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Found 52 results

  1. New first-time grey owner and previous lurker on the forums (lots of great info from you folks!) I have been struggling with our new boy Tully having isolation distress/separation anxiety. Background: Tully came off a farm in TX as a failed racer, not quite 2 yrs old. Sweet disposition, the calmest 2 year old dog I've ever had. Big issues arose when I tried to leave him alone during the first week. Lot's of gentle, slow attempts at crate training. When I was able to get him crated, shut the door and leave the condo, Tully bent the steel crate bars with his teeth, destroyed an "indestructible" crate bed, and dragged a rug into the crate and tore it to pieces--all within 15 minutes. (I'd previously left him alone for just 5 minutes.) He shrieked the entire time, swayed, drooled, looked wild-eyed. I was actually just running to the library to p/u 2 books on Sep. Anxiety (McConnell's and Malena DeMartini-Price's.) I had a camera on him so was watching the video in the car. It was just awful to see and hear. I raced home quickly. Next step: I abandoned the crate in favor of a 4'x4' x-pen with his comfy bed placed inside. He took to that immediately and would come and go frequently. After speaking with our vet, Tully began taking Clomicalm (40 mg/ twice a day.) I also immediately started on a very conservative training protocol using the two books. I never left him alone aside from brief training sessions, and he was fine if a neighbor or friend stayed with him while I went shopping, etc. Any attempt at leaving the condo without him was a failure, though. Crying, pawing at the pen. I also tried leaving him with the pen door open and he would cry and paw at the exit door. During all of this I was also helping Tully to transition to life as a pet, thanks to the wonderful advice I read on this forum (let him take his time, don't push too hard, let him sleep, etc.) Next step: During week 7 of training (8 weeks with us) we got up to 11 minutes outside the house with Tully in his pen which felt like a huge step. I always started each session with a food-filled kong, always filmed the sessions. He would often cry or get frustrated when his kong finished but settle down afterward. Occasionally though, he would vocalize LOUDLY and bite at the pen for at least one minute. With condo neighbors, that was obviously a problem, but the bigger issue was seeing him be anxious. Lots of small steps forward and then back. Last week I really lost my confidence in my ability to help Tully through his isolation distress/SA on my own. I contacted Malena DeMartini-Price who phoned me to speak about Tully. She asked questions about what that morning's training session had been like and gave me some suggestions. I decided to take her SA online training course, Mission: Possible. (I'm not plugging for her, just telling you my process.) I've spent several days going through the materials and basically dialed way back on any training for Tully while I studied. Two things jumped out at me: Malena D-P no longer recommends using a kong or other food treats for SA training (different from her book.) She also suggested that I abandon the pen to see how Tully would do w/o it. My long-term plan was to allow Tully the run of the condo, so I could save a step of training him out of the pen by just starting SA training over with him out of it. (I'd only wanted the pen to prevent him from randomly chewing stuff, which he would try when we first got him home.) This morning I did Tully's first assessment (as part of the class.) His first time not being in a pen while I exited and first time without a kong. I sat on a bench outside the condo where he couldn't see or hear me (except when I dropped a book.) Tully was a champion! He came to the door twice (once when I dropped the book) and cried briefly and softly twice, but mostly he just relaxed in his bed and snoozed. I stayed outside for 60 minutes, all the while wondering, "Who is this dog and where is my fearful, anxious boy?" When I came back inside, he was happy but not clingy or needy. I can't begin to describe the rush of relief I feel. I know he will need to continue training to get to 4 hours alone (my goal) and that there will be regressions but I just want to celebrate this victory. For those of you struggling with a similar problem, I'd say get help sooner than later, keep a journal (to remind you how far you and your pup have come) and keep going. Thanks for listening!
