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Visit With Foster Parents (?) And Separation Anxiety Signs


Guest HuggableHound
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Guest Mooogies

I've had Chai now for almost a month (she came home to us on Dec 18th). Her foster Mom emailed me yesterday and said that someone had donated a really warm coat and that it's Chai's if I want it. Obviously that answer is YES! They also mentioned that if I would like to bring Chai with me they would love to see her. She was with them from July to December so obviously they miss her and would love to see her.

 

I want to do what's best for Chai and don't want to confuse her and her Foster Mom has said that she will totally understand whichever way I decide to go. What does everyone think? Personally I think it's too soon to take her back to what was her home for 5 months and then leave again. The first night I brought her home I picked her up there and it was a little difficult getting her in the car. So I don't want to mess her up and suggested to her Foster parents that they are more than welcome to visit her at my home whenever they want but that for the time being I will pick up the jacket without Chai. But I would love your comments/advice.

 

Now onto the bigger problem......just this week we've started to have, what I imagine are, some separation anxiety signs. First incident - on Sunday morning when I left her for an hour to do groceries, she chewed up her brand new dog bed which was in her crate. I left her with her kong, stuffed with treats and peanut butter, her bed and 1 stuffie (which is what she's been getting since we started crating her last week). The first 5 days (last week) went without any incident (after alone time training of course). This is week 2 of being in her crate while I am away at work. When I left yesterday, I put her in her crate, with a fleece blanket now that she's eaten her bed, 1 stuffy and her kong filled with treats. I wasn't 10 minutes from the house when I got a text from my son telling me that she was freaking out in her crate. Whining first then she started howling! I haven't heard her do this yet so I don't know if it's rooing or if it really is howling. He didn't take her out of her crate, but he did give her a firm KNOCK IT OFF from his bedroom but as soon as he came out of his room she stopped.

 

Next incident - she growled and showed her teeth to my son (who is 18) when he went to sit down on the couch beside her. As of yesterday, which is when this happened, we have started to ban her from all furniture unless WE invite her up. He also fed her by hand last night to establish more of a bond with her and took her for a long walk. He really hasn't spent much quality time with her since she came home with us so this was what I thought the right direction to head in. But comments and advice are much much appreciated if we are heading in the right direction with her.

 

Today, same thing after I left. This time I left my bathrobe with her in her crate, I thought maybe having my scent close to her might help, 1 stuffie and her kong. First time Tyler didn't come out of his room, yelled from his room QUIET and she stopped right away. But started up again about 45 mins-an hour later. Same reaction from my son, same reaction from Chai. Third time, same thing, until finally he got up and as soon as she saw him .........quiet and lots of tail wagging (little stinker). He didn't take her out of her crate because I feel that if she cries/howls/barks and then he takes her out of her crate we are doomed. She will just keep it up longer and harder next time. Plus he's only off work for a few days due to a slow period and going back to work next week. So that's why I'm continuing to keep her in her crate while I'm away at work.

 

Also, we live in an apartment and my neighbours are away at the moment but I have to get a handle on this sort of sooner than later because they will NOT tolerate this at all. Especially seeing as it's happening as soon as I leave for work, which is 7 a.m. Oh by the way, she does get a good 1/2 an hour walk every morning before I leave, she does everything she needs to do and has a nice walk in the woods (which is her favourite place to walk - I know this because she told me :)

 

So that's the scoop! Am I concerned? Yes? Because after reading as much as I have about Greyhounds and Separation Anxiety, I have to admit that in the back of my mind I felt like last week was a "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is", sort of thing! I would just like to know everyone elses experiences, suggestions and if what I have been doing so far is good/bad/doomed to hell!

 

Thank you!

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Your post reminded me of my early days with my 10 year old. To answer your question about visiting the foster mom, I would think it is fine. I find my guys always like to go visit places where they've stayed and had fun but have seen no problems with them leaving with me.

 

As far as the separation anxiety, is there a reason why you want her to be crated? I went through a similar situation with my first grey and realized the crate was the cause of the bad behavior. I was so worried about him getting into things that would hurt him when I was gone, I really wanted to leave him in the crate. He was so agitated that he would practically be dehydrated from all the barking and panting that I couldn't leave him for long periods of time. One night I decided to wash my car in the driveway and left him out of his crate in the house but showed him a window where he could watch me. Over time, I would walk away from his line of sight and then come back. He soon learned that I would leave but return and then got rid of the crate and he did fine. Makes me laugh now because he's taught all the other greyhounds that have stayed here that when I go to leave they run away from the door to look out the window. Extra benefit is that I don't worry as much about them escaping out the door. :lol

 

BTW - Good job pulling her off the couch when she growled. I see that a lot with different pups. It generally just takes time to learn how to share space.

