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Help With Sit And Down With New Foster.

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First off just wanted to say hi as this is my first posting. My wife and I got our first greyhound 2 weeks ago. She also our first foster. For the first few weeks I just let her get use to the house and our rules, stuff like I go through doors first, this is the other dogs bed, ect..She's very polite so there wasn't much correction needed.


last week I started some basic training. I began with sit...just wasn't happening. I used the treat over her head method and she refused to sit. I read that sitting is not a natural position for greys so I tried down instead. That works better and we are probably at a 25% rate...when she feels like it!


Part of the problem is she's not really food motivated or aiming to please. I'm looking for some advice. I've had a lot of success training other dogs. In fact while I'm training her my blue heeler is right there doing all the commands. I thought that might help as maybe she'll see what I'm asking for. I know Rome wasn't built in a day..but I'm feeling a little discouraged at the lack of success. It feels like I'm trying to train a cat! I'm using food rewards and a clicker for reinforcement that she did the right thing.



25362264325_7737e919c6_b.jpgChloe, our 1st foster greyhound 02.27.16 by Dom, on Flickr

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I wouldn't stress too much about teaching sit right now. I am sure Neylasmom will have some good advice for you. She's great! I have found it is easier to get a sit if they know down first. With my fosters, I start with the wait command. Wait at the door, wait for leash up, food, etc, but this is especially important in the car. You don't want them bolting out of the car before you have the leash in your hand. Good luck and have fun with your foster.

<p>Mom to Kyle (Diehard Kyle) & Angel Gracie (KB's Sankey) Foster Mom for AFG

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Your dog is beautiful. Two weeks for a Greyhound in a new place is nothing. I'm sure you've read a lot about Greyhounds and know that settling into a real home can take many weeks or even months. As much as she feels at home, her real personality hasn't begun to show itself. Greyhounds continually morph, though it slows down, for as long as we own them, IMO.


I had a negative reaction to you saying you've taught her that you go through the door first. That's nice but it sounds like you need to be in charge. Greyhounds are gentle spirits and need lots of love and positive reinforcement, as well as knowing they are safe and secure as exhibited by a household that protects them. Please just be careful how you take charge.


As an aside, my girl Annie Banannie Whisker Face has issues with narrow spaces. She doesn't like them and feels safe going out the front door only when I hold the storm door open as wide as it will go and let her go first. I don't care that she goes first. She respects me and needs me and that's all I care about.


Good luck. You will love being a Greyhound dad.

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Your "job," as a foster parent, it to help the dog learn to live in a home. I would not spend a lot of time working on obedience training, but instead work on things like leash walking and alone training--things that her future home will very much appreciate.


Everyone uses different hand signals/voice commands for basic obedience, so there isn't much point (just my opinion) in you teaching the dog that you're not keeping. House break her. Make sure she can potty both on a leash and off. Teach her to go up and down stairs. Those are important things a greyhound won't know but needs to know to live in a home!


Just my 2 cents.


And yes. Training a greyhound is a LOT like training a cat compared to other breeds.


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

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What I mean is she doesn't go through a door until I invite her through or tell her it's OK. I can't have her running off into the street when I open a door to the outside.


Got 'cha. I've got a dog who doesn't even approach the door unless she's on a leash. People ring the doorbell and she stands at the top of the stairs from the hallway, wagging her tail, but won't come down to greet them. Just her way.

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Guest Scouts_mom

Remember she is a sight hound, and cannot be compared to a herding breed like a blue heeler. Herding dogs are hardwired to listen to people and do what the people request. Sight hounds are hardwired very differently. They are bred to chase things--if they look back to their person for instructions, they would lose their prey.


What this means is that, while they can learn obedience commands, it is on their terms. It is very much like training a cat. The reward for the dog has to be sufficiently high that they want to do it. If they don't see a reason to do it, they won't. The Heeler might give you 16 perfect "sits" in a row just for the fun of it. With a greyhound you are lucky to get one sit--then they look at you like "why on earth do you want more?" They also get distracted and bored easily. Luckily they are naturally polite dogs and don't need much training to live comfortably with people.

Edited by Scouts_mom
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2 weeks and expecting her to not run out the door when you open it is not fair. It is your job to protect her as she still doesn't know the rules about living in a home. Maybe I've misunderstood but you should consider leashing her if you need to amswer the door for a guest until she "gets" it.


Keep in mind that sit isn't a natural position for greys as well. My Ryder can stay in a sit as long as I want him to which is unusual for the breed, but my Kasey, forget it, he'd sit for a second -enough to get the treat from my hand.

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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I have done quite a bit of clicker training, and imho (many) greyhounds are NOT as easy to train as most other dogs. You really have to keep things simple and not overly stress about the final product. My greyhound took a very long time to "get" clicker training and he is still super slow in terms of the time it takes to learn a new behaviour. I still can't get a sit (too uncomfortable) from him but I don't worry about it.


If you want to work on training, I would highly recommend just doing some simple target training to start. It just gets their mind/body moving and understanding the clicker more. I taught mine to touch a little stick with a pingpong ball taped to the end. He doesn't understand food luring, so I trained him to move and follow the target stick instead. He learned simple things like "spin around" and a bit of weaving as well as "come" and "stay" which are very useful. Sit and down (while easy with many dogs) are actually hard commands for many greyhounds.

