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Guest BrauneAugen

Beginning Of Sa Or Other Anxeity Problems?

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Guest BrauneAugen

Hello! I am so glad this community exists. I have been lurking for a while, but I have a question for you SA experienced greyt parents out there. I have a new rescue, a little girl named Kira that is 2.4. She only ran two races and she was very lucky to be retired early in September :)
First, I want to say that I know this is only day 5 and (after reading this forum) I realize that I have been extremely lucky. She is calm and has even started playing/tail wagging. I have never met a more chill or tolerant dog. I can touch her mouth, paws, ears, and she is okay. She also pees and poos on a leash!

We had an issue yesterday that is making me worried...I locked myself out for 1.5 hours (don't ask). She had no radio or stuffed Kong toy. When I got back in she had clawed and chewed the front door. The neighbors said she cried loudly the entire time. No accidents, and it was right before her normal walk. I will have class for 6 hours starting on Monday and we will crate her then. She is on that schedule now and holds it just fine. I'm a bit worried by the crying. I wonder if she hears other people in the apartments around us and feels lonely?

Here is a little background information:
She was matched to us because we live in an apartment and can only have 1 dog. The organization said she'd be okay alone, that she was very quiet, and didn't seem to be a redecorator. She is socially motivated and not always interested in treats. However, she was not in foster care at the rescue organization. Do to some emergencies, they had to place her in an kennel for two months until we adopted her. The conditions probably were not great and the organization won't ever place a dog with them again. She still has kennel coat, bald patches, and knobs on her elbows from insufficient bedding. She was much more anxious then she had been when they placed her there. She was also attacked by a non grey 2 weeks ago at the kennel. She is healing and okay with me treating the wounds, but she is now terrified of other dogs. Other than getting her spayed, she has not seen a vet since her vaccinations before her transport from Ireland. We are taking her for a work up on Tuesday. Any advice for getting her more comfortable around other dogs? She hides behind me on walks.

i am wondering if the kennel or the attack might have triggered anxiety and if she has SA? Otherwise, she isn't a velcro dog. She hangs out on her bed while I am in other rooms. This forum has been great for alone training advice. I put on the radio sometimes when I'm not leaving so she doesn't associate it with being left. I also put on coat and jingle keys, leave for 30 seconds and come right back. I've been careful not to overdue the attention. I tried to get her used to the baby gate last night. She freaked and cried when I used it to quickly clean. She also loudly cried when my husband and I closed the our office door to assemble her crate. We wait until she stops and ignore her until she calms down to not encourage her. It seems to be getting worse. However, no gate or door and she doesn't always want to be in the same room.

Any advice in addition to going to square one for alone training? Is this normal for a grey's first week in the house? Is there anything I might have missed? Sorry, still figuring out how to post a pic of her pretty face.

Edited by BrauneAugen

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You have your dog for 3 days. She has to compensate so many new things in her life. She has never lived in a house, flat or else. Imagine someone grabs you, takes you to Mars and says "No problem. Just do ir like all the other Marsians". You will freak out, I guess. That is your dog, alone in a completely unknown territory, with no canine companions that she had during her whole life.

Do you have the possibility to have someone over at your appartement while you are gone for a longer time, not actively interacting with her, just being there? When you crate her leave the radio on and give a kong with frozen joghurt inside. It's a long lasting treat. Make sure she is tired - a long walk before you go can help her.

And are there other greyhound owners or friendly dog owners that you know. You can go for a walk together regularly. Just walk together, no interaction - only if your girls gets interested.


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

 

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

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Please don't assume ANY of those physical/fur issues are because of mistreatment. Trust me. My dog sleeps in my Tempur-Pedic with me, and he has bald elbows, a totally bald neck, a bald butt, and a bald chest! I've had him for over a year, and none of those things have changed since he left the kennel (where I know for a fact he was treated well).

 

You need to establish a routine. Get up earlier than you normally would, and walk your dog for as long as she'll tolerate--at least 30 minutes. When it's time to go, just give her the Kong and say "See ya!" and walk out.

 

It won't be long before she understands you always come home.

 

A radio is helpful for some dogs. Also some dogs do well with a D.A.P. (pheremones) diffuser, available online or at bigger pet stores. The booklet "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell is sort of the gold standard of "alone training." See if you can get a copy from someone, or get it from Amazon.com


gallery_14387_3165_14194.jpg

Susan,  Marcai's Mister Bigglesworth (AKA Da Evil Won), and Sleekat's Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming and George (Driven by Chile) and Buck (Vogo Player)

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Guest BrauneAugen

Thank you both so much for the quick responses! I'm glad that you think this is normal adjusting behavior. I have fostered other breeds and volunteered with greyhounds when I was in the states, but I want to make sure her transition is as smooth as possible and head off any problems. I know I won't get to know the real her for a few months. I will try giving her a frozen kong treat in the morning, thanks for the tip! I will also order McConnell's book.

 

I'm a recent expat in the Germany. We don't know many people so she will have to be alone. We will at least have weekend play dates with some friendly galgos in a nearby town. I have gotten up long before my normal leaving time this week to walk her for 30-45 min. So far that has been okay and she sleeps the whole morning. She is younger and has some puppy-ish energy. I'd walk her longer in the morning, but it is quite cold outside at 5am, even with her thick coat. I don't want to wait until she is shivering or something. Would a longer walk be okay? We walk for an hour, sometimes more, in the afternoon when it is warmer and we have a short walk in the evening.

 

Re the mistreatment. I'm sure she has her old scars from playing as a puppy or bopping herself in her crate, but the rescue organization also suspected something was not quite right when they picked her up to bring her to me. I realize that is a common misconception that physical imperfections equals abuse. I had only mentioned it to see if anyone has advice for helping a new dog that had lingering anxiety issues in an unsure situation or after a dog attack. I had tried a few different terms in the search bar, but I didn't find much.

