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One Month In - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.


Kelsier
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Greetings. I used the forum a ton while preparing to adopt a greyhound, so I figured an introduction is warranted. We adopted Malachite 12/31 from MSGAO in Arkansas. I had a lot of questions about the transition phase, so I decided it might be helpful to some prospective adopters who are considering adopting one of these greyt dogs.

 

History: My wife and I have 2 kids - a 5yo boy and an 8mo girl, and 2 cats. We both grew up with dogs, but have never had one of our own together. I worked as a vet tech for 3 years before moving over into the IT field - this is where my love for the breed began. After interacting with hundreds of pets regularly, there were certain breeds I grew to love (standard poodles, airedales) and certain breeds I wasn't fond of (shih tzus, beagals, min pins). Now keep in mind I was at a vet - these animals were definitely out of their element, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. Out of all of the breeds I worked with, my favorite was the greyhound. Every one we got in was just so well adjusted - so calm and cool. Since then, I've been determined to get one once our family was ready.

 

Apparently, "ready" for me was shortly after moving into a new house with two busy jobs, a 5yo, an 8mo, and 2 cats. I know.. what was I thinking? I reached out to MSGAO and they were very helpful in matching us up with a cat friendly dog. I wen't out there 12/31 to finalize the adoption, loaded Malachite up in the back of the Jeep and off I went. As soon as I merged onto I40, I heard Mala christening the Jeep with it's first puddle of greyhound pee.. thanks bud!

 

So now that we've had Malachite for a little over a month, how are things going?

 

The good:

 

-The initial introduction was pretty smooth. We left his muzzle on around the cats and kids for the first couple of days. He was and is super gentle with both and after some short trial runs, we let him go muzzle free around them.

-He had 2 accidents since we've had him (peed on the rug). He learned quickly and now takes me to the door when he needs to go out.

-He is amazingly well adjusted around both people and other dogs. I walk him daily and he gets along with everyone - even the little shih tzus aggressively barking at his ankles.

-His leash manners are great. We have a 1" martingale and he never pulls. He'll try to chase a squirrel or chipmunk, but gets over it quickly when he runs out of leash. I was surprised at how quickly he tires out - I've actually had to scale my walks back because he's worn out at about 2 miles. I'm hoping to work him up to 3 or 4 miles.

-He doesn't get on the furniture. This was actually my wife's one non-negotiable condition to getting a dog. No dogs on the furniture. We have a new leather couch and chair - he's never even attempted to get on them. We got him two round costco beds ($30) and he loves them. He sleeps in one at night and never tries to jump in our bed.

-From the beginning, he's slept through the night with no trouble.

 

The bad:

 

-He's a toy thief! He especially loves monster slippers belonging to 5yos and teething toys belonging to 8mos. He'll swipe them when nobody is looking and bring them to his bed.

-The sweet tooth! We've never fed him table scraps, but somehow he ended up with a major sweet tooth. Any time we open something sweet (king cake this week), he comes running over and goes crazy sniffing the air.

-He hates his crate. We have a 48" wire crate with the top covered (rescue group's suggestion). We leave music on for him and I prep a frozen kong for him that he gets every time he goes in there. He still does quite a bit of barking and whining. I have a camera in the room and he tends to lay down for 5-10 min and then stand up to bark and cry for 5 min and repeat this cycle over and over. The longest he's in the crate is 4 hours. He's definitely not ready to be home alone out of the crate yet - we've tried and he chews everything in sight and throws himself repeatedly at the door, scratching it in the process. I'd be nervous about this if I was considering adopting and lived in an apartment or condo.

-He was peeing in the crate every couple of days, but this stopped after he ripped his bed up. For now, he's on the plastic and hasn't peed since.

-This guy is clingy! We love it, but if you're very attached to the idea of having a personal bubble, you might want to think about this one. We've had great luck giving him a bully stick to chew on if we need him to get out of the way for a while (like if we're cooking).

