What would you get if you put together two pair of long legs, flexible spine, a huge heart, lean muscles, small waist, and slender bones? – A running machine!
Greyhounds are one of the fastest animals in the planet and in 1876 the Welsh realised this, but it was not until 1910’s that the Americans took it to the next level and eventually it became an official sport, when in 1919, Smith opened the first professional dog-racing track with stands in Emeryville, California.
Then in 1926 the sport was taken to UK by, Charles Munn, and Canadian, Major Lyne-Dixson, where the Greyhound Racing Association was born.
At some point in history it became the second most popular sport in the UK after football, as in 1946 34 million people attended dog tracks to see these beautiful dogs race. It is the adrenaline of seeing such a fast animal run through the race track that gives spectators great emotions!
In several countries greyhound races are amateur and for fun but in other places, like Australia, Ireland, Macau, Mexico, Spain, the UK and others, greyhound racing is part of the gambling industry underneath horse racing.
There are two forms of greyhound racing:
Track Racing: it goes around an oval track where dogs run in the trail following an artificial lure, that moves ahead of the dogs on a bar, until the finish line.
Coursing: The dogs chase a decoy usually a live rabbit that they can chase and hunt at the end.
Factors to consider:
Weather: same as horses, greyhounds are very sensitive to changes in weather, its been proved that during high temperatures greyhounds lower their performance, as well as if the race track is wet after a rainy day etc.
Age: after 6 years of age greyhounds can lose speed, so the best age for these dogs are usually between 3 and 4 years old.
Distance: same as athletes, some dogs are better in certain distances, we recommend you read statistics to know their race history.
How to bet on greyhounds:
To win a bet you don’t have to place your stake for the dog to win you can also go with the following:
Win: The most obvious one, when you place bets to the 1st place.
Place: Placing your wager on the dog that comes second.
Show: When bets are pointing the 3rd place.
(subject to number of runners, in the UK it’s traditionally 6 so you’ll only have the win and place options)
Greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world however many species can beat them in velocity.
For example; Peregrine Falcon, Frigate Bird, Free-Tailed Bat, Sail Fish, Cheetah, Hare, Blackbuck, Pronghorn Antelope, Blue Wildebeest, Lion, Springbok, Thomson’s Gazelle
Anyone for Falcon racing?!
Controversy around Greyhound races
Dog racing has been causing controversy since the 80s, after various pro animal organisations pointed out the cruelty behind the greyhound racing industry, alleging that their practices are cruel and inhumane, and that the industry violates animal welfare laws.
Some countries are now banning this practice from their culture:
Argentina: Banned in November 2016 by the Congress
Wales: recently prohibited dog races.
USA: it is illegal in most states.