October 19, 2015

The Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) in Australia and New Zealand

A survey of owners’ experiences with their greyhounds one month after adoption

This study was done to determine the behavioral effects of the rehoming of racing greyhounds. The authors followed 245 greyhounds by giving the new owners of these dogs a survey to complete four weeks after adoption. 193 of the owners completed the survey, which asked the owners to report the frequency of certain behaviors and then rank which of these behaviors were most concerning to them. By identifyin which behaviosr were the most concerning, the authors hoped to use the data to better rehome the greyhounds. 91% of owners reported that they were very satisfied with the companionship of their adopted greyhounds, putting adopted greyhounds at a nearly identical rate of satifaction to the owners of other adopted shelter dogs. These dogs came from the Greyhound Adoption Program in New Zealand and Australia. 

Owners identified separation anxiety as the most concerning behavior displayed by their new companions, followed by digging and inapporopiate toilet usage. The behavior most recognized by owners was shadowing, which is the greyhound following the owner around (which may have led to the ower's concerns about separation anxiety). Over half the dogs who shadowed were not reported to experience separation anxiety. Only nine of the dogs that were followed ended up being returned to the shelter, largely because of complications with other pets. 

This study shows that racing greyhounds are no worse behaviorally than any other shelter dog, and generally make great family pets.

Wigney, Denise, Elliott Rosemary, and Jenny Ann Toribio. 'The Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) In Australia And New Zealand: A Survey Of Owners’ Experiences With Their Greyhounds One Month After Adoption'. Science Direct 473.3 (2010): 245. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.