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  1. Hi all, We are first time dog adopters and have just adopted (month and a half ago) a sweet 2.5 year brindle named Stella. We had a rocky start as it took a while to sort out that she did not want to be crated during the day (bent the bars and would not stop soiling the crate) and then she had a tail laceration a week in that has resulted in some serious trust issues with us and a serious fear of her muzzle and vet. I feel like we have come a long way, although she was likely not the best match for our busy family, we've invested a lot of emotional energy into trying to provide her with a secure home. We have her on anxiety meds, and are able to leave her during the day for work without too many issues. She shows signs of bonding with us - tail wags and excitement when we return home, acting like a velcro dog for pets BUT she is super smart and stubborn. We feel like once we get her through a new situation (walk in local park with other dogs around - which she did great), she develops a new phobia- now for some reason refuses to go out our back deck down to the yard to do her business. Then on recommendation from our adoption group, we tried her for half a day at a dog daycare, which she did fairly well, likely a little stressed but did settle and lie down and watch the other dogs for half a day. Now, the morning after, she is now being stubborn about putting on her collar, and going outside at all (at least with me). If I had to take a guess, I think she thinks I'm going to take her again today. I know it is early days, but we have young children and a schedule that is not fixed. We love Stella, but she will need to be a dog that is adaptable to change and feel confident among other dogs and people. We don't intend to have in day care full time, but would like to be able to have her there from time to time to help with socialization. Are we rushing things? I know if up to her, she would be so happy living with a retired couple in the country. We have invested a lot of emotional energy with her and I do see improvements, but with every new thing/improvement, it feels like she takes a huge step back on another skill that she was previously good with. Now and then there is a glimmer of wanting to cuddle, but I feel like she is still looking at us with some distrust (or is that the way all of them look!). Is this typically new adoption behaviour for greyhounds - any advice other than hang in there and patience? I apologize for the long post - first time posting...appreciate any suggestions.... Thanks! Kim
  2. We just adopted a new 1-1/2 year old greyhound (a real sweetie) from a Kansas. We are taking him in for neutering in a couple of days and was wondering if we need to have him wear the big cone to keep him from bothering his incision. I know our other dogs never, never liked these things. Does anyone know if this is standard practice? It seems kind of silly unless there is a problem with him bothering it. Thanks for any advice.
  3. Hello All!
 New poster here, been reading a lot of good information here for quite some time, and I thank everyone's helpful posts as they have answered a lot of questions I have had along the process of adopting these wonderful dogs!
 Let me apologize for the length of this post to begin with. I want to provide as much information as possible and see what y'all think.
 Our situation is a little different than many others I talk to, as this will be our only dog. Seems almost everyone with greyhounds has more than 1! Especially all the fosters, who always have several dogs in their homes at any given time.
 We had an adoption go wrong a couple month ago, we fell in love with this retired racer who unknown to pretty much anyone, had extreme separation anxiety. He was perfect while we were home, but the minute we left, despite everything we tried, he would go crazy in fear. Actually got to the point we were afraid he was going to hurt himself trying to chew out of the crate, then the baby gate, then the door. We were using a camera that we can watch on our phones while we are gone to monitor him. We tried getting a trainer in our home who recommended we not leave him alone at all for 4-6 weeks and extremely slowly work on alone training, then if that didn't work, it would take close to 6 months of the same treatment to "probably" get him over his fear. We had him almost 2 weeks trying to work something out, but it was just getting worse. So, the adoption agency took him back since we could not eliminate the stressor (we had to go to work the next day again). Was a very, very sad thing...
 We have read several books and went off recommendations to work slowly up being gone for extended times (probably longest we would need to leave him alone would be 6 hours). We spent several days starting at just minutes, to half an hour, to an hour, etc. over the course of 4 days (sounds fast, but we work and can't set any more time aside for the adjustment/training).
 Well, fast forward to today, we recently chose to foster a dog in hopes of determining if he would be a good single dog and okay while we are away for work. We're going on a week now, and I am seeing signs of the same behavior as our previous dog, and it concerns me and I want to get some opinions on what y'alls experience has been... And also how to tell the difference between separation anxiety and just the "normal" adjustment they go through.
 A little information to cover some bases. He is huge! 95lbs. Too tall and long for our crate, which was the largest we could find locally. He could fit, but be extremely cramped and probably couldn't even turn around or lay down comfortably. I don't want to leave him cooped up like that. If he would fit, I would try to use the crate, but he is just too big. It would also have to be in a separate room, not enough space for that crate in our room. So we are using a baby gate to keep him in the bedroom while we are away. Also, he also only has his front teeth (k-9's and fronts, that's it), all of his back teeth had to be removed. He isn't interested in rawhides, and I can understand why, he really can't do anything with them. I could only imagine licking a burger instead of being able to chew it... Would be torture! We leave a frozen kong filled with peanut butter, but he looses interest pretty quick, about 15 minutes, even with peanut butter still inside. He also has a couple toys available to him in the room.
