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Night Time In The Crate


Guest hankthetank
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Guest hankthetank

I've seen a lot of threads about this topic, but our situation seems a little unique to some of the scenarios / recommendations that have been posted. Here is where we're at:

 

We adopted Hank about a month & a half ago. Almost every night between 3:00 - 4:30 he will start in with whining from his crate. The whining eventually escalates into full-blown howling & ramming of the crate. We have tried coming downstairs and saying "No!", but once we go back upstairs he starts in again. We have also tried the "playing dead" method but the results have been the same. No luck. We leave lights & a radio on for him every night but they don't seem to ease his anxiety at all.

 

Just to give a little bit of back story, we live in a two story colonial. The dog's crate is downstairs in the living room but our bedroom is upstairs. A lot of suggestions I have read recommend sharing a room with the dog to ease anxiety. However, there are 2 reasons why we can't do that at this time:

 

1) The stairs. We have only had him climb small steps (2-4) & our main stairway has 20+ steps. The night time anxiety is something that we would like to deal with promptly instead of waiting until he has fully learned to climb.

 

2) The cat. We also own an extremely timid indoor cat. While we slowly work them into getting to know each other, the upstairs has been her safe zone. We feel it's important that she has that space all to herself for the time being.

 

What are some things we can do? My concern with the "play dead" method is that he may never stop the howling. My wife & I can't go into work every day on 4 hrs. of sleep.

 

Would making him wear his basket in the crate be effective? Spray bottle?

 

Any & all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

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Dog is very new in your home. He has never been alone in his life. I think someone shared info about this in another thread. I would sleep downstairs with him until he learned to climb the stairs. It will not take him long. Put the cat in the bathroom with the door closed.

 

When I first got a hound, I thought he needed to sleep in his crate and I would not have it in my room because I thought it was ugly. He cried most of the night. Moved the crate to my room. A couple of days later I put up a baby gate and left crate door open. That worked for me. He has had the run of the house for years with no problems. Good luck.

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He needs to be where he can see you. He's spent all his life surrounded by other dogs and people and feels isolated.

We "crash trained" one of mine at a B&B in Abilene, KS one year. Going up was OK on big steep stairs with some coaxing, but coming down was fast and furious at first.

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Guest hankthetank

Thank you all for the suggestions. Our cat is the tricky x factor in this situation. We've had her for a long time & she has had run of the house until we got Hank. She's been sleeping at the foot of the bed for years.

 

We were told that Hank would be fine with cats but he has been on high alert when he spots her (we have had to resort to the spray bottle recently). That, combined with her timidness, has made for a lot of difficulty getting them used to each other.

 

I wouldn't feel right booting her out of the master bedroom & bringing him into her safe zone until the transition between the two of them was complete. As important as it is for us to get him settled in for an entire night, our cat must also feel that she has freedom to move about her "safe zone" (after all, she has been able to access the entire house for years) without feeling her own anxiety.

 

We do feel that it is possible for him to remain in his crate quietly through the night on a consistent basis while we sleep upstairs, we're just not sure how to get to that point. We would like to find a solution that doesn't involve significant consequences for our cat.

 

Again, this is a tricky situation with some unusual factors. Thank you all for your input.

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The issue is that he feels alone and isolated when he wakes up. The solution (if having him sleep in the same room with you is not on the table) is the same as if you were doing Alone Training for leaving him alone in the house. You need to slowly work up to him being alone all night. Yes, this will mean you will get less sleep for a while. But the easy solution is not available to you, so you'll need to do some extra work. You really shouldn't discipline him for being scared, and no, wearing a muzzle will not help.

 

One way to accomplish this:

One of you should go downstairs, quietly, before he wakes up and lay down near him - couch, camp bed, recliner. When he wakes up, before he begins to panic, reassure him you're there, tell him to lay down, and then return to laying down yourself. You may need to talk with him a bit to get him to settle, or give him a small (yummy) treat if he remains quiet. Hopefully, he will learn that he's not alone and you can then stretch out the time, delaying when you come downstairs until it's time to get up.

 

Another thing to consider is that he may need to potty at that time, and that is what is waking him up in the first place. Have you tried taking him out and then putting him back in the crate? If he doesn't need to potty, do some detective work and see if there is some sound or movement that is waking him at that time. Though I have to tell you, many newly adopted greyhounds get up early because that's what they do at the track. It can take a while to get them out of this early-rising habit.

