How do you pick a winning dog?

How do you pick a winning dog?

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Picking the right greyhound as a winning dog primarily entails understanding a combination of deciding factors such as the dog’s pedigree, physical health, performance track record, temperament, and intangible qualities that make it stand out as a potential champion. Considerably, it is not a simple binary choice but a detailed process of thorough evaluation and assessment.

Anatomy and Physical Health

Picking a winning greyhound starts with examining the dog’s physical health and built. A greyhound’s anatomy and physical health can significantly impact its performance on the track:

  1. Size: Greyhounds range from 60 to 70lbs in weight, and their height usually ranges from 26 to 30 inches. The right balance of height and weight can make a difference in acceleration and endurance.
  2. Musculature: A fit, muscular greyhound potentially has a good build for running. Look for a broad back and strong hindquarters, as these are signs of good power and speed.
  3. Health: Regular and thorough check-ups are imperative. Clean, clear eyes, a shiny coat, and good teeth are signs of a well-maintained greyhound.

Pedigree and Performance

Understanding a greyhound’s pedigree and previous performance can give insights into its potential.


Consider the dog’s lineage. Greyhounds with a lineage of winning dogs are often more likely to perform well:

  • Dogs in the lineage who have performed well on similar track conditions.
  • Consistent performance in the lineage.


  • Consistency: Winning greyhounds usually have a track record of consistent performance.
  • Adaptability: An adaptable dog can adjust to different tracks and racing conditions.

Temperament and Other Factors


This is often variable and can change with time, age, and experience. However, some general indicators of a favorable temperament include:

  • Eagerness to please and trainability.
  • Calm, yet focused demeanor in a stressful or new environment.
  • Assertiveness, but not excessive aggression.


Intangible factors might not directly relate to the dog’s ability to win races, but they are essential nonetheless. These may include a dog’s ability to get along with handlers, resilience to stress, and a love for the competition.

Picking a winning greyhound is more an art than a science. It’s about understanding and evaluating various factors such as the dog’s physical health, pedigree, past performances, temperament, and unique attributes on a case-by-case basis. Each dog is unique, and what makes one a winner might not apply to another.

Training and Conditioning

Training and conditioning play vital roles in shaping a greyhound into a winning contender.


Regular training contributes positively to a greyhound’s performance. The emphasis here is on:

  • Speed drills: These enhance the greyhound’s running speed.
  • Endurance training: This helps increase the greyhound’s stamina, aiding in maintaining higher speeds for longer durations.


Proper conditioning is key for optimal performance. It includes:

  • Diet: High-energy, nutritious meals are essential for maintaining their health and energy levels.
  • Rest: Proper rest helps the greyhound recover from training and build stamina.
  • Healthcare: Regular vet checks to identify any health issues early on.

Note: It’s also important to note that conditioning doesn’t purely concern physical aspects. Mental conditioning, such as getting the dog used to the sounds and environment of a racetrack, is also of great importance.

Racing Strategy

Even the best conditioned and trained greyhound may not win if they lack a good racing strategy. Here are some key points to consider:

  • The greyhound’s racing style: Does it perform better starting off fast and leading from the front, or does it pick up speed gradually, preferring to run from behind?
  • The greyhound’s adaptability to different positioning in the race track – inside, middle, or outside.

Now, let’s look at an example to understand how we can rate a greyhound on different factors:

Greyhound Size Musculature Health Pedigree Performance Temperament Training Conditioning Racing Strategy
Shiny Star 9 8 9 7 8 7 8 8 7
Rocket Speed 8 9 8 9 7 8 7 9 8
Sky Runner 7 7 8 8 9 9 8 7 9

In the table, the greyhounds are rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for each factor. It helps in comparative analysis and provides an idea of which greyhound holds the edge.

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