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KickReturn

Young greyhound experience

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Hello All,

My 18 month old boy is an absolute sweetheart - the type of affectionate, engaged personality that every greyhound owner hopes for. Plus, no startle or fears of any kind, no SA, good with other all other dogs, cats, etc., roacher, snuggler, nitter, and sleeps silently 9 hours through the night. Perfect dog right? But WOW, the energy and curiosity present two problems.

First problem is the running in the house. Every single morning without fail we travel to a massive field of perfectly mowed grass - greyhound heaven, and my boy runs his guts out. He will chase and retrieve a ball or chase other dogs with his ball in his mouth. He goes until he ends up flopped on his side in the middle of the field. I leash him up and drag him for a 20 minute walk in the area and then short car ride home. That's where it gets exciting. Some days he appears to get so happy that he literally explodes in a fit of high speed zoomies around the house. Our house is a large multi-level open plan affair with good wall to wall carpeting in many areas which only makes things worse. It is the most insane and dangerous thing imaginable - a greyhound going 100% in a house. It's all I can do to get him out of the house and into the yard which he turns into chopped up sod in a matter of minutes. My question is will I be waiting until he is 3, 4, or 5 years old for this to wind down. 

Second problem is this guy gets into everything and he is quite crafty about it. He is so smart (not a desirable attribute in a greyhound), that he has figured out that rules only apply when the person who makes them is present. Nothing on a counter or anywhere else is safe. Yesterday he scored a quarter pound of butter by pulling the edge of a table cloth just enough to shift the butter dish from the center of the table where it was out of reach, to the edge of the table and within easy reach. He then gently lowered the dish onto the floor. I was in the next room and heard the soft clunk of the dish being placed on the floor. Suspicious I checked and spotted him in the kitchen without noticing the butter dish concealed under the kitchen table by the now lower hanging tablecloth. The amazing part is that when I called him out of the kitchen, the dog calmly accompanied me to my room where I was dressing to depart, lay down on his bed, and waited for me to go. When I was gone he simply returned to the kitchen to enjoy the fruits of his larceny. Food items are of course understandably tempting but everything within reach is a potential toy. My  wife's pantyhose are a particular favourite. Question: Any chance of this dog abandoning this behaviour? Or am I doomed?

I admit that part of the problem is that I prefer a soft touch with dogs and struggle to be the disciplinarian type - I can do it but it's not my preference. I also wonder if a young dog must be allowed to be a young dog. I don't want to crush natural behaviours to which he is entitled.

I would love to hear from anyone who has had younger greyhounds about how their dogs' energy level and behaviour evolved and any strategies that helped.

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Edited by KickReturn

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Basically, this is a greyhound puppy.  And yes, absent any training, this is how he's going to be for the next 2-3 years.

You CAN NOT allow him to run the house, or else he will.  Whoever said greyhounds aren't smart was absolutely wrong - they are hella smart at doing and getting exactly what they want.  They are excellent people trainers, as well - so CUTE, so ADORABLE - all hiding a dark heart of larceny!

I'm being a bit facetious, of course, but it really is all about managing that puppy energy in constructive ways.  Distraction and constant re-direction will be your watch words going forward.  If he goes nutso the minute you step in the door coming home, then have something ready right there you can hand him or distract him with to stop the butt tuck zoomies in the house - a puzzle toy, a *large* chewing item or toy, or something/anything else than letting him loose to indulge himself.  At the park, give him a little more time.  He'll bounce back from his post-running flop in about 8 minutes and want to do it all again.  At 18 months he should be able to run as much as he wants without any physical harm - which is what he would be doing in a farm or training setting - so instead of the 20 minute walk, bring a Chuck-It ball or toy, do a short training session, give him a small drink and let him go running again.

Training, training training.  Engage his brain at every single oppportunity you can.  Take him to obedience.  Start him doing Agility.  Do some straight line racing or short lure coursing.  If you have a canine swim therapy pool nearby it's excellent exercise and you can get him into dock diving.  Really seriously do NILIF - he needs to pay for every single thing he has, everything he eats, every treat.  You're not trying to teach him to be a perfect obedience dog, you're trying to teach him to regulate himself and have impulse control.

You also probably need to up your puppy-proofing game at home.  Sounds like he's going to be one where you'll have penny cans all over the house and on every horizontal surface.  Deny him access to things that will get him in trouble as much as possible.  Put things behind closed doors, or away in drawers, don't leave anything even remotely edible out at all.  And always have something around to re-direct him to if you catch him getting into anything.

But there's really nothing better than raising a dog to be a good family member!  A little hard work now will really pay off for the next 10-12 years.

Good luck!


Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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Thanks greysmom.

