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  1. Hello! My name is Genevieve and my husband Michael and I have just fostered our first greyhound fresh off the track from Tijuana. Her race name is Boltz but since we're planning on adopting her we've given her the name Xena, after our favorite warrior princess. Michael and I had been wanting a dog for a very long time but until recently we'd been living in apartments with no-dog rules. Then in October we were finally able to buy our first house, a 2k sq ft 2-story with a yard and a pool, which for LA is no small feat! It's super exciting and we are loving this new life. We already had one kitty, an older male named Mr. Tumnus who is my baby. Seriously, I've had him longer than I've known my husband, haha! And more recently we rescued a stray 4 mo old kitten named Westley. We started the process with Fast Friends, a local greyhound adoption agency, back in December but it turned out that adoption rates were high and they ran out of dogs! Last week I got a call from the adoption coordinator that we could come help out with a retirement day and start out fostering with the goal of adoption if we were up for the challenge. My husband and I have had dogs all our lives and I'm an amateur animal trainer so even though we have no greyhound experience, we were definitely up for it. On Saturday we went out to retirement day and got to help freshly retired dogs through the process. They got bathed, nail trimmed, vetted, had their pictures taken, and then went through a small animal test. I saw Boltz/Xena and I immediately fell in love with her. She was so calm and gentle but so eager for affection and loved everyone who came to greet her. I also have such a soft spot for brindles! She also passed her small animal test with flying colors, which was very important for us with our two kitties. At the end of the day we got to take her home and it was magical! It's been very interesting helping a dog learn to be a pet rather than a racing machine but so rewarding and everything is going very well! Tumnus is being a very chill old man cat and Xena is much more scared of him than he is of her (she got swatted by one of the cats during her test, haha) and frankly she's pretty happy just staying out of his way. He rules the house and she seems to have figured that out very quickly! As for Westley, he's still a skittish kitten and he's stayed upstairs which I'm totally fine with. We put a dog gate on the stairs so it's a doggy off-limits area and Westley has had no reason to come down. Eventually we'll get them acquainted and we need to work with him to make sure he won't try to run, but otherwise everything is going great!
  2. Hi all! We just adopted a 3 year old greyhound on Monday and it all has been going well so far, until last today. She peed in the house, even after we took some hefty 15 minutes walks! Is this something that is occuring because she wants to mark her territory? Or do you think that its because she is nervous? Any tips/tricks will help! We are first time dog owners :0) Thank you!
  3. Hello! My boyfriend and I just adopted a year old greyhound. She came straight from the owner - he raises them to race cross country and said she and her sister didn't have the drive and desire to race. We picked up her last night and it is now almost 11am and she has yet to pee or poop. I think she may have gone a little bit in the kennel but not enough to really even be noticeable. I took her for a walk with my boyfriend's dog and she goes out when his dog goes out. I'm hoping it will help her to learn the routine by following the other dog. She's very shy and somewhat nervous. Still giving us a pretty wide berth. I've set up a crate for her - she went in last night and seemed to do okay with a Kong and small bone. I am taking her out very often, at least every 1-2 hours. She'll sniff around and sniff behind the other dog but nothing has yet to come out. I'm a little worried. She's enjoying the bed that I bought for her and has been interested in the few toys. We walked this morning and after we got back she seems a little more nervous than before we left. Currently standing away from me and looking at me from afar. I know I need to be patient, I just hope I'm not traumatizing her, want her to be happy and adjusted. I know that this is ALL very new and scary, I just hate to see her nervous. I'm in and out throughout the day between school and errands, but not for more than 4-6 hours, so I have time spend with her. She did eat a bowl of food this morning and drank some water. I'm doing lots of reading to try and do the best for her! Any suggestions would be wonderful. -New nervous mom
