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Thinking of adopting 2 at same time - Questions . . .

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Hello,

We have been solidly in the camp of being a one GH household, mainly because we had a fantastic experience with out first GH, who was an only pet.  She was confident and easy and we assumed they would all be similar.  Turns out that's not the case.  We are discovering, though a failed adoption with an SA girl and through fostering, that there is a fair chance that we could end up with another SA pup.  For this reason, we have reconsidered our initial "1 dog at a time" stance.  When we discussed adopting 2 from a nearby group, we were told that they would only adopt 1 at a time, with a wait period of a few months before adopting out a 2nd one.  The reason they gave is that if we brought home 2 at once, they would likely bond with each other versus bonding with us.  Does this ring true?  

Also, for those with much more experience, how likely is it that with 2 GH's together, we can avoid the dreaded SA?  We have GHSA-PTSD and do not have the kind of lifestyle that can accommodate TRUE alone training.  Therefore, we really need dog(s) that can handle being left uncrated (we live in a small house and barely have room for one crate, much less 2 for anything longer than a transition period).  Given our work schedules, the pups would only be left alone one day per week for a 6 hour stretch.  Other days would be more like 2-3 hour stretches.  We are quite active and come and go, so they would need to be able to handle, on some days, us coming and going multiple times throughout the day.  How realistic is it to expect that if we get 2 pups, they can handle the above scenario?  To add, we would include our dogs in as many of our outings as possible, but that is not always feasible.  Not all stores as as dog friendly as Home Depot :) Besides work, our main outings involve going to the gym, grocery shopping, occasionally eating out or meeting friends for a beer, 

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And I want to add, we originally began fostering with the intent of vetting single dogs for the ability to be adopted into a home as a solo pet with an owner who works outside the home; essentially, vetting them for SA tendencies so that our group would be able to make the best placement decisions for the pups.  After now having another SA foster, and with the winding down of racing (Southland in W. Memphis just announced it would be fazing out racing and word on the street is that West Virginia may be next), we are concerned that continuing to wait before adopting our own is not a wise move.  

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Usually  (usually  usually) but not every single time, adopting another dog will alleviate the symptoms of SA in dogs that are prone to it.  But it sounds like the group you are connected with isn't amenable to this situation.  (Their statement why, IMO, is BS.)  So you will need to find another gorup to adopt from.  Given your special needs, you may be able to talk them around, but maybe not.

I'm sorry I don't understand what exactly in your personal situation precludes you from doing Alone Training, since you do leave your house nearly every day, but it is a key element in introducing and accustoming a dog to living alone.  Get the booklet (or ebook)  "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell.  She gives step-by-step, easily followed instructions about how to accomplish having a dog who can stay by themselves.

Another option for you to consider is an older bounce who has lived alone in his/her former home.  We have lots of dogs returned (or "bounced" back) to the group through no fault of their own, and they are harder to re-adopt out sometimes.  But this kind of dog would be perfect for your situation.

The whole thought of adopting now due to the issues with racing is lessened because you apparently live closer to the tracks than those of us on the West Coast.  We all have lo-o-o-o-o-o-ong waiting lists and have to wait months to get hauls of dogs up our way.  If you don't mind getting a greyhound cross you might look into the American Lurcher Project.


Chris - Mom to: Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Lilly, and Felicity ( DeLand )

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), and Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby),

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Hi Greysmom.  The group I am fostering for now is NOT the group who was reluctant to adopt 2 at one time.  I think the group I foster for now would be willing to place 2 with me.  My question is more about the validity of what the other group said.  Just wondering if we end up with 2, will they bond with us?

Re: alone training, we could do a modified version of it, but the notion of NEVER leaving the dog alone if they hit the point of panic has not worked for us.  Granted, we have only attempted alone training with 2 SA dogs.  But because we HAD to leave them alone to go to work, they inevitably panicked each day.  That is the part of alone training I don't get.  If you MUST leave the house, and you can't afford doggie day care, how do you prevent an SA dog from reaching panic if that is just what they do when left alone?  I'm familiar with the protocol, I just wonder about implementing with fidelity  . . .

Thanks for the tip re: the Lurcher Project.  I will check that out.  I am in the South, so we do still have access to retired racers.  But that will slow down for us here, too, as well.  Or so I am told by those with far more experience in this world then I.

