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Newly Adopted Greyhound--Obsessed With Laundry Room Door


Guest goldgirlsgreys
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Guest goldgirlsgreys

I brought home a newly-three year old greyhound a week ago, Merida, who has been an absolute delight to have in the house. She's outgoing, friendly, and confident. I work from home and have been pretty consistently working on command training, leash training, etc. to help her settle into a routine. She's very curious but listens fairly well and has never had any housebreaking issues. I know it's still very early and new aspects of her personality have emerged every day since she came home, and so I know that many of her quirks may change over the next several weeks/months/years. I don't use a crate with her (she didn't use one in the foster home she came to me from either) but she is never left home by herself at all (four adults live in the house total, two who work from home, two who don't).

 

The only issue that I'm not quite sure how to handle yet is an odd and specific bout of separation anxiety she seems to have in conjunction with only the laundry room door. She is capable of being left outside by herself and though she will sometimes follow me and other family members around the house, she's fine being gated in a room while I go into the kitchen or into the bathroom and sometimes will go back to bed after coming in from outside while I fix my breakfast. Essentially: as long as she knows someone is still in the house in some capacity, she's fine and fully capable of independence.

 

However, she understands that the laundry room door (which exits to the garage) is the way that mostly everyone in the house enters and exits from, INCLUDING HER when she goes for walks or rides in the car. If she DOESN'T see someone leave firsthand, she whines a little bit at the door when she knows they're gone but will calm herself down within a few minutes. If she DOES see someone leave, she's almost completely distraught. She whined for about two hours straight yesterday after two family members left, occasionally pawing at the door and pacing around. Today, I gave her a kong with some peanut butter and kibble in it as I needed to go out to the garage, and it kept her occupied for about .2 seconds until she was at the door crying and crying. Even after I came in, she continued to cry at the door. I was in the garage for about 5 minutes total.

 

I have had success "distracting" her during her whining phases with her squeaky toy, with running around to play, and with working on some leash training in the house, but she will still return to whining at the door when we're done, even as everyone else ignores her. She calms down enough to lie down if I babygate her in my room and continues to be fine as I come and go to the kitchen or wherever else in the house. I started some alone training with her gated in my bedroom and me going out through the laundry room, but I wasn't out for more than 30 seconds before she jumped over the babygate to, again, cry at the laundry room door. And again, even after I came in, ignored her, went about my business, and finally acknowledged her, she went back to crying at the door.

 

TL;DR Sorry this was so long to explain! I want to work on this behavior so it doesn't get any worse. Would anyone have some tips on breaking her obsession with this door? I realize it might take a while to fully break the habit but I'd like to make sure it doesn't escalate and debilitate her.

 

Thank you in advance!!

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Guest xengab

it's not the door, this is speration anxiety and you need to keep on working on the alone training.

 

Some put up two baby gates, one upside down to people can still get through but houndie cannot jump out of.

 

She knows that going out that door is bye bye..and so she is waiting for them to come back or tries to get to them.

 

You need to keep her busy BEFORE they leave, give her the kong 10 minutes BEFORE anyone goes out, all sit down and pretend nothing is wrong. DONT look at her and dont fuss, just put her in the room, give her the kong and then sit around to read for 10 minutes, then leave.

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Guest goldgirlsgreys

it's not the door, this is speration anxiety and you need to keep on working on the alone training.

 

Some put up two baby gates, one upside down to people can still get through but houndie cannot jump out of.

 

She knows that going out that door is bye bye..and so she is waiting for them to come back or tries to get to them.

 

You need to keep her busy BEFORE they leave, give her the kong 10 minutes BEFORE anyone goes out, all sit down and pretend nothing is wrong. DONT look at her and dont fuss, just put her in the room, give her the kong and then sit around to read for 10 minutes, then leave.

 

Thanks so much for the advice. I wasn't sure if it counted as traditional SA as most articles I'd read on it made it seem like an SA dog just couldn't be independent AT ALL, even in the house with other people around, but I will continue to work on the alone training with her.

 

Also--thanks for the kong advice too. I didn't realize it was better to sit with them for a while with it. My mistake! I'd been tossing it in like a smoke bomb and walking away without saying anything. I'll work on making departures more calm. I've gotten everyone to be pretty calm with her when they come in--so there's no giant hoorays when they come home--which has helped a little bit.

 

Thank you!!

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Guest xengab

Each dog can present SA at any time and in different ways. Mine gets super worked up if he can SEE us but can't touch us (like when mowing the lawn or out the front working in the garden). whines, paces, pants etc. But is totally fine being left alone during the day after we did alone training.

Most books I read just showed the extreme SA examples and not the more common mild ones (which is good and easier to work through). But my adoption group totally trained us in what to do, even if you're sure the dog is already cool with being a lone. Everyone goes through the alone training.

 

Key is to be calm, not fuss with the dog when every people leave the house. Walk the dog as much as possible and play with it until it has had enough. A tired dog is less likely to suffer SA as it just wants to rest.. Routine is always important with hounds. Set a routine, stick with it and then this also helps. I've had my grey for a year now, and it only gets better with time. We still give kongs 10 minutes before we leave, we play with him prior to that too and he gets a mile walk each morning. So a happy tired dog before I set my foot out the door.

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