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Tips For Helping A Shy Greyhound


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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

I've been reading a lot of the stories of the members here and thought I'd get some tips and pointers on socializing my shy girl. I've read some books on training shy dogs, but they don't really have a lot of specific regimens and routines to follow.

 

I've had her for a little over 5 weeks now. She is definitely not a spook. I would say she's probably not even a really shy dog so I think she can definitely become normal eventually. I just want it to happen sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

She made a lot of progress within the first 3 weeks or so. Since then, it has kind of stagnated. I know it's still a fairly short amount of time, but I just want to make sure that I'm doing the right things.

 

Here is the progress she made so far

- The first day she came home, she wouldn't come out of her crate for potty. She would hold it in forever. I had to drag her out for the first few days.

- After a week, she would come out without me dragging her and I try to gradually extend her walk.

- After about 2 weeks, she would let me hand feed her and since then I would try to train her every time I feed.

- After about 3 weeks, she would come out of her crate when I call and would be less nervous on her night walks.

- Since then, she hasn't really made much progress.

 

 

 

Here is what I'm currently doing:

 

1. I'm trying to get the "come" command to work out of the house. She would listen to me every time I call her from her crate but once outside in the yard without collar, I am a completely different person. She seems comfortable in the yard by herself but would get nervous if I'm there. I've been feeding her outside in the evening, and taking a few step back every time. On the patio, it's ok if I don't go too far. But in the yard she would just give up and walk around the fence.

 

2. I try to do some normal clicker training. The only thing she learned is targeting and my hand can't be too far away otherwise she would just give up. She gives up very easily and would rather go back to her crate and not eat treats. It's kind of hard to find a reward for her since she likes her crate more than anything else.

 

3. She is mostly ok walking at night and would even eat high valued treats. But during the day when there are people and cars, she would still be scared. I always just ignore her and keep walking. Some trainers suggest to ignore the fearful behavior but some suggest it's better to calm her out of her "flight mode". I've been just ignoring her and so far she hasn't made any improvement. Not that I could make her feel calm even if I tried.

 

4. I take her to a greyhound run every weekend. She usually just watches other greys run or just walk behind them from a distance. She would interact with some greys that she lived with from the kennel, but would still be mostly reserved. I've never seen her run or play. Even when there's a squirrel on our walk and I try to chase after it, she would completely ignore it. I don't know how they got her to run at the track.

 

 

 

Any suggestions on what I should be doing would be welcome.

The "come" command is very important cos it's hard for me to take her home every time we go to the run.

She would eat treats outside at night, so I feel like there are some training opportunities there.

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I wonder if clicker training is starting too soon. I might wait a bit until she gets used to her new world. Maybe it would be a good idea to let her try to relax and get used to things before you start new things. At playgroups, some dogs run than others. Once again it might be a good idea to let her be and to let her socialize and learn at her own pace. She may still be feeling overwhelmed.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

I feel like if I don't try to encourage her to try new things, she would be too content to just sleep in her crate all day. Right now she's in her crate like 23 hours a day and she's really relaxed in there. She is able to zone out all loud noises like TV or dropped pans in the kitchen and still sleep like a baby. I'm just trying to slowly expand her comfort zone. Plus, she does want treats when she's relaxed in the house, so she will have to work for it.

 

I only try to train her on her own terms and in her comfort zone. I'm not gonna bother with difficult things like "sit" right now cos she doesn't understand the concept and would give up too easily. She learned "touch" pretty fast. If my hand is in front of me, she would get it every time. If it's on the side, it would take her a few tries and she would lean forward but wouldn't take a step. If it's any further, she would give up. The goal is to desensitize her to not be afraid to approach me. I also try to take a little step forward slowly every time I feed her and gradually increase the movement.

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Guest blankdog

I completely agree with RobinW. While i am fairly new to owning greyhounds I have spent a lot of time around other dogs. It can take months for a dog to completely adjust to a new home and until they feel confident and secure in their surroundings, its best to just let them figure things out themselves. Trying too hard may confuse her even more. With my first dog ( a husky mix) it only took maybe 2 weeks before we could jump into training. He felt at ease right off the bat! When I got my greyhound, Violet, it was a completely different story. She would only take treats from me if I was inside and kneeling down, otherwise she would get nervous and walk away. When we went on walks she would lag behind and drag her feet like she had absolutley no interest in anything. I just tried to take her with me to as many places as I could so she could get to know the outside world better and try and play some relationship building games with her favorite toys at home. It took maybe 4 months until I felt like she was completely settled in. She still gets pretty shy around new people and doesn't generally show much interest in other dogs but I also think that is just her temperment (she turns her head aways when anyone tries to pet her, but my husky walks up to anyone with a hand that will pet him-hes such a friendly guy!). She'll always be my shy girl, but I atleast know she is finally confident at home and on walks with me!

