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Help - Did I Traumatize My Dog?


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Hi - We've had our boy for about 7 months and are first time grey owners. Our guy is 3 years old and obviously has some anxiety issues: SA, resource guards, does not like to be touched by strangers... He is starting with a behaviorist very soon and we have been in contact with our adoption group. We won't give up!

 

But, just last night I got him PJs because it's been quite cold where we are. No problems getting them on and then went to take them off and full meltdown ensued. Yelping, growling, snapping at me. Had to use our muzzle and finally had to cut them off. After the incident he was very timid with me and my boyfriend and was obviously upset by the incident and I feel like we've taken a big step back in his trust in us. I feel very bad, I'm trying not to take it personally, but it's been quite a struggle over the past few months.

 

I guess I'm not so much asking for advice, but maybe words of encouragement (?) I've read so much about greyhound behavior now and know that these things are not totally uncommon, but we are feeling very unlucky and a bit in over our heads with the dog we have. It's hard to read stories and look at pictures of other hounds who seem to be relaxed and with much fewer issues than our guy. Thanks in advance!!

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Act like nothing has happened. You didn't break him. :)

 

Charlie the iggy, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz
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Take it from someone who was right where you are (different issues, but same feelings) about two months ago: this will pass and, in retrospect, it will seem quite minor bumps in the road. It's also easy to feel like the others are not going through issues with their dogs; doesn't mean it's the actual case.

 

Best advice I got here: you need to relax, everything will be ok.

My :heart Cameron (WW's Bull Fight) - Gotcha day: June 28, 2017

Little rascal Pirate (the cat) who wants to play with Cameron, but from a safe place. :heart

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Treats. Lots of treats. And be confident about everything you do, as he will sense any apprehensive vibes from his people. Smiles and good boy! will help all of you. :)

 

Good boy! was meant to be in quotes. Dang eyefone.

Edited by FiveRoooooers

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. Bea. Punkin. Annie. Miss M. Cletus, knot like the others.

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno.Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea.

 

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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You didn't break him. They are much more resilient than they would have you believe! ;)

 

If you tried the pjs because he seems cold at night, sometimes a simple blanket on their bed or covering them can help. There's also the option of legless pjs, which is kind of like a flannel or fleece doggy robe (see vendor Houndtime in the merchandise section). Two legged pjs could work too, but you still have to bend their legs to get them off. PJs with legs are adorable, but not every dog likes them or needs them. Most of mine have liked them for about 15 minutes, then they get too hot and want them off!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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It's nice to hear you are trying your hardest to work with him. Some furkids do need some work, and some have few issues. You will be building a wonderful relationship together. 7 months is still new to some greys. My Kasey didn't come out of his shell until a year, but my Ryder, he was who he was in 3 months. With that said though, it isn't a bad idea either to consider approaching your adoption group for help, or even re-homing.

 

Maybe he was just trying to tell you he really wanted his pjs on! I second the blanket idea though.

 

I kind of think though that maybe he was trying to tell you something with how he's been acting. Maybe he is a bit tender in some spots, a chiro might be able to help with that. Get him to wear a muzzle for his initial session, and they will be able to tell if he's being reactive because of pain.

 

Good luck and please keep us updated!

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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My view on jammies is an unpopular one...I know some depend on making them for a living and I respect that.

 

Your dog was probably raised in Oklahoma or Kansas in an outside run with a baby pool in the summer and a communal dog house filled with straw in the winter. He grew, thrived and did just fine in snow and 100 degree heat. Then he's adopted and turns into a fashion model and glass figurine that needs jammies in a heated house?

As far as fear of traumatizing I wouldn't fawn over or suck up to him. Just go about your normal business as Ducky said and he'll settle back into his routine. If you think he's shivering from cold just get a blanket as also advised above.

 

"I roamed free the deserts and hills in the time before Christ.

Where were my jammies then?
I waited 20 long years for my master to return from his Odyssey.
Where were my jammies then?
I followed Caesar when he conquered cold, wet Gaul.
Where were my jammies then?
I hunted bear, bull, stag and men for my lord in the manor.
Where were my jammies then?
I was the first of my kind to see the Pacific Ocean.
Where were my jammies then?
I saw Yellow Hair meet his end at the Little Big Horn.
Where were my jammies then?
I chased Coyote and Jack Rabbit across the rolling Great Plains.
Where were my jammies then?
I snuggled in straw through long, cold nights on the farm. The next morning I ran like the wind after the lure.
Where were my jammies then?
I am a fierce predator and competitor. No one is faster than me.
Where are my jammies?"

 

- Credit to Donna and Brett Weeks

Edited by Hubcitypam
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Wanted to add that with jammies I often have to be careful when removing them due to static electricity, depending on the material they are made of + that particular dog's fur + weather. Just something to be aware of. I slide my hand between the jammie and the dog to help ease that connection.

Edited by FiveRoooooers

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. Bea. Punkin. Annie. Miss M. Cletus, knot like the others.

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno.Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea.

