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Need Some Guidance With A New Greyhound


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Hi everyone!

 

I'm in need of some advice. I just recently adopted a greyhound a few days ago, and I am a first time owner. I am working with a great agency, but the woman in charge of the agency warned me against adopting the particular greyhound that I chose. She was worried that he wouldn't do well as an only hound, but I felt that he matched the temperament I wanted perfectly. She said that it's definitely worth giving him a shot and that if it didn't work to let her know. Her concerns were that he's not a very confident dog, and that he would need some guidance from a more confident dog.

 

He has trouble walking with me, but did really well in his foster home (he was with them for three weeks, and he was with an older greyhound). He stands still right outside the front door, tail between his legs, shaking. When we're not walking, he comes into my apartment, walks around for a few seconds, and then goes right into his crate. He gets a little excited when people come into my apartment. He greets them for a few seconds or so, and then goes back into his crate. It's very hard to get any sort of tail-wagging from him at all.

 

I'm worried that I'm either with the wrong hound, or that I'm not ready for ownership. I have this intense pit in my stomach that the whole situation is totally wrong and that I should give him back to the agency so that he can be adopted by a family who already has a greyhound. I did lots and lots of research and thinking about the breed before I adopted, but all of a sudden I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed. I want to do what's best for the dog and for me.

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

 

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First of all, congrats on adopting! Your home is a very new setting for your grey. I'd give him lots of time to settle in and get to know your routine. When you walk with him, be confident and positive, using a happy voice, maybe carry some yummy treats to reward him for his bravery. :) It's normal for him to feel most safe in the crate. Nice that he'll come out to greet people. In time, he'll morph into a relaxed pet. Just be patient and loving with him. My grey seldom wags his tail although he is a happy and well adjusted boy.

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Everything he's telling you is what the adoption rep told you - he doesn't appear to be a very confident dog, and being on his own, without a dog companion, is making him very anxious. He is overwhelmed by the change in his situation, and being an only dog only increases that feeling.

 

That being said, greyhounds are greyhounds. You could have the most confident one in the world and still not get a tail wag out of him/her. They, for the most part, are not one of the most demonstrative dog breeds. Most will become happier to see you - wagging, jumping, barking, etc - once they have settled in to their new home and bonded with you. But this process can take weeks, or even months. Even if this dog was the one the adoption rep approved for you, this is still very early days yet. The best thing you can give him is patience and time and a lot of support.

 

Many people struggle with the feeling of having made a big mistake after adopting a dog, especially for a first time dog owner. It's completely natural. However, I would be interested to know why you went against the advice of the rep who would know the dog's personality? It's can work to take a less confident dog and help him be more confident, but it will take a lot of work, and even then, some dogs just are better with a companion. That's not to say a greyhound isn't for you, you just need one that fits your lifestyle properly.

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You may well be with the wrong hound. As others have noted, he's being exactly the dog he was advertised as.

 

I'm curious: what was it about him that made you think he was the right one? What features of his personality? What do you NEED in a dog? What is desireable? What is completely unworkable?

 

I'm not suggesting that you shoukd return him necessarily, but I do think you would benefit from sitting down and being very honest about the personality you require, and see whether he fits it. There is no shame in letting him go to a family where he has another dog, and company for confidence. And you need to be clear about what drew you to your current hound despite the advice given.

 

Keep in mind that the right hound may come in an unexpected package. I know of one adopter who wanted a small 25kg black female to live with her nine cats, rescue bats and hamsters. She wound up with a 35kg white male who fits in beautifully, and has just taken over babysitting a new kitten. The key was listening to the adoption advisor and taking a punt on a hound who really wasn't what she wanted but is now beloved.

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Don't see how anybody can tell if he's only been there a few days. Many greyhounds are inert / deer in the headlights for a couple weeks when encountering a new home, even when there is another dog there. Many less outgoing hounds DO do better with a buddy, but no guarantees.

 

Tail wagging is @ meaningless. I've had only one hound of my own who was a big-time wagger.

 

Not sure what to make of an agency who didn't feel the dog was a good fit for your home but adopted him to you. That is odd.

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I live with one of them (the black dog in my picture). Give him lots of time, patience, lots of space, keep your sense of humour, don't pressure him and let him come to you. Take it very slow and relax. He very well may be the perfect dog for you.

Edited by robinw

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First, have you read any books about Greyhounds? "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies" is a good book. Another good source for info is an excerpt from a seminar given by Kathleen Gilley titled "What is Your Greyhound Thinking?" Here is a link: http://www.gpa-az.com/gilley.html

 

Patience, patience, patience and time time time. Lots of time. Every Greyhound is different but most of them need time to understand and feel that they are in their Forever Homes. Since some racers are moved around a lot and then may have a couple of foster homes before adoption, it can take a while before they settle in.

 

A story: My adoption group leader "gave in" and adopted out a dog to a woman who JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS DOG. Group leader told the woman the hound probably would not be a good alone dog and gave her two alternatives. Nope... woman had to have THIS DOG. Group leader, who is only human and sometimes got sick and tired of people who know it all, said, "Fine. But if it doesn't work out, call me immediately." The first day the new mom went to work, the dog literally tore apart her apartment: chewed on baseboards, doors, wooden furniture, sofa arms and pulled down curtains and did other things I can't remember. The poor dog did almost $2,000 worth of damage. The mom returned him the next day. So, sometimes we need listen to those who have more knowledge.

 

Regarding temperament: Greyhounds more than any other breed often change their ways once they've settled in, so the quiet one today in a few months can become an outgoing, mischief maker.

