Racing a greyhound

Some pros & cons to consider...


Training costs for dogs are considerably cheaper than that associated with the equine industry. A dog in full work with a good public trainer might cost an average of about $450 - $550 (+ gst) per month vs a thoroughbred which could cost around $2500(+ gst). There are also no nomination or acceptance fees for dogs at present. 

There is also the opportunity with some trainers to race a dog under a 50/50 arrangement or other percentage based arrangement. This is where you dont pay any training fees but the trainer collects 50% of all stakemoney.
Trainers percentages of stakemoney in greyhounds is generally around 15% - 20%% which stacks up with the thoroughbred industry where 10% is paid to the trainer and 5% is paid to the jockey.

Racing Careers

Notwithstanding injury generally dogs will have a race career of around 2 years. Like horses dogs can be early or late maturers. It is not un common for dogs to be racing at a little over 18 months old however they generally dont race too much past the age of 4.5. However there are always certainly exceptions to this.
A dog can handle a lot more racing than a horse, and generally a lot less work. for example over a 7 month period a horse might take 3 months to get ready for the races have 3 or 4 starts over 2 months and then go out for a month and take another 6 weeks to come back up. essentially 4 starts over 7 months. A comparitive dog prep would be in work for 6 weeks have 8-10 starts over 2 months, go out for 2 weeks, back in work for 3 weeks, have another 8 starts before the end of the 7 month period.You also have horses that are wet trackers or firm track horses so there may be a period of 6 months during the year where a horse cannot race due to unfavourable track conditions. As the majority of greyhound tracks are all weather tracks, the requirement for a dog to spell over the winter or summer due to unfavourable track conditions is basically non-existent.

In summary the dogs provide a bigger bang for your buck in terms of their racing


The greyhound breeding industry in NZ is still in its formative stage as opposed to the thoroughbred breeding industry. There is no national sale facility in greyhound racing and generally pups are sold via word of mouth or through advertising either in the greyhound publication or on the internet. Unlike a horse when breeding generally several pups are born so if you do decide to sell a couple you can also keep a couple for yourself. If you happen to own a very good race dog you may be able to sell it in NZ, there are very few that are sold overseas however it is highly unlikely that you will make the capital gains possible in the thoroughbred industry ( however there are only a few in the thoroughbred industry that make these gains)

In summary the greyhound industry provides a racing opportunity that is a lot more cost effective and just as much fun compared to the other codes. With more racing and stake earning opportunities you get a lot more bang for your buck!!

Investment in the industry should be regarded as an investment in entertainment, the only gaurantee is that you should have a lot of fun along the way.


If you require further assistance I am more than happy to assist, you can contact me on 021 300 930 or info@ownagreyhound.co.nz


Buying a dog

Points of consideration...



You have got a couple of mates together to race a dog or perhaps going alone and not quite sure your next step, here are a few suggestions that may assist.

What type of dog do I buy

There are several considerations you need to take into account when buying a dog, the first of which is "am I looking for a quick fix or am i prepared to wait a while" This will ultimately determine weather you buy a pup (up to 12 months) a breaker (12-16 months) or a racedog. There are advantages and disadvantages with all 3 types of dogs, and obviously there are different costs to take into account also, it all adds to the mix for the decision you need to make. we will look at each and try and weigh up their advantages and disadvantages.


The biggest advantage is initial outlay, you can buy a pup from $250 up to $10000. Although your initial outlay will be smaller you will have to pay for the pup to be reared/broken in etc.
Because the pup is an unknown in terms of its ability you are buying based on breeding and confirmation, similair to buying a yearling at the horse sales. This generally means if you are prepared to take the risk on your pup turning in to a handy racedog, you would have almost always secured it for a cheaper price than that of a breaker or racedog.
You will also have to wait for up to 12 months before you know if your dog is any good. The pup is almost always free of injury.



For the purpose of this information we will refer to breakers as dogs who are in the process of breaking in. Right through to their first raceday start.
Breakers prices vary often determined by who the trainer is, the breeding of the dog and the ability it has shown. Breakers can often be bought from around $800 - $10000
At this point the trainer and current owners will be starting to get an idea as to how well the dog is going, obviously if the dog is breaking in well the dogs price will increase, and may not be for sale at all. As these types of dogs rarely come on to the general market in NZ you are best to, contact and make enquiries with trainers, ask if they have any breakers for sale and ask to see them trial. Most trainers will be obliging if they have anything for sale or will point you in the right direction.
You wont have to wait as long as a pup to get to the races, but their will be several months of education that you will obviously have to pay for. The majority of these dogs wil be free from injury.



Racedogs can be purchased anywhere from $1000 - $20,000. Prices are often determined by age, ability, breeding etc. There are generally a few tricks to look out for when buying racedogs, I would always suggest that you check previous form in particular if the dog has had a break from race during its career for a period of more than 3 months. This often means the dog has had a bad injury, or has been suspended from racing for failing to chase or fighting etc. These types of dogs can often go on with no further problems however you need to weigh that up against the price the seller is asking and determine if it is worth the risk. Also check who the current trainer is, have they sold dogs before, how have they gone, who have they sold them to.
The biggest advantage of racedogs is you generally know what you are getting, there is typically no guess work and if you do your study and get it at the right price you will generally be happy with your purchase.


"Own a Greyhound" has contacts throughout the industry and is well set up to assist you in your purchase.


For those new to the industry I hope this has been of some assistance to you. When buying any dog irrespective of its price I suggest you always gather as much information as possible and gain some expert advice if possible. As greyhounds unlike cars dont come with warrantys.

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