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New Greyhound Questions


Guest Pacman_1
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Guest Pacman_1

Hi guys! My name is Gabriel. I just adopted a retired racer named Pacman two days ago. This is my first dog. After leaving the greyhound rescue, I headed home. I did everything I was told, such as, walking him so he can relieve himself before initially entering my home. Then, I walked around the house with Pacman on the leash setting boundaries. Next, I showed him to my room where his crate is located. I put his toys, and treats in the crate to show him that the crate is a "happy place". I also feed him in his crate for the same reason. This is so he can enjoy the crate when I leave preventing separation anxiety. And, it's working great so far! The problems with Pacman started yesterday when I started trying to take him to different places to socialize him. I have no idea how to get him to jump into my car, and because of that, I have to pick him up every time we leave. I tried to introduce Pacman to a friends dog, so we walked around their neighborhood, and that was fine. But, when I tried to enter their home, the little Boston terrier (who didn't go on the walk with us), got aggressive with my greyhound. And, Pacman is already afraid of small dogs, so I think that maybe I traumatized him. After that, we went home. When he lays down, he refuses to get up, and I have to either attach a leash to get him out of his crate, or from wherever he is lying. Now, for some reason he doesn't want to walk too far from my home. He just stops while we are walking. I have to pull him to get him to keep moving. He will start to walk after that, but then again, he will just stop after like 5 minutes. He eats all of his food, so no problems there. I also started trying to clicker train him. I read a bit on it, and right now I'm just trying to get him to associate the sound of a clicker with a treat. Am I going to fast with the socialization, and training? If so, how long should I wait before trying to socialize and train Pacman? How do you get your greyhound to jump inside of a car? Also, how do you get him to get up and come or move out of the way? Thanks! And sorry for the long post. Happy Memorial day!

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Baby steps. Don't rush him into socializing just yet. Too many new places, too many new other dogs and too many new people too soon. I'd wait a few weeks until he's comfortable with you before heading out anywhere, unless it's a greyhound group meet.

 

Making the crate a happy place is a good thing.

 

Meeting the Boston terrier on his turf set him up for a bad encounter. Meeting outside, on leash, preferably walking will help, although the Boston may continue to be a bully.

 

Clicker training is good. Do it when he's hungry so you really get his attention. When that "clicks" for him, try tossing a treat in the car and clicking. In out in out in out in out. Car rides should be to somewhere fun like a drive-thru for something yummy.

 

 

Pacman will set his own time schedule for relaxing and learning you are his new human. We've had some here who walked right in unfazed to one who hid in the bedroom for months.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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You'll get lots of good advice. I won't go into much with my post. Just want to say it can take weeks or even months for a Greyhound to settle in and understand that he's in his Forever Home.

 

Have you read any of the Greyhound advice books, such as "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies"? This link can be a help too: http://www.gpa-az.com/gilley.html

 

Walking: I'd encourage him to walk because it's a good way to bond, plus he needs the exercise, but for a couple weeks, avoid areas that you know have lots of people and/or dogs, if possible. If he plants himself when you're walking, don't pull on the leash. You could hurt his neck. The trick is to get his feet moving. Try holding him firmly, by keeping the leash short, against your thigh and walk in a circle, pushing gently on his neck/shoulder area so he has to walk with you. When you come out of the circle, keep on walking straight ahead. It may take a couple of times. Also, try to be confident. Dogs can pick up on human insecurities and if you feel anxious and worried about him stopping on walks and not getting him going again, he'll sense it.

 

Jumping into a car: With my girl, all I had to say was, "Kennel up," and she jumped in the back of my SUV. I was told -- don't know if it's true -- that that was the term used to get her to jump into her crate at the track. Girl crates are usually stacked over boy crates, so I don't know if that phrase will work for your boy. Others will have good advice for you about that. It would be a good thing to get him acclimated into going into the vehicle without being picked up because he'll milk it for all it's worth. LOL

 

BTW, we need pictures of Pacman.

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For the car, try upping the value of the treat considerably. Also, be aware that many male greyhounds don't understand jumping up into something as they've never done it. Larger dogs are mostly kept in the lower crates at the track. But something really yummy and smelly will usually motivate them better. Lots of racing kennels use marshmallows as treats, but you can also try rotisserie chicken, hot dogs, cheese, lunch meat.

