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okslater

Nervous Dog, Statue-Ing, Should I Get Another?

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Hi! First time poster.

 

I got my grey directly from the racing trainer 3.5 years ago (she's now 5) - she was a racing reject because she was so nervous and refused to leave the box. She settled in well with me, my boyfriend, and our two cats, and we've worked through a lot of her issues steadily. However, one thing we've not had much consistent success with is walks.

 

She's a real clever girl and lies on the sofa evaluating what you are up to and wont get off the sofa unless she thinks she is going to do something fun/safe. It is difficult to walk her from our house as she is really noise sensitive and has a memory like an elephant. One speeding motorcycle or one gunshot (I'm in the countryside) or one noisy builder and she remembers that that route is no longer 'safe'. To get her on a walk I have to drive her to one of our 'safe' routes with no bad memories, and that's not practical during the week in winter as we both work monday-friday. She's much easier to walk in summer. It's the combo of cold, dark, and road noise that gets her.

 

My question is, if we got another greyhound, maybe a calm male, would she be more likely to walk from the house? She loves other dogs, especially greys, and does seem to be very bouncy and happy around them. I don't know any greys who live nearby that I could borrow, I'm just basing this on encounters on walks.

I pay for an experienced dog walker who works with our behaviourist to come round twice a week and they can't get her out at all, they just let her go to the toilet in the garden and read her books for half an hour!

 

The other three days a week she comes to work with me, but that's about to change, so she will be at home on her own. We've set up cameras and recorded her several times and she just lolls on the sofa all day so doesn't seem to have separation anxiety. However, I feel bad as she is about to be on her own 4-5 days a week, so maybe she'd want another dog for company? Would it be cruel to get another dog when we wont be at home from 9-5 most weekdays? When we got her originally one or the other of us were always working from home but i now have to work from an office.

 

My ideal would be walk both of them in the morning before work, get a walker for the afternoon if they want/need it, then I'm home by 5pm. Walk again in the evening.

 

So, my questions are, do greys prefer to walk in packs and so is she likely to go on more walks (which she loves once she feels safe) if we have two, and would two dogs at home during the day minimise loneliness/boredom, or would it be cruel having another dog when we both work full time?

 

Thanks for making it through my long and rambling post!

 

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Personally I have always found 3 the best number....and I believe conventional wisdom is that it takes 3 to make a pack, but don't quote me on that.

 

As far as preferred walking that's hard to judge. If you have room in your heart and pocketbook for another go for it.


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Since she likes other dogs, I imagine she would appreciate a companion, but I am not sure if it would help her do better on walks or not. It might, sometimes seeing that their buddy is calm makes them feel more confident, but not always.

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Maybe. Maybe not. Unfortunately you won't know until you try.

 

With my anxious girl, she was definitely glad to have friends, but she never really bonded with them and they made 0% change in her anxious behavior.

 

Keep in mind, if you decide to try this, that she *may* not need a greyhound as a companion. Some do just fine with a different breed, and/or a rescue from a shelter. Make sure they meet beforehand.


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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Hi, thanks everyone for the responses! So, the conclusion seems to be, it depends! I think what I'll do is find some local grey trusts, and see if they have organised walks, and take her out on them. Then I can observe how she is with the other dogs, get some advice, make our situation known, and see if she builds a relationship with a potentially cat trainable greyhound who might be fine with long stints on the sofa while we are at work. Currently I can't see any rescue centre allowing us to adopt/foster straight up due to the working hours and cats.

 

Thanks again for the advice!

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Since you already have a dog walker to provide mid-day eliminations, I'd agree with a confident, independent, middle-aged Greyhound as a home and walking companion. I understand your girl doesn't have separation anxiety; however, it appears that our hounds, fosters, and solo Greyhound visitors greatly benefit from having a Greyhound friend around, even if they don't "play" together. (I've only pet sat two Greyhounds who needed to stay in their own single dog households.) One of our Greyhounds had human targeted (only) separation anxiety, but suffered emotionally after our other hounds passed away. Previously, that hound didn't appear to need other hounds, but was benefiting from important companionship while living together. Most importantly, humans in the family need to want (and afford) the second dog, and have typical evening and weekend time to enrich their hounds' lives.

