We have some frequently asked questions below which may be of interest, however if you don't find the answer you're looking for please do get in touch on 01621 788315.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accepting new volunteers?
We are currently accepting new volunteers, but strictly on a prearranged time table basis. As we are still maintaining our Covid policies, and with the rise of the Omicron variant. For the saftey of our staff volunteers are asked to wear a mask while on site and use hand sanitiser provided.
If anyone feels unwell, tests positive or is in contact with someone that tests positive for Covid, we ask that they let us know and not attend their prearranged volunteering day/slot until safe to return.
What is your Covid-19 policy?
We are open with covid procedures in place. For the saftey of our staff we will continue to maintain our Covid-19 policies until such time as it is safe to ease them.
To maximise social distancing all visits are strictly by appointment only which can be arranged by calling the kennels directly on 01621 788315. We ask that you bring as few people to the appointment as possible and to wear masks (unless exempt).
On arrival for your appointment please ensure you use the hand sanitiser provided and sign in/out using the form at the entrance.
Do you rehome greyhounds with cats?
Yes we do, but it is infrequent due to the rarity of suitably trainable greyhounds.
Rehoming Greyhounds with cats can be tricky due to their potential prey drive. They’ve had their natural instinct to chase reinforced through their racing career, and so to find one that won’t chase a cat is very rare. While we test all our greyhounds with a chihuahua, doing well with this doesn’t necessarily equate to being accepting of cats! So in order to ensure they are cat trainable, we take extra time and caution to make sure that the dog is suitable.
Should you have your heart set on a greyhound, your best bet is to register with us and be patient. Just as it is very rarely that we find a greyhound that has the suitable temperament to be trained to live with cats. Additionally, because of their rarity, it may be best to register your interest with as many greyhound rehoming centres as possible (that cater to homes with cats) and hope that you get lucky. It may be a bit of a wait, but you never know!
Just be aware in contacting any rescues or rehoming centres to make sure that they have actually tested the dogs with cats and aren’t assuming they are cat-trainable! We are aware that some rescues advise that failed racers or unraced greyhounds are cat-trainable or in some instances refer to them as ‘cat-friendly’ because they haven’t raced, but that is definitely not the case!
Unless they have already lived with cats, they all need training not to chase the cat in the home (even the cat-trainable ones!), especially the young unraced ones as they are still puppies and often very lively!
Do you recommend any dog training classes for Greyhounds?
There are many training classes around and we don't have details of all of them. You may be able to get some information from your vet on local training classes. There is a very good training school in Billericay https://www.bdtcentre.co.uk/greyhounds.html who have specialist greyhound classes.
Does my Greyhound need a coat?
Greyhounds do feel the cold more than other breeds, a coat in cold weather is recommended which you can purchase from us. We have three weights available for purchase, a simple fleece for chilly days, a waterproof padded for spring, autumn and lighter winter days and then a thick waterproof padded for the really cold days!
Additionally, in the summer the greyhounds can greatly benefit from a Cool Coat. We recomend EasiDri and can advise on sizing but do not currently have them in stock at the kennels.
Do I need to get my Greyhound microchipped?
It is a legal requirement that all dogs be microchipped and have a ID tag on their collar at all times. When you adopt one of our greyhounds they will already be microchipped and we will transfer them into your name on your behalf as part of the adoption process. It will be your responsibilty to have an ID tag made for their collar, ideally as soon as possible! We are a registered retailer of Red Dingo dog tags, so we can organise your dogs ID tag in house prior to adoption. Or should you want to get one elsewhere, they are readily available at most pet stores, key cutting businesses or similar.
The ear tattoos are their racing registration/identification and cannot be used as an alternative to keeping microchip details up to date.
Are Greyhounds lead trained? Will they need a harness?
Most greyhounds are lead trained and can be walked with a nice loose lead. When looking to adopt dogs, if any of the dogs are strong on the lead this will be explained in advance and some further training may be needed once in the home. Sometimes they can be strong due to the kennels environment and settle once into a home.
Harnesses are not a necessity but can sometimes assist in dogs that pull, a harness with a chest clip is the best option as it naturally turns the dogs body away from their intended destination if they decide to pull. This is a non-adversive method and can be easily supported with training. In some instances you can use a Halti for pulling dogs, but these rarely sit neatly on a greyhounds face and can be uncomfortable for them. For dogs that are good on the lead, a harness is personal preference. There are several varieties available on the market. If you would like some advice please call us.
Are the Greyhounds house trained?
As ex-racing dogs, the Greyhounds are only familiar with the kennel environment and have rarely lived in a home before. Although they are very often incredibly clean in their kennels, they will still have to have some house training when making the transition into a home setting. We will walk you through the best way for approaching this prior to adoption and we are only at the end of the phone should you need any further assistance.
Can Greyhounds go up and down stairs?
As a rule greyhounds have never encountered stairs prior before entering their forever home and often get puzzled by them! Sometimes they can get up them, but not down, or they can't get up them at all!
