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Greyhound Refuses To Go Outside


Guest Herminator
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Guest Herminator

Hey guys! I'm new to this forum. My fiance and I have had our greyhoud, Herman, for about six months. He is 3 years old. For the past two or three months, he has been extremely reluctant to go outside. We've resorted to keeping his harness on 24/7 because it is the only way we can get him to stand up and walk to the door. I have to pull up on his harness, like I'm picking up a suitcase, to get him to stand up. Once Herman is standing, I have to pull him along side of me to the front door. I've also tried pulling on his bed when he's laying on it, which gets him to stand up sometimes. I can't possibly resort to picking him up because he is over 90 pounds. He's a big boy!

 

The funny part is, once we are out the door Herman LOVES to be outside. He has no problems. He adores walking around the lake in our neighborhood and sniffing everything in sight. So it doesn't seem like he's afraid of anything outside. The only problem is getting him to the door.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated!! Coaxing him with treats does not work.

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Guest BrianRke

Hi and welcome to GT!

 

First of all, do you have slick floors (tile, hardwood)? Some dogs, especially if they have slipped in the past, can be spooked by slick floors. The only other thing I can think of is maybe something scared him one time going out the door?

 

Do you have another door you can use?

 

If you do have slick floors, try putting down a carpet runner.

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First thing that comes to mind is slick floors or stairs. If you have tile or hard wood floors it could be the floors. He may have slipped on them at some point and become fearful of walking on them. Area rugs or runners to the door could solve that problem. If he's not used to stairs and you have stairs leading outside it may be the stairs. It sounds like he's afraid of the journey to the door to go outside is what he's fearful of and not the outside.

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 Herminator

Hi Greyaholic. Thanks for responding!!

 

The only place we have slick floors is in the kitchen. The rest of our home is carpeted. He has slipped on the kitchen floor a few times. But the kitchen can be totally avoided when we go out for a walk.

 

We do have another door through the garage. He is OK with going outside through that door. However, the problem is actually getting him to the door. If he is in our bedroom, which is two floors up, he will not budge.

 

It's so odd. Maybe something did spook him one time. We're just not sure how to get him over his fear. We have a dog walker who comes mid-day. I asked her if anything weird ever happned, and she said no.

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Guest Herminator

JillysFullHouse -- he doesnt have a problem with the staris, so I don't think that's the issue. You are right about him being afraid of the journey to the door.

 

Any suggestions on how to help get him over this fear?

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Guest Herminator

Could it be that Herman is truly the laziest dog ever? Maybe we shouldn't be forcing him to go walks. Instead, maybe we should try waiting for Herman to come to us?

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Guest Herminator

Hey BrianRke. The first thought that entered my mind was, it must be something that happened with the dog walker. I've talked to her several times and she is the sweetest person. I asked if she had the same problem with getting Herman to go to the door. She told me that sometimes she has to wait a few minutes for him to get up, but generally he will go to the door for her without a problem. Although Herman didn't get up for her at all this afternoon. But she said that she usually doesnt have a problem. Which makes me think, is there something wrong with me and my fiance?? Maybe we're doing something wrong?

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Guest Herminator

Could this be happeneing because neither of us have successfully established our role as "alpha"? If so, any tips on how to establish the alpha role?

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Guest kkaiser104

Could this be happeneing because neither of us have successfully established our role as "alpha"? If so, any tips on how to establish the alpha role?

 

I believe, as do many others on this forum, that most greys do not need you to establish "alpha" with them. If I were to try to "dominate" Teddi, he would become very upset and reluctant to do anything, which is the opposite effect you want. Do you ever try tempting him across the room with a cookie or favorite toy? Teddi will do just about anything for a cookie!

 

I would also probably get a nanny cam. I used skype for the first few I had Teddi to make sure everything was going alright with him in my room (I had the other end on my phone). See how the dogwalker gets him up, and make sure she isn't doing anything that might inadvertently be scaring your boy.

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I find it odd that the dogwalker said she never had a problem, but with you there he wouldn't get up. I don't see that as a problem with you, I see that as she's not being truthful. I would guess she has had the same problem to varying degrees and for whatever reason, doesn't want to tell you. One of my girls tries not to go out sometimes. For her I swear its a control thing (she is very diva). The other two go out, she stops at the hallway and lays down. She'll wag her tail, roo, go back to bed, grab a toy, etc. Its like "oh, everyone else is gone, mom and I can play alone!" She usually tries this when I'm running late. She thinks me trying to grab her collar is like keep away and she won't come for treats. She doesn't like the spray bottle (I have to use it with the neighbors cats on occasion as she will eat them). If I just can't play, even for a minute, I'll pick up that spray bottle and shake it-she's gone! Out the door, into the dog run and on her bed in seconds.

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Do you have a really really really high value treat, one that he never gets but would love such as a hotdog?

 

Once he gets outside lots of praise and high value treat may motivate him to go out more. I'm assuming he's not trembling and/or the fear has not escalated to the point where nothing will work.

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 Herminator

I agree that something is not adding up here, with the dogwalker. It is possible that she is inadvertantly scaring Herman. I would feel really weird about using a nannycam, but maybe it's something we'll have to do. I'll talk to my fiance about it.

