You may have a dog in your backyard that chases after the odd stick or tennis ball but have you ever seen them hit speeds of 65 kilometres per hour?
That's the speed greyhounds clock up during their races and if you have ever contemplated a career with the 'longtails' this will outline some of the possibilities.
The greyhound racing industry is an ever-growing business that employs hundreds of people in Western Australia each year.
Like all business, greyhound racing has a broad range of career opportunities, both part-time and full-time.
Racing Industry Training
Name: Racing Industry Training
Phone: (08) 9445 5483
In addition to the specialised greyhound racing roles, there are jobs involved in finance, operations, marketing and media, food and beverage and secretarial, with standard tertiary education being the general requirement to acquire such positions.
After the running of each race, the greyhounds stop in an area called the Catching Pen. Once they reach the catching pen they are greeted by a catcher who puts a collar and lead on them and escorts them off the track into the kennels.
Many young people catch greyhounds to earn a bit of extra pocket money.
You have to be an approved catcher in order to complete this task.
At every greyhound race meeting, all of the dogs are checked by the Vet and then taken to an air-conditioned kennel where they stay secure until it is time to get ready for their race.
Kennel staff facilitate this process by weighing greyhounds and recording their details, distributing stretch vests and kennel cards, assisting stewards and the Vet where applicable and maintaining cleanliness in the kennel
There are approximately 6 kennel staff employed at each race meeting and all of them are employed on a casual or part-time basis.
No experience is required to become a part of the Kennel Staff, just a common sense approach and the ability to work whenever the race meetings are on.
Everyone who has seen a greyhound race will know there is a mechanical bunny which the greyhounds chase, called the lure.
The person who drives the bunny (the lure driver) sits above the track and is instructed to keep the bunny within clear sight of the leading greyhound.
This is a specialised role and requires a licence to operate.
In order to keep the racing surface and the surrounds of the track in pristine condition, the raceclubs employ track staff who attend to a variety of duties including surface preparation, maintenance of grounds and gardens, general repair services and overall upkeep of the grounds.
The racetrack is a vital ingredient of greyhound racing and the majority of the track staffs’ time is spent ensuring the race surface is in fine condition.
The track staff employ a range of people from different backgrounds including horticulturalists, greenkeepers, curators, lawnmowers and gardeners.
Most greyhound trainers commence their involvement as a hobby and develop their skills, with many of them making the transition from part-time to full-time once they are established with regular winners.
In order to become a trainer you must pass both a written exam as well as a practical test to show you have the knowledge and experience required to prepare canines for racing. In addition to passing the written and practical tests you must have suitable kennelling facilities for your racedogs, either at your home, property or at a rented facility.
Greyhounds don’t take holidays so it is a genuine full-time role, but the financial rewards for successful trainers can be very attractive.
At every race meeting and qualifying trial session a fully qualified Vet is in attendance to check over the dogs and attend to any injuries or illness. Every greyhound at every meeting is vetted prior to being kennelled and the vet plays a very hands on role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of greyhounds on race day.
The standard tertiary qualifications plus some working knowledge of greyhounds is required for such a position.