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Please Help. New Mama


Guest Greysmama13
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Guest Greysmama13

So I adopted a retired racing greyhound quite recently. He was housetrained within 24 hours and the first night he was perfect. When we are in he doesn't want to sit with us and is happy laid in his bed on his ownin the other room but is more than happy to get attention when we go in. Every night since the first nighy has been a nightmare. We go to bed and within 20minutes he is barking, howling and crying. We've tried giving him things that smell of us in his bed. Leaving the door open so he knows where we are. Radio is on. He has a night light. We've tried taking him upstairs to see what's up there so he knows we can't get outside from up there but he won't go near (even though we know he can climb stairs). We are at our wits end and physically drained. He doesn't need the loo when he's doing it as when we take him out he doesn't do anything. Has anybody got any advice? If we don't get this sorted soon we will, regrettedly, have to take him back to the rescue centre we got him from. He also doesn't eat much. Please help!!!

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I'd put some effort into teaching him to do stairs and let him come up with you. :)

Most greyhounds dislike being left alone. They're not alone during puppyhood or all through their racing careers and they're not used to it. If he's also vocal when you go out and leave him at home, you'll need to do some 'alone' training, too.

These two problems are usually fixed fairly easily with time and patience. Here are a couple of threads you can check out to help you:

Stairs

 

Alone

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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He's lonely. My suggestion is put a comfy dog bed in your bedroom and insist he go upstairs. He may not want to, but I suspect him being with you will end his noise at night. You may have to encourage him to do the stairs by getting him to the bottom and then putting one paw/leg at a time on each step and giving his bottom a push. Tempt him with smelly, great-tasting treats, something he's never had before

 

There are plenty of posts here under training regarding teaching stairs.

 

Regarding not eating well: How much do you consider not much? If he truly isn't eating what would be considered a normal amount it could be because he's still adjusting to his new house or it could be he doesn't like what he's being offered.

 

Good luck! With some work and being in control of the situation, I'm sure your boy will settle in nicely.

Edited by Feisty49
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Guest Greysmama13

when we go for a walk he has to go up 6/7 steps and he manages them no problem. He just won't physically go upstairs at home. Ideally we don't want him sleeping in our bedroom with us as we feel it's important to have boundaries. We don't want him to become an overly needy dog and there are going to be times when we have to leave him for a few hours. We are starting this from today by leaving him for an hour. The rescue centre sold us the food they feed him and told us to give him a litre. It looks a lot so after him not eating it for 2 days we halved it and added a bit of tinned dog meat we got from the vet. He will have less than a quater of this and go back to sleep.

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when we go for a walk he has to go up 6/7 steps and he manages them no problem. He just won't physically go upstairs at home. Ideally we don't want him sleeping in our bedroom with us as we feel it's important to have boundaries. We don't want him to become an overly needy dog and there are going to be times when we have to leave him for a few hours. We are starting this from today by leaving him for an hour. The rescue centre sold us the food they feed him and told us to give him a litre. It looks a lot so after him not eating it for 2 days we halved it and added a bit of tinned dog meat we got from the vet. He will have less than a quater of this and go back to sleep.

 

OK... first let's just say 'thank you' for offering a Greyhound a home. But Poor dog.... poor you! Neither of you are reading from the same page. It's as if you've been dumped in the middle of Mongolia and nobody speaks the language and nobody understands the customs either.

See this short article about Calming Signals - it often helps get communication working. If the dog is looking to you for reassurance, usually 'Lick, YAWN and look away', then you can repeat the signal and carry on with what you're doing.

 

Your dog will take time to bond with you and so it's best to do lots of interesting things together so that a bond can be established. Usually they will pluck up the courage to come and be in the same room where the family are sitting. Put a comfy bed there, preferably a soft nest-style bed and don't sit so that it might appear you are guarding the entrance and exit from the room. Praise him gently with a happy voice and don't loom over him... slowly, slowly.

 

You will need to train him to use the stairs, and if they are open stairs they'll be especially scary. If the floors are hardwood then they'll be scary too until you put down some thick rugs.

 

Feeding? Use this to bond. Prepare his food and put it down to eat when the family have breakfast or other meals. Take if up if uneaten after about 15 minutes. A healthy dog won't starve himself.

 

Have a look at how my Peggy (a semi-spooky Grey) settled in... there are some words at the top of her photo gallery.

 

Don't worry too much, your rescue group are there if you have an unsurmountable problem.

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when we go for a walk he has to go up 6/7 steps and he manages them no problem. He just won't physically go upstairs at home. Ideally we don't want him sleeping in our bedroom with us as we feel it's important to have boundaries. We don't want him to become an overly needy dog and there are going to be times when we have to leave him for a few hours. We are starting this from today by leaving him for an hour. The rescue centre sold us the food they feed him and told us to give him a litre. It looks a lot so after him not eating it for 2 days we halved it and added a bit of tinned dog meat we got from the vet. He will have less than a quater of this and go back to sleep.

 

 

If he's new, Feisty49 is right: new dogs often don't eat properly until they've bonded with their new people and feel at home.

 

We had a girl who would do stairs outside but not in the house. We figured out that basically, the steps outside were open to the sky and felt less intimidating. Stairs in the house also tend to be darker at the top so you could try leaving a light on at the top and see if he's happier.

 

As to boundaries and neediness .. personally I don't buy into all the 'dominance & boundaries' stuff. My dogs sleep in the bedroom and they have no trouble with boundaries. If you don't want him in the bedroom, that's fine and it's a choice for you to make. However, he'll probably be more needy, rather than less, if you exclude him and he's lonely. You don't cure neediness by failing to provide needs, you cure neediness by increasing trust and confidence.

