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My Grey Is Incredibly Nervous All Of A Sudden


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Hi all,

 

We have two healthy, young, wonderful greyhounds. We've had our boy for over a year, he's a 5-year-old, 90 pound, red boy (his name is Deacon) and he's awesome! He's always been cautious when meeting people, especially men, but he doesn't bolt or anything and he calms down quickly.

 

Over the past week or two, a neighbor (lives behind us, two houses down, so not directly behind us) has been getting an addition added to their home. Now, we cannot SEE this neighbor, we just hear the workmen, they play their music loud during the day (I work from home, but we have windows closed with AC on b/c it's still so hot here) and of course we hear the various hammers banging, nail guns, saws, etc. While inside, we hear almost nothing and even when we go outside for bio breaks, it's not really that bad - mainly we hear the guys talking loudly and some music playing, we hear saws and hammers, but it isn't constant or bad.

 

A few days ago, Deacon started refusing to go outside after eating dinner - by then, there are still some workmen, but the noise had died down a good bit. I don't force him to go out or anything - we take a walk an hour or so later anyway. Two nights ago, they were using a very loud nail-gun on our walk, it sounded like fireworks almost - Deacon freaked out, turned around and would not walk any direction except HOME. My husband tried to calm him down, but he just wanted nothing to do with it.

 

The problem is now, this morning, he didn't want to go outside after eating breakfast (no workmen even here yet) AND he wouldn't go downstairs when we called him down for his morning walk. Our dogs love their walks, if we even say the word "walk" they bolt downstairs and wait at the door. I had to gently cajole him to come down and get his leash on. Once outside, he did his business and went for a walk, but as soon as he got home and my husband left for work, he paced and was panting. I hated doing it, but I gave him a Benadryl to see if that would calm his nerves.

 

Now, Deacon has never been a nervous dog. The only thing he runs away from is the vacuum cleaner. He's always been confident - but this past week he is turning into a nervous wreck. The workmen are a little annoying, but again, it's not too bad and Deac has been through hailstorms, fireworks (with windows open) and parties in our home without even waking up.

 

I plan on taking him outside a few times when it is quiet, being gentle with him and rewarding him to see if that helps - but I was wondering - could this be something medical? Is "nervousness" like this a sign of something physical and perhaps the workmen outside are just exacerbating the situation?

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If they're in low grade pain or something like that then they can go stoic and distant, or get grumpy. I've never known one to show spooky fear as a result of that unless maybe they have thyroid issues that have not been discovered.

My last dog was terrified of the garden hose, to be more specific it was the brass tap (faucet) on the wall that she heard and then would bolt out of sight. My present one has recently become alert to new activity next door where it used to be peaceful but now there are lots of changes.

She's a dog that uses Calming Signals very clearly so you can see exactly what she's thinking and you can even send back similar signals to her that say: "Yes, I know, but that's OK, come over here to me." etc.

You may like to read the short article in the link:

http://www.canis.no/rugaas/onearticle.php?artid=1

 

If you can identify those signals from your dog then it means you have an excellent chance of training that fear out with the usual traditional methods. Otherwise I'd call in a trainer before you inadvertantly make things worse.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I wouldnt suspect anything medical at all. Your boy is hearing noises that scare him, plain and simple. The noises are comming at all times of the day and he doesnt want to leave the safety of his house. This is very common in greyhounds as most hounds have probably never heard a nailgun in their life. I have a foster now that for the first few weeks he was in my house if the neighbors were simply talking on the other side of our privacy fence he would want to run inside. I use a bit of tough love, along with confidence building. Since you have had your hound a while, he should trust you, so that will make it easier. I would simply put his leash on, and take him out. Dont coddle him by saying soothing things like "aww its ok, or relax". Act like nothing is different and dont react differently to him or with him. Try to keep your words energetic and upbeat. What I did with my foster was to leash walk him for a few days, then once he started to trust me, I found that he likes to be called a "good boy" in a very high-pitched voice. So if I heard any noises or anything, I would call him good boy, get him over by me, pet his sides a bit rough (like initiating play) and act like there is nothing in the world except him and me. No sounds, nothing. It will take a while, but the worst thing you can do is coddle him and coo and try to "ease" his fear, that does nothing except reinforce his fears.

 

Chad

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I have to agree that the noises are what is getting to him. His sense of hearing is also more acute than ours is. My last girl Morgaine had a complete "eat through the wall, the kitchen counter, part of the bookcase and the case clock hanging 5' up on the wall" meltdown for a week a few years ago when a neighbor was knocking two apartments together. I didn't know that the construction work was being done but I knew she had a complete meltdown for a reason. I stayed home the following Monday to see if there were any new or unusual noises that were upsetting her, that is how I learned about the noise. It was bad enough to really bother me so it was clear why she was so upset. Unfortunately, the work had to go on so I got her a much better dog walker immediately (the one she had wasn't keeping her out more than 10 minutes even though I paid for more) who worked with her to be sure she was calm before she left her alone, and I invested in a DAP plug-in. The combination of the two worked wonders for her.

 

I hope your boy feels better soon.

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