 

It seems like you are doing a good job so far though! One thing that I did when I got Violet was to hand feed her instead of just giving her a bowl of food. Its good bonding and you can use it for the "come" command pretty easily. She's super food motivated though so it may be different from yours....

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

So when would be a good time to start training her? I don't want to be waiting years and hope she would turn into a happy dog all by herself. I've read that training would help the shy dog's confidence.

 

Right now every time she hears the sound of a plastic bag, she would come out of her crate looking for a treat. If I just give her the treat without her doing anything, she is not going to learn anything new. If I don't give her treats, then there is no motivation to come out of her crate at all.

 

I think targeting is pretty useful regardless and should be learned as soon as you can. Like before when I try to get her to move to the side a little just so that I can close the backyard door, I had to drag her. She doesn't understand how to step forward. Now at least I can get her to follow my hand.

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I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong, but I do think you're trying to go too fast for your greyhound.

 

It can take months before some are able to accept any form of training. Everything is so new and so scary to some that they just need extra time and patience. She has actually made some really great progress, and you should feel good about what you've been able to accomplish. I would definitely slow down and take the pressure off her though. She isn't ready to go any faster.

 

The leash can be useful to get her out of her crate as that is what they're used to. If she wants to stay in her crate, let her. Male sure she eats, drinks and potties, and give her treats whenever she's in a frame of mind to accept them. The treats tell her it's OK to come out of her crate and that's what you want to teach her, so why not do it? If she is calm and interested, then try some low key clicker training - as you've been doing - just do a couple repetitions at a time. Then a few more a little later. Greyhounds can't concentrate for long periods of time :rolleyes: (remember long race is only 40 seconds long!) so short sessions are better than longer ones.

 

You want to give her things to do that she CAN be successful at, to help build her confidence, not necessarily what *you* want her to learn. "Watch me" is a great thing because it teaches her something to do, and also that it's OK to look at you, which is a very dominant behavior for dogs. It will help build her trust in you.

 

As she becomes more comfortable you can begin to restrict her access to her crate a few minutes at a time. If you use the crate for when you leave, then teach her a separate command for that.

 

Calming signals can be useful but only if she's in a receptive frame of mind. Most greys seem to do better with the "ignore the scary thing" approach. They really take a lot of cues for behavior from their people so if you remain calm and keep walking, then she will eventualy get it. Remember she's never seen or been around anything she's seeng on walks, so it's all new for her. She's taking longer to accept these new things, so be patient.

 

It's great that you take her for play dates. It sounds like she really doesn't play much yet. I would keep going, but not let her off the leash. She's not playing and it will eliminate chasing her around when she won't come to you. She will still be socializing, just at a distance she can handle.

 

Time and patence. Patience and time. She'll come around and the greyhound you have right now will not be the one you have in several months - they change and grow so much! Enjoy all the small steps and encourage her to take more as she's able.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

I think she's already past the won't accept training stage cos she can already do targeting. I've also taught her "this way" on walks. Although she doesn't do it when she's distracted or scared. She does look at me when I call her name. I will give it a formal command for eye contact. That is useful, thanks. Any other simple ones that she should learn?

 

On morning walks, I always jog with her. When she's running(more like skipping), her mind is less focused on her surroundings and she is less scared. Also she has less time to react and turn back. I don't know if I'm sending calming signals. I always talk to her in a "happy" voice, but I can't really tell if she actually responds to it.

 

I wouldn't leash her for the runs. She is fine by herself. It's the only time she gets to socialize with other greys. I think you are not supposed to chase after them though. I usually just run away from her and then sit down. After a while, she would follow me and let me leash her eventually. I'm just trying to get her to come to me on command outside cos that's obviously the most useful command.

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

Haha, fetch definitely is moving too fast. When I throw her a toy in the house, she would just sniff it and doesn't know what to do with it.