  2. Hi everyone, I have been reading this forum a lot over the past 6 months and have already learned a lot from this community. I was hoping I could get some help with an issue I'm having. I have a 2 1/2 year old female greyhound that LOVES people and other dogs. She has never shown aggression towards another human and very rarely with other dogs (always a clear reason why like trying to hump her or standing over her while she was dozing on the floor). However, something happened yesterday that I am hoping for some help with. My brother adopted a greyhound as well about a week ago and he is a shy 3 year old boy. Yesterday I took my dog to meet his at my brother's condo. We had them meet outside and everything went great! A lot of sniffing and we went on a short walk before heading inside. Once inside things were fine at first. My dog followed my brother into the kitchen and was standing next to him as he made coffee, and when my brother's dog came into the kitchen mine started to growl. We told her no and she stopped. I called her into the other room and she came. My brother's dog followed her over towards me and when she was standing near me she started baring her teeth looking straight ahead. Again we said no and separated them. I brought her to the couch and sat down next to her. My brother's dog approached me on my right and while I gave him neck scritches my girl started growling again. We told her no again and she stopped. We let them lay down and relax across the room from each other for a while. Then we put their leashes on and tried an introduction inside again. My girl was fine for the most part as the other grey came up and started sniffing. When the other dog started sniffing more towards the front of her very quickly she bared her teeth and snapped at my brothers dog. I took her to the corner and scolded her (she didn't really react or seem to care). From there we just let them lay separately across the room until it was time to go. We all went outside as we left and outside my girl was completely fine and friendly. A complete 180 from inside the condo! I'm hoping that I can get some advice on how to get these dogs to get along because I see my brother a lot and I am supposed to watch his dog when he goes on vacation in a month. Some other pertinent information that may help: My girl has been to the condo before and stayed overnight there two times (before my brother had the dog). She has gone to my fiancee's parent's house for the weekend and gotten along great with their dog (non-greyhound) My fiancee's parents and their dog have stayed a weekend at my house and again, no issues with the other dog My dog was recently started on Proin for spay incontinence and pyrantel for hookworm. She was panting and getting a racing heart on Proin so we are playing with lowering the dose and she is finally acting normal on a low dose. She was panting and I think feeling kind of crappy yesterday. Thanks for any help you can provide because if there is any dog I need mine to get along with, it is my brother's dog!
  3. Anyone have any games they like to play with their hound indoors? Our guy Bismarck has a bit more energy than our last hound (he plays fetch!) but does not care for playing out in the yard any more than necessary now that it is cold. We've done a basic training class and we do reps of that stuff, but laying down and "leaving it" get boring for him (and us) after a while. And our house layout/flooring isn't really conducive to indoor fetch, so I was hoping some of you might have some suggestions of things you do/games you play with your dog in the house? He likes toys insofar as he can squeak them until they die
  4. Hello! I just joined because I'm planning to adopt a greyhound soon. I'm very excited. I've read a lot about them and noticed that white cats can be particularly attractive to greyhounds because lures are often white. We have a white cat, so what I want to know is how difficult it can be to train a greyhound not to chase after her new white friend? Is it something that can just take extra time? Boo is a friendly and playful red colorpoint Siamese who used to have a disabled American Eskimo Dog as her friend. She was always gentle with him. She can get typical kitty crazies sometimes and go sprinting through the apartment, so a bit of play pretend chasing would probably make her day. Can greyhounds ever be trained to play like that while being gentle and not actually attacking her? I'm so glad for Boo's red striped tail right now. She's not 100% white. But she is mostly white. Any pointers would be so helpful. I want to make sure I am ready when the time comes for future houndie and kitty to meet. Thanks!
  5. Our new hound (4 yr old male, former racer, gotcha day Aug18 2018, second grey we've had) has been such a great dog so far, EXCEPT for first thing in the morning. He waits for our alarm to sound before he gets up (and wants us up), but when he does he's so uncontrollably excited that he's a bit of a hazard to himself and us. At first it seemed more about getting fed because he'd calm down quite a bit after his breakfast and calmly go outside, but lately he is developing a habit of beginning to pee (dribbling or even just giving in and going), before we feed or can even get the coat on to let him out into the yard! We're right there to do the big "NO" and open the door sans coat, but definitely need some ideas for the best way(s) to remedy the situation. We've switched to letting him out immediately (and breakfast afterward) but he remains a maniac. Before this, we'd been working on calming him down by asking him to lie down (into sphinx) before we'd fill his bowl/open the door. He does pretty well obeying the command but now the pee will start flowing while he's in sphinx so that's a non-starter. It's getting cold here (Wisconsin) so we need to be able to get the coat on before he pees and we'd obviously like for the pee to happen outside. Secondary to that, we'd like to figure out how to train him to calm down during this time, because it is only a matter of time before his morning antics cause an injury to himself or one of us. My first thought is to put a belly band on him before bed and to take it off right before we open the door for him in the morning, but is the belly band going help train the "don't pee in the house" behavior? Or is it just a band-aid to save our floors? How do we train "calm down" when the only time the command is necessary is when he's so amped up that he can't focus and pees in the house? One thing that concerns me is that when he pees (outside) he takes FOREVER, longer than any dog I've had or known. This guy could win contests, I swear. His stream becomes weak & slow right away and then it's like he's peeing in morse code, starting and stopping (he doesn't move around or mark). He's not a marker on walks or in the yard (or in the house), he just stands and waits for it to all come on out. He's been that slow that since we got him, which concerned me initially but the urinalysis done in Sept came back clear. It feels behavioral because it is only happening at one time of the day, but his slow flow also has me worried that it could be medical, despite the uneventful test and nothing else of note. Thoughts?? Hopefully anticipating some questions that might be asked (can you tell how much time I spend on GT?): He seems to drink a normal amount, the dish is usually not dry at feeding time when we refill, but we'll start keeping better track of how much water we're giving/he's getting. He had a urinalysis in mid Sept which did not show anything significant. He definitely has the ability to hold it for 8-9 hrs, and does not get this hyper or leaky at any other time, like when we come home from work, etc.
