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I'm A Bad Greyhound Mom,


Guest mhalton
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Guest mhalton

So a little over a month ago we adopted a second hound after trying unsuccessfully to work through our first hounds SA for 5 years. Turns out the second hound was the answer! Dutch our first has responded excellently to having a companion.

 

Trouble is things haven't gone so well with Diva, hound #2. At first all was OK but the longer we've had her the more things have gone down hill. For example (and this is all while we're home, not SA);

 

She used to crate well but now we have to drag or carry her to get her in there. I thought maybe because we can't crate Dutch so he gets to run loose? Maybe she wants to be loose too? Now if you try to crate her she'll run, cry, etc...

 

When we allow her freedom she climbs on the furniture and claws at it (so we pile things on top to keep her off,) she'll shred things left on her level (cloths, books, etc...)so we try to put everything up, if an item's up and she wants it she has climbed on counters, the table etc... to get it, if she wants in a room where a door is closed she will leap and claw at the door until you stop her or she gets in. She has sleep aggression and has attacked Dutch for startling her awake and will steal Dutch's food if you don't watch her at meal time. She will knock our toddler over for her food even though she has been reprimanded for it many times. She will force her way between you and any other dog you want to pet and demands to be the center of attention at all times even if it means getting attention by being in trouble for something (negative attention.)

 

The other day while I was at work my hubby baked a whole ham, put it on the counter to cool and in the time it took him to walk away to change our toddlers diaper she had climbed on the counter, knocked the ham on the floor, smashed the platter, cut herself up on the glass and was happily eating the ham as hubby came running.

 

Last night I carried her into her crate for bed. This morning my hubby let her out to potty while getting ready for work at 4:30 AM. He couldn't get her back in the crate so he let her stay loose. At 6AM I woke up to her leaping against the door to our toddlers room to get in. Once in she tries to get in the crib, whimpers, puts her paws and nose through the rails etc... until she wakes up our daughter.

 

We have never had any of these problems with Dutch and neither has my friend had these issues with her greyhound.

 

After all this we felt very strongly that Diva would do better in a home where she doesn't have to compete for attention from another dog or a child. I contacted our agency about this, about perhaps a dog that might be a better fit for our household and lets just say they are NOT very happy with me. I guess I haven't given Diva enough time, or worked hard enough at training her. They said they do not just trade dogs, they don't have any that would fit in with the activity level in our house and they don't have any room for Diva.

 

At this point Diva is crated almost all the time (except to go out to potty) unless I can be watching her constantly. That just doesn't seem right to me but nothing else works with her. My hubby has had enough and wants her to go and I guess if our homes not good enough for a second hound then Dutch will have to go too. I can't keep him by himself knowing that all he needs to be happy is a companion. Besides if he starts crying again when we're not home and the police get called again he could be taken away.

 

I understand if many of you agree with our agency and it's OK if you want to let me have it too. At this point no one could possibly make me feel any worse. I'm not even really sure why I'm posting this. I guess I just wanted to come clean with how badly I have completely failed as a greyhound mom. :(

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If you really feel she doesn't fit your household, then it would be best to return her. I would hope that your adoption group would be a little more helpful -- sometimes one representative can be having a bad day and not quite understand what you are saying .....

 

If you feel you can devote some time toward working with this girl, then I have some questions/thoughts:

 

How old is she?

 

How much exercise does she get?

 

Has she had any obedience training?

 

Have you tried muzzling both dogs (have to muzzle both, can't muzzle just one) and leaving her out of the crate? Day AND night is a lot of crate time for a dog.

 

Some dogs do better with baby gates, where they can see in/out, rather than closed doors. It can be hard to find tall ones that can't be jumped; I make some of mine out of plastic garden mesh, finish lumber, zip ties, and light duty hinges -- ugly but effective and dirt cheap.

 

I would put the toddler elsewhere when preparing/delivering dog meals while you work on her behavior.

 

The answer to ham, etc. is unjumpable baby gates and dogproofing. If I have food on/in the stove, dogs are gated out.

 

Usually with a new dog I do a lot of dogproofing and environment management until we know each other and I've modified a few behaviors. In the beginning I like to keep the dog in whatever room I'm in when I'm home -- again, baby gates or leash attached to me so that dog can't wander off and jump on doors, get on the furniture when I don't want them there, etc.

