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Separation Anxiety


Guest Apollo0520
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Guest Apollo0520

Hello, I am Lisa. I am in desperate need of help!! We are first time dog/Greyhound owners. We adopted Apollo on Sunday. Things started off fairly standard. We didn't sleep much the first night, which we expected. On Monday I had the day off from work and my boyfriend Dan had to work. Apollo was sweet from the start. No major behavior problems. We took walks, he laid down on the floor by me, he followed me around and showed me afffection. Per advice I started crate training and practiced leaving and coming back several times. This is when the trouble started. He loved his crate, even going in it on his own and spending time in it. But as soon as I would leave he would flip out. I watched on pet cam as he chewed the sides and tried to push his way out. He never stopped barking or whining. I tried a few more times, all same result. Last night he did so well. Only woke us up maybe 3 times, laid down when we told him to, even went in the crate on his own. My boyfriend got ready for work, put on music, gave him a Kong with peanut butter, treats, his blankets, toys, everything he could have needed. He walked him before, and left him in crate for about 10 mins before leaving. Did not make a big deal as he left, and left. I watched from work as he barked and whined for 30 mins, and then broke right through his crate. My boyfriend rushed home. Started all over, gave him everything agai . Reinforced the crate by tying it. Again, by 30 mins in he had tipped the entire crate over and escaped. We consulted our Greyhound friends and they suggested an airline crate as that should be indestructible. In the meantime we should try putting him in bathroom with all of his things and muzzle him. He wound up destroying the bathroom and when I came home he was standing on the sink. My boyfriend is going to get an airline crate tonight and we will try again. Everyone has told us we have done everything right, and we are optimistic but also very scared. What else can we do for our boy so that most importantly he does not get hurt? We understand that he is used to people or dogs always being around, but is this type of behavior that common? I am shook to be honest. Any advice will help! Thanks!

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Think if you were unable to communicate well. Then you were put into a strange house. You've been removed from all your friends and your only comforts. You've had 2 days to try to get used to a new routine and try to learn what is expected of you, but you don't understand the language, nor can speak it back, and you've upset the strangers that have brought you here and are terrified.

 

If you are a first time greyhound owner, they are not like other dogs. On top of this though, you are a first time dog owner. Your expectations after 2 days of having him home are unbearably high of your new pup, and we haven't even considered adding in potential SA.

 

Please search this forum. It is filled with lots of good things you can do to get your pup back on track. Reading your post was heartbreaking for me and I just had to put this out there.

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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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Guest Apollo0520

I understand all that, which is why I said I understand that this is the first time he has been alone and it must be scary for him. I am not trying to be rude, but I don't believe anything in my post says I have high expectations. Maybe I did not explain myself right. My boyfriend and I researches Greyhounds for months. We went to the rescue four times. We consulted every forum and I know many people that have Greyhounds. I knew they were not like any other dog. I don't expect things to be perfect. That is why I asked others and that is how we came up with the plan we came up with (crate training, kong, music, treats). But that apparently was not enough so that is why I came here to see if there is anything more we can do to, as I said, keep him safe. Again I am not trying to be rude and I am sorry if it comes off that way.

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He does not want to be crated.

A different crate is not going to help.

He is going to injure himself!

 

You need to do more alone training..over a period of several days. Maybe weeks.

 

Please be patient. He has been taken from everything he knows and thrust into an alien world

:(

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

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He does not want to be crated.

A different crate is not going to help.

He is going to injure himself!

 

You need to do more alone training..over a period of several days. Maybe weeks.

 

Please be patient. He has been taken from everything he knows and thrust into an alien world

:(

Yes and yes to all of the above. Read Dr. Patricia B. McConnell's booklet, "I'll Be Home Soon" and follow it to the letter. Be aware that this will be intensive training and may take weeks. My Lola tore her crate apart (even after I zip-tied it together), escaped it three times and bloodied her mouth in the process. She tried to tear her way out a window through the screen. It was intense. Lola is 99% better after I implemented Dr. McConnell's techniques but it took lots of consistency and patience.

Edited by LaFlaca

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Guest Dravenxavier

Hello everyone at Greytalk! I wanted to thank you all for helping with advice for our situation. As first time owners we most certainly want the best for our Apollo, I know many of you have ceased usage of your crates for your boys and girls and Lisa and I both want to get there with Apollo. I know we are new owners and after seeing some of the comments we are taking all things into consideration for Apollo, the bathroom was a temporary fix for today until we can get him a new more Durable crate. We are doing pretty much everything by the book as per everything else, regimented feeding schedules and routine walks aswell as bonding time. Please keep in mind folks we want the best for Apollo and want to do right by him. The greyhound group that we adopted from told us to crate him from the start to get him used to it as a routine. I also spoke to my vet who have over 20 years of experience in working with greys and he said to crate aswell. By crating him we are looking to help him feel that it is a safe space for him as well as a place he can come and go as he pleases, eventually we want to be able to let him roam about the house and be comfortable @Laflaca I have heard great things about that book that you mentioned. Apollo hasn't upset either of us , I personally figured this was going to happen. We can try not crating him and use a baby gate we just worry that he is going to be destructive due to the SA , hence the reason for crating. We are open to all suggestions and we are grateful for all the knowlege and ideas that you folks have to offer us