 After we leave, in about 15 minutes, he starts barking at the gate. The first few times, he would bark frantically and run around the room barking, then play with the toys a little (30 seconds maybe), then back at the gate barking. On our longer training (4 hours), I would say total was probably 3 hours barking and whining, with at max an hour of actually laying down. He chose to jump on the bed to rest (we didn't want to let him on the bed in the first place, but if it makes him more comfortable while we are gone, we can adjust, as long as he doesn't try to hop up there while we're in bed). The past couple days, he has started chewing at the baby gate a little and jumping on the door. The only reason I think he hasn't hopped over the baby gate is because there is tile on the other side, and I think he is scared of jumping onto it. The baby gate is actually about 6" lower than the bed, so I know he can make it, just doesn't try. He will bark at the gate, then run around the room barking, then up on the bed barking, back at the gate barking, then finally jump back up on the bed and lay down for a couple minutes. One of the things that is the most concerning is the chewing the gate though, especially because he can only use his front teeth.
 Does this sound like things you would expect with adjustment, or the beginning signs of separation anxiety. He already won't let us out the front door, and will whine and scratch the door if one of goes out front, even when one of us stays inside with him. He pretty much won't leave our side, which I know is part of the adjusting, but freaking out when we're gone is what I'm worried about.
 If you made it this far, thank you for reading my extremely long post! I hope some here have experience with similar issues and can help us through this and offer suggestions as to what we can do to help his adjustment. Advice for activities to keep him occupied would be great, and also any treat ideas that we give him to occupy him while we are gone (similar to how effective a rawhide is) since he doesn't have most of his teeth.
 Thanks again, and I look forward to talking to you all in the forums!
  4. Hi everyone, My partner and I adopted a beautiful 5 year old brindle ex-racer named Chester 3 weeks ago now, and we are completely in love with him. However we are getting quite worried, as he is gradually getting more and more fearful of going on his walks with us. He has been in 2, possibly 3 foster homes before us, and has always been with other dogs. When we first got him, the first few days were great as he was very confident going for walks around the neighbourhood. He showed interest in other dogs but was never keen to get to know them any better than a sniff. Now, we struggle to get him to go more than a few meters out of our home to relieve himself on some days. He refuses to even walk past another dog when he sees one coming towards him, we generally have to give everything a very wide berth. We live in an apartment, so need to be able to take him out for exercise and toilet. I know that the adjustment period can be a long road, and that patience is going to be the only way to get him relaxed and confident again, but I just want to know if this has happened to anyone else? The confident reverting to fearful thing. We don't pull him and try to use confident, happy tones when encouraging him. We haven't found any treats that he is eager to take when outside yet, but are going to try cheese tonight. If we turn around and just let him come straight back home, is that rewarding bad behaviour or is that what we should be doing? We would really appreciate any advice that you would be able to share, we just want our little guy to be happy! Thank you
  5. Hi all, We are in the process of adopting a grey who is in foster for another week and a half. We have an existing 12 year old mixed breed dog who is smaller- around 30 pounds, and I have a few questions about having more than one dog. We have not allowed our existing dog to have toys because he is a toy destroyer -- he tears up stuffies and eats the squeakers (and similarly destroys dog beds.) We've given him things like a Kong, but he is a little possessive with them (maybe a 5 on a scale of 1-10, but occasionally more than I am comfortable with) and since we had our son (who is 9), it was just easier to not have any toys about. He does play well with a tennis ball in the yard, even with my son, but if he brings it inside he gets growly and a little snappish. So, I am hearing from the foster mom that our new grey LOVES toys, and I want her to be able to have them. What would you do with our Sr. dog? How do dogs generally work the toy thing out? Should I have toys for our Sr. dog and be working on desensitizing him to my son (and later the other dog) touching his toys? Or should we just have him be the "no toy" dog? He doesn't seem super motivated by them (he seems to know he is not allowed). In fact, we have had a nyla bone that my son bought for him in the entryway for 3 days that he has completely ignored. The other issue is that we do allow him (since he's been about 10) to be on the furniture and my son's bed. Can he be the furniture dog, without us letting the grey up on everything too? We held off until he was getting older and just more comfortable on the chairs, etc. He has never liked the floor, and since he eats his beds, we felt it was the only alternative. I know there are a lot of variables, but I am just wondering what others might do. Thanks a bunch!
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