Why adopt through GAP?

Finding a Greyhound is easy.  Finding the right greyhound for your family and lifestyle is something that GAP Qld takes very seriously.  We want you & your greyhound to live happily ever after so we take the time to get to know both our greyhounds & adoptive families to ensure the best match.

All GAP Greyhounds undergo an intensive behavioural assessment as well as a veterinary health check. Our comprehensive assessment allows us to best match the right greyhound with the right adoptive family.

Based on our many years of working with our state and local councils, GAP QLD has been awarded approval to issue unique Green Collars that clearly identifies our greyhounds as having graduated from our program and therefore exempting them from the current local authority laws governing greyhound muzzling. This exemption became official through the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 which was passed in State Parliament on Wed, December 3, 2008.

However, regardless of where an adopted Greyhound has been obtained, GAP has agreed to provide a community service in that we will assess any Greyhound for suitability for a green collar to exempt it from muzzling if required. The fee for The Non-GAP Green Collar Assessment is $80.00. This fee covers the cost of booklet materials, the collar and GAP’s administration costs.  For further information, please visit our Non-Gap Green Collar Assessment page.

Can I let my greyhound off the leash?

Absolutely not!  If you are looking for a dog that will run or walk off lead, then a Greyhound is not for you!

Most importantly, please remember what the Greyhound has been bred over thousands of years to do. Greyhounds are only tested around small dogs whilst on a lead. If we were only going to rehome greyhounds that are safe around lots of small, white fluffies in an off lead park, then there wouldn’t be many left to find homes for!

It is extremely dangerous to allow a Greyhound to run off lead, including in off leash dog parks. Greyhounds run at speeds in excess of 60kph and have extremely poor recall skills. The fastest of us can only run a mere 40 kph, so there is no chance of you being able to run and catch your Greyhound if it bolts. In addition, Greyhounds have been bred for thousands of years for one thing: speed. In the case of retired racers, the situation is more acute because they have had the speed and chase mentality reinforced in them from the moment they were born. They often won’t come when called, particularly once they see something that takes their attention. Greyhounds have absolutely no road sense, especially when focused on the chase and can easily run out on the road and get hit by a car.

We have heard many heartbreaking horror stories of Greyhounds being killed after being hit by a car, breaking bones or being impaled by sticks or poles after mishaps when they’ve been allowed to run off lead. Also, should your Greyhound be off lead & become involved in an incident with another dog, not only will you be fined by your council, you may also be liable for any injuries or vet bills incurred by the other party, which can easily mount to thousands of dollars. All GAP Greyhounds have undergone The GAP Behaviour Assessment© which is a very comprehensive assessment of the dogs’ personality, but it is still a dog! The temptation to chase a small dog racing around the park off lead can often be too much for any breed of dog, let alone a Greyhound that can run at more than 60kph and easily catch and possibly hurt a small dog.

Whilst your GAP Greyhound is considered by law to be “decommissioned” and therefore regarded as a pet dog under the current legislation, we respectfully request that you do not under any circumstances place your Greyhound in what could become a life threatening situation by allowing them to run off lead.

Remember, you and your dog are ambassadors for GAP. We are all working very hard to change the public’s perception about Greyhounds and negative publicity from incidents where greyhounds have been allowed off lead and have attacked or rushed at a small dog can very quickly bring years of good work undone. Please help us to continue to promote both responsible pet ownership and a positive image for Greyhounds as Pets.

Do they need a lot of excercise?

No!  Greyhounds are selectively bred and uniquely adapted to be “sprinters” not “marathon runners”. A common misconception about Greyhounds is that because they are bred to race, they need lots of room to run and need constant exercise. The truth is Greyhounds don’t need much exercise. At the track, they only race once or twice a week, in short bursts of 30 seconds or so. As pets, they will tend to choose to romp for short bursts and then turn back into couch potatoes.

They do enjoy, but are not dependent on, moderate amounts of exercise.  A short, brisk daily walk is usually all that is required.  In fact, too much exercise can be detrimental for a Greyhound, and can result in life threatening conditions such as exertional rhabdomyolysis, where there is rapid breakdown of muscle tissues with resultant kidney damage. If you see red urine after exercise, this is a sign the dog has overexerted itself. Heat stroke is also common. In addition to our caution regarding Greyhounds in off leash parks, many of them actually find an off leash park environment threatening and may start to exhibit aggressive behaviour if forced to continure to endure the experience.

Do Greyhounds still need to be muzzled in public?

Greyhounds that are currently being trained for racing are required to be muzzled in public and many of our local councils also require pet greyhounds to be muzzled whilst in public.

It is ONLY those Greyhounds adopted from GAP who wear the green GAP numbered identification collar that are exempt from local authority muzzling legislation. ALL other greyhounds, whether they are current or retired racing greyhounds or greyhounds adopted as pets from any other organisation, must be muzzled in public if the local authority requires it.



