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Sleeping In Our Room


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I've written on here a few times about Harry's general anxiety about the outside world. We struggle to get him to even go into the garden, even though he's never had any bad experiences out there. He just gets freaked out by unfamiliar noises.

 

We decided it was time to consult the vet and get a behaviourist involved. We know it takes a long time to make progress but wanted a second opinion on how we were doing things and maybe to get some instruction on how to handle the situation.

 

We took Harry to the vet today and he has prescribed him with some low dose anxiety medication - to 'take the edge off' and give him a chance to learn that the outside world isn't so bad.

 

We don't walk Harry at the moment as we're focusing on building his confidence in the garden first. The vet also recommended gradually moving his dinner bowl so that he starts to eat his food outside. His bowl is by the back door anyway so we'll ease him in by feeding him with the back door open, then on the step, then in the garden etc.

 

The vet also recommended that we stop letting Harry sleep in the bedroom with us and move his bed near to the back door. He has a bed downstairs that he uses during the day and a bed in our room. He said we should move his downstairs bed by the door so he gets used to being around there and we should let him sleep there too.

 

I'm a bit unsure about this and wanted to get a second opinion. I feel like cutting him off from us is only going to make him feel more anxious. The vet thinks it will help him be more independent. When we're downstairs, he'll still be in the same room as us but we'll have our backs to him. I can cope with that - it's the sleeping situation I'm unsure of.

 

Can I get people's thoughts? I'm willing to try anything if it will improve Harry's quality of life but I love having him sleep upstairs with us and I must admit I'm reluctant to change that.

 

My other half is insistent that we try what the vet recommends and I agree we should try. I'm just not fully convinced it's the best course of action.

 

I was wondering if anyone else had had any similar experiences?

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The vet is wrong. Greyhounds *need* their family. They *need* their humans. lMO, the vet knows nothing or so little about Greyhounds that I would be wary of using her/him.

 

Don't make your guy be away from you at night. All that will do is make him more anxious, scared and lonely and he will let you know by whining and crying and generally expressing his unhappiness.

 

Please tell your husband that just because a person has the title of doctor, it doesn't mean you have to take all the advice given. If the vet had said put Harry in the garden by himself for hours on end, including night time, would you do it? No, and frankly, making him separate from you is the same thing.

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Most of the vet's recommendations sound OK, at least you should give them a try, but do NOT banish Harry from your bedroom. That is how he will see it, that he is being punished for some reason, and he won't know why. Your instincts are right, it will make him more anxious. Later on, after he has become more confident, he may choose to sleep elsewhere some of the time, but generally, greys like to be in the same room with their people.

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I think your vet doesn't understand basic canine behavior. He needs to build a bond and trust with you, not be banished to the outdoors and left to sleep alone.


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I wouldn't have him sleep far away at night, but I do think it would be alright to move his downstairs bed up to the back door and encourage him to sleep there during the day when you're just puttering around the house. Give him a kong or something to work on so he can continue to make a good association with that area of the house. And just putter in and out so that you're not just "gone" and he's all alone... more just that you're in and out of the room.

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The vet is wrong. Greyhounds *need* their family. They *need* their humans. lMO, the vet knows nothing or so little about Greyhounds that I would be wary of using her/him.

 

Don't make your guy be away from you at night. All that will do is make him more anxious, scared and lonely and he will let you know by whining and crying and generally expressing his unhappiness.

 

Please tell your husband that just because a person has the title of doctor, it doesn't mean you have to take all the advice given. If the vet had said put Harry in the garden by himself for hours on end, including night time, would you do it? No, and frankly, making him separate from you is the same thing.

 

I completely agree with this. I would not take anyone's advice, be they vet, doctor or other professional, unless their advice felt right to me. I wouldn't move him out of your bedroom and I wouldn't move his downstairs bed either if he's happy with it where it is, but you could maybe put another bed by the back door and give him kongs and treats on it to help him associate that area with good things.

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There is nothing I could add that wasn't already written. I would never ever under any circumstances bann one of my hounds from our bedroom. They can roam the house and choose where they want to sleep and often change places during the night. They often need time to feel comfortable enough to sleep ontheir own. We always say that they need time to become confident and big boys.

 

I would treat your hound to special treaties, real super yummies when he is in the garden and praise him when he walks through the backdoor. He learns that garden and yummie belong together.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

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Read my thread. While I'm not the best person to give advice about anxiety in dogs right now (our health/life upheaval is seriously stressing Leo out which makes me feel terrible), it really doesn't sound like a good idea to ban him from your bedroom unless you MUST for some reason. Leave the door open if that's a possibility, make sure he has plenty of comfortable places to sleep, and let him pick. Don't be surprised if he decides to stay with you, or if over time he starts sleeping elsewhere.

 

Can you buy him a second bed, and put it by the back door and give treats to him there? That way he's not forced to be in the scary place (by putting his only downstairs bed there), but you can help make it a positive place where he gets yummy things.

 

Also, what anxiety meds was he given? Some help, some make things worse, some are more appropriate for one kind of anxiety than another.

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Guest DarkHorse

Dexter's been anxious lately, what with us having moved and Araley passing. We have put one of his beds in our bedroom and encourage him to sleep there at night to help with this. I can't imagine kicking him out going over well - he'll move to the more comfortable bed in the office when he's ready. Until then, we're there to reassure him.

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Thanks all. Grateful for the advice.

 

We've decided that we won't make him sleep elsewhere. It's still early days - he's only been with us for three months - and he may choose to sleep elsewhere in future but I agree that, at this stage, it will probably just make him more anxious.

 

The medication he has been given is Amitriptyline.

 

We've moved his downstairs bed to the other side of the room, nearer to the back door. We'll see if that helps. We did consider putting another bed there but I think if we gave him the choice, he would just ignore it and go to his usual bed. At the moment, he's ignoring it anyway and is lying on the rug in front of us! I'll try and tempt him over to it later with some treats.

 

Redhead, it's a good suggestion. We have some friends with a dog (Collie/Labrador cross) who are coming over on Thursday for a play in the garden. If it helps, we'll make it a regular thing.

 

We're also going to try moving his food bowl gradually out into the garden, starting with leaving the back door open while he eats. Although we didn't do that this morning because the neighbours were clanging around outside.

 

I'm also going to contact the behaviourist because I think it would be useful for someone to come to the house and observe our routine.

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You have had some good responses... Thank you for listening to the voices with experience.

You sound like wonderful, patient people who care for and want the best for Harry

:thumbs-up

 

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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Is there anyone with a Greyhound near you? The company on another dog is great while learning new things, but another confident Greyhound is even better. If I lived near you, you borrow mine. With another greyhound as company it might be easier to build up Harry's confidence. Remember that it is important for you to convey the utmost confidence and calm when Harry is experiencing new things. Getting him walking would really accelerate things.

 

As mentioned be everyone the vets suggestion re sleeping arrangement was downright silly. I could try to lock mine out of my room at night, but I'd have a hole in my wall and the dog back in my room within an hour.

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