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Guest Dravenxavier

Also folks if you could please give us some suggestions as to what to do with Apollo while we are both are work we would really appreciate it, IE we unfortunately do not have access to people with other greys in our area, we have a family member who lives in New Jersey who has two greys and we are in North Carolina. So we cant just drop him off, My aunt personally has 4 dogs of different breeds that stay home by themselves . I personally am not sure that this would be the best environment as We just got Apollo and have not yet introduced him to her pack . My other Aunt has 2 dogs however one of them is aggresive towards dogs he isn't fimilier with.. he has personally been renounced from a few pet hotels for aggresive behavior aswell as have had incidents at dog parks , so that is a no go. As some of you have suggested, not crating him. My only concern with that is even with a muzzle we dont want him to hurt himself on anything or have eliminations on the carpets. Also we are trying to teach him not to get on the bed, and after he broke out he jumped on the bed several times. Does it break the reflex of us teaching him not to? because we are not there to reinforce it?

Edited by Dravenxavier
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Please do not take Apollo to stay with your Aunts dogs!

 

You came here for advice from experienced owners who have advised against putting this dog in any sort of crate.

He is obviously terrified of it.

 

Can you take time from work and do your alone training this week?

One or two days is not nearly enough time to establish a routine and get him settled.

 

Muzzle him and leave him loose. Block off/close doors to bedrooms and let him be. You may be surprised at how well he does when he is not confined.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

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Guest Dravenxavier

Please do not take Apollo to stay with your Aunts dogs!

 

You came here for advice from experienced owners who have advised against putting this dog in any sort of crate.

He is obviously terrified of it.

 

Can you take time from work and do your alone training this week?

One or two days is not nearly enough time to establish a routine and get him settled.

 

Muzzle him and leave him loose. Block off/close doors to bedrooms and let him be. You may be surprised at how well he does when he is not confined.

 

 

 

Yes we are not taking him to my aunts, I am off thursday and I was going to spend the day working with him, tomarrow we are gonna try to muzzle him and let him roam in two rooms, he actually really isnt afraid of his crate, he goes in it and lays down, he just has SA and when we leave and hes in it he gets nervious

Edited by Dravenxavier
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Did you adopt from PRH? If so, join the Facebook group (the group, not the page - Project Racing Home Greyhounds is the group name). If not, join the Facebook group anyway. There are a ton of owners there with a ton of experience and they may have some advice.

 

The bathroom wasn't the best idea, but I understand being desperate (a lot of dogs freak out when you close them in a room and they can't see out or see where their people went or if they're coming back)! Can you babygate him in the kitchen and keep him muzzled? Or babygate him in a room that enables him to see out (also muzzled)?

 

Typically, when a dog breaks out of the crate, it's a good idea to stop trying to put them in a crate. They've proven they don't like to be confined, and it's dangerous for them to try again. An airline crate, even if he can't break out, could really hurt his teeth and nose and skin when he tries, and it sounds like he will definitely try.

 

I think your best bet is to section off a small area for him, make it comfy with blankets and beds, offer a Kong, muzzle him, and try to give him a pretty good walk before you have to leave. It may mean getting up much earlier than you're used to, but exercise really, really helps.

 

Have you tried a DAP collar or diffuser? If not, get one. It can take a few days to really notice a difference, but it has helped many anxious dogs.

 

Also restart alone training from the beginning, and go slower. Step out the door for a second or two, then back in. Don't give him time to get worked up. Repeat over and over until he gets bored (he will!). Increase the time you spend outside slowly and if he freaks out, go back a step. It takes time and patience!

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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I would like to start off by simply saying, I understand your concern 100% and I empathize with you. My husband and I adopted our first greyhound (not our first dog) last September. We had a similar experience in that he adapted quickly to our home and lifestyle; however, struggled with separation anxiety. Here is what happened with us, and how we ended up handling the situation:

 

Keeper (our dog's name) was fine for the first few days alone, but by the end of the week he started to get upset and was shredding his blankets in his crate. Then one day, he also broke out of his crate (although I did not have any reinforcements on it and he just simply slipped out of it). Following the "break out" we opted to let him have free-roam of our living room with a muzzle on. We set up a webcam and could see how upset he was getting. The anxiety continued to progress into him soiling on the rug within minutes of us leaving. Within a week, we brought him to the vet and had them run a urinary culture and we found that he had a UTI. We treated the UTI, and things appeared to be getting better; although, Keeper never did relax when he had free roam of the living room. He would howl, shake and exponentially grow more anxious as the day went on. We tried DAP, Music Playing, Kongs, Busy-Toys, etc. Just about everything but he just didn't seem to like being able to roam as much as we thought he would.

