At the House, we support responsibility over everything else – responsible owners, responsible rescues, responsible organizations, and responsible breeders. We don’t discriminate when it comes to how people choose to interact with their animals, so long as everyone is responsible when doing so. To aid in helping responsible owners find their next greyhound, we’ve compiled resources together and split them into two sections – breeding/buying, and rescue/retired racer. Resources are organized according to like type, and some resources overlap between the two sections. Resources are split using fancy fleurons, to help interested folks find their areas more easily.
☙ Registries ❧
A list of the top five registries is listed below, though please understand that this list is certainly not exhaustive. Just about every country in the world has its own kennel club, and I encourage owners to look closely at their own country’s registry, if it didn’t make this list.
American Kennel Club (AKC) : The AKC is the primary purebred registry in the United States of America. The AKC handles both purebred and mixed breed registrations, and accepts NGA paperwork for retired racers. The AKC is also responsible for the Bred With H.E.A.R.T health scheme, and the Breeder of Merit program. It is important to note that a breeder who is involved in both, or either, of these programs should still be questioned as thoroughly as if they were not. The AKC also sponsors the Canine Health Foundation, and is attached to numerous national all-breed conformation shows.
United Kennel Club (UKC) : The UKC is the other major purebred registry in the United States, though it also hosts shows in Canada as well. The UKC is known for its Total Dog program, which encourages breeders to produce versatile dogs capable of both conformation and performance events like agility and rally. The UKC is an active advocate of breeding for function over looks, and also does not permit professional handling at any of its events. The UKC is considered by some to be more beginner-friendly than the AKC for the latter reason, though both registries accept beginner competitors.
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) : The Canadian Kennel Club is the major purebred registry in Canada, and is one of the few registries to have an official membership. For a nominal yearly fee, members enjoy voting privileges and discounts on CKC services such as registration and entry fees. All CKC members are bound by a code of ethics, though it is important to note breeders should still be closely scrutinized regardless of their affiliation. In accordance with Canadian law (Animal Pedigree Act), all purebreds must be registered, with the preferred registry being the CKC. Please note that the CKC has the misfortune of sharing its acronym with a less reputable registry, so when dealing with breeders who state they register with CKC, confirm that they mean the Canadian Kennel Club, and not any other registry.
The Kennel Club (UK KC / KC) : The KC is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, purebred dog registries in existence. The KC has arguably some of the most difficult criteria to putting championships on dogs, making it one of the toughest arenas to compete in. Perhaps best known for the world famous Crufts dog show, the KC also contributes to the future of purebreds with its Young Kennel Club youth program. After a series of bad press, the KC has made more drastic pushes to improve the health of its registered dogs, and now offers a variety of tools for breeders and owners alike.
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) : The FCI is the main purebred registry in Europe, though it is important to note that most countries host their own kennel clubs as well in addition to using FCI rules. The FCI is responsible for hosting the World Dog Show, the location of which changes yearly, and is also notable for its inclusion of many breeds rarely found outside their own home countries. The FCI has an extensive title bank and impressive show structure, and is arguably the most detailed registry.
☙ Purebred Health ❧
Any breeder worth their salt will be performing extensive health screening on their breeding animals. A list of the most common health organizations related to purebreds are listed below, but they are by no means the only ones. Insist on seeing documentation before deposits are placed. Always verify health claims.
Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) : The OFA is considered the premier database for purebred health screenings. Simply type in a dog’s name and a table listing all tests performed and recorded for public use will come up. Note that sometimes breeders prefer not to make records available to the public, even if the test was done. The database is not a replacement for verifying health claims. The OFA is an organization devoted to purebred genetic screening, and also hosts many education seminars for veterinarians, breeders, and the general public. Until recently, the OFA was also associated with Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), a now-defunct operation.
PennHIP : PennHIP is a diagnostic imaging organization that deals specifically in screening canine hips for osteoarthritis and canine hip dysplasia risk. Unlike other hip radiographs, PennHIP offers an assessment for each hip individually, allowing for greater understanding about the state of the dog’s hips.
Veterinary Genetic Services (vetGen) : vetGen is a company that offers a wide array of genetic services for cats, dogs, horses, and other animals. It offers a list of appropriate tests by breed, though presumably any test could be offered. Specifically for greyhounds, it offers both colour and neuropathy testing.
