Keith Laybourn
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Dog breeding, dog owning and dog training
Dividing the classes
in Going to the dogs
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As Mark Clapson has suggested, despite its ubiquity, little has been written on the breeding, training and racing of greyhounds. The sport developed out of coursing but demanded an immense increase in the number of greyhound to fulfil the needs of the expanding sport in the 1930s. There may have been more than 60,000 greyhounds racing the tracks at any time in the 1930s which, given the fact that their race careers were often three to four years, meant that up to 180,000 different dogs were racing in the 1930s. This chapter focuses upon the costs of breeding, training and racing greyhounds and notes that there were marked differences between the practices and costs of those dogs raised for the NGRC tracks, which were often owned by the tracks themselves as well as rich individuals, and those raised for the flapping tracks that were often bred, trained and raced by working-class owners. The former provided dogs for the classic races whereas the latter essentially provided dogs for the low-prize money graded races. However, by the 1970s, and faced with the decline of greyhound racing, tracks moved towards using contract trainers to supply their racing needs.

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Going to the dogs

A history of greyhound racing in Britain, 1926–2017

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