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Feefee147

Newbie - advice and tips

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Hi everyone,

I'm probably saying what all new greyhound owners say - so apologies for that!

I've had my lovely big lad Samson for 10 weeks now. He is an ex-racer who was rehomed but unfortunately attacked by the new owner's greyhound, and so came to me for fostering a few days later with a large stitched up gash on his face. Poor chap. Not the best start to his non-racing life.

I foster for a local charity (jack Russells, staffs, terriers) and he was foster no.7. A forever home with prospective new owners fell through after several meets (He's 36kgs and pretty big -  they decided they wanted a smaller dog) and my little heart just couldn't deal with waving another dog off, particularly this gorgeous big meek chap, so I decided to adopt him myself. 

I know greyhounds are VERY different to other dogs but until he came along I didn't know quite how much. He was very introverted, nervous and statued a lot initially. He's come a long way with walking outdoors and can now walk past another dog without panicking, trying to go in the opposite direction and dandruffing everywhere (where does it all magically come from!), but still has quite mixed reactions - he either looks away and ignores other dogs completely with no friendly signals, OR if it is a small fluffy dog moves towards it very quickly! I am lead walking with muzzle several times a day. He's also gradually discovered a delightful love for squeaky balls so we head to an enclosed dog play area a few times a week so he can chase around after a ball. His feet still get quite sore though when he's charging around, poor thing. 

I was curious as to muzzling and if owners continue to use them all the time? Or should I be doing more to socialise him (difficult during coronavirus times!) and aiming to be able to walk him safely without a muzzle in time. 

Indoors he is becoming a real sweetie. He's still pensive with excessive or overzealous stroking and playing, but does tail waggle and run around like a lunatic if I have been out. That said, he gets very excited and then looks surprised at his own reactions :-)

He has learned "down" - took a lot longer just to train this basic command than for any other dog. He can also manage "wait". "Come" is sporadic. That's as much as I have managed and all are carried out only if a treat is forthcoming. He's such a lovely gentle chap that "no" is rarely necessary. But I would like to do more training with him just to bond and engage. 

He sleeps a lot, of course, and seems to spend his days snoozing close by (he will settle in another room but prefers to come and lie down in whichever room I am in) and waiting for food. I've never known a dog so food obsessed, but on the plus side he isn't fussy - he will eat ABSOLUTELY anything. I'm feeding twice a day and giving treats for training, but aside from that I'm hoping the regular food routines will mean he becomes slightly less food obsessed (but I'm doubtful!).

As I am training and engaging with him I am worried about his weight. I know that ex-racers tend to fill out a bit. He's not overweight at all and I'm keeping an eye on it, but does anyone have any good training treat suggestions that are healthy instead of the usual shop bought treats?

And lastly are there any good tips for games, playtime and keeping him stimulated? He's gradually started enjoying to play so I'm trying different toys and games to see which get him interested. Obviously, being a snoozy grey, he's not keen on prolonged periods of play. But it would be nice to find different things to try so that when he does want to interact we have plenty of fun things to do. 

Any hints and tips gratefully appreciated! 

Fee 

 

 

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:welcome

Not all Greys come from the track into a home introverted and nervous but your boy had a sad introduction to home life.  

Ten weeks is nothing in the scheme of things and you will see many positive changes in his behaviour and personality over the next 10 weeks. Relax and enjoy these introductory days :)

We do not muzzle when out walking, but I am very rural and rarely meet anyone.

We do muzzle them if they're left alone in the house...just as a safety measure. Our old guy would not hesitate to snarl and snap if the youngster accidentally stepped on him!

Not all Greys like toys.  Our 3 year old Galgo is the only one (out of 5) to ever play with stuffies.  Our Irish boy shows mild interest in the lure pole (a horse long whip with a stuffie attached) ...and we only use this outside!

As well, 'training' can be hit or miss.  Mine all learned 'WAIT' quickly but that is one I insist they learn and obey, as well as 'Down'.  This is important for human mealtimes with 3 large hounds in the house  ;)

I'm sure others will chime in with more words of wisdom! 


