Buying a greyhound for racing purposes can be a very rewarding experience, but it is important for prospective owners to know all the facts before getting involved in greyhound ownership. There are many considerations that need to be made, and the initial purchase price of the dog is only the beginning. Ongoing kennel fees, vets bills and homing the greyhound once retired are all issues that owners will come up against, and plans must be made to cover all eventualities. That being said, the thrill of having your very own dog is something very special and if well planned, is a pastime that I highly recommend getting involved.
Greyhound Buying Options
The price range when it comes to buying your dog is quite large, with an unraced pup starting in the region of £400, with some of the top greyhounds in the country changing hands for in excess of £40,000. My advice would be to set yourself a budget for this initial outlay, and keep in mind the ongoing costs of around £8 per day plus vets bills. You get what you pay for in this game but for those wanting to take a gamble, a puppy is most certainly the way forward. There are no guarantees where pups are concerned, and with anything bought before schooling age on breeding alone, there are a number of risks involved. Some pups will not chase the hare, some fight and in some instances, there are dogs that just aren’t up to racing. A well bred dog should be more likely to make a racer but there are cases where this doesn’t happen. Taking a punt on an unraced pup is however the best chance of landing an open racer for little money.
Greyhound Racing Ownership Syndicate
Sharing the cost of owning your greyhound will mean you only receive a share of any prize money, but the benefit of the costs being spread make this form of ownership very attractive. If you have a group of likeminded friends, a great option is to get together and then contact the trainers at your local track to see what options they have available. The majority of greyhound trainers are more than happy to answer any questions, and also allow owners to be fully involved by visiting their greyhounds on a regular basis.
For those looking for an inexpensive way to get involved with greyhound ownership, there are syndicates already run that offer the average dog racing fan options from as little as £100. This example would give the ‘owner’ a 1% share, and can also cover all bills and even the problem of finding a home at the end of the greyhound’s career. While this option is a little more impersonal, it may be a good choice for those looking for a taster of what it’s like to be involved in the game, prior to buying a bigger stake. Check out Armchair Owners and The Champagne Club if you’d like to take this route.
Some trainers now run their very own greyhound syndicates where customers can pay a smaller initial price and monthly cost than if they were to go it alone, or with friends. These syndicates tend to have varied numbers of members, so there are options to suit all pockets. Examples of these include Burton Lodge Racing from Paul Young at Romford and Mark Wallis’ exciting Racing Club.
What Happens at the End of the Dog’s Career?
Planning for your greyhound’s retirement is a crucial part of the process when it comes to ownership. Greyhounds generally make great pets and ideally, the owner will look after his or her dog in their retirement years. Where this isn’t possible, the Retired Greyhound Trust may be able to help. This organisation do sterling work and home thousands of greyhounds each and every year. Dogs usually have a short racing career, so plan’s for your greyhound at the conclusion of their career should be made very early on and not left until they finish racing.
Owning a Greyhound – The Verdict
While it is unlikely to be a long term money maker, having a dog listed under your ownership is a great feeling. Going to the track, the anticipation, and those thirty seconds of excitement during the race make it all worthwhile. My best piece of advice would be to take your time and don’t overstretch yourself when deciding on your first greyhound. It may be that a small investment with a club is syndicate is the best way to kick off your greyhound ownership career, before progressing to one day becoming an outright owner. Plan and research your purchase thoroughly, then just enjoy the whole experience. If you have any questions about the ownership process, feel free to get in touch.