  6. I've had my greyhound for nearly two months now, he's been settling in well - however he has recently become more hyper (hes nearly two so still quite young) I was told how lazy and calm greyhounds where and the adoption kennels told me not to be put off by a young hound as they where also calm! I work as a dog walker so my greyhound sometimes gets up to three hours of walking a day. He used to be super calm during the walks but has recently started lunging at other dogs, barking and jumping around. Even after he's had three hours of walking when I get home he charges around the house throwing his toys everywhere and takes a while to settle. It can be abit overwhelming as its not a very big apartment. I feed him on Skinners duck and rice. Is this just an age thing he'll grow out of or lack of training? Any other ideas to help calm him down!? Thanks!
  7. I am wondering if anyone has tried clicker training and has it been successful? I have never done it with my other dogs, but they were Newfoundlands and very laid back easy to train dogs. Starting with my first greyhound I thought I might try something different and was hoping to get some advice.
  8. Hi everyone, My gf and I have a 4.5 year old retired racer that we got a year ago. We just moved, but in the old place she loved her crate and would generally be there during our workday (8hrs) with little to no issues. In the new place, she is getting increasingly destructive during this same schedule (bed ripped up, blankets torn, yanked, roughed up nose. She doesn't pee). We got her a calming collar, anxiety meds, melatonin and have put stuff in her crate she likes (kongs, toys, blankets that she knows). We also have been training her (with varying degrees of rigor), to enjoy her crate. She goes in, sleeps in it, we can leave the door open with her in it and she has become increasingly accustomed to the crate in the new place. The new place is a duplex where we have the have the lower floor. Above us is a young family with a small kid. My gf and I are used to their sounds, but it travels to down to us. These are typical sounds of either people moving, a kid running around a little, there is some jumping contraption they have up there that can be kinda annoying, but to us, nothing crazy. After all we've done, through 3 weeks our dog is getting worse being in the crate. The dog has always been nervous around kids, but we are wondering if those noises is the source of her anxiety. I can't say that's for certain, we are getting to the point where it's gone from a smaller issue to a big one. Our immediate idea is to muzzle her when she's in the crate just to stop her from being destructive, and then introduce her to the family upstairs to get familiar with what could be those sounds as well as to take her to the dog park more to socialize in general. It's sad seeing her go through this, as well as my girlfriend who is the one who gets home first and sees the new damage for the day. I'm doing research on my own but does anyone have suggestions for how we can get rid of this behavior? Thanks
  9. Hi all! I'm new around here, but I've recently adopted my first greyhound about a week ago with my husband from one of our local rescues. We're already 100% attached and feel that she's a great fit for our home, but we're interested in taking her to get some extra obedience training. She's six years old and already knows one or two commands, has no problems walking on a leash, responds very well to positive reinforcement, and is generally a good listener (except for when she's very tired and doesn't want to get off the couch). We'd like to take her someplace local for some casual/light training so she can learn a few more commands and give us some piece of mind that she'll listen better if we need to tell her to stop, leave it, ignore something, etc. Have any of you had any experience with Petsmart or Petco training programs? I ask because we have several store locations that are very close, both advertise positive reinforcement only training, seem to work with our schedules, and aren't too pricey. Most of the private training facilities in our area seem more intense than what we need.
