GRNSW Trainer Attedant Handbook

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GRNSW Trainer Attedant Handbook
GREYHOUND
ATTENDANT HANDBOOK
1
Trainer’s Competency Pack - Level 1 reproduced with permission of Dr Linda Beer, © Greyhound
Racing Victoria 2015.
GRNSW would also like to thank Dave Kiernan for his original Greyhound Racing Induction
Manual (written for GHRRA in 2008) and GBOTA for location images.
All rights reserved. Original Date Published 2008.
Published 2016.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1 ............................................................................................................................ 4
History of Greyhound Racing ........................................................................................................ 5
Greyhound Racing Around the World .............................................................................................. 6
Greyhound Racing Industry in Australia ...................................................................................... 6
Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW............................................................................................... 7
National and State Rules ............................................................................................................... 9
The Racing Calendar................................................................................................................... 10
List of Clubs in NSW ...................................................................................................................... 12
Industry Integrity .......................................................................................................................... 12
Rules of Greyhound Racing.......................................................................................................... 13
Code of Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds in Training ............................................. 14
Chapter 2 .......................................................................................................................... 17
Greyhound Welfare – Lifecycle of a Greyhound ...................................................................... 18
Animal Welfare ............................................................................................................................ 26
Retirement from Racing............................................................................................................... 29
Chapter 3 .......................................................................................................................... 32
What is Work Health and Safety? ................................................................................................. 33
Identifying Potential Hazards at the Kennels ............................................................................. 35
Chapter 4 .......................................................................................................................... 39
Identifying a Greyhound............................................................................................................... 40
Appropriate Equipment ............................................................................................................... 44
Chapter 5 .......................................................................................................................... 56
Preparation and Presentation for Kennelling ............................................................................. 57
Handling a Greyhound – At the Track........................................................................................... 58
Role of the Catcher...................................................................................................................... 70
Post Race Care............................................................................................................................. 72
Sampling, Vet, and Steward Procedures ................................................................................... 73
Becoming an Attendant .................................................................................................. 77
Practical Assessment ........................................................................................................ 78
Example Questions .......................................................................................................... 79
Glossary of Terms ............................................................................................................. 80
3
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO GREYHOUND
RACING
HISTORY OF GREYHOUND RACING
The greyhound is considered one of the ‘ancient’ breeds. Records indicate greyhounds existed in
ancient Egypt and Greece. Greyhounds were often considered akin to royalty, and their ownership
was restricted at times to members of royalty. It is thought that the sport of coursing was
introduced by the Romans. Coursing involved dogs (generally greyhounds or other sight hounds)
chasing a game animal and exhibited a single dog’s skill to sight, chase and catch a game animal. In
the 16th century, coursing became a competitive sport with two dogs matched against each other
in a race for the game. Dogs were judged on not only their speed but also their agility, and their
owners would often bet on the result.
Coursing evolved into a spectator sport, with other people coming to watch a race, and soon official
Coursing clubs began to evolve. Two greyhounds would course a single hare that had been given a
head start. Spectators would come to watch and place bets on the competing dogs.
The introduction of an artificial lure occurred first in England, but it was an American, Owen Smith,
who first introduced racing on a track using an artificial lure. He understood the appeal of coursing
but wanted to make it ‘a more humane sport with a broader spectator appeal’. The idea took off,
and greyhound racing as we know it today, was born.
An Australian Greyhound trainer with
greyhounds from the early 20th century.
his
Opening of the Dapto Greyhound Race track 1941.
5
GREYHOUND RACING AROUND THE WORLD
Greyhound racing takes place in a number of countries around the world including the United
Kingdom, Ireland, America and Asia.
Representatives of each country’s governing body have joined to create the World Greyhound
Racing Federation (WGRF). The WGRF meet regularly to discuss matters of importance to the
sport worldwide. They also hold a conference to encourage communication between the various
countries.
GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA
Race meetings throughout Australia are conducted by the various racing clubs under the control of
the State or Territory Controlling Body as prescribed by the Racing Act in each state.
Racing Act - Minister for racing
Controlling Authority & Administration
Registered Coursing Clubs
Registered Clubs
In order to foster and achieve national co-operation and uniformity between states, there is a
national body – Greyhound Australasia (GA). GA is made up of representatives of each state or
territory controlling body, along with representatives from New Zealand Greyhound Racing.
To help maintain consistency, GA is responsible for the naming of greyhounds, along with the
maintaining and publishing of the annual Stud Book. They also oversee DNA testing: frozen semen
and greyhound exports, along with the compiling and publishing of the National (GAR) rules.
GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY IN NSW
In New South Wales, Greyhound Racing NSW is the body responsible for promoting and controlling
the sport. A key part of its role is the setting of standards, regulating and policing the industry and
the people involved. With approximately 2,500 race meetings held across 33 venues throughout
the state, GRNSW distributes to owners and trainers more than $30 million dollars in prize money
every year.
The greyhound racing industry makes a substantial contribution to the NSW economy, both as a
recreational pursuit, and as an industry that employs thousands of people and generates
millions of dollars in wagering.
GRNSW has the task of ensuring that industry participants fully understand their responsibilities in
relation to the greyhounds they own and train. They support and encourage continual
improvement of training and husbandry techniques through research and education and are
committed to the on-going welfare of greyhounds throughout their racing careers and into
retirement. To help care for those greyhounds that are no longer suited to racing, GRNSW has
developed the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) that helps to place ex-racing greyhounds into
homes where they live out the rest of their lives as family pets. GRNSW aims to improve the welfare
of racing greyhounds within the industry, however, responsibility for the welfare of each individual
greyhound always lies with the owner.
GRNSW’s main responsibilities are:

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to control, supervise and regulate greyhound racing in NSW.
to register greyhound racing clubs, greyhound trial tracks, greyhounds, owners and trainers
of greyhounds, bookmakers for greyhound racing and other persons associated with
greyhound racing.
to initiate, develop and implement policies considered conductive to the promotion,
strategic development and welfare of the greyhound racing industry in the State.
to distribute money received as a result of commercial arrangements required by the
Totalizator Act 1997.
to allocate to greyhound racing clubs the dates on which they may conduct greyhound
racing meetings.
7
I NDUSTRY C ONTINUES
TO EVOLVE
Greyhound racing takes place not only in Australia, but in Britain, Ireland, America, and Asia. Once
thought of as the ‘working man’s sport’ compared to Thoroughbred and Harness horse racing, it is
now a vibrant and professional, multi-million dollar industry. Greyhound racing is a sport that
attracts people from all ages and all walks of life.
By deciding to become an Attendant or Trainer, you are entering into an industry that is passionate
about the sport of greyhound racing and even more passionate about the elite animal. The process
involved in becoming a greyhound attendant or trainer, while being relatively simple, is designed to
ensure that the people entering our industry are doing so with the right intentions and have the
welfare of the greyhound at heart at all times.
NATIONAL AND STATE RULES
G REYHOUND RACING IN A USTRALIA
Race meetings throughout Australia are
conducted by the various racing clubs under the
control of the State or Territory Controlling Body
as prescribed by the Racing Act in each state.
The National Rules are available on GRAA’s
website www.galtd.org.au.
In order to foster and achieve national co-operation and uniformity between the states, there is a
national body – Greyhounds Australasia (GA). GA is made up of representatives of each state or
territory controlling body, along with representatives from New Zealand Greyhound Racing.
To help maintain consistency, GA is responsible for the naming of greyhounds, along with the
maintaining and publishing of the annual Stud Book. They also oversee DNA testing, frozen semen and
greyhound exports, along with the compiling and publishing of the National (GAR) rules.
G REYHOUND R ACING
IN
NSW
In NSW, Greyhound Racing NSW is the ‘Controlling Body’. It consists of a ‘Board’ whose members
are appointed by the Minister for Racing, and the associated staff needed to manage and administer
greyhound racing in the state.
The Controlling Body is responsible for:


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Registering Participants
Registering Clubs
Registering Trial Tracks
Controlling the Conduct of Meetings
They are also responsible for all aspects of a Greyhound Racing that involve the greyhounds
themselves:

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
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Breeding of Greyhounds
Litter Registrations
Stud Dog Registration
Identifying and Registering Greyhounds
Provision of Racing Certificates
Animal Welfare Direction
Registered Clubs and Associations
9
THE RACING CALENDAR
A USTRALIAN G REYHOUND R ACING A SSOCIATION
The Australian Greyhound Racing Association's charter is to continue the
promotion and development of the Greyhound Industry nationally. Its
members represent the principal clubs in all States and as such its
composition allows for national development for national benefit. AGRA
conducts a national conference and promotes the Australian Group Race
Calendar. The Calendar is online www.agra.com.au.
G REYHOUND R ACING C LUB M EMBERSHIP
Greyhound Racing Clubs are controlled by their members. People who have an interest in greyhound
racing may choose to join the club by paying a membership fee. The club members then vote to
appoint a Club President, and Committee to run the club.
Clubs usually provide facilities for their members to use.
National co-operation between the principal clubs in each state is achieved by the Australian
Greyhound Racing Association (AGRA). AGRA aims to minimise clashes between the dates for major
races within the racing calendar allowing clubs to attract the best greyhounds available to run their in
feature races.
C OURSING CLUBS
Coursing involves two greyhounds competing against each other in the chase of a synthetic lure
pulled by a mechanical quarry. Coursing competitions are usually elimination events with dogs who
win a heat moving into the next round. This means that an individual greyhound may race a number of
times in the same day. Coursing does not take place on a circular track, but rather a straight grass
track over shorter distances. There are no starting boxes instead the two dogs are released from a
special lead and collar by a person called the ‘slipper’.
There are a number of coursing clubs throughout NSW. They hold training sessions, and coursing
competitions during the coursing ‘season’ which is from May through to late August or early
September. For more information go to www.dogsnsw.com.au
T RIAL T RACKS
Trial tracks are registered with GRNSW and trialling greyhounds at an unregistered trial track is a
breach of the Greyhound Racing Rules.
These are the registered trial tracks in NSW:

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Abernethy Trial Track
Cardiff Trial Track
Casino Trial Track
Cessnock Trial Track
Keinbah Trial Track
Sunny Lodge Education Centre
Wollondilly Trial Track
11
LIST OF CLUBS IN NSW
TAB Clubs
Non-TAB Clubs
Casino Greyhound Racing Club
Dapto A. & H. Society
Dubbo Greyhound Racing Club
Grafton Greyhound Racing Club
Goulburn Greyhound Racing Club
GBOTA – Bathurst
GBOTA – Bulli
GBOTA – Gosford
GBOTA – Lismore
GBOTA – Maitland
The Gardens
Richmond Race Club Limited
Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club
Wagga & District Greyhound Racing Club
Armidale Greyhound Racing Club
Broken Hill Greyhound Racing Club
Coonabarabran Coursing Club
Coonamble Greyhound Racing Club
Cowra Greyhound Racing Club
Forbes and District Greyhound Racing Club
Limited
Greyhound Social Club Limited (Potts Park)
Hastings River Greyhound Racing Club
Kempsey and MacLeay Greyhound Racing Club
Lithgow Greyhound Racing Association
Moree Greyhound Racing Club
Mudgee and District Greyhound Racing Club
Muswellbrook Mechanical Coursing Club Limited
GBOTA – Appin
GBOTA - Gunnedah
GBOTA – Temora
Tamworth Greyhound Racing Club
Taree Greyhound Racing Club
Tweed Heads Coursing Club
Young and District Greyhound Racing Club
INDUSTRY INTEGRITY
THE I MPORTANCE
OF FAIR RACING
Integrity refers to the ‘honesty’ of the industry. Greyhound racing is a multi-million dollar industry
in NSW and wagering on the outcome of races is a large component of this. People who
participate by entering their greyhounds in races, along with the people who wager on the races
are relying on the races to be conducted in a fair and honest manner so that each greyhound can
run on its merits.
A large part of the management of Greyhound racing involves ensuring that the rules of
greyhound racing are adhered to, and that participants do not do anything to compromise the
integrity of the racing. The GRNSW Stewards Department is responsible for the policing of these
rules.
If you have any concerns about Race Integrity or Greyhound Welfare you should report it
immediately by calling the NSW Hotline 1800 680 174 or submitting an online report on
www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/submit-greyhound-welfare-or-integrity-concern
RULES OF GREYHOUND RACING
It is important that you are familiar with the rules of racing so that you can understand what
happens at a race meeting, and the things that you can and can’t do. The rules are regularly
updated and modified.
An up-to-date copy of the GRNSW Greyhound Racing Rules (the GRNSW Rules) that you can
download and print is always available on the GRNSW website www.thedogs.com.au. Any
amendments or changes to the GRNSW Rules are also published in The Chaser (GRNSW’s magazine
released every two months). If you would like a hard copy of the GRNSW Rules, you can contact
Member Services and for a small fee, they will send you a printed copy.
If you wish to be an attendant you will need to have an understanding of all of the rules that apply
to people handling a greyhound at a race meeting, along with your responsibilities in regards to the
stewards. Trainers are expected to have thorough knowledge of the GRNSW Rules as they must
also understand those that apply to training and nominating a greyhound for an event, along with
how the outcomes of races are determined.
There are two types of rules that apply to Greyhound Racing: National Rules and Local Rules.
GRNSW combines these rules into one document – that is, the GRNSW Rules.
N ATIONAL R ULES
‘National Rules’ are a set of rules that apply to racing in all states of Australia and New Zealand and
are issued by Greyhounds Australasia (GA). When these rules are quoted they carry the identifier
GAR – for example GAR 106. The national rules cover the powers of the Controlling Body, the
conduct of Race meetings, Offences, Inquiries and Penalties, along with the requirements of
Registration and Breeding.
National Rules are online at www.galtd.org.au.
L OCAL R ULES
The ‘Local Rules’ are a set of rules that have been endorsed by the state Controlling Body and vary
from state to state. The Local Rules are identified by the letters LR, with the state in brackets – for
example LR (NSW)106. The local rule covers state-specific matters and also act to clarify the
National Rules in regards to things such as registration, welfare and penalties. The Local Rules
actually take precedence over the National Rules. Local Rules are online at www.thedogs.com.au.
13
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE KEEPING OF GREYHOUNDS IN TRAINING
The Code of Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds in Training applies to all persons involved in
training greyhounds, including attendants. You can download the current Code of Practice on the
GRNSW website www.thedogs.com.au.
Even though you may not own a greyhound or have your own kennel facilities, you are responsible
for the greyhounds that you handle. It is also important that you report any breaches of the Codes
of Practice. Any breach of the Codes of Practice is a serious animal welfare and racing integrity
issue; you should report it immediately by calling the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Hotline on
1800 680 174 or online at http://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/submit-greyhound-welfareor-integrity-concern.
The Code is designed to ensure a consistent approach to:
 the welfare of greyhounds: specifying the minimum standards of accommodation,
management and care that are appropriate to the physical and behavioural needs of
greyhounds,
 demonstrate the industry’s duty of care for the racing greyhound.
The specific needs of the greyhound vary throughout its lifecycle. There is a separate Code of
Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds for Breeding, Rearing and Education available on
www.thedogs.com.au?DPage.aspx?id=395
The Codes emphasises the importance of good management practices. The Codes also make clear
that persons in charge of greyhounds must comply with the requirements of the GRNSW
Greyhound Racing Rules and relevant legislation including the Greyhound Racing Act 2009 (NSW),
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (NSW), the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) and
the Companion Animals Act 1998 and their associated regulations.
Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, the person in charge of an animal is
responsible for meeting the legal obligations of a greyhound’s welfare. The person in charge may be
the owner or the licensed trainer who has the care and control of the greyhound. ‘Welfare’ and
‘well-being’ are interchangeable words.
Well-being in animal care is determined by many factors, both physical and psychological.
The Codes of Practice state that the basic needs of greyhounds are:
 Readily accessible food and water in sufficient quantities to maintain health and
vigour;
 Freedom of movement to stand, stretch and lie down;
 Regular exercise;
 Shelter and accommodation that provides protection from the weather;
 Regular inspections to assess the need for veterinary care;
 Internal and external parasite control; and
 Rapid identification and treatment of injury and disease.
R OLE
OF THE S TEWARDS
The stewards are responsible for ensuring that all
racing is conducted in a fair and consistent manner.
They also have the power to investigate any
matter that may compromise the fair running of
race meetings.
National Rule
R19 Stewards – General
R20 Stewards control and regulation of
race meeting
Stewards control, regulate and inquire into the conduct of officials, bookmakers, owners, trainers,
attendants and other persons participating in or associated with greyhound racing. They have
the ability to impose fines, suspend or disqualify any registered person who breaches the rules of
racing.
F IELD S TEWARDS
Field stewards (on-track integrity officers) are in charge of supervising the actual running of race
meetings, and undertake tasks such as verifying the identity of the racing greyhounds, checking
trainer licences, locking kennels and recording racing inquiries.
R ACE - DAY C ONTROLLERS
Race-day Controllers are Stewards that oversee race meetings from a central control room using
live footage of races and closed circuit video surveillance of restricted areas on the race day.
Controllers with assistance from field stewards may hold inquiries into racing incidents after
reviewing video footage of the race in question.
C OMPLIANCE O FFICERS
Compliance Officers undertake regular kennel inspections of registered trainers to ensure the
rules relating to the welfare of the greyhounds and GRNSW Code of Practice s are being adhered to.
Compliance Officers may also check kennels in response to reports from the Integrity Hotline.
15
M EMBER S ERVICES
You will most likely contact Member Services for queries regarding licensing and registration. The
Member Services Team can help you find information on GRNSW Services such as:
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Transfer of Greyhound Ownership
Reprints of lost certificates or ID Cards
Licences
Registration of Natural and Artificial Insemination Services
Whelping Notices
Litter Registrations
Syndicate Registrations
CHAPTER 2
GREYHOUND WELFARE
17
GREYHOUND WELFARE – LIFECYCLE OF A GREYHOUND
S ELECTING
FOR THE RIG HT BEHAVIOURS
Greyhounds are a canine breed that has been developed by humans through a process of selective
breeding to display certain behaviours comes to mind. Dogs fulfil many roles; pulling sleds, guarding
property, herding sheep, guiding, track and retrieving and chasing. It is important to understand
that this selective breeding process has resulted in dogs that are specialists in the tasks they
perform. A greyhound therefore has a specific structure and behaviour, but it is important to realise
that it is still part of a much wider species. Understanding canine development as it applies to
greyhounds means you can both improve the welfare of the dog over its life, as well as maximise its
chance for success.
C ANINE D EVELOPMENT
Why should I know about canine development?
Applying an awareness of dog development and learning is important for two reasons:


