In this section, I explain how a dog's age may affect race performances and provide a link to Greyhound Welfare sites.
Knowing the age of a dog is a very important factor when predicting canine races, as it implies to the general consistency of performances.
Greyhound Predictor v2.0 Software requires all ages to be entered in months!
In UK Greyhound Racing Form, the runners' age is always taken from the first day of the month, even if born on the last day of the month!
All greyhounds less than 24 months old are classified as 'puppies' and will at approximately 12 months of age be introduced to the idea of racing, after initial schooling trials most juvenile dogs that achieve a 'grading in time' will make their race debuts between 15 - 18 months of age.
Trainers may occasionally elect to bring certain 'well bred pups' on slowly at first, deliberately keep them back, wrap them in cotton wool perhaps! and then introduce them fresh in the spring from a winter's break, in order to get them fit for the forthcoming 'Puppy Opens' held in the summer months.
These raw 'lightly raced greyhounds' are open to much improvement over the following months, as overall they possess good racing potential, which is always considered a good sign when predicting future winners! However, 'greyhound pups' frequently run a little 'green' and race inconsistently, as obviously young puppies are still learning to win dog races.
The age at which a greyhound reaches it's prime can vary enormously. It's generally thought a dog's best age is between 30 - 36 months, although I beleive some peak earlier, between 21 - 30 months of age and consider this the perfect age for backing dogs over sprints and middle-distances. Though bitches may take a little longer to reach their full potential.
Most 'experienced dogs' between 36 - 48 months old will be competing in their second or third racing season. Battle hardened to the hustle and bustle of regular racing they remarkably produce very consistent track performances, illustrated by the close proximity of their recorded times.
Open class 'Marathon bitches' it is said often improve their performances in their second season of racing over these extended distances!
All 'veterans' over 48 months old will be approaching the twilight of their racing careers and many will be retired. However, there's always exceptions to the rule, as a few 'seasoned campaigners' continue winning races. Although most will lack that spark or back-straight pace they once possessed!
The lifespan of greyhounds is varied. The legendary Mick The Miller "the sports' first superstar" lived up to the age of 13. Although, bitches may live a little longer, many up to 14 or 15 years old and may still produce litters at the age of twelve or thirteen! I've also heard of greyhounds living up to 20!
The Greyhound Predictor website now has an extra page dedicated to 'greyhound rescue sites' if you would like more information or can in anyway help in the rehoming of retired ex-racing dogs, then please visit our greyhound welfare page.
Now check your racing newspaper.
To know how old a greyhound is? you will need to find the 'whelping date' which is located in the racing formlines to the right of the dam's name. Now simply calculate the approximate number of months that have elapsed since the whelping date occurred!
Now enter the age in months.
© 2017 Dan Albright
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