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Any Tips/solutions To My New Dogs Behaviors?


Guest Shizneb
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Guest Shizneb

We brought home our new Greyhound about 3 weeks ago. And with all the reading I did and preparation over the months of figuring out what to expect, I feel at a total loss when it comes to figuring out my new dogs behaviors. I am hoping others can share some insight.

 

Will only sit/lay/visit in two rooms of the house, why? We have a blanket on the couch in the living room and one soft bed in the bedroom for her, so I understand this is where she prefers to spend most of her time, as it is where we spend most of ours. However, if we are in the kitchen and we call her, she will run into the kitchen and look at us, then run back to one of her beds. This happens if we are in any other room besides the bedroom or living room. She almost acts as if she is not allowed to be in other areas of the house. We have NEVER scolded her for being in other rooms, but she will only do a quick gander in the room we are in and then walk right back out. We try to convince her with treats, but that doesn't work because she will only take the treats in the bedroom or living room. She will sit and stare at the treat from the other room and refuse to walk over the threshold. but the moment we enter her "safe" room she will run over and grab the treat.

 

Doesn't play or wag her tail. Is she depressed?...Unhappy? I know play can be a new idea to a retired racer, but she shows no interest in getting excited. I've gotten on the floor with her and rolled around toys, squeekers, ropes. No interest at all. Not only that, she never wags her tail. I have heard that some greyhounds just aren't as expressive with there tails. But, really, not at all? Not one single wag ever? I am fine if that is the way of it, but from having very expressive dogs (other breeds) in the past, it just makes me concerned because I am so used to a dog outwardly showing there happiness. When we go for walks or car rides, I can see he perk up, and somehow sense she is really excited, but she doesn't actually show any signs of happiness. But when she is calm, and relaxing in the house, it's hard to understand if she is just relaxed or depressed...

 

Does anyone know of any tips to help "bond" with their new dog? I sometimes wonder if she doesn't play/get excited because she is not bonded to us yet. She was passed around place to place for a month after retirement before setting in our home. So maybe she is emotionally distant with us because she is still adjusting to just being somewhere longer than a week? I do take her to the park and now that the snow is melted I try and run in the backyard with her, but she won't play with me in the yard. As soon as I go into the gate with her she will stand by the gate and wait to go back into the house. I try running around and calling her name but she stays firm where she is. I was thinking about getting a membership to our local dog park and letting her run around with other dogs, or at least watch other dogs.

 

Sorry this is such a long post, but any help/advice is appreciated. I just want Poe to be happy with her new life in her new home.

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Just give her a bit more time. Life with you is still quite new and rather strange, to her. Some activities I would suggest to help with bonding:

 

  • Walks exploring the neighbourhood, which you already know she enjoys.
  • Daily grooming -see if you can get a 'hound glove' which will is probably what will have been used on her in the past. They slip over your hand and are made of rubber and sisal, and will give her a bit of a pleasurable massage as well as grooming her coat effectively.
  • You can also start teaching her the commands she needs to keep her safe - come, stay, sit if you like though this may be more difficult as greyhounds are not really designed to sit. Use some special delightful smelly treats which appear only at that time, e.g. small bits of cheese or hot dog, and keep the sessions short - just a few minutes.
  • In time the two of you might also enjoy attending some mixed- breed general obedience classes with a good (rewards-based) trainer, but I'd leave that a couple more months until she's more settled in. Meanwhile I would avoid the dog park - too much, too soon, may kick off her prey drive and all too easily end in tears. In fact I know many US posters avoid them always (we don't have them here in the UK).
  • But do start introducing her to some nice wellmannered dogs in your neighbourhood - on leash, doing a bit of parallel walking. Remember she has probably not met other dog breeds before and will take a bit of time to adjust to them and learn their body language.

 

I'm pretty confident that soon she will start wagging her tail and doing some greyhound zoomies, even if she doesn't want to play with toys (not all greyhounds do). With Doc a couple of months in he became much more comfortable and started 'testing the boundaries'. I can still remember the expression on his face when I turned round and found him, much to my surprise, up on the chaise longue. I was hard put to it not to laugh as I adopted a stern voice and ordered him off. (It's fine to let dogs on the furniture btw if you want to, I didn't as there was never going to be room for two!).

