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Adjusting To New Home


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Hi all,

 

I just recently got Bella with my husband 1.5 weeks ago. She is 1 and a half years old and she never raced. She is a super sweet girl and adjusting fairly okay but there are a few things I would like to make better for her.

 

My husband works monday-friday and leaves about 8 and comes home around 6 (sometimes the hours are a little before and little after). I work 3 night shifts a week and it varies. Since we have had her, I only had to crate her twice in the day while I slept in between shifts. Bella has separation anxiety from my husband. I could be home in the living room and he is leaving and she is very upset. She will whine and it takes a long time to settle. She is allowed on the couch and has a crate with an open door. Lately she will go to the crate. He has built on separation anxiety with her on weekends. When left completely alone, she is crated and has no issues. Also to note, if I leave her during the day for an errand she has no issue,no whining. *I know greyhounds thrive on routine but with my schedule I do not have a routine since it changes weekly, would love to know if anyone else has encountered something similar*

 

The big thing this week has been outside. She has been refusing. When we first took her home, she grasped the stairs by day 2 (we live in an apartment on 3rd floor) and would go potty in a lot next to our building. As of 2 days ago, she was statuing on the lot and not wanting to potty and would pull to go back up the stairs. Now she won't even go down the stairs. I tried giving her treats as she walked down but she is very uninterested. I left the balcony door open for her to adjust to sounds and see other dogs walk by, but this was also when my husband left and she was nervous and started to chew on furniture.

 

I know this all takes time for her, but I just want to help her. She really is amazing and affectionate.

 

Thanks!

Nervous mom and nervous greyhound

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Keep at it. This too will pass.

 

You might try and take her on a walk for pottying instead of in the empty lot for a while. Cities can often be a scary to begin with for greyhounds (for any dogs really). They are loud and things move really fast and there's strange smells and sights and it can get overwhelming. Up your treat value significantly to reard her for potties and doing the stairs. Make sure you're being upbeat and encouraging when you take her out.

 

Part of her pottying issue might be her attachment to your husband issue. We are dealing with the sam thing with out puppy right now. He's *really* super bonded to me and not so much to my husband. DH can leave the house whenever he wants for however long he wants and Atom is fine. I go to take the trash out for 20 seconds and Atom has a melt.down. Full on howling, trying to tear through the door, barking, whining - a real terrible twos temper tantrum. It's gotten better over time - I can take the trash out and do short things out of sight - but we work on it every day, just like we would if he had traditional Separation Anxiety. Which is what your husband needs to do on the weekends - do Alone Training From My Dad when he's home. A couple DAP diffusers for the house (or a collar) will help some. Distract her when he leaves with a stuffed Kong or other treat she can focus on. And she may ned a little help with a fast acting anti anxiety medication like Trazadone to help her accept the de-conditioning more easily.

 

But it takes time and some work to get over this type of thing. Time and patience.

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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Work on the separation anxiety. Lots of alone training when you are both home. Practicing leaving but not going anywhere and working up to short absences. The idea is to work on leaving slowly enough that she never gets too upset about it, and to do it so much that it just frankly becomes boring to her. Don't fuss over her prior to leaving or upon returning. Let her settle before acknowledging her. Give her attention for being calm and relaxed.

 

As far as the routine goes, it does sometimes help the separation anxiety dogs, but more so in terms of your lead up to leaving. Your routine when leaving should be the same, not necessarily the times of day that you leave. They adjust to abnormal schedules and routines. My schedules have changed multiple times over the years. Currently it is basically the same every week but not every day. In the past it has been completely random. My dogs have never cared, they just adjust and go with the flow. My bet is your dog will too once she settles in more and once the separation anxiety is under control.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Statueing after a few days in their new home is fairly common. It is as if the first few days they are in shock. As they come out of that, they start to notice the world around them and realize just how strange it is. Do not give her sympathy when she does this. Instead be very upbeat as you talk to her, If you need more help, do a search on this site for ideas.

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It sounds like you're dealing with a lot of issues all at once, but all of them are normal. My advice is to pick the most pressing issue, and work on that. You can not fix everything all at once. It's very early days - so everything is going to seem like a mess. Try to minimize everything. Keep everything as simple as possible.

 

IMHO - priority 1 is eliminating outside. Focus on that. You might have to get pushy about getting her up and down the stairs. Use the suitcase method, maybe. But, if stairs are necessary, you have to make that work. Always have an upbeat, confident attitude. You showing "it's ok" makes her believe it. Always happy, always upbeat! "Here we go! Good girl! We can do this! " but don't over-play it Be firm. This is what's going to happen, and it's ok.

 

On a side-note, yes, routine is important, but routine in any given house is what it is. We had greys and foster greys in our house with a crazy work schedule for both humans, and it worked.

 

Hang in there. Tackle issues one at a time. It's going to be hard for the next month, or two. Take it in bite-sized pieces.

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Hi all,

 

Thanks for your advice. This week has been all about the stairs. She takes a lot of treats to go down. She will sometimes statue but we have not rushed her. My husband and I think there was a spook incident on Sunday regarding stairs as the people below us have a small dog and small child. We encountered them on the stairs at the bottom. Bella tends to freeze on the second flight and will go to their door. There has been only a couple times where she refused to go down at all.

 

Lately, Bella has been preferring to lay in her crate more than couch (which the first week she never went into it). I understand that it might be comforting to her but should I let her be or should I close it to see what she does. Again I dont want to overwhelm her.

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Let Bella use the crate but leave the door open so it's her choice. Grace was the same. She ignored her crate for the first few days and then preferred it to anywhere else while she got used to her new life. After a few months she went back to sofa surfing or her bed in front of the window and not using the crate at all, it has now been put away (perhaps until the next one...).

 

As krissy says your leaving routine should be consistent so she knows you are leaving but also you will be coming back. Also try to walk, toilet and feed her at the same time each day so she knows how long it is until the next meal, toilet break etc. even when it's your day off.

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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