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Looking For Some Thoughts And Help

Guest firegypsy

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Guest firegypsy

Hi there! I'm wondering if I can get some help/encouragement/advice.


We have two greys and after a few years decided to add a third. We went away last week, and boarded our hounds at the rescue. Our soon to be dog was boarded with them to gauge compatibility. He's a dream and there are zero problems-other than the regular "stop jumping on the counter!" type stuff.


On to the help. While we were there we made a spurious choice to foster 2 additional dog due to some extenuating circumstances. I have no idea how long the fosters will be with us. In terms of personalities, they're getting on well. They're certainly discussing things amongst themselves and setting healthy boundaries. I'm not worried about behavior so long as we're supervising.


One of the issue that I'm having is that one of the two fosters in particular is a RASCAL. He's a young guy, and beyond sweet, but he's a handful and a half. He's chewing everything, up in everyone's face trying to satisfy intense curiousity, and marking all over the place (even though I'm putting him out every 30-60 minutes. He's not BAD, he's just getting used to life in a home, and because we dropped off two dogs and picked up 5, it's challenging. We're working with him, and he's a pretty quick study....but I don't feel that I can safely leave him home and give him free reign.


The biggest issue with so many new bodies, I'm not comfortable leaving them home alone yet all together. Our original two are fine when we go. Never had to be crated, and don't need to be now. The newest three I'm feeling like should be for everyone's sake. I don't want them to eat or chew on something that could be dangerous, have an altercation, or just generally make messes.


Crating is not something I've ever done with greyhounds. I do have crates for these three with soft, memory foam bedding inside. 2 of them seem to be okay in the crates for several hours. The other one (the rascal, go figure) will not tolerate being crated at ALL. He howls and thrashes and just generally loses it the moment he's put in. I'm not okay with leaving him like that, but I'm also not okay with letting him roam free quite yet.


The crates are in a separate part of the house from the 2 we already had, and they have no access to the newbies. I assumed it would be best to crate the 3 new dogs in individual crates in the same room. That doesn't appear to be the case. Or if it is, I'm not doing something right.


I'm certainly open to hearing any feedback and get some thoughts on how to make this as comfortable for everyone as possible. I'm reading back through some crate training threads which I am finding helpful, but given our situation I'm wondering if the same advice would apply.


Thanks for reading!

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Guest firegypsy

It is a lot. I definitely bit off more than I could chew, but there's nothing terrible happening, so until an adoption comes through, or it becomes an untenable situation, I am going to see what we can do to make it work.


We do have one large-ish room gated off, and that's where the other ones tend to stay. There are five beds in there, so they all have their own space in which to lie down (not that they utilize them!) Muzzling could be my best option, but I don't know about leaving all 5 in one space, muzzle or no muzzle. I can put the original 2 in another room, certainly.


I am concerned about the safety of the newest three being together when I haven't had a ton of time to observe them. Am I being overly anxious?


Thank you!

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No, not overly anxious at all. If it was me I would keep your two separated from the new ones when your not there to observe and make sure nothing gets out of hand. Since the other two new ones seem to be okay with crating I would crate them in another room from your two and keep Mr. Rascal in there with them muzzled and babygated in. As you see how the one your intending to keep does with your own greys you can start transitioning him/her to stay in the room with them.

Whatever you decide you don't want to leave that many new dogs unattended together unmuzzled and uncrated.

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Muzzles, definitely! For EVERYONE!


If you've got a room (or possibly 2) that are semi-dog-proofed, I would use Xpens to set up an appropriate and comfortable area for everyone. You can baby-gate the room from others, then use x-pens to segment the room to keep dogs 'apart' if you start noticing special concerns.


Belly Bands are definitely an asset for the little Marker. I also have a LOT of washable pee/whelping pads (got them gently used on ebay ... wonderful addition) ... I put them on / under rugs in key areas of my house, and will drape them on my sofa if I have a special boy dog in my house (one of whom likes to mark the corner of every piece of furniture).


It may have been awhile since you needed it, but Bitter Apple is worth a try for training on behaviors (if you need something quickly, a spray bottle with vinegar can also work).


If you really are struggling, I'd find a local college student (esp. community college) who might be willing to help out by studying at your house while you're gone.


Good luck!!

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The younger guy likely needs a TON more exercise than the other ones - a tired dog is a happy dog. And I will tell you it's *hard* to tire out a puppy/youngster. A good, long walk several times a day, maybe some doggy day care, a dog walker if you have to be gone will all help.


He likely has not been properly crate trained and so he doesn't like or tolerate it well. Hopefully Chad (greyt-dog-lover) will chime in as he has great crate training suggestions, but basically you want to make the crate a "good" place and not the place he gets stuck when you have to leave. That involves lots of yummy treats, feeding him in his crate, and working up to being left for longer and longer time periods. Some of his crate issues are probably some separation anxiety.


The muzzle may or may not work - my puppy could get her muzzle off if left alone with it on - but the only way you'll know is to try. I would leave him with the other two newbies until you figure out which personalities will work best together.


Good luck.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

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, Lilly

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Guest normaandburrell

Our Iceman was just like your "rascal", young, energetic, and into everything. We were warned not to try to crate him, as even in the kennel it had been a major issue. He had chewed on the crate to that point where he had dental damage, and they would keep his muzzle on 24-7 even when crated. The first time I put the muzzle on, he got it off. One time when we left him alone, he swallowed a nylon leash (whole). Luckily, he threw it back up again.

I would try giving him as much exercise as possible, and babygating him in a room where he cannot get into a lot. We removed everything we didn't want Iceman getting into, at least until we could trust him more. This is a very challenging foster dog, but he can make someone a great pet with a little work. Bless you for taking him.

