|In Egypt the greyhounds were mummified and buried with their masters. The Egyptians viewed them as supreme among all animals. The greyhounds also find place in the literary works of Shakespeare, Chaucer and Homer.
In England, greyhound was considered as a status symbol back in 10th century. Only noblemen were permitted to hunt with them. Later, Queen Elizabeth I made rules regarding the use of greyhounds to chase hares. In early 1900s Patrick Owen became the first one to introduce the concept of greyhound racing. Later, the first circular track was made in California in 1919.
The greyhounds are kept in the paddock before the race begins. After the pre race tests and procedures, the greyhounds are put in individual compartments in the starting box, called traps. These traps have automated doors. When the race starts the dog is made to chase a lure. A lure is a mechanical device that moves around the track at a considerable distance from the dog. The lure resembles either a bone or a rabbit.
After the race, the greyhound is provided with water and an open area to walk. The winner is called in the winnerís circle.
The registration and identification of greyhounds is the duty of the National Greyhound Association. It is a non profit organization and carries its work in North America. Only registered owners can enter into an exclusive contract with a registered kennel. These kennel in turn contract with the tracks. The tracks decide the schedule for the race fro a season.
There are certain states like California and Maine that prohibit greyhound racing. Other States prohibit the use live rabbits and other small animals as a bait for the dogs in the race.
The way the greyhounds are handled and trained is also a matter of controversy. While some greyhounds are naturally fit to race, the others lack killer instinct. the dogs unfit for racing are either killed or given in laboratories for experimentation. In certain cases the dogs is starved in order to develop in him an impulse to kill the small animals for food.
The World Greyhound Racing Federation ( WGRF) was established in 1969. it is a non regulatory organization and is dedicated to providing information and promoting the sport nationally and internationally. Various nations participate in the Bi- annual World Greyhound Racing Conference. At the 2003 conference the organization has adopted a welfare charter which aims at promoting the mental and physical well being of the dogs.
Greyhound Pets of America is another non profit organization that finds home to the retired greyhounds. It advices the owners of these pets how to take care of the greyhounds and helps it fit in the new environment.
The American Greyhound Council is responsible for researching diseases that infect the greyhound and providing well trained professional and veterinarians to better take care of the dogs. It also employs inspectors to check any mistreatment of greyhounds.
Like in horse racing, betting in greyhound racing is also quite prevalent. The betting game has its own terminology like bookie, beards, quiniela etc. Betting, being a wager can never be foolproof, but one cam increase his chances to win by playing smart. For example, a dog with a consistent performance can be good to bet on. The medical history and the appearance of the dog can be another parameter. Success cannot be guaranteed in the game of betting, but doing a little homework never hurts.
Mansi gupta writes about greyhound racing topics .