 

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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I'm with Pam on the jammies issue. Yes, they're very cute. Yes, I own a drawerful. My current hound HATES wearing anything. I have taken him out for 5 minute walks in VERY cold temps and NOTHING HAPPENED. And for all those who love to say, "But MY dog is from Florida so..." Yeah. My dog is from Florida. He has almost no fur. He still hates wearing anything. So I don't make him.

 

Now, your boy sounds like he was just nervous. He might be OK with them, really, but don't try again for a while. He'll be fine without them.

 

:)

 

It's going to be OK!


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

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You didn't break him! Tessa routinely sulks at me for doing things she deems unacceptable (trying to gently move her out of my way?? The horror!). Just act like nothing happened (but also be quiet and calm with him) and he'll come around.

 

I'm with the others on PJs. Some dogs need them, some don't. Tessa hates wearing anything, so she only gets a coat if it's really really cold/windy or if it's raining and I don't feel like drying her off :lol My terrier hated wearing clothes at first, but she was old and chilly all the time and quickly learned to love her housecoat (didn't have legs - just a slightly looser and more comfy coat). Give him a while to get over this first attempt, and then when he's older, or it's too chilly inside, you can try the PJs again.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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All is well :) I am sorry you had such a negative experience and even had to ruin them to get them back off but you did nothing wrong and you did not hurt your boy at all. First, I am a K9 handler and one of the things I have learned is that ALL dogs have "something" that may be considered an issue by some. That is normal. There is a extreme variety of medical, psychological, personality, and experience traits etc that can be manifested. All dogs have "something." One thing that all dogs have in common, and is normal, is that dogs bite. Its what they do. So do not be the least concerned that you had to use the muzzle-it was not personal! Now that you know he hates jammies so much it is a non-issue because there will be no more jammies. He NEEDS you to do just as you are and take charge so he can feel confident and safe in you as a leader. Make sure he knows that you will always protect him from other dogs or people etc. I am NOT saying to coddle him and reinforce fear. I am saying just don't push him into situations he fears as pack leaders don't do that. Believe it or not one of the reasons police dogs have the confidence they need to apprehend the bad guys is because they have been trained to a high level of engagement with their handler whom they recognize as their pack leader. Over time you will probably see him noticeably improve because he comes to realize that he doesn't need to fear since his person is there. 7 months is not that long-it takes time and can be a slow process. And after any incident it is also normal for them to possibly be on edge for a few days or even weeks afterward because it takes that long for the stress hormones that surged when they melted down to get out of their system again. But don't coddle him! Let him see you as strong and confident. Arrange for him to have little victories learning to do things and thus develop confidence in himself. Don't push him or put him in situations that he can't win at. Always set him up for success-not failure. Stuff happens but handle it as you did this time-take control-and help him ultimately "win" by overcoming it. Use lots of very yummy (not cheap) treats to reinforce things that you want to be a positive experience for him. Its all good! You and your boy will develop a deep love and understanding-you'll see! You are treating him with love and that is the most powerful force in the universe. BTW there are accupressure points you can stimulate to help de-stress them and BACH flower essence therapy particularly Rescue Remedy and mimulus etc also help some dogs to balance their energy and feel better. Here is one useful technique I use with my working dog: https://emainehosting.com/mesard/Articles/The%20Be%20Still%20Exercise.pdf

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Been there - done that. I was sure I "broke" my first grey 57 times. It's a terrible feeling when you're trying so hard to do everything JUST RIGHT. My first grey, Sobe, was also very challenging - SA, sleep aggression, space aggression, food aggression, food-obsessive to the extreme, etc, etc. We were in WAY over our heads. But, we muddled through. We made mistakes. Lots of them. I researched constantly, took good advice from GT, and made choices. Some right, some .... oops.

 

The one thing that I finally figured out was to cut through all the BS. Keep life as simple as possible. Sobe HATED coats - so no coat. PJs? Oh, that would never work. They actually weren't "a thing" at that time, so we never considered it. But it would've definitely been a NO. Teeth-brushing? No thanks, I like my fingers. Nail clipping - I'll pay the vet to be the "bad guy". Crate? Well, he broke off a Canine tooth escaping. So, no crate for him.

 

A lot of things that are "normal" or "expected" just don't work for dogs that are "challenging". Keep it simple. Cut out anything that's not necessary. As time goes on, you can start working on the real issues, one by one. PJ's - not an issue. Just don't do that. Lesson learned.

 

Other thing I learned - dogs are NOT aware that you "messed up". They don't blame you for the "PJ incident of 2018". Move on. Forget it. Don't act weird. Just act confident, and happy. They want a confident, happy leader.

 

Sorry - you didn't ask for advice, but I gave it anyway because it's a really rough road when you're a first-time adopter with a dog that's above your paygrade. We lived it, and it was so hard. But, then it wasn't. Sobe was never a "perfect" dog, but after a while, we figured each other out, and life worked. We knew his limitations, and adapted. And he got MUCH better over time.

