How greyhounds are introduced to the racing track
Breeding the Greyhound to become a race dog officially starts then when they are approximately twelve months old. Up until that age they were of course handled to get their “luring” training underway and their strength built up. But it is at that time when the Greyhound pup will be moved from their first home to a training facility.
It is at the training facility where the Greyhound’s formal education starts. The dog will get used to living in a cage or a small kennel. Every single day after that point for the dog will be a routine one. Starting in the morning the race dog will begin with one of three or more “turnouts” of the day. In order to protect the dogs whom engage in play, they will each wear a kennel muzzle when in a group.
Training the Greyhound dog breed to chase lures does not have to be forceful. These dogs have been bred for thousands of years to chase and hunt. And even today, a Greyhound is just itching to chase something, anything, that moves. It is not necessary to build any sort of blood lust for chasing animals.
Live rabbits are not used for luring the Greyhound dogs to race. Live animals of any sort are not permitted for racing or even for training to race. So any trainer who gets caught using a rabbit instead of a lure to attempt to bring an edge to his Greyhound will get barred from all future NGA competitions. Only a motorized lure is used on the track to entice the dogs.
When training the pups on the track, the lure will build up enthusiasm by tempting the dogs outside of their runs. Yearlings are allowed to chase the fast speed lure in a straight line. This lure is motorized by what is called a “jack-o-lure”.
Next, the dogs are trained to make high speed turns with a tool called the “whirly-gig”. This whirly-gig will move the lure around in a small circle run after run. And finally, at this level of training, the Greyhound pups will get their first introduction to a real track lure and will learn how to quickly break from a starting box while running with other race dogs.