 

greytpups -- That is a great idea. Herman has never had hot dog! Maybe I will try that. Thanks.

 

kkaiser104 -- I'm surprised by your comments regarding the alpha role. I always thought that it was important to establish yourself as an alpha because greyhounds are pack animals and need a leader.

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Guest Wasserbuffel
kkaiser104 -- I'm surprised by your comments regarding the alpha role. I always thought that it was important to establish yourself as an alpha because greyhounds are pack animals and need a leader.

 

Greys are bred party to be very easygoing within the pack, and are very sensitive to pack/family dynamics. He knows you're the boss without you having to act out any specific "dominance" behaviors.

 

To me, Herman sounds scared of something, or really, really lazy. If you try to dominate him, you could scare him more, and it wouldn't help a lazy dog either. I agree with those above who suggest luring him with something tasty. If he's at all food motivated this could help him associate your request to get up with something positive enough that he thinks it's worth getting up for.

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I agree that something is not adding up here, with the dogwalker. It is possible that she is inadvertantly scaring Herman. I would feel really weird about using a nannycam, but maybe it's something we'll have to do. I'll talk to my fiance about it.

 

greytpups -- That is a great idea. Herman has never had hot dog! Maybe I will try that. Thanks.

 

kkaiser104 -- I'm surprised by your comments regarding the alpha role. I always thought that it was important to establish yourself as an alpha because greyhounds are pack animals and need a leader.

 

old myth that just won't go away

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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old myth that just won't go away

 

Yup. Dominance theory started as an interpretation of wolf behavior in captivity. Trainers started applying this concept to dogs. Since then, wolf ethologist have realized that dominance theory, as it was originally proposed, really didn't apply to wolves living in a natural pack. And dog social structure and behavior is quite different from that of wolves anyway. But dog trainers continue to use this outdated theory even though further study has shown that this concept probably doesn't apply to dogs at all.

 

For further reading:

AVSAB Position Statement on Dominance Theory

Welfare in Dog Training

Whatever Happened to the Term Alpha Wolf?

Nonlinear Dogs

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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Guest karilynn

Perhaps he doesn't need/want to go out? When I first got my greyhound, I was taking him outside a lot and half of the time he didn't go to the bathroom and wanted to go back inside. Maybe Herman just doesn't really need to go out and he'd rather be snoozin' in your bedroom? Would he have an accident if you waited for him to come to you? How often are you taking him out?

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Guest BrianRke

Perhaps he doesn't need/want to go out? When I first got my greyhound, I was taking him outside a lot and half of the time he didn't go to the bathroom and wanted to go back inside. Maybe Herman just doesn't really need to go out and he'd rather be snoozin' in your bedroom? Would he have an accident if you waited for him to come to you? How often are you taking him out?

 

True! Daytona very much hates the heat and will not go outside until he really has to go. Maybe when the weather gets cooler, he will want to go out :dunno

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kkaiser104 -- I'm surprised by your comments regarding the alpha role. I always thought that it was important to establish yourself as an alpha because greyhounds are pack animals and need a leader.

 

Greys are bred party to be very easygoing within the pack, and are very sensitive to pack/family dynamics. He knows you're the boss without you having to act out any specific "dominance" behaviors.

 

I agree with this and also that alpha theory is BS, however I think the amount of leadership you need to provide does depend on the dog. Just between my two, Ajax immediately sees all humans as being his leader. Anything you ask him, he wants to do. Capri on the other hand.... well, she's clever and likes to try to get her own way. I will occasionally get into battles of wits with her, ala:

 

me: Capri, let's go outside, go potty

Capri: I don't wanna

me: Yes you do, lets go

C: Nahhh

me: come!

C: pththt!

me: (getting out the big guns)

 

By that last part, I mean either grabbing treats or the leash... or both. And at this point I always remind her that "Mom always gets her way" :lol:

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Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

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Guest Wasserbuffel
By that last part, I mean either grabbing treats or the leash... or both. And at this point I always remind her that "Mom always gets her way"

 

HA, bribery usually ends up working with my grey too.

 

Also RE Dominance theory: greys were bred to hunt independently from their handlers. So, unlike other breeds that need to work closely with humans (Labs, Collies, etc.) a grey will be less inclined to try an please you unless you make it worth their while, and sometimes not even then -- these dogs are LA-ZY. It's a breed trait and not that they're being disobedient. When she's in the mood, my grey will do every trick she knows just for the fun of doing it with me, other times I have to show her that I have a treat just to get her to shake.

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Guest happygrey

Could this be happeneing because neither of us have successfully established our role as "alpha"? If so, any tips on how to establish the alpha role?

No. Very doubtful.

Sounds like he's afraid of something or reacting to a bad experience he had with the dog walker.

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Guest Herminator

Perhaps he doesn't need/want to go out? When I first got my greyhound, I was taking him outside a lot and half of the time he didn't go to the bathroom and wanted to go back inside. Maybe Herman just doesn't really need to go out and he'd rather be snoozin' in your bedroom? Would he have an accident if you waited for him to come to you? How often are you taking him out?

