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  1. Hello! Apologies for the long message! We are super keen on taking in a second greyhound full time, and decided on a stint of fostering so we could decide if it was the right thing for us and our 7 yr old greyhound boy. We've had him almost 5 years - he's a nervous chap and when I bought him home he was terrified of everything. He didn't understand affection, was petrified of stairs, of walks, aeroplanes etc. Just about everything you could imagine! Our challenge with him was to build his confidence and make sure he felt safe. He's now a very happy lad but very deferential - he has separation anxiety when left alone, but will settle well when left with various friends and families more assertive girl greyhounds (seen with multiple dogs) We are still in the first week with our first foster girl (4 years old) so I am VERY aware that her world has been turned upside down and she's not quite herself. She comes across as very confident, but I think some of the 'issues' are really down to the understandable stress of being uprooted. She is wonderful with us, very affectionate, excitable and playful, (currently very velcro) but there are a couple things I wanted to check in on if we need to nip in the bud / accept as just settling in. I've included if we've noticed things getting better or worse, but as it's only over the course of a week this may not be relevant. Also, we know she was kennelled with a boy (also a large black boy, like ours) who was dominant over her 1) She is extremely assertive - she will happily throw herself up and down the stairs and tripping and falling doesn't bother her in the slightest. She is very "rude" whereas he is very "polite" (I know these are humanisations, but they help explain the dynamic!) She will barge anyone out of her way, and is desperate to lead the walks. Our boy "sings" when he's excited, chirping and chattering his teeth and she HATES this, growling and bearing her teeth at him. Her growling at his singing has lessened a little but still happens WE THINK if she doesn't understand why he's excited, as otherwise her own excitement distracts her from chastising him. 2) Resource guarding - they get fed separately, but she will occasionally growl initially at our boy if he approaches their main water bowl. This immediately causes him to back off and go hide. He is greedy but not a bully - he has tried his luck taking one treat off her and she responded appropriately and he backed off and has not tried anything since. Guarding the main water bowl has got worse over a few days 3) Overall bonding - she is very people orientated, and constantly and enthusiastically asks for fusses. Our boy is a lot more shy, and will only come sit with you if you're sat quietly. Currently there is a big divide, with our girl bouncing around and trying to get on laps, monopolising attention etc, while our boy sits quietly alone in another room. 4) Pulling on the lead - she's currently got the rescue centre-issue fishtail collar but will strain SO HARD against the lead, we often spend the first 10 mins of the walk stop-starting with her trying to walk on her back legs and gagging (we do not let her continue this, but it's slow progress and each lunge must be awful for her throat). She will calm down a little eventually and walk (but still pulling) By the end of each walk (after a lot of correction) she generally walks acceptably. As mentioned above, she likes to be at the front of the pack and will pull less up front, but we are not allowing her to do this. She pulls regardless of if our boy is on or off lead, but pulls most when my partner and hound are walking too far ahead when she seems to be panicking about being left behind. We understand that this is extremely early days and she is settling in and much of this will change as she settles, but we are feeling like our boy currently feels as thought we've bought a terrible barbarian into his nice quiet home. They completely ignore each other, other than her growls. Normally he is very relaxed and friendly with other girls in his house (we joke that he goes "ohh phew, someone who knows what they're doing!") So far, our plans are a) Make it clear she is not the boss. Our boy gets fed first, leaves the house first, gets cuddled most and is not to be growled at. A firm NO to her, and a cuddle for him if he gets growled at for an unacceptable reason (he did try steal a treat from her the other day, which she growled at him for and we deemed that acceptable). We have also added another water bowl, close to the one she's been protective over, so she doesn't feel she's guarding a scarce resource. Is this a fair approach, or are we humanising them too much? We've had such a journey with our boy, I may be being protective of his hard earnt confidence. b) Nothing-in-life-is-free training. We are attempting this, but she is not food motivated. She will come when called for a fuss, but anything that requires her to be calm is proving much harder to instill! Any tips for excitable non-food motivated sighthounds would be ace c) When do we need to consider a harness for her? I am worried she is doing damage to her throat, as she REALLY strains, but also she does eventually calm down? Again, just to press that we don't LET her continue pulling, but she will lunge forward and gag repeatedly for the first 10 mins of the walk. d) We do let our boy off lead on walks as his recall is good and prey drive low. He walks calmly with us, but may occasionally burst into a zoomy, coming when he's called etc. She won't lunge to join in, but she does get worked up by this, bouncing on the spot. Do we need to keep him on lead to keep her calm, or is his good off lead behaviour useful for her to see? Like I say, we weren't expecting everything to be easy and I know she's had a lot happen in the last week - I'm just keen to understand what we need to shrug off and what we need to address, and if there are any modifications to our behaviour that might ease her settling. Thanks for any tips and advice :)
  2. I'm hoping to hear from some owners who've managed/treated/"beat" separation anxiety and can give us some perspective. I've read a lot about it, but have not really had first hand experience until this foster dog. I'd like to get my head wrapped around it a bit better, so we can do a better job at letting our adoption group and potential adopters know what this pup will likely need. We've had this 5yo hound for about a month now, he was surrendered by his owner (she'd had him for about a year) because he had developed separation anxiety - which manifested as howling/crying and chewing the entire time she would be gone at her new job. She made the tough, but probably right, choice, to surrender him. His first few days with us were rough, we were not aware of his SA when we agreed to take him on (we both work). Even though we have another hound, he cried and howled most of those first few days and had an accident or two during that time. But he seemed to adjust relatively quickly (our schedule is very consistent) and the crying during the day has decreased dramatically, but not completely. I can monitor them with a nanny cam while I'm at work, he makes it through the morning but then then the whining/crying starts up again after I've come home and left after their lunch time turn out. It doesn't start until after I've been gone a while and doesn't seem to be triggered by anything I can see/hear. He came to us on 80mg daily of Clomicalm, and had been on it for at least a month at that point (so it has now been another month). My understanding is that it should be well established in his system by now. I'm less sure about whether it works, mostly because we didn't experience what he was like before he started taking it, but also because he still does whine intermittently throughout the afternoon. If the medicine was working, would he still be whining/crying? Is 8 weeks long enough to know if it's working? Should we try splitting the dose - currently we give it all at breakfast, would it make sense to give half at breakfast and the other half at lunch time? Or does this mean he would maybe be better served by a different drug? With SA is there a certain amount of crying/distress that you just have to be ok with? There are 10 more days until the next adoption event, where he will hopefully find his forever home, but until then is there anything we should be trying to get him past this plateau point? Or, should we think of this plateau as success?
