Former racing greyhounds are picking up skills and learning new manners at an innovative canine ‘bootcamp’ aimed at helping them find their adoptive homes.

A Garnant charity has developed ‘GreysAbility’, a four-week intensive training programme, specifically designed for ex-racing hounds facing the next phase in their lives.

Positive human interaction is key to helping these graceful dogs build trust with people as they transition from kennels to companion homes, with lots of physical and mental stimulation to encourage them to feel good about themselves and their new surroundings.

The exciting project - thought to be the first of its kind in the UK - is the brainchild of Greyhound Rescue Wales (GRW), with support from Hope Rescue and the expert training skills of Houndability.

The idea is to rescue, train and rehome some of the livelier hounds brought to GRW, socialising them with a wide range of experiences, getting them accustomed to new environments and shaping them into ideal companion dogs for energetic owners.

GRW director of rescue and rehoming Kerry Sands said: “We’re taking some of our fabulous bouncy greyhounds and teaching them skills and manners to support their transition from racing dog to companion animal.

“It’s a kind of bootcamp for greyhounds but, because at GRW we only use positive dog training methods, we can promise there are lots of laughs, fun and multi-species learning along the way.

“We believe in our ex-racers and their capacity to be wonderful pets, but we also believe in honest assessments and full support for our adopters.

“For this reason, the team at our Hillcrest rescue and rehoming centre is currently introducing more rigorous dog-testing, allowing us to paint a broader picture of our dogs and determine what they may need in their adoptive homes when they transition from the track to life as companions.”

The first GreysAbility graduates are former racers, Nigel and Hazel, are put through their paces on a daily basis.

They also spent a day at Pencoed College, Bridgend, meeting dog trainers, walkers, volunteers and, of course, some new four-legged friends, to learn about canine body language.

Kerry said: “Everyone who meets these dogs agree they will make fantastic companions.

“They have such wonderful characters, which can be seen in our series of short videos made along their journey, and have been a joy to train.”

Potential adopters wanting to find out more about GreysAbility and the difference it makes can contact Kerry by email on