Frequently Asked Questions

American Greyhound gets asked a lot of questions about Adoption, Fostering and Greyhounds in General. Please see the list of our Frequently Asked Questions below to see if these can answer some for you. Still have questions? Feel free to Contact Us with any further questions you may have.



Where does American Greyhound get the animals they offer for adoption?

American Greyhound’s mission is “Finding homes for retired racing greyhounds, lurchers, and other displaced hounds”.  However, American Greyhound has a unique twist on what we consider a greyhound to be.  Basically, if it’s a sight-hound, it’s eligible to an American Greyhound (that can include Afghan hound, Borzoi, Greyhound-both NGA and AKC, Irish Wolfhound, Galgo, Podenco, Ibizan hound, Whippet, Scottish Deerhound, Saluki, Pharaoh hound, etc., etc., and just about any mix of the above).  Hence the dogs we offer for adoption can come from many and varied sources.  From the racetrack to the breeding farms to the shelters to just about anywhere a dog could find themselves in the need of our help.

Where can I see what Greyhounds are available, find out more about them and also meet the dogs?

You can start by looking at the list of our Available Dogs on this website, which includes a short biography on each of the dogs. If you are interested in a certain dog, feel free to contact us and one of our representatives will soon be in touch with you to answer any question you may have. If you have a general question about Greyhounds, look further down on this FAQ page for more information about them. Our Meet and Greet events also offer an opportunity for you to come out and meet the dogs in person. This is a great way to meet a hound and to get a feel for compatibility, etc. You can check out our Facebook page for additional info on events and available hounds too! You can check out our Events page on this website, as well as our Facebook page for additional info on events and available hounds too!

How do I know which dogs would be right for me to adopt?

Once you fill out your Adoption Application, it will be delivered to our adoption coordinator volunteers who will work diligently to process your application efficiently, and you will then be contacted by one of these volunteers regarding the status of your application. Based upon the information on your application, they will determine which dogs may be best suited as a good match for your family, and then make those recommendations to you. The adoption coordinators will also share your interest with the Foster families of the dogs you are interested in. We will then will reach out to you with additional information from each hound’s Foster family regarding their personalities and other information for you to better made a decision on which dog you may like to adopt.

Will you adopt Greyhounds into homes with cats or other small animals?

 Yes. Please indicate on your adoption application if you are interested in a cat safe hound. We do our best to cat test the Greyhounds before they are made available for adoption, and this information can be found in the dogs biography. Due to the importance of finding a safe match for cat resident homes, we ask for your understanding with placing “likely cat safe” hounds into homes with cats. Homes without cats should choose from the “not likely cat safe” hounds, so that when a cat safe family comes along, there are hound matches for them too! For more information, please check out not-cat-tolerant and cat-tolerant.

Do you know the history of the adoptable dogs?

 We usually have a general idea of where the dog came from and if they are retired racers, we’ll have an idea of where they were bred, their pedigree, their race records, and often the veterinary records.  Dogs obtained from other sources often come with little or no history.  At adoption, you’ll receive a copy of everything we have on your new pups history.

What is the adoption process?

The adoption process is started by filling out our on-line adoption application.  From there you will be contacted by one of our regional adoption coordinators and will receive a welcome letter as well as our “New Greyhound Guide” via email.  Once our adoption coordinator(s) have completed your application (a relatively quick and painless process), we’ll begin to identify dogs that will suit your needs.  The entire process usually takes no more than one to two weeks.

How much does it cost to adopt a dog from American Greyhound?

The fees for adopting hounds from American Greyhound vary a little depending on the particular dog an applicant chooses.  The normal dogs under five years of age are $300. Galgos are $800. And, dogs that are deemed to be “special needs” or are seniors have a dog specific fee. 
Learn more about the TGIE Program Here 

Before being adopted, all dogs are spayed / neutered, have had their teeth cleaned, are up to date on all vaccinations and veterinary exams, and are micro-chipped.

Can I adopt a pet as a gift for someone else?

No. Adopting a pet is a personal, lifestyle decision. If you are considering adopting a pet as a gift, we recommend that you offer to go with them to American Greyhound and pay the adoption fee when they find the pet that fits them best.

What if I have issue with the dog or after adoption, or decide that owning a Greyhound is not for me?

If, for any reason, your newly adopted hound family member isn’t working out in your home, contact us for insight and assistance as soon as possible. We are here to help and serve as a resource. Also, if for some reason a particular dog is not working out in your home (not working out with other pets, children, etc.), American Greyhound will take the hound back and find another home that will work out better for them. Remember that all our hounds have been welcomed into their Foster homes and are much loved during their stay, and it is required that they be returned to American Greyhound if, for any reason, they cannot stay in their adoptive home.

