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Found 8 results

  1. Hello all, My partner and I adopted a three-year-old female greyhound (Alice) from a rescue shelter on 12/26/2016. She was racing up until 10/2016. She is extremely sweet and good-natured. The only issue that we have been running into is her freezing up. We knew that greyhounds tend to do this, especially in new situations. We live in a third floor walk-up, and our stairs are quite steep. Every time we try to take her outside to "do her business", she freezes and refuses to come to the door. My partner gives her a strong tug on the leash, and she begrudgingly will make her way to the stairwell. Getting her down the stairs is a combo of treats, calm reassurance, and firm leash guidance. Once we get outside, she pees and poops in our backyard area, but she has no desire to walk around the neighborhood. Positive reinforcement and treats move her inch by inch down the driveway. We have also tried applying more pressure on the leash/pushing her from behind/moving her legs, none of which help. Sometimes she freezes for up to five minutes at a time. If we manage to get her in the car and drive her somewhere new, she is much more inquisitive and tends to not mind walking around (though she will still freeze up from time to time). She especially likes being off-leash at the dog park. However, as soon as she can tell that we are heading back home, she runs up the stairs with little prompting! I am worried that she has begun to associate the scary new task of going downstairs with walking down our driveway and around our neighborhood. Our question is: What do you do when your greyhound won't budge? Is it okay to be applying firm pressure to the leash? As long as she does her business in the backyard, we are happy. Walking around the neighborhood can wait. We know that greyhounds can take weeks, if not months, to adjust to their new surroundings. We just want to make sure we are taking the right approach to everything! Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. We are excited to be joining this greyhound community. Thanks so much!
  2. We brought home a beautiful 3.5 year-old girl yesterday. We are technically fostering her until her leg has healed (she will likely need surgery), at which point we can officially adopt. She was designated as cat-friendly, and that seems to be accurate so far. She's the only dog in the house, and we have just the one cat who has been cautious but calm so far. Our new girl, Nio (we haven't picked a real name yet) completely ignored the cat at first. Now she will look at her occasionally, but her attention is broken very easily. Based on what I've heard, that's pretty much the best case scenario. Nio loves her crate, and seems to hate being muzzled. She constantly tries to pull it off unless she's sleeping. Because of that, I've been letting her spend a good amount of time in the crate without the muzzle, but I'm not sure if that's good. To sum it up, these are the minor issues we're having that I'd love some input on: - We are in an apartment, so going potty on a leash is her only option. She's been good about not peeing inside (we had one accident yesterday, but I think that was due to excitement), but refuses to go until she absolutely can't hold it. I think the normal solution to this would be to walk her for as long as it takes, but we can't do that because of her broken leg. Once around the block is about as far as she can go. I've taken her out several times today (she did poop this morning), but she hasn't peed since we took her out at 3am (she wouldn't go before bed, and we heard her getting restless so we decided to make her come out with us in the middle of the night). She seemed very afraid when we went to take her out, and basically refused to move. But we didn't want her to wet her bed so we gently made her do it. I don't know if her nervousness in that situation was due to her new environment, or due to having to pee so badly (at that point, it had been almost 12 hours). Does anyone have any tips for this? I take her out very frequently and walk her in circles and back and forth. I try not to tug on the leash. Sometimes she seems like she wants to go, but a noise distracts her. I think somewhere quiet would help, but we're in the city so that's not much of an option. - Like I said, she's spent a lot of time un-muzzled in the crate, and then I'll occasionally lock up the cat so she can roam around without it. There's no big area to lock the cat, so I can't do that too much. When she has the muzzle on, she constantly tries to remove it. Mostly she rubs it on things, but she's rammed some shelves and other furniture a few times and I'm concerned she's going to start knocking things down. She also seems very irritated by it and it makes her a bit sassy. I'm concerned that she might end up taking out her frustration on the cat (not violently, but jumping at it, etc. which could harm their developing relationship). Her demeanor is so much calmer without it, and I'm not sure what to do. She does respond well to "leave it" when she's trying to get it off. I don't know if following her around and attempting to train her to stop in that way would be a good option, or if it might make her hate it even more. Again, my instinct would be to wear her out so she doesn't get as feisty about the muzzle, but I can't do that because of her leg. Thoughts? - Lastly, is it possible for her to love her crate too much? We originally intended to keep it upstairs and just have her sleep in it. But from the second we set it up, it's been her safe space. I don't want her to have to go up and down the stairs too much because of her leg, so we left it downstairs instead. Other than needing to potty, she seemed to be fine by herself last night, but that may change as she becomes more attached to us. When I leave the door open and her muzzle on, she is constantly in and out. She goes in when I'm in the room or look at her, and they comes out and tries to remove the muzzle if I walk away or sit down. She seems to immediately go into the kennel if I walk in the room. But I don't think she's actually afraid of me, because she was very affectionate before the kennel was there. Should I let this continue? It's nice for when I actually need her in there. But if this is bad anxiety or nervousness, I don't want to encourage it. Sorry for the wall of text. I know it's annoying to post three different questions at once. Input on any of these topics would be very much appreciated. Edit: I just want to add that so far we're incredibly happy with her. She is our first Greyhound, and these issues are pretty minor. I just don't want to mess up or make any of them worse by responding poorly. It's also only been one full day now, and I know there's a good chance she just needs to adjust.
