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Hi all. This is my first post. I want to say thank you to everyone for keeping this forum active and easily accessible to the public. This forum has been a wonderful source of knowledge and comfort both prior to adopting our hound and in the time that weve had her. Ive read many threads, but Im still not seeing some of the same behaviors (or not searching the right words) in the forum. I will try to be direct in our situation with the hope I can get some insight and advice. We adopted our girl three months ago. It is just my husband and I with occasional visitors like his young daughter and our parents. She just turned two, so she did not race. She had three races and did very poorly. She went straight from the track to a kennel where the local adoption group houses the hounds until they get their forever homes. When we went to meet her, we could tell she was reserved, but we chalked it up to her recent stress. The kennel person, who also had greys, said it was really common and it takes a while to come out of their shells. So we adopted her. When we first brought her home, she wouldnt leave her crate. At all. We had to leash her in the crate to get her out to potty. She was more relaxed outside, so much so that she actually took treats from my hand but not my husbands. She ate very well, so we moved to hand feeding. After about 2-3 weeks she learned to go to the door when I got my coat on, but she still was glued to her crate. When my husband approached her, she often peed on her crate mat or her bed. I assume it was out of fear. She wouldnt take treats from him and she never came out of her crate, so it was hard to have him be the good guy giving treats. We talked to the Vet. She gave us the name of a very reputable and certified trainer/behaviorist in our area. We have been working with her on positive reinforcement methods to encourage time out of the crate and to have her learn that my husband isnt scary. Our girl made minor progress in weeks 3-7 or so, but should not be overlooked. She started taking treats from me inside (most of the time), she started coming out of her crate while I was home (a little), and she was better about taking treats from my husband when I was home (but with luring). Basically, I started to become her human it seemed. But she still loved her crate/safe space, but we were ok with it. We never took that from her. If I it was only my husband at home (he works from home), then she stayed in her crate and did not take treats. She wouldnt come out for water either. On weeks 8-11 she started to get excited when I got home, with tail wags, especially when going outside. She started to tolerate dogs in our off leash area in our apartment community rather than being fearful. She even let me pet her, which was never before. But this was rare. However, she started barking rather ferociously (defensively?) at my husband everytime he entered the room and I was in the room. We addressed this with the trainer and it had improved. But its still a work in progress. But then she started barking at everyone. Now she will stand in her crate or the living room and bark like crazy at absolutely nothing, with a mohawk. This is with or without my husband being present and Im feet away from her. Its rather scary or unnerving to deal with. She carries on for some time Fast forward to now. In the past 10 days she has decided that the rug behind the main door is her new space to be glued. She wont leave it even when Im home. We try ignoring her and giving her space then just reinforcing when she comes out. This past Sunday, my dad tried to leave our apartment and she bit him without warning. My dad has met her before and my dad just ignored it instead of punishing it. We then had severe storms mid week. She was crated for sleeping like usual with a light on and white noise machine on. However, after this, she wont go back in her crate. Additionally, yesterday, she bit two of our male friends. One was as he was leaving the apartment, so we crated her. The other was as I was holding her by short leash bc we had just gone out. She didnt snarl or growl either time, she just bit. No damage was done in any bite perhaps because she has ground down her top teeth while at the track. She shows no resource guarding with us with any item. She also now scratches, cries, and chews on her crate. My husband travels for work this week and she will be alone in her crate except for a midday dog walker. The whole time we have had her, she has been fearful of everything. Everything. Every noise is enough to completely set her off into flee and afraid mode. She has been on Zylkene for two months and on a DAP collar. We live in an urban area of a mid sized city and they are doing large construction at two sites within one block of us. She cant handle it. We try to always have TV and white noise on. Motorcycles are terrible. Wind on the windows are terrible. Us getting up to fast makes her flee, especially from my husband. We are now tossing treats in the opposite direction and using verbal cues to let her know (if shes actually in the room, but that has changed recently). The list goes on. She doesnt want attention so we ignore her. She doesnt get on furniture. She used to do zoomies in our off leash area, but now she wants out of the yard as soon as she potties. We do walk but only recently bc we have had record rain since February. She goes out 4 times a day and gets fed twice a day. She gets Kongs in her crate (and treats outside of her crate). She does seem happier outside, but thats changed recently too. My husband had a grey before and it was a totally different experience. She is my second dog of my own but I was raised with dogs. Ive never seen anything like this. We are concerned about the biting (3x one week) and just overall for her health and happiness. We know its only three months in, but we have talked to our vet who sees lots of greys, got a trainer/behaviorist, and exhausted ourselves with trying to meet our girls needs. We feel like failures. Would she be better off in a different home? Maybe one with another grey or in a suburban setting? I know its long. Guess Im not so good with keeping it short and Im sure Im misding things. Any advice is appreciated.