I have to do court-ordered community service, can I do this at American Greyhound?

This is something that we address on a case by case basis.  Please contact Jeff Coggins at (219)771-0892 or email at to discuss your eligibility.


What is Fostering?

Fostering simply means taking an adoptable dog into your home and treating them as though they were your very own pup.  You’ll pick your foster dog up after their arrival in the Midwest.  They usually will have been micro-chipped and tagged.  American Greyhound will supply you with a crate for your new charge to sleep in, we’ll cover all the veterinary expenses, and will provide you all the support you need to turn that dog, fresh off the track, into a wonderful companion.

There is no way of knowing how long your foster may be with you. It could be anywhere from several days to a few months until an applicant comes along that is the right match for them. While in your care, they will learn about living in a home. We ask that you treat your foster hound as you would treat your own.

Why should I Foster a Greyhound?

Becoming an American Greyhound foster parent is the most helpful and heartfelt way you can help American Greyhound. We are a foster based rescue. We do not own or operate a kennel facility of any kind which means we can only rescue as many dogs as we have foster families willing to open their homes and hearts. Fostering a greyhound is an experience that will not only change the life if a greyhound in need, but will change yours as well! Having the love and affection from a hound that is patiently waiting for their forever family is a priceless experience. Likewise, meeting and helping your foster hound bond with their new family is just as remarkable! Seeing the love and excitement in a new family’s eyes when they take their new greyhound home will quickly counteract the tears in your eyes from saying goodbye. Simply stated, fostering is an experience that will change your heart forever. The opportunity to help a variety of greyhounds and witness the wide array of personality types within the breed will only grow your love for the majestic creatures that they are. Adopting saves one dog, fostering saves many!

What are my obligations as a Foster home?

 As a foster home, we ask that you provide food for their tummies, a roof over their heads, and at least 50 kisses per day. American Greyhound will provide a crate, supplies, and cover any additional medical care they may need. This includes monthly heartworm and flea & tick preventatives. Most fosters will require an initial veterinary visit that will include a spay/neuter, dental cleaning and other office tests/vaccinations. Through our approved veterinarians, you make the appointment for a date that will fit your schedule. Should you need assistance with getting your hound to and from the vet’s office, please don’t hesitate to ask. We also provide the support and love of a network of foster homes and volunteers that want to help you every step of the way. You will not be alone on your fostering journey!

I don’t think I could handle saying goodbye to my Foster dog. Is it hard to give them up?

It would be a lie to say that fostering isn’t a bittersweet experience. You bring a new dog into  your home, love them like your own, and then send them off to their forever family. On the surface, this sounds like something we would probably like to avoid! The opposite couldn’t be more true. Foster homes are the heart and soul of American Greyhound. Without foster homes, we could not make a difference in the lives of hundreds of Greyhounds. The need for foster homes is constant, It is simply the best way you can help the Greyhounds in need! As you say goodbye to your foster, just remember what that means for the next Greyhound that is waiting for you to welcome them into your home with open arms.

Remember, adopting a dog does not save that dog… He has already been saved by his foster family!

How do I get started Fostering a dog with American Greyhound?

American Greyhound is always in need for foster homes. If you are ready to give it a try but have some questions, feel free to contact our Foster Coordinator Nicole Graves by phone at 219-395-4432 or email at If you have all the information you need, head over to and fill out the foster application. One of our coordinators will be in touch with you about how to proceed in welcoming your first foster. It’s as easy as that!

How long do animals remain in foster care for adoption?

Our dogs usually remain in their foster home for about 1-2 months before adoption.  Some may move into an adoptive home sooner, others may take longer.  And, often, there is almost no rhyme or reason for why some dogs move fast while others hang around longer.


Do Greyhounds really need to run all the time; and do they require tons of exercise?

No, contrary to popular belief, they do not. They are retired now; and do not require anymore exercise than any other dog. A standard-size fenced yard is sufficient to exercise a Greyhound. They really are most happy laying around next to you. Most people refer to them as “the worlds fastest couch potatoes”.

Do Greyhounds get along good with other dogs?

For the most part, yes they do.  They do tend to be “greyhound snobs,” meaning they like their own, because being raised with other Greyhounds, this is what they are used to and what they know best, but they do get along with other other breeds, and some even like cats.

Do Greyhounds come in different colors?

Yes! Greyhounds come in many different color combinations. Greyhounds can be fawn, red, blue, black, white and various shades of brindle, with a combination of any of these colors.

