time to spend with my dog like I used to. Should I return it so it will get more attention?
Nearly all of our adopters are very busy with jobs, kids, after school activities etc. We can’t promise that the next home will have any more time to spend with the dog than you do and can almost guarantee that they will not. Most homes don’t have time to walk the dog every day and most dogs spend most of the day sleeping on the couch waiting for their families to come home from work. Dogs have no idea that their life could be better and adjust to what their life is. Unless your dog is acting miserable because of your schedule change, chances are it will be happier staying with the family it loves. By re-homing your dog your guilt about the situation would be gone but you can’t explain it to the dog. Your dog will feel abandoned or lost and will be miserable without the family it loves. "Perfect Homes" are few and far between. If we only adopted to "perfect" homes, none of us would have greyhounds.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about crating a greyhound for a long period of time. They spent most of the day and night in crates at the track and they sleep 18 or more hours a day anyway. If they are sleeping, there isn’t much difference in sleeping in a crate or on a couch. For other breeds it might be a problem, but not for lazy greyhounds that are used to that lifestyle already. Dog walkers are a good solution to break up the day if your schedule doesn’t allow you to come home to give the dog a potty break within a reasonable time frame. If you have a fenced yard, a doggy door can keep your greyhound from having to go too long without a potty break.
5) I have had a change in my financial situation and I really can’t afford to take care of a dog in the way I would like to, should I give it up?
We would all like the best money can buy for our family members. We would like to feed our dog the best quality kibble or fancy homemade diet, but most of us can’t afford that. Most of us can’t afford to feed ourselves the way we would like to eat either, and find ourselves getting fast food off of the $1 menu. If you have to feed your dog cheap food until things get better, don’t worry about it. Some adopters feed the good foods we recommend and some choose to feed the cheapest food, even when they can afford better. We can’t promise your dog will get better nutrition in another home.
If you can’t afford the latest in medical care for your dog, join the club. Few of us can either. If you can’t afford basics like heartworm meds or a rabies shot talk to your adoption group. There might be someone that can help you out until things get better. Often groups will help rather than having to put the dog through the trauma of re-homing. Don’t feel bad about not being able to afford expensive medical treatments for your dog. Most of us have skipped yearly medical, eye, or dental exams for ourselves or our pets for financial reasons.
You love your dog or you wouldn’t be thinking about this and that is even more than we can guarantee your dog will get in another home. If at all possible keep your dog in a home that loves it… yours. (Also see reason number 1)
6) I really am tired of having a dog and don’t want the responsibility of a dog anymore. It probably was a poor decision to get a dog because it isn’t what I thought it would be. Should I return my dog?
This is one reason that we rarely actually hear, but we suspect that this is the actual reason behind many returns. This is a GREAT reason to return a dog! If this is the way you feel, then please arrange to return your dog to us. Your dog will absolutely be happier with a family that wants him. If you re-home a dog for this reason, don’t make the same mistake, by adopting another dog, until you are absolutely sure you are ready to love a dog unconditionally.
7) My dog has behavior problems. I am trying to fix them but they are getting worse. Should I return him?
Probably not. Recognizing problems and being willing to work to fix them means you have a good chance at being successful with the right help and information. Ask your adoption group for help now before the behavior gets any worse. Most behavior problems have been dealt with before and most adoption groups can tell you what methods have been successful with other dogs. Often there are surprisingly easy solutions that can be done at home without the expense of a professional trainer. The sooner you ask for help the better. Adoption groups either have to fix the behavior WITH you or without you, when you return the dog because of unwanted behavior. If we wait until you give up and return the dog, the behavior may have become so bad that the dog is not adoptable. Please ask for help rather than returning the dog.
8) My dog has behavior problems that drive me crazy and I can’t stand being around him anymore. I am not interested in working with him to change the behavior. Should I return him?
Absolutely! If your dog’s behavior has caused you to dislike him and you have no desire to work to fix the problem then please contact us and arrange to return him. In most cases behavior can be changed with a little work. Sometimes a dog’s behavior changes just by being in another home. Please be honest with us about all the dog’s annoying behaviors so we can fix them or find a foster and adoptive home that is OK with them. We don't want him to be returned again because of the same behaviors.
9) I am moving and can’t take my dog with me and need to return him.
What? Did you forget you had a dog? When you love a family member, you make arrangements to move WITH them. There are plenty of dog friendly apartments and rentals available. Many of our adopters live in them. Ask your adoption group for help finding them. This is rarely a valid reason for returning a dog. See reasons 5, 6 or 8 and see if those may actually be the reasons for returning the dog.
10) I am having a baby or just had a baby and have to get rid of my dog.
Why? Most greyhounds are great with children. Recent research has shown that raising children around dogs improves the child's health and lowers their chances of getting asthma. Raising a child with a dog also teaches children to respect other creatures and be gentle with them, among other things. Ask your adoption group on tips to introduce dogs and babies and how to deal with toddlers and dogs. It isn’t difficult, but supervision will be necessary. Your child will be better off with the dog and your dog certainly will be relieved now that you found out you don’t have to get rid of him. If you still feel the need to get rid of the dog see reasons 4, 6, or 8 to see if they are actually a better fit.
If you feel you must return your dog for one of the reasons above please contact us. If your dog needs food or immediate medical care or will be placed in a shelter if we don’t take it immediately, please tell us it is an emergency so we can get it right away. We WILL figure out a way to get it in an emergency situation even if it means we will have to pay to board it somewhere.
If it is not a true emergency situation, be patient, it can take a few days to a week. We don’t have a kennel and rely on volunteers. We have to wait until someone volunteers to foster your dog and we can't force anyone to do it. We may need to wait for a foster to be adopted before space opens up for your dog in our foster program. Often we can put your dog up on the website as available in the meantime. It helps if the dog you want to return is up to date on all vaccinations and you are able to provide us with vet records. Being willing to drive your dog to a distant foster home often helps the dog be moved out of your home faster since we have foster homes in 3 states. If you aren’t in a huge hurry to move your dog, fostering the dog in your home until it gets adopted prevents it from having to adjust to another home before adoption. If you are able to hold onto the dog for a couple of weeks to a month until it gets adopted that is often the best option for the dog.
Sadly many dogs are returned over the holidays by owners that haven’t made arrangements for boarding or don’t want to pay for boarding for a dog they no longer want. For adoption groups like ours that don’t have a kennel and rely on volunteer foster homes this is a huge problem. During holidays, our volunteers are out of town too and boarding kennels are booked well in advance. Adoption groups are funded by donations and we can’t afford to pay to board dogs even IF we find a boarding kennel with an opening at the last minute on a holiday weekend. We will ask owners that want to get rid of their dog over a holiday to pay for the dog’s boarding. Please be considerate and don’t expect us to find a place to put your dog on a holiday weekend unless it is a true emergency.
When You Relinquish Your Dog
If you decide that is is necessary to return your dog please give us the dog's complete racing name (if known) and tattoo numbers so we can look up the dog on the greyhound database and get all of its' information. We do take greyhounds that were never registered, show bred greyhounds and other greyhounds that weren't racers as long as they appear to be full blooded greyhounds. We don't take greyhound mixes or Italian Greyhounds (toy breed). Please provide us with all vet records, registration card (if provided at adoption), and anything else that belongs to the dog like muzzle, collar and leash. It helps the dog adjust to its new home faster if it is returned with its own food, bed, toys, crate and bedding. We appreciate donations of heartworm preventative and flea preventative if you have them to send with your dog too. Please help us make the transition as smooth as possible for your greyhound.
To return your dog call the number at the bottom of this page or Contact Us.