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Are We Going To Damage Our New Arrival Who Has Separation Anxiety By U


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Guest barnsleyfan

In another post i have typed at length about the problems we are having with our new arrival. The most distressing one is the leaving her alone in the house. There are times where we simply have to leave the house. I am at work 8-6. My wife has to pick up our son from school bus - 10 mins each day.in 2 weeks we have a course of orthodontic vists which will take 60-120 minutes which cannot be cancelled. We have now tried muzzling her but as soon as she sees the muzzle she gets up and runs away - we basically have to corner her (not in an intimidating manner). She has now started refusing to get off her bed. Coaxing has no effect and if you try and lift her you get a growl. She has become very distant and wont respond to us. People suggest different approaches once she is settled on her bed, but we can't even get her on her bed at the moment. We are finding it quite upsetting as the last thing we want to do is upset our new pet.

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Guest kkaiser104

How long has she been home? When I brought Teddi home almost a year ago, I gave him about 2 weeks where I basically ignored him. It was hard, I wanted to love on him all of the time! But, I honestly think that by ignoring him I gave him a chance to acclimate. Have you tried using treats to lure her away?

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I know you're really upset, but try to calm down. She is brand new, everything is unfamiliar. Also, it's very easy for dogs to pick up on your worry and anxiety, which makes the matters worse. Separation anxiety is a fairly common issue in greyhounds, and what you described in your other post does not sound abnormal. It usually goes away after a period of time, but there are lots of things you can do to help ease the transition. Obviously, it's not realistic or necessary solution to never leave the house. When you have to leave, keep her in safe area where she can't injure herself. Muzzle to prevent her from becoming destructive. Give her lots of treats to keep her busy, and work on alone training as much as you can. There are many threads on this forum regarding alone training with helpful training methods if you search for them. If it seems to be getting worse after a few days, then talk to the vet about an anxiety medication to help calm her down. If you're not prepared to deal with the training on your own, ask your adoption group for help.

 

As for the muzzle, try to be as gentle as possible. Get her into a standing position when you're putting it on. If she refuses to move off her bed, lure her up with treats. Talk to her in an even, happy voice. Once she's standing, you can give her treats through the muzzle, or put a bit of peanut butter on the inside to entice her. Never force the muzzle on, corner her, or make muzzling a negative experience. It may seem easy to force her to "face her fears," but unless you do it on her own terms, the avoidance will continue to get worse. SA can be exacerbated by simple acts that suggest the owner is leaving (jingling keys, putting shoes on). So if the only time you're muzzling is when you're leaving, you are inadvertently creating a negative association. Muzzle her occasionally when you ARE home and always praise her enthusiastically. Make it part of her routine.

Edited by a_daerr
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Guest barnsleyfan

Thanks. So when we need to leave the house is it a good idea to just muzzle her, give her treats and just go? Obviously it would never be a long time, jsut necessary trips..

 

she has been with us 3 days and it ishard to ignore.She looks so sad and there is a tendancy to want to tryand bring her round by giving her attention.

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Guest barnsleyfan

We are currently trying it, but the moment we close the door she is up off her bed at the window or scratching the door. It is the same when we go to bed at night. She is happy to lay on the rug in the living room whilst we potter about the house and leave her, but as soon as we try and settle her on her bed to leave the house or go to bed and we close the kitchen door she knows that she is to be left. But it is not really practrical to leave the door open as she would have run of the stairs/landing which we dont really want.

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Guest Doggone

Three days is a very short time to get acclimated to a new environment, so it's understandable that she's having some issues. I feel for you, especially your wanting to make her "blues" go away!

I, too, would reach out to whichever group arranged the adoption; I'd bet that they've dealt with this problem a number of times, and may have some coaching tips for you. Also, if she was fostered, how did those people deal with leaving her?

I haven't seen your other post, so I don't know why you're muzzling her........do you have other animals? If so, is there any place she can be put without needing the muzzle?

Autumn is an "only", but I also don't want to give her the run of the house yet (I've only had her 2 1/2 months), so from the beginning, I've used a small puppy gate to enclose her in "her" room (actually, the second bedroom ;) ). I think it doesn't seem as isolated as closing a solid door. At night, I put the gate in my bedroom doorway since she sleeps in there. (I'm not worried about safety in an emergency, since there are French doors leading to the back yard.)

Edited by Doggone
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She sounds very scared.

 

I'd avoid leaving her at all for the time being as this will just make her anxiety worse. Can your wife take her with her when she collects the children? Can someone come and sit with her at other times, just for now?

