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New Owner Frustration


Guest OrangeCounty
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Guest OrangeCounty

Hello everyone! I am a new greyhound owner of 9 days to a lovely 3 year old female, and she is also the first dog I have ever owned. I am very lucky that she has adjusted to her new life in my home fairly quickly, but I have to say I am feeling a little frustrated on a couple of issues and I guess I'm just looking for some support and/or encouragement.

 

My girl has never had a potty accident in my apartment, which I am very grateful for (and feel like I shouldn't have anything to complain about because of that), but she won't potty on my patio. I have purchased a dog door for her to be able to go in and out of onto my patio so she can potty at her leisure while I'm gone, but she's not having it. She is good about going potty in the community dog potty area that is made of fake grass, but won't go on the fake grass patch I have on my patio. My feeling is that she is scared to go out there because of loud traffic noise. I have tried catching some of her urine and putting it on the patch, as well as using an attractant spray, but nothing is enticing her. I took her out every 15 minutes or so for a couple hours when I knew she would have to go, but she still wouldn't. She held going to the bathroom for 14 hours until I caved and took her to her normal spot since I was worried she could hurt herself by holding it for so long! I am thinking of maybe covering my whole patio with the turf so she has a bigger area to get used to?

 

Another thing that worries me is how she is scared of big dogs. I'm sure this is normal since she's not used to seeing big dogs, but I feel bad for her when she tries to run off, shakes from fear, and won't potty because a dog is in the same area (another reason why I want her to be able to use the patio). Does anyone have any tips on how I can try to socialize her to not be anxious around big dogs?

 

I keep telling myself to just be patient and not get frustrated, but I think my lack of sleep (worried she is licking her hard-to-heal spay incision at night) has really affected my patience the last couple of days.

 

Thank you for reading. Again, I just feel like I'm at the point where I could use some encouragement/support that things will get better :)

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Is there any reason why you feel the need for her to go potty on your patio?

My Jack holds it all day when we are gone for work and we don't have a problem, plus he does not RUSH to go when we get home. He still needs to find the perfect tree!

Plus he has decided he won't poo in the yard unless it is an emergency, go figure. We once stayed the whole afternoon in the yard just laying around and playing. No poo until we went for a walk. It's one of those things!

If she isn't messeing the house, why force her? :)

As for the big dogs, everything is very new to her. She never seen another type of dog before! Take your time, keep the interactions to a minimum and positive!

Good luck!

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Guest OrangeCounty

I feel like it's more convenient for her to be able to just take a few steps through a doggy door to potty than holding it for 8 hours while I'm at work, or longer if an emergency comes up and I can't make him home straight from work.

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At this point everything is so new to your girl don't worry too much about things. She will try things as they get comfortable for her. My dogs go more than 8 hours often...it is fine for them.

 

If you keep walking her and she gets accustomed to different things such as other dogs she will feel more confident. Maybe try carrying treats with you when she is getting near other dogs so the focus is on you and not the other dogs. Positive reinforcement does a lot for a dog. Hopefully she is food motivated!

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Shorter walks with positive endings were best in our situation. We adopted MacKenzie at 3.5 years old and had some of the same experiences as you. The more I relaxed the better she was on the other end of the leash. Simple, I know. But I did not know it when we got her. I was slightly anxious due to time constraints and she knew it and therefore she was more alert.

 

These hounds are smart, smart, smart. Go out to the pee spot and stand there. Tell her what you want her to do. Repeat when you can. Sit out on the porch and have a nice moment with your hound. In other words, make it familiar to her in a positive way. Treats if you do that with her.

 

Be patient, we finally got there and our girl is amazing. We love her more every day.

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MacKenzie McPherson

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Has she ever gone on the patio? If not, you might try the method of going out there yourself, or have a male friend do it. Weird, I know, but she probably sees the patio as part of the living space, and she knows not to go there. She might also need a visual barrier if she can see the traffic rushing by. That's a very scary thing for a new dog who has never seen a car before.

 

As for the other dogs, give it time. Other dogs are also something she's never had any contact with before. If you know another owner with a *calm* large dog, ask if you can go walking together. Don't force her to socialize or even meet the dog. Just a nice long walk will help familiarize her.

