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First Time Owner


Guest KB_Legend
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Guest KB_Legend

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I have read a few things in the past but only made an account today. Anyway I am a first time greyhound owner (first time pet owner actually) and I got my retired racer, Duke, on December 27th. I have done a good bit of reading not only online but also a couple different books but don't actually have any real experience and would appreciate some advice, as I am a novice.

 

For the first few months Duke stayed in his crate 100% of the time when I was out of the house, be it for work or errands or anything. His crate is big enough to stand up in and turn around to get comfortable, has a nice bed and some toys in it and he truly does seem to like it in there, spending a good bit of his time in there even when I'm home and the door is open. I wanted to give him this time for both of us to get used to each other build some confidence in house breaking and for him to get some familiarity with his new life as a pet and the expectations that come with it.

 

A few months ago I started leaving duke out for short periods of time when I would be out of the house for short periods of time (anywhere from 45 seconds to an hour over the course of multiple months) one week ago I left him out to have freedom within the house while I was out for over 3 hours. I came home to find him laying on the couch with everything just as I left it. The next day, and for the last week, Dukes crate has stayed open, giving him 24 hour access to the house, with not a single mishap of any kind.

 

Today I got home from work to find my house a complete disaster! Both the recycling bin, with nothing but papers and water bottles in it, as well and the trash can with the kid on it were both drug into the front room with their contents ripped apart and EVERYWHERE. He got a roll of aluminum foil, and a piece of Tupperware off of the counter and tore them apart as well as getting down a bottle of wine. He got down a stack of paper plates and 3 cutting boards off the top of the microwave and knocked down a container of dry pasta. Maybe I shouldn't have some of those things out on the kitchen counter but has never shown any interest in any of them before.

 

Can anyone give me advice in why this happened and how to prevent it? Do I need to go back to crating while I'm at work? I live alone and sometimes the trash won't go out for a couple days, do I need to take it out every time I leave? Did I do something wrong?

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The cat did it.... :bgeorge

 

Since he has done well in the past, I'm wondering if something spooked him. Do you leave a radio or TV on for him so there's some noise to block out other noises from outside?

 

Trash can be attractive to any dog if the right thing is in it. That being said, we've had Rocket for over 5 years, and he is not interested in anything that is ours. He has full run of the house, and has never bothered anything - not once. So, it's not that you did anything wrong, but it's most likely that your dog is still unsettled in the new environment. It can take up to a year or more before they are fully comfortable.

 

I would start the alone training again as you did in the past, increasing the time gone and out of the crate a little each time. For now, you should crate when you are away. There is nothing wrong with crating. I have no problem crating Rocket even after 5 years if I feel there's a need to, but we only do that if the door is going to be open for a repairman or something similar now.

 

It sounds like you are doing a great job. He's just not quite ready to be left for long periods yet. You don't know that until you try, so there's no need to feel that you failed. What you learned is that there's still some more training needed, and for now, the trash is attractive, so you want to remove it. No big deal.

 

Good luck, and when you have time, post some pictures of your new boy.

rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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It also could be that he's very comfortable in your house now & can start getting into some mischief! I think about 6 months is usually the "honeymoon is over" period... he could have just been having a bit of a party (and many greys LOVE to shred paper - any paper!)

 

 

Also, maybe use baby gates to keep him in just a few rooms while you're gone?

Jeannine with Merlin, the crazed tabby cat and his sister, Jasmine, the brat-cat

With GTsiggieFromJenn.jpgAngel Cody(Roving Gemini), and Weenie the tortie waiting at the Bridge

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Congratulations and :welcome2 from Illinois. Duke sounds like a fantastic boy and you are doing greyt. I agree with the above posts and you just need to back up a bit to help Duke know what is OK and what is not. My first grey chose to spend a great deal of time in her crate the first year and would just put herself in her crate when she knew I was leaving for work. Some feel more comfortable there since that is where they spent a great deal of their lives. We started out with leaving the crate door open and baby gated in one room with a radio on and increased the freedom from there.

You will both figure it out!

 

Would love to see pictures of your boy! :beatheart

Edited by june
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Guest KB_Legend

Thank you for the replies, I'm glad to hear you guys don't seem to think I'm making any big mistakes. I guess my two biggest concerns are:

 

1) Why did he go a whole week without getting into anything and then destroy the whole downstairs today?