With some persistance they can be trained to do stairs should you wish it but many greyhound owners will install a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs and leave it at that!
Can you cut my Greyhounds toe nails for me?
Yes we can! Just book an appointment to bring your greyhound to the kennels and we can do their nails for you. We can also do teeth de-scaling, ear cleaning and bathing if you would like to get the whole pamper treatment!
Call for further information.
Do Greyhounds need a lot of grooming?
Do Greyhounds suffer from Seperation Anxiety?
Like with any breed of dog there is the potential for Seperation Anxiety if developing behaviours are not appropriately addressed. It must be taken into consideration that Greyhounds have never lived in a home environment before and so its all very new! It is important to establish a safe space for the dog (like their bed or a certain room) and build the time up that you are leaving the dog alone each day as part of their training. This can be enforced with the addition of leaving the radio on and/or leaving Kongs or other puzzle feeders to keep their brains busy and reward them for being alone.
This is especially important at the moment due to lock down and many people working from home. Even with dogs that were fine being left at home while at work before lock down! Many of them will need to have to get used to being left alone again as suddenly going to work after such a long time being at home can be a stress to your pets. Take time each day to work in a room away from your dog and build the time up gradually.
Do I need to have a crate for my Greyhound?
Crates are often misunderstood and can be viewed as being a negative environment for a dog. However they can be benefical to a greyhound, particularly if they are shy or nervous. As retired racing dogs they are used to being in a kennels environment and are familiar with crates and travel cages. They can often find a small, enclosed space like a crate reassuring in the home. The door doesn't need to be closed. The crate can simply be somewhere quiet as a nice little den that the dog can take themselves off to when they want some quiet time to sleep.
They are by no means mandatory when you have a greyhound, but some do find them beneficial. If you are interested in finding out whether a crate is appropriate for your greyhound, just ask!
Do the Greyhounds get along with other breeds?
Prior to retirement the Greyhounds rarely, if ever, encounter another breed of dog. So they often don't always understand what other breeds of dog are! This does not mean they are not dog friendly, it just means they will need socialising with other breeds once they are in their forever home.
To assist in adjustment into home life we carry out a behaviour assesment and subsequent non-greyhound dog tests. In a controlled manner we allow the greyhounds to meet other breeds of dog to assess their behaviour and openness to socialisation and training. This helps us understand them and their needs to be adopted into appropriate homes dependant on experience.
Our greyhounds are not available for adoption until such time as they pass this test. Some can take longer than others to pass this test, but if you fall in love with one that hasn't undergone the test yet or needs to do it again, do not be disheartened! Sometimes a greyhound might need a bit longer after racing to calm down before they can pass! But it does happen! :)
Many of our greyhounds are now happily living with other breeds (and some other species!).
Do the Greyhounds travel well in cars?
As a rule, Greyhounds travel very well. They are used to travelling from the kennels to the race track and back so are used to the noises and motion. It is important that when travelling you have your dog securely fastened using a dog seat belt or car harness.
Do you adopt Greyhounds into families with children?
Yes we do. As a rule Greyhounds love children and can, and do, live very happy lives in a home with them. We will happily give advice and ongoing support for families adopting greyhounds with children, please ring for further information.
Do you have an upper age limit for adopting a Greyhound?
We do not currently have a set upper age limit for adoption due to the benefits that having a greyhound can bring to retired and older individuals. But we do take each application on a case by case basis which are up to the managers discreation.
I can't look after my dog anymore. Will you take it?
If it is a Greyhound and was originally adopted from Clarks Farm it is 100% welcome to come back to us at the kennels. If the Greyhound is from the Greyhound Trust or another rescue, it will need to be returned to the rehomer/rescue that it was adopted from, should this not be possible the Greyhound Trust needs to be contacted directly and you will be advised as to the nearest appropriate Trust branch to take the dog to, or for them to contact us regarding our taking the dog in.
Unfortunately if it is not a Clarks Farm dog, we are unable to take it in but we can give advice and recomendations for the nearest appropriate rehoming kennels to you for the breed of dog it is you are looking to return.
I've heard female greyhounds make better pets, is this true?
No, not at all! The only noticable difference between male and female greyhounds is the size, often females are smaller but greyhounds come in a range of sizes and sometimes males are just as small as the females or vice versa! There is often a misconception that females are cleaner in the home and easier to house train than males, but this is a myth!
We find the boys can be more soppy and cuddly but it completely depends on the dog and their individual temperment. There is no real comparison between males and females, each dog has its own merits and they are all as wonderful as each other.
If you are interested in adopting and are considering a female, we will do our best to find you your perfect dog...but you may need to be open minded that your perfect dog may be a boy! :)
Should I get my Greyhound insurance?
Insurance is a personal preference for dog owners. It depends on several factors and what your situation is should there be an unexpected accident (although we hope those don't happen!). We personally reccomend getting insurance for your dog as it gives you the peace of mind in an emergency but it is not mandatory should you choose to support your veterinary costs in another way!
What is the best food for my Greyhound? Are they food motivated for training?