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Layla Regressing


Guest RobinAZ
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Guest RobinAZ

I've had Layla for 3 years now and she was extremely shy and timid when I first got her. She's come a very long way, but the past few days she seems to be regressing. She's always gone between the couch in the living room and the bed as her "safe" spots. Now for some reason when she gets in the bedroom she's afraid to come out, to the point where she peed in there last night. I didn't catch her at it so didn't say anything to her, besides I don't want to make it worse. Tonight she kept peeking out the bedroom door and crying. I called her but she wouldn't come (that has never worked with her anyhow). So I went in there and she was on the bed cowering and whimpering. I comforted her for a while, then took her collar and made her walk out to the living room with me. She had her legs splayed and was trying so hard not to move. I got her out here and she's fine now, went out the dog door (she had to pee) and is now laying on the floor. I have no clue what has made her revert back to old behavior. The only thing different was I just watched my daughter's two dogs for a few days (one hound, one puggle) - but they are over here a lot and Layla knows them. Any suggestions would be helpful. I hate to see her so scared.

 

One other interesting fact about her. She's highly intelligent. More so than my other hound. Also, she notices any time something has changed, like a throw rug moved or any little thing like that and it throws her off for a few days. She reminds me in a way of an autistic child and some of the ways to work with children work with her. However I'm stumped on this whole bedroom issue.

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Someone on GT told a story of rearranging their furniture. The dog was very upset so they returned the furniture to the original positions. Slowly, over a period of time, they moved the furniture by inches until the pieces were where they wanted them. I may be recalling the story wrong but that was the gist of it.

 

I hope she gets over her worry soon.

 

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Something that happened with one of the other dogs, or some odd noise etc. while you weren't home or right there to hear it?

 

Hope she is past this quickly. Sending gentle scritchies.

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I would also suspect something happened that caused her to revert. Maybe something while you were away from home, or even if you were there and just didn't notice. Has this behavior changed since the 4th? Maybe something she heard or felt has caused it. Did you move any furniture or add anything to the living room? Even changing the pictures on the wall will sometimes set my girl off.

 

You might want to consider blocking her out of the bedroom for short times, especially if she has a safe zone elsewhere. And make sure she keeps to her bathroom schedule.

 

As the mom to a spook I totally agree with you about them being like autistic children. A friend of mine has an autistic son, and I've used several techniques he's described as working for his son with my girl. Schedules are extremely important. She also does not like to be touched when she's having a "bad" spell. She goes into her own little world and really doesn't want any visitors.

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

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Any chance she could have slipped and fallen on a hard surface floor, or fallen while crossing over an area rug that slipped out from underneath her? Slipping on hard floors often results in that same behavior for many Greyhounds.

 

Either way, if any area rugs don't have rubber gripper rugs underneath them, I highly recommend them. Home stores (like Home Depot) sell inexpensive under rug mats.

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how's her thyroid levels? sometimes when they are off spooky signs become more pronounced.

if they aren't then try rewarding the behavior you want w/ something very special....

does she use a crate??? maybe a comfortable crate(safe place) in your living area. get her used to people and tv noises again. give her a marrow bone or bully stick while crated.

have her next to you for meals(on mat and leashed to your chair) and give her a special treat at the end of your meal.

keep her in the kitchen w/ you while you cook, use a gate to close off the kitchen. give her treats while you cook.

all of these little things w/ positive rewards may help bring her out of her regression. . my last foster was really skittish, the activites above really helped.we kept her and often have to revert to old tricks, she a sensitive one.

Edited by cleptogrey
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Guest RobinAZ

Thank you for all the replies. Now I have some ideas.

 

Chris, we recently removed a gate that we had blocking the little entry way to the front door. I am suspecting this is what is causing her to be so much more afraid of coming back out of the bedroom. She has to pass the spot where the gate was. However, she has to pass it on the way to the bedroom and that doesn't seem to bother her. I have hesitated putting it back up because it's been down for about a month now and I'm afraid if we put it back up it will once again be something new for her. During my work days I shut the bedroom door so she can't get in there. Now this morning I noticed she came out of the bedroom just fine. It always takes her a few tries of starting and stopping, but she did it pretty quickly this morning.

 

If something did happen to spook her more it was when we weren't home. She's not afraid of fireworks so it wouldn't have been on the 4th and we were here the whole time anyhow.

 

She doesn't use a crate and never has. And as far as keeping her by me all the time, I don't know. She will never ever step foot in the kitchen. She did a couple of times and we gave her treats - but she hasn't done it again. I suspect she goes in the kitchen when we are in bed, but she will not otherwise.