 

She needs time to settle in and learn to trust you and her new home environment. Once she's feeling secure, you can start alone training, but take it very very slowly. It may take months, but there's no reason why you shouldn't eventually be able to leave her for a few hours.

 

I personally wouldn't use a muzzle, as this is likely to make her even more anxious. I wouldn't shut her in anywhere either, for the same reason. If you do the alone training slowly and carefully enough, she won't be left alone for long enough to become anxious or do any damage. If you don't want her to go upstairs, couldn't you baby gate the stairs off, and leave her with free run of the downstairs?

 

I agree with letting her sleep in your bedroom if she wants to, as this is likely to make her feel more secure.

 

I've used Zylkene in the past for one of mine who was slightly nervous when she first came home, and I felt it helped. You can get this from your vet, or cheaper on the internet as it's non-prescription.

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We are currently trying it, but the moment we close the door she is up off her bed at the window or scratching the door.

 

Did your adoption group talk to you about crating? If you are concerned that she is going to injure herself or damage your house, I would try to crate her or baby-gate her in a smaller area. ETA: You'll probably get some differing opinions, but I would NOT leave a brand new, unmuzzled, un-housetrained dog with free reign to your house.

Edited by a_daerr
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Guest RMarie

When we were in the process of adopting James, we were told to NEVER put a greyhound in a room and close the door. In the beginning, we restricted his access to the house by crating. Only after he sprung himself and proved that he could behave did we let him have free reign. But, I agree that a new dog should not have free reign of the house. Either use baby gates and a muzzle to keep her from doing too much damage OR get a crate. Greys are crated at the track so it might provide her with a sense of familiarity to be back in a crate.

 

Good luck and BREATHE!

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Guest barnsleyfan

Tried leaving the door open and 3ft gate, which she jumped over 15 minutes after being left. tried her unmuzzled at first as she seemed calm and was interested in the Kong &PB. But started chewing woodwork today. I realise that the closed door may be causing problems but there seems to be no alternative. Havent tried a crate and dont really have access to one other than shelling out£100. Additionally, she seemed friendly with people but 2 days later is shying away from everyone other than me and my wife. When walking she refuses to go anywhere near anyone (was ok on saturday - day 1) and will pull with all her might in the opposite direction. I had rung the adoption agency and their suggestion was to leave her and ignore her, but perhaps they thought it was just settling in problems rather than SA

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Definitely get back in touch with your adoption group. I don't want to be a jerk, but maybe this just isn't the right home situation for her. Greys with severe SA require a very regimented "alone training" program and usually benefit from the company of other dogs.

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Guest GreyHawk

This is after 2 days?

I think you're expecting too much too soon .

If you haven't got the patience to deal with these issues, then perhaps it would be better to to return her to the adoption agency.

A little empathy might not go amiss.

She's not a commodity to be boxed or taped shut. She's a living, feeling being.

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Guest barnsleyfan

Definitely get back in touch with your adoption group. I don't want to be a jerk, but maybe this just isn't the right home situation for her. Greys with severe SA require a very regimented "alone training" program and usually benefit from the company of other dogs.

Could it be "severe" SA ? I don't have any basis of comparision. She certainly has got worse today. She is laid on her bed and cant even be coaxed off it with treats. A gentle nudge makes no difference. I tried genetly rolling her off her blanket but i got a whelp and then she ran away from me and wouldnt come near me for a while. Its 9pm now so cant do anything tonight. I'll take her for a walk at 10:30 and then put her straight on her night bed so we dont have the "not being able to get her off the rug" issue. I will see how she is through thr night and prob ring the agency in the morning. She seems to sleep most of the time we are there, but when she is awake she just looks sad, staring into space. She doesnt avoid your gaze, but shows no response towards any of us

 

This is after 2 days?

I think you're expecting too much too soon .

If you haven't got the patience to deal with these issues, then perhaps it would be better to to return her to the adoption agency.

A little empathy might not go amiss.

She's not a commodity to be boxed or taped shut. She's a living, feeling being.

thanks for making me feel a whole lot better (not)

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This dog may not be the right fit for your family. There is no shame in realizing that some dogs just aren't right for some houses and lifestyles. If you have a dog with SA you will need to devote time to this and be able to have an adjustment period where the dog doesn't have to be home for long periods right away. It sounds like she is loosing her trust and developing more negative associations with all of the tools which are related to being alone. It will take a lot of work and time to get over and to earn her trust. Something to think about, if you are both stressed out it is not an ideal situation for anyone. I don't mean this as a bad thing or to make you feel bad, several people on this board have had to return dogs simply because their house wasn't a good fit. If you are really determined to work through this, definitely check up on the "alone training" on the board, lots of people have gone through the same thing.

