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Lolo

Adjustment Period And New Dog Parent Worries/ Lots Of Questions

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Hello!

 

My boyfriend and I adopted a lovely 4 and a half year old male ex racing greyhound just over 4 and a half weeks ago. We think it's going alright but there are some things I would love to know if others have experienced and how it turned out!

 

His routine is currently:

Walk at 7.20 (40 min)

Food at 8.30

Left 8.45 with Kong

Visit 12.30

Walk 12.45 (20 min)

Some basic training 13.10 (10 mins)

Left 13.30-16.45

Walk 17.15 (40 min)

Dinner 19.00

Usually another 10 mins training at some point

Sleep 22.00

 

The kong with kibble and peanut butter (frozen) in the morning lasts him about 20 mins or so maybe and in the afternoon he has other chews like pizzle sticks or tripe sticks that last a short period but seem to stop him whining when we first leave. Without these he whines and barks for a while. Whilst we are out, once he's finished his treats and had a nap, he will start to pace and bark for 20 mins or so then settle for a while and then sometimes bark again etc.

 

When we get back home he barks for about 3 minutes until he settles and throughout the evening he will whine a lot and bark randomly even if he's fed and been to the bathroom. He has toys but only sometimes seems to play with them. When we are out he will roach on the sofa but haven't seen him roach or join us on the sofa when we are home yet!

 

Currently he likes some fuss and will come over for strokes but only for a short time. He follows us about and gets upset if we go out of the room and doesn't like to be outside by himself, we've been throwing grated cheese about outside so he spends time foraging for cheese by himself, which he seems to enjoy! He likes to come up to the side of the bed for strokes and wags his tail a lot when we wake up in the morning. He's learnt down, stay, look at me and come in a very controlled, non distracted setting.

 

He will be lying calm getting stroked sometimes and then will suddenly jump up (sending your arm flying if it was over him) and start barking and bow as if he wants to play- is this likely excitement/ fear/ caused by not wanting fuss/ happy or..? On 2 occasions he has let out a growl with no teeth shown but we're not sure what was unique about the stroking or fuss.

 

Recently, we took him to a pub and he stood the whole time except for maybe 10 mins eating a chew (his bed was there but he ignored it after eating the chew) and he barked a fair bit which was a bit awkward in the pub as he is quite loud!

 

Are these normal things to expect? Will things calm down? Any suggestions for helping him settle? Most people seem to say that greyhounds rarely bark so we're a bit surprised by a lot of barking for reasons we don't understand yet! He does bark at other dogs too if they are chasing a ball or smaller and bouncy.

The rescue called him a laid back cuddle monster that didn't need more than an hour's exercise a day and said he was great with other dogs- we havent seen this side of him yet! We're having a bit of a panic that he won't be very affectionate and we're going to struggle to leave the house with or without him for long foreseeable future!

 

I'm so desperate to love him and trying to be upbeat and positive around him but getting pretty anxious, I think that I'm finding it harder to bond as I'm nervous.

 

Any words of encouragement or advice would be much appreciated!

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He'll calm down. Your home and lifestyle are still very new to him. Much of what you're describing is normal for a newly adopted dog, especially the following. My best advice is to relax and let him do what he's doing. Re: toys. sometimes they have to be taught how to play.

 

After I adopted my first greyhound, I was convinced that he hated me. Second greyhound, I thought she would never settle down. Then I got the hang of it. Relax and keep your sense of humour. The more anxious you get, the more anxious he'll get. Remember, he has a lot to get used to.


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Regarding the pub - that may have been too much stimulation of new noises and smells. Give him some more time and then gradually add new situations.

 

Generally, the dog you adopted may have a change is personality at about the 3 month point with you. Not a bad thing but he might push some boundaries a bit.


 

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My fog Stella does something similar. When she has all of her needs met, food, water, beds, cuddles, attention, sometimes she will just walk about and whine for a bit. Its like she doesn't know what to do with herself? I give her a firm "settle yourself" and usually she will stop. Or she just goes and sits in a corner. She gets over it.

Edited by GreyStella

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Everything's totally normal! Remember, literally everything you're introducing him to is new and exciting, so you should expect some inability to calm himself down for a while. FWIW none of my dogs would ever lay down in the hubbub of a pub and with that many new people around to meet!

 

He might be having some on and off space issues - again not uncommon - hence the jumping up when he's getting attention. Sometimes they just get overstimulated to a limit of tolerability and feel the need to get up and leave.

 

If you haven't yet, get the "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies" book. There's tons of great info, though mostly geared for US consumption so some things are different.


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Pups need time to settle and always pick up on your moods. My current oldest will be 14 in June (I adopted her at age 2.5) and even to this day she is the one who feeds the most off of my mood...if I stress, then she stresses...then I worry about her not doing well, then she worries about me. So you just need to relax, let your pup settle in, and keep showing him love/play with toys. Gradually introduce new experiences as others have said.

I currently have 4 of my own, each with their own personality and I've had several fosters. Each pup settles in their own time, and needs time to adjust to new experiences.


