Removal of muzzling requirements for pet greyhounds

Since 1 January 2019, Victorian pet greyhounds do not need to be muzzled in public.

Non-racing greyhounds

Non-racing greyhounds are pet greyhounds. They are greyhounds that are:

  • retired from the sport of racing (including breeding)
  • registered with the local council
  • are no longer registered as racing greyhounds with Greyhound Racing Victoria.

Retired greyhounds and muzzling

From 1 January 2019 the legal requirement for your pet greyhound to be muzzled in public will no longer apply — if it is retired from the racing industry.

You can choose to keep a muzzle on your pet greyhound in public if you want to.

If your greyhound is showing signs of hyper-excitability or agitation around other dogs, consider keeping a muzzle on your greyhound when walking in public.

A muzzle should fit your greyhound comfortably and not restrict normal behaviour such as panting and drinking.

Pet greyhounds and leashes in public

All greyhounds must be leashed at all times when in public — including council off-leash areas. Councils may authorise the use of certain spaces as greyhound-specific off-lead areas. Please check with your local council for locations near you.

Greyhound assessment prior to rehoming

From 1 January 2019, there will be no mandated assessments before a greyhound is rehomed. Some rehoming organisations, such as Greyhound Racing Victoria's Greyhound Adoption Program, will continue to complete an assessment before rehoming a greyhound.

Suitability assessments are strongly recommended to ensure that a pet greyhound is a good match for the prospective owner.

Specific requirements may apply to registered shelters and pounds that rehome animals.

Not-for-profit greyhound rehoming organisations will be able to rehome all pet greyhounds without muzzles from 1 January 2019.

Registering your pet greyhound with council

Registering pet dogs with your local council is a requirement under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. You can be fined for not registering your pet greyhound.

Education for pet greyhound owners

We have developed an education resource to inform current and prospective greyhound owners about the legal requirements and responsibilities of owning a pet greyhound.

The resource covers important topics of greyhound ownership including:

  • introducing exercise and enrichment
  • understanding greyhound body language and behavioural cues.

Download the resource:

Wind down period for racing greyhounds

The new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds came into effect on 1 January 2020 and provides a pathway for greyhound retirement and rehoming. This looks to ensure greyhounds are well socialised and adjusted to transition to life as a pet.

Currently, greyhound rehoming programs should (and often do) include a wind down period for transitioning racing greyhounds to pet life. For example, Greyhound Racing Victoria's Greyhound Adoption Program undertakes a 28 day wind-down period before rehoming any greyhound.

The information on this page is also available to download:

Page last updated: 06 Jul 2020