Dog Races: Best Ways to Bet and Strategy Guide

Dog races are perceived as a niche type of racing. The leader in popularity of these competitions is, perhaps, in the UK, where there are more than 50,000 dog races held each year, and the volume of bets made on dog races are behind only soccer and horse racing.


The UK isn't the only place where these types of races have a following. They are also popular in the United States, as well as Australia, Ireland, and other countries. Historically, these spectacular sporting event's interests were specifically fueled by betting.

Therefore, in today's world online sportsbooks cannot ignore dog racing.

In many countries, this sport is not very popular, but, nevertheless, some do have an interest in betting on it. Therefore, we will explain the basics, what to pay attention to, and give small tips all to help you decide the best way to bet on dog races.

How Did Dog Racing Begin?

For hound dogs, the instinct of persecution and hunting is natural. Over time, hunting became expensive and aristocratic, and in some countries was even forbidden.

England became the originator of the new sport, compensating for the original competition of excommunication of greyhounds and other hunting breeds of dogs from the natural need to chase game.

Thus, field samples of hound breeds were transformed into modern dog races. A live target in the form of a fox or rabbit has been replaced by a mechanical hare. At the beginning of the 20th century, the optimal trajectory for the upgraded model of the mechanical hare was a circle or an oval.

Therefore, the tracks on which dog races were held were born. In 1926, the British Hounds Association was established in Manchester. The chance to win money by betting on one of the hounds attracted more and more spectators to the races.

The fame of dog races has spread throughout the UK. In 1927 alone, more than 40 tracks were launched there. The United States today questions the legality of greyhound racing, with only a few states having legal races and active tracks. 

Dog Racing Rules of Competition

The essence of the competition is simple. Six hound dogs run after a mechanical hare on the oval-shaped track. The winner is the greyhound that crosses the finish line first.

To record the results of the race, the judges use photo finishing, where the dog's nose is the main determining factor, as the position of the paws do not matter. Prizes are awarded to the dogs who finish in the first three places.

Dogs begin the race from six numbered boxes, which in English terminology are called the trap or start.

Boxes, or trads, are numbered from the inside of the track from one to six. The numbers of the tread are painted in different colors:

  • 1st  - red
  • 2nd - blue
  • 3rd - white
  • 4th - black
  • 5th - orange
  • 6th - striped black and white.

Distribution of dogs in the boxes matters. It is defined by considering the needs of a particular dog, based on its manner of running. Some dogs are used to running closer to the inside of the track, others in the middle, and others on the outside of the track.

If the greyhound accustomed to running on the outside of the track, is instead running from the first box, then when trying to take its usual place in the course of running, it will cross the trajectory of other dogs.

The same will happen if a dog who is used to running on the inside of the track starts in the sixth box.

Classification and Race Categories

Dog races are also held at different distances. Races can have different levels of difficulty (with obstacles) and are divided into classes.

A-class is the most common type of race at a distance of 380 to 520 m. This popular class is subdivided into subclasses. From A1 to A3 are top races in which the average speed of dogs reaches 39 miles per hour. From A4 to A6 is the middle class of races, where the average speed of hounds is about 38 miles per hour.

The A7-A11 is the lowest subclass with an average dog speed of 35-37 mph.

  • D-Class - minimum distance races or sprints - from 200 to 300 m.
  • Classes S, M, I, E - "Slayer," 575 to 1800 m.
  • H-Class - hurdles.
  • HP-class - are kinds of races with a handicap or handicap.
  • OR-class - is an open competition where participants from other cities or societies are invited.
  • T-Class - test, or test, races. They don't take bets.

Types of Dog Racing Bets

There is a probability that soon many different sportsbooks will start accepting bets similar to sportsbooks in places like the UK on all markets typical of such competitions.

This heavily depends on whether the legality of dog races becomes more common in the US. 

Similar to other competitive races, betting offers consist of the different combinations of the finish line: the winner of the race, prize finish (from first to the third), the first or second place, the exact time of the first three and other special bets.

How to Bet on Dog Racing: Main Strategies and Factors

The main advantage to betting on dog racing is integrity and honesty in running races. After all, you can't bribe a greyhound with money. The human factor is kept to a minimum. There is a jockey in horse racing, but there is no human influence in dog racing.

The human factor comes down only to the organization of competitions. Doping control at official competitions also works. As a result, it all depends on the abilities of the hounds and their readiness.

How does a player identify favorites in dog racing? What selection criteria work in these seemingly exotic competitions? The best way to bet on dog races comes after understanding the conditions that most affect each race. 

Distance and Class of Races

It's like any regular track and field athlete. Like people in athletics, dogs specialize in a certain distance. Accordingly, they are the favorites at their profile distance, although they are often used for other distances as well.

The bettor should determine whether the distance is suited for what hounds. In addition, it is necessary to determine the specifics of the race. Are these conditions convenient for your hounds? Which opponents will they have to compete with?

The Boxing No.

In most cases, the organizers consider the features of the dog and its preferences to start in a certain trap. In turn, fans of bets on dog racing should weigh where the dog’s starting place in relation to the inside of the track is. Perhaps, for some reason, the organizers put the dog in the wrong booth.

Intervals Between Races

Every living being needs rest to recover. It is the coach's responsibility to determine how well the dog is ready for a particular race. Coaches also feel when their dogs are at peak form. Experienced bettors who follow certain competitors can also understand when the hound is in optimal shape. In most cases, trainers give their pets an extended rest after three to seven runs.

Additional Factors for Betting on Dog Races 

Weather, as in other sports, can also affect the result of races. There is a reason the sportsbook is not broadcasting the weather conditions at the time of the competition.

The ideal condition of the track in good weather conditions works on the favorites. Unfavorable conditions in most cases can level the playing field, increasing the chances of underdogs, so with changes in weather conditions also come changes in perceived chances for dog racing.

As in most cases, in dog racing bets, the player has an advantage if he is competent and has more information about a particular hound than a sportsbook.

Or has arguments that confirm that the odds in the line reflect the specified probability. Profile knowledge of the player allows you to determine the real balance of power, comparing all this with the sportsbook's assessment.

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