Name of Kennel / Prefix / Affix:
Kelsis Greyhounds/Suzanne Ryan
What age were you and how did you become involved in the world of Dogs?
I was born into dogs, coming from a family who have reared greyhounds for generations. My mother said that I used to try get out of my pram to pat passing dogs from the time I was a few months old and I have yet to be without a dog in life, thank god! I grew up with cocker spaniels and Labradors and did agility with them and my dad brought me to Harold’s Cross track most weeks where my interest in greyhounds grew and grew.
What Breeds of Dogs have you had over the years ?
As soon as I could choose my own dog, I left the Labradors and spaniels, lovely as they are, for greyhounds and haven’t looked back. I can’t imagine not having some form of sighthound in my home.
What Breeds of Dogs have you got now ?
I currently have three greyhounds – the eldest is Kelsis who is now ten. He had over 138 races, with many successes and never an injury. He lived to race but took to retirement very well and lure coursed until he is simply too old to continue.
At that time we decided to enter the show ring instead and he did well and enjoyed his days out at various kennel club shows. He works with myself at Sighthound Strolls, a voluntary group which organises regular meet ups for hound owners and works to promote hounds as pets nationwide (we also do small scale rehoming and rescue) as an ‘ambassadog’. He has happily lived with pet chickens and quail and adores children.
Secondly, I have Inka who is a 3 year old racing greyhound. She has no interest in shows and prefers to spend her time at the beach, on the sofa or honing her obedience skills. I hope to start competing with her in that area this year. Like most greyhounds, she is a bubbly, happy girl who loves nothing more than sleeping and playing with little brother Henry. She also regularly attends Sighthound Strolls events and enjoys ‘meeting and greeting’ the public and showing what great pets greyhounds make.
The third dog in the family is Henry, who was imported from Mandajors kennel in France. He is a showline greyhound who has recently turned one year old. He shows occasionally but prefers to join Inka on the beach and the sofa! He is a brilliant pet who has yet to meet a person or animal he doesn’t like – including cats!
What would you consider to be your main Breed and the one people associate you with?
It has to be Greyhounds! I live, breathe (and bore people…) with all things greyhound constantly!
What attracted you to this breed ?
Their wonderful laid back and affectionate temperament, the fact that they can adapt to life with working owners more readily than many breeds and the fact that they need not have hours of exercise a day – contrary to popular belief. They are built to sprint and will happily lazy the day away in bed after a walk. I also like that they are generally a very healthy breed.
The sad reality is that there are enormous numbers of greyhounds in need of homes in Ireland constantly so once you have met one and fallen for their charms it is nearly impossible not to become caught up in the plight many of them face if they are not good enough to race. It is very difficult to share your home with a greyhound and yet be aware that many do not get to experience the same long life and comfort.
What advice would you offer to anybody that is interested in becoming an owner of this Breed?
I would suggest contacting Sighthound Strolls through facebook and attending one of our monthly walks in Dublin or nationwide in order that you can meet the dogs and the owners and ask any questions you have.
There are greyhounds to fit any sort of home, be it one with children and/or cats, an active home or a more laid back type of home.
I would suggest taking your time and researching the breed and waiting for the dog that suits your specific lifestyle to become available as with so many looking for homes, the right dog is out there for everyone.
Does the Breed have any specific requirements by way of exercise & grooming?
As far as grooming goes, a simple brush once or twice a week will keep the short greyhound coat healthy and looking well. As far as exercise goes, two 20-30 minute walks a day will leave your greyhound fit for bed and if you have access to a safe and enclosed fenced area, a greyhound will appreciate a quick run around it whenever possible.
Does the Breed have any specific health tests that should be done before a Dog or bitch is used at stud or bred from?
There are no tests currently in place with regard to racing/coursing greyhounds but most, if not all, showline greyhounds are tested, and should be tested, for greyhound neuropathy.
Finally, how would you sum up the characteristics of this breed and what type of household would they best be suited too?
The greyhound is a lovable, calm and loyal pet, perfect for any type of home. Many greyhounds work as therapy dogs and assistance dogs, and similarly many enjoy remaining competitive in fields such as amateur racing or agility. With that in mind I would urge anyone interested in a greyhound to consider them further as chances are there is a dog out there that could fit into their household.
Suzanne and her speed merchants will be on hand for both days at this years Pet Expo at the Dog Breed Village which is being held at the RDS on the 16th & 17th November. So if you have any more questions you’d like answered on the fabulous dog breed that is the Greyhound, stick those dates down in your diary, as Suzanne & the team will only be too happy to point you in the right direction.