 

If you are going to leave him for a number of hours, you need to start alone training now. Please don't start the training by leaving for an hour - that's far too long for a dog with separation anxiety (SA). I don't know if your boy does have SA, but by his behaviour at night it certainly sounds as if he does. Try for five or ten minutes first and see how he does. If he's vocal, pees or poops, or is destructive, you are going to need to start at square one and do some intensive alone training. :)

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Let him sleep in your room. Dogs don't like to be isolated from their family members, they're companion animals, it's why they make good pets. This can be especially true of a greyhound who's spent most of his life surrounded by other dogs and now finds himself the only dog in the home. As far as creating anxiety issues, you're more likely to create them by keeping him out of your room and forcing him to be distressed for 8 hours while you sleep. Get him upstairs and put a comfy bed down in the room, end of story. If you're worried about anxiety issues, keep your entrances and exits low key and don't be overly affectionate at those times, practice leaving for very short periods initially and work up to longer periods and make sure you're giving him something really great as you're leaving so he associates it with your absence. My preference is a stuffed Kong. You can layer his wet food and kibble or preferably use something higher value - PB, yogurt, canned pumpkin, mashed banana, and layer in some really high value dog treats or bits of chicken, cheese, steak, etc. and then offer that to him. As he gets better at it, you can freeze it ahead of time to make it last longer. Try it when you're at home at first so you're certain you've found something he likes.

 

If he won't eat when you leave, or shows other signs of anxiety (a webcam is hugely helpful) then consider trying a natural calming aid like a DAP diffuser or Composure chews and see if that helps.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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+1 to everything Neyla's mom said.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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when we go for a walk he has to go up 6/7 steps and he manages them no problem. He just won't physically go upstairs at home. Ideally we don't want him sleeping in our bedroom with us as we feel it's important to have boundaries. We don't want him to become an overly needy dog and there are going to be times when we have to leave him for a few hours. We are starting this from today by leaving him for an hour. The rescue centre sold us the food they feed him and told us to give him a litre. It looks a lot so after him not eating it for 2 days we halved it and added a bit of tinned dog meat we got from the vet. He will have less than a quater of this and go back to sleep.

 

Dogs are social animals and Greyhounds, at least in the U.S., are very social because they've never been alone. They are whelped, raised, trained and raced with other Greyhounds.

 

I'm sure I can say that for all of us here on GT, our Greyhounds are part of the family and just like any family member are given love, attention and affection, in addition to exercise, food and shelter. The more love and attention you give your boy, the more he'll love you in return and bond with you.

 

Everybody has boundaries. Boundaries are to ensure a dog is respectful toward and socialized around people and other dogs. Boundaries can include not surfing the kitchen counter, walking nicely on a leash, being house broken, not jumping on furniture (if that's desired), not sleeping on beds (again, if that's desired). IMO, boundaries do not exclude a family member from being with me.

 

I believe you are making a mistake excluding your boy from your bedroom. He wants/needs the comfort of another living thing. He wants to know his mom is near by. Please consider putting a comfy bed in your room for him and then insisting he go up the stairs. I am sure if you do this, he will no longer bother you at night.

 

ETA: A liter of food is about 2 cups here. That's 4 cups of food a day you were offering him. It sounds like a lot to me, depending on how big your boy is.

 

BTW, what is your boy's name and do you have a picture to share?

Edited by Feisty49
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Boundaries are to ensure a dog is respectful toward and socialized around people and other dogs. Boundaries can include not surfing the kitchen counter, walking nicely on a leash, being house broken, not jumping on furniture (if that's desired), not sleeping on beds (again, if that's desired). IMO, boundaries do not exclude a family member from being with me.

 

I believe you are making a mistake excluding your boy from your bedroom. He wants/needs the comfort of another living thing. He wants to know his mom is near by. Please consider putting a comfy bed in your room for him and then insisting he go up the stairs. I am sure if you do this, he will no longer bother you at night.

 

 

 

:nod. Ours do not sleep ON the bed (that wouldn't be allowed for various reasons, mostly for my own comfort :P) but sleep next to the bed, on the floor, on their own bedding.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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:nod. Ours do not sleep ON the bed (that wouldn't be allowed for various reasons, mostly for my own comfort :P) but sleep next to the bed, on the floor, on their own bedding.

 

Yepper. Annie has never shown interest in the bed. If she had, it would have been a no-no for me because like you, I'm not comfortable and don't sleep well with a dog in the bed. She does, though, have a bed in each of the three bedrooms upstairs, and beds in the living room and family room. One dog, 5 beds. Not too spoiled, eh?

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Guest normaandburrell

My greys have never been allowed on the furniture. But they are allowed to be in the same room with us. We have a comfy bed in the living room and another in the bedroom. I agree with everything that has been said about greyhounds being social. They need to be allowed to sleep in the same room with you.

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Shortly after bringing Indy home, we took him on an excursion where he took ~50 outdoor stairs without batting an eye. Stairs inside were a totally different animal though, and we had to teach him how to climb those by enticing him with cheese. He still won't go down into the (finished) basement because those stairs are closed in and scary to him. I'd recommend spending a little time teaching your boy how to walk up and down the stairs, moving one foot at a time if necessary. Some dogs pick it up in 5 minutes, some take several days/weeks. Before you know it, he'll be going up and down with no problem!

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As a compromise could you put a dog bed outside your bedroom door and train him to sleep there where he can see you/be near you without actually being in the room?

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