 

Same thing with walking. If he stops and "statues," first try the higher value treat to lure him forward. If that doesn't get him going, try the technique described above of walking in a small circle. Sometimes just letting him stand for a few minutes, then a nice, enthusiastic "Let's go!" will do the trick.

 

IMO, he seems to be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. Hence the not wanting to come out of the crate or go for walks. Give him a good week or so of just being around the house with you, letting him settle in, calm down, and get to know you and the new routine better. Make sure he eats and drinks, and do your alone training and crate training, but don't flood him with experiences. You'll see a change in his demeanor when he's ready for more.

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

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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

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I had the same "problem" with my grey when he first came home. He would only walk in the back yard in our snow cleared paths. Then we could go into the forest where everything was interesting and quiet. Then we could walk in the neighborhood but only when ALL the resident of the house came along (that is me and DH) and it took a solid month before I was able to walk him alone even though he attached to me. It does not matter the exercise just now. I found that they are tired just learning so much new things. Get him out of your house solely for business purpose and eventually he'll want to stay longer and longer :)

As for jumping into the car, we tossed a high value treat on the seat and then waited. He put his front paw in the foot section of the backseat and then I blocked him from turning around with my leg. At first he did need some convincing and I would gently raise his bum bum to help him into the car. Now I only have to open the car door and he jumps right in!

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Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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Guest WildSparkler

We just got our girl (first greyhound) about 6 months ago, and we have run into a lot of the same things you mentioned. We do not have to crate our girl, however, and have gotten extremely lucky with her having no accidents, separation anxiety or anything! Jumping into the car was something she was definitely unsure about. Throwing treats in wouldn't work, as she would just stretch her neck to try and reach the treat..haha. I started lifting her front feet up on the seat, and helping her back feet in. It became more of a reaction at that point. After awhile I would just lift her front feet and she would get the rest. Now she will usually jump in all on her own.

As for other dogs, she is still scared of most of them. Especially the little ones! She seems to do much better if they are on a leash, not as intimidating I suppose. However, my parents own 2 little dogs (Jack Russel and Rat Terrier), and they get along fine now! We had them both on leashes to start with, and she was still nervous and pulling away. We ended up putting them in the fenced backyard (Roxy with her basket on, of course) just to see what would happen. She actually felt much more at ease, and when they started to get too close and personal sniffing, she would run off (knowing she could out run them, haha). Not sure that's the best way, but they are pretty laid back and non threatening dogs, so might not work for all! After a few months I brought her to the dog park, where there were smaller dogs, and she was not terrified of them! I have come to the conclusion it has to do with leashes/being leashed, for her at least. I agree with the others, take it slow! Our girl took a few days to be really comfortable around us, and around the house! She still is scared around most dogs we pass in the street, but can learn to get along fine!

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If he seems reluctant to keep walking, just go up and down the same block or three near your house. In time he'll want to go further. Right now, everything is new and his brain gets full! Good approach to clip the leash on when you need him to go somewhere. :)

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest valeriej

Sarah is the same way with getting into the car! Treats don't really bribe her (she's smarter then we thought lol). And I know she knows how to jump, I've seen her do it several times onto our high bed :rofl

 

Sarah will usually put her front feet up and we'll help her back legs, sometimes she will jump up without us helping. Just keep doing what you're doing! There are just so many new things and so much to learn.

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Guest Pacman_1

Thanks for the advice guys! As far as the walking goes, I've tried to walk in a circle, and it did work.... twice. Pacman caught onto what I was doing, then he would go back to freezing wherever he was. The same goes for offering him treats. I'm going to try to walk him for shorter distances, then work my way up to longer walks. Hope that works! I tried to bribe him into the car yesterday, but all he would do was stretch his neck inside and try to reach the treat without jumping up, so I gave in and just picked him up. I'll work on that more with him in the next week. Here's a pic of Pacman.29dcxs0.jpg

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beautiful brindle...as for the car, does Pacman do steps? You could practice steps, that might help.

