Quickest couch potatoes: Former racing dogs become lovable lazy pets

Tiffany, Marlena, Kayla and Lexis could be fat dogs, as lazy as they are.

But instead, and in typical greyhound fashion, the ex-racing dogs have thin, graceful frames.

Greyhounds expend a great deal of energy in walks or brief sprints. Then they’re tuckered out and ready to sleep for most of the day.

“They’re very quiet, very low-key,” said Sharin Corbin of Federal Way, who owns four ex-racing greyhounds.

“We call them 45 mile-an-hour couch potatoes,” she said.

Corbin, a volunteer with Greyhound Pets of America, has adopted nearly 15 greyhounds since she became interested in the breed. It all began 12 years ago when she came across a greyhound adoption group at PetSmart in Federal Way. Diligent research revealed that greyhounds are great pets and would get along well with Corbin’s toy poodles.

“They’re just wonderful. They’re very clean, they’re very loving,” she said.

Since then, Corbin fell so in love with the breed that she now volunteers with a greyhound adoption group and provides a foster home for greyhounds transitioning to new homes.

“We adopt them out pretty fast,” she said.

Each greyhound comes health-checked and spayed or neutered for a fee of $200. They also each have a muzzle, leash and collar. Most racing greyhounds are retired at 5 years old, although if they are a poor racer they could be retired early.

While in foster care, volunteers learn about the dog’s personality so they can match it with a compatible family, Corbin said. Because they were raised in kennels around packs of other dogs and handlers, greyhounds are generally well-socialized. They are likely to follow their owner everywhere and could suffer from separation anxiety if left alone.

“It’s because they’re used to having all these other dogs around them side-by-side,” Corbin said. “They love their buddies. They haven’t been left alone.”

Although often lazy, greyhounds do need some exercise. They should never be allowed outdoors unsecured, Corbin said. They can spot moving prey up to a half-mile away and will give chase. They can reach speeds of up to 45 mph in just three strides. And when in chase, greyhounds are unlikely to respond to an owner’s calls.

Leashes and well-fenced yards are necessary for keeping greyhounds safe. They also like cushy beds.

Greyhounds are so friendly with strangers that they make poor guard dogs, Corbin said. They also don’t bark much.

“You won’t have security, they’ll just look at the guy,” she said. “They’ll let a burglar walk away.”

Greyhounds are also indoor dogs. Their thin coats and minimal body fat make them sensitive to the cold, Corbin said. They love to stay inside and snuggled up on the couch or in bed. They are very loyal to their owner. Because the first years of their lives were spent moving around frequently, greyhounds quickly adjust to new homes and new routines, Corbin said.

“You need to be a person that really wants a loyal companion that’s going to be right behind you if you step away,” Corbin said. “They’re just a very loyal companion.”

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

Check it out:

Greyhound Pets of America will host Roofest, a Greyhound event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 25 at Kennydale Memorial Hall, 2601 Edmonds Ave. N.E.

The event will feature vendors, auctions, raffles, samples, food and ex-racing greyhounds available for adoption.

For more information or to adopt a greyhound, visit or call Sharon Corbin at (253) 661-2905.

Greyhound facts:

Greyhounds can spot a moving object up to a half-mile away.

All greyhounds alive today are descended from a dog called King Cob, who lived in the 1700s.

Fredrick the Great of Prussia asked in his will to be buried with his beloved greyhounds. The graves remain today.

Greyhounds are the only breed of dog mentioned in the Bible. (Proverbs 30:29-31 KJV)

Greyhounds come in 19 different primary colors and more than 55 color combinations.

Greyhounds came to the New World in 1493 on Columbus’s second expedition.

Greyhounds are mentioned or featured in 11 of Shakespeare’s plays.

Greyhounds do not sweat.

Source: Sharon Corbin, volunteer for the local chapter of Greyhound Pets of America.

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