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Greyhound Playgroup

What is the greyhound playgroup?

One of the biggest challenges in owning a sighthound or retired greyhound is providing enough opportunities for free running. The playgroup aims to try and address this, so your sighthound can run in a secure area with a group of dogs of a similar breed and speed!

The playgroup is purely for dogs to run and play together - there is no training or advice given. It is for any sighthound or sighthound-cross (greyhound, lurcher, whippet etc).Groups consist of up to 4 dogs, decided by personality, size and energy levels! Therefore a boisterous dog will not be run with a nervous dog, even if this means groups are small.

When and where does it take place?

The playgroup takes place in our securely fenced paddock in Redbourn.

A session runs every Wednesday evening at 5:30pm in Redbourn. A second session will be run on Thursday mornings at 11:00am if there is sufficient demand. Each session will last one hour and each dog will be given at least 30 minutes of free running during the session.

click here for address and directions.

The Family Dog Training Centre

What does it cost?

The cost is £6 per dog and £3 for every additional dog from the same family.

Do I need to book in advance?

Yes! Please phone or email us to do so. We can, however, often accommodate dogs at short notice so don’t be put off phoning us a day or two before playgroup to check availability.

Rules and Guidelines

The aim of these guidelines is to ensure that dogs and their owners enjoy the playgroup. They are also important for insurance purposes. Please respect the guidelines to minimise the risk of problems.

  • Owners have full responsibility for their dog at all times and must be present in the secure paddock at all times when their dog is running free.
  • Muzzles are required for all dogs when running off lead – please bring a suitable basket-type muzzle with you.
  • The playgroup is for sighthounds and sighthound-crosses only! Whippets and small lurchers will run with other dogs of a similar size only.
  • Please clean up after your dog when it is safe to do so (beware of fast dogs and pick up at the end of your group’s run if necessary).
  • When dogs are running free together please keep your contact with them to a minimum, so that they can interact with each other in a natural way. Please refrain from calling your dog a lot, as the noise can confuse and upset other dogs.
  • Do not physically push your dog to encourage it to interact with other dogs. If your dog does not want to run or play, please don’t force it. You may find that it will want to join in at future sessions when it grows in confidence.
  • No toys, no squeaky noises and no whistles.
  • No food is allowed when dogs are off-lead (treats are fine only when the dogs are on-lead).
  • No children are allowed in the secure paddock but they are welcome to watch from behind the fence.
  • All dogs must be on a lead and under control when outside the secure paddock.

Why is the playgroup only for sighthounds?

Many sighthound owners can never let their dog off the lead due to the strong chase instinct that has been bred into them for centuries. Therefore the playgroup may be the only opportunity for the dog to run, whereas owners of other breeds can usually let their dog off-lead more safely.

Why does my dog have to wear a muzzle?

Sighthounds get very excited when running and can nip, even if only in play. As many of them have thin skin and very little hair it doesn't take much to tear the skin.

Why can't I use treats or toys?

Treats and toys give dogs something to fight over so may cause unnecessary problems. As it is not a training session, treats should not be required and the aim is for dogs to run and play with each other, not with toys.

My dog has socialisation problems. Can it still come along?

If there is a chance that your dog may be aggressive towards other dogs or upset the group then it will unfortunately not be able to join at this stage.

Quick Tips

  • Minor cuts and sprains can occur. We provide a basic First Aid kit.
  • Please do not feed your dog for 1-2 hours before and after playgroup as this will help reduce the chances of gastric torsion (bloat).
  • Water is provided outside the secure paddock but should be given only sparingly during vigorous exercise. For this reason, please monitor your dog’s water intake during playgroup.
  • Playgroup can be very exciting (and stressful) for your dog, so try to give them plenty of time to rest and recover from the excitement and physical exertion in the few days after a playgroup session.

Disclaimer

All owners who participate in playgroup do so at their own risk. The playgroup organisers are not liable for any accident or injury that may occur to human or canine participants.

Greyhounds