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Do Greyhounds Get Sore?


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Guest laura150

We adopted Ernie last week (I've been posting about his SA) and I wanted to get people's opinions on if greyhounds get sore.

 

Since he hasn't had much exercise, I wonder if our twice daily (30 and then 45-60 minute) walks are a lot to handle in the beginning. I'm thinking of it like a runner, after the first few runs, muscles are sore and legs feel like lead. Do greyhounds feel like this going from a shelter to home environment?

Also, the first few days Ernie took the stairs up and down to our apartment like a champ. Now, not so much. He refuses to go down them. My husband had to carry him downstairs this morning! Any chance he's sore or do you think it's that he figured out that he doesn't like them and does not want to do them? Should I use his kibble (he doesn't really seem interested in treats of any kind) to bribe him up and down or just make him deal with them? We have an elevator in our building but he's not going to be a diva!

 

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Yep, you definitely need to ease into exercise gradually, or you will make them sore. In hot weather it can also be dangerous due to heat stress, but an unfit greyhound thrown into hard exercise can suffer from exertional rhabdomyolysis which is a very serious metabolic problem.

 

Take it easy and build up to it. If she seems sore, cut back a step. :)

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I'm guessing that he just doesn't want to go down (unless you are noticing something else that would indicate he is sore?). In the beginning they sometimes develop weird phobias or stop doing things that they did before.

 

You do have to gradually increase the exercise ESPECIALLY if it is hot, and they usually show obvious signs of being tired (lagging behind, slowing down, lying down, etc.) I exercise my grey more than the average, but I started with 15-30 min. walks a couple of times a day. An hour is probably a bit much right now, especially with a half hour already in the morning. He could have some soreness from that.

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It might not be just an issue of him being sore. If you are walking him a lot on pavement and sidewalk, his paw pads are still getting used to the hard surface. They have very soft paws after coming off the track, and they should be built up to withstand pavement walking. Pads will get harder with time, but he may just be a little hurt from his feet and not just necessarily sore from walking so much.

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Guest Lochshumans

Start slow with him regarding the exercise. We have had Loch for almost a year now and he is now up to an hour walk/slow jog and can do some trail hiking for 3-4 miles. We started with 15 min walks and throughout the year (after his health scare) have built him up to where he is now. He makes it very obvious when he is done, though and on hot days it's way faster than an hour. He will lag behind and show no interest (not even for some treats) in keeping up when he's done. That's just my signal to slow down and head home or back to the car if we aren't already. I have a non-grey that can withstand hours of hiking and walking and sometimes I take her back out after Loch gets home and he is fine with taking a long nap while his sister keeps going :)

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It also depends on how long the dog has been retired. A dog straight off the track will be in better condition that someone who's been fostered for several months and already made the transition to professional couch potato XD

 

But yeah, the weather is definitely something to watch too. Here in AZ it's soooo hot. We go for our walks in the early morning and late at night. Usually it's anywhere from 35-50 minutes total probably averaging 40 mins of walking per day, but I've been slooowly trying to introduce a longer walk that takes about 30-40 minutes on its own.

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Guest laura150

Thanks for the responses!

 

He left the track in July and was at a great greyhound shelter for about a month. He's 2 1/2 so I'm thinking he has more energy than a dog a little older than him would have.

 

He has been OK with 30-45 min walks but at night has NO interest in going out takes a look at the stairs and is like 'are you serious woman?'. With a little encouragement, he goes down them, pees and is like welp, time for bed!

 

He snoozes so much in between naps-I'm guessing that is normal because all they do is sleep, right? I have to stare at him long enough to make sure he's still breathing from his memory foam doggy bed. I can't wait until I see his little personality come through.

When I got home today and we went out on a potty break, he was so excited that I was home from work and was doing little dances around me.

 

I think we'll take it easy on the walks and build up 10% every week.

We live in MA and while it does get pretty hot, it's been mild in August and we aren't out in the blazing mid-day sun.

 

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Please be patient. Ernie may be very depressed. He is in a strange place, doesn't know you and is probably missing his past life. As he gains trust and his mood improves expect his energy level to rise. Wait till he wakes up one morning and realizes he is completely in love with his new people.