Do Greyounds make good guard dogs?

Generally, no. Greyhounds are placid, friendly animals that tend not to be protective about their property or people. They tend not to bark, and rarely alert owners to the arrival of strangers at their home.

Do not expect a Greyhound to make a good watchdog – they are indeed adept at “watching”, but that’s about the extent of their protectiveness over your household. Greyhounds bark very little, which makes them excellent suburban pets, and are usually as friendly to strangers as they are with their own family.

Are they already toilet trained when they come to my home?

Most will be toilet trained by the time they are adopted, however accidents can and frequently do happen until a routine has been firmly established in the new home.

Most Greyhounds are not toilet trained when they first enter the program.  Being generally very clean dogs, for most it does come relatively easily.  In a kennel environment, a dog will generally wait to be turned out prior to relieving themselves.  A similar routine can be easily established in the home – by taking the dog outside every couple of hours for the first day or so, especially after meals or a sleep.

What is the average age at adoption and how long do Greyhounds live for?

Dogs that have had an active racing career are generally ready for retirement by around four to five years of age, but it is usual for GAP to have dogs ranging in age from eighteen months (non-chasers)  right up to eight years (ex broods or ex stud dogs) at any given time.

The adaptable, stable and loving nature of the Greyhound predisposes an easy transition to companion dog regardless of age. Generally, younger dogs will be more active, while the older dogs will be more quiet and well-mannered.

The expected life-span of Greyhounds is between twelve to fourteen years and most enjoy relatively good health well into their senior years.

Are Greyhounds good with children?

Although retired racing Greyhounds can make fantastic family pets, it is important to remember that they probably have not had a lot of exposure to children during their life as a race dog and as a result may find some things children do a little frightening.

Greyhounds can be very tolerant with children. If a child becomes overbearing, the dog will usually try to walk away rather than growl or snap. As with all breeds of dogs, small children should never be left unsupervised with your Greyhound.

Statistically speaking, the biggest risk factor for dog bites is lack of parental supervision

Watch your dog’s body language constantly for signs of stress or arousal. Most dogs give subtle signals about how they are feeling, and it is up to us to see them and deal with the situation accordingly.

Things like licking the lips, panting, dilated pupils, shaking, or even a ‘worried face’ can indicate the dog is no longer relaxed and calm. If you see any of these signs, it is time to step in before things escalate.

In most cases, moving the dog to another area, or giving it a ‘time out’ in a safe place away from the children will allow him to settle down and return to a relaxed state.

Teach your children how to interact safely with your adopted Greyhound

It’s also vitally important that you teach your children to respect the dog. Children poking dogs, falling on them or pulling tails should NEVER be allowed. Children should also be taught to respect the dog’s space around food and bedding. Homes with young children should also provide the greyhound with a “time out” area – this is a quiet space where the Greyhound can get away from the children for a rest.

All dogs may find ‘human’ greetings frightening – children often want to ‘hug’ a dog when they say hello, but this is very foreign behaviour when viewed from the dog’s point of view. No other dog would ever grab them by the face and not let go. For this reason, it is very important that children learn the correct way to greet a dog and are discouraged from behaviours that will potentially put them at risk.

Avoid hugging, kissing, or putting faces close to the dog’s face. Staring or intense direct eye contact should also be avoided as this is very threatening behaviour, and something dogs would only do to each other if they wanted to start a fight.

Are Greyhounds good with other pets?

Like all sight hounds, Greyhounds have been bred over thousands of years to pursue by sight and as such have a strongly developed chase instinct. The level of this chase instinct varies from dog to dog. In spite of this it is possible for greyhounds to peacefully co-exist with other pets, including dogs, cats, birds and even rabbits.

GAP carefully assesses each dog to determine how strong their prey drive instinct is, prior to placing it with an adoptive family. All of our dogs must pass multiple small dog assessments prior to being placed with an adoptive family.   During the fostering process, their reactions with various animals are recorded, which helps us to place them into the most appropriate home environment.

Other Dogs
Greyhounds are friendly by nature and socialise well with other dogs because of their experiences with other Greyhounds in the racing kennels. They get along well with other breeds, but may not always wish to play with them.

All new introductions should be monitored very carefully, however, as the “old dog” may be jealous of the newcomer. Initial introductions may be better made on neutral territory, preferrably close to home. After the introduction, walk them both home together on lead and allow them some supervised time the yard before letting them into the house. It is suggested that a muzzle be used, at least in the early days, to introduce a Greyhound to any new small dogs until it recognises that it is a part of the family too, and not something to pursue!

