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Beyond Frustated, Statuing And More


Guest Amismom
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Guest Amismom

Let me start by saying, that we have dreamed of having our grey for over 20 years. My family and I recently adopted a greyhound a little over a month ago. He was only for 2 weeks with a foster family (after retiring from racing) before he came home with us; and we learned that although lovely people, the foster parents, were very disorganized and didn't do anything to help him transition to family life.

 

We have been very blessed and lucky that a gentleman who assisted with qualifying us for the adoption lives nearby and has been helping us through our training struggles. We haven't had pets in decades, and it is the first time we own a greyhound.

 

After helping us for 3 weeks straight, with his separation issues, Ami, our boy, is now with us full time. He doesn't take as long to get over whining and barking when one of us leave, which is a huge improvement as we live in a building and can't have that. But we have yet to all leave him alone, god knows what would happen then.

 

Ami used to occasionally statue when going for a walk, but lately has become truly difficult. All the tricks we've tried work only a few times and then don't. We go to different areas as he likes variety, we were doing very good, we even had him jogging while we run, he always smiled when we did that. We were doing ok on walks for weeks and suddenly he went back to his old way, stopped dead on his tracks and statue, no pulling or going on circles to reset him worked; i refused to give him a treat to get him to walk as that would reward bad behavior. Then he would pull in the direction of going back home. I checked on him and he was shaking, his tail tense and tucked in.

 

We have bothered our friend so much we are embarrassed to ask him what's wrong with Ami? What can we do?

 

We had to change his diet cold turkey 2 days ago because the Purina food the foster parent was giving him was horrible and had moths. So we took a chance to switch him to much healthier food which he loves it. We know that his behavior might be a little difficult due to adjustment but walking was not really an issue.

 

He couldn't have a more loving and caring family. We've done all the steps suggested by the person helping him train but this is truly heart braking. We are beyond frustrated. The level of inconsistency with him is extreme. We love him so much and he is part of this family, but want a normal pet. We had read that this breed make amazing pets, and very well behaved, and Ami has been anything but that. We have pushed past the many times we have thought of giving him back, but we love him so much we are still trying. Does anyone have any thoughts?

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He's overwhelmed. Too many changes in too short of time and he is frankly, frightened to death. Cut down the walks and only do what is necessary for pee and poop. Let him have his place in the house and don'y go to him, let him come to you. Talk to him while he is laying there but, give him time to access his situation and adapt to it.

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I do not know you in person und just read a text, but it drew a picture in my mind: To me it sounds, as you are showering your dog with love and attention, care a lot. That is great but could be way to much for the moment.

 

You said, you wanted a normal pet. I am sure, you have a normal pet, but it needs time and maybe lowered expectations on your side.

 

As exaple: what I do with my new dogs or fosters during the first weeks is - nearly nothing.

 

No attention all the time, no expectations that anything works from beginning on.

 

Patience, a good portion of humor and as little stress as possible. No need to walk miles and tire a dog out from beginning on. This comes, if a dog has settled in.

 

You mentioned the freezing and refusing to walk. Again - maybe or surely he is overwhelmed by...everything

 

Took one of my dogs that was not used to t

city life nearly 2 months to be secure enough to pee right in front of our buildung (thank god it is a 4 pound dog that pees like a mouse).

 

This world was too new and stressfull to her. All the sounds and smells etc. A longer walk would not have helped her to release herself as she could not calm down. She was also a refuser and freezer (But remember the 4 pounds)

 

 

This dog needed a little longer to adjust than others but now she is fine (and even pees miles away from home. There was no thinking of such a thing in the beginning. Everything was new to her and added a little more stress. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Cars. Kids. Bikes. Closing Windows. Open doors. Trash containers. Other dogs. Sneezing people on the other side of the street. Plastic bag floating in the wind. Sound of the Ambulance, ...)

 

 

 

MaryJane 👍 great post. What I wanted to say but in short and better English 😁

Edited by Rakete
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Imagine someone grabs you and puts you on a distsant planet with only a couple of aliens as company. You don't know what they expect of you, you don't know the dos and donts and not even the language.

That's how Ami feels. Give him time to figure out what it means to be a pet. Take him for little walks, only to do his buisness, let him watch how you do things at home, the coming and going, the strange noises, smells. Everything is new to him. He needs time and patience and lots of understanding.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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If he's food motivated at all you are being counter productive by not using that to lure him into the behavior you need.