 

Right now, I'm hand feeding her in the yard. Every time she takes a bite, I'd take a step back and ask her to come. She would come if I'm still on the patio. But once I get too close to the yard, she would stop coming. She has a very specific cut off zone. It's like right over the bench then she wouldn't come any further. Anything before that is ok. I'm just trying to slowly inch out little by little, but it's been a while now and she hasn't improved much.

 

She learned everything really fast in the first 3 weeks. Then after that, she kind of got used to her routine and I think she stopped trying. Or maybe I'm doing something wrong.

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As long as she does the basics -- go outside to potty, don't bite the people, don't eat the furniture -- I wouldn't be so concerned about her hanging out in her crate. Let her be. It takes some dogs longer than others to scope out their surroundings.

 

For training, especially with "Come," you want to set the dog up for success every time. I start "Come" training on leash. Dog is walking along with you, you turn and go the other way, "Come!", "Good dog!" and treat when she turns toward you. In the house, if she's coming toward you for any reason at all, that too is a good time to "Come!", "Good dog!" and treat -- you've caught her in the act :) .

 

If I call one in the yard and s/he doesn't respond, I go get the dog, clip on the leash, and we practice on leash again. It sounds like she is still exploring, tho, and has her mind on those things, so I would be very selective in when I called her outside, for a few more times. I use a completely different phrase for getting the dogs back in the house. "Come!" is reserved for, "Hey! Let's be good dogs and get a treat!"

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 Patience

You are describing my Gracie to a "T". I'd say it took us weeks to get her to even walk down our driveway to the park 2 blocks away. We had to force her to come with us every day and it seemed like torture. I was so discouraged. Then, one day, she started wagging and bouncing excitedly as soon as I put on my sneakers. We've had her almost 5 years now and I'd say progress happened in fits and starts, not steadily over time. But, she's still pretty shy and slightly spooky, even in the park she has visited daily since we got her.

 

My tip would be to not take it too personally and to let her take her time. She hasn't "stopped trying" just because you don't see the progress. Five weeks is not very long, and she is still adjusting. Trust and confidence don't come quickly.

 

I also think you should work with what she's already doing. You say she'll come out of the crate when she hears the treat package, but you don't want to reward her just for doing that. Why not? Aren't you also trying to teach her to "come"? So, why not build on her leaving the crate without expecting her to add a new trick?

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You want to give her things to do that she CAN be successful at, to help build her confidence, not necessarily what *you* want her to learn. "Watch me" is a great thing because it teaches her something to do, and also that it's OK to look at you, which is a very dominant behavior for dogs. It will help build her trust in you.

 

ITA that "watch me" is a great command to teach in the early stages of training and that it helps build the connection between human and dog. It was really easy for my Merlin to learn this one, and I used it a lot to avoid giving "free" treats. I also use this now when we're training a new behavior and he's not quite getting it - that way the session always ends on a positive note and he still gets a treat, but he had to do *something* to get it.

 

I taught it initially by holding the treat between my eyes, clicking the instant he made eye contact, and then giving the treat from the other hand. (We made sure not to push for extended eye contact, since as greysmom says this can be a dominant or threatening behavior for dogs.)

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Merlin (Heathers Wizard), Mina (Where's Rebecca), and Mae the Galga - three crazy dogs in the house of M

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There are a million trainers, and a million training methods--but those books are GENERAL training techniques for "regular" dogs--not gearted toward training a retired racing Greyhound whose entire life has been totally different from the average pet.

 

Someone please post that piece about all the things that are totally new to Greyhounds??

 

It took my dog 18 months before he TURNED AROUND in the condo (versus walking backwards out of a room).

 

Sounds like you're rushing a bit, and at 5 weeks I'd be thrilled if my hound were housebroken, eating well, had firm stools, and seemed to be adjusting to living in a house!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Don't worry about her spending too much time in her crate. She'll venture out more and more as she feels more comfortable. It's great that she's already taking treats from your hand. It took a year before Phoenix took them from me.

 

I agree with playing fetch outside. Phoenix loves to play fetch with a big, cheapo soccer ball. I kick it around and he chases it and even retrieves it!

 

All dogs are different. While your hound seems a lot like Phoenix, who was very shy and retiring when I first adopted him, my other greyhound is more like a lab disguised as a greyhound. Phoenix was so shy that I was convinced that he hated me. YOur dog will come around, it just takes time.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Time to bring this one to the top again! Please take the time to read this to understand what your girl is feeling at this time.

