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New Owner - Walking Started Off Great! Now Not So Much...


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Hi Everyone,

 

I am new to the forum and a brand new first time greyhound owner! My wife and I are extremely excited and love our new greyhound Arrow. She is 6, was a racer and was also mother to two litters of racing pups. We have had her about two weeks. 90% of everything is great, we are so happy! The one area that is becoming tough (besides stairs) is walking. She started off walking great, staying with us, not leading, etc. But in the last few days she has started freezing with increasing frequency and seems often not to really want to walk anywhere other than the backyard.

 

There are a few factors I should mention: I have two residences due to work and every few weeks have to go back and forth between them (My wife and I work in academia; it's a pretty common situation in this field). Our dog was with us in our primary residence for the first week. Then we debated as to whether or not I should take her with me or leave her. I will be her primary caretaker and she will be staying with me 95% of the time, so we thought it best for her to go with me to bond as her primary caretaker. She did great in the car and did amazing on walks the first several days. But now the freezing has started. I've tried nudging from behind, which worked at first. I tried food, which doesn't seem to help that much. And the last few days she's really only wanted to walk around the unfenced back yard on the leash (which is pretty large), do her business and go back in. Also, I live on a main street here and the traffic can be quite busy, especially during rush hour. I'm wondering if this is scaring her off from venturing out? It wasn't an issue at all at first, but maybe something scared her? Any help would be much appreciated! I really want her to be healthy and happy!

 

Thank you!

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Everything is new and scary. There are probably too many changes in the short amount of time that she has been with you. Try doing walks where there is no traffic. If she freezes, let her stand there for a bit and then use some food to get her moving. If she wants to walk in the yard, do that for awhile and then maybe in a week or two - try the street again. Give her time to adjust.

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Yes, I realize it is all very new to her, and I completely understand it will be an ongoing process. When walking with my wife and I in our quieter neighborhood, she has done just fine. I think that there are two of us and that it's quieter helps her.

 

The walks weren't particularly long, maybe 20-30 min. At first, I was doing three of these a day, plus two brief bathroom outings. Maybe too much?

 

She does great at home alone and doesn't seem stressed anytime other than the recent freezing.

 

Also, she did have a really big play session at the dog park a few days ago with lots of running. She's been maybe a bit tired and lethargic since then?

 

Thank you! All very new to us and great to have this forum to help us along!

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Sometimes (doesn't work every time) to get them out of the statue if you start to turn and walk the other way, as soon as they move to follow you, do another 180 in the direction you originally intended. Works often but not every time.

 

Other times I have actually put slack on the leash and let them sniff around for a minute or two, then just start walking. If distracted enough from sniffing they will follow.

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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. - Abraham Lincoln

 

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Thanks everybody! Today was a little better. I tried to avoid heavy traffic times,and tried some of the techniques you all mentioned. Someone said that you can sometimes lift them up a bit in the back and it will get them moving, which worked a coupla times. Overall she's doing great, only had her a few weeks and she is taking it all in. I do think the heavy traffic is intimidating for her.

 

One more question, does anyone think a harness would be better with a freezing situation? I've got a martingale collar. I don't ever mean to tug her, but sometimes if she freezes and i don't notice, I end up pulling a tad before realizing she's stopped. I don't want to hurt her or have her think I'm pulling. Any thoughts on that would be much appreciated!

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A martingale collar shouldn't hurt her if it's adjusted properly but harness is a good idea just make sure it's for a greyhound and fits properly. I caused some bruising on the sides of my Grace with a harness. :( But you live and learn.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Great thank you!

 

One more question, the one other thing i'm curious about is the couch and bed. I would be happy for my new greyhound to join me there, but right now she seems hesitant and has not jumped up. Is this something that will come over time? Or do some greyhounds just never get interested in chilling on the couch/sleeping in the bed. Happy with whichever she prefers, but just curious. Any thoughts?

 

Thanks again - this forum is really helpful for a new grey owner!

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Monty never wanted to get on the furniture. I got him up on one loveseat (the dogs' couch) precisely once, because I was training the other dog that it was hers with dried lamb lung treats. Monty totally wanted some of that action so up he hopped and joined her! But when they were gone he jumped down and never hopped up again over the next 8 years. So you are correct that some dogs are not interested in furniture.

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Walking update - She is still freezing regularly, but there is one thing I've found that get's her going again. I pick her up, move her 4-6 away from where she was frozen and set her down as i'm walking briskly. I try to do this very gently with positive reinforcement. Seems to work pretty well. I don't want to be doing this forever, but of all the techniques I've been seeing, this is working the best. Is this ok? It doesn't seem to scare her or anything, it just seems to kind of reset her and get her off of whatever was distracting her. Always grateful to hear further thoughts and advice...

 

Another quick question: What signals do your dogs give you when they want to go to the bathroom? I've yet to discern a pattern of behavior that I can read for potty time. Thanks again!