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Littermate syndrome is real. It's definitely more of a concern/hazard with getting two similarly aged puppies at the same time, but I don't think it's wildly inappropriate to think that it could happen at other ages. Recognize that dogs are a different species from us. Just like we love dogs, we do tend to have an easier time (most of us) communicating with other humans than with canines. It takes a little longer and it takes a little more effort. That's why most dog people will recommend one dog at a time. It gives you a chance to focus and bond with the dog before you have to divert your attention to another, newer dog. 

Puppies absolutely have been shown to bond strongly to each other rather than their human family when they are bought/adopted in pairs. Many good breeders and rescues will not allow people to take home littermates. I've seen it turn out okay in very dog savvy, dedicated homes. This is because each puppy is worked with individually (walked, fed, trained, played with, potty trained) and the time the puppies spend together is controlled (they are not together all of the time).

Consider also, that if you have one dog with separation anxiety, a second dog doesn't necessarily do anything to alleviate that stress. In fact, the second dog who may have been okay may be influenced by the anxiety of the one with separation anxiety and also begin to struggle. It's different if you bring home a dog with separation anxiety to an established dog who is comfortable with being left alone.

My group does adopt out pairs. I think greyhounds are a breed where there are fewer concerns with pairs being adopted. They tend to be laid back, if coming out of foster homes we can make sure to choose dogs that are appropriate for the home they are going to and for the other dog, and in general greyhounds do not require a lot of mental and physical stimulation which makes having a strong connection with their human as important. 

It sounds like you have concerns with bringing in a new dog, and that's totally fair. I personally don't want a separation anxiety dog. I've worked with enough of them to know how stressful that is. I think your best bet is to wait for the right dog. I've fostered many dogs, and although most have some mild anxiety for the first week or two as they adjust to their new life, we have not found separation anxiety to be rampant in ex-racers. In fact, we've probably fostered a dozen or so dogs over the past 5 years and none of them have had true separation anxiety. Personally, I think you just need to wait for the right dog to come along. If you want two dogs just because you want two dogs (and none of us can/will judge you for that!) then go for it. But I think if the only reason you're considering two is the separation anxiety issue... I'm not sure it's the smoking gun you're hoping it is.


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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I have adopted seven greyhounds over the years and fostered a half dozen more, and never had one with a severe case of SA. Not saying it doesn’t happen, of course it does, and maybe a little more often in greyhounds than other dogs just because greys are so used to being around a bunch of other greyhounds their whole life. Many greyhounds (and other dogs) are nervous in new, confusing, different surroundings but this wears off in time. We say the dog you have in six months will not be the same dog you brought home, as their personality blossoms.
I think getting two at the same time is a good idea if you have the finances, room, etc for two, they usually enjoy the company. I have heard of animals that form a strong bond with each other, but never heard that they couldn’t/didn’t form a strong bond with their people as well. Love is not a finite resource :) 

All of these comments should be read with an implied “often” or “usually”, because obviously, each dog is an individual.

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I'm replying to your question of adopting two greyhounds at the same time and the concern re bonding with you.  Three years ago I lost all three of my greyhounds to a variety of health issues - old age, cancer, kidney disease. I was at the point of not having any dogs which I couldn't stand.  I always want to have more than one greyhound at a time, so I decided to bring two home at the same time.  (They actually arrived at my home two weeks apart.)  One was 2 years old, one was 3 years old.  They had not met before coming to me, so maybe that was a factor in how they settled in at my house.  They got along well (still do) and have bonded. But they both have also bonded tightly with me.  It wasn't an issue at all.  Good luck as you sort through all this.

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Hmmm..  Kristie is an expert trainer and vet so I will defer to her expertise,  but we've brought home littermate puppies (Great Danes), and two adult greyhounds, and an adult and puppy greyhound at the same time and never had any issues of bonding between humans and dogs.  :dunno

The McConnell book may answer your question about the later stages of Alone Training. 

What is happening when you're leaving them that you feel is "beyond threshold?"  Some barking and whining is normal as the dog becomes used to being by themselves.  You just want to see that response lessen as time goes on.   What you don't want to see is destructive behaviors like chewing and eliminating, or breaking out of crates, destroying blinds and doors in a panic - that sort of thing.

