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Advice On Whether Match Is A Good Fit

Guest GreySnoot

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Guest GreySnoot

I adopted my grey last week after doing months of research, and I was aware that greys are prone to separation anxiety and require months to adjust to retired life. I told my adoption group that I work during the day and live in an apartment, and I wanted to make sure that I would only get a dog that suited my lifestyle. When I met my grey, they told me she loves being around humans and is a bit of a velcro dog, and I asked whether this would result in separation anxiety, to which they said no.


I realized the weekend I got her that she is definitely a velcro dog and has separation anxiety with destructive tendencies. I worked on her alone training during a long weekend but ended up having to crate her because of work, at the adoption group's suggestion. Initially she was very calm in the crate, but now she claws and bites the crate and howls while I'm gone, and even escaped at some point. I'm really scared she's going to hurt herself and I feel like she is extremely unhappy with me. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with her--teaching her how to play with toys and giving her peanut butter for the first time were rewarding experiences, and I love her cute little face. I'm at the point where I'm definitely getting a glimpse of her true playful personality, but her anxiety is stressing me out, I worry constantly about the neighbors complaining and I don't think I can give her the attention she needs. Is this a situation where it would be best for her if I return her?


I feel like I'm not in a situation where I can handle this. If I had all the time in the world I would spend it on working on her anxiety and building her confidence, but the reality is I can't be with her all day and sticking her in a crate is cruel. My gut tells me this is not a good match and she would be much happier somewhere else, but I don't want it to seem like I'm giving up on her, especially when it hasn't been that long. And I definitely don't want to cause more behavioral issues because I returned her. Please advise, I really love her but I don't think I can provide a happy lifestyle for her.

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You can't expect her to be able to fit in after only a week in a new place. I wouldn't even attempt to introduce a single 'home alone' dog unless it was during two week break from work or unless I could get someone to dig-sit.


What kind of set-up did she come from? Were there a group of dogs? Was it from a single foster with constant human presence?


I think returning her now rather than waiting 6 weeks and her having bonding issues could be for the best. If this is the route you choose then offer the adoption group some funds to help keep her until she finds her forever home.


I hope others on here have some workarounds for you.

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How long are you gone during the day?


Alone training needs to be done consistently. Many many times a day. Every day.

For an anxious dog, a weekend is not enough time.


Ditch the crate (she is going to hurt herself) and baby gate her into a dog safe room with her muzzle on.


Can you get a dog walker mid day?


There is no shame on returning her if she is not the right fit.


Do keep in mind that the issues you are having are not because she is a retired Greyhound!

Any breed ..puppy or adult ... will have a settling-in period.


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




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Alone training for a dog with separation anxiety can take weeks, sometimes months, and must be done several times a day, every day. Do not continue to crate her; she's going to hurt herself. Read Patricia McConnell's booklet on alone training, I'll Be Home Soon - https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/store/I-ll-Be-Home-Soon.html.


There's no shame in returning your Grey if she's not the right fit. Good luck!

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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No offense but it sounds like your adoption group didn't take your lifestyle into account when they matched you. If you really feel incapable of dealing with her SA then returning her is the best thing for everyone. Be very upfront about why you need to return her, especially if you'd like to try again with a better match.


Consider asking about a "bounced" hound - a dog like the one you have now who is being returned through no fault of their own. Our group gets bounces all the time for a variety of reason. They are usually a little older and have already lived in a home successfully, so there will be a lot more behavioral information on them (hopefully).


If you want to keep trying with this dog there are things you can try, such as those suggested above. In addition, she needs to have a nice long exercise walk in the morning before you leave. It's hard to do this time of year as it gets dark, but try and find a safe place to walk for at least 45 minutes or so. Leave the tv or radio on for her and baby gate her in a dog proofed room where she's comfortable. Make sure you go around your complex and tell your neighbors that you have a new dog who is having trouble settling in and that you are working on her issues. Taking her along to meet them helps form a bond with them so they might be more patient with her noise.


Set up a surveillance camera so you can check on her throughout the day. A dog walker mid-day can be helpful, but may not always be - some dogs find it too disruptive and start their "I'm alone again!" routine all over when the dog walker leaves. Others are just fine.


When you're home, randomly walk around with your coat on, picking up and puting down your keys and work paraphenalia, take your coat of and on, walk towards the door and stop, walk towards the door and open it, walk towards the door and go through but don't shut it, walk through and shut it and come right back in. This takes A LOT of time for several weeks, but you need to desensitize her to all the events that lead up to your leaving until she is quite bored with it.


Then, once you can actually walk through the door and shut it without her freaking out, you begin to stretch the time out that you are out the door. Again, lots of short sessions of repetitions.


There are laods of dogs who end up living just fine alone all day while their people work. You just need to understand that it may take a while to get to there. Yes, there are dogs that simply can't be only dogs at all ever and you may have one of those - but you also may not - it's too early to tell - but only you can decide if you are able to keep *this* dog.


Good luck.

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


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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Guest GreySnoot

Thanks all for the replies. I contacted the adoption group to see if they think she would be a better fit elsewhere. From what I heard she came straight from the adoption group's kennels, so I don't think they knew she had SA either. We did alone training on the weekends and a little bit in the evenings after work but it wasn't consistent enough. On weekdays I came home during lunch to give her a walk.

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