 

2) Do I need to be concerned about leaving him in the crate all day? I know he doesn't seem to mind it in there and maybe it's just my own guilt and he doesn't care, but I'm out of the house for 7-8 hours on work days and that seems like a long time for him to not really be able to stretch out and move around much or get a drink.

 

I was going to add a picture of Duke here but I don't know how to do it

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Guest Johberry

Hi, I'm a fellow first-time grey owner as well. Mine has only been with me a week and is already showing PLENTY of signs that he is comfortable. I know for a fact that mine would chew up everything if he wasn't supervised, which is why he is crated (he doesn't mind his crate either) when both my boyfriend and I are not home. Even when one of us is home, he likes to play and will grab one of my shoes or one of boyfriend's socks to chew and I have to correct by trading it for one of his chew toys. At first, I was like...WHAT IS GOING ON?!! Ha ha, but quickly realized that it is because he is becoming comfortable. With this in mind, my boyfriend and I always keep an eye on him when we're home (as he is a VERY curious boy) and make sure he isn't getting into something he's not supposed to. We're in the process of teaching him what is and isn't a toy. Perhaps the same is going on with your boy?

 

We have done alone training with our boy, so he doesn't mind being in his crate when we're not at home as in he doesn't chew on the crate or try to get of it. I was told 8 hours max as far as leaving him in the crate. So far, the longest he's been crated is 6 hours.

 

I hope that helps you some? I used to feel guilty as well but would always check my emotions before leaving him so that he doesn't sense my own anxiety/guilt. Oooh, and I always make sure to give him one more potty break before crating him.

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Thank you for the replies, I'm glad to hear you guys don't seem to think I'm making any big mistakes. I guess my two biggest concerns are:

 

1) Why did he go a whole week without getting into anything and then destroy the whole downstairs today?

 

2) Do I need to be concerned about leaving him in the crate all day? I know he doesn't seem to mind it in there and maybe it's just my own guilt and he doesn't care, but I'm out of the house for 7-8 hours on work days and that seems like a long time for him to not really be able to stretch out and move around much or get a drink.

 

I was going to add a picture of Duke here but I don't know how to do it

Some great responses. I would say -

 

1) Like others have mentioned, he's likely getting more comfortable and decided to roam and explore and realized he can get into some pretty awesome things when he does.

 

2) No. If he isn't chewing his crate or bed or showing other signs of anxiety being in his crate during that time, it should be fine. One of mine used to spend a maximum of two hours a day crated, but now that my husband and I work similar schedules he spends 8 hours a day in there most days and is the same as if he was in there for 2 hours... well, maybe a little more excited when he gets out. If we are out for a full 8 hours we leave a little 'hook on' water dish in the crate since he's never had housebreaking issues, along with a kong to keep him busy for awhile. A big long walk or jog before you leave should also make a difference in his likelihood to rest while you're away.

 

If you'd prefer to leave him with some roam of the house, I fully agree that muzzle on and/or some areas (kitchen or bathrooms with garbage) be baby-gated off. The he can stretch his legs and have more limited access to trouble areas.

siggie_zpse3afb243.jpg

 

Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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Guest KB_Legend

Thank you BrianaMac, that makes me feel better... The muzzle that the adoption agency gave me won't stay on him. I could be doing it wrong but his snout is very long and even on the largest setting it doesn't get to the base kf his skull and he can get it right off. Any suggestions? I have read that some people like to use the muzzles for a lot of different reasons but I can't get it to stay on

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Guest greyhound_in_LA

If you can't get it to stay on, then it's better to section off a dogproofed area of the house and let your Grey stay in there.

 

I think if you have it on the largest setting, it's too loose. I'm sure my hound could get his off if he wanted to, which is why I didn't bother using it after the first week inside the house.

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You aren't doing anything wrong. So much of this is trial and error. We had a similar issue when we gave ours too much freedom too fast, she peed on our couch!

 

What worked for us was lots of baby steps to freedom, crate to crate with an ex-pen attached to the front to gating off the downstairs, etc.

 

Also, what is your routine before you leave? A good dog is a tired dog! What works for us is a morning walk (20-30 min) and we leave her with a "job" when we go out (frozen kong and an interactive kibble toy). That way we keep her energy focused on non-destructive behaviors. We have half dozen or so kibble toys that we rotate to help prevent boredom.

Edited by KPS915
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