 

It's a greyt reminder to us all!

 

 

Of all breeds of dogs, the ex-racing Greyhound has never had to be responsible for anything in his life. His whole existence has been a dog-centered one. This breed has never been asked to do anything for itself, make any decisions or answer any questions. It has been waited on, paw and tail. The only prohibition in a racing

Greyhound's life is not to get into a fight----------------or eat certain stuff in the turn out pen.

 

Let us review a little. From weaning until you go away for schooling, at probably a year and a half, you eat, grow and run around with your siblings. When you go away to begin your racing career, you get your own "apartment," in a large housing development. No one is allowed in your bed but you, and when you are in there, no one can touch you, without plenty of warning.

 

Someone hears a vehicle drive up, or the kennel door being unlocked. The light switches are flipped on. The loud mouths in residence, and there always are some, begin to bark or howl. You are wide awake by the time the human opens your door to turn you out. A Greyhound has never been touched while he was asleep.

 

You eat when you are fed, usually on a strict schedule. No one asks if you are hungry or what you want to eat. You are never told not to eat any food within your reach. No one ever touches your bowl while you are eating. You are not to be disturbed because it is important you clean your plate.

 

You are not asked if you have to "go outside." You are placed in a turn out pen and it isn't long before you get the idea of what you are supposed to do while you are out there. Unless you really get out of hand, you may chase, rough house and put your feet on everyone and every thing else. The only humans you know are the "waiters" who feed you, and the "restroom attendants" who turn you out to go to the bathroom. Respect people? Surely you jest.

 

No one comes into or goes out of your kennel without your knowledge. You are all seeing; all knowing. There are no surprises, day in and day out. The only thing it is ever hoped you will do is win, place or show, and that you don't have much control over. It is in your blood, it is in your heart, it is in your fate-- or it is not.

 

And when it is not, then suddenly you are expected to be a civilized person in a fur coat. But people don't realize you may not even speak English. Some of you don't even know your names, because you didn't need to. You were not asked or told to do anything as an individual; you were always part of the "condo association?; the sorority or fraternity and everyone did everything together, as a group or pack. The only time you did anything as an individual is when you schooled or raced, and even then, You Were Not Alone.

 

In my "mobile abode," the Greyhounds each have several unique names, but they also have a single common name: it is Everybody. We continue to do things as a group, pack or as we are affectionately known in-house, by Kathleen's Husbandit, "The Thundering Herd."

 

Back to those who have not been permanently homed. Suddenly, he is expected to behave himself in places he's never been taught how to act. He is expected to take responsibility for saying when he needs to go outside, to come when he is called, not to get on some or all of the furniture, and to not eat food off counters and tables. He is dropped in a world that is not his, and totally without warning, at that.

 

Almost everything he does is wrong. Suddenly he is a minority. Now he is just a pet. He is unemployed, in a place where people expect him to know the rules and the schedule, even when there aren't any. (How many times have you heard someone say, "He won't tell me when he has to go out." What kind of schedule is that?) Have you heard the joke about the dog who says, "My name is No-No Bad Dog. What's yours?" To me that is not even funny. All the protective barriers are gone. There is no more warning before something happens. There is no more strength in numbers. He wakes up with a monster human face two inches from his. (With some people's breath, this could scare Godzilla.) Why should he not, believe that this "someone," who has crept up on him, isn't going to eat him for lunch? (I really do have to ask you ladies to consider how you would react if someone you barely knew crawled up on you while you were asleep?) No, I will not ask for any male input.

 

Now he is left alone, for the first time in his life, in a strange place, with no idea of what will happen or how long it will be before someone comes to him again. If he is not crated, he may go though walls, windows or over fences, desperately seeking something familiar, something with which to reconnect his life. If he does get free, he will find the familiarity, within himself: the adrenaline high, the wind in his ears, the blood pulsing and racing though his heart once again--until he crashes into a car.

 

Often, the first contact with his new family is punishment, something he's never had before, something he doesn't understand now, especially in the middle of the rest of the chaos. And worst of all, what are the most common human reactions to misbehavior? We live in a violent society, where the answer to any irritation is a slap, punch, kick, whip, or rub your nose in it. Under these circumstances, sometimes I think any successful adoption is a miracle.