  3. We just picked up a returned 3yo girl to foster and I was wondering if people had some 'best practice' tips for having a foster/new hound with your perma-hound (ours is a 4yo boy). We've fostered before but it was before we had our guy. Neither can be crated - she pees blood it's so stressful and we just never did with him - and our house is too open concept for separation with gates. Since this is day 1 we have them both muzzled but hanging out together with limited freedom in the house and I can keep an eye/ear on them with a nanny cam while I'm at work. Does that seem like a good idea? They clearly don't love the muzzles but both laid down to snooze about 3min after I left so it's not that bad. It's also a fringe benefit to know she can't get into/chew much of anything with the muzzle on. Or is the muzzling overkill? They've done fine together so far when we were there, except for one snarky moment which I think was more communication than anything. But I'd hate to take any chances with either of them; ours is the poster child for the thin skinned greyhound. Is there a point where they can graduate to no muzzles while we're gone? Or is it just best practice to do it for the 10ish days she'll be with us? Any tips/tricks are welcomed. Any female tips as well - we're used to boys!
  4. Hi all, We just got our new foster last week and he's a little sweetheart. The biggest difficulty we have is he gets either very scared, distracted, or overwhelmed by traffic and freezes. He's totally fine while walking in the woods. Its just the traffic that gets him. He's not treat oriented at all so I can't get him moving with a treat. Most of the time I'll stop and he'll move on his own in a minute or two. A few times we've been frozen while crossing a street and I've had to pull him more than I'd like to get out of the traffic? Any thoughts or recommendations. We live in a busy area so I need to get him better with traffic. I don't want to have to drive him to the woods every time we need to go for a walk. Here is little comet. he was never a racer but he was a hemopet for 3 years. comet (1 of 1) by Dom, on Flickr
  5. We just got Comet last week. He was a hemopet in Texas. comet (1 of 1) by Dom, on Flickr comet (2 of 3) by Dom, on Flickr comet (1 of 3) by Dom, on Flickr
  6. Hello all, New poster here! Also I am about to be a new greyhound dad. So I am adopting a greyhound that I've been told is NOT an ex-racer...I was a bit perplexed as to his history because if he didn't come from the track who is breeding Greyhounds? Again, I don't know very much of him, they said he was a pet but then got to a kill shelter in Kentucky and now is in Indiana and I stumbled upon him... They want me to take him ASAP, and that is this Sunday. He is a senior and will be 9 in January - I don't mean to be weird...but is this too old? I mean will he die in my care within a year? I have a wiener dog that now lives with my parents but I've never gone through losing a pet. I want to give him a good home because he's old and I feel like getting adopted may be harder for him but I'm not sure what everyone experience is with an older Greyhound? His teeth look a little yellow, is there a brush that is best? He most likely not muzzle trained and I'm not sure i'll use one but I will have to if I take him to my parents which I will during the holidays. My parents were scared of Milo when I brought him home...he was about a 4LB dachshund then... so a 88lb Grey is a bit much. The muzzle will help, any tips? Any tips or comments would be welcome, I am very excited but just wish him to live a long life.
  7. First off just wanted to say hi as this is my first posting. My wife and I got our first greyhound 2 weeks ago. She also our first foster. For the first few weeks I just let her get use to the house and our rules, stuff like I go through doors first, this is the other dogs bed, ect..She's very polite so there wasn't much correction needed. last week I started some basic training. I began with sit...just wasn't happening. I used the treat over her head method and she refused to sit. I read that sitting is not a natural position for greys so I tried down instead. That works better and we are probably at a 25% rate...when she feels like it! Part of the problem is she's not really food motivated or aiming to please. I'm looking for some advice. I've had a lot of success training other dogs. In fact while I'm training her my blue heeler is right there doing all the commands. I thought that might help as maybe she'll see what I'm asking for. I know Rome wasn't built in a day..but I'm feeling a little discouraged at the lack of success. It feels like I'm trying to train a cat! I'm using food rewards and a clicker for reinforcement that she did the right thing. Chloe, our 1st foster greyhound 02.27.16 by Dom, on Flickr
  8. Hi folks - I'm in the process of creating a guidance document for our foster families that have agreed to take on puppies! Does anyone have this already in their files? Would you be willing to share so I don't have to completely reinvent the wheel? Thanks in advance, leigh
  9. We picked up our foster boy, Ryan, this past Friday. He is a super handsome boy! He has amazing ears and lovely brindle patterns. He is a bit of a shy boy right now who loves his kennel and hoarding stuffies in there with him. I think it will take time for him to come out of his shell and when he does he is going to be an amazing companion. He has such a sweet and calm personality. Here he is!
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