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Last Resort...if I Can't Find A Solution I Have To Return Him. Pl


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Guest Quinton1

I adopted a 4 year old male 3 weeks ago directly from the track. He has acclimated like a champ to everything except being alone. He barks and whines constantly while in the crate and I have gotten several noise complaints. He does not spend a lot of time there and has only spent 2 1/2 hours at the max since I have gotten him. I work from home, but am gone sometimes for appointments. I have been working on the alone training since I got him and use toys and treats when I put him in the crate. He was acclimating to the training and only barked some of the time. At bed time I say "kennel" and he walks right into the crate and will sleep for 8 hours sometimes 9. He gets regular walks and at a least an hour long one a day. This week though he started barking and whining immediately when he is put in the crate and now has to be forced into it. Because of the noise compliants, I am on borrowed time. I visited the vet this morning and they have prescribed Prozac and Xanex for the short term until the Prozac gets into his system. Any suggestions you can give for the time he has to be in the crate? If the barking does not stop I have to return him and that is something I DO NOT want to do.

 

Thank you for any of your suggestions!

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Does he really need to be crated? Perhaps it is the crate he is objecting to and not being alone. He may now be seeing the crate as a punishment rather than a safe haven. Would you feel comfortable leaving him uncrated for short periods of time as an experiment?

I have no experience with this as neither of my fresh-from-the-track Greyhounds have ever been crated.

 

Good luck with your pup, I really hope the two of you can work this issue out.

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Can I ask you why you need to use the crate when you're gone? If you don't have cats or some other reason to crate him, I would try letting him have the run of the house while you're gone. Our guy whined and had to be almost forced into the crate after a few days so we tried going without. Now he does wonderfully with full run of the house.

 

Edited to add- I was tying at the same time as the above replies- great minds!

Edited by NeedlenoseJake

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Guest Quinton1

I took the day off yesterday and worked with him on the alone training out of the crate by the 5th session of the alone training he was howling at the door and would not stop. I am willing to try anything at this point!

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Ask your vet about Trazadone. It won't drug him but will calm him down for up to 4 hours. Prozac takes several weeks to take effect, plus the dose must be tapered starting and ending. I'd rather use Trazadone than Xanax. Trazadone is inexpensive and your vet can give you an Rx for the people pharmacy.

I used Trazadone with one with extreme stress at the vet. We did return visits to the vet just to test the dose's effectiveness. She was calm and did not act stoned.

Of our 15 dogs only one really needed medication when we weren't home. She was destroying the house from curtains to floors. We used Clomicalm, again building then tapering the dose at the end. Only used it 3-4 months. It took her that long to finally realize she was home and safe and that we'd be returning to her.

 

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Not sure what to suggest, it's a really tough situation because of your neighbours complaints about the noise. It could just be he would settle in time, or it could be a more deep rooted problem.

 

Am i right in thinking he settles ok at night in his crate, in a different room from you? If so, that shows he can cope being alone to a degree.

 

I think in these cases, treatment plan recommended is tiny baby steps e.g. being separated from you by a gate in another room for a few minutes, with him being given goodies like a special kong and a routine bed to settle on. Gradually you would progress, at a pace he can cope with, to going out the front door for a few seconds, then minutes , gradually and slowly building up the time.

 

But real life isn't like that if you have work etc and there is no one else to stay in with him when you have to go out for a while.

 

On the whole, a dog this noisy and upset may do better in an experienced home with resident greyhounds.

 

It's upsetting if you have to return him and i feel really sorry for you, but at least the group will have a much better idea what kind of home will suit him. If you do have to give him back i hope it doesn't put you off adopting a greyhound or other homeless dog .

Edited by Amber
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Is there a way you can gate him in the kitchen with a bed instead of crating him? I am not a big crating fan. My neighbors and I have walk through metal gates that are 36" high.

I was prescribed Trazadone as was my sister. A half dose would render me absolutely unable to function. They took my sister off of it after she fell and hurt herself twice trying to get to the bathroom at night. I'd approach it with caution. It is a whole 'nuther animal than Xanex.

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Guest GreytOD

I took the day off yesterday and worked with him on the alone training out of the crate by the 5th session of the alone training he was howling at the door and would not stop. I am willing to try anything at this point!

