Jump to content

Help! He Freezes Every Time We Go Outside: Behavior Expert Told Me


Guest Raquel_88
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Raquel_88

Hi,

 

I love my foster. He has NO problems in the house (no barking, no "accidents", no running, jumping on furniture, and he eats regularly).

 

OUTSIDE is a HUGE problem.

 

I know he has to pee/poo. He wakes me up, and starts heading for the door at 6:30/7am. I get his leash, make no fuss, open the door, and just walk through it. We are fine, until we get out.

 

We have 3 stairs in front, and he is picky about when he will and won't freeze. Its 6:30 am. I don't want to wait 45 minutes for this guy to pee and poop. And I know he has to go! He walks down the stairs with no problem sometimes, and i praise him, and give him a treat, and it's great! Then other times, it's a nightmare. He freezes, I encourage. He pants and his nose dripps, and I grab a few treats and try to entice him down the 3 stairs. I tug very lightly, and talk with a positive, encouraging tone. And NOTHING.

 

I refuse to drag my dog down the stairs, so I admit, I pick him up and guide him down.

 

Then, he freezes before going in the yard. He freezes if we go on a walk. He just freezes. The behavior expert from my adoption group told me (on walks, not stairs) to pull, and when he takes step, let go. Pull until he takes another step, and let go. And keep doing that until he walks. It works, but I HATE pulling. I feel like I am hurting him, and that I am traumatizing his whole outside experience. But that's what I was told to do, and I want to make sure I am NOT hurting him.

 

I feel like such a horrible person, because I get so frustrated. I literally cry and feel like I can't keep him. I don't sleep because he wakes us up so early, and it takes up to an hour just to do a pee in the backyard. I'm at a loss. I'm exhausted. I'm so disappointed. I've wanted a greyhound for years, and I finally convinced my husband to let us foster, and this has been a nightmare. I'm so sad, and I feel like I don't know what to do, and how to help him.

 

Please please help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't consider that person a behavior expert and wouldn't follow his/her advice.

 

 

You're not a horrible person because you get frustrated. Everybody does. I'm sorry you are frustrated, tho, and lacking in sleep and so forth.

 

 

How long have you had your foster? It can take a month or three for these guys to figure things out and relax a bit. In those cases, there isn't a *lot* you can do other than steel yourself for some early awakenings, extra time to do potty, etc.

 

 

For freezing on leash, the best thing to do is take a step or two forward, turn your shoulder or back to the dog, and ... wait. If you are a little impatient, put the best treat you can think of -- poached chicken liver, cheddar cheese, Nutter Butter cookie -- a step ahead of him. And then just wait. If you are bored, you can sing some gentle songs or have a quiet little conversation about what's going on; some dogs find that relaxing.

 

It can also be a help if you have some friends with dogs -- greyhounds or other larger, gentle dogs -- who will come walk with you or toddle around the fenced back yard. That can help to show him the outside world is a cool place.

 

When I HAVE to move a dog, absolutely HAVE to, I use a Ruffwear Webmaster harness. It has a handle on the back so you can treat the dog as a suitcase. I don't do it unless I have to, but sometimes you just gotta move the dog from one spot to the next.

 

For early awakening, it helps to get a good potty schedule going first. Then I set the alarm clock for @ 15 minutes before I think the dog will get up, and gradually move it later. Unless I really think the dog has to potty, I ignore the dog completely until the alarm sounds.

 

 

It is possible that he is not the right foster for your home. What does the group say?

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the feeling that he feels your insecurity and reacts to it. Have you tried to grab his collar and walk the stairs together? Some dogs feel safer when you are next to them doing the scary thing together. Show your confidence. They learn from experience, same as we do.

And you need a really yummie treat. Than take your time throughout the day and walk the stairs again and again. Whenever there is time take him outsides to walk the steps and always give him the super yummie treat.

He will learn.

 

Another question. Does he only react like that in the dark? Maybe he can't see well in the dark?

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

 

Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dog is all tensed up. When he looks at you all worried, reply with a 'Lick your lips, BIG YAWN, sigh, and turn your head away' calming signal. Don't approach him head on or loom over him.

Eventually they will respond to a a "Hey... let's GO".

 

When I took Peggy to a strange house 100 miles away with steep stairs the other day, she went up OK but just wouldn't come down, so I put her on the shortest leash and held it to stop her fear of falling forward and walked down the steps alongside her so her rear end couldn't jack-knife. Those were actually dangerous stairs for an untrained dog.