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Guest OrangeCounty

Thank you all for your kind words. I have gotten her more comfortable going out to the patio by luring her out with a treat, but then as soon as she gets her treat she goes back in. I have tried to sit in front of the dog door to pet her, but she just turns into a statue. I will keep at it. I'm thinking about getting a bigger piece of turf to see if that will help coax her.

 

I guess I just get scared that her being so nervous around other dogs and not going potty in unfamiliar areas will make it hard for me to be able to take her for walks/activities, but again, I know I just need to keep in mind that she needs more time to adjust.

Greysmom-she's not able to see the traffic, just hear it. I do agree and was thinking that maybe she still sees that area as her living area.

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Maybe she doesn't like fake grass. Maybe you can you try some sod.

 

Also, please relax and give her time. Everything is still new for her.

Edited by robinw

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I feel like it's more convenient for her to be able to just take a few steps through a doggy door to potty than holding it for 8 hours while I'm at work, or longer if an emergency comes up and I can't make him home straight from work.

 

From your perspective, this sounds just about right, but while you can set some rules, she doesn't like going outside on the patio, and I doubt it will change. Her peeing is mostly from her perspective and she's not liking peeing there for whatever reason. Eight hours isn't a long time to hold it, unless there's a medical reason.

 

My girl Annie, who can walk out the back door into a large, fenced backyard, takes her last pee at 7:30ish PM and doesn't get up until about 7:30ish AM, 12 hours later. That's her choice so I figure if she can do it, who am I to say otherwise.

 

Don't panic. Have confidence in yourself and your girl (name and picture please), and don't lose patience. Your girl needs a confident human to bond with, someone who seems to know what's she doing (fake it if you don't) so she (your girl) can trust and feel safe.

Edited by Feisty49
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Might also keep in mind that if she learns that the patio is ok to pee, she might not quite grasp the idea that while the patio is ok to pee it is NOT ok to pee three feet away from the patio, that is just inside the doggie door and inside your house. You are asking the dog to make a fine distinction here and if the weather is bad and you are not around she may think to herself "this seems close enough" :-)

Rob
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Guest OrangeCounty

Rsieg: I see your points and I appreciate you pointing them out. My patio is covered and sheltered from sun/rain which is another reason why I was hoping to get her to go there in case she is picky about going out when the weather is not to her liking :)

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I moved in June with Tallulah from my stepfather's house, with a yard, to my condo which has an enclosed balcony. The move caused a certain "forgetfulness" in Tallulah's housetraining. I got tired of steam cleaning the carpets. I looked at the doggy patches and went with the DoggieLawn. At first I put it on the enclosed balcony, where T thought it was something fun to dig and play in... then I decided to put it where she kept having her accidents... et voila! We are now in our 6th pee accident free week! Maybe real grass (that you toss out instead of cleaning) will work better for your girl. For me, it was turning MY thinking around from having the lawn where I wanted it to having it where she was having the accidents. I am now moving it in 6" increments back toward the balcony but if that doesn't work, it will stay where it is unless I have guests over. I realize that real grass is an ongoing cost, and the fake grass isn't but it is far less costly than a walker -- and there is no one I trust in my neighborhood to walk her -- and saves me from being frustrated by her having an accident. (I think my stepfather was letting her out to the yard every hour so we have a bit of a learning curve to get her to go several hours!)

 

Good luck!

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Has she ever gone on the patio? If not, you might try the method of going out there yourself, or have a male friend do it.

Worth a try! I've persuaded Charlie by doing this a few times. Just make sure the neighbours can't see :s

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Is it a patio, or a balcony?

 

I had my George for 7 years. He had bladder problems on and off for 7 years. He would have died before he would pee on my balcony.

 

If you're already planning on "emergencies" that keep you from getting home after work, I would suggest you look into a dog walking service. You sound like me--single condo dweller. I have made it perfectly clear to my employer that no work "emergency" trumps my dog's needs!


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Another thought about other dogs... can you make friends with someone else who walks around the same times and then walk together? That may help her get more comfortable with other dogs/breeds.

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Guest OrangeCounty

GeorgeofNE: it's a patio. I'm on the first floor. It's a cement wall that goes up past her eye level then from there up another few feet it's glass. She hasn't tried to look up past the cement, so she hasn't seen the traffic etc.