 

BTW, he's probably interested in the cat because he's settling into your home and you are seeing his true cat-tolerant colors. He *may* not be a cat-tolerant dog. Some of them are just too stressed or anxious during cat testing before adoption to display their real feelings on the matter. I would contact your group for information on testing him again, either with your cat or another cat from the group. Things to watch for - inability to distract him from looking at the cat either with treats or words, quivering jaw/chattering, whining or barking at the cat, straining against the leash to get to the cat. If he truly is not cat-tolerant, it will be in the best interests of both the dog and the cat to return him to the group sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it's an accident waiting to happen.

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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If he truly is not cat-tolerant, it will be in the best interests of both the dog and the cat to return him to the group sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it's an accident waiting to happen.

Absolutely agree. Cat testing/tolerance varies by group and also dynamics between individual dogs and cats. Please call your group for help. He might not be the right dog for your home. There may not be an accident but the stress you and the dog are having has to infuse through the house and is probably making the cat miserable too. :grouphug
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Why can't you put the crate in your bedroom and do serious stair training so he can sleep by you? Cat can be in your bed and he can be nearby with no danger to anyone.

 

^^^^^^^

I'd try this for a couple of nights. If he wakes up, take him out to potty, then right back to the crate.

Poor fellow has never been alone in his entire life.

 

And if he can do 3-4 stairs, he can do an a entire flight! He will need help and encouragement, especially going down, but he should be able to do it.

 

 

Read the two articles that I linked in this post...

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/311314-potential-new-greyhound/

 

 

Absolutely agree. Cat testing/tolerance varies by group and also dynamics between individual dogs and cats. Please call your group for help. He might not be the right dog for your home. There may not be an accident but the stress you and the dog are having has to infuse through the house and is probably making the cat miserable too. :grouphug

 

^^^^

I hope it doesn't come to this, but in the best interest of the dog, it may have to.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

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Why can't you put the crate in your bedroom and do serious stair training so he can sleep by you? Cat can be in your bed and he can be nearby with no danger to anyone.

 

Agreed. Do you have carpeted stairs or stair treads? Those are a must for the dog's safety and will make training much easier.

 

I have two cats and was very nervous about dog/cat interactions for quite a while, though Sweep never demonstrated anything other than mild curiosity. She was crated in our bedroom from day one, and the cats slept on the bed with us. I think her being in the crate in the bedroom was actually helpful to them, since they could sniff around her and observe her, and just generally get used to her, without fear. Having a safe zone where they could investigate her went a long way toward making them comfortable. We've had Sweep two years now, and she sleeps on her bed in our bedroom, and the cats are still on the bed with us. No issues!

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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Why can't you put the crate in your bedroom and do serious stair training so he can sleep by you?

 

He might not be the right dog for your home.

Yes and also yes.

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Tricia with Hopper the terrier mix and Kaia the wolfhound-schnauzer mix
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, River, and Holly
 Oaks Holly 
“You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.“ -Bob Dylan

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Saying no to him won't teach him anything, neither will squirting him. Dogs learn quicker and better through positive reinforcement. You need to teach him what you want him to do.

 

We've been able to stair train within a day or two by using high value treats. There's lots of suggestions on here if you do a search. Secondly, he sounds like he needs to be near you so I also suggest moving the crate upstairs. There are also some good articles on here about introducing your greyhound to your cat with detailed instructions.

 

Finally, Dick posted this on Dec 24th and it's a greyt read:

 

 

For those that don't know Dennis he was a trainer for many years in the 70's and 80's and was on GT for quite a while and can be found on FB.

For the New Adopter---A Simple Primer To Help You Understand Your Greyhound

Congratulations.

The Greyhound you have just adopted is a unique individual from a unique population of canines.

The Greyhound breed is steeped in antiquity and history.

While you may have read or heard that Greyhounds were once the cherished pets of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, recent explorations into the canine genome seem to debunk that commonly held belief.

It is more likely, given the DNA evidence, that the Greyhound breed was developed by the Celts, a tribal society which inhabited central Europe and the British Isles in Medieval times.

As western civilization progressed, Greyhounds became the favored pets of the nobility in Great Britain, so highly regarded for their skills as hunters and for their charms as companions, that it was unlawful for a “commoner” to own one for some time.

Later on, the supreme speed and skill of the greyhound attracted the notice of sportsmen and agrarians, who coveted them for their superb athleticism, their utility as killers of vermin and pests, as providers of game for the table, and who devised competitions for them, coursing after small game.

