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New Greyhound, Trying To See If I'm Doing A Good Job!


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My wife and I recently adopted a male grey who is a little under 2 years old. He is fresh off the track (no fostering) and he's our first dog ever. We have done a ton of research and we were wondering if we are on the right path in the 3 days that we've had him. I have a few questions and just some general stuff we've been doing and was wondering if we're doing the "right thing" with a newly retired grey. Any feedback is appreciated!

 

- He has had a few accidents with peeing in the house. To curb this we take him outside ASAP to pee when it happens. Whenever he uses the bathroom outside we shower him with praise have give him a treat. We also take him outside every 2 hours or so now because he's so new. His pee area is sprayed down with Nature's Miracle. We also have been feeding him in that same area as we've heard that some folks have had success with this. Is this the best course of action?

 

- He is basically a puppy and has been getting into some things. In particular he is infatuated with the television and his reflection and our baker's rack. He will jump on them which can be dangerous for him. We give him a firm "NO" and wave our finger like a traffic cop. This was recommended in our adoption paperwork. We have seen some progress already with this technique, but is this ok or is it too harsh for such sensitive animals?

 

- We gave him toys on his second day (he was chewing our mice on our PC's so we gave him a kong instead). One of the toys he destroyed in about 5 minutes and got the stuffing everywhere. Didn't want him to choke so we tried to take it away and he growled, showing some resource guarding. Immediately we did a trade up with a high value treat, he dropped it, and we tossed it out. Is that the right move? "Trading up" is still a new concept to us.

 

- We are doing some basic training, but not sure if it's too early. We'll put a treat in his crate and tell him "go home" and when he does we'll shower him with praise. We also been teaching "touch" where when he touches my hand I'll say "touch" and he gets a treat. This is an attempt at an easy call back. Is it too early to train him? He is easily distracted by all the new stuff around him but i figured it would be good to give it a try.

 

Sorry for all the questions, we just want to know that we're doing a good job! My wife and I work from home and are very quiet and patient people. We know it'll take our fella months to come out of his shell, but he's doing great so far!

Edited by incredibletaco
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Welcome! Never hesitate to ask questions...just shows you care and are concerned.

My JJ was fascinated with his reflection - and 8 years later still is! I think he just thinks that he's hot looking. :)

 

I think you are doing right by the pee situation.

 

My Dustin was just two when I got him - and was a sensitive soul - so I like what you are doing with the touch stuff and don't think he's too young for that at all.

I'll defer to others for the other questions!

Best of luck. By the way - rules are that we need pictures!

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Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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I'll defer to others who have more training experience, but I will say that Hugglehounds stuffed toys tend to be rather sturdy. I get them on Amazon, though a couple of local pet stores carry them. My Sammy likes the bunny best.

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Beverly. Missing my happy toy-flinging boy Sammy (Where's Mandrill), (8/12/2009-9/30-2021) Desperately missing my angel Mandy (BB's Luv) [7/1/2000 - 9/18/2012]. Always missing Meg the Dalmatian and Ralph Malph the Pekeapoo.

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You're doing fine. Sounds like everybody is happy and adjusting and that's what you want.

 

I've never heard about the feeding-wher-peeing thing. IMO, that may be a dog training myth! If you do follow this, you'll be moving his feeding spot all over the house, and most dogs like to stay in one place to eat.

 

Also, greyhounds, even young greyhounds are very used to having a set schedule every day. Both my husband and I are retired and at home with ours all the time, and keeping to a schedule can be both hard and easy! As long as you get close to regular potty times, feeding times and exercise times you'll be fine.

 

Training is great as long as he's responding to it. Keep sessions short and positive, and repeat them several times throughout the day for the best results. If he's food motivated and interested keep at it.

 

Trading up is a valid training technique too. He gets something he wants for something you want. If he's a stuffy destroyer, you might try harder chew-type toys (anything by Kong or made with recycled fire hose), or the stuffies without stuffing (Flatties, I think they're called), or the toys with plastic soda bottles inside.

 

Don't worry! You're not going to break him! They are very resilient and forgiving and loving!

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

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Sounds to me like you are doing everything right, except for one thing--you didn't tell us what this boy's name is!

 

One comment on discipline -- You are doing it right. People new to dogs are warned that greys are "soft dogs" and to go gently with the discipline. So they may try to install discipline with a soft "Fido, we would really prefer you not to do this" which gets no response what so ever. When adult dogs discipline a puppy it is a short fierce growl possibly combined with being batted with a paw and, once the pup stops doing whatever, all is forgiven.

Owners need to copy this. A sharp, deep "Fido, No!" and once the behavior has stopped, stop the discipline and be nice, possibly giving a nice ear rub.

 

So relax and have fun with your pup.

