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Obedience Training For Retired Racer


Guest bvankampen
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Guest bvankampen

I'm adopting a retired-racer grey in a couple weeks and want to do obedience training. However, from what I've read it can take a grey like 6-8 months to come out of its' "shell."

 

Is it best to do obedience training ASAP once I get it or wait for the dog to become comfortable in its' non-racetrack life?

Edited by bvankampen
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Give the dog some time to settle in to your home and your normal daily routine -- you want him to get to the point where he's learned/experienced those basics so his brain isn't still occupied with them and is ready to absorb other things :) . That can take anywhere from a week to a couple of months. Most often on the shorter end.

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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Depends on the dog. You'll be able to tell when it's settled in. I had dogs that were really shy and a couple that walked in off the hauler from the track and were cockroached and sleeping soundly that same night. If the dog starts pushing boundries it's time for obedience.

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Always listen to Batmom!

 

We got Joe in August (four years ago), and I tried training pretty quickly. No dice. Thanksgiving came, and he was a giant PITA at dinner. Time to try again. 5 minutes to "down." Another 5 to "sit." No problem. Now, he sits, shakes, downs, bows, crawls, etc., anytime he wants something we have, and we give it to him. So, it took Joe about about 3 months to train US to be good pets!

 

Brees is a different story. It's been about three years, and she very reliably looks pretty.

 

I don't take training very seriously. They have good leash manners, don't swipe food off my plate, and are fine with people. When we take them out for dinner, they settle on the blankie and go to sleep until we start handing out nibbles.

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You really won't know until you get him/her. He might need a few weeks or months to be in a frame of mind to learn more new things. Or she could be one of those that are completely comfortable right from the start. The ohter part of the consideration is how your dog reacts to other, non-greyhound dogs. A strong negative reaction makes a class setting difficult for everyone. A dog that's too shy will just close down.

 

So start researching now if you're going to do a class. Make sure you go and observe the teacher in a class. If you have any reservations, find another teacher. If you post your geographical area, someone might have a suggestion for you.

 

The most important thing is to only use a positive reinforcement training method. Many greys respond well to clicker training too. If you're doing the training yourself, find something yummy to use as a training reward that is only for training.

 

Good luck!

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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Agree with all of the above.

 

My last dog was a mutt, and he LOVED training. He knew a million different commands, both verbal, hand signals, and whistle signals.

 

My Greyhound? Six years in, he mostly knows what "go lie down" means, but whether he does it or not depends on his mood. The looks I get are hilarious! Kind of like, "Don't you know who you're talking to? I'm Driven by Chile. And I'm retired. YOU go lie down!"

 

He walks well on a leash, and I managed to housebreak him. I'm satisfied!


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

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It might be better to wait and see how your greyhound is before you start obedience training in a group with many other dogs. On the other hand, walking is a great way to bond with your dog (no retractable leads - use a regular leash). I usually suggest walking with a purpose for about 10 minutes, and then letting him/her smell the daisies and then back to a "walking with a purpose for about another 10 minutes. Some greyhounds are nervous being out in the street so you might have to take it slower and keep a good hand on the leash. This lets you get the dog used to your voice and also to commands like heel, slow down, stop, and faster (I use when I cross a street). You might also want to get a halter as greyhounds can back out of their collar if they get nervous or spooked.

 

I good training tip is to do figure 8's in a quiet location - it teaches the dog to follow you more closely - but, greyhounds get bored quickly - you will only be able to do about 3 or them before you quit.

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Guest Bean_Scotch

I start training all the dogs I adopt right when they walk in the door, comfortable or not. They need to learn how to behave in my house, and I don't want bad behavior to start and then have to fix it. The first night I bring them home we work on the clicker and possibly sit...Within the first 2 weeks they've got sit, down, and stay and then we go from there. All 3 of my dogs that have passed were Therapy Dogs and Butter is the one that I have now that's certified. My others are all newbies and are taking their tests in the next few months. As a trainer, I dread owners that wait till they're dog is 'settled' to start classes....drives me batty because by then, I have a dog with numerous issues that I could have either easily fixed or even prevented had they been more proactive in getting their dog into classes when they adopted him/her.

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all of the advise given is great, basically by the time you find a trainer and class that YOU feel comfortable with and wait for the start of a new semester the timing should be perfect.

 

always take signals from your dog. what i mead by this is if your dog shuts down it's not the right thing. all of my dogs have succeeded in obedience classes, some more than others. annie, shut down, she hated it. we tried everything to make her comfortable, but she just went to sleep and did not look happy. she learned the basics and felix took over her spot and reviewed. annie works better at home and has taken a good 3-4 years to really come into her own. but she is ALWAYS the first to come, sit and down when treats are dispensed. just remember that greyhounds do not like to repeat the exercises in class over and over again as labs and goldens do. bring a non-skid bath mat for downs and sits and make sure you have fun! don't feed before a class, greyhounds can not digest and work at the same time.

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You can definitely do socialization and positive reinforcement training right away, but with greyhounds off the track, you have to start VERY small:

 

Sharing space (when the dog is on his bed, drop treats as you walk by)

Accepting your presence near the food bowl (drop a few tasty treats in while he's eating)

Learning his name, eye contact, and touch training (easily done with a clicker- mark the behavior with a click, then treat)

Housebreaking (throw a big party and reward him for going outside)

Muzzling and crating (treat and praise everytime he goes in his crate or allows you to put the muzzle on)

Noise and visual distractions (while walking, if you see a loud truck or a cyclist, treat and praise)

 

Gradually, you can move up to the traditional "obedience" types of training, like sit, down, stay, recall, calm loose-leash walking. And definitely wait awhile, at least a few weeks/months, before trying a group class. The same goes for introducing other dogs or going to a dog park. In situations with all different types of breeds, you may find that your new grey is fearful of non-greys or too high prey to be in a class with small fluffies. Ask your adoption group if there are any greyhound-only classes available in your area (we have one in Pittsburgh, and it was great... I think Henry took it three times!)

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Guest iconsmum

It might be better to wait and see how your greyhound is before you start obedience training in a group with many other dogs. On the other hand, walking is a great way to bond with your dog (no retractable leads - use a regular leash). I usually suggest walking with a purpose for about 10 minutes, and then letting him/her smell the daisies and then back to a "walking with a purpose for about another 10 minutes. Some greyhounds are nervous being out in the street so you might have to take it slower and keep a good hand on the leash. This lets you get the dog used to your voice and also to commands like heel, slow down, stop, and faster (I use when I cross a street). You might also want to get a halter as greyhounds can back out of their collar if they get nervous or spooked.

 

I good training tip is to do figure 8's in a quiet location - it teaches the dog to follow you more closely - but, greyhounds get bored quickly - you will only be able to do about 3 or them before you quit.

 

 

 

Actually, that's a quick way to bore any dog. Maybe find a good set of training classes locally is better. Remember to make sure they use only food-based positive reinforcement. It's too soon for you now because your dog has so much stress to overcome just from his life disruption. Give it a few months.

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What I tell people is to start teaching house rules right away, things like where to eat and sleep, not to bolt out the door or counter surf, etc. you can teach those before basic obedience, and should, for the sanity of both of you. Racers are generally used to being told everything and not thinking for themselves so if you give them too much initiative too early they shut down or get anxious. So just teach the the basics of living in hour house.

 

Then later when you have a bond with the dog, you can get it into basic obedience training and watch him blossom into an opinionated little bossy pants. :lol. At least that's what mine did!

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