 

If he is increasing his distress as you are training him, you are going too fast. Alone training should be done in intervals well below his threshold for anxiety, so if he gets worked up when you're gone for 30 seconds, don't step out of the door for more than 20 seconds- and even less amount of time the better. Step out of the door immediately open it back up. Use the 10 peck rule. If he doesn't show any signs of anxiety for you stepping out and immediately coming back in 10 times in a row, then you can up your criteria. Step out, count to one, and open the door back up. If he shows any signs of stress at the increase, take it back down below his stress level. Move slowly. Don't just jump to the front door if you know he gets worked up going into his crate. Start with the door being his crate door- have him get in his kennel, shut the door, immediately open it up and call him out. Repeat.

Also, you said that he was initially doing fine with training and only occasionally barked,then escalated to not wanting to crying as soon as you put him in the crate this week. What happened that caused him to escalate his anxiety? Was it noises from neighbors? Do you leave the tv or radio on for him when you're gone?

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Guest BlueCatch

please don't give up. Try short periods of time without the crate. Fill a kong with peanut butter and treats. Put music or tv on. Both of my hounds have hated their crates.

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Guest KsFrets

Just our experience. Magnus was our first. He was even a bounce for his extreme SA, and we were his second forever home. Nothing worked and we tried everything. Even worse than the whining or barking was peeing in his crate. Instead of giving up, a month later we adopted Maggie. The second she walked in the door, his SA vanished. No crate needed, and we could leave any time and as long as we want and no problems. That was 7 years ago, and his SA has never resurfaced. Your boy just may need a partner. If that's not in your cards, he would probably work out better, and be much happier, in a multi dog home.

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Hello, I am a new adopter as well (alsmost a month now!) but we have gone through the same problem as you. He would bark constantly at first when left alone. The important part was that he did not chew or mess in his crate. He would occasionally destroy a blanket but that was because a kibble bit must have been under it or it was destroy during the nesting process.

At first, he did not want to get into his crate because of the sound it makes when he put his foot on the plate underneat. Also if you only put him in his crate when you leave (apart from sleeping) he might be seeing this as a sign of you leaving and he does not want that. So what we did is get him to see his crate as his safe spot. We are feeding him every meal in it, he gets special treats in it and it has gotten to the point that when we are eating, he will go in his crate by himself just to have a little bit of what we have! (better than begging ;) ) At first we also locked the door while he was eating and then we would sit down to eat also. At first he barked to be let out. But we did not look at him or acknowledge him in any way and eventually he settled and waited for us to finish.

Secondly on the alone training, because he wasn't housetrained at first, we had to crate him. (We tried once and he pooed, so crate it was!) what we did is we got dressed up, opened the door, closed the door and if he was quiet - cookie/treat - It was important that he was quiet during that time. But mostly if he could see us, he was fine. Then we started opening the door, stepping outside and right back in. If he was quiet - cookie -. If he barked at us, we would step back out. He quickly learned (in overall about an hour) that barking would make us leave and being settled would make us come back.

Fast forward 3 weeks later, I am not saying he does not bark anymore, he is a very vocal dog! But he will just -as I call it- periodically check that we are not there. He might be quiet for the first hour or so (we build him up to this lengh of time with the cookie exercise) then bark for 30 secs. He would see that no one is coming, turn around and nap. Upon waking up (can take up to 2 hours, I checked!), same routine, bark for maybe 30 secs, turn around, nap. At this point it is more wanting to get out than SA so we might be transitioning to free reign of the house soon.

I think also that using a kong (are you using one?) can make a huge difference. With a kong, we can pretty much do anything - leave, come back, jingle the leash, clash the plates - and he will not look up. Also he associates going into his crate with having a delicious treat - not us leaving which is good.

But really it is a trial and error and see what works for you and your hound. Crate or not? (You could always muzzle) With which of his toy? Is the bedding sufficient? (I know for a thing that mine will not tolerate anything remotely hard - little prince hahaha) What kind of treat is he going for? I have learned that pushing a greyhound will only result in him pushing back!