  3. I see a number of threads about leashed behavior, walking the dog, behavior issues, exercise needs etc. So many of these things and more, come together and are addressed in walking your dog on the leash. It seems terribly simplistic to say, but it is true (and it is that simple). At the risk of telling you all what you already know in one form or another: Many years ago, while involved with shepherd dogs, we used to really push the importance of walking your dog. Shepherd breeds, and most breeds to some extent, need physical and mental stimulation regularly or there will be serious consequences. That is why these highly intelligent dogs have so many active rescue organizations. People don't realize these needs and give up the dogs when behavior issues develop. While greys have the reputation of being couch potatoes and being low in trainability (NOT the same as intelligence), they actually benefit from exposure to many of the same principles related to working with high activity, high intelligence breeds. They do need both mental and physical stimulation (how they react to it varies of course). I have applied this to all of my greys and foster greys over the years, including spooks, vecros, and aggressives, and it always works to some degree. Greys are more than potatoes, and are actually above average intelligence (sources vary on this, also not to be confused with trainability). When done a certain way, walking the dog can be exercise, training, and therapy. It can be as simple as you walking the dog, and not letting the dog walk you. Benefits of walking your grey (or any other dog): Exercise - for the both of you. Bonding - from shared activity and development of trust. Reduce Stress - by providing both stimulation and exercise you tire your grey out, mentally and physically. Reinforce Roles - You are the boss. You are in control. You set the pace, you set the path. Socialization - and adjustment to the outside world. Routine - he gets/stays used to being on the lead and doing his business on the lead. When you walk your dog, you expose him to the outside world in a controlled bubble that reinforces the fact that you are the one in charge. You provide mental stimulation and physical exertion that helps reduce stress, anxiety, and behavior issues. You increase the odds that anytime a leash is clipped onto your dog, he will behave (it may not be just you that has to take him on the lead -things happen), and you also maintain him doing his business on the lead as a routine event. You build a comfort zone for your dog from the familiarity of the leash and the controlled environment of the walk. It also reinforces behavior that is desirable such as heeling, stopping at cross streets, better focus, and general obedience. The walk is its own reward for good behavior and over time, the more control that you maintain while doing it, the better the reward will be, because it will be more enjoyable for both of you. It helps your dog to trust you and increases the bond between you. It also makes the leash less of an event and more of a routine in general. This I learned with Aussies, but it is just as true with Greys: When you set the pace slower than your dog's natural pace, he has to think about what he is doing and it will actually tire him out faster. He will still be exposed to the stimuli from the walk itself, but the unnatural gait will tire him both mentally and physically. It also reinforces your role as the boss, which helps with obedience in general. If he pulls, while on the lead, then you stop and wait until he stops pulling before moving on. In the beginning, this will be a bit frustrating and will wear you both out very quickly, but over time it makes for a much more enjoyable experience for all involved. It's also easier than yanking on the lead and/or yelling to heel or stop, and reinforces the fact that you are leading him and he is matching pace to you. This isn't about absolute control over your grey and absolute obedience, even though I have used the words control and obedience several times each. It's about have a well adjusted retired racer, who feels secure in your presence and behaves while on lead. If done correctly in the beginning, the walk becomes less about the outside world and more about quality time for both of you. At the same time, the walk becomes more than just the walk, as you build a bond and trust between you that will affect all aspects of your grey's life. I absolutely think having a fenced yard is a benefit for both you and your grey. As is the opportunity to run off lead (when a safe opportunity and environment allows, such as in a fenced park). But they are no substitute for the walk. Even ten minutes of walk time a day, if he is getting enough exercise in the yard, makes a noticeable difference. Again, you walk the dog, not the other way around. Many grey people I know don't train their greys a lot of tricks, instead placing their emphasis on a comfortable retirement and acceptable behavior. There have been greys go on to agility training, obedience recognition, therapy or other service, but the majority of retired racers just become companions. Adjustment to home life is paramount. Behavior is a big part of that. Walking can be an amazingly powerful tool.
