Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Greyhound Trainer

Everything starts with first turnout. Everybody out to stretch their legs, relieve themselves and just start the day. Then...

1.on a good day just put them in the sprint field and they will run and play.

2.on a bad day run with them and inspire them to run when they don't want to.

3.on a fun day trick some kid into running with them, who thinks they are having fun

7am -

1.check previous night's racers for injuries

2. make sure tonight's racers are fit

3. take care of sick and hurt dogs

4. weigh today and tomorrow's racers.(all dogs have to be within 1 1/2 pounds of a set weight or they can't run - if they can't run then you lose money and you get fined then they can't run for 10 days which costs you more money and you have to official school them back which is another race for no money)

8 am - feed them. most bitches get around 2 pounds of feed a day, most males get 2 1/2 to 3 pounds a day. racers get a little snack in the morning. (food looks like a giant bowl of cabbage roll stuffing after you mix it - beef, rice, vegetables, stress dex (electrolytes), Purina high pro dog food is the basic mix - everybody has their own magic formula.

9 am - 2nd. turnout. beds if you didn't do them first turnout

2. everybody is relaxing after a good meal

3. keep on pooper scoopin'

10 am - clean kennel and pens, go home

twice a week you have morning schooling. this is where you put new and recovering dogs on the track at different distances. you have to hold them and let them go when the rabbit goes by and then run to the finish line and catch them before they have a chance to run off. if you are lucky you have help to do this. it adds approximately an hour to your morning.

3 pm - afternoon turnout. usually the longest most relaxing turnout.

1. everybody goes outside to clean out and stretch their legs.

2. usually racers have a separate turnout so that water can be regulated.

3. weigh and snack racers

4. pick up pens again

6 pm - official weigh in

1. turnout and check racers weights one more time before loading dogs in truck to go to track

2. take dogs to track where they are weighed and their tattoos are checked to make sure the right dog is there

3. official schooling is twice a week. pups and dogs working back from injuries or whatever are raced at official distances in front of the judges to prove they are ready for official races. this takes about another hour and a half - usually until 7:30 when official races start.

7:30 to whenever you are finished racing

1. pick up all dogs in races and cool them out by hosing them down and walking them and giving them water. You can have as little as one dog in (rare) or as many as 10 or so, it just depends on the luck of the draw.

2. do night turnout. everybody goes outside again to pee and stretch their legs for a half hour to an hour depending on the weather and your race schedule. more pooper scoopin'!

3. after races are over feed and check racers for injuries. turn them out to pee and rest a little outside.

4. go home (it is somewhere between 11pm and 1 am and you have to be back at 5 in the morning to do it all over again.

this schedule in all it's variations is done 7 days a week - 365 days a year. if you are lucky you have help. if you don't have help you do it anyway. there is no racing on Christmas and Thanksgiving but you still have to go to the kennel and take care of the dogs because they don't know it's a holiday. (all 4 turnouts, all day long)

you don't do this job for the money although the money is good. (actually everybody gets a salary because you work 70 to 80 hours a week) you do this job to be with the dogs. it is a way of life - not a job!

motto: if you want a job with 9 to 5 rules then get a job with 9 to 5 hours!

Oh, I forgot, 3 matinees a week in the afternoon (1:30 to 4:30) - so you can't go home a take a nap!

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