Keep up the work, I know it might not be easy with a vocal dog, but there are ways. Talk to your neighbors and tell them you are working on it :)

Edited by locket

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Guest Quinton1

Thank you for all your ideas, thoughts and support. I tried some of the suggestions and nothing worked. The Xanex did nothing and I was not able to leave the house yesterday. I continued alone training..walking in and out of the door and he immediately starts barking when the door closes and the same things happen with the crate. I close the crate door and take two steps away and he barks. I am at a loss as I have to leave my house.

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Is there no adoption group near you?

If there is, maybe you could foster a GH so he will have a companion.

Hopefully by the time the foster is adopted he will be used to your coming and going and it won't be an issue.

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You're going way too fast. Alone training takes time and and patience. you can't expect results in one day, or even three weeks. He's been with you a very short period of time and everything is so new and different. I wonder if he is picking up on your anxiety, too. Try to be very matter of fact when you come and go; don't make a big deal about it. Have you tried leaving the TV or radio on for him? That seems to work in my house.

 

I know what it's like to have complaining neighbours. It adds a lot of stress and pressure. Have you tried explaining to them that you are working very hard with your dog?

Edited by robinw

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Guest Quinton1

I have tried everything you guys have suggested and started since I got him. I followed the instructions from the track where I got him. I work from home and have had time and the patience to work with him even taking days off, canceling appointments, etc. I did not expect this to happen overnight. I am not expecting alone training to work in a day and I have been doing it since I got him. I have explained to my neighbors and they have been understanding to a point, which is why have now gotten 2 noise complaints to management. The barking is now and has been for the last week constant from time I shut my front door to when I am back again (even it is just a minute) and same with the crate.

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I'm sorry, Quinton1, that puts you under even more pressure. I didn't mean to suggest that you were doing anything wrong. It's hard when there are complaints to management.

 

I worked with a really good dog behaviourist named named Debbie Jacobs via Skype. She is very reasonably priced and specializes in this kind of situation. Here is her email address, if you'd like to contact her.

 

exploretravel@gmail.com

Edited by robinw

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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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Your frustration level comes through loud and clear. :(

Not every dog is the right match for every home and it's sounds like you two may be a mismatch. Some dogs are just crummy as only dogs - I have one.

I guess I'm sort of confused about how you got him. If the track suggested the drugs and you have the option to return him it does sound like there was a track based adoption group in the mix. You should be on the horn to them about this and seeking their help in deciding if you should return the dog and/or try another dog.

Honestly, it sounds like you are both miserable so action sooner than later (as pointed out earlier) might be best.

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I only have experience of UK ex racers, but there definitely are ex racing greyhounds who can cope well with being left alone as only dogs. When i got my first ever greyhound, he came from an SPCA shelter and he was like your dog, really stressed And very vocal being left. Well, at that time i lived in a flat with poor sound proofing and worked full time ! so it was a very stressful and upsetting experience all round, but because of my living situation in a flat etc there was just no way i could keep that dog and i had to return him after 1 week.

 

If i had got a dog from a group who fostered and assessed their dogs in homes ( which is what I did after that ) i wouldn't have been in that situation, but you live and learn. As a first time adopter, it's better to adopt from a group than straight from the track. Many of these dogs adapt fine, but some don't and you need the support of a group.

 

To be honest, the dog will be getting really stressed too and it may be best for him too if you return him - assuming he will be adopted or fostered elsewhere?

 

just wanted to add : You haven't done anything wrong, it's just unlucky you got a dog with SA issues. If you tried again with another dog at some point, one that has been assessed, I'm sure it would work out fine. Take care xx

Edited by Amber
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The dog is miserable. You're miserable. Return the dog. This gives the dog a chance to find the right home and you a chance to find the right dog.

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You said he sleeps in the crate quietly at night. Is the crate in your bedroom with you, or elsewhere?

 

When do you do your walk, versus when you leave the house?

 

You say you put toys and treats in the crate? What kind?

 

How old is your dog? Does he ever get a chance to run off leash?

 

Is he ever destructive? Does he urinate or defecate when you leave him, or does he just vocalize?

 

What dosages of Prozac and Xanax is he on now and how frequently are you giving them? Are you giving the Xanax routinely or just before you leave - if the latter, how long before?

 

Do you have someone who could watch him for you when you have to leave until you work through this, or could you take him with you?

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