 

The best thing you can do is to walk him but of course as stated build up slowly. In the right weather up to a two hour walk should be manageable and much enjoyed by a properly conditioned Greyhound.

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Guest laura150

Have others found that their newly adopted greyhounds with limited concrete walking get sore paw pads? There are no tears but one or two of the small pads look a little discolored. Tonight after his dinner he took a potty break and wanted to go back in. He gets in and then wants to go straight for his bed. I will make our morning walk 20 minutes for the next few days and see if they improve.

 

How long will it take their pads to become adjusted to concrete. He's now a city dog and while we have the beach and the grass a really close drive, our walks have mainly been on the concrete sidewalks. It's not from the heat as it's not been that hot.

 

Also. If he is sleeping most of his day away-is he depressed, unsettled or just a lazy greyhound? He's only 2 1/2 so he's pretty young.

Sorry for all the questions! First greyhound and lots I want to know!

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Guest GreytOD

I have a 3 year old greyhound that I adopted at 18 months. He has never been crazy- we get 5 y/o at meet and greets that bounce around like crazy for the whole 5 hours while he sleeps on the floor. Some greyhounds are are just lazier than others. My boy gets a morning walk and afternoon walk every day. When we come in from the morning walk he gets breakfast; when we come in after the afternoon walk he goes straight to bed to cool off/ rest/ wait for dinner. Every night when we go to bed we offer him an out- sometimes he refuses; when we do go out he does one pee, maybe two, then walks right back inside and as soon as we're in the apartment door and he's unleashed he bolts to his kennel for his bed time milkbones. Between the walk he prefers to do 'brain activities' - lots of training- than to take longer walks in the heat (unless we are hiking, he loves hiking).

 

Your guy is still pretty new. His entire world has changed. I would expect him to warm up and be more excited about walks as you've had him longer, and as the weather gets cooler. I wouldn't think he was depressed just because he's sleeping all day. If he isn't really eating or doesn't get excited about anything he might be depressed, but you said he dances around you when you get home so I think he's just settling in. He might just be a chill guy like mine is.

As for the stairs, I would just made Pepper do it. We live up & down 3 different flights of stairs, and there was no way I was carrying Pepper up and down them every day. He got one free carry the first day, and that was it. After that it was a bit of tough love- I went up/down the stairs with determination and focus- my hand on his collar to help him along, and some treats- a reward at the end. Down was harder for him so it took more effort to make him do those slowly as not to hurt himself.

Sometimes Pepper does get sore, particularly after a good run at the park since he does tiny little circles like a goof. We give him a banana and a tums and that seems to help, so if you think he's sore you can always try the banana- a lot of greyhounds love bananas.

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Guest laura150

Thanks for the advice!

How come he gets a tums with the banana? To help him digest?

 

I want to start with the training of wait (when we walk near intersections), lay on his bed, lay down but what else?

 

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Guest GreytOD

The tums and banana help restore potassium and calcium levels, just like when people get a charlie horse and eating bananas helps.

 

Pepper knows: leave-it, wait, come, settle (an informal go lay down), down, stand, circle right, circle left, right paw, left paw, backup, touch, sit, stay, lay flat on his side (both), up (jump up on to the couch or bed), jump up (rear up on his hind legs), and of course kennel up. We also play scent games where I hide treats around the house then release him to go find them. He also knows not to counter-surf, not to cross into our kitchen at all, not to jump on guests, and not to beg (we'll he does technically beg, but it is by laying quietly on the floor by us with his head down waiting for us to finish so I'm happy with it). We are working on targeting something at a distance, under (going under tables or my knees or some other space), crawl, retrieving, and a formal heel. After that I'll think of some more things to teach him. We also play the clicker game "101 things to do with a box " from time to time.

If your don't want to train a lot of things, I personally would say the most important ones are: leave-it, come, wait, down and stay. Those can all be life-savers in the right circumstances.