You can raise safe and confident dog that feels secure in their environment throughout their
life and
You can ensure the dog is less likely to develop behaviours that are rooted in anxiety and
fear, this means they will not only perform to the best of their ability, but they will be more
likely to adapt to kennelling, training, racing and ultimately retirement as a companion
animal after their racing career is over.
National Rule
R106 Proper care (welfare) of greyhounds
NSW Rule
LR106 Greyhounds no longer registered for
the purpose of Greyhound Racing
How does it work?
Fear and anxiety develops to protect an individual from harm. It results from the dog learning to
avoid something that has an unpleasant outcome. This outcome could be physical, such as the pain
a dog might feel if it gets its foot caught in the starting box the first time it goes in there, or
emotional – such as getting a fright if the lid of the starting box slams down the first time they go in
there. Some animals will cope with these situations and perform regardless; others will find it
harder and these dogs might become difficult to train or motivate. What a dog will become
frightened of most commonly depends on its earlier experience.
This is because the more it is familiar with, the less it has to be frightened of. The acceptance of
things that are ‘normal’ will depend on what the dog has encountered in the early stages of its life.
19
0 – 12
WEEKS FROM
W HELPING
The gestation period for a greyhound is 63 days. Generally, greyhound bitches are whelped in
whelping boxes and remain with a litter at weaning at 8 weeks of age. A bitch will whelp an average
of six puppies per litter but can have as many as 15. (More information regarding Breeding and
whelping can be found in the BREEDER’S EDUCATION PACK.)
0–2
WEEKS
N EONATAL P ERIOD
During this time, although the pups do not
appear to ‘do’ very much, in fact they are in a
period of rapid development. From 0-2 weeks
they are in what is called the neonatal period.
This means that they are very dependent on
their dam, however from birth to approximately
2 weeks of age they are sensitive to different
smells, sounds and tastes. Early handling at this
stage can provide an adaptive change that
enables them to cope more easily with stressful
situations later in life. This early handling could
include:


Recording daily weight gain
Moving into a holding container to assist with daily cleaning of the whelping area.
2–6
WEEKS
T RANSITIONAL P ERIOD
Over a week (at around 2 weeks of age) the puppies enter a transitional period which begins when
their eyes open and ends at around 20 days when their ear canals open and they begin to startle
when they hear a sudden loud noise. They begin to crawl, then stand and walk. They begin to
defecate and urinate outside the nest, rather than when stimulated by the bitch, and they show an
interest in solid food. Pups will begin to show distress not only when cold or hungry but when they
find themselves in an unfamiliar environment.
3 – 14
WEEKS
S ENSITIVE
OR
S OCIALISATION P ERIOD
Whilst still in this transitional stage they begin to enter a very sensitive time of their development.
This is often known as the Sensitive (or Socialisation) Period. This is from approximately 3 to 14
weeks of age. It is a window of opportunity for the owner, breeder or trainer to take the
opportunity to carefully expose the puppy to as many different people, animals and types of
environments it will encounter later in life.
Puppies will be attracted towards things that they
are unfamiliar with as soon as they can see and
move (at about 3 ½ weeks of age). This attraction
starts to lessen from 5 weeks onwards. At 5 weeks,
puppies begin to develop ‘fear of the unknown’. At
this point they will recover from this fear of the
unknown and continue to investigate, however the
pup will remain wary for longer periods, as it grows
older. From 14 weeks they are very unlikely to
approach something unfamiliar of their own accord.
During this time they also learn about how to interact appropriately with dogs (and other animals).
Dogs develop a social sense from playing and living with their littermates and other dogs during this
sensitive period. Meeting other breeds of dogs
and other domestic animals during this time could
help them to move into a more domestic
environment, perhaps as a retired pet, when their
racing career is over.
NSW Rule
R106 Proper care (welfare) of greyhounds
21
What can we do with the pup during this time?
C HASING
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Introduction to synthetic lures and toys
Encourage them to chase and play with different objects
E NVIRONMENTAL E NRICHMENT
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Encourage them to play in different environments (indoor and outdoor).
Any controlled and supervised exposure to racing equipment (not on a racetrack) is
beneficial for puppies.
Exposure to the sights and sounds associated with racing i.e. starting boxes, trailers, kennels
etc.
Introduction to leads. Puppies respond best to leashes, harnesses and collars between 5-9
weeks of age.
L IFECYCLE P REPARATION

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Allow them to experience indoor (home)
environments
Allow them to meet different breeds of dogs
and other animals
It is important to remember that experiencing
different environments is very important at this age
but must be weighed up against the susceptibility
that the pup has against diseases. Where possible,
the pup should be provided novel experiences to
different environments, objects and (vaccinated)
adult dogs whilst staying on your property. Talk to
your vet further if you wish to engage in activities
outside of this.
12
WEEKS
– 14
MONTHS
NSW Code of Practice
15.5 – 15.10
Animal Declaration Form
P RE -T RAINING
From between 12 weeks to 18 weeks, depending often on when they receive their final vaccination,
the pup will be moved from the bitch. They often remain in litter groups, although these may be
split into smaller sizes and occasionally there may be groups from mixed litters. In some rearing
establishments pups may remain with their dam until 6 months of age.
The dogs are kept in a paddock type environment, usually in a smaller yard with daily transfers to a
bigger paddock for vigorous exercise each day.
Greyhound pups in a fenced paddock.
A DOLESCENCE
AND
B EHAVIOUR
The earlier a dog can learn about their environment in which they are to live (in the future, not just
at that point in their life), without it becoming something they associate with fear or pain, the
better. Whilst the dog moves out of the sensitive period of development (around 14-16 weeks), it is
still important that they continue to have positive experiences with everything they may encounter
as a racing greyhound.
Providing positive experiences includes interactions with:
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Kennels
Crates or cages or dog trailers
Leashes, collars and harnesses
A variety of people
Examination tables
Synthetic lures
Toys
Boxes
At this age as they are also fully vaccinated it would also be beneficial to accustom them to short
car trips, walks and short periods of isolation so that they are better able to cope with the move to
individual kennels in pre-training.
Domestic dogs generally become sexually mature at around 6-9 months of age, however they do
not become socially mature until around 18-20 months of age.
23
You are not permitted to bring greyhound bitches
that are in season into club premises or nominated
to into races.
P RE -T RAINING
This happens anywhere between 14 and 18 months
of age (sometimes even later). The dogs will begin
its education. This is where they will learn how to:
National Rule
R24 Greyhound in season
 Walk on a lead
 Wear a muzzle
 Jump out of the starting box
 Chase the lure
o first alone and then;
o with other dogs
 Travel in a dog trailer
A DULTHOOD
Greyhounds are eligible to race from the age of 16 months.
National Rule
R21 Age of nomination of greyhound
greyhounds
R ETIRE MENT
What can I do to give my retired greyhound the
best chance of adoption as a pet?1
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Introduce him or her to other animals
under controlled circumstances, especially
from an early age – other dog breeds, in
particular smaller breeds, cats, horses,
caged birds, poultry etc. This should be
done on lead and with the greyhound
muzzled.
Have the greyhound used to spending time loose in the back yard – pet homes do not
generally have kennels and runs.
Have the greyhound walking nicely on lead by your side.
Introduce him or her to strange people and particularly children under supervision.
Take him or her out on street walks to the park, past the local school or shopping centre or
beside busy roads.
Bring him or her into the house for short periods.
Introduce him or her to stairs and slippery floor surfaces like tiles, linoleum or polished
floorboards.
Decrease his exercise requirements. Most adoptive homes will not get up at 4.30am to walk
the greyhound, so start getting the greyhound ready for this!
Get some weight onto your greyhound as some dogs can initially be stressed at the changes
they’re experiencing and may lose weight. The fatter they are to start with, the better!
1
Examples of things you can do to assist your greyhound in preparing for the GAP pre-assessment and life
in a home environment from www.gapnsw.com.au
25
ANIMAL WELFARE
Once we accept that an animal is capable of suffering we must accept that its welfare matters. An
animal’s welfare status defines its quality of life. All animals seek and should be afforded a good
quality of life.
W HAT
IS ANIMAL WELFAR E ?
Animal welfare refers to the physical and emotional state of an animal as it lives within its
environment.
Animal welfare is measured along a spectrum from very poor welfare to very good welfare.
A NIMAL W ELFARE S PECTRUM
Very poor
Poor
Good
Very Good
Poor welfare is minimised by avoiding factors that cause suffering or compromise welfare.
Good welfare requires welfare enhancing factors.
The welfare of an animal is determined by its capacity and ability to avoid suffering and sustain
fitness which can be shortened to “good welfare = fit and feeling good”.
H OW
HAS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF ANIMAL WELFARE CHANGED ?
Animal welfare obligations and expectations have evolved over time. Early animal welfare laws
simply prohibited acts of cruelty to animals. However, this very limited view of welfare did not
recognise the many other factors that are required for a good life. These factors were better
recognised when welfare expectations shifted to not only include the prevention of malicious
cruelty but also the minimisation of suffering through the avoidance of unpleasant states such as
fear, pain, hunger, distress, stress, injury and disease. This is reflected in the provisions of the “Five
Freedoms” which were first developed by a UK government review of farm animal welfare in 1965.
The “Five Freedoms” reflect basic minimum standards for animal welfare.
T HE F IVE F REEDOMS
1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition by ready access to fresh water and a
diet to maintain full health and vigour
2. Freedom from discomfort by providing a suitable environment including shelter and
a comfortable resting area
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease by prevention or by rapid diagnosis and
treatment
4. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions that avoid mental suffering
5. Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities
and company of the animal’s own kind
More recently it has been recognised that freedom from unpleasant experiences is not the same as
a life that provides for pleasant experiences. The latter is also required for good welfare. The
modern understanding of animal welfare recognises the need to actively provide and maximise
opportunities for positive and rewarding activities rather than simply avoiding negative ones.
It is now well accepted that that animals can suffer and that it matters to them how they are
treated. Accordingly, we as humans have an ethical “duty of care” towards the animals in our
control and this translates into a practical obligation to keep their welfare monitored and at
acceptable levels.
A SSESSING W ELFARE
Good welfare = fit and feeling good = healthy and has what it wants.
When considering an animal’s welfare you need to consider both its physical state (health, injury
and disease status) and its emotional state (is it frightened, anxious, frustrated or calm and
satisfied?). In general, animal welfare is good when the animals are healthy, growing and
reproducing well. However, it is clear that an animal can remain physically healthy while still
suffering due to fear, frustration or boredom. So this physical factor must not be used to judge
welfare alone. Welfare is also good when an animal has positive emotional experiences during its
interactions with other animals, people and the environment.
F IVE D OMAINS M ODEL
The Five Domains Model is a sophisticated approach you can use for understanding and assessing
the welfare of a greyhound. This model illustrates how compromises in an animal’s nutrition,
environment, health and behaviour can impact its mental state. As these five domains can overlap
and impact on the overall welfare status of individual animal, the Five Domains Model allows for a
broad assessment of animal welfare, as well as accounting for both negative and positive welfare
measures.
27
P HYSICAL /F UNCTIONAL D OMAINS
Domain 1
Nutrition
Water
deprivation
Food
deprivation
Malnutritio
n
Opportuniti
es to:
Eat
enjoyable
food
Chew and
work
at
food/bones
Domain 2
Environment
Temperature
extremes
Unpleasant
odour
Close
confinement
Monotony
Domain 3
Health
Opportuniti
es for:
Space
for
free
movement
Environmen
tal
variability/
interest
Disease
Injury
Underweight
Poor
fitness
Opportunit
ies for:
Good
fitness
Disease
prevention
Domain 4
Behaviour
Choices
restricted
Barren
environm
ent
No social
interactio
n
Opportunit
ies for:
Exploratio
n
Bonding
Challenges
Variation
and
engaging
choices
M ENTAL D OMAIN
Domain 5
Mental state
Negative
Thirst
Hunger
Nausea
Fear
Frustration
Positive
Pleasure
from
taste/smells
Negative
Discomfort
Positive
Comfort
Negative
Pain
Positive
Comfort
Negative
Loneliness
Positive
Calmness
Chilling
Relaxation
Weakness
Vitality
Helplessness
Playfulness
Satisfaction
from
chewing
Overheating
Nausea
Boredom
Secure
Boredom
Physical
exhaustion
High
functional
capacity
Pain
Confident
Anxiety
Satisfied
Frustration
Refreshed
Gastrointest
inal comfort
Breathlessn
ess
Distress
Animal Welfare
Status
Figure 1: The Five Domains of potential welfare compromise divided broadly into physical and mental domains.
Modified from Mellor and Reid (1994) and Mellor (2004)
RETIREMENT FROM RACING
G REYHOUNDS A S P ETS
The owner of the greyhound is
responsible and accountable for
all aspects of the greyhound’s
welfare throughout its lifecycle
and after, including retirement.
The Greyhounds As Pets
program or GAP is the industry
run program (of Greyhound Racing NSW) responsible for assessing, fostering and re-homing retired
racing Greyhounds or those not suited to life as a racing dog. It is also involved in the education of
the general public on the benefits of having a Greyhound as a pet.
There are many things you can do to assist your greyhounds in retirement. Over the course of a
greyhound’s life, it is important to prepare them for life outside of racing. This can be done in a
manner which does not negatively impact upon the potential success of their racing career and may
even assist in their performance. For example a well socialised dog that is not anxious is more likely
to perform to the best of their abilities as they are not frightened by the sights and sounds of the
racetrack and can relax in new surrounds, allowing them to learn and perform better. Early
exposure to many different situations and stimuli may make your greyhound more likely to become
a safe, adaptable and trusted family pet one day. Read Activities in
29
Retirement.
While waiting periods for dogs entering the program has significantly reduced over the last few
years, GAP is committed to reducing this period even further to improve the program for
participants. As such, GAP has decided to implement a new intake model. This model has
successfully been used for twelve months by Victoria’s Greyhound Adoption Program to reduce
initial waiting times for owners and trainers wishing to enter their greyhounds into the program.
A DOPTION : PRE - ASSESSMENT PROCESS
GAP is currently conducting pre-assessment sessions at the below venues:





Newcastle Greyhounds
Richmond Race Club
Dapto Race Club
Bathurst region (currently being trialled)
Tamworth region (currently being considered - TBA)
GAP does not conduct pre-assessments on race or trial days/times.
The greyhound must present with the appropriate paperwork as well as their race papers/card, C5
vaccination certificate (to have been administered at least 10 days prior) and muzzle in order to be
pre-assessed on the day.
The greyhound will be assessed on the day by GAP staff.
If the dog is successful, it will enter the program and be
taken into the GAP kennels on that very same day. If the
dog is not successful on the day, GAP will provide
immediate feedback to the owner or trainer on what
sort of training the dog would need if there are
opportunities for possible re-assessment in the future.
The surrender fee of $50 will only be payable if the
greyhound is successful and accepted into the program
on the day of the pre-assessment. This can be paid by
cash, cheque or credit card on the day. If the dog has
already been desexed, then the surrender fee is waived.
The assessment procedure covers many things from general handling and leash manners through
to the most important parts of the assessment which include the Greyhound’s response to a small
dog moving about around (this is assess its prey drive) to have a level of prey drive present that
makes it a danger to other dogs, especially small dogs in the community, to be re-homed as a pet.
What can I do to give my retired greyhound the best chance of adoption as a pet?
Examples of things you can do to assist your greyhound in preparing for GAP assessment and life in
a home environment include:









Introduce him or her to other animals under controlled circumstances – cats, other dog
breeds, horses, caged birds, poultry etc. This should be done on lead and with the
greyhound muzzled.
Have the greyhound used to spending time loose in the back yard – pet homes do not
generally have kennels and runs.
Have the greyhound walking nicely on lead by your side.
Introduce him or her to strange people and particularly children under supervision.
Take him or her out on street walks to the park, past the local school or shopping centre or
beside busy roads.
Bring him or her into the house for short periods.
Introduce him or her to stairs and slippery floor surfaces like tiles, linoleum or polished
floorboards.
Decrease his exercise requirements. Most adoptive homes will not get up at 4.30am to walk
the greyhound, so start getting the greyhound ready for this!
Get some weight onto your greyhound as some dogs can initially be stressed at the changes
they’re experiencing and may lose weight. The fatter they are to start with, the better!
G REENHOUNDS
To provide a sustainable future for a racing
greyhound, it is necessary for transition them to
being domestic pets. Greenhounds is approved for
administering the in-home greyhound re-training
program.
Greenhounds is the only program in NSW to
facilitate the muzzling exemptions for retired racing
and pet greyhounds. Greenhounds is the sole NSW
body authorised to manage and issue green collars
under the Companion Animal Regulations.
NSW Rule
LR106 Greyhound no longer registered for
Greyhound Racing
Notification of Retirement
A retired racing greyhound approved for a muzzle
exemption with a Greenhound collar.
31
CHAPTER 3
WORK HEALTH AND S AFETY IN THE
GREYHOUND INDUSTRY
WHAT IS WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY?
In NSW there are rules that relate to safety in the workplace. The purpose of these rules is to ensure
a hazard-free and safe workplace for everyone. Although the Greyhound Industry is largely made up
of hobby-type trainers, they still have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for themselves
and anyone who might help them care for their dogs.
The rules make up the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety (WH&S)
Regulation 2011. If you are interested in reading this act, it can be downloaded from the New South
Wales website http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/law-and-policy/legislation-and-codes/work-healthand-safety-legislation.
The principles of health and safety involve the protection of employees, workers and the public
(who may be visiting the facility). The rules make those people responsible for controlling or
managing workplaces responsible for eliminating or reducing risks as far as is reasonable
practicable
33
So what does this mean for someone involved in the Greyhound Industry?
Work Health and Safety legislation requires you to provide a safe place to work as well as safe ways
of working. It also sets minimum standards that need to be met.
To provide a safe workplace, you will need to identify potential hazards and act to minimise their
risk or remove the risk completely.
What is a hazard?
A ‘hazard’ is anything that may injure or hurt you
or the greyhounds in your care.
It is essential for the safety of both the greyhounds
and the people working in, or visiting a greyhound
facility, that careful inspections are made on a
regular basis to check for and identify existing
and/or potential hazards. After identifying hazards
you must then act to rectify it before it causes an
accident where people or greyhounds are injured.
Even if you have a greyhound facility set up in
your backyard and you do not employ anyone to
help you, you must still provide a safe working
environment for yourself and any visitors you
might have.
An owner of a kennel facility is responsible for the
safety of any visitors, staff or un-paid assistants. The facility owner must ensure necessary training to
help them stay safe, and that you ensure everyone working in the kennels obeys the safety rules and
standards.
If you assist someone else with their greyhounds, or are present at one of the tracks, you also have
the duty to take reasonable care for your own health and safety. You are required to co-operate with
any instructions given by the owner/manager of the facility in regards to safety, and you have a
duty to make known any hazards that you identify.
IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL HAZARDS AT THE KENNELS
What things are likely to be hazardous in your Greyhound Facility?
Many things may constitute a hazard in a kennel facility:










slippery floors
wire or nails protruding from fences and gates
heavy items that need to be lifted
exposure to chemicals
obstructions in walkways and door ways
poor or faulty machinery
unsecured doors and gates
broken or damaged feed and water bowls
contaminated food
poorly-lit walkways
This is only a partial list and the potential hazards will depend on the set-up and level of maintenance
of the individual facility.
W ORK H EALTH & S AFETY AUDITS
It is suggested that you do a ‘Work Health and Safety Audit’ of your facility regularly. This means
walking around the facility and looking for hazards that might exist. For each area of the facility
(i.e. walkways, food preparation area, kennels, runs etc.) these potential hazards are then written
down, and an action plan is developed to try to minimise the risk or remove the risk completely.
Even if you don’t own or manage the facility, these are hazards that affect your workplace and put
your health and safety at risk.
This way you can document that you have identified a problem, have thought about how to fix it,
and can document that it has been fixed, or how the risk has been reduced. This way if anything
happens, you have written proof that you have been pro-active in preventing injury.
35
P REPARING
FOR E MERGENCIES
It is also necessary to have a think about what you would do if an incident were to happen at your
kennel facility. It is recommended that you have emergency phone numbers (doctor, ambulance, vet,
electricity company, etc.) clearly displayed in a prominent place close to the telephone.
A well-stocked First Aid Kit (clearly identified and easily accessible) is another good idea. There should
also be a record book attached to the First Aid Kit in which any injuries can be noted. Even if someone
at your kennel only needs to use a Band-Aid, this is classified as an injury, and it is important that any
hazards that contributed to the injury are identified and addressed.
You should also consider having smoke alarms and possibly a fire extinguisher (suited to electrical
fires) located where there is a risk of this type of fire (near kitchen facilities or hydrobaths).
P LANNING
FOR THE
WORST
All kennel facilities should also have an Evacuation Plan for times where you might need to evacuate
your kennel facility and go to a safe place. This might include assembly areas, a way of making sure
all staff and assistants know to evacuate, and a plan for what will need to happen with the
greyhounds that need to be evacuated.
Everyone who regularly works at your facility should be aware of the Evacuation Plan and what to do
in the case of an emergency.
Do I need to know about this? I just help out at the kennels...
Even if you are not ‘employed’ to assist with a trainer and his greyhounds, you still have some
obligations under the law.