 

 

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If she is truly a spook, first time greyhound parents are not reccommended.

 

If she is not truly a spook, you need to get hold of a XL wire crate, big enough for her to stand up in and easily turn around, as well as lay down in. Try the agency you adopted her from. Tell them you cannot afford to buy one at this time, and would like to borrow/rent one if they have it, or refer you to someone you could borrow/rent from. That really is going to be the best short-term solution. A 3 ft baby gate is not going to contain her. She's already jumped on your kitchen table, and I'm quite sure that is taller than 3 ft. Female greyhounds are able to jump much higher than boys. And do not shut her in a room by herself.

 

Find a wire crate and put a nice soft dog bed inside, add some of your old/dirty t-shirts so she can become familiar to you & your wife's scents. Give her some stuffed animals in the crate as well as the kong with PB. Leave the crate door open, and watch her go into it by herself... they are used to them and prefer them for safety.... Get her in with all those goodies and shut the door, but stay in the room with her.... When you've determined she's comfortable in it for an hour or longer, then start leaving her for short periods of time... but always leave her in her crate.

 

At night, I really think you should let her sleep in the bedroom with you, on her dog bed, but let her see you.

 

Good luck!!! But most importantly, take it easy. Co no expect her to know what to do instinctually..... it's going to take time and commitment from you both.... and SLOW SLOW steps working with her.... always postive and never punishing her...

Edited by claudiav

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Could it be "severe" SA ? I don't have any basis of comparision. She certainly has got worse today. She is laid on her bed and cant even be coaxed off it with treats. A gentle nudge makes no difference. I tried genetly rolling her off her blanket but i got a whelp and then she ran away from me and wouldnt come near me for a while. Its 9pm now so cant do anything tonight. I'll take her for a walk at 10:30 and then put her straight on her night bed so we dont have the "not being able to get her off the rug" issue. I will see how she is through thr night and prob ring the agency in the morning. She seems to sleep most of the time we are there, but when she is awake she just looks sad, staring into space. She doesnt avoid your gaze, but shows no response towards any of us

 

 

Do not nudge her or roll her off her bed. Take the opportunity to work with her when she's upright on her own.... do not force her to get up to work with you... get that crate ASAP and you will see an improvement.... talk to her in a happy voice... call her name and praise her for coming to you with treats and affection.... don't MAKE her do anything.... make it a happy experience and she will come to you happily....

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Dogs don't like to be behind a closed door. Not just greyhounds, dogs in general. We had a GS who ate through a door when we weren't home. To get her off of her bed, attached a leash and walk her off the bed. If she jumped one baby gate, stack two; one on top of the other. This is all very new and you want to establish a rountine. Good luck. It should get easier.

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I don't think crates are used very often in the UK but another consideration is a gate across the doorway rather than closing it. It sounds like she needs to be near you at night as well.

 

Perhaps someone has Kathleen Gilley's article handy to post...it may also help.

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Could it be "severe" SA ? I don't have any basis of comparision. She certainly has got worse today. She is laid on her bed and cant even be coaxed off it with treats. A gentle nudge makes no difference. I tried genetly rolling her off her blanket but i got a whelp and then she ran away from me and wouldnt come near me for a while.

 

Well, I can't say with certainty because I haven't observed her behavior. There have been cases of SA where the dog injures itself, breaks teeth, tears down doors, and creates thousands of dollars in damage trying to escape a room or crate. That doesn't sound like your girl, so my guess is that she would eventually get better with training. But it's definitely a process, and (IMHO) it takes a very confident, experienced owner to handle it the right way. Just to echo what RedHead posted, if you decide that Eva is not right for your home (or vice versa) that is perfectly okay! It doesn't mean you're a failure or that you're not meant to own greyhounds. Just be honest with yourself and try to make the best decision for everybody.

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It's only been three days. Please relax and she may relax, also. Just keep in mind that everything is new for her and try to remember ho strang and new everything is. Try not to leave her alone in the beginning. No closed doors and maybe you can try something like Bitter Apple on the window sills. I really think it's way too early to be thinking about fit.

 

Relax and take it slow :)

Edited by robinw

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Guest Giselle

This is normal, but, yes, it will take training.