  10. This week we had an in-home consult with a trainer who uses the positive reinforcement training recommended in Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies. I thought I’d post my notes here for others who may have similar problems. (Our boy Django just turned 2, and we’ve had him for 2.5 months.) Sleep Aggression Start be petting gently while he’s on the floor and wide awake and give him treats when he responds positively (our boy has no problem with this, so this would likely not work if anyone is not at this stage yet.) When he’s comfortable with that, gently nudge him while he’s lying down and wide awake, giving him treats when you do. This will help acclimate him to responding positively when people are irritating him when he’s lying down. When he’s comfortable with that, wait for him to fall asleep. Get a long-handled feather duster and very gently nudge him awake, praise him, and treat him. Don’t use basic treats for this work—use something really special, like steak. You want all his associations to be very positive. Be sure that he’s comfortable with each step before moving to the next, and do it gradually. She said if you continue doing this, it will change the way he reacts to being startled awake. She said that because he’s only 2 and if we really work at this, there’s a good chance it can be resolved. Nipping When Excited Django gets really excited around me and playfully nips. She put us on a 15-day program where my husband has the dog doing down-stay, and I would do various things, starting with getting up and sitting down on the couch to kneeling on the edge of the rug where he was to getting on my hands and knees beside him, to desensitize him from going crazy around me. She said in the end I should be able to dance around the room and have him stay calmly in a down position. (It’s really a sit-stay program, but he still has trouble with sit, and down is easy for him.) The full program is the Protocol for Relaxation by Dr. Karen L. Overall in Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, and the goal is to sit (or down) and stay while relaxing in a variety of circumstances. We’d never done the stay command before, but during that consult he stayed for 5 minutes while I was doing all sorts of things around him! I don’t have the link to the program, but you basically increase the complexity of the stay commands each day (day one starts with him staying for five seconds, or staying while owner walks one step away and one step back and then increases so he stays longer and you’re doing things like jumping up and down, jogging in place, leaving the room and talking to people, etc.) For each stay task he completes successfully (there are about 25 each day, but you can break them up into sessions), you praise and then treat. When he starts getting up from the stay position, take a step toward him (not in a threatening way), give the down command, and then repeat the stay command. When you’re done, say “free” to release him. Refusing to Walk I saw other posts about this—statuing or refusing to walk further. She said start with him on a leash in the house or your yard or somewhere where you don’t have to worry about how to get him home if he refuses to walk. Every time he moves, say, “Good dog!” or “Good walk!” and treat him. When he’s walking nicely, treat him. She said do not coax with treats. Instead, if he refuses to move, just wait him out. As soon as he moves, praise him and treat him in the direction you want him to go. She said to also pay attention to when he stops. She said he could be seeing, smelling, or hearing something he’s not comfortable with. I’ve read Temple Grandin’s books on animals, and she gives a checklist of things that can can scare most animals--things flapping in the wind like flags, the color yellow (a high-contrast color for them) like a yellow flag or raincoat hanging on a fence, anything moving fast and silently like bikes, and areas of high contrast between bright light and darkness. In other words, get in the head of your dog and try to see if there’s anything that could be scaring him if he’s stopping at the same place. If you can identify it, do classical conditioning (treat and praise him as soon as he sees whatever’s scaring him, then praise and treat him as he gets closer, etc.) Because our boy would balk about turning around and wanting to come home, she recommended giving him a really special treat after every walk, like a kong filled with treats and cheese, so that he would always look forward to coming back from his walks. Growling when Having Something Taken Away She said don’t reach down and take something from him. Instead, we need to work aggressively on the drop-it command. But instead of saying “drop it” and offering him a treat immediately, she said to say "drop it" then toss the treat at least a few steps away to give you time to get what he dropped so you don’t have to reach down to take it from him. She said she had a client whose dog would drop it but then attack them when they went to pick it up. They trained the dog to run to their bathroom when they said drop it so that they had a lot of time and space to pick it up. We were very skeptical of this and pointed out that any treat we have on walks will never equal chicken bones. She said to practice it like 100 times a day. She said eventually, he will associate the command with dropping whatever he has in his mouth and moving away from it. (We’ll see! Chicken bones on the street are now the bane of my existence.) Mooching Food We often eat at our coffee table in front of the TV. She said we can train him to put our plates on the floor and eat right beside him with him not getting our food. Again, this takes a lot of time and repetition. Start with putting some treats in your hand. When he goes for it, close your hand and say “off” or “away.” When he backs off, give him a treat and say “get it.” When he learns that, advance to putting the treats on a plate. Do the same thing—put your hands over the treats when he comes close, and when he backs off, treat him. Gradually work up to using real food, get him to do a down-stay, and then treat him after you’ve finished eating. She emphasized that we need to really practice and stay committed in order for them to work. So we have our work cut out for us!