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Guest firegypsy

Thank you all for your tremendous advice! It is hugely helpful to hear about your experiences. There are some great things here that I haven't considered.


As far as the muzzle...that was a fail. I was told that at the rescue, but what can I say? I tried it. He did exactly as they predicted and ate through it. Not entirely, because I was there, but yeah. The muzzle is not looking like it will work.


So far they haven't been left alone because my saint of a husband has stayed with them while I'm at work. That is not sustainable, but we are working on introducing the crate with the kong, and that went reasonably well today. He has a few things to learn himself so there's a learning curve here for all of us.


I sent two of my kids out to play ball with the newbs, and they are hysterical. These dogs are absolutely nuts and adorable. Hopefully my kids will tire them out! If I can get them out there before school and after, it could make a big difference. Especially given how playful the new ones are.


Last night I sent the two we've had upstairs to bed as per usual, and I slept downstairs with the three new ones. It went fairly well. No major incident, and they slept for longer stretches. Hopefully each day will be better than the last. The rascal has gotten about 25% better in just a day, so I'm thinking he'll surprise us in a good way. He is, still, a rascal. I do have the ability to separate dogs fairly easily, but Mr. Crazy cakes figured out how to open a door. An actual DOOR with a KNOB. He is something else!


Belly bands-genius! I have read about them but never had to use one. Thank you for reminding me! That will help quite a bit.


And after all that, I would be remiss if I didn't actually give you some photos of these goofballs.


This is my sweet guy Paladin:





My girlie Freya:






The two together:




The rascal, Seamus:



Miss Emmeline Pinkerton:



And our new guy, Merlin:




Hounds together:





Thank you everyone!

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Assuming all 3 fosters were previously spayed/neutered, they should be okay while safely separated from each other within the same room (similar to kennel life).


Agree with 4my2greys about looking for another foster home, at the very least for Seamus, if possible.


Just my experience with lots of multiples is that people can't be too careful on many levels: the safety of all the dogs, yourselves, and especially your children.


Multiple new dogs around food is the most important time to keep each dog very safely separated. This includes during kibble prep. time. Great to feed fosters inside closed door crates.

Have a plan ready if a heightened spat occurs (animals often stand up on hind legs): flat collars on dogs; a chair-back or large kitchen cutting board can be placed between dogs' faces to help separate them. If outside, a strong spray of hose water might help. (As a child, I saw the worst happen between two dogs. Each dog had a high value bone, but one dog wanted both bones. The loser lost his life.)


Since Greys can become very competitive and/or mouthy during running play, I would limit outside yard play to one dog at a time.

If two dogs, properly fitted turn-out muzzles are a must. Otherwise, a muzzled dog can't defend him/herself if attacked by a non-muzzled dog.


(Side note: Our group discourages children from being sole handler of Greyhounds until the children are adult size and weight to safely control fast and strong retired racers.)


Agree with Greysmom re: crate training.

Ensure all good things happen in their crates: happily feed meals/treats in closed door crate; soon thereafter (within 10 minutes), take hounds outside for potty break. (We watch every hound do business, and record the time plus hounds' eliminations - soft/firm, etc.)

Throughout the day (after hounds have eliminated), quietly close crate doors (with hounds inside crate) for brief rest periods while people are home so hounds associate their crate as their happy, safe place to relax. Start with 10 minutes in crate, then quietly walk by opening the crate door. If you're lucky, they'll continue resting in crate. Avoid any fanfare when opening the crate. Very gradually extend closed crate time to an hour or two while humans are still home. This way dogs are less inclined to become too anxious while crated during humans' actual house absences.


BTW, we remove collars from dogs while they are inside a locked crate due to risk of strangulation from collar and/or tags becoming caught on the crate. Otherwise, they wear flat I.D. collars at all times. Our martingales are used for leashed walks only.


Congratulations on your adoption of Merlin! He's a hansdome boy. All are beautiful hounds. :)

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Guest firegypsy

Things are definitely settling. Seamus, while still a character, is less likely to chew everything he sees and jump up on the counter. I am feeding in the crate, and that has been fantastic, so thank you for that. I have two in the family room and have caught Pinks in one a few times just hanging out. Seamus has ZERO interest in checking it out, but does willingly go in to eat.


The dogs are ALL separated for meals. Always. That's non-negotiable.


They slept better last night, which is good. We're getting there. I'm hoping things continue to settle because they are so sweet. They do quite well together. I have seen some snapping, but nothing concerning. One will accidentally step on another's foot. The hound stepped on will bark a warning. End of story. Still, I agree that it is important to be careful-both for the dogs and the humans!


So far you guys have been lifesavers and I have to say this wouldn't be going as smoothly as it is if it weren't for your help. Thank you!


If I had someone else to foster Seamus, I'd be absolutely okay with that (so long as the rescue was.) I don't know anyone looking to do such a thing. It's not enough of a problem to be actively begging people, so if someone pops up that would be great. If not, then it is what it is.


The marking was much better today....and we'll see what things look like moving forward.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

just seeing this, yes feed every meal in the crate as well as give treats to him in the crate only. All i have to do is go into the kitchen and rummage around the doggie cookie jar and as soon as I look up, the crates are full of hounds quietly waiting and looking at me for treats (crates are in the dining room adj to the kitchen).


something else, have you ever heard of a belly band? If not, look for one on GEM's website. It is a life saver for the boys that like to mark. It is a long rectangular piece of fabric with some extra "fluid absorbing material" in the middle with velcro on each end. You rap the entire cloth around the boys back end putting the padding part over his penis, then velcro on his back. No more marking.

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Guest firegypsy

Thank you all for your assistance! I just wanted to report that Seamus T. Dog, Rascal Extraordinaire has gone to his forever home! He joined another beautiful grey after the family's other hound passed. He will provide excellent companionship to their sweet dog. <3

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