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clk5

statueing and laying down on walks

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Hi all...I've had my 2-year-old grey Otto for three weeks now. I realize he's very much still adjusting, getting used to his new home and me so I'm trying to approach this situation with all of my patience and an open mind. During the first week or so with me, he was doing great on walks. Really loved them, trotting happily alongside me, sniffing at things, etc. He had some moments of getting distracted/statueing if he was overwhelmed, but with patience and lots of encouragement/treats, he would usually be ready to move along after a few minutes or so. Sometime over the last week, it's like a switch has flipped. We manage maybe 5 minutes outside before he statues, usually with him walking behind me instead of alongside, and any encouragement I give or distraction I offer no longer helps. After a few minutes of statueing, he will often lay down. Sometimes he'll jump up after a minute or so, but more often than not we're stranded until he decides to move on. Sometimes I can coax him up with a high value treat, or toss it a few feet ahead which makes him want to follow it, but this doesn't always work and I am very hesitant to pull him up. Sometimes, when all other options have failed, gently nudging his rear with my leg gets him moving, but I don't love this method either. The only thing that has worked consistently every time is if a person walks by and wants to pet him (he LOVES people), or if another dog wants to meet him, he will happily jump up and go to them, but obviously there's no guarantee this will actually happen on any of our walks. 

A lot of times, when all other methods have failed, I end up just sitting in the grass with him until he feels ready to move on, but this is getting increasingly frustrating and I won't always have the ability to spend upwards of an hour and a half on what is our "shorter" morning walk. (Especially once the school year starts and I go back to work.) He has a shoulder injury from the track which contributes to this slightly; long distances are a no-go for him right now and his adoption group told me running off leash is really something he can't do ever without risking further injury, so he really needs our leash walks to get his exercise. 

We are enrolled in a positive reinforcement obedience class and practice every day, and I'm hopeful this will help build our bond and give me some more skills in working with him. He loves playing in my apartment and snuggling up with me on the couch, and rides in the car, so in most respects it seems like he's adjusting pretty well. Any advice anyone has would be welcome, I'd love for our walks to get back to being pleasant, fun exercise and not the exercises in frustration (for both of us) they are becoming! 

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Buddy consistently statues in one place of one walk we go on so I try to avoid that area. I think it’s because he’s distracted by the goings-on in a cafe that we walk past. Is Otto consistent in his statuing location or does he do it in random places? The rear end nudge works for us unless he’s being really stubborn, as well as walking back to him and doing a 360 degree turn, keeping his lead short and him at my thigh. The rear end nudge doesn’t feel very nice at first but we noticed that an experienced greyhound man from an adoption centre used it to ‘encourage’ Buddy into our car when we first got him. I think it’s an established method of greyhound persuasion and I much prefer it to pulling him along from the front, even though we use a harness.

it does sound like Otto is adjusting very well, and that you’re doing well with him. But three weeks is not very long and in six months, you will have a different dog, and probably six months on from that he will be different again so don’t worry too much. Your hard work will pay off!


Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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Relax and don't worry about him getting enough exercise. Greyhounds are the laziest dogs in the world and if he's playing and enjoying rides in the car he's getting enough mental stimulation.

Statuing seems to be one of the many quirks that greyhounds have but it doesn't last forever and they do get over it. It's being thrown into a strange new world with a strange human. Grace was the same, walked OK for the first few days and then when she started to realise this world is more scary and strange than she first realised and she thought statuing until she worked it out was the answer. 

You could find another dog and owner to walk with or try the same way the trainers put the dogs into the traps for races. You stand by the side of Otto facing the same way and put a couple of fingers through his collar. Start walking and using a similar action as if ten pin bowling you pull him with you and say "Let's Go"  and release the collar. This worked with Grace and I had to only do it 4 or 5 times to stop her statuing. 


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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5 hours ago, MerseyGrey said:

Buddy consistently statues in one place of one walk we go on so I try to avoid that area. I think it’s because he’s distracted by the goings-on in a cafe that we walk past. Is Otto consistent in his statuing location or does he do it in random places? The rear end nudge works for us unless he’s being really stubborn, as well as walking back to him and doing a 360 degree turn, keeping his lead short and him at my thigh. The rear end nudge doesn’t feel very nice at first but we noticed that an experienced greyhound man from an adoption centre used it to ‘encourage’ Buddy into our car when we first got him. I think it’s an established method of greyhound persuasion and I much prefer it to pulling him along from the front, even though we use a harness.

it does sound like Otto is adjusting very well, and that you’re doing well with him. But three weeks is not very long and in six months, you will have a different dog, and probably six months on from that he will be different again so don’t worry too much. Your hard work will pay off!

Otto's statuing happens pretty randomly, although I'm starting to notice a pattern where if we have to change direction away from somewhere he wanted/was focused on, he'll statue. Normally I'm quite happy to let him sniff around and change direction at will, but sometimes that's not an option (he's fascinated with the road, for example, and wants to just stand in the middle of it). I try to avoid the road in general as it's such a distraction for him, and walking on hard surfaces aggravates his shoulder, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Mostly we do a lot of field and woods walks. 