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Thanks for the replies so far! Its hard when you feel like there are lots of posts where dogs are settled within a few weeks, enjoying super lazy cuddles on the sofa and haven't ever barked!

 

I've been trying to stay positive and do lots of reward based training with him. I struggle with anxiety and most of the training I am working on I feel positive about, but the barking seems to trigger my anxiety, I feel shaky and I'm constantly fighting back tears. After a barking session I just can't relax for a while. I'm sure that this is making him worse as was suggested!

 

I grew up with dogs that barked at the door and when playing etc. Just not used to quite the noise that my grey makes and how often he makes it.

 

I think he barks basically when he doesn't get what he wants. A toy on a high shelf, access to a room, attention, food etc. We are ignoring this at the minute but if anything it's getting worse not better. Any specific advice or suggestions to kerb the barking?

 

 

For reference: My anxiety was under control before getting the dog and we thought a greyhound was a good fit for us as they are typically quiet, like to snuggle, help me get regular walks which help keep me relaxed and often make good therapy dogs.

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Hi Lolo,

I can't share any specific advice, but what I can share is empathy. We adopted a 2 year old girl 7 weeks ago who is hookwrm positive and has separation distress. She is about to send me over the edge. When she is calm and appears secure, I am calm. When she is pacing, whining, jumping on the door when we leave, or when she is CONSTANTLY shadowing us, or when we have another expense that pops us related to her care, my anxiety starts to climb. We had a greyhound prior to her, and she was a dream dog. This one is VERY DIFFERENT, and it has activated my own anxiety which was just starting to settle down after a 6 month period of prolonged heightened anxiety. I keep telling myself that this is all part of the adjustment period, that she is still somewhat of a puppy, and that time, training and medication will help. Please know that there you are not alone. Not that this solves your current concerns, but hopefully it helps in some small way. I don't want to totally hijack your thread, but after reading yours, as well as another recent thread from a new adopter who is struggling, I may post one too, looking for support, advice and empathy, myself. Hang in there . . . anxiety SUCKS!

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Thanks for the replies so far! Its hard when you feel like there are lots of posts where dogs are settled within a few weeks, enjoying super lazy cuddles on the sofa and haven't ever barked!

 

I've been trying to stay positive and do lots of reward based training with him. I struggle with anxiety and most of the training I am working on I feel positive about, but the barking seems to trigger my anxiety, I feel shaky and I'm constantly fighting back tears. After a barking session I just can't relax for a while. I'm sure that this is making him worse as was suggested!

 

I grew up with dogs that barked at the door and when playing etc. Just not used to quite the noise that my grey makes and how often he makes it.

 

I think he barks basically when he doesn't get what he wants. A toy on a high shelf, access to a room, attention, food etc. We are ignoring this at the minute but if anything it's getting worse not better. Any specific advice or suggestions to kerb the barking?

 

 

For reference: My anxiety was under control before getting the dog and we thought a greyhound was a good fit for us as they are typically quiet, like to snuggle, help me get regular walks which help keep me relaxed and often make good therapy dogs.

 

We also had heard that greyhounds don't bark, but ours must have missed the memo...it sounds like yours may have, too! :rolleyes:

 

My partner and I both have anxiety and she certainly tested our nerves a bit the first week or two. Although I grew up with dogs, she's much, much bigger than my dogs were, and her barks can be intimidating, especially when they seem to happen for no reason! The bowing and "smiling" intimidated me a bit at first as well, but that's just how they show they are happy and want to play -- now it makes me feel very loved when she shows her goofy smile!

 

I think you're on the right track with reward-based training. One thing I would try is putting his toys where he can get to them at all times -- that way if he is bored, he can amuse himself. If he barks, even though it's difficult, try to ignore him (unless he's obviously distressed or needs help). Don't "reward" him with any feedback, even if that feedback is saying "no". Instead, do whatever helps you to control you anxiety, whether its deep breathing or channeling a peaceful image -- and try to ignore him. Get up and do chores, pour yourself a glass of water, etc, as if he's not even barking. This has helped with ours, as she realizes barking doesn't get her any attention at all. Try to make sure you aren't locking him into rooms that you aren't in, as greyhounds generally like to accompany you instead of being alone.

 

Does he have a bed or other designated spot for naps? That might help to give him a place to lay calmly while you're on the couch or otherwise occupied. If you see him doing calm activities, like napping or even just being quiet, be sure to praise him and tell him he's a good dog, and reward that "normal" behavior too. We spent a couple of weeks giving out treats and praise every time ours laid on her bed, and it encouraged her to continue doing that. Eventually, we started giving treats for laying on the couch, and now she spends plenty of time sleeping there, too. Also, do you have a yard he can run in? If so, try some reward-based training outside in place of one of his walks.

 

I expect he will settle quite a bit over the next few weeks. The change your new dog is going through is huuuuge, but it's okay to feel frustrated and anxious about the change on your end, as well. The people on this forum have great advice, but sometimes everyone's passion for greyhounds being the best dog ever can make new owners feel a little anxious that they're doing something "wrong" when their hound isn't behaving perfectly. It sounds like you're doing a great job, he just needs a little more time! :)

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Just thought I would share my experience with my first and current grey my husband and I have adopted in October last year.

