Jump to content

Sudden Change In Behavior

Guest Zen

Recommended Posts

Hi, I am new to this site, and need some help with my greyhound. I adopted Zen 6 months ago as shy, quiet, friendly, playful girl. She is 4 years old ex racer with broken but healed hock. She adapted very well to our condo and 2 cats. She loves car rides and other dogs. We did a lot of socialization, walks, parks, exploring and travels in the car over the summer.

She always has been a bit timid with tail between her legs and alert about her surroundings and at times on walks she statues and I have to encourage her to move forward. She is also clearly terrified of large groups of runners that come through sometimes on our park walks, and also around school yards when children are running or in groups. She appears nervous around children, however tolerates unless they are active and noisy. We don't have any children in our home.

She had a scare with a large group of joggers in the park about a month ago. They passed us and she wanted to bolt away. Since then, she constantly looks backwards on her walks. Nothing else changed, she loved her car ride to the park and going on walks with various dogs.

Last Sunday morning, we went outside our condo for her usual morning potty in the dog area. Across the street there happened to be a huge flock of sea gulls in the field. They were making usual cacking noises. Zen saw them and panicked. I had to take her inside. Later that morning we went down to the car to head out to our usual park to meet friends. On the way to the park, Zen started shaking, trembling and panting. She would not lay down as she always does in the back seat. When we got to the park, she did not want to get out of the car, however did when the other dogs showed up. Our walk was okay, however she was very nervous. That evening I took her out for usual potty walk--she would not go and constantly watched the field across the street and wanted to go back inside.

Monday morning we had same issues. I drove her to our other favorite park however had to turn around, as she was panicked in the back seat again. She has had explosive diarrhea when we get home and out of the car. She is eating normally at home, takes her treats. She has been staying in her bed in the morning, which is unusual and retreats there when she is done her food.

My adoption rep/trainer, came over on Tuesday with her stable Greyhound. Zen was happy to see them and we walked across to the field. She was hesitant to cross the street, however once in the field, she did her usual play for a short time. My rep felt that Zen should be okay, and suggested to just let her rest and no more walks or car rides for the day.

Wednesday I could see she was still nervous outside on potty trip. We walked a bit in another direction and she seemed okay until we came towards home. I let her stay in her bed all day except for potty walks.

Thursday my rep suggested we drive to her home and walk the park from there. Zen was in panicked state as soon as we got into the car. She did get out when she saw her buddies--she shook a bit on the walk however after a while she seemed okay. Our walk was good and Zen loved being with 2 stable happy dogs. My rep asked to keep her for the day and the night. She called last night to advise that Zen had a great day with the dogs, was resting and even comfortable with her children close by. I will be going there later this morning to pick her up.

I talked to a few other friends and other reps from Greyhound organization. Most everyone is suggesting that Zen had a spook and to be patient and to give her lots of time and love. Some suggest to give her calming meds and training program. Believe me--I will do anything to help her. She is part of our family.

There is one discussion that my rep and I had last evening. It has brought me to tears and I cannot cope with the thought. She is suggesting that Zen may be better off in a home with another stable dog. Believe me, I am a realist and I want Zen to be happy and healthy, but with me. I have spent 6 months with her and she has been the most amazing dog. I don't want to lose her. Today I will bring her home. I have a vet appointment for tomorrow. My rep has been wonderful and has offered as much support as needed. I want what is best for Zen no matter what. Any advise would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Either option could be good for Zen. What it comes down to is how patient and willing you are to work with and accept her quirks.


There are things you can do to help her, and help her be happy staying with you. It will be hard work, and might seem limiting for her, at least for a while. The easiest thing to do is to return her, and ultimately, might still be the only solution, if hard work and patience can't help her deal with her anxiety. For *some* dogs, the only solution is to have another confident dog around them. Just like people, with panic attacks it's not just a matter of being scared by something once. A chemical imbalance in her brain could be exacerbating the issue, making a timid dog worse. See if your vet can give you a referal for a consult with a Certified Animal Behaviorist. You can also research them online.


For a sample of what we have suggested for other anxious dogs, you can do a search here for threads relating to: anxiety, spook, separation anxiety (many training suggestions will overlap), fear, anti anxiety medication.

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

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, Lilly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Scouts_mom

Any chance that you could adopt a second, confident dog? I think that is an ideal answer, but might not be possible for you. If it is not possible, I agree with Chris. Talk to your vet about drugs--just something to take the edge of her fear and look into finding a certified animal behaviorist. Good luck. She sounds very sweet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...