 

PS. Frankly I don't believe there are any "hard dogs"!

Edited by Scoutsmom
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There are some tough toys on the market, you might want to try to buy a few of those because he's real rough on his stuffies. Been there, done that, turns out mine didn't end up playing with the tough toys.....so just bought cheap stuffies that he could unstuff the stuff out of. It's very promising that he is playing 3 days in. They can take up to a year to show their true colors.

 

They are super responsive to praise, and conversely punishment. They are highly sensitive, so keep doing as you are doing and you'll come along fine.

 

One thing about the spraying of Nature's Miracle outside, as I'm not familiar with that using the product other than knowing it is a neutralizer.....do you really want to neutralize the spots outdoors? Maybe you were referring to indoors, which makes sense - I just got confused with the sentence. Of note, keep to a routine of when you are taking him out, every 2 hours is good because he's new but is that sustainable? You'll want to move to an established routine after feeding. I've always used the guideline of going out 1 hour after brekkie and din-dins, last out right before bedtime, first out the minute you get up. That's 4 good potties, and then at lunch is good if you guys are home all day long. Don't forget to go for walks, not just yard potties. There is lots of pee-mail to sniff! It's never too early to train, and sounds like he's eager to please. You can try to teach him to give you a signal when he needs out. Mine touched the door handle because it would jingle, but you could put a bell by the door that he could touch to sound that he wants to go out.

 

Is the peeing in the house in direct relation with his water consumption? Just worried he might have a UTI....so keep an eye on that.

 

We need pictures!

Edited by XTRAWLD

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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Thanks for the replies so far! We are only using Nature's Miracle for a few inside accidents, outside marking is totally fine. He's drinking a lot of water and seems to have a lot of urine every time we take him out. Not sure if that's normal but his bladder seems to hold an ocean.

 

Also with the "no" thing, once he stops doing something that could hurt him we give him long pets and stay calm. Seems like that is the right way to go about things!

 

As far as pictures go:

 

https://imgur.com/gMte2CK

 

https://imgur.com/a/ub4hwJc

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He looks like my Grace complete with the balding bum and from one new owner to another you're doing great. There are no hard and fast rules, just do what works for you and the hound.

 

Grace growled at me the first time i accidently touched one of her toys she had between her paws, so I growled back, took it off her then gave it back complete with an ear rub.Not had a problem since.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time

 

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...

Don't worry! You're not going to break him!...

Sometimes they break themselves.

roach.jpg

Poppy, my Saluki x Lurcher a few minutes after I brought her home for the first time. Spay incision still showing...(When they emulate a dead roach,

also known as 'Roaching', that's a good thing. Shows they're content & secure)

 

p.s.- Poppy loves her Flat Mallard. I bought her a stuffed one, she killed and de-stuffed it in a few minutes. The flat one is on it's 4th year.

 

Regards,
Wayne Kroncke

CAVE CANEM RADIX LECTI ET SEMPER PARATUS
Vegetarians: My food poops on your food.

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Mine had no accidents the first week we had him, then I he began to have some "on-purposes" after that. He is a male and was marking is my guess. The best advice is not to take your eyes off him. When he gets up, keep an eye on him to see what he's up to. We would yell NO and take him outside immediately. Took a week or so.

 

I have holes in the blinds and a big one in the TV remote. They eventually figure out what's what. Just keep saying NO and provide an alternative.

 

Soft toys have a 10 minute lifespan when they enter the house. 5 if they have a squeaker. Buy the tougher ones.

 

Mine resource guarded for the first 9 months. It has improved a lot as trust builds, but you never want to fully trust them.

 

We taught him to do the "touch" training and that is as far as we got. The combination of stubborn greyhound and lazy owner has stalled his tricks at one.

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His name is Cozmo. Overall I'm really surprised of what a good dog he's been this far. He's amazing on walks. He's seen cats, dogs (big and small, also white), children, birds, cars, ATV's.... hasn't gone after any of them. We even had a neighbor who had their huge scary looking dogs run out of their home off leash (yeah...) straight towards him and he didn't lose his mind. In fact he intrigued by them and wanted to be friends (thankfully they turned out to be nice dogs too). He's loose leashed and calm the entire time.

 

Also he's been wonderful at night. We wedged his open crate in front of our bedroom door (couldn't fit in inside since we have a small bedroom) and put a second bed in the room. He chooses what one he likes that night and sleeps silently, almost like a cat. We both get a full nights rest with no interruptions.

