Determining the size of your budget is probably the best starting point.
When dealing with the purchase of race dogs or pups the best advice is similar to the advice given to punters, spend only what you can afford to lose. This can vary from $1,000 through to tens of thousands of dollars depending upon your budget. This is not to say that you will lose all of your money but there are no guarantees in racing and while you can make a profit you can just as easily have some bad luck and cop a loss.
Once your greyhound is at race stage you will be faced with training fees. Some trainers only charge a token training fee each week ($10 or $20 a week) and are involved in 50/50 stakemoney deals with their owners while other trainers charge more, between $80 and $120 per week, but claim less percentage of any stakemoney earned.
This process involves purchasing a greyhound from the age of 3 – 6 months. The price of pups varies depending upon the pedigree and race performance of the Sire (Dad) and Dam (Mum). Pups can vary in price anywhere from $500 through to $12,000, however as a rule you can normally buy a well-bred pup in the $2,000 - $4,500 range.
On top of the purchase price of the pup you will have to pay rearing fees (Approximately $40 a week for 12 months), plus breaking in costs (approx. $750) before they are eligible to race.
There are no guarantees with pups, but the beauty of buying a puppy is that you get to see them develop from a young age and if they mature to be nice race dogs you get to win all of their graded races along the way which increases their earning capacity. When looking for a pup a handy hint is to seek pups from a bitch that has proven herself to be a good producer in the past or look for a bitch from a successful litter with a good race performance as they are also more likely to throw winners.
The cost of a racedog will fluctuate depending upon their race performances to date and age. As a guide if you are looking to buy a country or provincial grade greyhound to race at Mandurah and Northam you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 while a city grade greyhound which races at Cannington will generally start from $5,000 and obviously the better performed or more promising the dog the greater chance to earn stakemoney resulting in a more hefty price tag.
For the first-time owner buying a proven race dog can generally be the safest way to commence your venture into the sport. By purchasing a proven race dog you can research its form and credentials and watch it compete in races prior to putting an offer in on the canine. The old adage is “no one sells a champion”, however many owners are happy to sell handy performers at the right price and many greyhounds who are just shy of city class in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland come to WA and measure up well.
When looking for racedogs or pups as a first timer it is always a good idea to speak to a few trainers/breeders/current industry members to receive a bit of guidance.
It is likely you will have a rapport with one of the Trainers you talk to and from there they can often help you to find your race dog or pup.
Both racedogs and pups are advertised in the free local greyhound advertising publication The Woofer, which can be found on line at www.greyhoundswa.com.au.