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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Actually as I read this I am giggling, not at you but just remembering each dog as they were new in my home and trying to adjust. Many of what you are saying is true for a lot of hounds when they are new.

 

If the main issue is her chewing and getting into things when left out I would muzzle her, possibly even with a stool guard but usually a muzzle will do fine. (plastic basket muzzle)

 

The food? Well, it smelled good :) I have had dogs my whole life and I've never, not even once, been able to leave fresh cooked food on the counter and walk away.

 

I have a dog that gets upset about closed doors too. He feels as if he is being left out. We babygate door ways that we don't want him in. That way he can still see what is going on but realizes that he is not allowed inside. (a great idea one gt'er had was to put a screen door on the babies room with a eye hook latch)

 

A lot of greys do just fine outside of a crate :) Like I said earlier, muzzle both dogs and that would take care of the sleep aggression as well.

 

You have not failed as a greyhound mom. Everyone has setbacks and everyone at some time or another has concerns. Good for you for looking for some help :)

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~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
Don't cry because it's ended, Smile because it happened.
Before you judge me, try to keep an open mind, not everyone likes your taste.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

Sounds like she needs WAY more exercise. Have you tried leaving her loose with a muzzle on?

 

I don't think your group is being reasonable, but I have no problem taking a dog back and letting a loving family try another dog. To me, finding the BEST home for that dog is more important than the dog just being kept just because it is there. It sounds like they think you need a super high energy hound for your home. I'm not sure this is true.

 

How many times per week does she get to run hard off leash in a large area like a ball park? I think this will be the key to your sanity. She will likely mature and chill out, but to me she honestly sounds bored. Because she WANTS everything, it should actually be quite easy to train her using rewards and positive training.

 

The ham disaster would have happened here, even with my well behaved seniors, btw ;)

 

You have not failed... and if you have to return her, I would think another group would be more than willing to adopt a more suitable dog to you. Your dedication to your first hound and to Diva speaks volumes. If you cannot run her every day then she may be better off to be where she can. Sounds like she needs a job and would make a good training buddy for an active hound lover, or perhaps a good lure coursing and amateur racing candidate. She may be the unusual Greyhound that absolutely MUST run every day to be sane.

 

Any chance of hiring a dog walker to take them out mid day?

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Guest mhalton

We definitely are NOT looking for a high energy hound. Dutch is as far from that as can be and he's a perfect fit in our household.

 

I am lucky when I can walk them daily, we have a fenced yard but it is small. Diva can run in it but nothing like a ballpark. The only large fenced area like that is a dog park near by but that costs a fortune to join and we are already pushing our finances by adding the second hound. I don't think my husband would allow a stranger in our house while we were at work to walk the dogs.

 

I work at an amusement park so my schedule from May through December includes most evenings and weekends so lure coursing and the like would never work because we wouldn't be able to go.

 

We close the toddlers door when she sleeps because she will scream "door, door" until you do. She doesn't tolerate her door being left open.

 

I forgot to mention muzzling alone while she's out only solves half her problem. She also pees all over the carpet. We have had her to the vet and she did have a UTI but that was treated and she was given a clean bill of health. You can let her out to potty and five minutes later she will pee on the carpet right in front of you. The house has begun to smell like urine when you walk in...

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Guest Shermanator

We definitely are NOT looking for a high energy hound. Dutch is as far from that as can be and he's a perfect fit in our household.

 

I forgot to mention muzzling alone while she's out only solves half her problem. She also pees all over the carpet. We have had her to the vet and she did have a UTI but that was treated and she was given a clean bill of health. You can let her out to potty and five minutes later she will pee on the carpet right in front of you. The house has begun to smell like urine when you walk in...

 

We had a problem with Patton marking all over the house when we are gone. It got to the point where we had to belly band him at all times. Sherman (my bridge boy) would race in the house, and Patton would consistently whine looking for attention, or something. My DH worked 3rd shift, so this was unacceptable. (Sherman and Patton's needs were taken care of, food, water, potty, toys, etc,) they were nuts being cooped up.

 

It wasn't fair to any of us, so we bit the bullet and bought a dog door.

 

BEST THING WE EVER DID.

--Patton stopped marking the house.

