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Sa? Probably Not But Would Like Advice


Guest Merrilyn
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Guest Merrilyn

Hello, I'm a new greyhound owner in Australia he is my first dog so don't know if I am worrying needlessly. My boy is called Max and we've had him for almost 8 weeks.

 

He cries/howls/barks when we leave. We use kong toys so he normally starts after he has finished those (anywhere from 10 mins to half an hour after we leave). He doesn't bark for long (30 mins in the morning, more when we leave at night), we have a camera on him and he looks distressed, pacing and panting. He doesn't show any other signs of separation anxiety however. After this he goes to sleep until we get home. I just don't want to upset the neighbours.

 

Because we aren't home I don't know how to stop it or what I can do. Should I be worried or is this still settling in and it should reduce?

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Yes, that's classic separation anxiety.

 

You should search this forum for the topic--there are dozens of them, I'm sure, and read up on what you can do.

 

Most important, in my opinion, is sufficient exercise. I assume you go to work during the day--and then you also go out at night? Often, or just on occasions? Dogs are extremely social creatures, and if he's spending much of his time alone, he's bored, he's lonely, and he's probably confused too.

 

I found with my guy who had SA, doubling the amount of time I walked him in the morning helped, and I stuck to a very structured routine so he always knew exactly what was going to happen. He learned that yes, I was going to leave in the morning, but I ALWAYS came back, and then I paid plenty of attention to him in the evening.


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Guest Merrilyn

Thanks for your advice. Yeah we both work, but rarely out in a week night and we walk him heaps if we are going to be, which considering I almost have to carry him home I am surprised he has the energy to pace. He gets a fair amount of exercise in the morning, just wasn't sure if separation anxiety was correct as he cries for a relatively short amount of time normally.

 

I did all the alone training when we first got him but obviously he didn't consider us family as he didn't care if I came or left.

 

I think I might need to stick to a routine better. That was probably the issue yesterday as I left with my partner not before him like normal.

 

Sigh, back to the drawing board! Might restart alone training over the weekend.

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Not a huge set back. A lot of times they progress and regress during the first few months. His SA is relatively controlled and will likely get better over time. Some additional alone training, just as a reminder/refresher, would probably be good for him now that he's more settled in.

 

Greyhounds are *very* schedule oriented. They do better with a set schedule every day and usually prefer it that way.

 

Good luck and Welcome to Greytalk!

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Guest xengab

Routine change really upsets a new dog. :) Learning that myself. Had mine 8 weeks too.

I'd also recommend changing around what you put in the kong as a treat.

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Guest Merrilyn

Oh he gets a lot of random stuff in the kongs, but yesterday (he's first really bad episode) I froze one as it was the third day above 30 degrees (Celsius for the Americans :)). I think he was distressed by that too. I am glad I have a camera on him so I know what he is doing and im not relying on neighbours.

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Where abouts are you? There are a few of us Aussies on GT. :-)

 

As GeorgeofNE says, it does sound like SA. Go back to your basics and build up slowly. But how much exercise is a 'fair bit' and how old is he? Mine need about 45 - hour if I'm going out for the day.

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Guest Merrilyn

I'm in Sydney! I've seen a lot of Aussies on the forum, this is an excellent resource.

 

Max gets a fast 30 mins in the morning and I'm dragging him by the end, I feel if I do more he might just stop on me and he is too heavy for me to carry. In the evening he will sometimes make an hour... Which is odd. I might try to increase to 45 mins, maybe him walking slow is just a "I don't want to go home" thing, it doesn't seem like it as it doesn't start when we head back.

 

He is 3.5 years old and last raced at the end of May (other people have said that makes a difference)

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I'm also in Sydney!

 

It does make a difference, because I've found that the non-raced greys seem to be keener to walk. It might just be a matter of building him up. Try the alone training again, but you may also like to try a DAP collar. It has helped with one of mine in the past who suffers SA.

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Guest Merrilyn

Question about DAP, if you start using it do you have to continue forever? It sounds like something you can't just stop using.

 

Going to give him a bit more time and use alone training and routine and some more walking. But if it doesn't go in the right direction I might try DAP.

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DAP seemed to help my dog. And no, you don't need to use it forever!

 

Does your camera have two-way audio? When I first got Buck, he had very, very mild SA. When he would start to whine, I would speak to him through my phone via the camera and just start with, "You're OK." If he kept it up I'd say, "That's enough now." If he got loud I'd say, "Knock that off!" Worked really well! After a week, he was sleeping all day, every day.

 

I have the most distressing videotape of George (my first). My former neighbors had complained about him howling, "for hours." I didn't believe them. I set up an old fashioned camcorder pointed at his crate. The second he was finished with his Kong, he tipped back his head and let out the most god awful howling noise. And he went on and on and on and on until the 2 hour tape ran out.

 

That was the last day he spent in his crate!


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

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The DAP really worked for us! And we only needed to use it for 2 months. Then we used the collar again when we left for 2 weeks so he wouldn't be too upset by our leaving.

That said, we have had Jack for about 9 months now. It took 2 1/2 month to overcome his SA, and still to this day, me and my husband cannot leave at the same time when he knows we are leaving as he gets anxious, paces and comes to the door waiting for us instead of napping. So I tell my husband to leave, then I give him his kong and leave myself (about a 1 minute process). As simple as that :)

We do a 20-30 minutes fast walk before leaving him for the day and he is good with that :)

30 minutes of noise isn't that bad :) I believe in a few days he will be over it :)

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Guest Merrilyn

The camera does have audio but I havent set it up to watch from outside home (it records movement and I watch it at the end of the day). I didn't want to see him get distressed and then rush home or worry about it all day :P I'm like that.

 

I know 30 mins isn't bad, I've read some of the stories here and was like "I'm really lucky!". It was going in the right direction but he has regressed a little so I just wanted to check. Often is whining is a minute here and minute there which I think will pass with time.

 

Silly boy has discovered he can catch blow flys too which is not helping him calm down during the day as he get anxious when he can't get to them.

 

Thanks for all your help everyone! I shall go forth and implement!

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imo 30 minutes is not enough exercise for such a young greyhound. I would guess that he drags because he doesn't want to walk any more, rather than tiredness. I have a 13.5 y/o who routinely walks for an hour a couple of times a day. A year ago he could still do 3 hour hikes quite easily.

 

I really hate the "45 mph couch potato label" and think it may be used by people who are not into exercise so their greyhound doesn't benefit either. All of our greyhounds have or had hiked with us. Years ago our first 2 hounds could run 10k with us.We've never really built them up, rather we just get them walking with us as soon as we adopt them.

 

I don't really have any suggestions about how to make walking more fun, but I do suggest getting more exercise in a way he finds joy in it.

 

good luck

 

eta: 30C is hot so he may be tired from the heat though (sorry, I forgot that point). Do you have air conditioned malls, etc. where you could walk, or a beach where you could walk along the water's edge?

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Guest Merrilyn

It's only 30 mins in the morning, he gets and hour in the evening as well as back yard running (more time then). He loves running with his squeaky toys, it's just that's not really appropriate at 6am :P and even with that he only goes for 15 mins and then he growls at me to leave him alone. He won't really play with any toy that doesn't squeak.

 

It's not just the hot days he drags but since posting this he has gotten better, every couple of steps I chime out "come on Max" and he does a trot to catch up.

 

We are doing doggy school so hopefully we shall gain some walking skills from there.

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If you're on B, you might like to look up Hills Hounds. It's a greyhound walking group - we're a friendly bunch who love talking greyhounds.

 

Otherwise, can you try walking him on a different route, and also giving him the longer walk in the morning rather than the evening?

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