  11. 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
  12. Hello Greytalk! Forgive me, I am new here but I am looking for some real and honest advice from people who genuinely know greyhound behaviour and what better place than greytalk. Heres a little background: My partner and I have had our initial greyhound Achilles (Now four years old) for almost two years now and he has been an absolute dream. We got him pretty much straight from the track and it took very little time to have him settled into retirement. He was a pro couch surfer in no time, took a great liking to leisurely walks on the lead and has grown into the most affectionate and loveable hound. He was already toilet trained and has never once had an accident, sleeps in his own bed at night and we have been able to leave him to his own devices from day dot with NO PROBLEMO. Long story short - he created very unrealistic expectations for our new hound We decided to adopt our new hound Pretzel (2 and a half years old) from the same place we got Achilles, under the illusion that he would transition into retirement with the same ease and grace as Achilles and boy, were we wrong. Now we took Pretzel home yesterday and what a sleepless and exhausting 24 hours it has been. Pretzel sassed right on in to our home and decided to zoom all over the couch, all through the bedrooms, straight to the bathroom for a good slurp from the toilet bowl and found heaven in a bag of unopened dog food (which I must add, did not remain unopened for long). He did some sort of awkward fall/flip down our back stairs and left a trail of diarrhoea, before promptly racing back into the house to tear up poor Mr. Achilles favourite plush toy and retiring for a brief snooze in his bed. He later snaffled an omelette from our housemates plate and ate the egg shells left on the kitchen bench too, before another diarrhoea incident and a sleepless night of pulling everything off every table he could reach up onto. Finally, he mustered up the energy to perform some sort of gymnastics routine off the couch this morning, flipping on, flipping off, flipping on, flipping off (I'd have given a 10/10 if I wasn't so mad from being kept up all night), with his final trick being a big wee all over the living room floor. He has thankfully retired for the morning (on our bed I might add) and I feel like I have been hit by a freight train. I contacted the vet we adopted him from and she suggested we purchased a crate to have Pretzel sleep in during the night and day when we are out. But I wanted to see what everybody's opinion was on this and the best way to tackle helping Pretzel settle into his new home. I thought I was just this incredible greyhound whisperer or something after getting Achilles to settle in so quickly but I've come to realise I'm an absolute noob. For those not bothered to read my novel above, our main concerns are: Settling the sheer hyperactivity in the most positive and beneficial way for Pretzel - He is still really unsure of walking on the lead and pulls incredibly hard on the leash when we do walk, so some tips and advice with this would be amazing! As well as tips on dealing with an incredibly energetic grey. Achilles is 4 going on 30 so this is so new for us. To crate or not to crate - The benefits (or negatives) of this, how long to crate and when to put him in the crate, hit me with as much crate information as possible, I am so incredibly keen to hear your opinions. Diarrhoea - did you come up against this and how did you combat it? (We are currently on day 2 of chicken and rice with no significant changes just yet) Thank you for reading! I would be so grateful for any advice
  13. Hi everybody! This is my first post, though I've been lurking the forums anonymously for a while now. This place has been such a great resource already - I love the community here! I'm hoping someone has had a similar experience with their greyhound and might be able to give me a little bit of insight to my hound's weird behavior. We adopted 3.5 year old Dewey in March - he's a huge goofball and pretty outgoing for a greyhound. He showed some pretty normal symptoms of anxiety for the first few months - he was scared of leaving the apartment at first, scared of cars and loud noises, scared to cross the street, and sometimes would freeze up in the middle of a walk and refuse to move. Through gentle but persistent encouragement we've gotten over almost all of these issues - he loves going outside now, doesn't mind cars, loves long walks, etc. Very occasionally now he will freeze on a walk if he is only with one of his two owners (me and my partner) - he prefers to be in a group. However, it doesn't feel like a problem. What has become a problem: over the course of the summer he started whining more and more - in the last month particularly it has ramped up a lot. He whines frequently throughout the day now, and it doesn't seem to be linked to a particular cause - he eats plenty, gets healthy treats and snacks, has fresh water always available to him, and it doesn't seem to be linked to having to pee or poop. We took him to the vet to make sure he's not secretly in pain, but he has a clean bill of health and the vet didn't seem to have a clue why this would be happening. We're hesitant to put him on anxiety meds because it doesn't even seem like he's particularly anxious - just loud! He whines any time either of us leaves the apartment or changes rooms. He whines while sniffing around the house. He whines loudly WHILE he's playing with and squeaking his favorite duck toy. He often doesn't even seem to be in distress - just whines for the sake of whining. We try not to acknowledge the noise because we don't want to reinforce the behavior, but often it gets so loud and irritating that we have to shush him. And the worst part is that it seems to be increasing in both volume and frequency of occurrence. Does anybody have experience with this strange random whining behavior, or barring that, an idea on how to address it? It's getting worse - what was once a mildly annoying quirk is now a majorly off-putting and frustrating behavior, and we have no idea how to fix it. Thanks for your time and help!!