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Guest Mooogies

ooops sorry I just realized I posted this under Health when I meant to post it in Training and Behaviour :( my bad.

 

To answer your question, the reason I crated her was the first time I left her alone, I baby-proofed (or so I thought), not realizing that she would get at the bowl of christmas nuts on the kitchen table. I came home to find shells everywhere! She seems to have a preference for walnuts over everything else too! I have a small place (small income too) and to be honest I was afraid that if I baby proofed too well, meaning nothing for her in sight, she would start to chew on expensive things. Like furniture, cushions, etc.

 

I thought of maybe putting her in my room, baby proofed as well, but there is a television on my dresser, cables, sliding closet doors. So I'm not sure that's the way to go either.

 

So I'm a little perplexed on how to proceed with this. But yes I know exactly what you mean. Why crate her at all? I just didn't want the boredom to escalate.

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Guest Bean_Scotch

About seeing his Foster mom...I've fostered for 3+ years now and with 27 fosters under my belt this is a real sore spot with me. It's one thing if the new adoptive parents never contact, email etc. that I'm fine with. But when the new owners are coming over to get something from me and choose not to bring the dog just because I had him/her for X amt of time....I'd find that offensive. I've spent anywhere from 2weeks-1 year training that particular dog and not allowing me to see them on an occasion such as this..I'm not sure I'd be happy about it. Just this past weekend I saw 10 of my fosters with their families...Every single one malled me to death and had no problems going back with their family. They've all been with me at least 3 months and have been in their homes from 2 weeks-1 year. Those of us that foster, we miss them terribly. To see them again will really brighten her foster family's day. I would seriously re-consider....

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Guest Mooogies

ok THANK you for the insight on bringing her with me to the Foster Mom's! Honestly I really didn't want to deprive her at all of seeing Chai, and I have nothing but appreciation for everything that she has done in fostering her, I really just had no idea which was the best way to go and thought it best to ask, rather than make a mistake then wish I had asked!

 

So she will come with me! And......they have a nice big yard WITH a fence and she can have a good run!

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I don't think it will confuse her to see her foster parents. Is it possible she'll be clingy there and not want to leave? Well, sure ... but I just wouldn't worry about that. Her foster parents sound like good people whom you might see from time to time, and she'll get used to coming and going and seeing them.

 

What you're experiencing at home isn't exactly separation anxiety. Somebody is still home, she knows somebody is still home, and she wants to be with him, not all by herself in her crate. Normal dog behavior. Might be worth trying her not crated until your son is up and have him crate her before he leaves.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest scfilby

I agree that there is no issue bring the pup for a visit.

 

Also, it seems to me with the space guarding, you are doing the right thing.

 

Greyhounds new to a home get to like the life very quickly. They like roaming, they like comfy couches and beds. It is common after the initial few days that the pups don't want to be crated, and don't want to share comfy space. One of our greys will crate no problem, but the other would have none of it only one week home. Roaming and soft laying spots become high value items quickly.

 

If there is no good reason for the grey to be crated, I would say to leave her out. If there are still potty issues, baby gate into a easily cleaned area. I don't advise to shut her in to a room, use a baby gate. In fact, if your son is home during the day, the pup would likely be happy to curl up and sleep with him all day long..

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Guest Swifthounds

I don't see any reason that visiting the foster home, along with you, would be a problem. In fact, I think it would be good for all.

 

I'm in the small minority of people that don't allow my dogs on couches and sofas. I did with my first greyhound, years ago. Once you have multiples (and knowing greyhounds as I do now, I'm not sure I would ever say that keeping a greyhound alone is good for the dog - with certain exceptions), you run out of couch space quickly. Any situation where you have people and dogs sharing the same furniture you have the potential for problems - especially if you, like most people, don't have room for all the dogs and all the people.

 

I've only had one hound that didn't like furniture - he wouldn't sleep on a bed, a couch, nada - in all the years I had him. The rest of my crew had their own futon (the size that is essentially a 3 person sofa and a full size bed) for years. They all know that they must be specifically invited onto the furniture, and therefore consider it a privilege. I do not allow a new hound on furniture at all until he/she has been with me for at least 4 to 6 months. This is so that the dog can settle in, learn the ropes, earn his role, etc.

 

I might feel differently if I had 3 or 4 more sofas. If you are going to allow hounds and people to share couch space, it's important to teach the dog what is expected (ie the couch is never the dog's space - always the human's). Dogs that snap at someone sitting down on a couch the dog is occupying do so because they haven't been taught what to do - and not do - in that situation. If you haven't taught the dog what to do, he/she will do what it would do if some other rude dog flopped down in his crate uninvited. From the dog's perspective, that's what's happening when a human sits down on the couch the dog already occupies. A dog is perfectly capable of understanding your expectations, but you have to make them clear from the beginning rather than waiting until they inevitably make what - to you - is a mistake.