July 4 holiday is one of the most risky times for dogs to escape, and get lost or killed. Dogs' hearing is much more sensitive than humans' hearing. Tips to keep your Greyhounds safe during holiday fireworks celebrations: - Keep hounds inside your home with I.D. collars (hopefully reflective) fit snugly on hound. If on vacation with a new hound (unknown noise reactions), ensure a person stays with hound in house, hotel, etc. - Consider feeding evening meal a little earlier in preparation for earlier scheduled potty outings. Offer a potty outing before dusk, and after fireworks noise has ended. As always, fresh water should remain available to all animals. - Leash hounds for supervised outings whether in your own fenced backyard or for a quick potty walk. - When leashing for a potty outing: double check to ensure martingale collar, I/D. collar (hopefully reflective) and/or harness fit snugly. - Place one hand through leash handle, wrap leash a couple times around hand, and hold leash tightly with both hands. Pay close attention to your hound and expect a hound to try to bolt, or back out of a collar if suddenly frightened! - Please lock doggie doors until morning. Frightened dogs have run out of their dog door, climbed even very tall, solid fences and been killed by a car while trying to run away from fireworks noise. - Close windows and doors. Hounds have jumped out of screened, open windows trying to escape noise. Dogs don't have depth perception to determine distance to ground level from window or deck height, whether first floor, second floor or higher. - To help drown out fireworks noise, turn fans on high; music CDs or radio on uninterrupted music station (without many advertisements). TV is okay, but often has too many silent breaks between actors' lines. - If your vet has prescribed calming medications, remember that it may take up to an hour for medication to begin to affect the dog. - If using a Thundershirt, dogs should be supervised; anxious or panting dogs' body temperature rises. Thundershirt could potentially increase dogs' body temperature excessively, especially in warm/hot weather. - Don't take hounds to a fireworks event. - Try not to be too alarmed if an especially frightened hound shows fear to go outside or take walks for several days, weeks, or longer after scary fireworks noises. Try to remain patient, and imagine how terrifying and painful fireworks noises are to dogs' sensitive auditory system. Hope everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday!
Hi All! I haven't posted here too much but I wanted to give a brief overview of our experience with SA, because it seems a little different and I wish I had found a post like this back when we first started having issues. We've had our girl, Goose, for about a year. She's about to turn 5, and came to us with a broken leg from the track. I work from home, and having never had a Grey before, I stupidly didn't take the necessary precautions right away when it came to prepping her for being on her own. Part of this was because she didn't seem to care too much about us for the first several weeks. She would intentionally spend time away from us every day (rude, lol). Also, we have a cat, so leaving her alone was slightly complicated by wanting to monitor them together at all times. Her SA manifests basically only as whining/howling. There is some panting and occasional pacing, but that's about it. I felt pretty lucky that we weren't dealing with accidents or destructive behavior. However, the howling was a big problem since we live in an apartment and this became incredibly difficult over time as my fiance and I struggled to go out together. She loved her crate, but it seemed to make zero difference with her SA. We eventually got rid of it because she never wanted to come out, it was huge, and didn't really seem to help her at all. We read everything on SA and tried music, collars, plugins, clicker training, thundershirts, just waiting it out... everything. Our in/out/ignore routines that everyone recommends would work, and then very suddenly she'd be back to square one. It seemed completely random; sometimes she'd ignore us leaving, and other times she'd lose it immediately. We walk her, but were limited in our ability to wear her out completely due to her bad leg (she still can't handle super long walks). We were feeling incredibly lost until a few weeks ago when I came across a reddit comment from someone who had a similar situation (just howling while alone). This person described a routine of coming/going but reinforcing the good (quiet) behavior with pets/rewards, and coming back with a firm "no" if their Grey started to pitch a fit. This seems obvious now, but it goes against absolutely all SA advice I've read in the last year, so it kinda blew my mind. Sure enough, we've done only a small amount of training in this fashion (I'm talking only minutes at a time), and she's responding SO WELL. I just left her for an hour and a half with a recording device, and came home to find that she had only howled for about 10 seconds the entire time (she used to lose it roughly every 5 minutes). I feel like a ginormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I'm so excited that I just had to come here and share it with you guys. I don't want to seem preachy, because I know this doesn't apply to most people. I also don't know what it means for my dog. She's very smart so she seemed to understand right away what this training meant. Maybe this isn't true SA. She's very vocal in general, so maybe she's just been being a brat this whole time. It's hard to say for sure, but I really hope this can help someone else. Cheers