 

He is, in effect, expected to have all the manners of at least a six-year old child. But, how many of you would leave an unfamiliar six-year old human alone and loose in your home for hours at a time and not expect to find who knows what when you got back? Consider that if you did, you could be brought up on charges of child abuse, neglect and endangerment. Yet, people do this to Greyhounds and this is often the reason for so many returns.

 

How many dogs have been returned because they did not know how to tell the adoptor when they had to go out? How many for jumping on people, getting on furniture, counter surfing, separation anxiety, or defensive actions due to being startled or hurt (aka growling or biting)? So, let's understand: Sometimes it is the dog's "fault" he cannot fit in. He is not equipped with the social skills of a six-year old human. But with your love and help, you can make it happen.

 

ETA- by K.L. Gilley

Edited by RobinM

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

Thanks for all the replies.

 

I understand how she feels and I never stress her out(although the 50 min car ride to the run is still a problem). I'm only concerned with what I could be doing or what I am doing wrong. I know when I first got her, I made a lot of mistakes and I know I've also done some things right later. I just want to make sure that I keep doing the right things. I always make sure she's at minimum stress level. Any sign of nervousness and I would stop. If she can't do something, I always lower the difficulty and make sure she has a safe place to fall back to.

 

I think there are always better ways to do things. When I tried to get her to eat out of my hand, I would first move her food bowl out of the crate inch by inch everyday. Then I would throw her treats and walk away so she would eat it when I wasn't there. Then I slowly got closer to her while lying down and throw her the treat. Now she would eat out of my hands. If I had just waited and did nothing, I think it would've taken her a lot longer to do that.

 

Right now I'm working on expanding her comfort zone to the yard. I could kind of get it to the patio, but that's as far as I got. If it wasn't so cold right now, then maybe I can set up another crate in the yard and stay outside with her.

 

I'm basically looking for specific tips and training methods since a lot of you had shy greys too. Any little tip or suggestion can help. For example, there is a little playground near the park that we go to at night. I try to make it into a mini agility course and take her through that. I've read that it could help with her confidence.

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

I taught it initially by holding the treat between my eyes, clicking the instant he made eye contact, and then giving the treat from the other hand. (We made sure not to push for extended eye contact, since as greysmom says this can be a dominant or threatening behavior for dogs.)

 

She already got over that part. She has kind of associated eye contact to me scratching her ears. I always wait for her to look me in the eye before I scratch her ears. If I'm standing in front of her, she would look up and look me in the eyes for quite a few seconds. I just have to teach her the verbal command. In the house, she is pretty much not a shy dog anymore. She just hasn't learned how to enjoy things and the crate is her routine right now.

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Welcome to Greytalk Annie's Daddy!

 

Although I can't help much since my Bella isn't shy I can give these tips:

 

1) Peeing: Super excited voice/smile, and say the same words. With Bella, first thing in the a.m. its "Bella, lets go PEE PEE outside!" And then I'd run down the stairs and out the door with her, once she pee'd...treat.

 

2) Car rides: Same as above, get her excited! With Bella: "Oh Bella...would you like to go to the DOGGIE PARK?" Key workds being doggy park. I don't even get to her name and she's jumping/bowing like crazy! This will teach her that getting in the car, means going to the Doggy park!

 

So, for me...it's silly big over-exagerated words that work to get her to PEE...or jump in the car fast.

 

Before you know it, she'll be like this: :gh_bow

Greyhound Collars : www.collartown.ca

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

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Guest krystolla

I think you are doing great with your girl, you've made a ton of progress already. I know what it's like to be hungry for ANY sign of improvement, but I don't think changes ever happen in a nice, linear fashion -- it's always in fits and starts with a bit of time for backsliding. :) She's not stalled, she's just taking a breather. Maybe checking to see that all the risks she's taken so far don't make anything bad happen.

 

For my Hack, who is shy but not so much spooky anymore, what worked the best for getting past scary things on walks was walking really slowly when he started getting nervous. It's one of those "calming signals" and I've found it works pretty well. If it's a situation where I have a lot of control (like walking passed a trash can on an empty street) we might walk in painfully slow circles until I see signs he's calming down. If it's a more hectic situation (kids playing basketball) then I just concentrate on making one calm pass. Unlike Caesar Milan, I don't demand that he get over every fear on the first exposure I just look for a little bit more calm than whatever we had previously.

 

Think of it as teaching your dog to learn to calm down after being scared, rather than trying to teach her that nothing in the world is scary.

