In this section, I explain how a dog's racing age may affect its track performance and provide a link to Greyhound Welfare and Dog Re-Homing sites.
Knowing the dog's age is a very important factor when predicting canine races, as it implies to the general consistency of race performances.
Greyhound Predictor v2.0 Software requires all ages to be entered in months!
In UK Racing Form, the age of a dog 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 old 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.
Some trainers may 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 fully fit and ready for the 'Puppy Opens' held later in the summer months.
These raw lightly raced greyhounds are open to much improvement over the following weeks and months, as they possess good racing potential, which is always considered a good sign when predicting future race 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 much earlier, between 21 - 30 months and consider this to be the perfect age for backing dogs over sprints and middle-distances. Although bitches may take a little longer to reach their full potential.
More experienced dogs between 36 - 48 months old will be competing in their second or third racing season. These dogs are more battle hardened to the regular hustle and bustle of racing and remarkably produce very consistent 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 careers and many will sadly be retired. However, there's always exceptions to the rule, as a few 'seasoned campaigners' continue winning races, although most will lack that bit of spark or back-straight pace they once possessed!
The lifespan of a greyhound is varied. The legendary Mick The Miller lived to the age of thirteen years old. Although, bitches may live a little longer, many up to fourteen or fifteen and have also heard of greyhounds living to twenty!
Greyhound Predictor now has a link page dedicated to greyhound rescue sites if you can in anyway help in the re-homing of retired ex-racing dogs, then please visit our greyhound welfare page.
Now check your newspaper.
To know how old a greyhound is? you will need to find the 'whelping date' which is usually located in the formlines to the right of the dam's name. Then simply calculate the approximate number of months that have elapsed since the whelping date occurred!
Now enter the age in months.
© 2020 Dan Albright
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