Do you mind if I ask why you use a harness? I'm thinking of switching Otto to one - he seems to hate his martingale...he tries to dodge it every time I put it on him and he scratches at it any chance he gets until we're back inside and I take it off. 

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4 hours ago, HeyRunDog said:

Relax and don't worry about him getting enough exercise. Greyhounds are the laziest dogs in the world and if he's playing and enjoying rides in the car he's getting enough mental stimulation.

Statuing seems to be one of the many quirks that greyhounds have but it doesn't last forever and they do get over it. It's being thrown into a strange new world with a strange human. Grace was the same, walked OK for the first few days and then when she started to realise this world is more scary and strange than she first realised and she thought statuing until she worked it out was the answer. 

You could find another dog and owner to walk with or try the same way the trainers put the dogs into the traps for races. You stand by the side of Otto facing the same way and put a couple of fingers through his collar. Start walking and using a similar action as if ten pin bowling you pull him with you and say "Let's Go"  and release the collar. This worked with Grace and I had to only do it 4 or 5 times to stop her statuing. 

Reassuring to know your dog did this too! I was starting to feel a little crazy, because our walks were so good at the beginning. Walking with another dog could probably help, I'm hoping to set something up consistently with one or two of our neighborhood dog friends. I'll try the method you recommend with his collar too! Thank you!

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50 minutes ago, clk5 said:

Otto's statuing happens pretty randomly, although I'm starting to notice a pattern where if we have to change direction away from somewhere he wanted/was focused on, he'll statue. 

 

Do you mind if I ask why you use a harness? I'm thinking of switching Otto to one - he seems to hate his martingale...he tries to dodge it every time I put it on him and he scratches at it any chance he gets until we're back inside and I take it off. 

Statue: this sounds like Buddy and the cafe. He definitely wants to see what’s going on in there, but it’s easier for me to avoid that than for you to avoid your statue situations. So sorry, I’ve got no other advice.

Harness: we use it for two reasons. The reason we bought it was because I hate it when he changes direction suddenly if we’re running together,  or he pulls away from me quickly and it pulls on his neck. The second reason was something I read quite recently. Buddy is a bit defensive around other dogs, and one book that was recommended on here was called ‘Fiesty Fido’. It suggests that a lead-reactive dog will associate seeing another dog with being choked by their collar (when he sees another dog, he often wants to approach them, but then he’s strangled, which is a negative feeling, so then he reacts badly and it’s a vicious circle). So I’ve upgraded his harness which rubbed his delicate skin under his arms and he’s much better from a dog-reactive point of view. And I feel like less of a monster for pulling on his neck. I think you said in your original post that Otto is dog friendly so you won’t need it for training him.  But since using it I have found it quite useful for extracting him from certain situations - namely pulling him away from foods I don’t want him to eat (horse poo, dog poo, cat poo, discarded chocolate bars, slow moving hedgehogs...). You might find it using for lifting Otto off the ground when he decides he’s not walking 😊


Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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1 hour ago, MerseyGrey said:

Statue: this sounds like Buddy and the cafe. He definitely wants to see what’s going on in there, but it’s easier for me to avoid that than for you to avoid your statue situations. So sorry, I’ve got no other advice.

Harness: we use it for two reasons. The reason we bought it was because I hate it when he changes direction suddenly if we’re running together,  or he pulls away from me quickly and it pulls on his neck. The second reason was something I read quite recently. Buddy is a bit defensive around other dogs, and one book that was recommended on here was called ‘Fiesty Fido’. It suggests that a lead-reactive dog will associate seeing another dog with being choked by their collar (when he sees another dog, he often wants to approach them, but then he’s strangled, which is a negative feeling, so then he reacts badly and it’s a vicious circle). So I’ve upgraded his harness which rubbed his delicate skin under his arms and he’s much better from a dog-reactive point of view. And I feel like less of a monster for pulling on his neck. I think you said in your original post that Otto is dog friendly so you won’t need it for training him.  But since using it I have found it quite useful for extracting him from certain situations - namely pulling him away from foods I don’t want him to eat (horse poo, dog poo, cat poo, discarded chocolate bars, slow moving hedgehogs...). You might find it using for lifting Otto off the ground when he decides he’s not walking 😊

Honestly, even knowing that Buddy's statuing is similar in cause to Otto's makes me feel a little bit better. I knew it was a greyhound trait, I just wasn't fully prepared for how frustrating I was going to find it! I chatted with his foster mom this morning, and it sounds like she was running into the same stuff with him, so all in all it's feeling less overwhelming. Additionally, she also thinks a harness might help with him, I didn't even think about it but if the martingale is pulling his neck at all it could also be bothering his shoulder, so a harness might make a big difference. Thanks for your input!!

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Our two-year-old female followed a similar pattern. She was great on walks at first, then got really stubborn after her first few weeks with us. Then she would statue and refuse to move. I was also surprised at how frustrating it was for walks to take much longer than expected without getting anywhere! She didn't lay down, so that wasn't as much of an issue. We did have some success walking a circle around her to break her line of sight and get her to lose focus on whatever was distracting.

The good news is that over time, it's become less and less of a problem. Now, she rarely statues unless she's tracking a squirrel. But even that is something we've been working on with her and it's getting easier and easier to move her along. 

Good luck and keep up the good work!

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