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It is normal for greys to sleep most of the day. Nothing to worry about, it shows that he isn't overly anxious. My guys get a good hour or so walk in the morning and that konks them out until the evening walk. That's one of the reasons I like greys, they are so easy that way. If he was having pad problems, he would most likely start to limp or favour a foot. :)

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Guest laura150

I definitely want to teach Ernie a lot of stuff. I've found that he's really into cream cheese and we're learning 'come' right now. I try it about 10 times and then figure we'll start again in a bit so he doesn't bored w/ it.

 

I don't know if his pads are sore because I've touched them and he doesn't flinch or jerk them away. I'm no fool and won't put my head in his mouth but wanted to see if there was a hot spot.

We have our first vet appointment today to get vaccinations that he needs by November and for an annual. Hopefully he's a laid back, nice boy.

 

He even started playing with his stuffed lamp chop toy and stole one of my socks this morning. Granted, it lasted all of 3 seconds but I saw something playful which I take as a good sign!

 

Thanks for all the encouragement!

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Guest LazyBlaze

Have others found that their newly adopted greyhounds with limited concrete walking get sore paw pads?

 

Hi Laura, yeah our hound had sensitive pads to start off with. We noticed in the first couple of weeks of having him that he had very small slightly dimpled soft bits on some of his pads where they were worn (we were walking him for an hour in the mornings on tarmac, and then maybe 45 minutes again in the afternoon. He obviously wasn't used to that much hard surface walking). They toughened up after a couple of weeks, but we were careful after that not to overdo it, and used surgical spirit on them each day to harden them (only okay to use if the skin isn't broken). We also got some Musher's Secret and massaged that in a few times.

 

Good luck with your boy, it sounds like he is starting to have fun! It's a steep learning curve for owners with a new grey though initially isn't it (or so I found anyway) - lots that is a bit different to other dogs. Steep for the hounds too I guess. It's amazing how they adapt when you think about the cloistered life they've had.

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Guest Doggone

Before I got Autumn, I read that greyhounds are almost like cats in that they sleep so much and can be somewhat "selective" about interactions with people/things/other dogs. I have found that to be so true of her.......she's the fifth dog I've adopted and she is so much more like the cats I've had than those dogs! :D

I tell people that she takes her retirement seriously :D

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Have others found that their newly adopted greyhounds with limited concrete walking get sore paw pads? There are no tears but one or two of the small pads look a little discolored. Tonight after his dinner he took a potty break and wanted to go back in. He gets in and then wants to go straight for his bed. I will make our morning walk 20 minutes for the next few days and see if they improve.

 

How long will it take their pads to become adjusted to concrete. He's now a city dog and while we have the beach and the grass a really close drive, our walks have mainly been on the concrete sidewalks. It's not from the heat as it's not been that hot.

 

Also. If he is sleeping most of his day away-is he depressed, unsettled or just a lazy greyhound? He's only 2 1/2 so he's pretty young.

Sorry for all the questions! First greyhound and lots I want to know!

 

it's not quite the same in England with the soft pads thing because they don't live in crates at the racing kennel, they live two to a kennel with a raised bed and a concrete floor, so their feet are well used to concrete, so we haven't experienced this problem. However, in the US, from what I understand, they live in crates with soft crate pads and exercise on grass, so it would seem reasonable to assume they are NOT used to concrete, and I have read many stories on here of them getting sore pads at first when they're adopted.

 

If you can't see anything wrong with his pads, they aren't too bad, but they could still feel a bit bruised.

 

Sleeping most of the day? Ha! Yes, that's what they do! Even quite young dogs can take their retirement very, very seriously - and as others have said, they really are the most cat-like of dog breeds! Also, when first adopted, no matter how happy they are to be with you, there's an awful lot for them to take in and think about and get used to. Sleeping is one way they seem to process things and adapt. In fact, some newly adopted dogs refuse to get off their bed to go for walks.

 

I definitely want to teach Ernie a lot of stuff. I've found that he's really into cream cheese and we're learning 'come' right now. I try it about 10 times and then figure we'll start again in a bit so he doesn't bored w/ it.

He even started playing with his stuffed lamp chop toy and stole one of my socks this morning. Granted, it lasted all of 3 seconds but I saw something playful which I take as a good sign!