Please remember that whilst GAP has assessed each Greyhound around several small dogs, it has not yet encountered every other breed, so common sense should always be exercised during the introduction period.

Greyhounds with:


Whilst some Greyhounds can live happily with a cat, many cannot. Waiting times may be longer for those wishing to adopt a Greyhound, particularly into a multi-cat household.  An experienced GAP Officer will assist you throughout the process and will facilitate the introduction in your home between the Greyhound and cat/s.

When a dog is first introduced to the family cat it should be wearing its muzzle and be leashed. Muzzles do not hurt the dog and it is better to be safe than sorry. Keep in mind this would apply to any breed of dog being introduced to a new pet.

Never allow a greyhound to play with a cat. Play can easily go too far, resulting in the cat getting hurt or killed.  Any attempt to chase or play with a cat sould be strongly discouraged and we advise you to call a GAP staff member to discuss the situation.

Please note that even if the greyhound completely ignores the cat inside, outside is often another matter and even the most “cat-friendly” dogs may chase cats in the backyard.


A small percentage of Greyhounds can also live in harmony with poultry and birds. Keep in mind that relatively few Greyhounds are suitable for this type of situation and adoption waiting times will be extensive.

Do females or males make for better pets?

There is usually very little difference between males and females, except that the males are a little larger. Every dog is an individual and it is better to consider adopting a dog based on its temperament rather than sex or colour preference.

What are the adoption fees and what's Included?
The adoption fee is $100. This fee is GST inclusive and only partially offsets the costs associated with the following pre-adoption services:
  • Sterilization
  • Microchipping
  • Worming, including heart worm check
  • Health check
  • Grooming
  • Assessment
  • Ongoing support for adoptive families

In addition, the fee includes the official GAP green collar which identifies your Greyhound as a GAP dog, allowing him/her to be walked in public without a muzzle in Queensland.

Oh, and of course the fee includes your gorgeous Greyhound!

How do I place a greyhound with GAP?


As of February 1st all Greyhounds must be micro chipped prior to registration, transfer of ownership or sale.

The easiest way to ensure compliance with R106, whilst simultaneously helping to improve the image of Greyhound Racing in Queensland is to place your dog in the GAP. In the South East corner at least, waiting times to enter the program are relatively short approximately 12 weeks, however we do ask that you allow the dog to settle for at least 2 – 3 months post racing, this will give your greyhound a better chance of success during the assessment process.

It is NOT a pre requisite for greyhounds to be cat friendly but it certainly does help!

We will accept any greyhound:

  • non-chasers
  • Puppies
  • Dogs that haven’t broken in well for a variety of reasons or are just too slow
  • Retiring race dogs

we do not have an age limit however the dog does need to be in good health and non-aggressive

All Greyhounds entering GAP must:

  • be off the track for at least 4 weeks prior to their intake date
  • have a C5 vaccination administered at least 14 days prior and GAP staff are to be given the certificate on arrival to GAP
  • be free from all external and internal parasites – worms, fleas and ticks
  • be free from injury and illness. This includes hot spots, sores/pustules, conjunctivitis
  • be clean and bathed

Forms Required:

Greyhound Adoption Program QLD submission form

You have adopted a Greyhound and are no longer able to keep your Greyhound:

If you have adopted a Greyhound and for unavoidable reasons are not in a position to keep your Greyhound we ask that you please try and rehome your greyhound yourself before contacting GAP. We do not always have places available to take in greyhounds that have already been adopted.

If you are still unable to rehome your grey we will endeavour to take him/her back onto the program as soon as possible.

Your dog will need to have a clean bill of health from your vet, and must have an up todate C5 Vaccination (certificate to be produced on entry to GAP) Your grey may also need a dental (scale and clean of their teeth) If your dog has not had a dental in the last 12 months and it is deemed by your vet that one is needed we can organise for it to be done at your expense)

Non-GAP Green Collar Testing

Regardless of where an adopted Greyhound has been obtained, GAP has agreed to provide a community service in that we will assess any greyhound for a green collar to exempt it from muzzling in Queensland.

  • Pet Greyhound owner contacts GAP to register and pay as a participant.
  • Owner receives a workbook with a simple program of practical exercises to work through with their dog to help it adjust to domestic life and to help both you and GAP to find out more about your greyhound.
  • At the end of three months, the owner brings the dog in with its sterilisation & microchip certificate to the GAP kennels for the “green collar” assessment.*

* Please note: payment of fee is not a guarantee that the Greyhound will successfully achieve green collar muzzle exemption status

The fee for The Non-GAP Green Collar Package is $80. This fee covers the cost of booklet materials, the collar, GAP’s resources for the assessment and accountability with QLD councils.

To register your greyhound for assessment or for further information please call during office hours on 07 3174 0400 or email gap@qric.qld.gov.au