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Guest laurenmo279

My newly adopted Nila (two years old, from FL, adopted two months ago), did a lot of freezing during her walks in the beginning. She has mostly stopped now, and we can have lovely pleasant walks up to an hour long depending on how much time I have and what the weather is like. What helped the most was patience. Anytime I tried to get her to move on my terms almost made it worse. The freezing was a sign of distress at all the newness, which was understandably very overwhelming. Once I learned (very quickly) that trying to get her to move didn't work, I changed strategies to trying to comfort her. When she froze, I gave her a good 30 seconds or so to just stand there and take it in, then I walked closer to her and pet her in a way that I know she likes (she loves having her neck kind of massaged, but you know what Arrow likes I'm sure). While petting her, I said things in a lighthearted voice without trying to get her to move. I don't think it mattered what I said, it was just lighthearted, like, "are you being silly?" And I let her stand there. After a little bit of comforting (maybe 60 seconds), I started moving and asked her in a lighthearted way "are you ready?" Sometimes she moved then. If that didn't work, I used a trail of treats on the ground to get her going. Like you said, once she moved out of her frozen spot, she was fine and kept moving. Treats were a key part of this, and luckily she is food-motivated. I also give tiny treats frequently throughout her walks and praise her when she is walking well. If I really had to get her to move for safety (like she froze in the middle of a cross-walk), I would put a nice big handful of treats under her nose, grab her harness and move her a little while giving her treats and saying in a happy voice, "we're going this way!" But like you, I had to pick her up and carry her a few times, which does feel ridiculous. It will get better, and pretty soon you will both be loving your walks together.


Signals of potty time for mine are:

-walking back and forth pacing in the house

-sniffing the floor or circling a spot

- and of course the obvious: squatting and peeing on the floor, a clear sign! ;)

 

we're still working on house training, and when she's on her schedule it's almost perfect, but when the schedule is off, there can be accidents. maybe someday we'll get to standing by the door as a signal.

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Thank you so much for your insight! Treats are helping for sure. I think with persistence this can improve and she has only been with me two weeks, so everything is still super new.

 

Does anyone have thoughts on dog parks? We've taken her twice. She generally did great both times. At one though, there were separate spaces for big and little dogs, and she seemed a bit obsessed with a chihuahua on the other side of the fence. Chasing it back and forth and barking. I felt like it made the dog's owner a little uncomfortable. Do you all muzzle your greys when in a dog park with small dogs? So grateful for this forum...

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Two more questions/thoughts about the walking/freezing:

 

It occurs to me that the freezing started after I took her to the dog park and she was chasing the previously mentioned chihuahua through the fence. I saw a more aggressive, prey-oriented side of her I hadn't seen before. And then the freezing began after that. I wonder if they could be related?

 

Also, she is extremely affectionate and likes to snuggle with me a lot. Sometimes I get down on the ground with her and we lay around together. A few times she has stood up and walked over me while I am laying down. I wonder if this stuff may be leading her to see me less as the pack leader and more as a peer, and thus the freezing and not taking my lead properly on walks? Today she froze up twice and also wanted to chase after a passing jogger, which was a first. Should I stop and be a little more distant and authoritative with her perhaps? Thanks again!

Edited by ArrowOwner
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No advice on the freezing...nine of mine have ever done that.

 

We stay far away from dog parks. We tried a few times when I only had Nixon and our PointerX.

We now only do play dates with other muzzled greyhounds in a totally fenced in ball diamond.

You should never muzzle your dog unless ALL the dogs are also muzzled, otherwise your dog will have no way to protect himself should another dog decide to start a fight.

I found that the dog parks are mostly filled with people who have no idea what their dog is doing and have little control over their dog. They stand in one area chatting and drinking coffee while the dogs are off doing their own thing...often dominant/aggressive behaviour.

All it takes is for one dog to get 'picked on' and hurt, then the pack instinct kicks in and the next thing you know there's a gang of snarling dogs.

JMHO

Edited by BatterseaBrindl

NSK-Winter.jpg.a6ea578c2e544932c5222b81cda3216d.jpg

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

 

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Hey congrats your first greyhound!

 

My first grey, Chance, froze alllll the time when I first got him. He was just unsure but not in a sad way...he seemed more like, “umm no, I want to go THAT way.” I think being boss helps, but who knows. I had to carry him a few times (72 lbs lol) home. He eventually became the best walker, car goer, chill big boy ever. Just took time.

 

I agree with some of the comments of the dog park, but the park I brought him to was dog-park pass only. So all had their shots up to date, and 90% were attentive to their dogs. With that said, Chance good bit by a black lab, and he broke two toes (running in the sand) over 8 years, but all couldve happened anywhere. At the end of the day, I took him everywhere...reservoirs, beaches, lakes, greyhound picnics and fairs, and NOTHING lit him up like a dog park. He learned how to be a dog there. So for that, I’m grateful.

 

You sound amazing and it’ll all work itself out. Best of luck!

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Is it really"I do not want to go any further" freezing or "Checkin' out if this is worth a chase and kill" freezing?

 

Reacting to small dogs and joggers sounds more of the last to me.