Yes in fact he does get a second running session at the park after a about 10 minutes of recovery. Today he had three good ball sessions, that's why today's indoor rocket launch was so shocking. I use multiple balls so when he gets the furthest from me while retrieving the first, I throw another in the opposite direction. He ends up running many hard 100 yard sprints.

I'm on top of the puppy proof thing (mostly). The challenge with this guy is that nothing scares him. A can of pennies that would terrify and traumatize most, is just another interesting thing to this dog - even if it falls on his head lol.  You think you have the place secure only to find some item you overlooked, that he has ignored for weeks, being turned into the latest greatest toy. I worry that one day I will return home to find the furniture stacked to aid access to the interesting things I have placed up high. This guy seems that crafty.

The training and NILIF will be the hardest part for me. I have had two greyhounds and they both died not knowing a single command. They had zero restrictions placed on them, were granted total freedom indoors and outside, and not once did they put a toe out of line. (To be fair, they were both 6 years old when they came to me). This is new territory for me.  

Edited by KickReturn

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I completely understand! 

Our first puppy was a breeze, aided in large part by her being "nannied" by one of our other dogs.  So we were really unprepared for our second puppy last year.  Atom was very difficult to correct - he was not afraid of much, and would bark back at you if you told him no!  So NILIF and constant redirection and engagement was the only thing we found that worked.  We're now bringing uime his true littermate sister and I'm really hoping she's past all of the teenage angst stage!

At 18 months your guy should be starting to mature out of the need for puppy pranks.  Still he may need either more supervision, or confinement to a smaller, safer area for times when he's not being monitored.  I know GTer Krissy, who is a vet and trainer and does Agility with her greyhounds, advocates this last for her puppies.  They are created whenever she isn't working directly with them, or giving them free play time.  You might look up her profile as she has links to her website and training videos which are really fun and informative. 


Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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the dog will not abandon his unwanted behaviors unless you train him. it doesn't come naturally- leave it commands and be diligent in putting things away(much easier to retrain yourself)

he's a crazy teenager- around 3 he will calm down. exercise, limitations, exercise, chores-obedience work, exercise, play time and fun. felix used to have 3+ soccer balls going in all directions at that age. he was in heaven! a tennis racket and tennis balls lobbed in every direction work well too. this eventually does slow down. 

we had 12 wonderful years of crazy felix. when he slowed down at 9  years of age we missed the flying sod. yes, we had straw, mulch, dirt, you name it in our yard- he was a rototill!  when he was 10 we fenced in the front yard and started to regrow the back yard. 

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Just a note: The more your young dog is encouraged to be in an excited state, the more it may learn that overexcitement is normal (that's a whole other topic). Dog-proof your house. Greyhounds are fairly unique (fairly unique?) in the dog world but they are dogs with dog behaviour. Sounds obvious but sometimes we forget. The dog should definitely be allowed to be a dog doing dog 'stuff' etc. but also needs structure and routines, management, training and other mental stimulation. From your post it sounds like you have some work ahead :). Cheers. PS. My last dog (non-grey) was 13 months old, totally untrained, excitable, 'out of control' depending on circumstances, and relinquished to the shelter by previous owners, before I was lucky enough to find her. She was a fantastic dog that just needed the right stimulation and guidance, and the right Positive Reinforcement training to be less excitable, less stressed, and more happy.

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oh, did i mention that we did 3  years(4-to 5??) of obedience work- all sorts/levels and therapy dog training? try it, ya'll like it! 

Edited by cleptogrey

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Our Chesapeake is unable to calm down after exercise without a quiet walk.  We subscribed to the tired dog is a good dog theory, which was great with our other Chessies, but not with Logan. We've had him 9 years, he's almost 13, and he still can't calm himself.  He loves his walks in the woods, but a quiet road works too.  

I think it's just who he is.  We've been to hundreds of dog training classes and nothing has changed that  behavior, but he can sit on a dime, stay as long as you ask him to, heel, come and do pretty much anything else you ask of him.  

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My second grey was not quite 2 years old when I got her.  She was a sweetheart and I survived her, but ever since I've asked for mature or adult dogs.

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He's beautiful, and looks so happy!!!! Congrats!  I only had one young one, and she was 2.  Diana came as a foster, and I quickly told my foster rep that I'd never take another that young.  Just SO MUCH ENERGY!!! 

That said, we ended up keeping her for her entire life, and she was a joy.  

But the first couple of years she was hell on wheels!!  We referred to her as "the lab puppy with stripes" lol.  

I never conquered the zoomies, and no terrible injuries happened.  I put away the fine china for a couple years..... ok that's a lie, I don't have fine china.  But I did put up anything I didn't want knocked over.  We had to go to 100% no food unattended anywhere ever.  Mostly because of my other grey, Sobe, but Diana got in on the bad habits quickly. 