 

He's basically still a puppy (especially with everything new) so we using time and patience to get him up to speed. I'm sure I'll have more questions but right now we almost got a roach out of him this morning. :yay

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I do have some questions on the crate if you folks don't mind:

 

- We are using the crate as a means to ease him into separation anxiety training. We put him in the crate with treats and praise (we're trying to teach him "go home" as his method to getting in the crate). He loves it. We then do alone training by leaving the house for 5 minutes, coming back, and not acknowledging him for a few minutes minutes after. We plan to increment it over time with 10, 15, 30, etc. Is this the right approach?

 

- My second question is that should we crate him during the day with the door closed for a few hours when we're home too? Our theory is that if we get him used to that he won't get the association that a closed door means we're leaving.

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They can key in to a number of things that might mean you are leaving the house (and you might have NO CLUE what you are doing before you leave, but they sure do). Something simple as grabbing your keys and purse, getting dressed, etc. could signal you are leaving. What I've done in the past to keep them on their toes when they are new is on a weekend, stay in your pj's and grab the keys and then sit on the couch and watch tv, or get dressed go to bed. This helps with association as well.

 

I'm also a bit of an energy conservationist, so when I always turn the light off. It became a signal to say, "ok, she's done in here, time to go where she's going".....Otherwise, if they were in the room and I didn't turn the light off, they knew I was coming back in. Like I said, incredible what they pick up on.

 

The tough thing about the crate and when you are home, is that he's constantly watching you, so being present in the home might not trigger an SA attack, if he were an SA type of dog. It's only when you leave that it gets uncomfortable. Are you able to invest in a webcam to watch when you are out of his sight? Go for a walk around the block and return.

 

You'll get lots more feedback but I think you are certainly on the right track.

Edited by XTRAWLD

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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Yes, we have a Nest cam and it works great to keep an eye on him. The first try at alone training was a 3 minute interval. We left and set a timer and he whined a bit but nothing serious.

 

Next day we upped it to 5 minutes and same thing, a little bit of whining and maybe 1 bark.

 

Third day we kept it at 5 minutes he barked the entire time. Luckily I did this during the work day so none of the apartment neighbors were home.

 

Is there a point where we should stop the alone training and come back? I was thinking the idea was to let him know we are always coming back but I don't know if once he gets anxious if we should stop or not.

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Are you keeping him occupied with a frozen pb+kibble kong? Before you leave, toss one in (as a reward for going into the crate too). Grab your stuff and go. I'd say if you can bear it, wait him out and let him bark to see if he eventually settles. If you return when he starts barking, you've just rewarded the behaviour.

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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Hey - awwww sounds like you're doing really well.

 

My only suggestion would don't walk into this thinking that you 'will' have a separation anxiety issue and get hung up on crate training. Most dogs are fine on their own. An entire industry has been created around separation anxiety to sell us products and training that we don't need. True SA is horrendous. Proper anxiety is a full blown anxiety attack - with full on destruction either to themselves or your house and requires medication. Most dogs don't have this, they are just 'uncomfortable' with being left alone - whinning, panting, inability to settle, some inappropriate chewing and that's all quite normal - dogs are pack animals and when a member of their pack has gone it unsettles them. That's not SA, that's just pack mentality. Unfortunately that doesn't work for humans but dogs are good at adapting to their humans when strong trust has been established.

 

If you have SA on the brain he'll pick up on your angst and that will make him more worried. Just recognise this is a new environment and he may need help learning to trust that when you leave you always come back and that this is his house now and it's a safe and lovely place to be and he has a job to do keeping watch of the den when you're out!

 

The best advice when you leave him, leave him tired. Make sure he's had some decent exercise, a run round the garden, a walk anything that makes him tired.

 

So cool goodbyes and warm hello's (this new technique of ignoring your dog when you get back might be a technique for true SA but it's not necessary for a normal dog who is just excited to see you). When I get back I come in and say 'hi, oh good doggies, good boy, good girl, and give them rubs and love and act excited to see them and take them straight out into the garden and play ball'. It's a happy time. We are all happy to see each other and it's a lovely bonding time. I have a nannycam and they settle fine. I've watched them go from sound asleep when I've been putting my key in the front door and they've heard it and jumped up ready to greet me like huge love bugs. To snub them as a means of dealing with a problem that doesn't exist just feels mean and unnecessary. The text books would tell me this is the thing to do, my own common sense tells me in my case that advice would negatively impact my dogs.

 

My girl didn't like the crate she was panting and whinning in it, my boy loves his. So we dumped her crate - she settles fine now in the kitchen with her favourite bed and my boy has his crate but we leave the door open. So far so good.

 

Approach and deal with him as if he's a well adjusted, happy, friendly, confident dog untill he gives you reason to think otherwise. Crate training is a tool to help a dog settle but it's only one of many tools.

