Celebrating Greyhounds - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
scare me, but the guys in the dog program
On the human
have been carefully selected. They are earnest
side of the equation,
about becoming expert dog trainers and have
the dogs' presence
been model prisoners to date. No, I don't
helps to de-
know what caused them to end up in prison
initially, and really, it's none of my business.
setting by providing
It is a maximum-security facility, so it must
contact with the
have been serious. I do know that in order
outside world, giving
to qualify to participate in the dog program,
their offenses cannot involve cruelty or abuse,
to show patience
they need a good work history, and they must
have a high school diploma or equivalent."
and offering an
Why Train Greyhounds in Prison?
opportunity to make
There are some definite advantages to
training Greyhounds in prison. Perhaps the
most important is that dog training takes
time, which is something inmates have in
abundance. The Greyhound is assigned to
a team of two inmates - a primary and a
secondary trainer. The Greyhound resides in
the cell with the inmates.
to their lives. That
Inmates learn how to do everything required to care for and train a Greyhound,
including give baths. Photo courtesy of Prison Greyhounds.
is the premise of a
prison-based dog training program: The idea
In 1980, Sister Pauline Quinn started the
that allowing well-supervised inmates to train
first dog training program with female
dogs changes lives, both for the prisoners who
offenders in Washington state. They began
become dog trainers, and for the individuals
by training shelter dogs to make them more
and families who provide permanent homes
adoptable. The program was eventually
for the dogs after their training.
expanded to train service dogs. Quinn's Prison
23 Celebrating Greyhounds Spring/Summer 2017