  4. Hi, I've had my greyhound for about a year now; he just turned 4. When I first got him he was terrible walking on a lead -- he would jump up and even back out of his martingale collar. After he managed to do this once, I put him in a harness and he's been safe ever since. With his leg that was broken, it took him months to learn how to walk up the stairs without being rewarded with treats at every step, and weeks to learn how to walk on a lead without constantly trying to get off of it. While now he is pretty good on walks and on the stairs, I would like to work with him more on his behavior and manners on a lead. I've been practicing walking with him, and randomly stopping, giving him a command "Stop" and then wait for him to come back to my side, and then reward him with a treat. He's gotten pretty good with this, as we've only been practicing a few days, but he still pulls ahead, and won't stop and come back to me until I ask. Is there a better method of teaching? I would like him to stay at my side, and stop with me when I stop. I'm worried that I'm not being consistent, because when he's going outside for bathroom purposes, I generally let him lead the way by sniffing and determining where he wants to go. How do I teach him to stay at my side during walks, but also allow him the freedom during his bathroom breaks? Also, the past month or so, he's been very stubborn on the stairs. Sometimes he will run right up. Other times, he will just look at me and stand at the bottom. I don't think anything scared him. Rather, I think sometimes it's his way of telling me he doesn't want to go inside yet (the stairs are outside and lead to my 4th floor apartment). Does this sound right? I think it might be him wanting to play outside more, but her in DC, it's gotten pretty cold and I worry about him staying warm and his paws (I haven't been successful with putting anything on his feet for warmth/protection). Lastly, we walk in generally the same area every day -- the walking path around the apartment. Sometimes he lags behind and then will randomly statue, and not come for anything. I've tried walking him in circles, using treats, calling him... The only thing that will get him going is if I walk in the direction he wants to go to, which is always opposite of where I want to go to. The problem is, sometimes he wants to walk in areas that are unsafe, or go towards other dogs and things like that. So he will just stop walking with me and absolutely freeze, and if I give him any lead, he will use it to go in the direction he wants and pull away from me. I feel like it is just him being stubborn, and trying to get me to follow him around rather than following me. Any insight or advice on this behavior? Thanks so much. Sorry for the long post! Lindsey
  5. Our greyhound girl is a terrible leash puller. I know this is a topic covered many times and I've read up a lot about it...but I'm still confused about the best way to handle it specific to our greyhound. The problem is she's very inconsistent — sometimes she's perfectly well-behaved on a leash but more often than not she's a terrible pulling monster and there seems to be no pattern whatsoever why/when she'll walk good or bad. She has a very very high prey drive which I know is another issue entirely so I'm speaking about leash pulling when she's NOT spotted prey and is otherwise walking with no prey distractions. She pulls out of excitement from smelling something interesting, wanting to stop all the time, wanting to go for a car ride (even in stranger's cars), spotting people or children (she LOVES everybody), to look at any foreign object on the sidewalk, and sometimes when she sees other dogs. As an added bonus, she weighs more than half of what I do so when she wants to go in another direction it's sometimes physically impossible to stop her. I know consistency is key with any sort of training. But we're getting frustrated at how to be consistent if we don't even know what we're doing wrong or right? She's very smart and otherwise reacts very well to commands/reprimands EXCEPT about leash pulling. So is this an alpha dog issue or just a stimuli-overload issue? And why then does she walk good one day, bad the next? Is there some pattern we're missing seeing or should we escalate this to formal obedience training/harness or gentle leader/etc? We've only had her about a year but we've made such positive progress with all her other issues. Stopping the leash pulling is the one thing we can't seem to get consistent, positive momentum with.