 

You won't be rewarding bad behavior, you are encouraging a better behavior! When he stalls out somewhere, see if you can figure out what's causing his anxiety. Use *all* your senses as sometimes it's a sight sometimes a sound or horrible (or great!) smell. Then next time try and anticipate him. Use the yummy treat to distract and keep him moving, using a happy encouraging voice. If he's stuck someplace, and none of the tricks are working, stand behind him and bump him forward with your knees, then get that treat action going to keep him moving.

 

Greyhounds do much better with fun rewarding parties than with downer scolding. Particularly when you feel frustrated. Stop, take a deep breath, consider the HUGE adjustment this dog is being asked to make, and start over.

 

For his separation anxiety, pick up the book "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell. You can also search through here for threads on S.A., and how to do Alone Training. Make sure he's fed and pottied completely before you leave. Leave a tv or radio on. Have him stay in a place that is familiar and comfortable for him.

 

 

You don't say if you are using a crate, but you might consider it. If the crate is counter productive, then put it away. Some dogs use crates and some are done with them.

 

Time and patience is the key. He's trying his best to learn what he needs to learn, but some greyhounds take longer than others. His personality will start to shine, and in six or eight months, you'll have a completely different dog than the one you have now!

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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You need to stop pushing him to be a well adjusted pet when he is not capable of it right NOW, at this point. Check out the Patricia McConnel books e.g. "The Other End of the Leash". His world has been turned upside down and everything he thought he knew has been changed. He needs TIME to adjusts. My first greyhound would not even make a noise or bark until she had been with us a year. But when THEY come out of their shell it is beautiful and you will begin to see the dog that you want.

 

Your #1 goal right now to just be to develop engagement with him. No stress. Just fun things that he enjoys simply to get to know each other.

 

And please reward him on his walks! You would NOT be rewarding 'bad behavior' but rather encouraging the very behavior you want. Start by just going out the front door only a few steps-reward him and tell him how proud you are of him and go back in the house. Each time take the same or a few more steps-don't push him. A giant oak comes from an acorn! You can do this a couple of times a day at first but make sure you break it up. Only work with him a few minutes at a time. Right now he has absolutely no motivation to walk anywhere-all he gets out of it is stressed out and an anxious disappointed human. Change that! He must enjoy walkies. So make a big deal out of every few steps of a walk he completes and build on it. Believe it or not he DOES want to please you but he doesn't have a clue at this point how to do it. That is what building engagement does. And never never use punitive corrections. That would be so wrong on so many levels in this case. There is a lot of help available through the books and through places like Leerburg.com(has thousands of pages of good articles you should read) and this forum etc. I caution you against the big chain dog 'trainers' etc-there are reasons.

Give him time. Go slow. Don't expect a 'finished' dog so soon. Lower your expectations at this point and focus on just getting to know each other-have FUN with him. Reward frequently when he has even the smallest victory. And BTW make his reward treats truly a reward. Many el cheapo treats won't be sufficient because they simply are not that good. The reward treats MUST be something he prizes and really enjoys. Little hot dog pieces for e.g. appeal to a lot of dogs and are economical. The dog you want is looking at you. Your job is just to learn to communicate to him what you want-HE already wants to please you and will do so once he understands. :beatheart

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Amismom

Hi all, thank you so much for your feedback and tips. @smurfette - loved your analogy, brilliant.

 

I am very happy to report our Ami has improved by leaps and bounds, he has adopted more to a set schedule, hardly statues - honestly only when it's cold and this is an adjustment for him as it is his first winter ever. He knows we love him and I think is starting to understand that we will not leave him. We leave home but we always come back, so for example, I work in NYC and he kind of knows when I get home so he starts going to the door waiting for me to arrive.

 

Walks are back to normal, we praise him everything he does something good ... It has been a learning and adjustment time for all, not just Ami. He now knows where his home is, he runs to it in excitement... he is such a good boy.

 

Thank you all for your support and words.


I absolutely love and appreciate your advice, truly grateful for your comment. Thank you!

You need to stop pushing him to be a well adjusted pet when he is not capable of it right NOW, at this point. Check out the Patricia McConnel books e.g. "The Other End of the Leash". His world has been turned upside down and everything he thought he knew has been changed. He needs TIME to adjusts. My first greyhound would not even make a noise or bark until she had been with us a year. But when THEY come out of their shell it is beautiful and you will begin to see the dog that you want.

 

Your #1 goal right now to just be to develop engagement with him. No stress. Just fun things that he enjoys simply to get to know each other.