 

Question re: the crating. Why are you crating the dog while someone is at home?

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Guest Mooogies

The reason I'm crating is because my son is only home temporarily. He was working last week and that was her first week in her crate and to the best of my knowledge she did fine. Didn't chew anything in her crate, didn't pee or poop. This week my son is home for a few days and I was hesitant to change the routine so quickly after I started it. I'm very new at this and have never crated a dog before.

 

I didn't think she would realize even if she hadn't seen him that he was home. I guess she's a lot smarter than I am!

 

As for the couch, yes I understand much better now and have started to only let her up when we ask her up on the couch until she realizes her role. But you're right, this was my error that we hadn't yet taught her that the couch was ours so the growling and showing her teeth was really our faults, not hers. So we are getting a handle on that.

 

So another question.....seeing as she's really not happy being in her crate and to be honest, I would really prefer not to have to crate her but I am still very afraid of what she may chew.....would a muzzle be better?

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Guest TeddysMom

One of the greatest joys of fostering is have your "kids" come back to visit and get to see how happy and well cared for they are by their new parents. I don't think it will be a negative experience for Chai, just a familar person to love on her. In FL. I often dogset for the families I adopted too, the dogs loved having familiar people around them and where happy to see their families return. Several got so they were really excited when the car turned onto our road, they know exactly where they were going.

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Since she doesn't like being crated you have two reasons: 1) She knows she's not home alone and knows she deserves to be out, or 2) she really doesn't like to be crated.

 

Either way, I would baby-gate her in a safe - ie. completely dog-proofed - area, with her muzzle on. Leave her a Kong too, to occupy her. She can quite easily lick it through the muzzle and it will add time to the occupation.

 

She may still be unhappy if she knows somebody is home though.

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Yes you can always use a muzzle if it is a chewing problem. She can still use a Kong with a muzzle on.

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Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

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Guest Swifthounds

Since she doesn't like being crated you have two reasons: 1) She knows she's not home alone and knows she deserves to be out, or 2) she really doesn't like to be crated.

 

She certainly can tell she's not home alone, even if the person is near-silent. I don't think it's quite so much that she knows she deserves to be out, (I don't know how a dog would come to that conclusion) but rather that she WANTS to be out with the person who is home. Dogs come to expect what they are used to, and that forms their security. If she raced in a racing kennel, she has spent plenty of time kenneled while there were people there. The big difference here is that she's not surrounded by other greyhounds doing the same thing. This leaves her neither other dogs on which to model her behavior, nor does it give her the security of company.

 

Either way, I would baby-gate her in a safe - ie. completely dog-proofed - area, with her muzzle on. Leave her a Kong too, to occupy her. She can quite easily lick it through the muzzle and it will add time to the occupation.

 

You can try muzzling and baby-gating into a small area and see if that works better for all of you. I would try it when you can do it for an hour or two to give it a test run before you do an entire day if you can. That way if there are any issues, you'll be able to corect them before leaving her to her own devices for a whole day. Also, make sure that the muzzle is adjusted snugly. A muzzle that's too loose is a hazard.

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Not knowing whether or not she is destructive, you could muzzle her. However, just a work to the wise….Fenway was able to chew apart and then eat a leather handle of a Kate Spade ($$$) purse while muzzled. Just don’t want you to think that it will eliminate all chewing, it will just make it harder for her to gnaw on your sofa or table. ;)

 

Also regarding your neighbors, do you know them? Or are you assuming that they will not appreciate a vocal hound at 7am? If you do not know them already (or if you don’t know them well) I’d suggest typing up a note with a photo and leaving that for your neighbors. I did that when I got Grace and lived in an apartment. The note read something like this:

 

“Hi, my name is Grace and I’m a retired greyhound. I was just rescued and came to live with my new mom, Lauren, in apartment 123. I have never, ever been left alone before because I had many greyhound friends at the racing and adoption kennels to keep me company. I might be scared and as a result I might cry or bark. If I do, please call my mom at work XXX-XXX-XXXX or on her cell phone XXX-XXX-XXXX to let her know. And please stop by sometime to meet me, I love getting pets from new people!

 

One weekend when she did throw a fit and start barking her fool head off, people called me out of concern rather than calling management out of anger. The note really works, trust me!

Introducing Tessie, PK's Cat Island 12/9/13
Jackson the Airedale 12/12/05
Forever missing Grace 2/18/03 - 1/19/13 (RT's Grace, 18156/23B) and Fenway 10/10/06 - 9/25/16 (not registered)

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