 

As for getting her out of the crate on occasion (I agree letting her hang out there if she wants is fine) you might try teaching her "find it". Hide treats, starting with obvious places, and let her find them. It's a great game because it's very rewarding and builds confidence, it teaches her to look to you for hints but not necessarily for the food itself so the "outdoors" are treating her not just you. Also it engages the nose, which helps get our sight oriented breeds out of their chase-and-startle mindset, IMHO.

 

Anyway, be patient. In a year you won't even remember than she ever paused while acclimating. :)

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

Welcome to Greytalk Annie's Daddy!

 

Although I can't help much since my Bella isn't shy I can give these tips:

 

1) Peeing: Super excited voice/smile, and say the same words. With Bella, first thing in the a.m. its "Bella, lets go PEE PEE outside!" And then I'd run down the stairs and out the door with her, once she pee'd...treat.

 

2) Car rides: Same as above, get her excited! With Bella: "Oh Bella...would you like to go to the DOGGIE PARK?" Key workds being doggy park. I don't even get to her name and she's jumping/bowing like crazy! This will teach her that getting in the car, means going to the Doggy park!

 

So, for me...it's silly big over-exagerated words that work to get her to PEE...or jump in the car fast.

 

Before you know it, she'll be like this: :gh_bow

 

Haha, the super excited voice would probably startle and confuse her. I use a calm happy voice. She pees fine now. Every time I open the patio door she would go out and pee by herself and would come back when I call her.

 

The car ride is still challenging. I used to have to carry her into the car but I have desensitized her enough now that she would go in when I tell her to. But she still hates it. My car is not big enough to fit a crate inside so I don't know if she will ever enjoy the car ride. It's just too stressful for her with all the stop and go and the traffic.

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Thought you'd like to read this, it's a "turning point" thread...check out post #12, I'm hoping Annie will have her day:

 

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/263809-turning-point/page__p__4741598__hl__turning__fromsearch__1#entry4741598

Greyhound Collars : www.collartown.ca

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

13380965654_dba9a12b29.jpg
 
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I think you've done some good work with Annie, but just a reminder, you may need to check those expectations. she may not ever be a cuddly, confident, lap dog and you may want to start accepting her for what she is, not for what you want her to be. Don't worry that she will never be comfortable, she will eventually, judging by how far she's come along...thanks to the time and effort you are willing to put in to make her comfortable.

 

I think you're on the right track, you just might consider slowing down a bit, just to avoid overwhelming her and undoing some of your progress. Remember it took my Bailey 4 years to go outside on her own, but Bailey was much more timid than Annie is.

 

If you want her to get more comfortable out of her crate, trying closing the door for about 5 minutes, but place a pillow near it or near a wall. If she lays down on the pillow and feels comfortable, then you can extend the time out of the crate. If she paces around, or acts uncomfortable, then you will need to go slowly for a long time.

 

Is Annie afraid of people? Are you able to take her for a walk where people hang out or does that scare her?. Sometimes you need to take shy pups out where people are so they get used to it , feel safe, and start to feel comfortable. I'm not sure where Annie is on the comfort zone scale here though.

 

It's worth it though, the milestones the shy ones get too are really worth it and are very heartwarming. Check and see if Patricia McConell has written about shy dogs. She's an animal behavorist and is recommended by a lot of GTers.

 

 

 

 

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest cwholsin

I taught it initially by holding the treat between my eyes, clicking the instant he made eye contact, and then giving the treat from the other hand. (We made sure not to push for extended eye contact, since as greysmom says this can be a dominant or threatening behavior for dogs.)

 

She already got over that part. She has kind of associated eye contact to me scratching her ears. I always wait for her to look me in the eye before I scratch her ears. If I'm standing in front of her, she would look up and look me in the eyes for quite a few seconds. I just have to teach her the verbal command. In the house, she is pretty much not a shy dog anymore. She just hasn't learned how to enjoy things and the crate is her routine right now.

 

The crate seems to me like a normal thing that will eventually decrease in time. When they're at the kennel, they spend most of their time in the crate so that's the kind of behavior that she knows! When she's more used to living in a house, she'll be more interested in exploring and getting to know her surroundings. Right now it sounds that she's behaving like what she learned in the kennel between crate and being loose in the backyard. From my understanding, the dogs were turned out at the kennel and didn't have humans standing over them--so even that is unfamiliar to her--could be why she's uncomfortable having you out in the yard with her.

