Greyhound owners in North East Victoria have welcomed law changes allowing their pets to be in public without a muzzle.
They will still be required to be leashed when in public.
Baranduda couple Shayne Scott and David Shepherd, who have fostered ex-racers and currently have two greyhounds of their own, found muzzling gave the wrong impression about the breed.
“The dogs hate the sensation of the wire or plastic on their nose, it’s really horrible for them,” Ms Scott said.
“They really enjoy getting out of the house, but people look at them with the muzzle and think they are a wild animal.
“But really, they have such a calm temperament and are couch potatoes.”
Both of their dogs raced, but while Lotti was responsibility re-homed after retiring, Mr Shepherd said Martin was rescued from a Goulburn pound just in time.
“We believe he was dumped on the street – there’s only so many people who foster, and a lot more dogs,” he said.
“There’s many groups to help you understand what they need and how to nurture them properly.
“It comes down to responsible dog ownership – and it’s a shame a minority give a stereotypical view of the mass.”
The process in Victoria, the Greyhound Adoption Program, leads Australia.
Other changes have come into place in the state with a new code of practice, including that there will be no mandated assessments required before the dogs can be adopted.
In NSW, the Office of Local Government outlines pet greyhounds must still be muzzled unless they have completed a re-training program, designed “to counter greyhounds’ strong instinct to chase prey” and ensure they are socialised.
At the time the Victorian government announced the muzzling requirement would be dropped, the Greens called on the NSW government to follow suit.
Mr Shepherd said any change that attracted more people to greyhound adoption was a positive thing.
“I’ve had other dogs, but greyhounds are just so affectionate and easy to be around, they absorb any stress you have,” he said.