 

My boy gets to go up my wheelie chair ramp, but he did steps at Solvang {BIG surprise} so I walked him into the van on the ramp, then out the other side, jumping in and out :bounce2

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Pacman is stunning! We had the same frozen behavior while out walking with our hound, though it didn't start until about a month after we had him. It can be really frustrating when they go statue on you and you just need to get back home. I would give a little nudge with my leg or try to divert in a slightly different direction to get him moving. I also had to bring treats a few times. It took our guy a good while to figure out how to get into the car, and I had to put his front paws up and then lift his back end in. Now, he launches... It took months for Marvin to really settle in with us, and 3+ years later, he is still showing new things from time to time. We were told that bringing home a newly retired hound would be like bringing an alien into our place, and that turned out to be a really good description. Just give it time - it sounds like you are doing great so far.

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Guest Pacman_1

Thanks for the compliments on Pacman! Just wait until he grows his coat back in a few months. They shaved him at the rescue. He's actually a darker brindle. But, back on topic. Today I worked on Pacman getting into the car. I put his front paws in first, then I just stood behind him, and prevented him from backing out. It took like 15 minutes, but he finally jumped in! I'll try again tomorrow when I take him to the vet for a checkup.

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Your little avatar doesn't say where you live, but just because you say he's your first dog, and it doesn't sound like the adoption group explained very much about greyhounds to you, it should be noted: do not EVER take your dog in the car on a hot day unless you plan on being in the car with the A/C running at all time.

 

Greyhounds are not very heat tolerant, and can get heat stroke (as can any other dog). The temp inside a car, even with the windows open, rises rapidly and it's just too hot in the summer to take your dog in the car if you're not running the A/C and with him.

 

:)


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

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Guest Pacman_1

I live in West Tennessee. My adoption group did explain a lot to me before I adopted him. But, I joined this forum to get insights from other greyhound owners, and to learn more about training and life in general from people who have also been through this experience. When Pacman is in the car, it is usually during sunset. But, I still have the AC blowing because even then, it gets pretty hot here. I appreciate the advice though! Keep it coming!

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Guest AndyK

He's a gorgeous boy and I love his name!

 

I'd echo what other people said - take things really really slowly - if you try and push him into things you risk him associating them with being fearful. At this stage it's very very early days so I would just try and take a step back from things and allow him time to relax into his new home and to get to know you and bond with you.

 

As he eases into things and realises being with you is awesome then the other stuff will come :)

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I hear your pain with the statuing. Monty, our grey, did this a lot when we got him, but we also had the problem that he was also really, exceptionally shy about going potty when attached to a human. And we have no fenced yard, so we had to be out until he produced, which was not fun when he'd freeze halfway around the block. We did a lot of tight circles into his shoulder to get him moving again, and sometimes actually get behind and push him a few feet. Alternating that with acting like we were on the other side of the galaxy if it looked like he might be thinking about doing something. If he saw us looking at him everything was cancelled and we went back to trying to go somewhere so he'd do something....

 

Try not to get frustrated as best you can. It will get better! He will figure out that walks can be good, not scary, things and someday you will go back to this post and marvel at how he has changed!

 

And I agree, he's a cutie!

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Guest Pacman_1

Pacman isn't statuing much anymore. He only stops to sniff, take care of business, or beg for other pedestrians to pet him. All it takes now is a gentle tug, and for me to tell him to "come on." He caught on pretty quick that walks are something that he has to do now.

Edited by Pacman_1
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:) Good news.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Sounds like he's catching on well to his new world. :) I have always had shameless attention-seeking hounds, too. It's fun.

 

Pacman is stunning. Why did the adoption group shave him???

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Pacman is handsome handsome handsome. Glad to read he's cooperative on walking. Don't be surprised if he reverts, though. My girl still tries it every once in a while and next month is her four year gotcha day anniversary. After all this time, though, she can tell by my tone of voice (my serious mom/grandma voice) that she better *not* do that because it's not acceptable, and she'll then move. :-)

 

Heat: Greyhounds in particular are very sensitive to heat and walking can be a problem when it's hot. My girl pants when it's 60 degrees and sunny. When it's 80 degrees with a high dew point and sun, she starts heavy panting in a couple of hundred feet. Just saying that walking in hot weather is best done early and late, before and after the hottest times of the day, and walks may have to be shortened even then. We've had cool weather the past two days with no sun and Annie loves it. She was back to trotting down the street, tail wagging, happy as a clam in salt water.

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