  14. Hello! Just curious what other, more experienced owners have trained their greys to do. So far, my boy has learned some basic manners: stay (especially at meal time), down, down with a stay, and drop it. What would be your top other commands for a grey to know? Any special tricks that are fun? I can get him to twirl in a circle with a treat, target my hand (for a treat) and jump up (no treat needed!).
  15. I adopted 3.5-year-old Tanner a little more than a month ago, and he's been such a great addition to our family. I think he's figured out that he's now in his forever home because just last week he started barking. It's a tail-wagging playful bark, but it's a little intimidating nonetheless and I'm not sure what he needs. He's usually been walked, potty-ed and played with. Anyone else dealing with random bouts of barking? I try to keep my cool when he does it and not react with barking back at him!
  16. In one of the more recent threads on collars and tags, some folks mentioned that they use more than one collar. I was curious - any reason for this? Is one just for tags and the other for training or is it a safety concern? I grew up with whippets and they often went naked when indoors, but their tags were on their martingale collar. My current dog has a martingale with tags that she wears all the time. If it's a safety thing, I might end up getting a second collar, LOL!!
  17. Hey there everybody! I made the decision a while back that I was ready to adopt a dog, and have been searching ever since for a pup who might fit in with me and my lifestyle. A friend of mine suggested greyhounds as a potential fit, and after reading through as much information as I could get my hands on, I went out to a local greyhound shelter and had to admit, they are very charming animals and I found myself very comfortable around them. That being said, I still have the average person's doubts and anxieties, and thought I might request some input from a group of people who have lived with greyhounds and know them rather well about whether or not I might make a good candidate to care for a greyhound! About me: I am in my late 20's, and live in a second-floor tenement apartment with my family, and we do . I work very nearly full time, about 6 hours a day. I'm looking for a dog that is suited to and comfortable with apartment living, which ideally would include not having a propensity for frantic, uncontrollable barking. I am hoping for a dog that would not necessarily need an "active" family- a dog that is more mellow and laid-back, but that still would not mind accompanying me on longer, slow-paced walks and hikes through the woods. I cannot engage in vigorous exercise, so I'm mostly looking for a walking buddy. I would also like to find a dog that is okay with going with me here and there- to my aunt's, my sisters, and friends' houses- and will not be stressed out by being outside of home frequently. This would include being around other dogs (smaller dogs) and cats, so it's important to me to find a pup who is small dog and cat safe. My mother also has a cat in the house, a 15 year old lovable critter who is markedly surly around dogs, which is why ideally I'd like a dog that either already ignores cats or can be encouraged/trained to ignore cats/treat them with respect. Some of the introduction methods I've read would probably not work too well on her, for example- I can't imagine her patiently allowing me to cart her in and out of the room at will for meet and greets. Normally I'd be concerned about house training, but everything I read seems to suggest that Greyhounds take to house training pretty quickly/well. I guess my major concerns are how difficult it is to tackle some of the issues that might arise, such as separation anxiety? I've grown up around family's dogs, but this will be my first experience taking care of a dog of my own, so I don't think I'd make a great match for a dog/breed of dog that requires experienced handling. I'd also like a pup that is affectionate and responsive- a good little buddy/companion. I do, of course, understand that a lot of this depends on individual pups but as I have no prior experience with the breed I figured it would be safer (and make me feel more confident moving forward) to run it by here. So, any input on whether or not a greyhound might be happy with me would be greatly appreciated, and thank you so much for taking the time to read through this! Feel free to ask anything that might help clarify.