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Sorry, and please don't take this as an insult, but BACK OFF!

 

Let her be. Bonding isn't something you force on a dog. Just speak kindly to her, pet her when she's near you, but let her be.

 

I had my first Greyhound for 7 years. In those 7 years, if you total up all the time he spent playing, it would equal less than an hour. Some of them NEVER play.

 

She is very, very new to your home. You are a stranger. She is in a strange land. And there you are, forcing yourself on her!

 

Imagine you're the new girl in school, and there's a boy who just won't leave you alone, and that's probably how you're making her feel right now!

 

The wagging and the following you around will come in time.

 

Walking the dog is a really great way to bond in a more subtle way. Rides in the car can be fun too.

 

Rest easy--her behavior is totally normal for a newly adopted hound, and six months from now you won't even recognize this reserved girl!

Edited by GeorgeofNE


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

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What has been said above and to make you feel less alone, a couple of stories about my girl Annie. She's an only dog. July will be her 4th year gotcha day. (I tend to get wordy, so skip along if you want.. LOL.)

 

It took Annie 6 months to feel comfy enough in my house to want to sleep upstairs in the bedroom with me.

She never did go into the dining room (I use past tense because I lived in a different house when she was adopted than I do now).

She would go no farther into the kitchen than her water and food for as long as we lived there.

In our new house, she has never gone into the kitchen and goes into the dining room only far enough to reach the first chair, if I'm sitting there.

She had to be taught to take treats from my hand.

She has never done a true, serious zoomie, where the dog gets "crazy" and runs around in circles like mad.

She occasionally runs in the backyard but prefers to wander around sniffing at rabbit tracks.
She might play with stuffies once a day for about 30 seconds. She does this when we're getting ready to go for a walk and I'm not moving fast enough.

She has never sat.

She is not a big tail wagger. She waves it gently and the wave doesn't last long.

She does not get on furniture or the bed, which is fine with me, though recently I've wanted her on the bed. She won't do it.

 

She does come to me for lovin' but it took a few weeks after adoption.

She's a leaner. If I'm standing next to her, she leans into me and gives a big sigh.

She likes it when I lay on the floor next to her bed and give her lovin', scratching her belly and rubbing her neck. This is new in the past few months.

She gets "Annie" excited when I come home, which means she greets me at the top of the stairs, tail waving, and lowers her head so I can give her a kiss. (I call it giving ME a kiss but I know better...LOL.)

She loves other people. She wags/waves her tail with more enthusiasm at our neighbors than at me, but I love it because the neighbors love her. Showing off your Greyhound is almost as good as showing off a son/daughter.

 

So even after almost 4 years, Annie is a quiet, calm, less expressive Greyhound than others; it's her personality. That doesn't mean your girl won't be a silly clown eventually. It takes time and continued love and patience. She's not used to a lot of one-on-one attention and doesn't know what to do with it.

 

BTW, we need a name and a picture. :-)

Edited by Feisty49
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Guest normaandburrell

What you are describing is very typical greyhound behavior. It is easier to understand these dogs if you know how they lived in the kennels. Each dog has its crate, in which it spends 20-22 hours a day. In the crate is a water bowl, some sort of bedding for the dog to lie on, and maybe a bone to chew on. They are let out 4-5 times a day to potty and get exercise. The kennel staff have to tend to as many as 60 dogs, so turnouts are short and the dogs get to play and be petted for short periods of time only. As a result they tend to be very laid back, sleep most of the time, and display energy in short bursts only.

Also as a result of living in a crate, they may feel overwhelmed in a home. It takes them up to a year to adjust and for their personality to come out.

Even then, they tend to be much less demonstrative than most breeds. They may show no interest in toys, or just chew on a stuffed toy for a minute or so a day. When excited or happy, many will grin. They will show affection by leaning on you, or lifting their heads to be petted.

Give her time. Try to get her around dogs that you know are not aggressive. We had one very expensive vet bill after our hound got a bad laceration at the dog park. Accept that she will probably always have less energy than most breeds. She may benefit from obedience classes in a few months, more for bonding than obedience.

