Greyhound muzzling is an archaic law that was introduced to Australia in 1927. This law has been hugely detrimental to this breed for a number of reasons, but mostly because it creates a public misconception that these dogs are dangerous and aggressive. People see greyhounds wearing muzzles, and since there is a lack of awareness in regards to this law, they assume the breed poses a major threat to the public. This mistaken belief results in major setbacks when trying re-home the greyhounds discarded by the racing industry. I wondered how anyone could possibly agree that this ridiculous law is actually necessary, so I jumped onto a few online forums to see what I could find. I was quite shocked by the complete ignorance and total lack of compassion that some people have when it comes to greyhounds. So here are a few of the arguments that I found supporting greyhound muzzling, and here is me, jamming my middle finger up at these uneducated, callous people.
Argument 1 – Greyhounds have a high prey drive.
While it is true that greyhounds are trained to chase by the racing industry, in reality, many greyhounds live harmoniously with small furry animals and are in fact able to play gently with their smaller counterparts. Since greyhounds must be leashed at all times, according to law, this argument is completely invalid. It is impossible for a greyhound to chase down any form of prey if it is leashed when in public. It all comes down to owner accountability. If you know your dog has a strong instinct to chase, (and trust me you know) then you don’t allow it to be in a situation where this could happen. Muzzling needs to accommodate the individual nature of each dog and this is the responsibility of the owner. There are many other breeds that are also trained to hunt and kill, yet there are no laws in place that require these dogs to be muzzled.
Argument 2 – Greyhounds are aggressive and will bite people and children if given the chance.
Yep I seriously did find someone who wrote this. Greyhounds are one of the gentlest breeds of dog on this planet and I know myself and many others would trust their dog with children of all ages. My greyhound absolutely adores children and will let them do absolutely anything with her. She just lies there, all sleepy eyed and relaxed. This is not a condition unique to my greyhound, every single greyhound I have had the privilege of knowing, has been docile and calm in the presence of people, especially children. The only reason people assume they are aggressive is because of this insane law. Greyhound owners everywhere will tell you that this breed is just incredibly sweet natured and loving towards their human acquaintances.
Argument 3 – The law is there for a reason, why would they imposed a law if it wasn’t relevant and evidence based?
This law is so incredibly outdated and was actually introduced on the race track so that trainers could protect their precious commodities. There is absolutely no evidence or research conducted that indicates that greyhounds as a breed pose a greater risk than any other breed. It is the strong belief of many animal welfare groups, including the RSPCA, that muzzling laws should reflect the individual nature of each dog and not stereotype any one particular breed. Greyhounds owners are baffled as to why these laws remain in place, despite ongoing petitioning and continued evidence to support the sweet nature of these dogs. Unfortunately, once a law is in place there are so many hoops to jump through and official processes that must be followed in order to change it.
In the end it comes down to trusting dog owners and their personal assessment of their dog’s temperament. Each and every dog is an individual and with this comes a unique personality. Many dogs have the tendency to chase or kill if left off leash or un-muzzled, but it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that these dogs are kept under control at all times. In general greyhounds are sweet natured and affectionate animals and are no more likely to chase, maim or kill than any other breed.
How you can help
Jump online and sign this e petition to help repeal greyhound muzzling!