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Guest T_Rexa

Separation Anxiety... Maybe?

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Guest T_Rexa

We brought home our lovely ex-racer about two weeks ago now. Things have been great, and she seems to be doing really well with the cat (which was my main concern). She's generally very mellow and well-behaved, so we're very grateful for that. I work from home, so I've been able to help her adjust nicely to our apartment. I was cautioned not to let her spend all of her time in the same room with me, and we've done that without much difficulty. We are ready to start alone training with her. Fortunately, she loves her crate, so that helps a lot. However, she seems to have some SA but I'm confused because it's not at all consistent. Some days, she doesn't want to be around us at all and will intentionally leave the room we're in and sleep elsewhere, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes all day. She also doesn't mind if we're the one leaving the room in those cases. At other times, she will cry if I so much as go into the bathroom. At first I thought it was just about the time of day, or maybe how tired/lazy she was feeling. But that doesn't seem to be the case. It feels completely random. Because of this, I'm not quite sure how to proceed with her alone training. How will I know if she's really ready, or if she just happens to be in a good mood? Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 

Other complications for us:

- Since we are in an apartment, it would be a big deal for her to cry the whole time we're gone. So we have to be very cautious about that.

- She is healing from a broken leg, so we cannot take her on a long walk to wear her out before leaving.

- She can't be alone with the cat yet. However, she does love her crate so that's not so bad right now.

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First, congrats on your new addition! We'd love to see pics. :)

 

Your situation sounds a lot like ours when Sweep first came to us: 1) we lived in a townhome so neighbors were a concern; 2) I work from home so she quickly got used to someone being around all the time; 3) we have two cats; 4) she liked her crate. I think it's premature to worry about separation anxiety, though. Is she straight off the track, or was she fostered? A little crying is not unusual in the early days as they're adjusting to home life, and it doesn't necessarily indicate separation anxiety. (Whining is and always has been Sweep's preferred method of communication and can mean anything from "hey, pay attention to me!" to "the air smells totally awesome today!") Have you actually left your girl home alone at all yet? When you do, keep a TV or radio on low volume, leave a frozen stuffed kong or another safe treat for her so she has a distraction and a positive association with your departure, and try not to make a big deal of coming or going. Start very slowly, just a minute or two away at a time. You can use the Presence app or something similar (plenty of apps/devices out there for this purpose) to monitor how she does. You might be surprised to find that she just sleeps! That's what happened with us. If you run into problems, DAP diffusers or calming chews might help; there are lots of threads here on alone training and separation anxiety if you end up needing them, but I don't think there's any reason to assume you will based on what you've said. She's just getting used to being a pet. Good luck!


17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo. Always missing Mud the meezer and Henry, my sweet bubba.

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Guest nnamdismom

Hi and welcome to the beginning of a incredibly rewarding journey!

 

We had my greyhound about two days before he decided the crate was NOT for him. He would cry in it all night long, so we slept downstairs with him. When it was time to go to work, he would cry and scream knowing he was about to get in his crate and once in there, and the whole way I was walking out the door. I thought this might be some SA, but learned that it was that he had a taste of freedom and never wanted to be crated again. After another day, we all but had to drag him in. I needed to start alone training quicker than expected.

 

Some things I found helpful were leaving for a few minutes at a time and waiting. Almost every grey owner I have talked to is horrified about leaving a greyhound out of a crate in the first few months. Know that every dog is different and you really have to listen to your dog and what he is trying to tell you. No word of advice applies to every single dog and you are the only person in charge of your dog. What I began to see is that Nnamdi was telling me that he could be trusted. You will have to try everything for the first time to know if its the right time.

 

What we did is try leaving the house for a few minutes, get all ready, grab your keys, and leave. Can you peek in through a window? See if she is running around the house or howling? Maybe just lays back in bed? Definitely separate the cat and grey until you are 100% sure. We also set up the iPad to video chat and left for an hour. I was so nervous, his first time alone. Nnamdi laid in bed the entire time, he did not leave the room or look stressed. It was the proudest moment of my life with him. Greyhounds typically don't want trouble, they will just sleep, unless anxious. Determining that early will help a lot.

 

Another example is that he always used to steal the remote in the beginning. This was just anxious behavior and trying to get our attention or feeling unsure. Now, he could care less about the remote. He used to cry when we would go upstairs, but just because he was unsure if we would come back. Now, he doesn't make a peep when we go upstairs. He knows we always come back.