 

I certainly considered this. We take him out 5 times a day, sometimes 4. Everytime we take him out, he goes #1 or #2. But I wonder if maybe we are taking him out too much. Maybe we are forcing him to go out when we don't really need to. We try to keep to a pretty strict scedule of when to take him out, as I thought greyhounds liked schedues. But maybe we should try waiting for him to come to us?

 

My only concern is, how long is too long? For example, we took Herman out for his last walk at 10:00 pm last night. This morning at 9:30 am, he still hadn't come up to us. He was just snoozin on his bed. I had to force him to get up (I used a hot dog and it DID get him to stand up!!). Should I have not forced him, and just kept waiting until he wanted to go out? It had almost been 12 hours at that point. I feel like that must not be good for his bladder, right?

 

old myth that just won't go away

 

Yup. Dominance theory started as an interpretation of wolf behavior in captivity. Trainers started applying this concept to dogs. Since then, wolf ethologist have realized that dominance theory, as it was originally proposed, really didn't apply to wolves living in a natural pack. And dog social structure and behavior is quite different from that of wolves anyway. But dog trainers continue to use this outdated theory even though further study has shown that this concept probably doesn't apply to dogs at all.

 

For further reading:

AVSAB Position Statement on Dominance Theory

Welfare in Dog Training

Whatever Happened to the Term Alpha Wolf?

Nonlinear Dogs

 

Wow, this is quite fascinating! I did not realize the dominance theory was outdated. I will take a look at the reading you suggested. Thank you for opening my eyes to this, JJNg! :o)

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We have the reluctance for the last walk only, because Monty had been out recently and doesn't feel the need to go and he doesn't like the dark. We make him do it anyway, because I really don't want to have to get up any earlier to take him out than I do now. That said, he has been known to go for 14 hours without a problem [storms and fireworks scare him, so we don't torture him with that last walk if it's really loud & scary outside] as long as it is overnight. The body creates melatonin when it is dark, and melatonin reduces the kidney's filtering and creating urine - or we'd all be getting up at least once in the night to pee.

 

If he has been good at not messing in the house, and you are going to be there to watch him, I'd try him some weekend or day where you are home and watch his behavior and when he thinks is the right time to go out. Monty doesn't care for the 5:30 AM walks, but on weekends he usually wants his walk at 7 AM (unless the weather is yucky, then it's been as late as 10). If you are watching and see him get restless, take that opportunity and take him out and give him lots of rewards when he does his business.

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Guest FrankieWylie

We have two like this but in different ways....

 

Charlie has no need or desire to go outside unless he reallllllly has to pee. When Charlie goes, he GOES. Unlike Magic who has to stop ad mark everything in sight. So he only finds it necessary to get up and go outside twice a day. Unless you break out a leash for a walk, and then he is up and at em. Which is humorous because in the beginning, Charlie would walk to the mailbox and FREEZE. Not move an inch unless it was back towards the house.

 

Then you have Sherry.....oh Sherry. Often times she will NOT get up to eat breakfast. I'd say three days out of the week she only eats dinner. I could put hot dog, tuna, rabbit, or treats in her face and she would either stare at them or roll over and continue to snooze.

 

We found it easier to just sit back and wait for Charlie to tell us when he wanted to go outside than to "argue" with him assuming he needed to go outside. We now do it with all of them, only "making" them go out on walks with us. Which we have no problems with anymore. Rattle the leash and there is an explosion of greyhounds from every area of the house meeting you at the door.

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Guest Herminator

We have two like this but in different ways....

 

Charlie has no need or desire to go outside unless he reallllllly has to pee. When Charlie goes, he GOES. Unlike Magic who has to stop ad mark everything in sight. So he only finds it necessary to get up and go outside twice a day. Unless you break out a leash for a walk, and then he is up and at em. Which is humorous because in the beginning, Charlie would walk to the mailbox and FREEZE. Not move an inch unless it was back towards the house.

 

Then you have Sherry.....oh Sherry. Often times she will NOT get up to eat breakfast. I'd say three days out of the week she only eats dinner. I could put hot dog, tuna, rabbit, or treats in her face and she would either stare at them or roll over and continue to snooze.

 

We found it easier to just sit back and wait for Charlie to tell us when he wanted to go outside than to "argue" with him assuming he needed to go outside. We now do it with all of them, only "making" them go out on walks with us. Which we have no problems with anymore. Rattle the leash and there is an explosion of greyhounds from every area of the house meeting you at the door.

 

Thanks for your input! Sherry sounds a lot like Herman. Sometimes he won't eat his breakfast. He'd rather be snoozin.

 

We are trying to adopt the "no force" approach on the weekends. We just let Herman come to us when he wants to go out. That seems to be working great...on the weekend. It's during the week that's the problem. When both me and my fiance are rushing to get out the door in the morning, we have no choice but to force him. I've found that picking up/moving his bed a little gets him to stand up. I suppose I'll continue to do that.

 

I'm still curious as to the root of Herman's behavior. Is it laziness or fear? If only Herman could talk to me :o)

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