 

Do not nudge her or roll her off her bed. Take the opportunity to work with her when she's upright on her own.... do not force her to get up to work with you... get that crate ASAP and you will see an improvement.... talk to her in a happy voice... call her name and praise her for coming to you with treats and affection.... don't MAKE her do anything.... make it a happy experience and she will come to you happily....

 

 



As for the muzzle, try to be as gentle as possible. Get her into a standing position when you're putting it on. If she refuses to move off her bed, lure her up with treats. Talk to her in an even, happy voice. Once she's standing, you can give her treats through the muzzle, or put a bit of peanut butter on the inside to entice her. Never force the muzzle on, corner her, or make muzzling a negative experience. It may seem easy to force her to "face her fears," but unless you do it on her own terms, the avoidance will continue to get worse. SA can be exacerbated by simple acts that suggest the owner is leaving (jingling keys, putting shoes on). So if the only time you're muzzling is when you're leaving, you are inadvertently creating a negative association. Muzzle her occasionally when you ARE home and always praise her enthusiastically. Make it part of her routine.

Yes^ Both of these suggestions essentially echo what is important for alone training.

1) Teach the dog that being alone is a no-fuss, relaxing time.

2) Teach the dog that training with you is FUN and happy!

 

Instead of nudging her off her blanket (which is likely making her more scared of people), teach her to get on and off the bed as trained behaviors. The key is not to train when she's already settled on the bed and isn't motivated/or is scared. Start at breakfast or dinner, when she's hungry and excited.

- Take her to the bed and toss a piece of her meal onto the bed. As soon as she steps towards the bed, say "YES!" + reward with a small piece of her meal. (Obviously, dry kibble works best for this training.) Reward for just placing a paw on the bed. Then, wait for her to place two paws on the bed --> then, all 4 paws --> then, train her to do a Down on the bed. I made this video to demonstrate how to teach "Back" and "Go to Bed", so skip the "Back" training for now since it doesn't pertain to you.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/LSophie/media/BackandGoLayDown_zps9f19022f.mp4.html

- Once you teach "Go to Bed", you can easily teach her to get off. Just tell her "Go to Bed!" --> Reward with food --> Then, say "Off!" and toss a treat away from the bed --> Once she gets off the bed, reward her again with food. Repeat repeat repeat.

 

Now, for alone training, all you have to do is train her "Go to Bed" + stay on the bed for increasing periods of time. For example, tell her "Go to Bed!" --> wait 30 seconds --> "YES!" and reward with food. Then, you can try 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. Then, you can try by walking out of the room, out of the house, etc. This will teach her independence and that 1) being alone is no big deal 2) you will always come back. Voila! It's a simple process, but you do have to train it. If you don't feel equipped to train this, please consider working with the adoption group to find a better suited dog or hire a professional dog behaviorist.

Edited by Giselle
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Only things I'll add to robinw's and Giselle's sound advice above are:

 

1. Don't leave her behind a closed door. Yeah, bunch of people already said that. It's important. Most dogs don't like it and will freak out.

 

2. Anything you do when you're getting ready to leave, like putting her muzzle on ... practice when you're NOT getting ready to leave :) . If she's up on her feet, tell her "It's muzzle time," put her muzzle on, "Good girl!" and treat, leave it on for a couple minutes, take it off. Couple times a day. You want that activity to be just some weird thing the people do (and give her yummy treats for!) and not a certain indicator that "OMG, they're LEAVING me!!!"

 

Best luck. It has only been 3 days. Not all newly adopted dogs are unsettled for that period of time (plus a week or two), but many are.

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You sound like you're going to fast and expecting too much of her (and yourselves). SLOW DOWN. There are two other threads currently running in this section about two different greyhounds with the same problem as you - new dog and separation anxiety along with generalized anxious behavior towards everything else. Read them. The "shut down" you're experiencing with her is also very normal - she's overwhelmed and needs LOTS of time and patience.

 

Alone training takes time. You don't just toss her a treat and leave for 15 minutes right away. In your case, you need to start over and slow down. Decide on a routine that you will use every time you leave her. Then go through those steps, one at a time, repeating them until she is comfortable with each one. Pick up your keys, put them down and ignore her, pick up your keys, put them down and ignore her. Repeat until comfortable. Pick up your keys and walk to the door, walk back and set them down, ignore the dog - repeat, repeat, repeat. Pick up your keys, give her a chew treat or Kong, walk to the door, come back and sit down. You get the idea.

 

You might discuss with your vet getting some short term anti-anxiety meds.

 

If you really don't have the time or the inclination to give her the patience she needs, then consider returning her sooner rather than later. There is a better greyhound for your situation.

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