 

I think you have to trust your dog and truly listen to what she is trying to say. For me, Nnamdi was not being a bad dog screaming and pulling away from getting into the crate. He was trying to say "trust me! Let me show you I am a good boy"! If you girl acts how you want her to when you are around, I would bet that she would behave when you are not. I have not met too sneaky of a greyhound yet! :) Know that your dog is trying to find a routine and will be a little nervous at times with all the new experiences, until she feels secure in what is about to happen next. A greyhound has spend his whole life with a strict schedule. He knew what was to happen every hour. In the home, he is not even sure if this is his home or if he will be relocated again. She may not be sure if you are her forever mom and she can trust you, or if you are just another caretaker. It takes time like any relationship but once she begins to see patterns in her new life she will blossom.

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Crates are HIGHLY over rated.

 

It seems to be mandatory for adoption groups to insist you crate your dog, and I am not AGAINST crates. But I know plenty of people who have never crated, people like me who adopted dogs who would rather go through the gates of hell than go into a crate all day, and dogs like my current dog who did OK in the crate, but simply didn't need it after a couple of DAYS.

 

The booklet "I'll be Home Soon" is great, and will help you prepare, but if you find she's fighting going in the crate, it really is OK not to use it!

 

Dog proof your house (put away anything that is food in the fridge, or even in the microwave if you have to), give her something safe to chew if she feels the need, consider using her muzzle, and see how it goes.

 

Also, from a condo dweller, I would suggest you let your neighbors know you've adopted a greyhound and give them your number and ask them to call YOU and not your landlord if she bothers them.


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 T_Rexa

Oh no she LOVES the crate. We actually had to make it less accessible to her because she was refusing to leave. I'd love to transition her out of it eventually, but for now it's great that she likes it, because there's nowhere for us to lock the cat for a long period of time (our apartment is a loft with an open layout). I can lock the cat in the bathroom to practice alone training without the crate, but I'm not going to do that for huge chunks of time, so I don't think it would be too useful right now.

 

We have not left her alone yet, so I'm glad to hear that the general whining doesn't always translate to separation issues. The experience is just from leaving her downstairs while I'm up (Learning stairs took a few weeks, so she was stuck. She can come up now though). For that, she was/is not crated. And then I try to leave her in the crate for small chunks of time during the day so she can practice being alone. Sometimes, she couldn't care less, and others she whines the second I leave. She also cried for quite a bit when my parents watched her last week before eventually calming down. I think part if it is just that she's vocal. She doesn't always seem upset when she's making noise, but it can get very loud when she's riled. She also whines about once a night for some unknown reason (very loudly, but only until we stop her). I don't really know what that's about, but I'd love any advice you guys have. It's not at a specific time every night.

 

My apartment doesn't have super thin walls, fortunately. However, my closest neighbor is incredible loud with their tv/music at night. So while I don't want them complaining, I also won't feel very sorry if they get annoyed =).

 

I've tried posting some pictures a few times but it keeps saying that the photo extension isn't allowed... Not sure what I'm doing wrong.

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New GreyTalk users can only post in the "cute and funny" forum, I believe. You need to have a certain number of posts to post in other threads--I think...

 

If I'm wrong, sorry. Go to the Technical forum and read "how to post a picture." It's not hard. But you need to have your photo somewhere other than your PC. Like Photobucket or some other photo hosting site.


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 T_Rexa

Hmmm. Yeah I tried those instructions and the picture showed up, but when I went to post it said the extension (which was jpeg) was not allowed. Maybe it's the behavior forum specifically.

 

Here are some links if anyone wants to see Goose. She's a gorgeous girl.

 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0BbAPM7i9WSVUxEVTZzUGN6cjU5ZjBDQXlOVW1qTXJvU2tJ/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0BbAPM7i9WSR2FKVXJiYnZVdk1aMTdCOHBRdXFKd05ZcnRB/view?usp=sharing

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She is beautiful! You can definitely post pictures and create a signature as a new member; you just have to reach 50 posts to get an avatar (presumably because the mods have to assist with that, and they don't want to waste their time for people who post once or twice and then disappear forever).

 

Most of us use Flickr or Photobucket to host our images, but if you're on Facebook, you can go that route. Upload the photo there, right-click on it, select Copy Image Location, come back here and select the Polaroid icon above the message box, and paste the copied link from Facebook. (Not sure why that doesn't work for Google Drive but apparently it doesn't! I tried too.)


17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo. Always missing Mud the meezer and Henry, my sweet bubba.

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