--Both dogs were able to come and go as they please. If they wanted to get outside and romp a bit, they could. (We have 6 ft high privacy fences.)

--They were happy lounging inside and outside, and left DH alone when he was sleeping.

 

We leave the dog door open at all times. (Except when we go away, and they dogs are not at the house.)

 

We recently adopted Travel. She is a shy little girl who loves to chew. On anything.

Therefore, we have Travel-proofed the house. If she can reach it, it has to be put away. We close all bedroom doors and restrict her to our kitchen and great room. (Like a big rec room/living room in one.)

Last night while we were out, she ate a user manual in DH's office. Well, that's what happens when you forget to close your office door. :) DH knew it too.

 

We leave them plenty of bones and toys when we leave to keep them happy. While I have never used them, I heard frozen kongs with PB are a greyt activity to keep them focused on something for a long time. :)

 

Right now, little Travel is such a super spooky, shy girl. Once she gets some confidence, its off to obedience training.

 

BTW - I grew up in Wyomissing, and lived in both Ephrata and Lancaster. I love Litiz, its such a cute town!

 

Good luck!

 

 

ETA: You are NOT a failure as a greyhound mom. You are having struggles, and we all have faced them in one way or another! Bumps along the way is not failure!!!!!

Edited by Shermanator
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She just doesn't sound like the right fit for your situation and requirements to me. Maybe it would be better to return her so she can find a home which suits her better. Seems like you would be better with a more mature hound perhaps a return or one which has lived in a foster home and I'm sure there will be several out there just waiting to be a lovely addition to your family and a good pal for Dutch.

Sue from England

 

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It sounds like you're overwhelmed. You're just finally getting our first one's SA under control and in comes a new hound with boundless energy. Personally it doesn't sound like a good fit to me and I'm not one to tell someone to return a dog, but if you don't have the time to invest in training her, making sure she gets enough energy and keeping your household running, including a toddler, and they keep things active as it is, I'd return her. If the group isn't happy, well so be it. If they are not willing to work with you to find a hound that better fits your household, I'd find another group to work with. Unfortunately, your boy will probably go back to having his SA issues until you find another dog. You're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one.

 

Suggestions, I'd baby gate any area you don't want your girl in. Baby gates are cheap and work great. I'd muzzle both dogs when you have to be away from home. Baby proof the house (more than you have to do with your toddler) and leave nothing on the kitchen counters! I can't leave anything on mine because I have a major counter surfer who will eat anything. He'll take it off the counter and share it with the rest of the gang. Maybe taking her outside in the yard and throwing a ball or frisbee to get her some more exercise and start potty training all over again. It will be a lot of work but I don't see you have any other choice. It's either train the first dog or deal with the second's SA while you find a new pup.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

It truly sounds like they think because of the toddler you need an energetic hound, when nothing could be further from the truth. I would not hesitate to trade for a more suited hound had you adopted from me. Perhaps you can talk some more to the group, or return her and adopt a dog elsewhere. You are NOT a failure because the first random dog you try is not the perfect match for your dynamic. Sounds like you need a senior or a lazy boy... Diva needs to run, run, and run some more. That's not your fault- she's just not the right match.

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Guest OffLead

I agree that the dog may be higher energy than is a good fit for your household, but there are a few things you can try to help make things easier. The first is, as others have mentioned, more exercise. A tired dog is a good dog.

 

Another thing that I always do with new dogs until they've proven that I don't need to any longer is tethering. I don't mean tying the dog to a tree. :-) I mean tethering the dog to ME. New dogs, and young dogs, and any dogs that get into trouble when not supervised, are under constant supervision. Dog comes out of crate and goes directly outside. Outside time also supervised with youngsters or any dog showing housebreaking problems. You want to know if the dog is going potty outside, and to offer praise when she does. When the dog comes in, the dog goes on a leash, which is tied to my belt loop or held. If I'm going to be in a room for a while, the dog can come off the leash, but only if I've got a way to block the dog into that room with me. We lack doors at my current house, so when we got the Wolfhound pup last year we bought a bunch of new baby gates. (The old ones were 15 or so years old, and had clearly seen better days, haha.) I can close off pretty much any room in the house. We've got the cat safety zone where no dogs are ever allowed (cat boxes and cat food live there), my office can be closed off, living room, kitchen, bedroom, dining room, or we can open up only a few adjoining rooms. So new dog, bad dog, or puppy might spend a few hours in the office with me, but I can easily see what they're doing. They've got access to toys to keep their mind and mouth busy, but they can't wander off. If I'm up moving around the house, dog comes with me on the leash until such time as I can leave them unsupervised in a room for a few minutes at a time. The key here is that I can always see the dog, or the dog is in the crate, but to minimize the crate time. My dogs don't even get to be loose at night until they are well and completely trustworthy overnight, because I can't supervise them while sleeping.