 

Although she only barks once a week or so, it took her about three months to settle! I totally understand how you feel, but your grey will settle one day :) I was so close to give up on her but I am so happy that I didnt. Hang in there!

Edited by Rijnbeek

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Hi Lolo, how are things by now?  I'm new to all this too having only adopted our Sable two weeks ago.  I keep wondering what I'm doing wrong when she won't let me eat in peace and barks when I try. Barking makes me anxious too.  Luckily, there seems to be a lot of friendly folks willing to share their experience and expertise on this forum and I think just having that support from people who have been there and done that will be a tremendous help.  I hope it's all going well  for you both with your young lad :) 

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Hey, probably long overdue for an update!

So beau has been with us for just over 3 months now.

He's certainly more settled and there are big positives like being able to leave him for 4 hours now and he is very calm and will just lie down quietly when we are eating (not trying to steal it from our hands etc), he also walks very well! Also, less skittish and doesn't follow us everywhere or bark as soon as we leave the room now (but still likes to be in the same room as us which is fair enough!) With enough chews, a good walk and well timed treats he has successfully sat chilling out in a pub for a few hours too!

 

There are a couple of things that we are still struggling with:

-  Barking, so much barking! Mostly in the morning when he wants feeding and the evening after he's had his dinner and 2 walks and he just isn't settling.

- lack of affection. This is a hard one and I'm struggling more than my other half. 

I was very much hoping for a dog that would cuddle up by me on the sofa and come over for strokes and attention. This is not Beau! My boyfriend seems to think this will come with time but I'm not so sure. He gets very excited when we get home and likes fuss at this time but not really any other time.

I'm honestly wondering if getting him a buddy will help him settle down in the evenings or have someone to play with and might even give me a more affectionate dog so that beau is free to be himself without me pushing attention on him!

Anyone have experience of similar experiences that they would like to share?

Lolo

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Nice update  :)

Our Nigel is a barker. Early morning before breakfast and  the only thing that worked was to totally ignore him. Totally. Play dead. Do not move.  Now he may give one 'woof' and then go lay back down.

Unfortunately Hubby often can't resist telling him to 'be quiet' and Nigel takes that as encouragement and continues to bark.

This confirms my belief that it's easier to train a dog than the hubby....

 

As  far as 'affection' from Beau, it may just take time. 

Ruby ... 12 years and with us nearly 8  years ... has never once cuddled.  She never climbs up on the furniture if there is a person on it.  She used to growl if you sat beside her, but that has changed.

Our first grey, Nixon, was also a bit aloof for a long time but eventually loved to curl up beside you.

Nigel and Sid usually can't get close enough and love to cuddle up close.  Nigel often pushes Sid away so he can be the one on top of me!

However, I doubt getting another dog will make Beau become a lap dog.

 


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Nancy...Mom to Ruby (Watch Me Dash),Nigel (Nigel) and Sid (Peteles Tiger)

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42 minutes ago, BatterseaBrindl said:

Nice update  :)

Our Nigel is a barker. Early morning before breakfast and  the only thing that worked was to totally ignore him. Totally. Play dead. Do not move.  Now he may give one 'woof' and then go lay back down.

Unfortunately Hubby often can't resist telling him to 'be quiet' and Nigel takes that as encouragement and continues to bark.

This confirms my belief that it's easier to train a dog than the hubby....

 

As  far as 'affection' from Beau, it may just take time. 

Ruby ... 12 years and with us nearly 8  years ... has never once cuddled.  She never climbs up on the furniture if there is a person on it.  She used to growl if you sat beside her, but that has changed.

Our first grey, Nixon, was also a bit aloof for a long time but eventually loved to curl up beside you.

Nigel and Sid usually can't get close enough and love to cuddle up close.  Nigel often pushes Sid away so he can be the one on top of me!

However, I doubt getting another dog will make Beau become a lap dog.

 

Ha! I was thinking more of trying to find a dog that had been in a foster home and had enjoyed cuddles! (As beau was off the track and into a kennel, no other home!) Then I wouldn't be sad that Beau wanted to just chill by himself as the other dog could get my affections!!

It would be a nice benefit if it helped Beau settle in the evenings and he enjoyed having another dog around for company and such, I doubt it would change his feelings towards affection though!

As I say, my boyfriend minds the lack of affection less and Beau does come and sit on the sofa with us occasionally. Sometimes he will even put his head on us but only if he's in the middle and there is no other space for his head haha. He prefers being on one end with his butt to us! And will often do it for a little bit then get down and pant which makes me think it stresses him out after a while (or he gets hot, but more likely stressed)

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Grace is the same, she won't come for cuddles or affection and is overjoyed to see me when I come home from work but if I've only been gone for a couple of hours she might open an eye just to check who it is :D.  If she's already on the sofa she'll quite happily stay there and enjoy tummy rubs etc. and she luckily she doesn't suffer with sleep startle as both of us (Grace and me) have been known to fall asleep stretched out together.


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