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Greyhound Seperation Anxiety


Guest crazygreyhound
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Guest crazygreyhound

Hi, just joined up. I've been telling my gf for a while to join this helpful resource instead of just lurking, so I finally have just gone ahead and signed up. But enough about me....

 

We got Amirah in january (4 months ago about) from GPA from a track in florida. She didn't like being left alone from the start, she would bark all day when left alone (yes, all 8 hours). We tried crating her - she chewed through 2 crates before we gave up on that. We've tried more or less everything, had suggestions from our adoption counselor, everything we could find on the internet including this site. Nothing. She would tear at the door molding trying to get out to us. Finally she started to calm down, just being worried at first and then napping the rest of the day. YAY. This was about a month and a half, 2 months ago.

 

Well, we are moving into a house from a small cramped apartment finally, so there have been boxes around. Amirah has gone into over drive now, doing more damage to by the door in a day then she had done in several months. After a few days (see picture below) the wall is more or less gone.

 

So.... two things. Any more suggestions on calming her? I moved all the boxes out of the kitchen where the door was but still not luck on her calming down. And 2, how should she be introduced to the new house? The past few days she caused some serious damage and containment is going to start being an issue at this rate.

 

amirah

greyhound6.jpg

 

today's wall damage (those wires are disconnected) - about 3 days work on the wall

greyhound-demolitions-llc.jpg

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Are you closing her into a room? If that is the case, OPEN the door. While you may think that a room is much larger than say a crate, in a greyhounds eyes, its no different. I would suggest first and foremost - 1) "Adopting the Retired Racing Greyhound for dummies" and 2) Retired Racing Greyhounds by Brannigan (I think she is the author, someone may know her full name). These books will help immensely. What I would do first in your situation is this, one, MUZZLE when you are gone. Two, open the entire house to her. Three, work on "alone training", you can find a chapter dedicated to this in the Dummies book. Basically what you are going to do is to leave for a very short period of time, short enough so that she is not barking, but slowly increasing the time you are gone. Yes at first you may simply close the door and open it 2 seconds later and go back in. This is a pain in the rump, but necessary. You will need to return BEFORE she starts barking, if you return while she is barking, you have just reinforced the barking. If you waited too long, make a noise, such as a thump on the wall or something else to try to startle her so she stops barking, then return after a second of her silence. Make a note as to how long you were gone, and shorten the time. With a move in progress, and boxes all around, this is going to make your task even more difficult, but again necessary. There are other things to do, such as leave a radio or tv on so that the outside sounds are obscured. Purchase a few xl kongs and fill them with kibble and cap the end with peanut butter, put them out where she can find them when you leave. The kongs only come out when you leave. Also, try to look for "triggers" that get her anxious before you leave, such as you picking up keys, or putting on your shoes. If you can see she gets anxious when you do certain things, change up your pattern before you leave. Lets say for example purposes that when you pick up your keys, she starts to pant, or pace, or whine, then pick up your keys 1 hour before you intend to leave. Pay very close attention to her for about 20 minutes before you leave to see triggers. This should be used in conjunction with the alone training. Above all, relax. She can pick up on YOUR anxiety and can exacerbate the issue. Know that this too shall pass, with consistent work on your part, she will blossom into a wonderful companion. Also know you are not alone, a lot of us have gone through this. Unfortunately since you adopted directly from a track, you dont have the immediate support of a local adoption group. I would, in your case, contact a group and ask about volunteering as well as someone that may be able to help in your situation. While adoption reps at tracks can help, they have a lot of other things on their plates to worry about, an adoption group is focused directly on your success. Again, I am not bashing the adoption from tracks as there are many WONDERFUL people that work those positions, but those positions are understaffed and underfunded (if funded at all).

 

Chad

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Guest brandi007

First off, she's beautiful - second :eek WOW

 

Have you ever considered a second dog? I know it seams overwhelming to even consider one after what you've been through but I can honestly say 99% of greyhounds do better with a buddy...I find it's actually easier to take care of two than one.

 

Welcome to the site, I know you'll get lots of great advice :)

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Guest Linusmom

All the above suggestions are excellent. I, too, adopted right off the track. My boy did similar damage to windows (and will still pull down the occasional window covering during a lightning storm) One thing not mentioned that seemed to help was providing him with a comfy crate he could go into on his own. (Stuffed with treats in various locations.) I put it in the bedroom where I sleep, leaving the door open. He'd elect to sleep there at night, and head for it himself when he sensed I was leaving. Is there any chance either of you could take your girl with you to work? I was able to do that for about a week right after he came to live with me, and it really seemed to help. (He had adopted an old quilt that went back and forth with us in the car and then went to stay in his crate.) But then, I work in a kid and pet friendly environment and he could just stay beside my desk the entire day. Something not mentioned was the idea of making sure the dog has a nice long walk before you leave. Sometimes, a tired dog is a good dog. Good luck. I know it's not easy, but the dog is worth the trouble.

Edited by Linusmom
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My Gracie did similar destruction. We finally had to put her on Clomicalm before she could even relax enough to "get" the separation training. She only had to be on it for 3 months or so. It doesn't work instantly and you can't stop giving it quickly either. Both are a gradual process.

 

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Guest crazygreyhound

Hi thanks for the responses.

 

She was adopted from a location rescue group, but she arrived the day she left the track. As for the suggestions involving rooms and such, this is just a 4 room apartment, so the only door closed is one going to the outside and there is a gate blocking the bedroom (that door is also closed). She only harms the bedroom door when the gate is left open.

 

We move into a house thursdays (well, thats the plan at least - still no mortgage finalized but thats a whole different issue) which will have much more space and the ability to try some more of these things out. So currently there is only one way out, only a couple of rooms, not really many ways to hide whats going on. So I'm hoping the move improves things greatly. Also she isn't food motivated at all and seems to know that any sort of treat (we give her kongs daily when we leave) is just a bribe and an indicator we are leaving.

 

We would adopt a 2nd dog of course but there is no space until we move. We plan on at least fostering a greyhound to see if it works with her, but she doesnt really seem to interested whenever she is around greyhounds. They will move around as a pack and she will just wander off.

 

As for the crate, she showed no interest going into one even if it was open with treats in it.

 

So I'm really hoping the new house will help a lot, but again, its going to be a new environment which will lead to more stress.

 

She gets fed melatonin when she is left alone. Also, I work from home (different home though) and take her when I dont need to run any errands and/or it rains, as I'm in the middle of a downtown area with impossible parking so I ride a bicycle. Also I cant leave her alone down there for obvious reasons - this apartment she is at right now isnt in the best shape, but mine where I work cant be scratched up and pets arent even allowed technically.

 

Also, she is very sweet and loving when we are around (or asleep), and she really is the perfect dog for a smaller apartment, other then the complications when we are away.

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Guest PreciousMom

You could try Rescue Remedy or a DAP plug in. Neither work on all dogs but it's worth a try.

 

You can get Rescue Remedy at a health food store & a DAP plug in from a pet store.

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If you haven't gone through dedicated alone training with her, I would do that. I would also talk to your vet about a medication called Clomicalm, and see if perhaps there is an affordable dog daycare in your area.

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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