 

Eventually we open up rooms. The gates and ex-pen panels are all still up in their places. I still sometimes have to close off the front two rooms to keep the dogs from getting zoomy in the house these days, and when I leave the house I block everyone into the rear three rooms of the house. If I'm only going to be gone a few minutes, I'll leave all three (two Wolfhounds, one Grey) loose in the rear of the house. If I'm going to be gone a while, the Grey and the IW pup go in their respective crates, leaving the elderly IW to wander between the three rooms at will.

 

It can take me a VERY long time to truly trust a dog to be loose in the house when I'm not here, hehe. Months, or years. And really, these days, no one gets full run of the house when I'm not here, because the cat tends to try to instigate trouble. When a friend's Borzoi comes to visit sometimes for the day, I keep the dogs separated two in the living room, two in my office, or they get wild and crazy in the house.

 

For the housebreaking issues, the best thing you can do is put the dog on a regular schedule, just like a pup. Outside at regular intervals all day, pull water up shortly before bedtime, no water overnight. (Unless one of the dogs has a medical issue, they should be fine without water for 6-8 hours.) Note the times the dog is most likely to urinate in the house...after eating? playing? waking up? These are the usual times...just make sure you take the dog OUT when she wakes up, after she eats, when she's been playing, when she first comes out of the crate. Go with her, lots of praise for peeing outside, then bring her back in or exercise her a bit.

 

As for counters, give that one up. *G* Food left out, without a supervisor, is always fair game. The "safe" places in my house are inside cabinets that have child safety latches or very sticky doors, inside the microwave, the freezer or fridge (inside, not on top of, haha), in the oven (be careful not to forget you've put something there...lol!), or on top of the washer on the back porch, so long as the door is closed and again, we don't forget we've put something back there.

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I don't think your group is being reasonable, but I have no problem taking a dog back and letting a loving family try another dog. To me, finding the BEST home for that dog is more important than the dog just being kept just because it is there.

 

 

-ditto-

 

Jenn

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Guest lat41065

It sure sounds like she isnt a good fit. I personally, being the president of an adoption group wouldnt want my hound in a home where they werent fitting in or either party human or hound was miserable and in this case it sounds like both. I too think the group is being unreasonable. A pet should enhance your life not stress you out. I personally would deal with the SA until they could get you another better suited dog. JMHO

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Guest 4dogscrazy

I am going to try to PM you...a local

 

Right...you don't have enough posts, thank goodness for copy and paste!

 

Hi, I also have two dogs from Monca's and one from Nittany. (just a little background) I am a bit upset that Kay was not willing to help, is that who you talked to? I must say that I am not really shocked though. I have two of their dogs, one who has SA and they do not keep in touch at all. They have responded when I emailed them (only in the beginning), but they do not check up on them which I think is weird. My dog from Nittany I have only had a year, and I still talk to Toni (the president) almost weekly and she has helped me a LOT with Tempe's SA.

 

I really think this is a bad fit here, sleep agression and a toddler do not mix. I also second using muzzles and separate feeding areas. I don't understand why she is trying to get through doors, and I feel like the reason Kay doesn't want her back is because she is aware of those problems and she will be hard to place. THAT really makes me mad if that is the case. I know they get busy, but your situation sounds a bit dire here, and I would have hoped that she would have been more supportive. I think she needs a different home, and I am so sorry about that because things got better for Dutch. There IS a dog out there that is a good fit.

 

I'm not pitting one group against the other here, and I really had no complaints against Monica's (other than the drop and run thing they have with their dogs) but Nittany's adoptions are not: "sign on the dotted line and see ya", you don't even have to accept the adoption for months is that's what you want. You can be "pending" for a very long time there, and I think in this situation they would have been really understanding. No group is happy to get a dog back, but I see a few red flags here that Kay should have addressed with you and tried to help you.