 

It may be that this particular dog is not for you and there is no blame in that, Take it easy,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'rre sleep deprived and running out of ideas, so of course you're getting frustrated - that's what happens! But it's totally something that happens with lots of greyhounds who are new to their homes. You're not a bad dog mom! It's very common. In fact if you search here you'll find loads of threads about greyhounds that "freeze" or "statue" while walking.

 

Couple strategies:

>Up your treat value considerable - not just a regular, crunchy treat. You need roasted chicken or lunchmeat, cheese, liverwurst - whatever he thinks is the yummiest thing EVER. Use this treat only for this behavior. You can toss the treat down the stairs, or lure him step by step. Use if for statueing, too, to lure him forward when he stops. Give him a second to look around and get his brain in gear, then face forward on a short leash, and say "Let's GO!" in a bright happy voice. Start walking with the leg nearest your dog. Use the treat in your other hand if he needs it.

 

>If he stops and won't move forward, you have a couple options. Try giving him a bit of a shove with your knee on his shoulder to move his feet, then immediately lure and walk forward. The other thing to try is to use a short leash and walk him in a tight circle. As soon as he stops, immediately turn a circle - turn the direction so that your dog is on the *inside* of the circle. So if he's on your left side, shorten the leash and turn to your left. You can continue forward if he responds, or do another circle. Always reward a forward movement.

 

As said above, work on the steps and the walking at times other than when he's going for potties. Several times a day, just for a short span, like, five minutes. Greys do better with shorter, but more numerous, training sessions.

 

If you don't want to get up at 6:30am then you need to train him to sleep later. He *might* not *have* to go, especially if you take him out and he just stands there and doesn't potty right away. It's probably that he has a habit of getting up then, and greys do like their schedules. Do what Batmom said above - start by getting him up *earlier* than 6:30am for a week. Then move the time your alarm goes off later and later, until he's actually sleeping until the time you want.

 

You've had a bit of trouble with your first greyhound, but in a few weeks, this will all be a memory! Take a deep breath and give him as much patience and time as you have.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Raquel_88

You'rre sleep deprived and running out of ideas, so of course you're getting frustrated - that's what happens! But it's totally something that happens with lots of greyhounds who are new to their homes. You're not a bad dog mom! It's very common. In fact if you search here you'll find loads of threads about greyhounds that "freeze" or "statue" while walking.

 

Couple strategies:

>Up your treat value considerable - not just a regular, crunchy treat. You need roasted chicken or lunchmeat, cheese, liverwurst - whatever he thinks is the yummiest thing EVER. Use this treat only for this behavior. You can toss the treat down the stairs, or lure him step by step. Use if for statueing, too, to lure him forward when he stops. Give him a second to look around and get his brain in gear, then face forward on a short leash, and say "Let's GO!" in a bright happy voice. Start walking with the leg nearest your dog. Use the treat in your other hand if he needs it.

 

>If he stops and won't move forward, you have a couple options. Try giving him a bit of a shove with your knee on his shoulder to move his feet, then immediately lure and walk forward. The other thing to try is to use a short leash and walk him in a tight circle. As soon as he stops, immediately turn a circle - turn the direction so that your dog is on the *inside* of the circle. So if he's on your left side, shorten the leash and turn to your left. You can continue forward if he responds, or do another circle. Always reward a forward movement.

 

As said above, work on the steps and the walking at times other than when he's going for potties. Several times a day, just for a short span, like, five minutes. Greys do better with shorter, but more numerous, training sessions.

 

If you don't want to get up at 6:30am then you need to train him to sleep later. He *might* not *have* to go, especially if you take him out and he just stands there and doesn't potty right away. It's probably that he has a habit of getting up then, and greys do like their schedules. Do what Batmom said above - start by getting him up *earlier* than 6:30am for a week. Then move the time your alarm goes off later and later, until he's actually sleeping until the time you want.

 

You've had a bit of trouble with your first greyhound, but in a few weeks, this will all be a memory! Take a deep breath and give him as much patience and time as you have.

Thank you so much!

 

I will definitely try out your suggestions. I hope it does get better. He is so sweet, and he has a great attitude. It's just this part of it that is overwhelming and nerve wracking for a 1st timer. I don't want to hurt him or dramatize him in any way. I'll try the lunch meat or cheese :chow

 

Thank you for your suggestions! It means a lot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One tactic that I have used successfully is to run. It is a bit of a pull at first but the dog will have to move its feet to keep its balance. Once the feet start moving I just up the pace. When I stop running they always seem happy to walk. This is obviously not for everybody or even every dog, but it has never failed me. I think when a greyhound sees their human running, something changes in their mindset. They become more excited and less fearful.

 

Good luck and patience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...