These “coursing” competitions were extremely popular, and became a major sporting attraction to spectators as well as to Greyhound breeders. The pinnacle of Greyhound athletic achievement soon became victory in the esteemed Waterloo Cup coursing competition.

The Greyhound found its way to the New World, likely with the early Spanish colonists. It is known that US Army General, George Armstrong Custer, was a keeper of Greyhounds, and enjoyed hunting coyotes and smaller game with them.

We do not know for certain if any of our domestic strains are the direct female lineal descendants of these earliest importations to America. Our modern Greyhound is, however, the direct descendant of those old Waterloo Cup winners and competitors.

After World War I, an American named Owen P. Smith had a vision. He imagined Greyhounds competing on an oval track, like the racetracks that horses compete on, chasing not a hare nor a small antelope, but a motorized mini-cart, with a prey effigy attached to it. All he had to do was invent a device that could attach to an electrified track, and which had an arm that would overhang the racing surface, and to which the “lure” could be fastened.

And so the “mechanical rabbit” was born, and along with it, the sport of Greyhound racing.

By the 1930s, track racing had become quite popular in the US, Ireland, England and Australia. A decade later, it had easily eclipsed coursing as the primary venue for competition among Greyhounds, and by the 1950s, track racing had become a sensation, the focus of most greyhound breeding throughout the world, as it remains today.

So your greyhound comes to you through the vaporous mists of prehistory, over the emerald and verdant meadows of the British Isles, across oceans of sea and time, to the vast and endless prairies of mid-America, finally, emerging from the racetrack to the adoption kennel…into your very hands…then, onto an all-embracing couch, somewhere, in Anywhere, USA, or nearby Canada.

Throughout his many historic and heroic incarnations, the Greyhound has proven to be supremely adaptable. There are few breeds who match his record of constancy as both a companion and a provider, and none who can match his skills as an uncommonly evolved athlete.

Popular mythology has, at times, cast the Greyhound as both a vicious and bloodthirsty killer, and as a wretched, put-upon, object of pity.

You may, however, rest assured that your Greyhound remains as blissfully unaware of the mythology and the controversies that surround him, as he remains the beautifully adapted embodiment of his ancient and sweeping history and diverse bloodlines, as well as his environment and experiences as a modern, racing athlete.

The Greyhound you see before you was not bred to be a “pet”. His parents were selected by his breeder because of their bloodline and family, and usually because both were outstanding performers on the racetrack, in head to head competition with their peers.

A Greyhound breeder does not factor into his selective process, whether or not the sires or dams he chooses to breed from, were congenial or companionable personalities, in the traditional sense that we normally desire in a pet.

Greyhound personality runs the gamut of types, from ebullient and outgoing, to shy and introverted, from aloof and detached, to needy and embracing, from focused and edgy, to playful and mischievous …and everything in-between.

Almost all of them, once they have become accustomed to their handlers and owners, are good-natured and loving with them and their families—whether it is their breeder’s family, their racing family, or their adoptive family.

Most Greyhounds today, in the USA, are whelped and raised on sprawling, elaborate professional breeding establishments, called “farms”, as evidence of the rural origins of the Greyhound in America.
These farms have special areas and outbuildings to accommodate sires, dams, newborns, growing puppies, saplings, and greyhounds who are about to begin their race-training in earnest.

Greyhound puppies remain with their dams for a much longer period of time than do puppies of just about any other breed, some litters for as long as 5-6 months. Their dam teaches them correct “pack” behavior, as well social and play skills, and how to stalk and hunt prey.

Greyhound puppies are bursting with energy and enthusiasm, and they play hard and roughly with one another, often to the point where needle-like puppy teeth penetrate delicate and paper-thin skin, sometimes even leaving scars. It’s all in a day’s play for them, however, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

As they approach what we might say is canine adolescence, the puppies begin to exhibit the dramatic speed for which the breed is renown and prized, and the litters are usually placed together in extremely long, straight runs, so that they can stretch out and gallop, and begin to find their racing legs.

At this time they often begin lead-training, and are introduced to the grooming bench. Good manners and ease in being handled, to a racing athlete, are very important components to their later success.

The long runs at the Greyhound farm are separated only by chain link fencing in most cases, and you can watch one litter racing another litter, racing yet another litter, and so on, up and down the expanse of these straightaways, competing with and goading one another to keep up the pace.

This sort of competitive urge is bred into them, from centuries of meticulous and high selectivity. They don’t need to be taught to compete. It is a part of who they are. Even the most shy and retiring of Greyhounds can turn into a rip-snorting, hell-bent-for-leather competitor once the gauntlet is thrown down.