 

The ugly:

 

-The poop! He has the non solid poops that are so common with greyhounds. I've started adding olewo carrots to every meal. They've helped a bit - especially in the morning. As the day goes by, things get much looser. Add to it the fact the he has to split his poop up into 5 different places in the yard and you've got a yard that is an absolute pain to clean up. We're thinking of switching him over to a new food - maybe Iams green bag.

-The poop! He doesn't care where he is - he'll be walking down the middle of a sidewalk and start pooping while he's walking. No warning - no popping a squat. He's like the sled dogs if you've ever been dog sledding! This really gets to be a pain because his poop is too runny to pick up with a bag. I get as much as possible up, but feel awful leaving spots in front of people's houses.

 

 

So the final verdict?

 

After a month, we're totally in love with this guy. He's got the perfect easy going personality for our family. We have absolutely zero regrets. Now it's time to start trying to convince my wife that we need a second one!

 

Here are some pictures of the goof:

Mala1.jpg

Mala2.jpg

Mala3.jpg

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Well.... you've certainly got an interesting hansdome dog there and one that neatly accessorizes your rug too!

 

With the pee and poop issues, first get the vet to analyse a stool sample (or two), and a pee sample if it's not just marking behavior. If it's not a parasite burden with the poop, then might be the time to gradually change (10 days) to a different food. Typically they do better with protein levels down around the high teen percentages. Though there is always the rare possibility of a true food intolerance.

 

Another thing that might be keeping the poop too liquid is basic stress from not being able to settle without random separation anxieties setting in. Some of them really don't like the crate being used to isolate them at all but can settle to it 'Stockholm syndrome-style' as their 'den'. But you're right, you can't have your home trashed and other pets stressed.

 

I'm sure others will jump in to help you doing what is already a good job at settling your new Greyhound in.

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It is wonderful how well he has fit in with your family! Sounds like a perfect match :beatheart

 

For the poop, I would have him checked for worms, especially hookworms. You have probably seen the posts on here about how there is a new strain that is resistant to previous treatments. Even if the group said he had been treated, that is the most likely cause.

 

Instead of a crate, can you baby gate him into one room? Preferably one without carpet :) He may tolerate that much better than a crate.

 

Most of all, congratulations :yay on your new boy!

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Thanks for the replies. Our first suspicion with the poop was worms, so he's been checked now on two separate occasions. Fecal sample was all clear. We have him on Costco grain free salmon and sweet potato. This is what the rescue fed, and we didn't want to make too many changes all at once. I've heard good things about Fromm's classic adult and that it contains the beet pulp that we think is the magic ingredient in the Iams. Might try that after we go through this current bag.

 

As for peeing, he's been awesome. He had two accidents right in the beginning - all it took was startling him during an accident and bringing him outside to finish for him to get it. I'm thinking the peeing in the crate was more to do with his anxiety than anything. We're at 2 weeks now without an accident in the crate, so I'm thinking it may be time to try at least a blanket if not a crate pad. Hopefully he won't shred it this time!

 

I like the idea of trying the baby gate - the only room we could really do it in right now would be the kitchen. I don't fully trust him to not jump up on the counters and try to steal food yet. Maybe some short trial runs with the camera on him to see how he does.

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My guys never did well on the Costco food, however they do great on Fromms 4 Star Nutritionals line - you can switch out the proteins with no transition so they can get lots of variety.

 

You need to do alone training. A good place to start is Dr. Patricia McConnell's booklet "I'll be Home Soon".

 

Good luck! Lovely pup :)


Also, I appreciate how your kitty in the cone of shame is lording the dog bed :lol


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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What a lovely hound whose adopted you.

 

Some greys like their crates, others don't. It's not a hard and fast rule that they have to be crated. Grace used her crate to begin with as her safe place but the door was always open.Her safe place is now her bed in front of the radiator and the crate has been put away.

 

You could try adding a desert spoonful of canned pumpkin puree to his food to help with the stools.

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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He's beautiful. Perhaps he doesn't like the crate? Maybe you can try not using it and see if that's better. I've lived with two hounds that did much better without the crate.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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