 

Or there could be leash agressivness on the rise (which I understand to be a form of social insecurity).

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I feel like it's a little of both, depending on the situation. Also, I think she sometimes gets overwhelmed by traffic sights and sounds. I tried something new last night. When she freezes, I give her a little bit of time and if she doesn't get going, I gently pick her up while encouraging her and bring her along while I keep walking, as if to say, "it's okay, you're safe, but we need to keep moving." And I feel like that seemed to help - it keeps the pace more brisk and doesn't give her the opportunity to really lock in so much. I don't want to give her the sense that she is leading the expedition and can start/stop whenever and go wherever she finds most interesting. That seems like possibly a bad precedent to set. I feel like I want to walk the right line between being patient/assuring but also making sure she understands that I'm the leader and will show her the way. Thoughts?

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Hi All, My very new grey Arrow was starting to do better with the "statue-ing" on walks, but then it got very cold and it's started back again even worse. Do you all keep walks significantly shorter when it's below freezing? We have a nice coat for her, but she just seems less willing to get moving in the cold. Anyone have thoughts on this?

 

As far as the statue-ing motivation, I feel like it's more about detecting cats, squirrels and other dogs as well as unfamiliar smells. I believe it's less about being scared. She seems to be a pretty confident grey. If it's the case that she's getting distracted by other animals, is this something that will improve over time? I truly hope so, the walks are becoming very tedious! Still early days though (2.5 weeks). Thanks!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi All, Update on our new grey Arrow: We've now had her about 6 weeks. When both my wife and I walk her, she still occasionally statues, but is doing much better about coming out of it when we use one of our tricks (do a 360 turn, tap her on her back, nudge her from behind with encouragement). But on solo walks, she does not seem to be improving and may be getting worse! If she see's another animal, human, or sometimes a car, she freezes and it can be very hard to get her back on track. Everything else about her is great, but this one thing is frustrating and we were hoping for more improvement by now. Any further advice? Thank you all again...

Edited by ArrowOwner
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6 weeks is still early days and time, patience and humour are your best friends. Just look at the improvement from when you first had her.

 

Have a look to see if there are greyhound walks in your local area. Having just been on my first one with Grace it improved her confidence seeing the other greys totally ignoring the other breeds of dogs, noisy children etc.

 

Try an Adaptil calm collar (available from Amazon) to help her get used to these strange sights and sounds.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Thank you for the encouragement and interesting about the Adaptil Collar!

Does anyone else have experience with these collars in relation to freezing/statue-ing on walks?

 

Also, Is every two months the appropriate time to get her nails clipped? I noticed that one of them seems to have a little crack and am wondering if that could have a connection to the recent backslide of statue-ing. Thank you all again so much...

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No experience with statueing, but I clip my dogs' nails every two weeks. That way I just have to clip a little bit at a time. I think it also makes it more routine for the dogs. Ideally, I think dog nails should never be long enough to touch the floor when they walk.

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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

 

I am new to the forum and a brand new first time greyhound owner! My wife and I are extremely excited and love our new greyhound Arrow. She is 6, was a racer and was also mother to two litters of racing pups. We have had her about two weeks. 90% of everything is great, we are so happy! The one area that is becoming tough (besides stairs) is walking. She started off walking great, staying with us, not leading, etc. But in the last few days she has started freezing with increasing frequency and seems often not to really want to walk anywhere other than the backyard.

 

There are a few factors I should mention: I have two residences due to work and every few weeks have to go back and forth between them (My wife and I work in academia; it's a pretty common situation in this field). Our dog was with us in our primary residence for the first week. Then we debated as to whether or not I should take her with me or leave her. I will be her primary caretaker and she will be staying with me 95% of the time, so we thought it best for her to go with me to bond as her primary caretaker. She did great in the car and did amazing on walks the first several days. But now the freezing has started. I've tried nudging from behind, which worked at first. I tried food, which doesn't seem to help that much. And the last few days she's really only wanted to walk around the unfenced back yard on the leash (which is pretty large), do her business and go back in. Also, I live on a main street here and the traffic can be quite busy, especially during rush hour. I'm wondering if this is scaring her off from venturing out? It wasn't an issue at all at first, but maybe something scared her? Any help would be much appreciated! I really want her to be healthy and happy!

 

Thank you!

I've read somewhere that it's not uncommon for greyhounds to "statue". Sometime I can persuade mine to keep walking by waiting a few minutes and then proceeding-and sometimes I just turn around and head for home! (I'm not sure who has trained who). What definitely has helped is walking with someone else and their dog.

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Hi, you might find it gets easier in warm weather. My grey is a nightmare for statuing in winter, especially if there is traffic. However, her enjoyment of being outside seems to override her fear somewhat when the weather is nice and she's much less likely to freeze up. We despair of her inactivity over winter and feel like she'll never go on walks again, then come spring she's bouncing around our sitting room demanding to be walked. We find she's much better when walked with another dog. Do you have anyone with a dog who could accompany you?

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