The young Greyhound is often introduced to the starting box at some point in his early to mid developmental phase, with some breeders preferring to begin this training very early on. Once they have gotten the idea that they must remain in a stalking position, ready to strike as soon as the lid on the starting box is sprung, often they will learn to chase after a “drag lure”. This is usually a lure made of hide or cloth, attached to a long rope, which is pulled away from them by a motorized reel.

Some breeders also have what is called a whirlygig, a small, circular track, with a horizontal pole situated inside a wooden rail, on a center hub. There is a small wheel that allows the handler to walk in a circle, pushing the pole. The wheel tracks on top of the rail, with the lure pole overhanging the track, so that the greyhounds can learn the proper footwork of racing around a sharp turn at top speed, and to do so with all abandon and good courage.

It is often on the turns at the racetrack, where the extraordinary will separate themselves from the ordinary.

When they are young, nearly fully-formed adults, in cases where the breeder does not have access to a training track, the greyhounds are then sent to a specialist, called a “finisher”.

Usually, the finisher has a standard-size training track on premises (about ¼ mile in circumference) or has easy access to one. In most cases, he will introduce the young greyhounds to a facsimile of a racing kennel, where the routine and the environment approximate that of the routine and environment of the kennel at the racetrack.

Here, everything needs to be done on a tight and precise schedule. Greyhounds have remarkably accurate biological time clocks, and like any other athlete in serious training and competition, they thrive on punctuality and routine, and do less well with the random and the novel.
At the training track, they will likely also compete with Greyhounds from other breeding farms, as well as any the finisher might have been raising.

They will “school” in a rotation that approximates what they will encounter in a racing kennel. Once they have demonstrated to the finisher that they are ready to race in earnest, they will be transported to the track where their owner or breeder has chosen to race them.
The finisher can provide valuable input to the breeder/owner in this regard, as he has a fairly good idea of their level of competitive viability and maturity, and at which tracks they might find their best chances of success.

Racetracks can be either “major” or “minor” league in the quality of competition they attract, and there are levels at each stage. In this way, they are not unlike baseball franchises, where there are rookie leagues, class A leagues, class AA leagues and class AAA leagues for an athlete to demonstrate their abilities, before they can ascend, finally, to the major league level.

Some young Greyhounds are very precocious, talented enough so that they are able to compete at a major league venue as soon as they arrive. Others take time to develop their skills and to mature. Most greyhounds, whatever their natural gift, do find a level where they are able to compete credibly, and go on to have at least a moderately successful career as a racer.

Once the greyhound arrives at the racing kennel, the trainer and his/her assistants become the most important people in the Greyhound’s life. The Greyhound is entirely at the mercy of their intuition, insight, devotion, talent, compassion and skills. Good trainers are punctual, attentive, calm, empathetic, energetic, have the eyes of an eagle, and possess a super-human work ethic.

The trainer is responsible for everything that affects the Greyhound’s physical conditioning, his emotional contentment, and his overall well-being. The better trainers treat each and every Greyhound in their care, regardless of that Greyhound’s ability, as if they were the greatest racer who ever set foot on the Earth---or flew over it.

A poor trainer, even those who try their best, can completely undo the grandest design that nature and selective breeding might engender.

Good trainers do everything within their power to make sure that stresses within the Greyhound’s environment, both existential and exercise-induced, are kept to a bare minimum. Content, relaxed, stress free Greyhounds are happy greyhounds, and with all other things being about equal, they will outperform Greyhounds who are less so.

The wise trainer always tries to maximize the potential of each and every Greyhound in his/her care, and makes sure to place them in situations where they will succeed.

Greyhounds in good health and condition are amazingly consistent and willing athletes. The more the trainer gives to them of his/her attentions, wisdom, empathy and experience, the more he/she will receive in return. A trainer who bonds with his/her Greyhounds is always in a better competitive position than one who does not, or one who cannot.

No trainer in the world, however, can turn a Greyhound who lacks the skills, speed, stamina and desire to become a great athlete, into one who does.

Fortunately, the economics of racing usually expose poor trainers in no uncertain terms. The racing world is very insular, and bad news tends to travel fast within it.

When the Greyhound reaches the point where he is to be retired, provided the breeder or owner does not plan to use the Greyhound as a sire or dam, the trainer is often the one who makes arrangements with the adoption kennel or group to place the dog.