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) : The CHIC is a comprehensive health database that works closely with the OFA and breed clubs to deliver health testing tailored specifically to each breed. When testing is completed, a dog is issued a CHIC number, which is also entered into the OFA database for public look-up (if requested). Health testing recommended by the breed club is available as well, giving the public an idea of what health screening they should ask a prospective breeders to produce. Greyhounds specifically should be heart cleared at the minimum, and DNA samples are kindly requested.
The Institute of Canine Biology (ICB) : The ICB is mainly focused on what is termed “population genetics”, or the ability to improve the health and genetic diversity of a species through tightly controlled practices. While this is somewhat impractical for dog breeders, the ICB nonetheless offers comprehensive genetic and diversity courses for breeders and interested individuals to take (some are free, and some are paid). With a wealth of information on the importance of genetic diversity as it relates to health, the ICB is a worthwhile resource for breeders to take note of.
☙ About The Breed : Show Edition ❧
This section includes books, websites, and clubs related to greyhounds specifically. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but instead will give a solid foundation from which to continue further research. This section is designed with show-bred greyhounds in mind, and includes a few different “About The Breed” resources than our Rescue/Retired Racer Resources page.
“Greyhounds: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual” by Caroline Coile, PhD : This book contains basic information specific to the greyhound breed, and includes a chapter dedicated entirely to pet owners who acquired their hound as a rescue. The history is succinct, the chapters are short yet full of information, and overall this is a strong book that will provide enough details to give an idea of whether or not this is the breed for you.
“The Ultimate Greyhound” by Mark Sullivan : This comprehensive book is a staple recommendation, as it includes sections dedicated to both racing and show greyhounds, in addition to a thorough history and comparison between other sighthound breeds. Full of beautiful colour photos and plenty of interesting tidbits, this book is very good at fleshing out foundation information, and should be considered a supplement as opposed to a basic foundation book.
“The Reign of the Greyhound” by Cynthia Branigan : For those who are curious about the historical trajectory of the greyhound breed, this is the book for you. Full of black and white reproductions of drawings, sketches, and paintings, this book delves into the nitty-gritty of the greyhound’s development, and is an excellent gift for the canine historian. Covers everything from ancient history to modern times.
Greyhound Club of America (GCA) : The GCA is the breed club for the greyhound in America. It hosts a national specialty every year, and is chalk full of information related to competing in companion events and conformation with your greyhound, in addition to basic breed information. Interested owners can apply to become a member of the breed club.
The Greyhound Club UK : While their website is a little out of date, The Greyhound Club UK is the breed club for UK fanciers. It hosts a yearly national specialty and does have some information regarding the breed, though primarily it hosts information like member code of ethics and the club history. Interested owners can apply to become a member of the breed club.
☙ Dog Breeding ❧
It would be impossible to make a comprehensive list of dog breeding as it is such a complex endeavour, and I want to be clear that I believe breeding should only take place after thorough study and consideration. Nonetheless, forewarned is forearmed, and I provide the following resources with the caveat that they are for research purposes only. Know what to look for from a breeder in their breeding practices.
“The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog” by Ann Seranne : This book covers everything from selecting a mate to rearing the puppies, as well as offering some troubleshooting tips and a cursory course on basic genetics. It is a basic guide only, and is not comprehensive, but does offer a glimpse into what kind of effort goes into planning and rearing a litter. It is a strong book for the average owner looking for a little light shed on the tasks breeders undertake to bring a bloodline to fruition.
“Born To Win, Breed To Succeed” by Patricia Craige Trotter : While this book doesn’t offer any practical breeding information, it offers a wealth of life experience in what it takes to become the best. Offering chapters on the importance of both the sire and dam, pedigree analysis, and genetics, in addition to anecdotal notes of wisdom, this book should be considered mandatory reading for anyone wish aspirations to become a breeder. Of particular delight are the highlights on some of the most famous sires and dams in the history of the sport, as well as guidelines on good sportsmanship and integrity.
Breeding Better Dogs : Perhaps best known for his work involving early neurological stimulation, Dr Carmen Battaglia offers numerous seminars on how to breed for improved health and stress responses in dogs. Covering everything from pedigree analysis to puppy selection, the seminars aim to “fill in the gaps” about what makes the difference between a good puppy and a great one.