  18. out of curiosity, has anyone worked with a trainer around tampa that they liked? i'm having trouble finding a trainer that has anything advertised indicating familiarity with sighthounds, and i'd like to work with someone who's worked with sighthounds before if at all possible. thanks!
  19. Good afternoon, all! The wife and I went through an adoption group for retired racers and were lucky enough to come home with Kingston, a 3.5 yo brindle boy. He's overall an excellent dog, walks well on the lead, obeys when we redirect him from counter surfing, and isn't overly gassy (knock on wood). He was presented to us as a cat-friendly (per the regional vernacular) dog and the foster he was with indicated he'd spent time around cats previously with no ill consequence. We've had him about 10 days now and we've kept our two little ladies (4 and 6 yo rescue cats) sequestered in the back of the house via a baby gate. We tag out to give them loves and play a bit and Kingston doesn't seem to mind when our louder girl cries (she has a big mouth in the best way). Unfortunately, on a couple of occasions the dog has walked by the gate to head downstairs where his nest is (it's much cooler and quiet), keyed on one of the cats sitting behind the fence and lunged at them. In most cases, when he looks that direction and his ears go up, we draw his attention away and reward him for the diverted gaze. When he's jumped at them, though, it's a single bounce and he goes downstairs. There's been a bark once or twice, and I don't want to discount the idea he may be trying to play, but the cats are not really used to dogs. Is our training with him, diverting the gaze and slowly acclimating him to the cats when he's muzzled and leashed, backsliding when he does this? He doesn't get fixated to the point of not moving or anything, but I want to make sure we aren't setting ourselves up for a long summer to no avail. I'm trying to stay optimistic and really I think he's doing well for the most part, but these brief jumps make me nervous.
  20. 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
  21. Hello fellow Grey lovers. I want to hear your SUCCESSFUL separation anxiety stories! I just adopted a 3.5 year old greyhound, Hanna, about 2 months ago and the separation anxiety has been a MAJOR stressful item we are having to overcome. We were putting her in the crate but she HATED the crate, never went in it, and it seemed to trigger her anxiety. She also can't stand to see us leave. So we met her in the middle and put her in our spare room (its our "workout" room, and where I get ready in the mornings, we spend a lot of time in there) with her bed, a kong filled with something yummy, and a bone (and food and water). This seemed to work as she couldn't watch us walk out but also wasn't stuck in her crate. It worked for about a week and now we're back to the screaming. We did set up a webcam so we can see how she reacts (we don't use it all the time, sometimes its more stress than good) and she does have good days being alone (which makes me feel she CAN do this!!!) From the webcam I can see that she fights sleeping, but she lays down in a new spot every 10 minutes. I am also not adopting another dog. Financially it's irresponsible for me, and I want her to be a well balanced dog. I don't want to put a bandaid on it. Plus she's been alone with another dog and she could care less about the dog. We stay consistent with training, ignore her before and upon return, etc. Anyway....I'm not looking for advice, I've read it all, I'm doing it, and I'm trying all the tricks of the trade. I do, however, have a nasty little voice in my head making this worse, telling me this will never end, maybe I wasn't cut out for this, etc. I want to hear about how you overcame separation anxiety with your grey and what your dog is like now! I want to hear/see the light at the end of the tunnel to make me aware that others have gone through this and it worked!