 

And please reward him on his walks! You would NOT be rewarding 'bad behavior' but rather encouraging the very behavior you want. Start by just going out the front door only a few steps-reward him and tell him how proud you are of him and go back in the house. Each time take the same or a few more steps-don't push him. A giant oak comes from an acorn! You can do this a couple of times a day at first but make sure you break it up. Only work with him a few minutes at a time. Right now he has absolutely no motivation to walk anywhere-all he gets out of it is stressed out and an anxious disappointed human. Change that! He must enjoy walkies. So make a big deal out of every few steps of a walk he completes and build on it. Believe it or not he DOES want to please you but he doesn't have a clue at this point how to do it. That is what building engagement does. And never never use punitive corrections. That would be so wrong on so many levels in this case. There is a lot of help available through the books and through places like Leerburg.com(has thousands of pages of good articles you should read) and this forum etc. I caution you against the big chain dog 'trainers' etc-there are reasons.

Give him time. Go slow. Don't expect a 'finished' dog so soon. Lower your expectations at this point and focus on just getting to know each other-have FUN with him. Reward frequently when he has even the smallest victory. And BTW make his reward treats truly a reward. Many el cheapo treats won't be sufficient because they simply are not that good. The reward treats MUST be something he prizes and really enjoys. Little hot dog pieces for e.g. appeal to a lot of dogs and are economical. The dog you want is looking at you. Your job is just to learn to communicate to him what you want-HE already wants to please you and will do so once he understands. :beatheart


If he's food motivated at all you are being counter productive by not using that to lure him into the behavior you need.

You won't be rewarding bad behavior, you are encouraging a better behavior! When he stalls out somewhere, see if you can figure out what's causing his anxiety. Use *all* your senses as sometimes it's a sight sometimes a sound or horrible (or great!) smell. Then next time try and anticipate him. Use the yummy treat to distract and keep him moving, using a happy encouraging voice. If he's stuck someplace, and none of the tricks are working, stand behind him and bump him forward with your knees, then get that treat action going to keep him moving.

Greyhounds do much better with fun rewarding parties than with downer scolding. Particularly when you feel frustrated. Stop, take a deep breath, consider the HUGE adjustment this dog is being asked to make, and start over.

For his separation anxiety, pick up the book "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell. You can also search through here for threads on S.A., and how to do Alone Training. Make sure he's fed and pottied completely before you leave. Leave a tv or radio on. Have him stay in a place that is familiar and comfortable for him.


You don't say if you are using a crate, but you might consider it. If the crate is counter productive, then put it away. Some dogs use crates and some are done with them.

Time and patience is the key. He's trying his best to learn what he needs to learn, but some greyhounds take longer than others. His personality will start to shine, and in six or eight months, you'll have a completely different dog than the one you have now!

 

You need to stop pushing him to be a well adjusted pet when he is not capable of it right NOW, at this point. Check out the Patricia McConnel books e.g. "The Other End of the Leash". His world has been turned upside down and everything he thought he knew has been changed. He needs TIME to adjusts. My first greyhound would not even make a noise or bark until she had been with us a year. But when THEY come out of their shell it is beautiful and you will begin to see the dog that you want.

 

Your #1 goal right now to just be to develop engagement with him. No stress. Just fun things that he enjoys simply to get to know each other.

 

And please reward him on his walks! You would NOT be rewarding 'bad behavior' but rather encouraging the very behavior you want. Start by just going out the front door only a few steps-reward him and tell him how proud you are of him and go back in the house. Each time take the same or a few more steps-don't push him. A giant oak comes from an acorn! You can do this a couple of times a day at first but make sure you break it up. Only work with him a few minutes at a time. Right now he has absolutely no motivation to walk anywhere-all he gets out of it is stressed out and an anxious disappointed human. Change that! He must enjoy walkies. So make a big deal out of every few steps of a walk he completes and build on it. Believe it or not he DOES want to please you but he doesn't have a clue at this point how to do it. That is what building engagement does. And never never use punitive corrections. That would be so wrong on so many levels in this case. There is a lot of help available through the books and through places like Leerburg.com(has thousands of pages of good articles you should read) and this forum etc. I caution you against the big chain dog 'trainers' etc-there are reasons.

Give him time. Go slow. Don't expect a 'finished' dog so soon. Lower your expectations at this point and focus on just getting to know each other-have FUN with him. Reward frequently when he has even the smallest victory. And BTW make his reward treats truly a reward. Many el cheapo treats won't be sufficient because they simply are not that good. The reward treats MUST be something he prizes and really enjoys. Little hot dog pieces for e.g. appeal to a lot of dogs and are economical. The dog you want is looking at you. Your job is just to learn to communicate to him what you want-HE already wants to please you and will do so once he understands. :beatheart

Yes we are using the crate.

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