  6. Just read the "Walkabout" thread & thought I should post this. When I finally knew I was getting a greyhound, I started searching for a hands-free leash that could not be jerked from my hand. Of course I wound up with a hound with no discernible prey drive, but this cross-body (NOT belt-style) leash is still great- http://www.activedogs.com/product.php?id=91
  7. We are pondering getting a 2nd grey, and I'm wondering how people handle the walks. We do have a fenced yard, but our current girl, Zoe, does not like to poop in her own yard (of course!), so she gets two good walks a day (20-40 minutes each). I usually do the walking by myself - I'm wondering what the options are and how people handle a 2nd dog on a walk. I don't really have time to walk them separately, particularly in the morning. Has anyone tried something like this leash. Does it work? Would we need the larger diameter rope? (7/16" vs 5/16")? Other suggestions? Other suggestions for how people juggle poop bags and 2 dogs are welcome!
  8. Hi everyone: We got our new adopted hound, Oz, last Saturday. We're so happy to have him, but we've run into some transition hurdles. We've read a number of the posts here (all of which are helpful!) and the recommended greyhound adoption books. We just want to make sure that anything we're experiencing isn't out of the ordinary, as it seems to be getting tougher and tougher with a few issues (particularly housetraining, walking, and sleeping). I'll outline them here, but more than anything, we're just looking for some guidance and support! Our Home: City, 3rd floor apartment, 1 cat, 2 flights of stairs. My wife works from home, but I'm gone at work during the day. The first two nights were really impressive. He was learning the stairs very quickly, and took quite a few walks around our neighborhood and parks. He slept in his crate without a peep both nights. A few accidents inside the house the first afternoon, but nothing on his first full day at home. We kept him leashed inside, and gave the cat an escape route to our bedroom with a gate that Oz couldn't cross. He seems to be getting "No Kitty" and only whines or makes to chase her if she was running or jumping around. Good progress. He seemed to be settling in remarkably quickly. Starting on Monday though, he started to freeze outside, and get more and more scared...so much so that he wouldn't go downstairs at all. We took him to vet on Monday night for his first general check-up and getting him there (walking distance) was a very stressful experience for him and us. He checked out OK, but we learned later that he has giardia--which he's now being treated for and I'm sure adds to his stress level. That night, he wouldn't go in his crate at all (his foster told us about this), and still won't. We set him up with his bed in our bedroom and he was only able to sleep for 1-2 hours at a time. Last night, he slept even more poorly. During the day, inside, he seems to be doing great and lays around calmly (he gets tons of rubs and pets) unless we try to crate him or go outside. He's started to have surprise accidents in the house, before we can get him out--often sneaking to a room where we aren't. We're able to get him past the stairs more or less, but he locks up once he's past the front door looking very frightened. He's so scared to go outside that we can't get him out on his routine, and if we do, he's so scared he can't get past our front door to go. I've been able to get him going for walks a few times by walking with purpose and not stopping until he follows, but he fights the leash quite a bit---i don't like doing this because it's very stressful for him and me, but it's the only way to get him going to pee and poop. Other times, he won't move at all. We're just worried about how's he's regressed. We feel bad we're stressing him out so much and just want to make him comfortable. We're kind of in a vicious cycle: Can't get him out to pee, so he pees in the house, and can't get him out for walks or in his crate, so he doesn't sleep well. We know it takes time and patience, and it's still the first week, but we just want to make sure we're not doing something drastically wrong, and make sure this is relatively normal as he transitions to city life. Thanks for any responses, and if anything, we're just getting it all off our chests! We're confident he'll come around with the love and care we're giving him, but just have to cross these hurdles. Any advice would be great.
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