  4. Hello! We adopted our 2.5-year old greyhound about 3 months ago. He’s the perfect dog for us and we love him dearly. Unfortunately, we’re dealing with some stubborn barking when we leave (no destructive behavior or house training issues). This problem didn’t start until after about a month in – the first month, he was very quiet when we left for work or if we went out at night. We could leave him for the full workday with no problems. He would sleep for the whole day in his crate (we have a nanny cam on him that records noise and movement). About a month in, we noticed he started barking a bit in the morning; within a week the barking had escalated to on and off all day – and we got several complaints from neighbors. Once we realized this was an issue, we took several steps to address the issue (and have communicated kindly and generously with our neighbors that we are working to fix the noise). Here’s what we’ve done: · Took him to the vet to rule out medical issues since the barking was sudden (he has low neutrophil levels for a greyhound but nothing else, we’ll get him rechecked soon as advised by vet to see if that’s just his base level) · Got him a DAP collar · Re-done alone training. We leave and come back slowly increasing our time, and always take away his Kong on our return. Sometimes we can successfully reach one hour this way. · Increased his morning walks to 1.5 hours (about 5 miles). These go from 6:30-8 a.m., and we leave him around 8:30 a.m. · Hired a dog walker who takes him on a 20-minute walk around noon (he also gets an after work walk of 30-40 minutes around 5:30 each day). · Got him a Kong wobbler to play with in addition to his frozen Kong full of kibble mixed with rotating very special treats (he gets a second Kong when the dog walker leaves) · Tried calming treats (first Composure; now switched to Nature’s Calming Moments) · Tried leaving different types of music/TV on (no effect so we stopped) · Put the shades down (this helped – we think the sun gets in his eyes otherwise!) · Got a Xanax prescription from our vet (made him super goofy and maybe even louder so we didn't try that again) · Left him out of his crate a couple times (no destruction, but was just as loud or louder, barked by the door, seemed a bit “lost” so we recrated him) · Leave our worn clothes with him From our work, we’ve definitely seen an improvement. We’re pretty consistently down to about 20 minutes of barking/crying or less in the morning (always begins after he finishes his Kongs) and about 5-10 minutes after the dog walker leaves. BUT – and it’s a big but – sometime he’ll totally relapse. About one day every week, he’ll go back to barking on and off for a couple hours. Nothing as bad as he used to, but he is very loud and we can tell some of our neighbors are losing patience. We can’t leave him at night because his noise is unpredictable, and if he has a bad night and we can’t get home soon enough, the complaints roll in. Plus, we’d really like to reduce his regular morning barking of 20 minutes or so (although we think it's impractical to expect him to be completely silent!). Our vet said he would be a bad candidate for long-term anxiety meds because he’s generally a very confident dog. Our rescue group suggested at first that this is less of an “anxious” barking than a “bratty” barking – he wants us to come home to play and he’s going through his acting out period. Apparently, he was the “kennel favorite” at the track and very spoiled, got lots of out of crate time and attention. He is a super social and people-loving dog. He almost never makes a peep when we’re home. Basically, we’re wondering if anyone has ideas about whether we just need to wait it out – do we think that his progress will continue and his bad days will go away? Or do we need to change what we’re doing and try something else? Specifically, we’re wondering if we need to reconsider medication. He does show some signs of anxiety like panting and yawning during his barking periods. Exercise seems to be the thing that really helps him – he does particularly great if he gets a 2-hour walk or a chance to run with other greys. But unfortunately, it’s tough to fit in that much exercise before work! It’s so encouraging to see his progress, but heartbreaking to watch him relapse into crying and barking – and extremely stressful with our neighbor situation. Also, we cannot get another dog because of our lease. Thank you for any insight!