You must tell the person responsible for the
facility if you are injured, involved in an
accident, or have a ‘near-miss’.
You must follow any safety instructions
given, use protective clothing where
required, and report any hazards you
might notice.
You should find out what the procedures
are for dealing with accidents and injuries,
and be clear on your responsibilities during
an emergency.
The motor of a mechanical lure housed in
corrugated iron on a trial track.
How does WH&S apply at the race track?
The rules of Work Health and Safety also apply to Greyhound Race Tracks. The Clubs are responsible for
providing a safe workplace. Corporations and Associations are required under the law to assess their
workplaces for safety, and will have safety protocols and procedures to ensure everyone who visits the
track – trainers, the public, stewards and staff – are safe.
All Clubs have a set of safe operating rules and prepared emergency plans for all contingencies.
There will be staff who are responsible for ensuring that emergency plans are initiated if need
be, and there will be designated First Aid staff and people in charge of different sections/areas in
the case of an emergency.
What is my role at the track?
As a visitor to the track, you are responsible for reporting any potential hazards to a member of staff.
This may be broken or damaged equipment (such as fences, starting boxes, kennels, gates etc.) or other
hazards such as unsafe footing, spills, or even lights that are no longer working.
You must also follow any instructions in regard to safe working practices that are given to you
by a member of staff.
If you are injured, or have a near miss you must also inform staff at the track. This allows them
to meet their requirements of identifying and reporting hazards, and ensures that they can act on
the information to prevent anyone else suffering a similar injury.
37
What sort of hazards might be found at the track?
Many of the hazards at the track are similar to
those that you will have identified at your own
facility. Lighting, slippery floors, lifting heavy
weights (such as lifting a greyhound up onto the
vet’s examination table) and fences or gates that
might have become broken or damaged are all
potential hazards in this environment.
At the track you also have all of the machinery and
equipment associated with the lure. Starting boxes,
running rails, and the catching pen area can all pose
potential hazards. In fact the catching pen may be
one of the most dangerous areas on the track if
sensible safety protocols are not adhered to. Being
in a restricted space with eight greyhounds that are
slowing from full speed, and are full of the
excitement of the chase can be very dangerous.
Add to this the lure passes through the catching
pen just before the dogs, and you could easily have
an accident. That is why catchers must not enter
the pen until it is safe to do so.
A Track Curator levels and smoothes the loam
surface of a race track at The Gardens Race Track.
Who should I report a hazard to?
It really depends on what sort of hazard you have
detected, and where it is. You should notify the
kennel supervisor, the track staff or Club Manager
depending where then hazard is located and what
is involved.
The fences and gates of a racetrack need ongoing
maintenance by Club Staff to ensure the safety of
Greyhound Attendants.
CHAPTER 4
GREYHOUND B ASICS
39
IDENTIFYING A GREYHOUND
It is vital to the integrity of the racing industry that each greyhound can be identified to ensure that
the right dog is presented for a race, and that races are legitimate and fair. There are a number of
ways of identifying a greyhound, with different methods being used for different situations.
A greyhound’s registration papers list the sex, colour, markings, microchip number and ear brands of
the greyhound, along with its racing name, card number, sire dam and date of birth.
At the track, a greyhound will be identified by the stewards by its colour, markings and ear brands. At
home in a small kennel, you may simply use the dog’s pet/kennel name. In larger kennels, where
there are a lot of greyhounds that may be similar colours and sizes, any distinctive markings might be
used, or you may have to check the ear brands to make sure you have the correct dog.
When disputes occur about parentage, greyhounds can also be identified by their DNA
(Deoxyribonucleic Acid). DNA stays constant throughout life, and is as individual as a fingerprint in
humans. It is a requirement that all breeding stock (Stud Dogs and Brood Bitches) in Australia have a
DNA sample taken. All registered brood bitches need to be DNA tested prior to being served
(inseminated). This means that there is now a vast Australian database of DNA profiles from many
greyhounds.
T ERMINOLOGY
FOR I DENTIFICATION
S EX
The correct terms are ‘dog’ for a male greyhound, and ‘bitch’ for a female greyhound.
C OLOUR
Greyhounds come in many colours, with the most common colours being Black (BK), Blue (BE), Fawn
(F), Brindle (BD), or one of these colours in combination with white. There are also White (W)
greyhounds.
When describing the colour, the most predominant colour is usually listed first – i.e. Black and White
suggests a greyhound that is more black than white. The colour refers to the main body colour(s).
The white must extend to more than just the feet and chest of the dog to be listed as a colour. So a
black dog with two white toes on each foot will still be called ‘black’.
It is important that you know what each colour looks like so that you can identify the correct dog. If
a trainer asked you to get the ‘small brindle bitch’ from the trailer, you would want to return with
the correct greyhound.
Refer to the next page for a colour chart; however there are many more colour combinations.
M ARKINGS
The markings refer to the pattern of colour on the body of the dog and any unique marks or
features. The placement, shape and size of any coloured patches are important in identifying a
greyhound. Registration papers are no longer issues by GRNSW. Once the greyhound is named
an identification card is sent to the owner/trainer, which shows the name, earbrand, card
number, microchip number, whelped date, colour, sex, sire, dam and any distinguishing
features e.g. markings.
Any unusual features, such as a missing toe, or shortened tail will also be noted, as these are part of
the unique identity of the greyhound.
E AR B RANDS
In NSW greyhounds are branded with a set of letters in the
greyhound’s left ear.
e.g. NAXYZ
N - being state
A – being year first year 2011, B second year
AAA – the next three digits will be sequential
Each pup in a litter is given an ear brand and microchipped,
and this is recorded, along with its colour, sex and markings
on the Litter Registration form.
Ear brands from other states may differ in format, but many start with a letter indicating the state in
which the greyhound was born – i.e. ‘Q’ for Queensland, ‘S’ for South Australia
41
M ICROCHIPS
NSW Rule
R111 Appointment and duties of marking,
micro-chipping and ear-branding officials.
R111A Greyhound to be micro-chipped
A microchip is a small device placed under the skin of the greyhound along the centre of the back or
neck between the shoulder blades. The microchip comes in a sterile needle which is injected into
place. Each microchip holds a unique 15-digit number which is dormant and read when scanned by
an externally powered scanner. The microchip holds no other information.
Greyhound pups are micro-chipped and ear branded between the age of 12 and 16 weeks. The
microchip implantation is done by GRNSW Integrity Officers and veterinarians.
P ET N AME /R ACING N AME
Before a greyhound can race or be used as a breeding animal, they must be ‘officially’ named. Racing
names are approved by Greyhounds Australasia, although the application to name a greyhound is
submitted to the state controlling body. Usually a number of possible names are chosen, as it is not
always possible to have your first choice. Names are restricted to 16 letters (including spaces or
punctuation such as apostrophes) and there is a maximum of three words. There are strict guidelines
about decency and what the name can and cannot include. You can read the Greyhounds Australasia
rules about naming at their website www.galtd.org.au. Greyhounds Australasia also checks that the
name in not currently in use (so two dogs do not end up with the same racing name).
Greyhounds are not officially named prior to 12 months of age and until the time they are ready to
race (at least 16 months old) and will often be assigned a kennel/pet name well before this time. This
is a simple name that is used to identify the greyhound around the kennel.
43
APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT
Greyhounds are quite unique in their physical shape. They generally have quite strong, thick necks and
small heads. This means that it is easy for a greyhound to slip out of a collar if it is not fitted correctly.
Greyhounds are also big, strong dogs (with males often weighing in excess of 35kg); when they get
excited and want to chase they can be quite hard to control.
There is a host of equipment designed specifically for greyhounds. However, whatever equipment
you use, you need to be familiar in fitting it and maintaining it in good condition.
L EADS & C OLLARS
Greyhound collars are usually made of leather, are quite thick and are designed to fit high up on the
neck of the greyhound. The most common design is one that buckles up around the dog’s neck, and has a
lead attached.
There are other styles of collar, such as a martingale collar, which slips over the greyhound’s head and
has a loop of chain or fabric that allows the collar to tighten if the lead goes tight. This style of collar
is more commonly used on pet greyhounds.
If made of leather, the lead and collar must be checked regularly for cracking, and to ensure any
rivets or stitching are secure. Care must be taken if the leather gets wet, as this can weaken the
leather, or cause it to become brittle. Leather care includes regularly oiling or treating the
leather with a suitable leather product.
You also need to store your leads and collars safely away from your greyhounds. If left lying around,
they may get damaged or exposed to weather, or might be chewed and ruined by the greyhounds – an
expensive result either way.
F ITTING
A GREYHO UND COLLAR
When fitting a greyhound collar it is vital that you tighten the collar directly below the greyhounds
head – not further down its neck. If you fit the collar down the dog’s neck, it will be too loose and
may simply slip off.
Collars should fit firmly, with just room for a finger or two to be placed underneath. The collar should
sit at the very top of the greyhound’s neck, and should look like it would not slip over the dog’s head.
Some greyhounds slip out of collars, so make sure the collar is fitted right and also be aware that
when a greyhound backs up, it has the highest chance of slipping the collar. If the dog is also wearing
a muzzle, this will be removed as the collar comes over the head. If the greyhound gets to run
around and have a good time after slipping its collar, it will try this strategy again in the future.
If you get into a situation where the dog is trying to slip its collar, by backing up and shaking its head
from side to side, lower your end of the lead as close as possible to the ground. This shifts the buckle
to below the dog’s chin, and makes it much harder for the greyhound to get free by slipping the
collar.
M U ZZLES
It is a requirement under the law that all
greyhounds are muzzled in public. Only
greyhounds that have successfully
passed
through
the
Greyhound
Adoption Program and have been
awarded a special green GAP collar are
deemed under law to be allowed to walk
in public without a muzzle. The most
common type of muzzle used is the wire
‘racing’ muzzle that slips over the
greyhounds face and is held in place by a
loop of wire behind the dog’s ears. Wire
greyhound muzzles come in different
sizes and are usually colour coded to
indicate the size.
It is important that any muzzle fits correctly so that it is neither too small, nor too loose. There
should be approximately 2-2.5 cm clear of the nose. Because they are made of wire, the
muzzle can then be shaped to fit the greyhound by bending the nose strap, neck strap, or sides
of the muzzle to fit.
There are other styles of muzzle, including the ‘American’ muzzle which is a heavier design of
muzzle. These are sometime used to prevent greyhounds chewing their bedding at the track,
or when stronger protection is required. These muzzles are often made of heavy duty plastic
with a single adjustable neck strap, but can also be made of leather.
45
U SE OF BARKING MUZZLES AT NSW RACETRACKS
Barking muzzles are no longer permitted at NSW racetracks.
Their use is a risk to the dog’s health and welfare as:
-
They have the potential to limit panting and heat exchange;
By restricting the opening of the mouth there is risk of aspiration of vomits;
They do not alleviate the underlying reason for barking and as such risk increasing a dog’s
anxiety and frustration.
Use of barking muzzles to attempt to reduce the dog’s energy expenditure prior to racing can not
be justified on animal welfare grounds and fails to recognise that the greyhound may experience
increased distress by restricting its ability to perform a behaviour that can be a coping mechanism
(a displacement behaviour). This may have consequences for performance as well as welfare.
American style muzzles allowing the dog normal opening of the mouth are, at this point, permitted
as a means to prevent a dog chewing at an enclosure but must be checked by a vet before
kennelling.
These recommendations align with the RSPCA muzzle policy as follows:
RSPCA Policy A07 Companion animal management
7.5.6 Muzzles
7.5.6.1 RSPCA Australia believes that muzzles should not be used as a routine
management procedure as they restrict dogs’ natural behaviour and serve no
practical purpose for the majority of dogs.
7.5.6.2 The use of muzzles should be based on the behaviour of each individual
dog. Where muzzling devices are used, they must:
only be worn for short periods of time where the dog is under constant
supervision
be properly fitted to ensure they do not cause injury, pain or distress
N OSE STRAPS/HEADC HECKS
allow the dog to undertake normal activities such as panting and drinking (the
Nose
straps
are often
to help
walkfor
strong,
or
only
exception
is used
muzzles
used
veterinary
clinical examinations).
excitable greyhounds. Acting like a halter on a
horse, they give better head control, and can
reduce the amount of pulling a greyhound can
generate. Nose straps are often called ‘Head
Collars’ by the public and there are many brands
and designs on the market.
A nose-strap muzzle.
If a greyhound is particularly difficult to handle at the track, you can ask permission of the stewards to
parade the dog in either a nose strap or head check, but they must first approve the piece of
equipment you plan to use, and endorse it. This endorsement will go on the dog’s racing certificate,
(‘dog to be paraded in nose strap’) and you must apply again to have the endorsement removed if
you chose not to use the piece of equipment at a later stage.
V ISORS
National Rule
R36 Blinkers
Sometimes sand and grit gets kicked up behind in
a racing greyhound, particularly if they are racing
in a tight. Sometimes trainers will remove this
after a race. Another option is a visor.
B LINKERS
Occasionally a trainer will apply to the stewards to
have a greyhound race in blinkers, similar to blinkers
worn by horses during races. The idea is to try to
help prevent a dog turning its head (marring) during
a race, but experience shows they rarely achieve
this.
Similar to head checks and nose straps, you must
apply to the stewards to use blinkers and your dog’s
record will be endorsed accordingly after a
satisfactory ‘blinker trial’. If you chose to remove
them, you will have to apply again to have the
endorsement removed.
R ACING R UGS
A nose-strap muzzle.
Number
Rug Number & Colour
Box #
Numeral
Rug colour
A greyhound, other than a reserve greyhound,
drawn to start from a box number wears the
numeral and rug colour specified in Column 2 of
the table opposite the box number so specified.
1
1
Red
2
2
Black and white stripes
3
3
White
4
4
Blue
5
5
Yellow
A reserve greyhound shall wear the numerals and
rug colours specified in relation thereto in the table
to this rule.
6
6
Brown
7
7
Black
8
8
Pink
Reserve
9
Green and white stripes
Reserve
10
Red, white and blue stripes
47
GETTING A
GREYHOUND OUT OF THE KENNEL , CAR OR TRAILER
Most greyhounds are quite responsive to people, and will come to the front of the kennel when
called. If you are not familiar with the greyhound you must collect, always make sure that you
watch its body language carefully. Some greyhounds get very excited to be going out and will jump
up on people and can potentially scratch or knock you off balance. More timid greyhounds may not
want to approach and may retreat to the back of the kennel, forcing you to go in to get them.
Before you open any kennel door it is a good idea to make sure that other doors and gates behind
you are closed. This way if a greyhound does escape, at least they cannot get too far, and are less
likely to hurt themselves or get in trouble. Remember scared dogs will try to run, so be prepared for
quick movements and try to anticipate what the dog will do so you can prevent it from hurting itself
or you. If you have to go into a kennel to catch a greyhound make sure you shut the gate behind you
and latch it so the greyhound can’t simply run past you and out the door.
Before you allow the greyhound out of its kennel or the car or trailer, you must first ensure that its
collar and lead are securely fastened. If you are out in public, the greyhound’s muzzle will also need
to be securely fitted. When you are happy the dog is under control, the next step is to check behind
yourself and make sure there are no other dogs, vehicles or obstacles in the way, before stepping
back and letting the greyhound out.
When getting greyhounds out of a vehicle, you need to be especially careful that there are no
dangers. If a greyhound was to escape onto a road the result could be tragic. You can usually use
your body to block the exit until you have the dog under control and safely leashed, whether you are
getting it out from a berth of the trailer, or out of the backseat of the car. Be especially careful with
station wagons that have the lift up hatch. By the time you can reach the dogs, they may have had
ample opportunity to escape by shooting out through the gap.
W ALKING
A G REYH OUND
SAFELY
Most greyhounds are taught to walk nicely on the lead and welcome their daily walks. The main
problems occur when the dog gets excited and wants to jump around or chase. You need to be
constantly aware of what is going on in your environment as you walk a greyhound. Other dogs,
rabbits, birds and even traffic movement can excite some greyhounds. Ensure you are alert to your
surroundings and what you might be approaching. This means you will be prepared to control the
dog, or you might decide to change direction and walk away before the dog(s) react.
G REYHOUNDS IN P UBLIC
When out in public it is a law that you must not be in control of more than four greyhounds, but in
reality, very few people could control four greyhounds at once if they decided to chase something. It
is much safer to limit yourself to two greyhounds at a time as long as they are compatible and are
well trained to walk on lead. If you have a particularly excitable greyhound, or one just learning its
lead manners, it is probably safer to walk it on its own.
Remember that the shorter the lead, the better the
National Rule
control you will have. Sometimes you may need to
R108 Prevention of greyhound straying
R109 Control of a greyhound in a public
hold onto the dog’s collar directly to maintain
place.
control. If they have a lot of leash, greyhounds can
accelerate to quite a speed before hitting the end of
the leash and this can lead to neck damage or other injuries.
Some trainers will try to get a little more control by looping the lead around the dog’s chest or belly
(behind the front legs) and holding the lead short. This added ‘body support’ may help to increase
control, especially if the dog is likely to jump forward suddenly.
T RANSPORTING Y OUR G REYHOUND
Greyhound racing clubs and tracks are located all over NSW, so it is inevitable that you will have to
travel some distance to participate in the sport. Some participants travel up to 300 kilometres to
attend race meeting, so be prepared for extensive road travel. If you have a particularly successful
racer you may even consider travelling the dog to interstate venues to contest the bigger Group
races. Many greyhounds are shipped interstate via air transport rather than have them spend days
in transit on the road.
Even without entering your greyhounds in races at distant tracks, there is still going to be regular
travel to the trial track, veterinary clinic, or the slipping track. It is essential that your greyhounds
arrive in the same condition that they left home in. No one wants to spend a lot of time and money
on feeding and conditioning their dogs to have them arrive exhausted, dehydrated or injured.
49
T YPES OF T RANSPORT
Given the ‘hobby’ nature of most trainers in NSW,
the family car is often the transport of choice. This
is suitable for one or two greyhounds, but makes
travelling larger numbers of dogs almost
impossible. There is no facility to keep dogs
separated, either from each other or from other
passengers, unless you install a crate or cage in the
car.
A Greyhound travelling in a modified family car.
T RAILERS
For transporting larger numbers of greyhounds,
most trainers choose to use a dog trailer (also
called a dog ‘float’). These attach to the tow-bar
of the car like any other trailer, and vary in size
from small 2 or 3 berth trailers through to much
larger sizes that have 8 or more berths. The size of
the berths, width of the trailer and features may
vary, but they provide a safe way to travel large
numbers of greyhounds. Each berth is separated
from the others with wire mesh, and has two doors – Aan van
outside,
lockablefitted-out
door, and
an inside
is especially
with
cages wire
for
Greyhound transportation.
door.
Trailers typically have plenty of ventilation,
including ‘spinners’ on the top which encourage
airflow through the berths. It is important that the
ventilation can be controlled, and that rain does
not enter the berths if the weather is inclement.
Given the trailer is towed immediately behind the
car, it is also important that the ventilation is
designed not to draw exhaust fumes into the trailer.
Given the constant ventilation, trailers are often
much cooler than the interior of a car in summer.
This is because they do not have the glass that a
car does, and they are usually white in colour
which reflects a lot of the heat.
A dog trailer for 6 Greyhounds.
T HINGS TO C ONSIDER DURING TRAVEL
A IR QUALITY
The quality of the air we breathe does have an effect on us, and it certainly can affect the
performance of a racing greyhound – both short-term and long-term. Under no circumstances
should a racing greyhound be forced to breathe cigarette smoke. If you do need to have a smoke,
and the greyhound is travelling in the car with you, pull over and get out whilst you do it.
Exhaust fumes are also very toxic, both to humans and dogs. Carbon monoxide, in particular
poses a problem as it binds to the red blood cells in the blood and prevents them from carrying
much needed oxygen to the body. This can affect the performance of a racing animal by lowering
the supply of oxygen to the muscles. You must take care not to draw exhaust fumes either into
your car or into the dog trailer. This may mean not using the re-circulation function of your car’s
air-conditioner where there is a risk of trapping exhaust in the system, or making sure the flaps
that face forward on your dog trailer are securely closed whilst you travel.
G REYHOUND C OMFORT
Ideally, the trip from your kennels to the track
should be a restful one. Greyhounds are quite
thin-skinned, and at racing weight, do not have
much excess body fat as ‘padding’. For this reason
it is important that they are provided with enough
bedding to keep them warm, comfortable and to
protect them from the jolts and bumps associated
with travel. The bedding also provides an insulation
against heat from the road (especially in trailers
with metal flooring), or from the cold.
Bedding should be clean and dry, and of a
reasonable thickness to protect the body from
jarring. Some dogs will tear at or chew at bedding,
which can make providing safe bedding a
challenge, but you will soon find something that
they will tolerate. Sometimes layers of towels or
blankets may be safer than foam style bedding.
Typically the bedding in a float or trailer will need
to be thicker than bedding used inside a car due to
the increase ‘bounce’ of the ride.
A Greyhound travelling in a car should have
bedding and fresh water.
51
T EMPERATURE
Greyhounds require roughly the same temperature
range as people. They can tolerate short periods
where the temperature moves outside their comfort
range, but exposure to long periods of excessively
hot or cold weather is very stressful. Greyhounds
cool themselves by panting – moving air quickly
over the air passages, tongue and mouth to
promote evaporative cooling. They cannot sweat
like humans, although a small amount of sweating
occurs on their footpads.
Because they rely on evaporative cooling, they need
a good flow of air to keep moving the moisture
away. Any increase in humidity can adversely affect
their cooling mechanism. Having a greyhound
panting in the enclosed space of a car for any length
of time will increase the humidity due to the
evaporated water being trapped in the cabin of the
car. Once the humidity rises, the greyhound can no
longer effectively cool itself, and its body temperature
will start to rise. This is why good airflow, even if it is
warm air, is vital in the car.
A Greyhound wears his kennel bedding while
waiting for a vet check on race day.
Greyhounds cooling in an old bath tub after a run in
a paddock.
The use of evaporative cooling also means that in hot weather greyhounds can lose quite a bit of fluid
simply through maintaining body temperature. If the weather is very hot and you have to travel
for a number of hours, it is quite possible for the greyhound to suffer some degree of dehydration
unless you pay careful attention to providing water (possibly mixed with electrolytes) during the
trip.
Ideally, the cabin of the car should be air-conditioned as this helps to maintain a comfortable
temperature for everyone. If your car is not air-conditioned, then adjusting windows and vents to
ensure a constant flow of air through the cabin is required. Be careful when first getting into the car
as the temperature will be very high until air-conditioning or airflow has had a chance to cool the
car’s interior. It may be possible to assist with cooling by having the greyhound sit on a wet towel, or
by placing ice in a non-tip tray or bucket near the greyhound so it can lick the ice, and can breathe
the cooled air. Drinking water can also be cooled with ice. At rest stops, the vehicle should be parked
in the shade, and time can be taken to cool the greyhound with water splashed onto its belly area,
or by placing a wet towel or cooling vest on the greyhound.
GRNSW H OT W EATHER P OLICY
Race meetings normally continue to run regardless of the weather. GRNSW does have a Hot Weather
Policy that is available from the GRNSW website www.thedogs.com.au. Under the GRNSW Hot
Weather Policy Stewards may allow a greyhound to be withdrawn from an event without penalty
where:



The temperature is forecast to be above 38 degrees Celsius; and
A participant has no air conditioning facility available for the transport; or
A participant has a journey exceeding an hour to get to the racetrack.
Scratchings must be received by the normal scratching time, and a trainer must scratch ALL of
his/her greyhounds nominated at that meeting (not just select which to race).
On days of extreme heat, the greyhounds are kept in the air-conditioned kennels for as long as
possible, and are not paraded for the public. Instead they are walked straight to the boxes for the
start. After they race, they are hosed off with cool water, and then put back into the air-conditioned
kennels to assist with cooling.
R EST STOPS
When travelling with greyhounds it is important to allow adequate time for rest stops. All greyhounds
should be emptied out prior to being placed in the car or trailer, then every couple of hours should be
given a chance to stretch their legs and go to the toilet. These stops also give the driver a chance to
relax and freshen up, and the greyhounds can be offered
a drink.
In warm weather, every attempt should be made to pullup in a shaded area so that the vehicle does not get hot.
In colder weather, care must be taken to keep the
greyhound warm and dry wherever possible.
If you are travelling with young dogs, then rest stops
need to be more frequent. Younger dogs are usually
not quite as reliable toilet-wise and it is much better to
have a couple of extra stops than to have to clean up a
wet or dirtied bed. Most greyhounds will not soil their
own bed but it may be unavoidable it if they have
been confined for far too long.
A Greyhound that is being transported in a
car should get some rest breaks to empty
and drink fresh water,
Every council in NSW has local by-laws about the removal of dog waste, so it is important that you
carry a supply of plastic ‘poo-bags’ and pick-up after your dogs.
53
F OOD & W ATER
It is important that your greyhounds do not dehydrate during travel. Offering frequent small drinks
of water or water and electrolytes will go a way to preventing this. Be careful with the use of
electrolytes as too much may actually further dehydrate the dog due to increasing salt levels. If your
greyhound is reluctant to drink, sometimes splashing a small amount of milk into the water may
encourage them. When travelling it is often a good idea to take your own water, as this means you
will always have a good supply which will minimise the risks of tummy upsets due to changes in
water.
If your trip is a long one, you might also need to take food for your greyhound. This might be a small
‘snack’ after racing to help replace the energy they have lost, or may be full meals if you plan to be
away for a number of days. Beware that some dogs will vomit if they are fed too close to travel time,
so try to feed the dog well before you leave.
P OOR T RAVELLERS
Many greyhounds take a while to get used to travelling. The more anxious a greyhound is, the more
likely they are going to find travel stressful. It is best to gradually introduce the greyhound to travel,
preferably at a young age. Short pleasant trips, with careful, considerate driving can help habituate
young dogs to the movement. If the trip has a pleasant outcome – such as a walk, or a gallop at the
slipping track – this will also help. Conversely, if every time the greyhound travels there is an
unpleasant consequence (i.e. trips to the vet, rough car rides that lead to vomiting), they soon
anticipate bad things and will start to show signs of stress even before they get into the vehicle.
Some greyhounds are not good travellers no matter what you try. Some dogs truly get motion
sickness. For these dogs the problems associated with the loss of fluids from drooling and panting
(even in colder weather), loss of electrolytes and energy from barking and restlessness, and the
nausea from vomiting mean they may be unable to race. Dogs that are dehydrated, stressed or
nauseous are unlikely to be able to perform to the best of their ability, and may be predisposed to
bigger problems if raced in this condition.
These dogs often need medical intervention to help them relax during travel. After a number of
relaxed trips they will often become better travellers. You will need to ask your greyhound
veterinarian about the various options for poor travellers.
Many of the medications used to assist with travel sickness will return a positive swab if
used, so you will need to resolve the travelling issues well before the dog is ready to
race.
A IR T RAVEL
If you have to travel your dog interstate, you may
choose to send it with a road transport company,
or might prefer to ship it by air.
Air travel has its own set of issues, but is by far the
quickest way to get a dog interstate. Dogs are
travelled in crates as freight in the cargo area of
the plane. There are usually a restricted number
of places for dogs, and some airlines do not carry
animals at all.
When travelling a dog by air there is the option to
use your own crate or to hire one from a shipping
company. Air travel crates must meet strict IATA
Guidelines (a copy can be obtained from the
airlines). The cost of travelling a dog by air is usually
calculated on the weight of the dog (along with the
crate and bedding) or the volume of the crate, or a
combination of both.
A Greyhound being sent overseas by specialised
Animals that are flying need to be lodged with the animal flight service, JetPets.
airline freight department about an hour and a half
before the flight. This can pose a problem if the flight is then delayed, as the dog will be locked into
its crate for the entire time. Animal are generally loaded last, and taken off the plane first, but then
have to be shipped to the freight area for pick-up.
Travel by air is generally not recommended during the hotter parts of the day in summer as the dog
and crate may sit on the hot tarmac waiting to be loaded. Early morning or night flights are often
preferred. If travelling for a particular event, it might also be advisable to travel a day or two in
advance to allow the greyhound time to settle and recover from the flight. Some dogs are not
bothered by air travel, but some dogs will stress a little, and you do not want this to affect your dog’s
performance in a big race.
Air travel can be arranged by special Animal Transport companies who will book the flights, provide a
hire crate, as well as drop –off and pick-up the dog. This is often easier than trying to organise the
flights yourself.
55
CHAPTER 5
RACE D AY
PREPARATION AND PRESENTATION FOR KENNELLING
What happens on Race Day?
On Race Day there are a lot of things going on. It is
essential that everyone knows what is required of
them so that the program can run smoothly and
the races can start on time. The ‘Steward-inCharge’ is the person responsible for everything
that happens at the race meeting.
Attendants may be responsible for presenting a
greyhound, so it is important that you are aware of
exactly what you have to do and where you have
to be at a particular time. Depending on the
number of races on the program, there may be
more than 80 greyhounds arriving at the track
kennels in a very short time. These greyhounds
need to be individually vet checked, weighed and
their papers inspected by the stewards all in the
short space of 45 minutes.
Who does what?
A Trainer presents his GRNSW licence and the
Greyhound’s papers to the Club Steward.
There are many roles filled on race day. There are people who are responsible for every aspect of the
race meeting, ensuring the meeting runs smoothly and that the greyhounds are given every chance
of performing at their best.









Stewards are responsible for ensuring the rules of greyhound racing are adhered to
Race Club Staff are responsible for ensuring that spectators are suitably catered for,
ensuring adequate betting facilities are in place, and organising the presentation of any
trophies or awards
Track Staff are responsible for maintaining the track and equipment for racing
Kennel Staff are responsible for the security and welfare of the greyhounds
Track Veterinarian is responsible for the welfare of the greyhounds including prerace examination of greyhounds to ensure they are fit to race, providing first aid for
injured greyhounds, post-race examinations and drug sampling of greyhounds at the
request of the stewards.
Starter is responsible for ensuring races start on time under the direction of the stewards
Lure Driver is responsible for driving the mechanical lure
Judge is responsible for judging the place getters in each race
Trainers/Attendants are responsible for preparing and parading the greyhounds
57
HANDLING A GREYHOUND – AT THE TRACK
Whether you are at the track to trial your
greyhound(s) or for a race meet, you will need to be
able to adequately control them. The rules of racing
state that for a race meeting, there needs to be at
least one person for every four greyhounds to be
presented and raced, and that when parading,
boxing or catching, that there is only one
greyhound under the control of each person.
National Rule
R27 Control of greyhound on raceground
R28 Unauthorised person not to enter
kennels or handle greyhound
Handling a greyhound at the track can often pose
some new problems. There are lots of other
greyhounds, many of which are excited. These
greyhounds are unfamiliar to your dog, and may
be intimidating (especially if your dog is nervous
or shy). There are a lot of people moving about
and making noise, many of whom are oblivious to
what is happening around them or what their
dogs are doing. It is up to you to stay on top of
the situation, and keep a close eye on what is
happening around your greyhound so that you
can step in to prevent any problems from
developing.
Race day Attendants parade Greyhounds.
A Race day Attendant keeps a firm hold on the
Greyhound during the weighing-in process.
Often the biggest excitement is the sound of the
lure going around. Many dogs will jump up and down, lunge forward, bark and carry on at the
sound of the lure passing by. For this reason it is best that you do not just stand around near the
track unless you need to. Some dogs perform better if they are allowed to see and hear the lure
prior to a race, but this is the only time that you want the dog excited – not whilst you are waiting
for it to be kennelled.
Dogs that are going to run a trial can be kept away from the track until it is their turn to run. You
can walk around the car-park, or leave the dog in the trailer or car if needed, but be aware that some
dogs can ‘load-up’ with excitement even here, and may cause damage to the vehicle or themselves
as they try to get out to chase the lure.
ON
THE TRACK
On race day, you are required to parade the
greyhound in front of the public, and then walk the
greyhound to the starting boxes. Not only will your
handling skills be on display to the public, and
other trainers, you may also be shown on the
television coverage of the race. You need to have
good control of your greyhound at all times.
When parading you are expected to take your
place in number order according to the box your
greyhound has drawn, so it is important that you
know which dog you will be following. Make sure Race day Officials parading greyhounds before their
you leave enough space between your dog and the race at Wentworth Park.
one in front, so that if your greyhound decides to
leap forward it will not make contact with the greyhound in front.
E NERGETIC & E XCITABLE G REYHOUNDS
If your greyhound is particularly energetic, the
first thing to do is ensure that your lead is short,
and that you have any excess safely looped so that
no one gets tangled. If the dog is still very difficult
to control, taking it by the collar directly will
usually be enough to settle it and make sure that
it does not bounce around. You could also try
looping the lead around the chest of the dog or
under its belly, and holding the loop firmly along
with the dog’s collar.
If the dog is continually difficult, or you are small
or slight in build, then you may find that a nose
strap or head check may help, although you will
need to seek approval to use these on race day
from the stewards. It may pay to try them at home,
or at the trial track before deciding whether they
might help you.
A race-day attendant holds the greyhound’s lead
close to the collar to maintain control of an
excitable greyhound.
59
E XPECTED S TANDARDS OF B EHAVIOUR
In whichever industry you work, your behaviour and appearance is a direct reflection on that
industry. The greyhound industry is a multi-million dollar industry that attracts a lot of publicity and
as such there are expected standards of dress and behaviour for all industry participants, particularly
on race day.
S TANDARDS
OF DRESS
If you are engaged at a race meeting as a Trainer, Attendant or Catcher, you must comply to the
following dress code:



Black or dark blue ankle length trousers
Black or dark socks
Black shoes boots or gumboots
The rules also specifically prohibit the wearing of the following items:





Overalls or tracksuit pants of any description
Any item of denim clothing
Track shoes or high-heeled shoes of any description
Anything that is in the opinion of the stewards to be offensive or inappropriate (this extends
to headwear/hats)
Any other item of clothing that the Board may determine from time-to-time
If you do not comply with the dress code, you will not be allowed to parade, handle or act as a
catcher of a greyhound for the duration of the meeting unless you can change your attire to meet
the requirements. The stewards may then nominate another person to act as your substitute to
parade, handle or catch your greyhound.
P UNCTUALITY
It is very important that you are on time for a race meeting. Greyhound races run like clockwork, so it
is your responsibility to ensure any greyhounds in your care are ready and at the right place at the
right time.
To ensure that you arrive on time, you need to allow adequate travel time to reach the track. If you
are travelling long distances, you will also have to factor in any stops that may be necessary for either
you or your greyhounds. It is always better to arrive a little early, than to be running late.
Kennelling of greyhounds usually starts about an hour and a half before the start of the first race and
normally finishes 45 minutes before the first race. This gives you a 45-minute window to present your
greyhound(s). Remember: if you have to present more than one greyhound you cannot take them all
in at the same time, so allow for this when you are deciding what time you plan to arrive.
If you fail to present your greyhound(s) at the correct time, they will not be allowed to compete, and
will be ‘stood down’ for 28 days, meaning they are not allowed to compete in any event for the next
28 days. You will also be guilty of an offence and will be liable to a penalty.
You must also make sure you are punctual when returning to the kennels to prepare your dog
for its race.
National Rule
R31 Presentation of greyhound for racing
and kennelling time
NSW Rule
LR31A 30 minutes before first event in NSW
LR31B Maximum kennelling time from
closing of kennels
B EHAVIOUR
As with an industry, there are minimum standards of behaviour expected. Inappropriate behaviour
such as swearing, arguing, or being intoxicated is not tolerated at greyhound race meetings, and
the stewards have the power to fine you and/or hold an inquiry into your behaviour. You can also
be removed from the precincts of the racetrack.
Remember you are representing not only yourself and your kennel, but also the sport of
greyhound racing. Inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated.
61
C OMMUNICATION
Working in the greyhound industry as either a Trainer or Attendant requires you to communicate
effectively with a wide range of people and officials. You will need to listen carefully to instructions
and questions and be able to reply quickly and politely. In the course of a race day you will need to
speak to Stewards, the track Veterinarian, Kennel Staff, and Catchers. You may also have to report back
to the greyhound’s owner or trainer. If you have a win, you may have to speak at a trophy
presentation, or might be interviewed.
There are also rules relating to communication on race day, restricting communication in certain
instances.
It is very important that you remember to turn off your mobile phone when you arrive at the
track, and only turn it on when you are well away from the kennelling area.
National Rule
R48 Prohibited use of communication
devices
G OING
TO THE
T RACK
Before you leave home it is essential that you check that you have everything that you need and
that you yourself are correctly attired. Given the short time frame for presenting your
greyhound for kennelling, there is unlikely to be time to go home and get things you have
forgotten.
You need to make sure that you have:









The correct greyhound(s)
The registration papers for each greyhound that is racing
The weight card for each greyhound that is racing
A suitable lead and collar for each greyhound
A well-fitting race muzzle for each greyhound
Bedding for the kennels of each greyhound
Any written documents required (i.e. an Authority to Handle, or bandaging request)
Your Trainer’s/Attendant’s licence card
Water and water bowls
Any other equipment you require (i.e. American muzzle for greyhounds that chew their bedding
whilst kennelled, food, rugs, towels, catching leads, etc.).
AT
THE
T RACK
Once you have arrived at the track, you will need to get everything organised for presentation of the
greyhound. It is also a good idea to give your greyhound(s) a chance to stretch their legs and empty
out. This is especially important if your greyhound is drawn to race in one of the later races as they
will be kennelled for up to a few hours. Each greyhound can also be offered a small drink of water.
Trainers may start queuing up as kennelling time approaches. Unless your greyhound is especially calm
or you have a number of greyhounds to present, it is probably better to wait until the initial rush is
over, and then head over to the kennels. It is far less stressful for your greyhound to be walked quietly
around the exercise area, rather than be expected to stand still in an area with a lot of other
greyhounds who might be excited or boisterous, surrounded by people who are noisy and unfamiliar.
The kennelling procedure is very regimented –
every step is done in a particular order according to
the National Rules .
On arrival, you need to present your Trainer’s or
Attendant’s License Card to the kennel staff so
they will allow you to enter the kennel area.
National Rules
R31 Presentation of greyhound for racing
and kennelling time
R41 Kennelling procedure and security
National Rule
R33 Certificate of registration or greyhound
identification card to be produced
Your first stop will be at the window or booth at the
entrance to the kennels. Most tracks charge an
entrance fee, which you will need to pay. You will also need to collect your envelope containing your
starter’s fee and your allocated kennel pass ticket.
You must then proceed to the kennelling area
where you will need to present the greyhound
along with its registration papers and weight card
to the stewards. You will also have to produce
your Trainer’s/Attendant’s License card. If you are
acting on behalf of the trainer of a greyhound, you
will have to hand the stewards a written letter of
authority signed by the trainer that requests that
you be allowed to handle the greyhound for the
day.
The stewards will then check the markings of the dog and the ear-brands match those on the
registration papers.
63
W EIGHT R EQUIREMENTS
Every greyhound is weighed prior to racing and its
weight is recorded in the greyhound’s own weight
record card. The weight record card must be
produced each time the greyhound races, along
with the greyhound’s papers. It is your responsibility
to ensure the correct weight is recorded in the
weight card by the stewards.
A weight variation of only 1 kilogram from the last
race or satisfactory weight trial is permitted
otherwise the greyhound will not be permitted to
race. The exception to this is where the
greyhound has not competed for more than 28
days, and written notification of the reason for
the weight variation is given to the stewards at
the time of kennelling. In this case a variation of up
to 2 kilograms is permitted.
If the greyhound is prohibited from racing due to a
weight variation, the greyhound will receive a
‘stand down’ period of 10 days, and the trainer will
be guilty of an ‘offence’ under the rules. This means
the stewards will impose a penalty, generally a fine.
A Trainer presents his registration papers and
weight card to a steward; Greyhounds being
weighed before a race.
National Rule
R38 Weighing
R39 Weight variation
National Rule
R40 Satisfactory weight trial
NSW Rule
LR40 Weight variations within 2 kgs
If the trainer wants a weight variation
of more than 2 kilograms, they can
apply to the stewards for a ‘Satisfactory
Weight Trial’. This means the dog is
trailed in the presence of a steward. This
cannot occur before 28 days have
elapsed since the greyhound’s last race.
The steward will record the dog’s weight
in the weight record card, and will record
whether the trial was satisfactory. If the
trial is deemed satisfactory, then the
greyhound can race again, with the new
weight recorded at the trial being taken
as its last start weight. Greyhounds weighing in before a race at Wentworth Park
P REPARATION
FOR R ACING
When the time comes for the greyhounds to race,
you will need to return to the kennel area to collect
and prepare your dog. You will have to show your
kennel pass to the gate attendant, otherwise you
will not be allowed to enter the kennel area.
Once the trainers or attendants are present, the
steward or kennel staff member responsible will
break the seal on the kennel row in your presence.
The individual kennels are then unlocked so you can
collect your greyhound. You may need to fit the
greyhound’s racing muzzle, and put on its collar and
lead.
Race day Attendants stir-up some of the
Greyhounds before a race by letting them see the
mechanical lure go around the track.
From here you can take your greyhound out to the toileting area for a chance to empty out. This
is very important as no dog will race well if it is uncomfortable with a full bladder.
The track veterinarian will again inspect each dog to check they are fit to race, and that nothing
has happened to the dog during the time in the kennel that would make the dog unsuitable to race.
Now is the time to ensure any requested/necessary bandaging is applied to the dog. Some dogs will
have talcum powder or lubricant such as Vaseline applied to certain areas to prevent chafing. The
talcum powder and Vaseline are provided by the club for this purpose.
The stewards will once again check the ear brands of each dog, and you will be given the dog’s racing
rug. The rugs come in small, medium and large sizes to accommodate the different sized greyhounds,
so you will have to know which size to ask for.
The racing rug will have to be fitted. They are a one-piece lycra design that has to be slipped over the
dog’s head, before gently feeding the dog’s front legs through the leg holes.
By this time the race prior to yours will have finished, and there will be an opportunity to let the
greyhound see the lure. This stir-up is helpful for some greyhounds, but can be too exciting for
others, so it is your choice whether the dog goes out to watch the lure go round.
Now is the time to perform any massage, or stretching necessary to help warm the greyhounds up.
Some trainers will want the dog walked around, others will want the dog kept as calm as possible so
it is important to understand what type of warm-up the individual greyhound does best with.
65
P ARADING A G REYHOUND
Prior to each race, the competitors are paraded
for the public to view. This is unless the weather is
particularly hot, in which case the dogs may be
walked directly from the kennels to the boxes. By
this stage the dogs are often very excited and may
be a handful, so you will need to be well prepared
for the greyhound to bounce or jump around.
If the weather is cold, you have the option of
parading the greyhound in a warm rug. Each race
club has a set of these rugs for participants to use in
Warm racing rugs provided by the racetrack.
a range of sizes. The club-supplied rugs are the only
ones allowed to be used and help keep all competitors looking the same. This uniformity is
considered important especially as there may be many thousands of people watching the parading
and race all around the country via the television coverage.
Before each dog leaves the kennel area for the parade ring, the stewards will again check the ear
brands and ensure your dog is wearing the correct race rug. They will also check that the rug along
with the racing muzzle is correctly fitted. You must then follow the instructions of the ‘Parade
Steward’ who is in charge of escorting all of the runners from the kennels, to the parade area, and
then onto the starting boxes. Keeping the dog moving during parading also assists with warming up
the muscles and maintaining circulation prior to racing.
AT
THE
S TAR T
The parade steward will ensure that all of the
runners for the race have arrived at the starting
boxes in plenty of time. Because of the television
coverage, it is very important that the races start on
time.
The ‘Starter’ is the person responsible for ensuring
the start of the race is undertaken in accordance
with the rules. When the greyhounds arrive at
the starting boxes for an event they are deemed
The starter boxes at The Gardens Race Track.
NSW Rule
R51 Starting Procedures
to be ‘in the starter’s hands’.
The starter will order the removal of any parade
rugs, nose straps, head checks, along with the
greyhound’s lead and collar. Once ordered to box
their greyhound, each handler must quickly place
their greyhound in their assigned box and then
move out of the way to avoid delaying the start of
the race.
Greyhounds are placed in the starting boxes in the
following order:
1-3-5-7 are placed in first, followed by 2-4-6-8
Race day Attendants loading Greyhounds into the
starter boxes at The Gardens Race Track.
The starter will then ensure that all of the doors to
the boxes have been securely fastened, and make
sure that no part of any greyhound is visibly held or caught by the doors. The green light is then given
and the race can be started.
The lure driver will start the lure, and the boxes will open as the lure passes a certain point.
67
AT
THE B OX ES
There is a short period of time between
removing the dog’s collar and leash and loading
them into the starting boxes where the
greyhound could potentially escape. This is a
very important time to make sure you have
adequate control.
Before taking the collar and leash off, make sure
that you have walked the greyhound, as close to the
starting boxes as possible, so you only have to load
them (rather than walk any distance to the boxes).
Keep your hands on the dog at all times, this way
you can feel if the dog is likely to jump forward or
resist. It is recommended that you have one hand
on the dog’s chest and the other underneath its
abdomen. This way if the dog goes to move forward
or back, or tries to turn side-ways, you should be
able to maintain control.
This type of handling is a skill that you need to
practice, away from the race meeting. The more
greyhounds you box and handle, the better you will
become at the manual restraint. Remember you
only want to use the least amount of pressure
necessary to maintain control. If you handle a dog
roughly, or put a lot of pressure on, they will
naturally fight the restraint, making them harder to
hold.
A race day attendant boxing a greyhound for a
race.
A race day attendant places a greyhound into a
racetrack kennel.
B OXING
A
G REYH OUND
It is essential that you have some experience of boxing a greyhound prior to handling any dog at a
race meeting. If you have been involved with training the greyhounds, you will have most likely had to
box dogs at the trial track, where it does not matter if you have trouble, and there are people that
can help.
When boxing a greyhound you must
first walk the dog up to the area
immediately behind the boxes, before
taking off the dog’s collar and lead. You
do not want the dog to get away from
you at this point, so you must always
have the dog securely held. Most
handlers will straddle the dog as they
remove the collar and lead, placing one
hand on the dog’s chest to prevent it
moving forward, and placing the other
Race day attendants boxing dogs before a race. Leads are taken
off only at this point.
hand under the dog’s abdomen.
Make sure that you place the collar and
lead safely away from the greyhound
as you do not want to get the dog’s legs tangled in it as the dog is boxed. It is also important not to
throw the lead behind you as you could hit another trainer or dog in the process.
When it is time to load the greyhound, you need to lift it forwards as far as possible into the box, and
then gently push the dog forward using a hand on the dog’s rump. As you close the door, make sure
that the dog’s tail and legs don’t get caught.
It is important not to injure the dog whilst boxing. Some people dig their hands into the dog’s
abdomen which can cause discomfort, others are rough and put so much pressure on the dog
that it is forced into an unnatural position and there is the potential to do muscle damage. If a
part of the dog gets caught in the door of the box a lot of damage can be done – especially if the
dog is released whilst part of it is still trapped. As a result, the greyhound may become difficult to
box as it associates the pain it felt with being in the confines of the starting box.
69
ROLE OF THE CATCHER
Each racetrack has an area called the ‘Catching Pen’. This is an area where the dogs are caught after
the race by shutting a gate that blocks access for them to follow the lure further around the track. A
small door in the catching pen gate that allows the lure to pass through and this is quickly closed to
ensure no greyhound tries to follow the lure. As the last greyhound comes into the catching pen, a
second gate is closed behind the field to stop them turning around and heading back the other way.
To help encourage the greyhounds into the catching pen a second ‘lure’ is thrown to attract the
dogs.
It is impossible to be in two places at once – the starting boxes and the catching pen, so in most cases
the catcher must be someone who is not going to be parading or boxing the greyhound. Only
registered Catchers, Attendants or Trainers are allowed to catch a greyhound, unless approved by the
stewards, and you will have to organise the person to act as catcher well before your race.
Once the greyhounds are enclosed in the catching pen, the catchers enter and must quickly catch the
greyhound they have been assigned. Each catcher must have a collar and lead or a ‘catching lead’ (a
form of slip lead) and may only catch and handle the greyhound they have been assigned.
What do I need to know if I am asked to be a catcher?
You must be clear on which dog it is that you must
catch – so remember the colour of its race rug and
the colour of the dog. The catching pen steward will
National Rule
R 48 Catcher to be available
give permission for the catchers to enter the pen
when it is safe to do so, at which time you must
quickly go in and catch your dog. Be very careful of
runners who may be entering the catching pen late,
and be aware of what is happening around you.
Some dogs are hard to catch, and they may
continue to run around the pen causing a potential
hazard to you and the greyhound you are catching.
Once your greyhound is on lead and under control,
you can move it out of the way of other dogs. If
there is any concern that another dog might get
too close, try to place yourself in between the two
dogs, or walk your greyhound quickly away. You are
not allowed to touch the other dogs, or push them
away, and you are not allowed to catch anyone
else’s dog.
A race day attendant removes a racing rug from a
greyhound after a race.
The greyhounds who have won or been placed in the race will be required to parade to the winners
area. The other runners will be heading to the wash bay for their cool down. By this time, the
greyhound’s handler or trainer should have arrived, and will take over.
Catchers can provide important information to the trainer or handler of a dog. They may have
noticed a lameness or injury, or may have information about knocks, bumps or even falls that
might have occurred towards the end of the race or as the dogs were in the catching pen.
H ANDLING A FTER
THE
RACE
After the race, the greyhound will be breathing heavily, and as a result, you may need to fit its collar
a little more loosely. You do not want to restrict its breathing, as this is necessary for the recovery
after the race, but at the same time, you do not want the dog getting free. You may need to check
the fit and gradually tighten the collar over time to ensure the greyhound remains suitable under
control.
By the time you are ready to go home, the dog will have fully recovered and you will be able to fit
the collar in a normal fashion.
71
POST RACE CARE
After a race, it is important that the greyhound
receives the correct cool-down. The cool-down
period allows the greyhound to recover from the
NSW Guidelines
Greyhound Post-Race
Water Bowls Guidelines
Rehydration
and
huge exertion of the race, and provides an
opportunity for the handler or trainer to make
sure no injuries have been sustained, and that
the dog has recovered well and is not overly
stressed.
From the catching pen the greyhounds are taken to
the wash bay. Here the sand is hosed from their
legs and feet. The cool water from the hose also
helps to bring their body temperature down as it
will have been elevated by the heat generated in
muscles during the race. The greyhounds are then
walked around, and are offered a drink of water.
Race day attendants hosing down greyhounds after
a race.
Now is the time to look for any signs of injury
sustained during the race. Is the dog’s gait normal?
Are there any signs of swelling or bruising?
The greyhounds are walked around until they have
recovered their breath, and may be given an
opportunity to empty out again, before being dried
and placed back in their kennel. The colour of any
urine passed should be noted. Dogs that are under
stress may have a reddish-brown colour to their
urine so it is important to watch for this when the
dog goes to the toilet after a race. If you do see
anything unusual you should make sure you tell
the trainer of the greyhound, or if the greyhound is
yours, have the greyhound thoroughly examined by
your greyhound veterinarian as soon as possible as
this can be a sign of a serious problem. It is
important that the dog is dried off before going back
in its kennel as you do not want the dog getting
chilled.
A greyhound takes a drink of cold tap water from a
hose administered by a race day attendant.
At this stage the stewards will have had time to review the footage of the race and may decide to
ask for certain dogs to be vetted or swabbed. They may also hold an inquiry into the running of the
race.
R ETURNING H OME
All greyhounds are returned to their kennels after the race. Once the stewards have ‘signed off’ on
the race, indicating they are happy with the outcome and any matters have been attended to, you
are free take your greyhound from the kennels and to leave.
R ACE S HEET
To find out if you can leave, you need to consult the race sheet hanging outside the steward’s
room. After each race’s paperwork is completed, the stewards will sign-off that race on the running
sheet, and all participants involved in that race are free to leave. If you have a number of runners,
you will not be able to leave before the last race you are involved in has been signed off. You can
leave the greyhounds from the earlier races in the kennels until it is time to go.
It is now up to you to ensure any greyhounds in your care get home safely. Most trainers will
give the greyhounds some form of fluids and nutrition after running (Vanilla SustagenTM is
commonly used rather than a full meal). For the journey home it is important that the greyhounds
have warm, comfortable bedding, and are kept at a suitable temperature.
If you have a long journey home, it may be that you choose to give them a small meal prior to leaving
to help replenish the energy they have lost, or give them a drink with some electrolytes in it. You
want the journey home to be restful, and not to contribute to any soreness or injury they may have
sustained.
SAMPLING, VET, AND STEWARD PROCEDURES
What happens after the race?
After each race the stewards will review the video footage of the
race, and discuss any observations they have made. They then
prepare a ‘Steward’s Report’ of the race which is published on the
GRNSW website so that any member of the general public can read
it. At this stage they may do a number of things – hold an inquiry
into the performance of a greyhound (or more than one
greyhound), order a greyhound to be ‘vetted’, or to be ‘swabbed’.
National Rule
R79 Testing and swabbing
GRNSW Policy
Swabbing Policy
What if the Stewards call me in for an inquiry?
If the stewards call you in after the race, you are required to go to their rooms when asked. If
there is concern about how your greyhound performed, they will explain to you why they have
called you in, and what has prompted the inquiry. In many cases they will have vision of an incident
and they will show you the vision and explain what they see happening.
73
Inquiries are generally called when a greyhound
has failed to chase the lure properly, or has
‘marred’ the race of another greyhound. In some
cases a warning will be given, in others, the
greyhound in question may have its papers
endorsed.
As the person responsible for the greyhound you
will be given an opportunity to explain your version
of events, and may be required to answer
questions. The entire process of an inquiry is
recorded so there are no arguments about what
was and wasn’t said at the time.
Stewards can hold an inquiry into any matter
that is in contravention of the rules of racing,
whether it relates to the performance of a
greyhound, or the behaviour of a registered
person.
A greyhound interferes with another greyhound on
the racetrack.
What happens if my greyhound is ordered to be
‘vetted’ after a race?
Sometimes the stewards will ask for a greyhound
to be vetted after a race. It may be they are
concerned that the dog has sustained an injury
during the race, or it may have performed badly,
suggesting something is not right. The greyhound
may have “gotten into trouble” during the run or
have been seen to hit the rail. Such greyhounds
may be called to the Vet to ensure they weren’t
injured and an examination may be requested on
welfare grounds.
If this is the case, a steward will approach the
catcher of the dog, or the trainer, and inform them
A Swabbing Official takes a urine sample from a
that the dog is to be vetted. The person in charge
greyhound.
of the dog is then required to present the greyhound to the track veterinarian who will examine the
dog. The veterinarian will be looking for any injury that might have affected the dog’s performance,
and will examine the dog from head to toe.
In the case of an injury being detected, a period of ‘stand down’ will be imposed, based on the
severity of the injury. The ‘stand down’ period means that the dog cannot be nominated to race
again until this ‘stand down’ period has expired. In some cases the greyhound may need to
complete a satisfactory trial for the stewards before being eligible to race again.
What happens when my greyhound is ‘swabbed’?
As all greyhounds are required to be presented for racing ‘drug-free’, it is necessary to ensure that
this is in fact the case. Stewards can ask for any dog to be swabbed, but there are also random swabs
taken at most meetings.
If your greyhound is to be swabbed after a race, you will be escorted from the catching pen by a
steward. You will be allowed to wash down your dog, and give it a drink, but it will then be placed in
a special ‘swabbing’ kennel for security reasons. When the time comes to have the dog’s sample
collected, a steward will escort you to the swabbing kennel to collect the dog and from the
swabbing kennel to the vet’s room at the track.
Swabbing follows strict procedure and the steward or veterinarian collecting the sample will
explain each step to you. It is vital that you watch the collection procedure from start to finish.
Swabbing sample kits contain three plastic bottles that have been sterilised before being placed
together in a bag. The steward or vet will check the number of the kit, and open the bag that contains
the three bottles in front of you. Two of the bottles are empty, but the third bottle contains a
‘control’ fluid.
The track vet will first wash his/her hands, and then
rinse the collection pot with running water. The
collection pot, the two sample jars, and the lids will
then be rinsed with the ‘control fluid’ to ensure that
any contaminants that might be present prior to
collection can be detected. The control sample is
placed back into its original bottle and the bottle is
sealed with a numbered seal.
The next step is the collection of a urine sample. For
this, you and the greyhound are taken outside to
the dog toileting area and a sample is collected by
the vet into the collection pot. Most greyhounds
are quite obliging, and the sample does not take
long to collect.
A Swabbing Official collects a urine sample while a
Racetrack Steward and a Trainer watch on; ‘A’ and
‘B’ swabbing jars
The urine sample is then brought back into the vet’s
office and is split in two, placing similar amounts into
each of the two sample bottles ‘A’ and ‘B’. These two
bottles are then sealed with numbered seals, and
placed with the control sample back into a plastic
pack which is also sealed.
75
SWABBING PROCEDURE CONT.
You will have to sign a document that states that
you observed the collection and checked that
the numbers on the samples and controls all
matched prior to the samples being sealed into
tamper-proof plastic packaging. A copy of this
document will be given to you for your records.
What happens to the sample after collection at
the track?
The urine sample is kept refrigerated prior to
transport to the laboratory. Once at the laboratory,
it is checked in and one of the two samples – the ‘A’
sample - is tested for banned substances. Most
samples are free from any drug or medication
residues, but occasionally a ‘positive swab’ will be
detected. If this is the case, the control fluid that
was used to rinse everything prior to collection will
then also be tested to rule out accidental
contamination – it is included for your protection.
All swabbing material, such as sample jars are
sterilised and have unique barcodes from the
Forensic Laboratory.
Any positive swabs are referred to the stewards for an inquiry. You will be notified by the stewards,
and will undergo a kennel inspection. Stewards will be looking for the possible source of the positive
swab. At this time the stewards will ask you to sign a form allowing you the option to appoint an
independent analyst to be present and observe the testing of the second (or ‘B’) sample at the
laboratory.
If both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples are positive, this confirms the positive swab result and an inquiry will
be held by the stewards.
BECOMING AN ATTENDANT
What Do I Need to Do Now?
Now that you have read the Trainer Attendant Level 1 Induction Manual, you should have an
understanding of greyhounds and the Greyhound Racing Industry. We hope that your interest has
been sparked and that your involvement in the sport of greyhound racing will continue to develop
into a life-long passion.
To get a ‘Trainer 1 Attendant’ licence, you need to complete an assessment that tests your
understanding of the information in the Induction Manual. If this is your plan, you will need to fill
out an ‘Attendant Licence Application’ form and submit it to GRNSW, along with your answers to the
assessment questions.
Please note, there are significant changes planned for registration and licensing in Greyhound
Racing. It is important that you keep up-to-date with changes in rules and regulations and that you
dedicate some time in your own professional development by accessing GRNSW online resources
and attending education events.
This licence type allows you to handle, box, catch and generally assist a trainer at a track on race
days. The minimum age for an Attendant licence is 15 years of age. However, at 15 years of age you
can only work for a licensed family member and you must forward a written reference from your
parent/s or guardian supporting your application.
Applicants must provide proof of identification to GRNSW by supplying a certified copy of
identification (i.e. an Australian Driver’s Licence, current passport or birth certificate) and a current
certified passport photo with their application. Anyone aged 18 years and over who is applying for
an Attendant licence, is required to provide a current National Criminal History Check at the time of
their application.
The Application Form is available online as a PDF.
77
PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT
It is very important that both attendants and trainers are competent when it comes to handling a
greyhound at a race meeting. The short time frames for preparing a greyhound for a race, loading it
into the starting boxes, and even presenting it for kennelling mean that everyone must be experienced
with the relevant equipment, and can handle a greyhound safely. Some participants may be required to
undertake a practical assessment.
If you are asked to undertake an assessment, you will have to demonstrate that you can:





Fit a collar and lead to a greyhound
Walk a greyhound safely in the presence of other greyhounds
Fit a racing muzzle to a greyhound
Put on and remove a race rug
Load a greyhound properly into a starting box
Prior to the test, it is strongly suggested that you get as much experience as possible handling
greyhounds of varying temperaments. Being used to walking excitable greyhounds or loading
difficult dogs into the starting boxes will make you more confident, and give you an increased range
of skills when faced with a difficult situation.
At the Practical Assessment you will be asked five questions regarding your understanding of the
Trainer Attendant Manual by a GRNSW Steward. If you have read the entire manual and looked into
the reference material (e.g. National and Local Rules and Code of Code of Practice for the Keeping
of Greyhound in Training), this is not a difficult assessment. There are example questions on the
next page for you to consider.
EXAMPLE KNOWLEDGE QUESTIONS
R ULES & R EGULATIONS
You will find the answers to these questions only in the current version of the National
(Greyhounds Australasia) and Local (GRNSW) Rules and Regulations.
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What is the maximum number of Greyhounds you can walk in a public area?
What other conditions are there when walking greyhounds in a public area?
What are the scratching times for both TAB and Non-TAB meetings?
Describe the scratching procedure for both TAB and Non-TAB race meetings.
What incapacitation penalties may be imposed when withdrawing/scratching a greyhound
from a race meeting for the following reasons – Sick/Injured – Weight variation
What weight should your greyhound be within, compared to its last start?
Under what circumstances may the stewards allow you to start within two [2] kilos of your
greyhounds last start?
Describe the following Greyhound offences
o Marring
o Failing to pursue the lure
o Unsatisfactory Performance
Describe the trialling procedures after your greyhound is issued with a certificate for
marring, failing to pursue the lure or an unsatisfactory performance.
Who is responsible when a prohibited substance is found in a greyhound?
What penalties may be imposed on a greyhound and/or person found guilty of an offence
relating to drug?
What is the dress code when handling/parading a dog at a TAB meeting?
Can you take your Greyhound home straight after the race?
Describe some of the reasons the stewards may swab a Greyhound.
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R ACING O PERATIONS
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Describe the race day kennelling procedure.
Describe if or when you can use the following equipment:
o Nose Straps
o Head checks
o Barking muzzles
o Strapping
Describe if or when you can use blinkers or visors.
What is the procedure if you become aware of a condition or circumstance that may affect
your greyhound’s performance prior to the race?
What is your understanding of the random ballot procedure?
Describe your understanding of the definition of the term ‘prohibited substance’.
Who is responsible work health and safety at the racetrack?
How do you nominate a Greyhound for a race?
G REYHOUND H EALT H & W ELFARE
You will find the answers to these questions only in the Trainer (Attendant/Level 1) Manual and
GRNSW Code of Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds for Training.
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When is the sensitive period for a greyhound?
What is the name & location of veterinary practice in your area in case of emergency?
List some of the things you need to provide for your greyhound when travelling.
What are the Five Domains? How do they differ from the Five Freedoms?
Describe how you would help a Greyhound cool-down after a race?
What is environmental enrichment and why is it important?
Provide one example of how a Greyhound’s racing performance can be affected by an
activity by how it was reared.
Are Greyhounds protected under the Commonwealth and/or State laws?
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Please find below the list of terms utilised throughout the greyhound racing industry.
Term
Definition
Arm Trial
A trial where the greyhound is allowed to catch and grab an artificial lure
after running a nominated distance.
Box
Generally used to describe the starting position drawn in an event.
Box Draw
The official random computerised drawing of the starting positions (box) of
the greyhounds in a race or event. Describes the action of drawing the
official starting positions of the runners in a race or event.
Breaking-In
Track
Any trial track used predominantly to teach greyhounds to jump from the
starting boxes and chase a lure, generally 300 to 400 metres in length,
maybe straight, circle or oval in shape. The track must be registered with
GRNSW.
Breeder
A qualification that allows a person to breed greyhound dogs.
Brood Bitch or
Brood Matron
A female greyhound used for or intended to be used for breeding.
Bullring
A circular steel rail inside a small circular running surface with a hand
operated artificial lure, generally not exceeding a 60 metre circumference,
used predominantly to teach greyhounds to jump from the starting boxes
and chase an artificial lure.
Catching Pen
A section of the racetrack capable of being enclosed to stop and catch the
greyhounds at the end of a race; this generally includes a run-off chute.
Check
Interference received by the greyhound during a race, possibly causing the
greyhound to lose momentum and time (lengths) in that race.
Chief Steward
The Steward in charge of the GRNSW Stewards Panel.
Circle Track
Generally used to describe an oval or circular Trial or Racetrack.
Clearances
Clearances are for specific tracks which come as a result of previous track
ban for a track.
Club
An organisation that manages meetings at a track.
Club Steward
A person employed by a Racing Club to officiate and assist the Stewards
during a race meeting.
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Term
Definition
Coursing Club
A Registered Greyhound Racing Club that conducts Plumpton meetings (see
Coursing Plumpton). Coursing consists of a race where two greyhounds
compete on a straight track and are released from a set of slips instead of a
Starting Box. Generally conducted with a Drag Lure.
Dam
The mother of a litter of registered pups. A Brood Matron that is the
registered producer of a specific greyhound.
Day Yard
A wire mesh enclosed space generally not exceeding 50 square metres
(check with Adam E) where one of more greyhounds may spend periods of
time recuperating outdoors. (Also check)
Defaulter
A person that is currently not allowed to nominate or race greyhounds due
to an outstanding fine with a greyhound association. This is wider in that the
effects of a Defaulter are the same as a Disqualified Person.
Distance
Used to describe the distance covered by runners in a race from the front of
the starting box to the finish line. Generally measured 1 metre out from the
rail.
Disqualification
(Stewards probably would give a good description of this.)
Drag Lure
A hand operated or battery operated winch used to pull a small piece of
sheepskin or cloth along the centre of a Slipping Track to entice a greyhound
to run to the other end.
Educator
(Also formerly called a ‘breaker’.) A registered trainer who prepares
greyhound puppies for racing.
Educators are also divided into 2 types of people:
1. Breaker - A Breaker is a person who educates a pup with the skills
required to be a success on the racetrack, including box manners,
entering and jumping from the starting boxes and chasing the lure.
2. Pre-trainer - A Pre-trainer is a person who further enhances the skills
imparted by the Breaker, trials and familiarises the greyhound with
the racetrack environment and ensures it reaches the fitness level
required to move into full-time training.
Exercise Yard
A series of 2 or longer, narrow fenced enclosures used to exercise
greyhounds adjacent to each other. Each yard is generally 100 to 120 metres
in length and 4 metres wide. (Check with Adam E)
Field
Generally used to describe the combined runners in a race.
Follow-on Lure
Also known as “Finish-On Lure”. Race protocol in which greyhounds continue
to follow the lure as it slows down, after completing the race.
Form
Generally used to describe the recent performances of a greyhound.
Term
Definition
Form Guide
A listing of the race performances of the greyhounds in a specific race (refer
to GRNSW website www.thedogs.com.au).
Foster
A person that undertakes Foster Care of a greyhound for a short period. This
includes housing the greyhound and looking after it.
GAP
Greyhound As Pets. A dog that has retired from greyhound racing and has
been accepted into the GAP program. A GAP dog may be in any stage of the
adoption process including having been fostered.
Grade
Used to describe the classification of a specific race, and/or the classification
of a greyhound at a specific racetrack and distance.
Greyhounds
Australasia
(GA)
GA is the constituted body representing all of the legislated State Greyhound
Authorities in Australia and New Zealand.
Judge
A person qualified to judge a race and enter components of the race result.
Kennel
Describes the individually enclosed space used to house a single greyhound.
Kennels
May describe a group of individual kennel spaces in a single building and/or a
property that has the facilities for housing (kennelling) greyhounds.
Kennelling
The act of registering dogs arriving at a racetrack, and placing them in the
allocated kennels. Kennelling includes greyhound identification, undergoing
a vet inspection, trainer identification, recording the greyhounds weight, and
placing the greyhound into the assigned kennel for the race (or trial)
Litter
A litter of dogs born at the same time from the same sire and dame, which is
registered.
Lure
The actual item that a greyhound chases made entirely synthetic material
and usually emits a noise.
Lure Arm
The arm that protrudes out from the Lure Carriage to which the lure is
attached.
Lure Carriage
The mechanical trolley used to carry the lure along the inside rail of a race or
trial track.
Lure Training
The action of allowing a greyhound to chase and/or catch a lure attached to
a mechanical device.
Maiden
Describes a greyhound that has yet to win a race and/or to describe a
specific grade of race for greyhounds yet to win a race.
Margin
The lengths between each greyhound during the race and across the
finishing line (a length = 0.067s).
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Term
Definition
Markings
The markings of a dog, such as colour, patterns, toe colours, etc., that are
used to identify a dog and form part of the Dog Certificate of Registration.
Nomination
The act of nominating a greyhound for inclusion into a race or event either
conducted by phone or online.
Owner
A person registered by GRNSW for the purpose of owning a registered
greyhound eligible to be nominated for a race or event.
Owner Trainer
A person registered by GRNSW to train greyhounds of which he or she is the
owner of part owner of.
OzChase
Online computer system for race nominations. OzChase contains both
GRNSW’s participant and greyhound database.
Pink Card
GRNSW registration card for eligible Greyhound Brood Bitches.
Private Trial
A trial where the time recorded by the greyhound is not on display to the
general public.
Public Trainer
A person registered by GRNSW to train greyhounds for a registered owner.
Public Trial
A trial where the time recorded by the greyhound is displayed for the
general public to view.
Puppy Yard
A wire mesh enclosure where young greyhounds to the age of four months
are kept. May be attached to a whelping kennel. (Check with Adam E)
Qualifying Trial
Trials that are conducted by a Race Club under race conditions to select
greyhounds for inclusion into a specific race or event.
Race
Used to describe the actual race/event.
Race meeting
A race event that consists of a series of races at a particular course over one
or more days.
Race Kennel
A kennel where a greyhound is housed at a racetrack prior to racing.
Race Program
A listing of the races/events to be conducted at a specific meeting, the
names of greyhounds and trainers, the official box draw and may include the
recent form of the greyhounds engaged. May also be used to list proposed
races/events to be held at a specific venue at a future date.
Racetrack
May be used to describe a specific race venue and/or the actual running
surface and area set aside for the conduct of a race or event.
Racing Kennel
A kennel where a single greyhound in race training is housed.
Railing
When a greyhound moves to the inside of the field and follows the rail
during a race.
Term
Definition
Rearer
A person who raises the pups on behalf of a Breeder. Pups may remain with
a Rearer until they reach the point of being broken-in and pretrained/trained.
Rearing Yard
A wire mesh enclosure used to house young greyhounds, generally between
the ages of four to thirteen months of age. Generally includes a building
(kennel) used as sleeping quarters.
Registered
Used to describe the condition of being registered with GRNSW. May be
applied to person or greyhound.
Registration
The act of becoming registered. May be applied to person or greyhound.
Registration
Certificate
The Certificate issued by GRNSW that lists the registered name of the
greyhound, whelping date, the names of Sire and Dam and the names or the
registered owner/s.
Run
Used to describe an individual race by an individual dog. This word is used
primarily in reports describing X number of runs per year for example.
Sample Test Kit
A test kit used to evaluate a sample of either blood or urine, typically for the
presence of prohibited substances in a greyhound.
Scratching
The removal of a dog from the race before race day allowing a reserve to run
in its stead.
Selection Trial
See Qualifying Trial.
Semaphore
Board
A large board at the greyhound track, which typically shows the places and
times for dogs having just completed a race.
Sire
A male dog that is registered for being a breeding dog, either by natural
means or artificial insemination or for frozen semen. A stud dog that is the
registered father of a specific greyhound.
Slipping Track
A long narrow wire mesh enclosure used to allow a greyhound free running
exercise.
Spell
When a greyhound has a break from racing (e.g. illness).
Spelling Kennel
A designated kennel, perhaps away from other dogs or disturbances, for
greyhounds that are having a break from racing generally.
Split Times
The time (seconds) in which the leading greyhound approached the
designated section of the track.
Stand-down
Period
An amount of time for which a greyhound cannot race. The stand-down
period is typically imposed by a steward on a vet’s advice.
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Term
Definition
Starting Boxes
The boxes where the greyhounds commence the start of a race.
Steward
A person employed and empowered by the Board of GRNSW to conduct race
meetings and enforce the Rules of GRNSW.
Straight Track
A long fenced off area; approximately 400 metres where greyhounds can be
slipped or free galloped. Straight tracks are either grass or sand (loam)
surface.
Swab
A sample (or swab) is the collective grouping of the swabbing equipment and
swab docket. It is identified by the swab docket number and may be
attached to a race (for the purposes of withholding prize money) and a dog,
or just with a dog.
Routine samples taken from a greyhound (generally urine) that is used to
determine if prohibited substances have been administered to the
greyhound. Samples can be taken pre-race, post-race or out-of-competition
and some are frozen for up to X years.
Trainer
A person, who is registered to train, kennel, nominate and race a greyhound.
Please note: The existing trainer licence types of OTR, PTR and PT2 will
eventually be phased out. The new Tiered Trainer licences will fall under 3
classes (all of which have both owner and trainer privileges):
1. T1–Highest level for the trainer licences. There is no limit to the
number of greyhounds that this person can train.
2. T2–Mid-level trainer licence. This person can train up to 10
greyhounds.
3. T3–Entry-level trainer licence. This person can train up to 3
greyhounds.
Training
The processes involved in getting the greyhound into a condition suitable for
racing. Involves diet, trialling, racing and general care of greyhounds.
Trial
Can be solo, double or in a half-field, where greyhounds go around a racing
track similar to race conditions obtaining split and overall time for an
indication of performance.
Trial Track
A registered entity with GRNSW, which operate smaller circular racing tracks,
approximately 400 metres, normally used when breaking greyhounds in
before heading to the actual racetrack.
Vetted/Vetting
Observations made by the track veterinarian where an injury/illness stand
off period is given to a greyhound.
Whelper
A person who whelps a litter on behalf of a Breeder and raises the pups to
the point when they are weaned and all ear branding, microchipping and
vaccination requirements under these Rules are met, so that the pups can be
relocated from the address of whelping.
Term
Definition
Whelping Date
The date a litter of pups were born.
Whelping
Kennel
A specific kennel designed for the birth of a litter of pups. Would include a
larger bed for mother and puppies and electricity outlets for lighting and
heating.
Wide (Running
Wide)
When a greyhound moves to the outside of the field during a race.
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