How much do Greyhounds eat?

Greyhounds typically get 2 cups of food in the morning and 2 cups in the evening. When they first come off the track, we like to give them a bit extra, just to put some weight on them. Some exceptionally large males do get 5 cups daily.  It is important to not to over feed Greyhounds. It is very unhealthy for a Greyhound to be overweight, as heir body frames are not designed to withstand a lot of weight.

Are Greyhounds really super fast?

Yes, they are. Greyhounds are the second fastest land animal behind the Cheetah. A Greyhound can reach a top speed of 45 MPH in three strides! Greyhounds are members of the sight-hound family and primarily hunt using their excellent eyesight. They can see small moving objects in the distance (such as a paper cup) up to a half-mile away. For thousands of years, Greyhounds have been breed for speed and hunting, and as a result, have an very strong instincts to chase any moving objects they may see. This is one reasons they can never be left off-leash unless in a fenced in yard.

Why are Greyhounds retired from the racing industry?

Greyhounds typically have six maiden races. If a particular Greyhound does not win, place, or show within six races they are usually retired.

How old are Greyhounds when they retire?

Typically, Greyhounds are between 2-5 years old when they are retired. Greyhounds begin training around the age of 12 months, and participate in the first race around the age of 18 months. If a Greyhound continues to win, place, or show they will continue to race. If the dogs racing performance declines and they do not win, place, or show, they are retired. In certain cases, an adoptable Greyhound may be over the age of 5 if they were used for breeding purposes.

Why are Greyhounds good pets?

Greyhounds are noted for their sensitivity, patience, loyalty, tolerance, trust, friendliness, gentleness, sweetness, affection, etc. Generally, Greyhounds are very good-natured animals. Overall, they make remarkable pets. They are also very clean and typically do not shed as much as other breeds do.

How long does it take for a Greyhound to adjust to its new home?

Despite living all their life on the racetrack and in a kennel, Greyhounds adjust very well to being in a home environment. Of course, depending on their personality,  the amount of adjustment time will vary with each dog. Typically the first month or so may be the most challenging for the dog. During this time your hound will be getting used to its new owner/family, schedules, home, children, stairs, other pets, etc. Greyhounds are very smart animals and typically really want to please you which can make training somewhat easier. American Greyhound usually has the dog live with a Foster family before adoption. During their time with the Foster family, it will have learned to make the adjustment from racing dog to a pet. However, upon adoption, it will need to learn about and adapt to their new environment, new routines, people, etc.

Are Greyhounds good around children?

Typically, yes. As with any breed, children should always be supervised when with the dog, and also taught respect for the animal.

Are Greyhounds difficult to housetrain?

A Greyhound is crate trained coming off the track, but needs to be taught house etiquette. Due to the life on the racetrack, they have become accustomed to a routine and usually respond well to a routine once adopted. It is important to allow frequent opportunities to go outside and relieve themselves. When they do go potty outside, shower them with lots of praise, as It’s good to get in the habit of positive reinforcement. However, it is not uncommon to experience some accidents after adoption for the first week or so, until they are adjusted to their new home environment and routine.

Are Greyhounds good around cats, small animals and other pets?

Greyhounds can live in a house with cats, and other pets. Every Greyhound is different, depending on their “prey drive.” This means their instinct to chase which has been bred into them for thousands of years. Before adoption, American Greyhound testes for compatibility with cats and other small dogs. One should exercise caution and introduce your dog to other small animals with a muzzle on until the owner is certain each is safe around one another. If you are considering adopting a Greyhound and have cats or other small animals in the house, please mention this to your Adoption Coordinator who will work to find the right dog for you.

Which is better to adopt a male or a female Greyhound?

There is no favor of one gender over the other. Both male and females make exceptional pets. However, on average, the males tend to be a bit larger then the females, although some of the males can be on the smaller size, and the females a bit bigger.

What is the life expectancy of a Greyhound?

Greyhounds are typically very healthy animals. With proper home care, nutrition, and veterinarian care, Greyhounds typically live up to around 12-14 years of age.

Why do Greyhounds have to wear muzzles?

Most people see pictures of Greyhounds wearing muzzles while they are racing. This is necessary to provide protection to them and other Greyhounds as they can be very competitive while racing. Muzzles prevent any snapping, nipping, or biting which may occur during a race. Even after adoption, if you have more than one Greyhound running together, it may be best to have them wear their muzzles to prevent any injuries during play. It is also a good idea to have your hound wear a muzzle while introducing them to cats or smaller dogs.

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