Trainers can provide the adoption agent with useful information about the Greyhound’s disposition and temperament, his quirks, his likes and dislikes, and his history. This can be a help to them in placing the Greyhound with the right adopter, in the most appropriate setting.
We already know that Greyhound “personalities” are individual and variable, and that many of their tendencies are genetically predisposed, and to some degree, predictable.

The adoption group is staffed with volunteers who, like successful trainers, usually have a great deal of experience and intuitive acumen in placing Greyhounds in a situation where they are likely to succeed.
These volunteers have often placed Greyhounds from previous generations of the same Greyhound families and from the same breeders, and inasmuch as there is a familial (and rearing) component that tends to run in families and in certain strains, they can provide unique insights to the adopter.

There are many challenges ahead for both the Greyhound and his new adoptive owners. Your Greyhound is about to embark on a voyage to an entirely new and alien universe.

He has left behind his littermates and pack members, some of whom he has been with since birth. He will confront environments, situations, places, objects, and people with whom he is entirely unfamiliar.
He has bid fond farewell to his human familiars and caretakers, their voices and their touch, to the regimented, predictable routines and the security of his racing environs, and he is now faced with novelty at every turn.

The Greyhound no longer has the outlet of training and racing—“hunting” with the pack, to expend his excess energies, and to express himself in the fashion that forged his very being.

Even the food he will eat in his new home is likely to be strange and unappealing.

As we have previously mentioned, Greyhounds thrive on punctuality and routine. They prefer the known to the unknown. Novelty can be their undoing. Novelty is what they face when beginning their lives as house pets.

Greyhounds, because they are sight-chase-and-kill hunters by nature, have extremely keen powers of perception, and a 270 degree field of laser-sharp vision. They notice things that we may not perceive, and they perceive things from the vantage point that in any given moment, they might be both predator and prey.

As a new adopter, you must be careful not to place your new Greyhound in a “sensory overload” situation.

The track trainer knows that when preparing a Greyhound to race, never to allow that Greyhound to overextend himself. Training is done by increments, gradually increasing the intensity and duration of the workout, over a period of time, until the Greyhound is finally ready to compete.

When introducing your new Greyhound pet to novel situations, environments, objects and people, you can approach it the same way. We never know how much is “enough”, until we know how much is “more than enough”. Take your clues from your Greyhound, before it gets to that stage. He is communicating things to you all the time.

He has to learn the boundaries and rules of life within your family unit, and you have to learn to interpret his signals and body language, and to react in a calm, compassionate manner.

Your adoption representative has likely given you the basic “do-s and don’t-s”. It is up to you to remember them, and to provide a structured and predictable routine, which will be a great help to your Greyhound as he re-habituates to his entirely new life outside of racing.

There are ample resources on social media, where some of the world’s most experienced adoption reps, veterinarians, veteran adopters and even racing and breeding professionals are just a simple, typewritten question away.

There is no such thing as a foolish question, and when your preliminary feeling is one of perplexity or doubt, it is always better to ask before forging ahead, or failing to make necessary accommodations.

While Greyhounds are infamous for being “40 mph couch potatoes”, and while they can sleep for 12-16 hours a day, they do need exercise.
Unless the Greyhound has a physical limitation or incapacity, the wise adopter sees to it that his Greyhound has a daily exercise outlet. This can be as simple as a brisk, mile-long walk, or a bracing galloping session in the backyard.

Your Greyhound does not have to be in “racing condition”, but neither should he be allowed to become sedentary and/or grossly overweight.
Once your Greyhound has settled into his new universe, you will begin to experience the full scope of his multi-dimensional and totally captivating charms, which have utterly beguiled humans since prehistoric times, and which have become legendary throughout the pet world.

Copyright, 2014

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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I'll repeat what others have said above. Hank is lonely. Dogs are social animals, with Greyhounds in particular needing to be around other breathing, living things. He wants to be part of the family but he can't be if he's sleeping by himself.

 

It could also be that Hank doesn't like the crate as much as he did in the beginning. There are many posts that talk about crating. Some dogs use them as a quiet, safe place for their entire lives. Some dogs use them because their parents don't want them wandering the house when they are out. Many many Greyhounds, though, don't use crates. My Annie *hated* her crate and within 36 hours after adoption, I stopped using it and a week later, it was in the garage. BTW, I have a cat too who pretty much rules the house, including the dog. :-)

 

It's been over six weeks since you adopted him. It's time to ramp up cat-tolerance training. It's also time to teach him stairs. That can be done in a matter of half an hour. You don't wait for him to teach himself. I assume the stairs have carpeting of some sort on them. If not, you'll have to lay something down so he doesn't slip.