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She might just see it as an extension of the indoors. If you use the word (pee or potty) with a lot of praise whenever she does it outside so she learns the word well, it might help coax her to do it on the "grass" on the patio. I've used similar to train dogs to go while on the leash. Once they learn the word, they can pretty much go on command if they need to go, and once she learns that it is ok, she might start doing it on her own. I can see where a closed in patio can be tricky. I don't think I've ever had a house trained dog go on the lanai on their own.

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Hi

Congratulations on your new hound.

 

It does definitely take a few weeks or a bit longer for a dog to settle in, everything is so strange to them at first, so I really wouldn't worry about the patio thing. I would stop even trying to get her to 'go' there for the moment, as it is only making you feel a bit frustrated and she is totally confused, obviously, and doesn't understand.

 

As an aside, having an old dog before who used to pee on my concrete patio, the smell in summer was horrendous (like a urinal); even though I regularly cleaned in with bleach, it still smelt and putting the fake turf down isn't going to stop that, probably make it worse. So it's probably a good thing she doesn't like the patio.

 

Also I think it would be quite a challenge to train a brand new dog to use a doggy door when you are out, if that is not something that they are used to.

 

Yes it does mean you will need to walk her 4 x a day or take her to the doggy area, but you can keep some of these outings short and sweet, as long as she is not frightened to go outside generally, that should be OK. Plenty of positive exposure to the outside world (using treats and praise) and keeping it short and positive , in time she will get used to the other breed dogs and noise etc.

 

Good luck, she sounds like a lovely dog

 

 

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HI! Ive had my grey for nearly 3 months (just a few more days).

I have to say 9 days isnt very long for them to feel safe in a new place. We thought the same thing, after the first week everything would be fine and going well, sadly not true. My boy and my husband are only just relaxing on walks. One has a fear of big dogs and the other small dogs..LOL

There is a major difference when my husband walks my grey, compared to when I walk him. (the dog not my husband). I've even been attacked by a small poodle and if anything my grey trusts me wayy more now. I wont kid you, my grey is still afriad of small dogs, just not as much with me. He'll heel at my side, pull a few times then walk with me. He IS still stressed by it. With my husband my grey will pull, try to bolt and then sit down (his version of freezing/statuing). I now go on the walks with them because it's less stress for both of them. I have to remind my husband to relax the leash. The one telling sign for me at least is my grey will play or prance when I walk him but with my husband he is just head down, sniff, walk etc.

 

Give your girl more time. Keep trying to get her to potty out there, DONT force it, make being out there fun. Praise her up and down when she does go. RELAX. Enjoy your dog. Mine can hold his bladder for 10 hours when he wants too, yes I go home and potty him after 4 hours but I mainly do that to check on him(He has a bad toe atm, a play injury).

 

I also keep my grey on the same walking route, we see the same dogs most mornings. HE actually didn't get all scared at seeing a little dog this morning. I take him out to me to have coffee with friends. Two have calm dogs, they come too, so now he is getting used to those dogs. He had no idea what other dogs were, took 4 meetings to sniff the other dogs butt. LOL But get him around another greyhound and game on! If you have a local greyhound group with play dates or walks, go! They have a wealth of advice to give and helps your pup learn too. Seeing another greyhound not react to something is good.

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When we got our Mimi would NOT go except on actual grass. We live in the mountains and the closest grass was over a mile way. We kept the grass visits short, it was not a play time. gradually we started short walks around the neighborhood, and she started finding her spot, she figured out that walks were potty time. Now not a problem. She is fine with the dirt now but It takes time and patience, I am sure she will find her spot. Our male will use any post, tree, plant and has never had a problem.

 

Our two are not afraid of other dogs. Greyhounds spend their whole life with other dogs, so I don't know why they would be afraid of other dogs. they want to smell and check them out. I let them approach other dogs . I know our twos personality, but I don't know what the other dogs are like. Ask the owner of any dog if they are "safe." then let them approach each other. My trouble is little yappy things especially the ones not on a leash..

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You've had some wonderful advice on here, but I just wanted to say congratulations on your new addition! Also, she is very new so just give her time. I'm sure in a few months you will look back and laugh about these issues you had at first. Your problems will turn into how to carve out a sleeping spot on the bed and the best way to eat cheese without her hearing :)

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