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Hi 3greytjoys, thanks for the response. She definitely does seem to enjoy just being in the same room as other people/animals. It's rare she'll go off onto a room on her own unless there are no comfy spots left.

 

What price is happiness? We could afford another one, and my boyfriend would be persuaded if she was more chilled out with company. She comes everywhere with us outside of work, so gets plenty of attention, and we try to holiday in the UK so she can come too. Our biggest worry would be our older cat as it's taken a couple of years of careful integration and baby gates before we got to the stage where they were all happy milling about in the same room together unsupervised. She has a reasonable prey drive but is very food motivated so we had to work at it for a while. Maybe it will be easier the second time around.

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Foster and see if there are changes? A friend had a make who just hated the outside world. She tried everything. Finally she decided to let him be happy in the house. I would not just get another with out fostering.

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If you get a bold extroverted outgoing dog companion for her you may possibly see a remarkable behavior change in her. When I got Goldie he was so spooked it was just soo sad. He was so scared of people and the environment and he didn't really change or improve much at all BUT THEN I adopted this EXTREMELY BOLD and CONFIDENT, frankly even aggressive greyhound named Slim. Goldie of course hung around with Slim and started to morp little bit by little bit until after a year or two he was no longer a fraidy cat at all. Even his bark changed from a little girl squeak of a bark to a low strong man bark hehe. He just was not afraid anymore and he himself had become confident and outgoing! I honestly would not have thought such a transformation was possible but it did happen. It totally changed Goldie. I guess Slim must have showed him that he just didn't need to be afraid anymore. I don't know how it happened but it definitely did and it was beautiful to see Goldie become confident and proud. He had it in him all along but no one could see it through the fearful state he had fallen into. Of course there is the cat and a bold confident dog may be difficult to integrate.

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I feel your pain! We have had our new grey Arrow for about 2.5 months. We love her and it's going great in every way except for her freezing/statue-ing on walks. It doesn't seem to be getting much better a few months in. Our current approach is to just let her mainly walk in the yard and adjacent yards near the house (on leash), it let's her wander around a bit but we don't get so far that it's a nightmare if she does a big freeze. She also loves other dogs and it feels like a lot of the statue-ing results from her hearing/seeing a dog in the distance and wanting desperately to go find it. We have started taking her to doggy day care two days a week. She gets to hang out with other dogs all day (always supervised) and she seems to love it (never wants to leave when I come pick her up). It gives her a lot of activity, and she's generally zonked for the next 24 hours afterwards. I think it means frequent walks are less of a necessity, though sometimes I worry we're indulging her preference for pack life rather than teaching her to adapt to being an only dog in a domestic setting. But if it seems to make her happy, that's the main thing. So you might consider that option...

 

One thing I hope is that part of this behavior is indeed the winter. We've only had her in the winter so far, and I'm really hoping things improve in the summer. Do greyhounds dislike winter in general? I feel like she seems cooped up and wants more activity, but then when we go outside she's usually not that excited about it.

 

Our Arrow DEFINITELY does better on walks if there is another dog or even a larger group of humans. The fewer walking companions, the more she freezes, every time.

 

PS Also, a new thing we just started trying is an adaptil collar. An owner of a former freezer highly recommended it. It's only been a few days, but I do sense that her freezing has perhaps improved a tiny bit (too early to tell though likely). But it might be worth a try...

Edited by ArrowOwner

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I can only speak for my hound, but she definitely prefers summer (except for snow, she'll make an exception for that). I would also say 2.5 months isn't that long in greyhound settling down terms. Looking back, I think ours was with us at least a year before her true colours came out. She didn't really say much up until then, and we just thought she was a silent greyhound. However now she barks at the door (handy as we have no door bell), chirrups when she wants food, sighs and snuffles when she's fed up or isn't getting enough attention, and does the occasional mad howl when she's hyper. One thing she is not is silent anymore!

 

Nice to hear that racindog.

 

Don't think we could foster cleptogrey, as we work full time and have two cats. If we were adopting then between us we could manage to work from home for a month, but we wouldn't be able to do that regularly.

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