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Just piping in so that you know all that you describe is normal.

 

I think it was 6 months the first time Kingsley picked up a toy, and we reacted so exuberantly, that he dropped it and walked away!

 

I have heard some that will hand-feed their dog to "bond"

I think just the time of you being there, feeding, walking, just being in the same room is what will bond the dog to you. We've had Ruby for 8+ years, and she rarely comes to us for affection... she happily receives scritches and pets when she gets up, but is not one to come seeking attention/affection.

 

Patience and Time

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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As others have said. It takes time.

Re the dog park: I took Sheba early on when I got her because my first greyhound did so well with other dogs. Sheba not so much. She was bitten twice within a month--not attacks or bad bites, just nips--that required vet visits and one bite required stitches. Turned out she is an aggressive chaser and the other dogs weren't happy about it. She also chased the little dogs along the fence line (separate areas), which got other big dogs (and little dogs on the other side) excited and was an accident waiting to happen because they bumped into each other. I became a nervous wreck at the dog park watching her like a hawk, stopping the chasing, and worrying that something would happen. So, I don't take her to the dog park anymore for peace of mind for all. She's great with other greyhounds but not necessarily other dogs.

 

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Congratulations on your new girl! No worries; your girl is just in the process of learning what being a pet is all about and there is a lot to learn! Pet life is very different than track life and she's quietly taking it all in. My boy had no interest in toys either and was kind of boring to be around quite frankly compared to my previous greyhounds. In time his personality began to come out and now he is much more expressive and playful but he will always be more reserved than my other hounds. That does not mean he is unhappy; just different. I taught him to play with toys by purchasing a lunge line for horses from tractor supply for about 10 dollars. I then tied a fluffy squeaky toy with some white on it. I took him out in the yard and began to pull the toy along the ground and presto! The chase was on! He loves chasing the "lure" and it's great exercise for him. Now he will also play with his stuffies all by himself and he will also run while I chase him with them in his mouth. This all took time to happen. I've had him 3 years now and new changes in his personality still appear. In the beginning he would also snap at me if he was laying down at times and now he'll come up on the bed and plaster himself along my side with no issues whatsoever. Give her time, space and love and she will come out of her shell! Walks are very powerful bonding tools. take them as much as possible if she likes them. Some dogs are nervous at first. Go at her pace. Good luck and enjoy your new girl.


My dog park experience was a lot like ShebasMom's. I don't go anymore either. Not worth the risk of a bad bite. It can happen too quickly.


Also; some dogs are afraid of slick floors; maybe that is part of why she prefers certain rooms.

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This sounds like a pretty normal greyhound. I had almost exactly the same thoughts as you in the beginning. I actually remember my brother coming over and finally asking "is that dog....happy??" because he never got up to greet people or wag his tail. Most people told me to wait 6mths-1 year for the full personality to come out, which was great advice. Don't force or push things, continue to do fun activities, and your dog will eventually form more of a bond. Maybe not as outwardly affectionate as many other breeds, but it is something you will come to love and appreciate. :)

 

For the record, my guy still only goes in two areas of my whole house. He goes in my living room, but never behind the couch on the dining room half. He will go up the stairs and go into my bedroom as well. The doors are all open but he has never, ever come into the kitchen, any bathroom, or my other 2 bedrooms. He's pretty content with his two "spots." He also still rarely wags his tail either, even when he is happy. He usually only wags it with excitement (seeing squirrels) not with greeting people or when he is happy.

 

 

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We've had our guy almost seven years...he's what is called "reserved". He's almost never in the room we are in, although of late, because we have a new lab cross, I think he's a tiny bit jealous and comes into our living room and stands at my side while I'm reading until I bring his bed out for him. A very exuberant wag would be maybe...two inches of motion! He does occasionally play with toys, but not much. It's just who he is, and we have never worried about it. We always have some kind of lab cross as well, who generally provide more effusiveness!

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You have already received some very good advice above so I won't repeat. One thing that did strike me, tho: while it is pretty and may have special meaning to you, would you be willing to change her name? To a dog, "Poe" sounds awfully similar to "No". She may be a bit confused, in addition to getting settled in. Just a thought. We would love to see some pics of her!