 

Our dog, while not as shy as yours, had us wondering what we were doing 'wrong' that he didn't really seem to be happy here. He had mastered the physical realities of the house, but wasn't warming up to us emotionally. Even now, at three months, the overflowing joy that I associate with happy dogs still only comes out in small bursts when he wags his tail and zooms around the room. Hermes had plateaued around a month or so. Actually, he had regressed :P When we first got him, he started playing with his toys in a couple days and then he stopped playing with toys for a month or so! He didn't want to play! Even now, he's still a little uncomfortable having us engage him in play--he immediately gets submissive and lies down on his bed. He thinks we're dominating him when we're just trying to play!

 

At times we were worried because he seemed to be settled into a routine that basically ignored us. I definitely agree with the 'starts and spurts' theory of acclimation. He'll be in his routine for a while and then suddenly he does something new!

 

From what you've said, you're not doing anything wrong. Simple training is great! If she's not getting something, don't worry about it! She will open up and catch on more and more in the coming months =)

 

Some frustration and feeling like you must be doing something 'wrong' is pretty normal. Odds are, you're not, and she's just taking a while to adjust. Training can help with that (keep doing what you're doing!) and so will time.

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

I think you've done some good work with Annie, but just a reminder, you may need to check those expectations. she may not ever be a cuddly, confident, lap dog and you may want to start accepting her for what she is, not for what you want her to be. Don't worry that she will never be comfortable, she will eventually, judging by how far she's come along...thanks to the time and effort you are willing to put in to make her comfortable.

 

I think you're on the right track, you just might consider slowing down a bit, just to avoid overwhelming her and undoing some of your progress. Remember it took my Bailey 4 years to go outside on her own, but Bailey was much more timid than Annie is.

 

She is definitely not a spook. From what I've read and the progress she has made so far, I truly believe training will help to change her behaviors. It's just a matter of doing the right things.

 

 

 

If you want her to get more comfortable out of her crate, trying closing the door for about 5 minutes, but place a pillow near it or near a wall. If she lays down on the pillow and feels comfortable, then you can extend the time out of the crate. If she paces around, or acts uncomfortable, then you will need to go slowly for a long time.

 

I do make her stay out of the crate sometimes to make her bed. I don't know if I want to use it as a training method though since it would be a punishment to her. I would like to stick with positive training when possible. I have a dog bed set up right next to her crate but she has never laid down on it. I lay down on it sometimes. If she's standing in the crate, sometimes she comes over and lick my face.

 

 

 

Is Annie afraid of people? Are you able to take her for a walk where people hang out or does that scare her?. Sometimes you need to take shy pups out where people are so they get used to it , feel safe, and start to feel comfortable. I'm not sure where Annie is on the comfort zone scale here though.

 

It's worth it though, the milestones the shy ones get too are really worth it and are very heartwarming. Check and see if Patricia McConell has written about shy dogs. She's an animal behavorist and is recommended by a lot of GTers.

 

Annie is very afraid of people and terrified of big trucks. I think this is a little too tough for her right now so I try to avoid it. Which is why I only do a quick jog in the morning and walk her in the park at night. I would probably start with visitors at home first. My mother pops in sometimes, and she would eat treats out of my mother's hand.

 

I have The Other End of the Leash, but I don't think Patricia McConell has a book specifically for shy dogs.

 

I have read these books though and they helped a lot. But I wish they had more details on the specific training regimens rather than talking about the background of their fears.

http://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Shy-Dog-Terrified/dp/0876050364/ref=pd_sim_b_4

http://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Fearful-Step-Step/dp/0966772679/ref=cm_syf_dtl_top_1

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So when would be a good time to start training her? I don't want to be waiting years and hope she would turn into a happy dog all by herself. I've read that training would help the shy dog's confidence

 

I suggest you find books targeted to greyhounds. There is a very big difference between a working breed and a retired racer. Too much training on some greyhounds will make them regress. Training a hound is quite different than other breeds and it sounds like your girl needs some time.

 

The biggest advice I can give to you is -- relax. Love, patience and independence (allowing it) goes a long way. I've seen greys come out in weeks and years -- Mizzy just started playing with stuffies this year and has been with me over 3.

 

I will share some things I have learned:

 

Do not play tug of war with a greyhound and a bag of rice.

 

When they go out walking fine and walk in limping on one leg, check their foot for poop.

 

Do not teach "speak" if you do not want them to "speak" every time they want something.

Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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