Greyhound Rescue NSW installs sensory gardens at Bargo rehoming centre

The happy hounds at Greyhound Rescue NSW now have some new gardens to explore.

Five new dog-friendly gardens were installed last month at Greyhound Rescue's Rehabilitation and Rehoming Centre in Bargo, known as Greysland.

The rescue's president Nat Panzarino said the garden's would benefit rescue greyhounds at the centre.

"These unique gardens are a major component in enabling Greyhound Rescue's staff and volunteers to rehabilitate hounds," she said.

"The more that we can do to rehabilitate them, the more easily they can be rehomed.

The gardens were opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Savourlife founders Michael and Kim McTeigue, who donated $50,000 to make the gardens possible - the biggest single grant the company has made.

Ms Panzarino said most rescued greyhounds had little experience of the outside world.

"The life of a greyhound in the racing industry typically involves training, racing, and lots and lots of hours left on their own with little stimulus," she said.

"When they arrive at Greysland they experience human kindness...and positive techniques to help them come out of their shell and prepare for adoption in their new forever home."

The five purpose-designed gardens created by Great Southern Landscapes include three sensory gardens, one training garden and one 'Buddy Garden' named after the rescue dog who inspired the SavourLife brand.

Ms Panzarino said the three sensory gardens - Splash, Explore and Adventure - were designed to gently expose the hounds safely and slowly to new things while unlocking their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

"Building a greyhound's confidence in themselves and in humans and human kindness is key to their success as a family pet," she said.

These spaces are also used for de-sensitisation and counter-conditioning with other dogs, as many greyhounds have only been socialised with other greyhounds."

Greyhound Rescue's kennel manager Kira Booth said the gardens would allow dogs to use their noses.

"A study published last year revealed that dogs that are given more opportunity to forage and use their sense of smell become more optimistic and confident, directly improving their welfare," she said.

"These sensory gardens will provide greater 'nosework' opportunities for our kennel kids as well as opportunities for them to use and boost their other senses in a safe environment."

The 'Buddy Garden' will be used to introduce rescued greyhounds to their forever family.

Ms Panzarino said the training garden would further Greyhound Rescue's education programs and support the community and their dogs.

"At Greyhound Rescue we run GO! (Greyhound Obedience) classes to educate new adopters on how to work with their new dog using positive and force-free techniques," she said.

"Having recently launched the GO! courses in the uncertain times of a global pandemic, we have been impressed by the number of people wanting to attend and we now have an extensive waiting list of participants and a mountain of positive feedback from attendees."

This story Greyhound Rescue NSW installs sensory gardens at Bargo rehoming centre first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.