The pups are needing to be separated into groups and put into individual chain link fenced long runs that are 30' x 300'. Great decisions are made on which pups to group together; after all, they will be together for the next 7-9 months. Usually, a female and male are paired together, but not always. The pups are still fed twice per day.
During the 7-9 months in the long run, the greyhound pups continue to develop. Some greyhound will become more dominant over the others. They usually reach full body weight at about 10-11 months old. They love to run the fence line against the greyhounds in the adjacent runs - up and down, time after time.
Usually, the pups will have some toys to play with. They dig "big" holes. Also, the dogs begin to "roo", or sing and howl, together. The long runs sometimes have thick grass in the center that needs to be mowed short each week. Of course the grass is worn out where they run along the fence. The doghouses are usually custom built. The pups love to chase each other around and play hide and seek by the doghouses. In the summertime, the greyhounds are given "kiddy-type" swimming pools full of water for them to play in and keep cool. Some will lay down in the pool with only their head showing. In the winter, the doghouses are kept full of straw bedding to keep the pups warm and comfortable.
The greyhounds also need to be trained to behave around humans. A simple tap on the nose will prevent them from jumping all over new visitors. The pups are also introduced to some verbal commands. They will be lead-broken at this time as well. Extra time is spent with the greyhounds that are more shy than others. Simply visiting the pup and giving it more attention will sometimes help alleviate its nerves. The greyhounds are also introduced to the muzzle. Since farmers train greyhounds with squawkers (a fur hide with a noise maker inside), the pups become used to seeing (and hearing) the squawker at a young age. Also during this period, the pups are sometimes taken to be worked on the whirly-gig. The whirly-gig is a long-armed device that rotates and dangles the squawker in front of the pups in a circular motion so they pups become familiar with running around a bend. (which is what they will do when they are taught to school at a training track)
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Courtesy of Wendy Hamilton and the GRA.