 

I do understand your love and loyalty to your cat. She was there first, but you did make the decision to adopt Hank, and it's time to get things in order between the cat and dog and the dog and stairs.

Edited by Feisty49
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Teaching a dog to go up the stairs is not all that hard, and you could accomplish it in one afternoon.

 

Teach the dog to get up the stairs, move the crate to your bedroom, problem is solved!


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

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Wow, this has gotten rough on the new guy. As you can see we are all very passionate about the breed and all of their quirks. Realize that as stated they are very social and have never been alone in their life. If you are not able or willing to modify the living situation to accommodate a greyhound in the room, then maybe you do need to consider a different breed. It may sound very harsh, but they just dont do very well being isolated from their pack. The stairs issue is no problem, they can learn stairs in a few hours as stated, and I personally would either bring the crate into the room, or just keep the door shut for a few weeks/months until the house is settled and the hound doesn't have interest in the cat. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

 

Chad

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Guest OPointyDog

Behaviors like this are so hard to deal with, because you want to be patient and do what's best, but the exhaustion and frustration can be really taxing.

 

We had a similar problem, though the barking was right after we put him in the crate at night rather than later. He never barked during the day or at other times. We had a similar issue, too, that he had to sleep downstairs in a crate because we could not have him upstairs due to our cats and we could not have him out of his crate because he has destructive tendencies (he finds things, rips them up and eats them...). We tried all the things you mentioned, and we also had him checked by our vet to make sure it wasn't medical. We also took our guy to a professional trainer to have him evaluated, and she determined that it was attention-seeking behavior rather than separation anxiety. (we do have a 2nd grey, who also sleeps in her crate near him).

 

We tried all kinds of things and what finally worked was a spray collar. When he barks, it sprays compressed air. It's mostly the startle factor and the noise that seems to deter the behavior. It sprayed him exactly once, and the behavior stopped. We haven't needed it again.

 

The other thing we do is make sure that he is really tired before bed. We have long walks in the evening, and we also have lots of activities (kongs, snacks, trips outside, playtime) in the evening so that he's tired. The trainer suggested not letting him sleep between when we got home from work and when we went to bed! We couldn't manage that (he is a greyhound!) but we do try to keep him busy.

 

Good luck!

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A lot of good suggestions in this thread, but I don't think it's unrealistic to train a greyhound to sleep in a crate away from the rest of the family if that's what the owners prefer. My bedroom is very small, and I barely have enough room for my 6 dogs, and no room for a greyhound-sized crate, so my fosters sleep in a crate at the opposite end of the house. Some whine, bark, or howl initially, but I mostly just ignore it, and the majority of fosters accept that arrangement within a few days to a couple weeks. In most cases, it's not true separation anxiety, and more like an initial objection to being alone and, for some, attention seeking behavior. I make sure the crate is comfortable and familiar by feeding all their meals in it, and also leaving them in for shorter periods during the day even when I'm in the room with them or in the next room.

 

That said, if the OP doesn't mind the dog in the bedroom, and can set up a crate in there for the cat's safety and peace of mind, then I would recommend spending more time working on the stair training. Especially since the nighttime behavior has been going on for a month and half, it may have become a habit, and it will probably take more time to change that behavior than it will to teach the dog to do stairs. If the stairs are wood and not carpeted, providing traction in the form of stair treads or runners will speed up the process and improve safety. Even dogs that are very comfortable with entire flights of steep stairs with good traction often have trouble slipping on hardwood stairs (I know this from doing home visits with my greyhounds).

 

Another thought is exploring why Hank is waking up at 3-4:30 am every night. The dogs who are anxious about being alone usually start off whining and crying when they are first left and can carry on for quite a while. The fact that he initially settles and sleeps makes me think he doesn't truly have separation anxiety. Is he not getting enough activity and exercise during the day? Is something waking him up around that time every night (like stray or feral cats or wildlife outside)? Is he perhaps waking up because he's too cold or too hot? Dogs almost always do what they do for a reason. Trying to figure out and address that reason can be a lot more effective than just focusing on how to get rid of the unwanted behavior.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest hankthetank

Thank you for the suggestions. We moved the crate upstairs & after 5-10 minutes of barking each night, Hank eventually settles down for the night.

 

So far, a success.

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Thank you for the suggestions. We moved the crate upstairs & after 5-10 minutes of barking each night, Hank eventually settles down for the night.

 

So far, a success.

 

That is great news! Hope kitty is adjusting as well.

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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