  22. Hi everyone! Need some advice again, you have never steered me wrong. I have had Gardenia (3 yr old retired racer, mild-mannered) for almost a year now. I am now looking to adopt another one (for her, as a playmate), but we are having some issues. When she first showed up at my door last September, she came with another greyhound (the adoptees wanted to see which one took to me better) and she was fine with that other dog. She seemed to enjoy the company of this dog and was even "sad" when they left (she was hanging out by the front door for hours). However, I have noticed that now she really does not like being around other dogs. I have not been able to get her to play with other dogs, as she just wants to pounce, chase (lol), or be "cranky" (as we like to call it) around other dogs. I generally keep her away from other dogs and avoid the dog park when other dogs are there. She shows her teeth, barks, gets snappy, and generally just does not like when other dogs approach her, but she never bites (I pull her away because I am scared of this happening although she has never done it, even when given the chance). Is there an explanation for this behavior? Do you believe she will ever get over this if we get another greyhound? She was obviously okay at a certain point with other greyhounds. I am wondering if anyone else had this problem and how they got over it. Does it just take some time/conditioning? Me and my fiancé are willing to put in the work to get the dogs to get along, but I want to know how to get to that point. Also, when taking her out for a walk, she always seems VERY interested in other dogs. She never barks or snarls, just looks and wags her tail. However, when they approach her, especially in a quick manner (mostly when THEY are off the leash), she starts to show her teeth and snarl. We took her for a long walk the other day and we came across an unleashed dog. The dog did not approach Gardenia (as most tend to do) and after a while she actually ended up approaching the other dog with NO issues. Is this just a territory or insecurity thing? I am really hoping this is something that can be overcome as we really want her to have fun with another dog. It's not just for us, it's mainly for her to have a companion. Thank you in advance for all your comments and suggestions.
  23. Hi everyone, I just want to say what a pleasure it has been to have a place to come to specifically dedicated to all things greyhound. My mother just a month ago adopted a 2 year old newly retired racing greyhound (Emma). Emma has been wonderful, and has been learning certain things very well - there were a few issues in the beginning with Emma being in her crate at night, however my mother was able to work with her and now they have a great over night routine where Emma sleeps well in her crate. The one pressuing issue that is developing is that of separation anxiety when my mother leaves the house. She initially took a week off from work to help Emma acclimatize to her new environment. During this time they bonded, and Emma was not displaying seperation anxiety - and my mother was able to leave her alone for periods of time without her becoming anxious. (Also, Emma is not in her crate when my mom goes out - she tried this at one point, and her anxiety and behaviour was much worse - so she decided to let her roam free during the day). When my mom returned to her regular schedule of working (3 or 4 days a week, for around 4 hours at a time) Emma began to develop more anxiety when she was left alone, displaying barking, howling, and crying. Now I know that there is an adjustment period, and my mom has continued to work with Emma and has been doing alone triaining - the issue is that they live in an apartment, and people have started complaining. Needless to say, that adds a little bit of pressure to the whole situation. My question is how can we do our best to set Emma up for success? My mother and I have done a lot of reading, and I have tried to choose a plan that is consistent and addresses the anxiety itself as well as the symptoms of the anxiety. There are some mixed messages in terms of what works best, but I have been trying to get my mom to stick with the alone training. There was a period of time that Emma was doing better, and was not running up to the door when my mom would leave - however a few days have gone by, and she seems to be a bit worse - now running up to the door and blocking my mom's exit, and then barking almost right away when she closes the door. I have suggested she go back to basics and just start to desensitize the jingling of her keys, and picking up her purse, and then sitting back down and waiting for Emma to relax. What are people's opinions on providing treats to Emma once she does calm down/lay down? What it looks like now is that my mom goes in and out very quickly, and then sits down on the couch and 'ignores' Emma until she relaxes and lies down. I am thinking that this could be a good time to give her attention and treats? I know that this can be a slow process requiring effort and patience, I just worry that the behaviour is getting worse and not better. If anyone has any further suggestions, advice, or personal experience to share, it would be much appreciated! Ashley
  24. So my husband and I are fostering a beautiful big boy who retired from racing in January. He gets along great with our other greyhound and ignores the rats that we have in a cage. He, however, hates our 2 cats. We have read all the advice on how to introduce him and fully understand that he may never be cat safe. This is heartbreaking because this boy is just so incredible, and sweet. We are on day 3 of introductions. We are introducing them in the bathroom and have our boy muzzled and leashed with the cat in the bathtub, sometimes on my lap while I lovingly pet. Day 3 is different from day 1, we are able to get his attention away for short periods of time but then he snaps back to staring. Water squirts don't faze him. One of our cats has been hissing, which makes him back up and wag his tail and whine. That is my question - whats up with the tail wagging and whimpering? Does he see the cat as a play thing or is this behavior they exhibit when they want to attack and chase, like the lure? I will be happy to answer any questions about his behavior - I am just looking for a good start and some advice.
  25. 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.
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