Exercise, Socialisation and Enrichment Plan

Standard 3 of GRNZ’s Greyhound Welfare Standards, sets minimum standards for daily greyhound exercise, socialisation and enrichment (ESE) to ensure they develop appropriate behaviours, and that LPs plan to provide for their ongoing mental and behavioural health at all stages of their racing and breeding careers. Also, through adequate socialisation and enrichment, to prepare them well for life as a pet after their racing career is over.

Under the standards, every Licensed Person (LP) taking care of greyhounds is required to produce an ESE Plan for their premises for all of the different life cycle stages of the greyhounds they care for.

The ESE Plan template

Exercise, Socialisation and Enrichment Plan template

The template above has been created to help LPs complete their ESE Plan. The template consists of a first page of general information, standards 3.1-14, and individual forms for each life cycle stage of the greyhounds that may be at an LP’s premises.

The first page must be filled in and then a form for each life cycle stage of the greyhounds on the premises. Note that not every form is required to be filled if there are no greyhounds of a specific life cycle stage, for example there may not be any lactating females on the premises.

GRNZ understands that there will be times when it is not possible to provide the minimum amount of daily ESE requirements for all of your greyhounds, for example when a greyhound is recovering from surgery or racing, or during very bad weather, and this is outlined in standard 3. Veterinarian advice regarding the type and amount of exercise must be followed first to ensure the welfare of the greyhounds on your premises. 

Sample ESE Plan

The sample ESE Plan above can be viewed to see what kinds of activities, frequency and information might be included to complete the template. More ideas on socialisng greyhounds can be found in the Raising Resilient Racing Greyhounds article below, as well as information on building resilience through early puppy socialisation here.

How to complete the ESE Plan

The template can be completed in two different ways – by handwriting or electronically (the pdf file has fillable fields).

To complete by handwriting:

  1. Click on the Exercise, Socialisation and Enrichment Plan link to open the file.
  2. Print the file as usual.
  3. Fill in the template by hand and keep with your records.

To complete electronically:

  1. Click on the Exercise, Socialisation and Enrichment Plan link to open the file.
  2. Click on download and/or save the file to where your records are kept.
  3. Start typing your answers in each field, using the tab key to work across the form.
  4. Save the file before closing it.
  5. The file can be updated as required and printed to keep with your records.

Keep the ESE Plan handy

The ESE Plan should be updated regularly to ensure it reflects all the greyhounds on your premises. By keeping the plan with your kennel documents it can be produced for inspection by the RIB at a kennel audit. If the plan is not up to date or available the RIB may issue an improvement notice.

Further assistance

LPs looking for new ideas of ESE activities can view a list of activities appropriate for each life cycle stage here.

Any LP requiring additional information should check out the FAQs below.

Exercise, Socialisation and Enrichment Plan FAQs

LPs who require help completing their plan can also email [email protected] for assistance.


Socialisation and enrichment activities

Raising Resilient Greyhounds


Why is it important to build resilience through early puppy

We hear from qualified canine behaviourist Dr Diane Rayment* PhD

“Many of the problematic and unwanted behaviours we sometimes see in retired greyhounds, like
resource guarding, fearfulness and/or overwhelm, and fear-based leash reactivity towards other
dogs, are not ‘greyhound-specific’ behaviours. These are normal canine ‘coping behaviours’ –
behaviours performed by dogs when they feel threatened, stressed, or are unable to adapt to their
current environment – and they are commonly seen in dogs housed in challenging or stressful
situations, such as animal shelters. Greyhounds are unique because ‘unfamiliar and challenging’ for
them is often normal home life for an average pet dog.
Whereas pet dogs might resource guard at the boarding kennel or animal shelter, the retired
greyhound who is struggling to adapt to pet life, might resource guard in their adopter’s

In the absence of good, early socialisation, racing greyhounds have few opportunities to learn how
to navigate the unfamiliar prior to retirement, so they enter pet life without the skills needed to
adapt to life in a home. Teaching greyhounds, throughout all life stages, that novelty is fun and
humans can be relied upon to keep them safe, is the key to raising resilient greyhounds that cope
well while travelling and racing and also treat the transition from racer to pet as an exciting
adventure, not a stressful challenge.”

* Dr Diana Rayment BAnSci PhD is an applied animal behaviourist who works in
the companion animal welfare and management sector. She has more than 20
years’ experience in research, teaching, and practice across the fields of
companion animal welfare, behaviour, and animal management, including three
years leading the behaviour team at GAP Victoria. Diana currently works in
several roles in the sector and runs her training and consulting business
for animal welfare organisations and Local Government Animal Management