 

Please understand I am not trying to convince you to do anything here, and you got some good advice on some things you can do to fix some of the problems, but I thought I'd show you some "local" support. :) To add my two cents, I would do umbilical cord training with her, meaning when she is awake, she is attached to you in the house with a leash. YOU control her every move. I don't know if this works with greyhounds, but I've done it successfully with other breeds. That would be hard for you with your baby though. I guess I'm out of ideas!

 

Please feel free to PM me if you would like to talk, I really feel bad for you guys right now, and I know how heartbreaking and defeating this situation must feel right now.

 

Tina

 

PS folks, so sorry about all the personal info in here, hope I don't make anybody mad at me!

Edited by 4dogscrazy
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Guest GoingRogue

No advice but thought you might could use this :bighug . I'm a new grey mom also and have learned the other grey parents here give SUPER, GREAT advice.

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Guest mhalton

I recently got a little better response from Diva's adoption group. They are going to take her back when they have room for her. In a way it is a relief knowing for sure that she just doesn't fit in but it also leaves me so sad for Diva. I NEVER wanted to be the one who returned a hound. The group also mentioned another possible hound but right off the bat that one is "no cats" and we will be coming into contact with cats on occasion so that concerns me.

 

After all the wonderful advice here I have since contacted another group and they are more then willing to find us a better fit. The person I spoke with genuinely seems to understand our needs.

 

I will keep everyone updated.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

Do you have cats in your house? Or just the occasional one on a walk? I am glad the group is working with you! You're doing what is best for HER as well as you. To me, that is the true sign of a good dog mom.... hugs to you

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Guest 4dogscrazy

Really glad to hear your update! I was really concerned after I posted last night, and got up this morning to see if there was any updates. A high energy dog like that needs to fit into her household, so please don't feel bad! Diva will find a good home, a better fit. Don't think of it as returning her, think that your adoption was "pending" and that it just didn't work out. It's not like you've had her for five years and decided she's a pain and so returned her! I want to congratulate you on working so hard to make Dutch happy, THAT is a good greyhound parent! You didn't return him, and you have tried very hard to help him with his SA. I remember your other thread, and you guys have gone above and beyond trying to help him.

 

I realized I told you to PM me, and you don't have enough posts to do that, so let me know if you would like my email address to talk, I'd be glad to give it to you.

 

Good luck with the new dog! :)

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Guest Liz_in_PA

Remember, the dog that doesn't fit in your home is perfect (or almost perfect :blush )in another home.

 

My Dashiell bounced out of two homes: once for eating a door frame--he didn't like being kept from the activity, and once for clicking his nails on the floors--huh? Somewhere between there and my home, someone in an experienced foster home taught him some really great manners.

 

You and Dutch will be a fine home for a different dog.

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Guest happygrey

I agree with everyone else who's said that this really doesn't sound like a good fit. It sounds like Diva would do better in a different home and that you would do better with a different dog....or perhaps not another one at all. The only reason I say that is that it's really stressful already for you with a young toddler, and now might not be the time to bring in another dog to the house. I've been there! Just some food for thought. Perhaps there would another way to work with Dutch's SA? Doggie daycare or dog walking?

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Guest TBSFlame

I recently got a little better response from Diva's adoption group. They are going to take her back when they have room for her. In a way it is a relief knowing for sure that she just doesn't fit in but it also leaves me so sad for Diva. I NEVER wanted to be the one who returned a hound. The group also mentioned another possible hound but right off the bat that one is "no cats" and we will be coming into contact with cats on occasion so that concerns me.

 

After all the wonderful advice here I have since contacted another group and they are more then willing to find us a better fit. The person I spoke with genuinely seems to understand our needs.

 

I will keep everyone updated.

 

You might try fostering with intent. That way you will see if the dog is a good fit. It sounds like Diva has a lot of energy and is not a good fit. With time a lot of these thing will work out. By fostering you will find out for sure if the hound is a good fit and if not you can be a part in finding the dog a forever home. Most groups need foster homes. Don't be afraid of a returned hound as a lot are returned due to no fault of the hound. Your Diva will do great in a different kind of home. Is she young? A lot of people think they want/need a young one and it is often not the best fit.

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