Edited by RedHead
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Guest xengab

I'm new to greyhounds too. I've been around other breeds before, taught them the basics etc. I even taught my cats to sit and go down..LOL


Greyhounds.. ONE thing Ive found is THEY have to think of it and do it or else they dont understand what you're asking. Sit doesnt come naturally to most, mine sat on his own. So any time I saw him begin to sit, I said Sit. SIX MONTHS before we had the light bulb moment and he got it. Then another month of practice before he really understood. Down, he did it only on the crate mat. Now (with advice from others here) we were able to get him to do it other places.

He is now in dog training classes. Mainly for being around other dogs while learning. Stressed out the first lesson but he did his sit, down, on the mat (placing?) and come a few times.

What he did learn, was YES meant he did it right. We patted him and praised him instead of treats as he isnt food motivated. I'd recommend clicker training too.


This week he learned to walk by my side the whole walk HIS choice. Just by telling him Yes, when he was walking shoulder to leg with me. Along the way he'd bounce around all happy with himself.

With my husband he'd range ahead, but he if got too far ahead. My husband stopped, said heal and waited with relaxed leash. Took a few seconds and he came and stood next to my husband, got his Yes, and neck scratches.


So let the dog think it through, yes have the other dog show what needs to be done.

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As long as you're using a gentle, positive teaching method for hound to wait at door to let human pass through first, that's an excellent important and useful safety measure. Of course, hound should always be leashed unless open door leads to a fully fenced yard since racing Greyhounds are accustomed to bolting out of racing box doors at tracks, departing quickly out of kennel crates or vehicle haulers when door opens, etc.


IME, Greyhounds learn more easily when their own natural action is captured and given a verbal cue, then reward/happy praise. "Down" is easiest cue for Greyhounds to learn (and for their humans to capture in mid-action). "Wait" can be practiced naturally before placing meal bowl onto their feeding stand, etc.


Following snippet is one of my previous posts re: this topic:

(Greyhound Jasper had already been through a prison program.)


Quote: "Jasper might be more protective of his personal space because of previous training methods used. Also, some hounds that go through prison programs appear to lose their training in new environments with new people. Possibly from feeling overwhelmed by too many life changes too soon. They shut down from stress overload.


You're right to avoid any physical force in training. Many dogs will bite if physically forced, and/or will lose trust in humans.


Best to set Jasper up for success by watching for him to do things naturally. Capture desired action and teach the command word + immediate yummy meat treat with praise (special toy with praise, or whatever). It's easy with "down" and "stay". "Come" and "wait" are easy to practice at meal times (best when hound is hungry and eager). I use the word "release" to release dogs from a command exercise. Be clear using Jasper's name when calling him and keep command words clear: "Jasper come". If needed, use a leash to happily guide him when working on "come" to ensure he comes upon hearing the first "come". (Don't repeat a command multiple times before dog moves. That teaches dogs they can take their sweet time or come only if they feel like it; not good in an emergency.)


Please be careful to not overwhelm him with training. I'd suggest waiting to teach sit until after you have more time to build Jasper's trust in you. It's not an important command for Greyhounds, and many hounds should not ever be expected to sit. That said, below is my post about teaching "sit" for hounds who don't easily respond to the treat-over-head method, or rising up from a down position:


"I recommend not teaching sit to any hound who has any rear leg or spinal injury/discomfort. A straight sit is not a comfortable position even for physically healthy Greyhounds, and I don't expect them to stay in a sit for any extended length of time. (Greys are built for running or lying down, but not extended straight sitting like other dogs.) I don't sweat between a side sit or a straight sit. The Greyhound's physical comfort is most important. Keep sessions short (under 3-5 mintes), fun and happy. If frustration begins, stop immediately. Try again later or the next day.


Method below is highly effective once hound trusts their human:

Watch for hound to walk towards their bed (or carpet) to lie down naturally. Get ready with treat in hand, and quickly move closer to the hound. When hound's rear end touches ground/bed, calmly move over to stand in front of hound to block hound into a natural sit while preventing dog from lying down. Immediately say "sit" + treat, and praise, praise, praise.
Practice periodically when the dog goes to lie down naturally, and the hound will learn "sit".


A clicker can be used if you want to "click" immediately and treat when the hound's rear end touches the ground (or dog bed), but just treating with food works fine in most cases."

End quote.


Full thread: http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/308895-teaching-the-basics-fast/?p=5735329

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Guest Grant

I got my greyhound about 5 months ago. I established pack leadership immediately the first day. I used a clicker to teach him his name. I give him about 15 min of training a day and make him work for everything he wants. It only took me about 2 weeks to get him to sit, wait, stay, down and stand. But I have to add, greyhounds have a "what's in it for me attitude" so without treats.....he seemed to just look at me like a cat while I tried to get him thru his commands. I have begun making him work to get on the couch and when he meets my sons and he is slowly taking commands without treats. Once he gets it down, I will begin working with him in a public area with lots of distractions.


Finally, Read up on being a good pack leader....A lot of training and behavior problems arise from not being a strong leader.


And Finally Finally.....I love my new greyhound and is making a great working/service dog

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