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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And just to clarify, they ALL know how to play. They played with their litters for a year growing up. They know DOG play, greyhound play-- chasing and racing each other and biting is a big part of it. That's how they learn to run! Some do and some do not like play with toys, when adopted or ever. Has nothing whatsoever to do with their happiness. Please don't project some totally false idea that they are poor deprived dogs needing a human adopter to teach them to play.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest Shizneb

Thank you everyone for your responses. I feel much more at ease with things now. I really enjoyed reading everyone's own personal experiences, as it makes me feel much less alone. One of the main reasons I became more worried is because I only know a handful of people locally that own greyhounds, and when they would ask me about my new greyhound and I would tell them how she was doing, they would say "Oh, well that's odd." and I started thinking, is it? But knowing that this is more common and is normal is very uplifting, now I can just relax and just be with her as she is, and worry less about "when" and "how" she should be doing this or that.

 

Thank you all again for your tips and wisdom : )

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I really have nothing to add, since all the advice is good, but just wondered if I could borrow your dog...maybe she'd teach Phoebe to stay OUT of the kitchen! :lol. Believe me, a dog who doesn't come into the kitchen is something I dream of! ;)

Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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And just to clarify, they ALL know how to play. They played with their litters for a year growing up. They know DOG play, greyhound play-- chasing and racing each other and biting is a big part of it. That's how they learn to run! Some do and some do not like play with toys, when adopted or ever. Has nothing whatsoever to do with their happiness. Please don't project some totally false idea that they are poor deprived dogs needing a human adopter to teach them to play.

 

So true. I visit my local racing/adoption kennel from time to time and whenever I go down to the kennel block to see puppies from 3 or 4 months old to 11 months or so (or when they get split into pairs) they are all tumbling over each other in the runs, playing, chasing, jumping on each other, play-biting, etc. They know how to play 'dog', even if they don't know how to play 'human'. Jeffie, who is 12 years old will ONLY play 'dog' with me. He loves to chase me from room to room, stopping, turning, following and leading. He doesn't play-bite, though he mouths.

 

As others have said, three weeks is nothing. She is still settling in, so she may still be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the changes in her life. It could be that she feels safer keeping to a smallish area of your house - remember she hasn't been used to that large a 'kennel'. She'll branch out in time, but only if she's not forced.

 

How do you bond? Well, yes, first, back off a bit to give her space. Then the way I do it with new dogs is to teach them to be reassured by a touch on the shoulder and talk to them in a soothing voice. Each time they pass me, or I pass them (while they're standing, not while they're resting on their beds, which should be a 'sacred' place to her right now) I touch them lightly on the shoulder. Just a fleeting touch. There's no need to keep your hand on them at this stage, because they need to feel 'free' to come or go as they wish and in no way forced. I also do that when I feed them, when I offer them a treat, etc. Always accompany the touch with a soft word, and use her name often.

 

I have found that this helps us to bond with each other, and carries on over to other activities. If one of my new dogs is nervous of trucks going by while we're out, for instance, I can just touch him or her on the shoulder and say 'It's OK, Newdog'sname, no worries' and they stay calmer. Often they'll move closer to me, which is what I want. I want him/her to come to me for reassurance, not run away. ;)

 

I wouldn't worry about any other training right now, till she settles a bit. Just work on the bonding, because you're right; it is important. It builds a solid foundation for your future relationship. :)

 

 

She's very beautiful, by the way!!

Edited by silverfish

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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You have already received some very good advice above so I won't repeat. One thing that did strike me, tho: while it is pretty and may have special meaning to you, would you be willing to change her name? To a dog, "Poe" sounds awfully similar to "No". She may be a bit confused, in addition to getting settled in. Just a thought. We would love to see some pics of her!

I think this is a good observation. It definitely could cause confusion to her. You could use a different word for correction than the word no. Personally, I usually say 'aht aht" instead of no.

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Good advice given.

Not sure if it was mentioned, but if your kitchen has shiny slippery floors, please put down some non-slip matting.

Some dogs (not just Greys!) don't like tiled floors.

 

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

 

 

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