  5. Hello Everyone! I have a brand new 2.5 year old boy, fresh off the race track, and in our home for just about a month. For the most part, he has adjusted very well and we love him to pieces. Sadly, we do have a bit of separation anxiety (I understand this is to be expected). I've read quite a bit on alone training/SA and I think that he has a pretty mild case, but I would obviously like for him to be completely stress free when he has to be home alone. So my question is this: Should we crate him when we leave, baby gate him, or let him roam free? In the almost 4 weeks that we have had him, he has pooped in his crate 4 times when left alone (once when left alone for 4 hours, twice for 2 or 3 hours, once for 30 minutes). He holds it for 8 or 9 hours at night, so I don't think that it is a health issue. I've also left him alone close to 5 hours and came home to a clean crate on that occasion. He never has accidents when we are home. Also, he does not totally hate his crate. It is in our bedroom and for the past week or so, we've left it open for him at night with no problems. He goes in on his own at bedtime and stays there the entire night. However during the day time, he very rarely goes in and will only stay for a couple of minutes at a time. Does not like to go in when he is told, but will get in with some gentle nudging. Anyway, yesterday we came home to a mess in the crate. It was later in the evening, and we didn't have time to wash his usual blankets before bedtime. Instead, we moved his bed from the living room to an empty corner of the bedroom, which he seemed perfectly happy with. My husband and I both had to get up early today, so still no time to wash the bedding for his crate and we decided to just baby gate him in the bedroom (he's used to the gate as we put it up every night and sometimes during the day too). He was alone for about 3 hours this way, and I came home to a chewed gate (don't think he's ever chewed at his crate). Nothing insane, but there were a few small hunks of wood on the floor (I don't think he swallowed any). He had also hopped up on the bed trying to get at the window behind it, and so the bedding was in disarray. But, no potty accidents! We've not left him alone and loose in our home for more than a couple of minutes or so. On those occasions, he stands quietly and stares at the door until we come back inside. However after seeing that he chewed on the gate trying to get out of the bedroom, I'm wondering if leaving him loose is something that we should try. We would obviously close off everything potentially hazardous that he could get into (trash, etc.) Also, our space is not at all large. Really just big enough for two people and a hound. A little further background: He always always gets a kong when we leave, and if it's around meal time, we scatter his kibble around his bedding so that he has to snoot for it. These things keep him plenty distracted when we're on our way out, but it's never long after we leave that he starts whining or barking (sometimes we spy on him a little). We also have a classical album meant for calming dogs that we play for him. Sometimes we will play a movie for him instead. We don't have a camera set up, so I'm not totally sure how he fares the whole time we're gone, but he's usually crying when I get home-- can't tell if he starts when he hears me, or if he just never stopped. Also, we walk a brisk 2 miles every morning and he either gets a shorter walk, an excursion (runs errands, goes out to eat, etc.), or a trip to the dog park in the evenings. Lastly, he will get into his muzzle very willingly, but starts trying to get it off almost immediately after, so I'm not sure if that's an option for home-alone time. So sorry for the long post! At the end of the day, we want to do what we can to keep him both comfortable and safe. Looking forward to the input of some more seasoned grey parents!!! Thanks!
  6. I'm thrilled to announce that I have a handsome new greyhound lying beside me on his bed as I type this - not a replacement for Doc of course, but another dog who needed a home and who will hopefully enjoy what's on offer here. Ken turned four last month and is black with a few white markings (hind paws, chest, etc) and a little smaller than Doc was, but still a big boy. And beautifully put together, I must say – he has been recovering from a foot infection but looks fit as a fiddle and has an especially amazing tail, long and very flexible. So far he has been settling in very well. A kind friend drove me down to pick him up from the adoption kennels yesterday morning. For a dog who’s probably never been in a house before he’s been sussing everything out very quickly, mastering the stairs in minutes and remaining totally unfazed by the TV, washing machine etc. He slept in my bedroom last night - it took him a little time to settle, but when I woke and sat up in bed in the night and peered down towards his bed there he was, not only fast asleep but happily roaching! And I am also glad to report that he eats like a horse, walks nicely on the lead, and has very polite about meeting various human neighbours, a lab, and a staffy on our walks round the neighbourhood. Somewhat to my surprise he's also been very good about being left on his own - for a few minutes yesterday and then for half an hour this morning - when I came back in today he'd obviously treated it as an opportunity to run upstairs and crash out on my bed. So far there has only been ‘ohmihgawdwhathaveidone’ moment – that was yesterday afternoon, when he plunged not once but twice into the garden pond AFTER I had given him a bath, presumably his version of a ‘dirty protest’! Photos are obligatory I know – sorry about the quality of these, black dogs are a new challenge for me. Soon after arrival: Playing with one of Doc's old teddies: This morning, on his bed beside my desk and looking a bit more relaxed – note his blingy new house collar, which arrived today courtesy of ebay. Black dogs dress up well! His racing name was Boomtown Ken and like Doc he is Irish by origin, but with some American blood in there too, and a racing career here in the UK: http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1912115 Clare and Ken xx
  7. 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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