But waiting for the *right* dog is always a good idea.


Chris - Mom to: Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Lilly, and Felicity ( DeLand )

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), and Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby),

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First, let me say, I really appreciate this forum.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to sort through these kinds of questions/concerns with others who have the wealth of experience that is the norm here.

So, re: adopting 2 ~ we came to this after falling in love with a 2 yo female foster.  We were her first foster home, and she has cycled through 4 homes now trying to figure out the right situation for her. Through a lot of trial and error, it appears she does best with another youngish female GH.  I will go into her behavior in a moment.  We are scheduled to bring another 2 yo female foster in next week, and if she seems secure, we wanted to bring the first girl back, bc our arrangement would meet her needs and we got so attached to her when she was with us.  Once we had our minds wrapped around having 2, we just began feeling a joyous anticipation.  That bubble was burst when we were told that a previous adopter wanted to foster girl #1 with intent to adopt.  I do believe that situation would also be a great fit for her, so I am happy for her.  And if it doesn't for some reason work out, we could then get her back.  So, lots of stars would need to alight for all of that to work out.  All of that did get us thinking about adopting 2 though.  There are downsides in that our house is small, but we could make it work.  We do have a very large fenced yard, and the finances are not an issue.  Although we both work, our schedules are pretty non-traditional, and neither of us work full time.  If we adopt 2, it would take us our of the foster pool, and that would suck for our group, as well as impinge on our desire to be of service to the pups.  So, lots of ambivalence, with pros and cons each way.  

Now, re: the SA behavior.  It is REALLY ENCOURAGING to hear that the incidence of TRUE SA is not that high.  You wouldn't know it by reading the training and behavior forum.  But the biggest concern comes from having   2 SA girls that have been in our house this year.  The first we actually adopted but returned after working with a behaviorist and trying lots of different interventions.  When she nearly threw herself through a door with glass paned windows, we reached our limit.  She was adopted by a woman with another GH, and is happy as can be now.  And foster girl # 1 was peeing in the crate, had to be muzzled in the crate due to chewing the wires, would howl and cry incessantly for hours, and this would not stop until we got home.  She exhibited the same behavior, except also started peeing and pooping in the house of the second foster home, who had a 9yo aloof male GH.  She came back to us for a short period and we were still having issues with her in the crate, so she was moved temporarily to a home with a 6yo female.  They left them uncrated with each other and she did fine.  They tried leaving her uncrated and totally alone, and she could be heard howling from 1/4 mile down the road. So, onto the foster home she is currently in.  She is with another female GH, and does great when left uncrated with her foster sissie, but not totally alone.  So the consensus is she has to be in a home with another youngish female grey.  Which is where she is headed.  I think both of these girls had a degree of SA, but without another dog, it seems like the path to getting them over it would have been arduous, and we just are not up for that.  It was devastating when we had to surrender our girl.  That coupled with the recent foster girl is what has given us GHSA-PTSD.  I say that tongue in cheek, but there is also a grain of truth to it.  

That's a lot to read, so thanks!!!  I almost feel like I am journaling as I engage on this site.  Its greyt therapy:)

 

 

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Here is a link to the thread that I started on foster girl #1 soon after we got her.  A lot transpired in the interim between that thread and where she is now.  She regressed in the first foster home.  It was also discovered she had some medical issues (an enlarge clitoris to be exact).  She responded well to the medial treatment, and the soiling in the house/crate cleared up.  But she continues to TOTALLY MELT DOWN when left totally alone.  It's pitiful.  It's not just a little whining and barking.  Its hours and hours of crying, barking, howling, pawing, digging etc. when crated, and although she is not destructive when left alone uncrated, she will not settle.  She continues with the howling, barking, etc.  This is after two months, and the only way she has been ok when left alone is uncrated and with another engaged female grey.  Just a little more info on her. 

https://forum.greytalk.com/topic/325377-new-foster-peeing-in-crate/?tab=comments#comment-6126795

Have I mentioned that we love her?  I got so attached to her while she was with us.  Here we are at a recent mng:

 

76612150_10157446684735450_7173181290873618432_n.jpg

Edited by smt
typo

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