 

I will continue to try things with her...but I just want so much for her to not be so spooky and to know that she is safe here with us. She's come so far but I have the feeling that maybe this is as good as it's going to get for my sweet girl.

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I am glad to hear she is a little better. I agree, something spooked her, and you may never know exactly what. I would keep treating the positive behavior, and ignore the spooky behavior as much as possible. Stick to a routine, that will give her confidence, knowing what to expect. She will probably always be susceptible, and you will just never know what might set her off until it does. But, each time you will know better how to get her back on track!

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Guest RobinAZ

The hallway is Pergo. They are all used to going up and down the hallway and they slip a little occasionally but not bad and it never stops them. Layla goes down the hallway to the bedroom just fine. It's going from the bedroom to the living room that has her spooked. This morning I watched her try several times and she gets about 1/4 of the way to the living room and then backs up to the bedroom. She whines. It makes me sad. I ignore it for a while and then I did go down and get her and walk with her, holding her collar, a step at a time. She was shaking so bad but when we got almost all the way to the living room I let go and she took off to the couch. I rewarded her with a cookie.


Just thinking...I wonder if getting a hall runner carpet would help?

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She probably goes into the bedroom fine because it is her safe place. Coming out reminds her of what ever scared her, so the hesitation and so on. At least, that is my guess :) A runner couldn't hurt, maybe she did slip one time when you weren't home. One of those times when you so wish they could talk!

Edited by Remolacha
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Just thinking...I wonder if getting a hall runner carpet would help?

 

Yes, please do get a hall runner carpet. Also, very important to buy the same size, separate rubber gripper mat to place underneath the runner carpet to secure it in place. I would recommend the same for your kitchen.

 

Many Greyhounds have had very dangerous slips and falls on hard surface floors. I knew a Greyhound that died from the injury.

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Poor Layla. I think we all would like to get inside our hound's heads to see what's going on!

 

My Gabby has a thing about our pergo floors too. I have cheap WalMart rugs down all over the place, and she scurries from one to the other to get out. When I first got her she wasn't like this. She was here a couple of weeks then went to her adoption group to have her spay and dental. When I got her back she was terrified of the floors, so I'm assuming something happened while she was away. Otherwise she's a happy and contented dog.

 

One of my older dogs got to where she would spread eagle (like Bambi on ice) on our floors when she lost her footing. I was terrified this would happen when I wasn't home to help her up.

 

I hope all the advice here helps. Give Layla an ear scritch from me!

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Guest RobinAZ

Thanks everyone. It's still an issue. My husband has to carry her out of the bedroom to the living room now. And she peed in the bedroom again. I didn't shut the door before I left for work this morning and she got in there and I guess wouldn't come out. I will get some rugs for the hallway, maybe that will help. Something had to have happened...she was never THIS bad.

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Guest PiagetsMom

Sending you and your sweet girl {{{hugs}}}

 

I know how hard it is to see them struggling, and to not know what scared them or to be able to find something to help them. Good luck with the rugs - I hope they're the answer for you and for Layla.

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Guest RobinAZ

Update: This is weird but I think my husband may have hit the nail on the head. Since I'm in Arizona and it's been so hot we have not gone on walks with the dogs. However, since the monsoon season started it's a bit cooler/higher humidity and the sidewalks aren't burning hot in the evening. As soon as we started taking them for walks, Layla gained more confidence again. She LOVES her walks. It's the highlight of her day. This morning I woke up and went in the bathroom, when I came out she was on the bed. I snuggled her for a bit and then went to the kitchen for coffee. When I came out and went into the living room, Layla was on the couch. I actually did a double take. But this is the 2nd time she's come out of the bedroom totally on her own with no issues since we started walking again. It's weird and doesn't make a lot of sense except that somehow the walks make her more confident.

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If you run into a relapse, try a DAP diffuser plugged into an outlet in the living room, as close to the hallway as you can get it. That might help the area be more reassuring to her.

 

 

I do know about trying to get into a dog's head to figure things out. My girl--calm, brave, adores everyone--so I've started obedience classes with her in the hope I can get her certified as a therapy dog.

 

She's afraid of the clicker. She's not afraid of thunder or fireworks. But she won't take a much-desired treat out of my hand if it means I'm going to make that clacky sound again. I probably could find something else to use as a signal, but I want her to get used to the clicker--to generally get comfortable about strange noises, so she won't be skittish if we go into a nursing home or something. We're working on it.

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Not weird at all. My first thought when I read your title (before reading your post) was less exercise because of the heat. I started to think otherwise as I read your description, but maybe it was a combination. Could also be coincidence. No way to know for sure, just keep it in mind if it happens again. :)

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