 

You did ask for encouragement. I can give you that. You're reaching out, you've done your research, you know that this a a "challenging" dog. Those are all amazing things. You are obviously trying very hard to do the best you can. I commend you. Sobe was my "heart dog", PITA that he was. He loved me desperately. And I've never loved another dog like I loved him. If you can survive it, the problem child is the one that may steal your heart. Other up-side, every other grey through our house (1 other of our own and 14 fosters) seemed like a piece of cake after Sobe!!

 

Hang in there. Keep it simple. Focus on what's important, and write off everything else.

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Been there - done that. I was sure I "broke" my first grey 57 times. It's a terrible feeling when you're trying so hard to do everything JUST RIGHT. My first grey, Sobe, was also very challenging - SA, sleep aggression, space aggression, food aggression, food-obsessive to the extreme, etc, etc. We were in WAY over our heads. But, we muddled through. We made mistakes. Lots of them. I researched constantly, took good advice from GT, and made choices. Some right, some .... oops.

 

The one thing that I finally figured out was to cut through all the BS. Keep life as simple as possible. Sobe HATED coats - so no coat. PJs? Oh, that would never work. They actually weren't "a thing" at that time, so we never considered it. But it would've definitely been a NO. Teeth-brushing? No thanks, I like my fingers. Nail clipping - I'll pay the vet to be the "bad guy". Crate? Well, he broke off a Canine tooth escaping. So, no crate for him.

 

A lot of things that are "normal" or "expected" just don't work for dogs that are "challenging". Keep it simple. Cut out anything that's not necessary. As time goes on, you can start working on the real issues, one by one. PJ's - not an issue. Just don't do that. Lesson learned.

 

Other thing I learned - dogs are NOT aware that you "messed up". They don't blame you for the "PJ incident of 2018". Move on. Forget it. Don't act weird. Just act confident, and happy. They want a confident, happy leader.

 

Sorry - you didn't ask for advice, but I gave it anyway because it's a really rough road when you're a first-time adopter with a dog that's above your paygrade. We lived it, and it was so hard. But, then it wasn't. Sobe was never a "perfect" dog, but after a while, we figured each other out, and life worked. We knew his limitations, and adapted. And he got MUCH better over time.

 

You did ask for encouragement. I can give you that. You're reaching out, you've done your research, you know that this a a "challenging" dog. Those are all amazing things. You are obviously trying very hard to do the best you can. I commend you. Sobe was my "heart dog", PITA that he was. He loved me desperately. And I've never loved another dog like I loved him. If you can survive it, the problem child is the one that may steal your heart. Other up-side, every other grey through our house (1 other of our own and 14 fosters) seemed like a piece of cake after Sobe!!

 

Hang in there. Keep it simple. Focus on what's important, and write off everything else.

Wow - I can really relate to this. Thank you. And thank you for the advice. I know that it will just take more time and patience, but it's hard being in the thick of it. I know part of it is being a first time adopter, but I also know that we really do have a dog with more challenges than most.

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My Katie-girl was definitely a challenging, special-needs dog. Generalized anxiety, and very non-resilient. I'm going to tell you one thing I did that helped me through the difficult early days: every night, before bed time, I would sit by her, pet her (once she got a little braver), and tell her one thing that she did that day that made me proud. And yes, in those early days, it was often something like "I liked it when you lifted your head and looked at me when I walked into the room" or "You were such a brave girl when you took the cookie from my hand". Because they do try hard, but it can be easy to overlook the steps that they make when you are used to "normal" dog behavior. This kept me looking for the good things that my dog was doing, and not just focusing on the cleaning up after a dog that was too scared to go potty outside, or on the fact that she never came out of her "safe spot" and was terrified of everything, or the hundred other things that made life with her challenging. And with time, she did get a lot better, although she was never a dog that bounced back from things easily.

 

And you are going to be working with a behaviorist, who can give you more detailed help, so that's a good thing, and I commend you for it!

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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  • 2 months later...

Wanted to give everyone an update. Our guy is now on 30mg of Prozac and it's been about a month and we've already seen huge, huge improvements in him. We are continuing behavior mod, etc. but this medication was a big help for him as he clearly has some deep anxieties around being handled.

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Wanted to give everyone an update. Our guy is now on 30mg of Prozac and it's been about a month and we've already seen huge, huge improvements in him. We are continuing behavior mod, etc. but this medication was a big help for him as he clearly has some deep anxieties around being handled.

Good for you!!!! You gotta figure out what works for YOUR dog in YOUR house! Keep up the good work!

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That's good to hear. I wanted to add my opinion, for what it's worth. I've found that with greyhounds, a gentle, respectful approach works much better than forcing your way on them. Especially in the first year (or two, depending on the dog). Most of them don't tolerate being manhandled very well, until they know they can trust you not to hurt them intentionally. Before that point where they trust you, it's better to perhaps leave the jammies on, or bribe them with treats to go out in the yard, or whatever. Basically I'm saying that in the early times trust-building is more important than just about anything else.

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

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