Edited by Feisty49
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A few days is a super short window, and I can totally see (and know) the feeling of being overwhelmed. You guy is going through some huge changes, and it may take him longer than most to gain confidence and continue bonding with you. We were still seeing big changes in our guy's confidence and personality for about a year. I like the idea of taking treats with you and rewarding him for bravery on walks and leaving the house. His crate is his safe place, and he's also likely exhausted from the last few days. There's also no harm or ill feelings in working with your adoption group to find you a hound who is a better fit as a only-dog if it comes to that. Hang in there, and remember, your new guy is probably just as scared and anxious about your new relationship as you are!

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It just sounds like adjusting to me. Doesn't sound like he's freaking out or anything, and allowing him to do what makes him feel comfortable (retreating to his crate, a place of safety) is the best thing you can do.

 

My Ozzie is a friendly guy, but not much in the tail wagging/exuberance department. That's Clarice's job ;) They all have different personalities and it sounds like your guy will be just fine if you give him whatever love he's willing to take from you and don't push him too far out of his comfort zone.

 

IMO if he's not having major SA when you leave him home alone, anything else will just change without you needing to do anything other than be patient with him as he gets to know you.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
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just imagine what you would feel like if suddenly you were scooped up by aliens that walked on two legs out of the only world you have known and plopped down on their wierd and scary planet where you were not sure what was safe and what wasn't. would take you a while to learn the new rules, what was safe to eat or hunt, and what wasn't. heck, i'd probably not be able to figure out their plumbing and would probably wind up pooing and weeing in inappropriate locations...

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Don't see how anybody can tell if he's only been there a few days. Many greyhounds are inert / deer in the headlights for a couple weeks when encountering a new home, even when there is another dog there. Many less outgoing hounds DO do better with a buddy, but no guarantees.

 

Tail wagging is @ meaningless. I've had only one hound of my own who was a big-time wagger.

 

Not sure what to make of an agency who didn't feel the dog was a good fit for your home but adopted him to you. That is odd.

 

I agree- a few days is not long enough. It depends if you have the patience and love.

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Everything he's telling you is what the adoption rep told you - he doesn't appear to be a very confident dog, and being on his own, without a dog companion, is making him very anxious. He is overwhelmed by the change in his situation, and being an only dog only increases that feeling.

 

That being said, greyhounds are greyhounds. You could have the most confident one in the world and still not get a tail wag out of him/her. They, for the most part, are not one of the most demonstrative dog breeds. Most will become happier to see you - wagging, jumping, barking, etc - once they have settled in to their new home and bonded with you. But this process can take weeks, or even months. Even if this dog was the one the adoption rep approved for you, this is still very early days yet. The best thing you can give him is patience and time and a lot of support.

 

Many people struggle with the feeling of having made a big mistake after adopting a dog, especially for a first time dog owner. It's completely natural. However, I would be interested to know why you went against the advice of the rep who would know the dog's personality? It's can work to take a less confident dog and help him be more confident, but it will take a lot of work, and even then, some dogs just are better with a companion. That's not to say a greyhound isn't for you, you just need one that fits your lifestyle properly.

 

I agree. He's exactly what they suggested he would be: anxious and lacking in confidence as an only dog. I'd also be interested to know what it was about this particular dog that you felt you had to have him?

 

A story: My adoption group leader "gave in" and adopted out a dog to a woman who JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS DOG. Group leader told the woman the hound probably would not be a good alone dog and gave her two alternatives. Nope... woman had to have THIS DOG. Group leader, who is only human and sometimes got sick and tired of people who know it all, said, "Fine. But if it doesn't work out, call me immediately." The first day the new mom went to work, the dog literally tore apart her apartment: chewed on baseboards, doors, wooden furniture, sofa arms and pulled down curtains and did other things I can't remember. The poor dog did almost $2,000 worth of damage. The mom returned him the next day. So, sometimes we need listen to those who have more knowledge.

 

Regarding temperament: Greyhounds more than any other breed often change their ways once they've settled in, so the quiet one today in a few months can become an outgoing, mischief maker.

Also agree with this.

 

Anxious dogs can do a lot of damage - to themselves as well as to property. Personally, I would watch him very carefully, and if he shows any signs of severe separation anxiety and the associated displacement activities (chewing, soiling, barking/howling etc) I would return him before he develops habits which are going to make him a LOT harder to adopt out again. You were told he probably wouldn't do well, after all...

 

But it's also true that greyhounds, more than any other breed, can surprise you when in a home of their own. Outgoing dogs can become introverted, shy dogs may blossom, quiet, easy dogs may become champion hell-raisers, 'cat-safe' dogs may suddenly decide they'd like to chase that interesting bundle of fur. And nervous nellies who appear to need company may develop into confirmed 'only' dogs and be perfectly happy, but in my experience, this last one is the least likely.

 

The adoption kennels that I volunteer for does adopt dogs out to situations that they're not sure they'll handle in certain special circumstances, but always on the strict understanding that if there are any problems, they get in touch with Sharon immediately, and if it doesn't work out with help and advice, the dog comes back in. Kennel owners usually know their dogs extremely well, and it's well worth listening to what they tell you. JMHO.

 

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It's fair to point out that a dog's behavior in a kennel setting does not necessarily dictate how the dog will be in a home.

 

Case in point: my mom's boy Sunny. He peed and pooped in his kennel EVERY.DAY. When my mom decided on him, the adoption rep actually tried to discourage her from adopting him.

 

He has NEVER (and I mean never) had an accident in her house. Never not once. He was crated for about a week while he acclimated to the kitties, but he's had full run of their 1,600 square foot house ever since.

 

So while I will say that often, their adoption caretakers do know them well, they don't always know EVERYTHING.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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I completely missed that part :blush

Edited by krissn333

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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