 

Thanks for all the encouragement!

 

That sound GREAT! You are doing exactly what I do with each new dog: I call them to me (inside the house) many times a day for a tasty treat to teach them 'come'. It really is one of the most useful things you can teach, even if you never intend to let them off-lead. Hopefully you will be able to, but even if not, if he ever slips his lead or escapes you will be SO glad you taught this. And also, it's a great bonding tool.

 

Just be careful not to introduce too many things to learn at once until he's been with you for a while. I normally give it a month or two before adding much else, though I do 'capture the behaviour' with things like 'go pee' while they are just in the process of squatting, and 'on your bed' literally as they walk onto it, and 'lie down' as they commit and tuck their haunches on the way down. Naming the behaviour is undemanding for them, but goes a long, long way in preparing them later for the actual command.

 

Playing is a great sign. He's happy to be with you! :) Most of them only play in very short bursts. A couple of minutes (or even less) is very common.

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We adopted Ernie last week (I've been posting about his SA) and I wanted to get people's opinions on if greyhounds get sore.

 

Since he hasn't had much exercise, I wonder if our twice daily (30 and then 45-60 minute) walks are a lot to handle in the beginning. I'm thinking of it like a runner, after the first few runs, muscles are sore and legs feel like lead. Do greyhounds feel like this going from a shelter to home environment?

 

Also, the first few days Ernie took the stairs up and down to our apartment like a champ. Now, not so much. He refuses to go down them. My husband had to carry him downstairs this morning! Any chance he's sore or do you think it's that he figured out that he doesn't like them and does not want to do them? Should I use his kibble (he doesn't really seem interested in treats of any kind) to bribe him up and down or just make him deal with them? We have an elevator in our building but he's not going to be a diva!

 

 

Congratulations on your adoption of Ernie! :)

 

Yes, I agree about too much walking too soon. Racing Greyhounds are sprinters (not endurance walkers/runners). They only race 1 or 2 races per week. One race only lasts about 30 seconds. Most of their hours are spent resting in crates. They are usually in a limited size sand turnout pen for potty elimination. Upon adoption, it's often suggested to limit newly retired Greyhound walks to <10 minutes each walk during the first several days, then slowly increase to 15 minutes, eventually building up to about 30-45 minutes over 2 or 3 months. If too much exercise, their pads can become very sore (even rubbed raw). Also, good to be aware that some Greyhounds develop corns, in which case, cement is one of the most painful surfaces on which to walk. Hounds feeling sore paw pads often seek carpeted surfaces inside, and grass, or soft dirt when outside.

 

Also, good to consider his racing history. It's possible he may have an old racing injury that is causing extra body soreness on stairs (and possibly during walks). When a Greyhound is not a willing participant, there is usually a good reason. He may simply be exhausted, or feeling pain. Open riser stairs (vs. closed risers) are more difficult for dogs, but are typically more challenging going up than down. His hesitation leads me to wonder if he's trying to avoid walks. Even if he not walking mid-day, good to test cement temperature with your hand for about 10-15 seconds since cement/pavement retains heat for an extended time long after sun has rotated off the sidewalk. Greys are sensitive to heat and cold. (Our hounds are comfortable walking when air temperature is below about 72 degrees.)

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my dogs are pretty active, always on the go- always running for balls in the yard, walkies can vary from 10-20 miles per week. yes, they do get sore even when they are in good shape, good muscle tone- etc when activity increases. we have been traveling, camping and hiking and both dogs have not had the time to "sleep it off", pass out and sleep after activity. i see a difference in their gait, stiff not the bouncy normal fluid gait, they are sore. even if we have a wet spell and they can't really play in the yard they show signs of stiff/soreness when we first resume the soccer challenge. it's like a person who has taken a hiatius from running or exercising. we all feel it, but do recover.

 

slow and steady w/ your new pup. give him a couple of months to get used to his new life style and for pads to get used to new surfaces. remember they have been living and racing on a fine sand, black top and cement will produce calloused pads. the velvety smooth pads(feel them) will be a thing of the past. it's like walking barefoot for us, takes a while to get used to it if you have never tried it.

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