Good luck - have FUN!  Enjoy the crazy - it doesn't last forever.    

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Maybe a lower protein food might help? When one of our whippets was rather manic we were advised to change to a lower protein food and I think it helped.


Miss "England" Carol with Chancey - (Goosetree Chance) and whippet lurcher Nutmeg

R.I.P. Bluegrass Banjoman. 25.1.2004 - 25.5.2015 and Ch. Sleepyhollow Aida. 30.9.2000 - 10.1.2014.

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Could we get a pupdate on the handsome boy and your progress? 

You might not want to hear it but if you have fenced yard maybe get him a buddy (could be  a foster).  They keep each other busy and wear each other out. 

This from a woman that used to have 6-8 greys at once and 4-6 of them fosters that were 12-15 months old.  In retrospect I don't know how I lived through it but in a way it was easier than this one 6 month old boxer mix....


gallery_8149_3261_283.jpg

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@Hubcitypam, thoughtful of you to ask about my young boy Tommy.

He is doing well. We keep him confined to a dog-proofed portion of the house when we are away - kitchen, family room, about half of the main floor. The house is glass so he has good views in all directions. The door is left open to the yard so he can come and go, sun bathe etc. He is never alone for more then 5 hours and seem to spend the time sleeping.

The exercise routine is now a one hour walk after breakfast and a one hour walk, after dinner. The after-dinner walk includes 30 minutes out to the local high school to meet up with about a dozen other dogs all of whom are young and energetic. Tommy will run and play with the other dogs on the football field for a solid hour. And then the 30 minute walk back home. Adds up to about 3 hours of exercise per day - so plenty. 

Even though Tommy runs a great deal while at the school, he will run some very hard zoomies on the lower level of the house when we get back. I have decided to keep the running in the house as he seems to manage it well. I worry he could injure a foot on a sprinkler head in the yard. Here he is in action:

We are also making progress on prey drive. Tommy has strong reactions to rabbits and in particular deer, and we see many of each on every walk. He has stopped lunging and barking, and I have now taken the approach of allowing Tommy to stand and observe the deer as opposed to giving a correction to his interest in them. This morning we had a very good introduction to three deer on a neighbour's lawn. Tommy was able to stand quite relaxed about 15 - 20 feet from the deer  -  yes, super close!. I just gently stroked his chin and belly and he became quite relaxed. The deer for their part seemed to be equally curious about Tommy and took a couple of steps toward him to get a closer look.  Tommy was able to move on with the slightest encouragement. This is huge progress. Tonight we ran into four massive bucks, and Tommy was again able to maintain his composure although, it being nearly nightfall, he was a bit more in hunting mode and two of the bucks were rutting - so movement. Still no lunging or barking - just peaceful if somewhat tense observation, and again very close - no more then 30 feet away.

Overall things are going well and moving in the right direction.

 

Edited by KickReturn
video

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I love the video! Although he’s doing zoomies, he seems quite restrained and is very aware of his surroundings. It’s like watching a younger version of Buddy, who will do the same thing at the end of his walks, despite how utterly exhausted he seems from his walk - as soon as we get into the back garden he’s off! But he does limit them to outside. Buddy is nine years young in just over a month...


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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On 9/9/2019 at 11:58 PM, Scoutsmom said:

My second grey was not quite 2 years old when I got her.  She was a sweetheart and I survived her, but ever since I've asked for mature or adult dogs.

This.  Nothing younger than 5 for me:P

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HAHA! I feel some of your pain! 

I just adopted 2  2 year olds! They have a lot more energy than the last 2 who were 4 and 5 when we got them. 

No zoomies in the house though. I really want obedience classes with these 2 this time around. 


Greyhounds: Amelia (Cataloosahatchee 9.10.17) & Carmen (Rebellious Bird 8.23.17)
Kitties: Raider my old man, Sophie the Fearless and Nalla the Purr Box
Rainbow Bridge babies never to be forgotten: Sidney (Kane's Seminole 11.14.08 - 9.26.19 ) June (Potrs June 6.1.09 - 3.1.19) 
Bella the Rottweiler, Spike, DC, Gilda & Killer kitties.

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My boy, Odin, is seven years old and runs, like this dog shown, in the basement every day.  He will not go downstairs without me, and, I can tell when he is ready for the trip down the stairs.  He gets antsy.  He loves when I throw him toys to catch and loves to run around the pool table.  I don't think age is a consideration in this activity; it depends on the dog.  Shine, who is 8 years old, never runs in the house.  I have been heard to say that I will not allow a greyhound younger than three years old in our house. :gh_bow


Irene Ullmann w/Shine and Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul and Fuzzy
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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