 

Thanks for taking the time for comfort and guide a new grey parent. I hope you and your greys have a lovely new year!

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We are from Germany, too and I know lots of greyhound parents throughout the country. You can pm me if you like and I can look if there is someone or even myself in your area.


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

 

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

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:welcome Congratulations on your new Greyhound arrival!

 

Your young girl has been through many changes in her short life. It will take time for her to settle into her new family, home and environment. Think in terms of baby steps. A great thing I read in your post: she feels comfortable enough to rest on her bed when you leave the room. That can be a nice sign of independent behavior. :)

 

Great if you and your husband share dog duties: walks, feeding meals, offering praise, affection, positive reward-based training ("capture" her natural desired actions, teach verbal cue and treat reward). Shared duties encourage dogs to view both humans equally vs. depending fully on only one person. Occasionally rewarding good behavior with toys also helps encourage independent behavior. Avoid fanfare during departures/returns.

 

- Immediately begin practicing many brief crate and baby-gate sessions in the humans' most used rooms.

Feed meals in her closed door crate.

Meal = dog's reward = good things happen for dogs in crates. (Never use crate as punishment.)

As soon as she finishes her meal, quietly open crate door and take her out to potty.

Happily praise for good eliminations outside! :)

 

- Periodically toss treats into her crate as a fun game, just to let her run in to grab her reward/s and step back out as freely as she desires.

 

- Other times give her a workable Kong treat in the crate (practice with crate door open and closed). Initially stay in the room reading, watching TV, etc. When she seems comfortable, try walking out of the room for brief periods. Back and forth...

Important: Each time you return to her pick up the Kong. (Kong is given as her high value "special treat" only.)

(Workable treats like a Kong with plain peanut butter smeared inside or plain meat baby food. Plain yogurt is fine if your dog enjoys yogurt. Don't freeze the Kong while you're home during training. Some dogs are less receptive to frozen treats. That said, frozen Kongs last longer and are better for food safety when humans are gone for several hours. Kongs should be washed daily. Kibble dispensing cube toys are good too (perhaps for baby-gated practice sessions).

 

- When she's tired/resting/sleeping inside her open door crate, casually walk by and close crate door with her inside for 30 min.+/- while she can see you calmly working on a computer or watching TV. Then casually unlock crate door without saying a word. Go back to your seat. The goal is for her to feel comfortable in her crate as her safe, happy place.

 

- Repeat same process with her in the most used baby-gated room with a thick comfortable dog bed (or crate as her only bed if it's in the same room). Alone training house departures work similarly.

 

Dogs usually dislike being separated from their humans/pack behind closed room doors, so it doesn't surprise me that she reacted when you and DH set-up her crate behind a closed door.

 

Regarding getting locked-out of your apartment: Try not to worry too much about her reaction. That was an unexpected situation. She's too young and too new to have been left free and unsupervised in the apt. I'd consider it a good sign that she didn't have an elimination accident, especially when it was time for her potty walk. (Sometimes if dogs are feeling highly anxious, they lose control of their urine or bowel within minutes of the person's departure. That was not your girl.) Your girl's vocalizations might have been a call for your return so she could be taken outside to eliminate. Otherwise...

Talk radio or "Calm Dog" music might help curb whining/barking. Some vocalization is common in any breed's early adjustment period, especially as an only dog in another new place. Ask your neighbors for their understanding while you're working to help your newly retired racer become adjusted to family home life.

 

Racing Greyhounds are short sprinters (in U.S., races last approx. 30 seconds, and a Greyhound only races 1 or 2 times a week). Upon adoption, walking may be increased gradually to build endurance and paw pad toughness. Newly retired hounds usually arrive with soft paw pads. Too much walking too soon, especially on hard surfaces can backfire with sore/damaged pads, hounds reluctant to take walks, etc. Generally, building in 10 minute increments works well during early weeks. Helps to check pads after walks at least a few times per week.

 

Being attacked by other dogs can be quite traumatic. It's natural that she's cautious/fearful of dogs for the time being. Be careful to not push her too soon. Remember baby steps. Keep this scary new world as simple as possible until she's ready to take new steps. Allow her time to adjust to her new humans, apartment, and potty walks first. She will change and blossom in 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years and beyond. Try to be patient and enjoy each stage. :)

 

 

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U.S. Greyhounds are sent to adoptive homes with kennel muzzles to be used as needed. They're helpful in early stages of pet home life, going to vet's offices, etc. Perhaps your region has a similar muzzle that allows for panting, drinking water, etc.

http://gemgreyhounds.org/GEM-Store/kennel-muzzle/

 

ETA: Secure a floor length mirror across the room from her crate. She will see her reflection as another Greyhound (who won't harm her). Ensure direct sun will not hit the mirror.

Edited by 3greytjoys

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Guest BrauneAugen

Thank you for your help and for the welcome. The mirror thing was brilliant! It was almost been two weeks and she is doing quite well. The neighbors have said that they don't hear her :) Crate training win!

 

Have a lovely weekend!

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Wait, you don't have a coat? That's half the fun of having a greyhound--buying them clothes!

 

Some dogs, like mine, are just fearful dogs for no other reason than they were born that way. I know everyone I meet who sees his fearful reaction to men assumes he was abused at the track. Which is simply not true. I've made online friends with people who knew him at the track, and he's always been the way he is.

 

Sounds like you're doing really well. That's great!


gallery_14387_3165_14194.jpg

Susan,  Marcai's Mister Bigglesworth (AKA Da Evil Won), and Sleekat's Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming and George (Driven by Chile) and Buck (Vogo Player)

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