 

With that, the adoption agency recommended crating him again (but in a different area of the house), to see if he was any better now that he had gotten used to the house (and us) more. I am surprised to report that once we started crating again Keeper's anxiety decreased dramatically. He was one of the few greys that "broke" out of his crate simply because he was simply anxious, not because he wanted to get out. In effort to continue with the positive events, both our vet and agency recommended Keeper go on an 'as-needed' anxiety medication until he learned that we always came back. We gave him the medication about an hour before we would leave and it helped him to be calm throughout our time away. Within one month, we weaned off the med and he has been great ever since. Please don't get me wrong - I am not saying medication is the answer to everything but sometimes when animals panic they are unable to learn or figure anything else out other than that they are scared. Anxiety medication should only be used if everything else has been attempted and it appears that the animal may injure themself.

 

Keeper now crates himself when we leave for work and he sleeps most of the day (we still have the webcam setup). We still run a radio with soft classical music and I give him a treat before I walk out the door. When I get home I do not make a big fuss, I just open the crate and take him to potty.

 

The last few things I want to note (based on our experience) are that the first few days / weeks aren't exactly the best ways to identify the dogs overall behavior. They are scared and not sure why their "job" at the track was taken away and why all of sudden they are alone. I know it is frustrating and it may be worth a trip to your vet again to see what options you might have to help Apollo adjust. We have found that when Keeper doesn't feel good, he doesn't want to be left alone (which is common for pack-dogs); therefore, a combination of things overtime really seemed to help him out. Time being one of the main factors in our success.

 

Good luck to you!!!

Edited by GreyhoundGuru87

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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Guest Dravenxavier

**UPDATE** Apollo is doing fantastic! today we left him with free roam of the living room and kitchen, at first when I left he was whining and barking , I set him up with his blankets and toys and muzzled him and put a thundervest on him which I bought with the new crate last night, originally I didnt have the crate out in the living room, however after once incident involving a tv being knocked over and destroyed I proceeded home and moved his new crate into the living room and left he door open, I took the now dead Tv to the trash and went back in, made sure nothing was in range for him to get to and turned the music back on for him and headed back to work, since moving the crate out to the living room he has been amazing!! Silent as a church mouse, he was laying on the couch and fell asleep and there are a few whines here and there but overall he is doing great!! Im so proud of our boy! I will continue to work with him doing alone training and Lisa is doing great with the training to she read Ill be Home Soon and we picked up a lot from it! I think this is a major step to defeating the Seperation Anxiety Monster!!!

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**UPDATE** Apollo is doing fantastic! today we left him with free roam of the living room and kitchen, at first when I left he was whining and barking , I set him up with his blankets and toys and muzzled him and put a thundervest on him which I bought with the new crate last night, originally I didnt have the crate out in the living room, however after once incident involving a tv being knocked over and destroyed I proceeded home and moved his new crate into the living room and left he door open, I took the now dead Tv to the trash and went back in, made sure nothing was in range for him to get to and turned the music back on for him and headed back to work, since moving the crate out to the living room he has been amazing!! Silent as a church mouse, he was laying on the couch and fell asleep and there are a few whines here and there but overall he is doing great!! Im so proud of our boy! I will continue to work with him doing alone training and Lisa is doing great with the training to she read Ill be Home Soon and we picked up a lot from it! I think this is a major step to defeating the Seperation Anxiety Monster!!!

 

That's awesome! Sounds similar to our experience as well. We had to find the right space, with the right setup and once Keeper figured it out and was comfortable he was good to go. One thing to note is that you may still encounter an off day here and there - don't get too upset, they usually snap back into their routine quickly.

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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I too adopted a "I will NOT be crated" dog. I tried to hard to do what the adoption group was telling me to, and it was a nightmare. I was ready to return him. They asked me to try speaking with a behavior specialist, so I did. She said, "Honey, if the dog hates the crate, why do you keep putting him in it?" and I started to cry and said, "Because the adoption group says I have to!" She was so kind and said that the groups really do mean well, but it obviously wasn't working for my dog, so STOP IT. Which is what my instincts were telling me all along.

 

Life was truly miserable for both of us, and all of my neighbors the entire time I tried crating (about a month). The day I stopped, all of our problems stopped.

 

When I got my SECOND hound (after the first one passed) I only used the crate for one day. I could see from video he was OK in it, but definitely NOT feeling the "safe space" B.S. For what it's worth, with some time and a lot of Greytalk, I believe now that the crate your new dog advice is OK for those dogs who actually LIKE it, but there are plenty of them that don't, and adoption groups go way too far in suggesting your dog will ONLY feel comfortable in a crate.

 

A home crate is NOTHING like a crate at the track.

 

At the track, or on the farms, the dogs have neighbors above, across from, possibly below them--they're not alone in a strange place trapped in a wire box not knowing if anyone will ever let them out. What a horrifying experience! Why do we think they'll relax?

 

Anyway, there is no one size fits all in greyhound adoption anymore than there is with most other things. I'm so happy for you that it didn't take you long to figure it out! Best of luck and enjoy!

Edited by GeorgeofNE


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

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