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Overly Attached To Her Crate


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I've had Grace, my almost 5-yr greyhound, for 3 months. She cam from a local greyhound rescue group after 4 years of racing. I knew she was skittish when I adopted her, but I am finding some of her behaviors quite perplexing. Grace spends the overwhelming majority of her time in her crate in the living room with the end and side doors open. She will come out on her own when she needs to go out, when I put her food down in the morning and evening, and when she hears the garage door open/close signaling that I am home. Once out of her crate, she will not even attempt to lie down on the floor, the furniture or on any one of the several fluffy mats I have put in the room. She will not stay out of the crate any longer than is necessary to complete one of those tasks.

 

She refuses to come into my bedroom or any other room in the house, possibly because of the hardwood floors. If I close the doors to her crate when she is out of it, she paces back and forth util I open the door and then she scurries inside. She will eat a treat if she is in the crate, but not outside of it. She will not play with any toys in or out of her crate unless she is in our backyard.

 

In the backyard, she will do zoomies and loves to play with squeaky toys, She does the bow and will lie down in the grass. But when it comes time to go back inside the house, the tail stops wagging, goes down under her body, and she goes immediately into her crate. She is not comfortable going into any building, starts heavy panting and shaking. Taking her to local M&G activities is not at all pleasant for her, so I have ceased doing that. Getting her into the vet's office required picking her up to get through the door.

 

On a leash, she is generally fine - afraid of trash containers, cars and plastic bags - but primarily well-behaved and a sprightly trotter by my side. She is quite happy to get in the car. When I let her off-leash in the local dog park, 6 acres with plenty of room, she will stay by my side, pausing to sniff and be sniffed, but not willing to be playful or run. After about 20 minutes of walking around, she is lagging behind me, heavily panting. When I suggest going home and clip on her leash, Grace perks up and trots to the car. Once back in the house, she is back to her crate. She will not walk on a leash with anyone but me - she won't do it for my husband or daughter. When I had to be away on business for a week, they were never able to get her to take a walk - she simply plants herself and won't budge.

 

Grace will not eat her food unless I am in the room, but not looking at her. When I leave the room, she stops eating and goes back into her crate. This also applies to drinking water. She won't come out on her own to drink, but if I call her out of the crate and tell her that she is a good girl, she will drink and then return to the crate. If I call her out to pet her, she will stand by me for about 5 minutes, and then back to the crate.

 

Do I just let her continue to spend her life in the crate? Is there a way to get her to transfer her back yard behavior to inside the house or to another outside area? Would it help if I started fostering other greyhounds so that she might see a pattern? Any suggestions that might help us establish a more reasonable pattern of interaction?

 

 

 

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When I got my fearful boy,I knew he had failed 3 foster homes. I was told my best advise will be TIME and a BOTTLE. The more time at your new environment the less you may need from the bottle. After 5 years, he loves home visits, some 40 foster dogs, a 26 year old cat, vet visits , neighbors, treats from kids BUT keep him out of a petstore. I still scratch my head when I had to carry 76 pounds of snapping dog to the van!.

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The crate is simply her "safe place." She has lived in one as her own space since she was little. At 3 months, she will probably start to show more interest in household people and activities in the coming months. She is just now settling in.

 

If you think the hardwood is an issue, put down some non-skid rugs on the path to the bedroom and see if it makes a difference.

 

The fact that she comes out of the crate when she hears the garage door means that she is looking forward to your arrival. She goes back in simply because it's her space.

 

As far as getting on furniture, she may or may not. We've had Rocket for over 6 years and he has no interest in furniture. He will nest up a pile of blankets on the floor, or may lat on the ceramic tile with nothing under him. No rhyme or reason.

 

Your girl sounds very normal. A year from now you will have a completely different hound who will act like she has always lived there. It just takes time.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack, and Diva Astar Dashindiva.   Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, and Petunia MW Neptunia.

 

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Some good advice already, and I'm sure there's more.

 

As far as floors go, if they are contributing to her "house phobia" I'd recommend getting Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips. I use them on my senior hound and they have made a big difference. You do need to be able to handle your dog's feet, though your vet could probably do it for you.

 

Good luck!

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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When my boy Conrad came home, my DW thought he had been abused at some point. When we went to pick him up, unlike all the other happy head held high dogs, Conrad did NOT wag his tail and hung his head like Eeyore. He refused to get up on the bed or couch {our first, dear Queen, entered the house, turned left and layed down on the couch with the you aren't going to make me move are you?} He slept in his crate, would go do his business and lay down until I was ready to come in then lay down in the house.

 

Well that lasted about a month, then one day he realized this WAS his home and the tail started going crazy, the squirrels are not safe in the yard and all is right with the world...

 

oh and after about 9 months he decided to sleep in my bedroom and would roo, and whine until he was allowed, been there ever since...

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Thanks for the encouraging comments. The description that dostacos provides "hung his head like Eeyore" is right on the money for Grace. Most of the time her head is down and yes, I began to wonder if she had been abused especially when I see the other greyhounds at the M&G and they seem to be so much happier. I'll practice my patience.

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When the time comes to have someone else walk her, there are ways to get her moving, but it might be a good idea to let her settle in a bit more.

 

Also, just as an FYI regarding the dog park: that's a big place and if it were me, I'd be glad she hung close and didn't run far away to play with other dogs. Greyhounds have very think skin; it tears easily. If she got into a play match with other dogs, she could end up on the bad end of the stick, so to speak. Many people don't do dog parks because of potential problems. Many of us do but are careful about it, determining how many dogs are there and who seems too playful or aggressive. If I sense it's not a good bunch of dogs, or if there are more than 4 or 5 dogs, I don't stay.

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Guest FloridaGirl

Claymore adores his crate. I love that he loves it, because there's honestly no room in the apartment to relax for a gigantic spindlebeast like him. We're either outside walking together getting tired out, or we're in our own spaces in the apartment in the evening. As I type this, I have the crate door open and the baby gate up with the bunnies out in this room, and he's comatose in his crate with no complaints. The apartment is small enough to where he is 90% comfortable with where I am at all times, because it's physically impossible to be more than 15 feet away at any given time.

 

I'd just go with it - sounds like she's slowly coming out of her shell with the play and looking forward to you coming home. Lots of pups don't play for a while, from what I've read here. Claymore is very affectionate and playful, it's just that the apartment is really not the place for it and he seems to get that (and I feel so blessed and hope he doesn't change his mind...even though I know he just might when he gets to feeling more at home).

 

Just consider her Linus, and her crate is her blue blanket. :beatheart

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Thanks for the encouraging comments. The description that dostacos provides "hung his head like Eeyore" is right on the money for Grace. Most of the time her head is down and yes, I began to wonder if she had been abused especially when I see the other greyhounds at the M&G and they seem to be so much happier. I'll practice my patience.

If you are in Southern California I could introduce you to Conrad, BUT I do not think he was abused, just his manner and I am sure Grace will come out of her shell, suddenly you will do something and BOOM Grace will be all over it :beatheart

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