 

As for the toilet. I ignored all the accidents. The most I said was 'oh dear' when my boy cocked his leg against our bath (I was trying not to laugh as he'd just watched my husband pee in that room and clearly thought that was the place to go because he looked at me with this little smug face - like he was saying - look I learn I go here right? Haha). We just kept taking them out and waited till they pee'd. If I was peeing and someone came in and shouted no, wagging a finger at me and dragged me outside by my neck - I'd be pretty scared. I might learn the lesson but I wouldn't like the person very much and it would make me wary of going to the loo. That doesn't mean allow them to pee where they want but toilet is a sensitive one, it's something they need to do - whereas grabbing food from the counter is not something they need to do - so a firm 'NO' or 'ah' I think is fair with that one.

 

But when you gotta go, you gotta go....you see dogs at crufts pee and poop on the floor and those are highly trained dogs.... Mine quickly caught on. Every 2 hours is very frequent. I suggest you take him out first thing and when he's pee'd give him 3 hours and take him out, if he doesn't pee that time take him out 1 hour later and if he doesn't pee that time take him out 30 minutes later and that time wait till he does. If you can just let him out in a secure garden and let him sort himself out while you hang back even better.

 

We haven't had any more accidents. It's all a learning curve for them. They don't know but they want to get it right, they just need the time to learn and us to learn them also.

 

You'll be a great owner I can feel it just don't get too hung up on the text book stuff of what 'you should do' - pick and choose what works for you. In a nutshell don't let a book or article replace your own common sense.

 

That said I really recommend reading the other end of the leash by Patricia McConnell or searching and watching some of her YouTube videos. She's fab and makes a tonne of sense and she's a common sense lady.

 

 

But I think you're going to do great!

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Thank you for all the replies thus far! We have been doing a form of alone training where we exit and enter over and over to let him know we're coming back. We're still in the early stages but we've made it 15 minutes without him losing his mind. I'm hoping this a great progress!

 

I do have another question if y'all don't mind.... what is the best way to brush a grey's teeth? He does not like it when I brush his teeth and moves away immediately. I managed to curl his head into my arms like a baby and that helped restrain him a bit. He is very gentle and didn't freak out or growl or anything but he definitely tried to get out. Is there any 'trick' to it?

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With the toothbrushing, I recommend you start with baby steps and include it in his daily routine. Same time of day, every day. Later you can relax the routine a little. But the baby steps go like this:

 

First week or so, just let him lick the paste off the brush. don't restrain him in any way. Give him a treat for doing it. Ignore my husband who thinks that you can't give him a treat after his teeth are already clean, at this stage the goal is to turn this event into something fun and/or rewarding for him to voluntarily participate in.

 

Next week or so, while he's licking the the paste, gently rub the brush against his canine teeth (because they're generally most prominent and easy to access while he's licking. Don't scold or prevent him from licking, it's natural that he do that.

 

After a few sessions of that, then as you continue sessions, rub the brush quickly against a few more teeth each time. Again, no scolding or preventing him from licking. You need to learn to brush around his licking. It's not impossible, just think of it as a special technique for dogs. Keep treating him every time.

 

When you get to the point where you feel the need to hold his head/snout just to steady him, you start by just gently lifting one lip with the fingers of your other hand. That sounds ginger when I read what I wrote, but when I do it I'm firm but gentle, not ginger or tentative. Simply lifting a lip isn't the same as holding his head because he can still back away if he wants to. That will inspire trust and confidence in him. After he's used to that, then you can gently hold his snouth with your other hand to brush his whole mouth.

 

I use this technique with fosters and new dogs. After only a few weeks they come running to me when they know it's toothbrush time! (And then you can switch to treating before brushing if you're my husband, and treat him only randomly instead of every time if you're me.)

Edited by jetcitywoman

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

:gh_bow

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That is excellent advice, thank you!

 

I will have to try this with a beef flavored toothpaste. I have one for now that's for dogs but it's not meat related and he's not interested in it.

 

They have those finger toothbrush things but to be honest I'm kinda scared of sticking my finger in a dog's mouth. He's really gentle and patient but it still gives me pause.

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  • 3 months later...

We adopted our 20 month old (failed) racer, Tully, last weekend. Our vet told us to begin brushing his teeth weekly by using a square of gauze wrapped around a forefinger and rubbing his teeth. After he's used to that, we'll graduated to a brush.

Barbara with Tully/Tullamore (CTW Brain Game)

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to my vet, if you're using an enzymatic toothpaste, there's really no need for a brush or one of those things you put on your finger. Just wrap a little gauze around your finger - much easier. The toothpaste does the cleaning and the gauze has enough texture. Even easier are the products that you put in their water dish. I've been using Fresh Breath - a capful with each bowl of water. My vets (I have two) both sell a product for dental cleaning - different ones. Mac's teeth are clean as can be.

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