NSK-Winter.jpg.a6ea578c2e544932c5222b81cda3216d.jpg

Nancy...Mom to Nigel (Nigel) , Sid (Peteles Tiger) and Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos)Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie) and especially Ruby (Watch Me Dash) waiting at the Bridge.

 

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4 minutes ago, BatterseaBrindl said:

:welcome

Not all Greys come from the track into a home introverted and nervous but your boy had a sad introduction to home life.  

Ten weeks is nothing in the scheme of things and you will see many positive changes in his behaviour and personality over the next 10 weeks. Relax and enjoy these introductory days :)

We do not muzzle when out walking, but I am very rural and rarely meet anyone.

We do muzzle them if they're left alone in the house...just as a safety measure. Our old guy would not hesitate to snarl and snap if the youngster accidentally stepped on him!

Not all Greys like toys.  Our 3 year old Galgo is the only one (out of 5) to ever play with stuffies.  Our Irish boy shows mild interest in the lure pole (a horse long whip with a stuffie attached) ...and we only use this outside!

As well, 'training' can be hit or miss.  Mine all learned 'WAIT' quickly but that is one I insist they learn and obey, as well as 'Down'.  This is important for human mealtimes with 3 large hounds in the house  ;)

I'm sure others will chime in with more words of wisdom! 

I'm glad it's not just me struggling with training :-) 

It's wonderful having a dog, rather than the usual fosters that I had to tearily wave off.....even if he is the size of a miniature horse! It's very heartwarming seeing him begin to relax and trust. 

Ten weeks in and I couldn't imagine my life without him. 

 

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Hi and welcome.

Apart from the first couple of days I haven't muzzled Grace at all.

You could use a pieces of kibble as healthy treats or as my Grace expects treats to come in twos I break gravy bone biscuits in half. She also had a Kong filled with kibble and plugged with peanut butter when I used to go to work (and hopefully will again post coronavirus furlough) but I deducted that amount from her evening meal.

You'll find greys can take up to 18 months to 2 years to fully come out of their shells so enjoy the ride.


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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Hello and welcome! We’ve had Buddy (also a big boy at around 33kg post racing weight) for just under two years and we were startled at how quickly he felt like we’d always had him. He’s a bit heavier now (37kg at his last weigh in, after losing a few kilos) but we have spoiled him a lot.

I have been hopeless with training him. I can get him to lie down to have his teeth cleaned but anything else I’ve failed at. It’s not that he doesn’t know the commands, it’s more that he doesn’t like them. Stay usually means I’m doing something interesting and he wants to know what’s going on. He is the nosiest dog I’ve ever come across. I tried to teach him ‘down’ earlier with a piece of gammon. He looked at where I was pointing, looked back at me, bed, then back at me as if to say ’are you for real?’. We got there after a few minutes. Healthy snacks - it turns out that Buddy really likes red peppers, raw carrots and broccoli stalks. He also loves bite size shredded wheat. Popcorn without oil or any other additives might also work and is low fat. 

We muzzled him for almost the first year on walks as we were told to by the adoption centre. I wish we hadn’t as he has started to respond so much better to other dogs without it. He was quite reactive to other dogs at first and certainly he can be snappy as he gets overwhelmed when other dogs get in his face. If they approach him slowly he responds pretty well. It might be a good idea to keep Sampson muzzled for a little while if you think he has a high prey drive - an interest in smaller dogs may - may - suggest he has. The muzzle probably isn’t bothering him as much as it is bothering you and it will give you a bit of time to work out if he has any triggers.

I haven’t worked out how to play with Buddy yet. He seems very content to play on his own and have me watch him. He’s not a retriever and he doesn’t like to share. He’s caught me a few times with his sharp teeth when I’ve not been quick enough to pull my hands away but it’s not aggression, he’s just very focused on what he wants. Which is anything he hasn’t got! Or anything I have got. As for toys, I can highly recommend a toy that should come with every adopted greyhound - standard issue honking hog. Buddy loves his and is currently on his fourth. I have to stitch them up periodically and trade them in for a new one when it gets beyond repair but this is without doubt Buddy’s favourite 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Outward-Hound-Kyjen-Hedgehogz-Squeak/dp/B0000AH9UH/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=kyjen+hog&qid=1587491487&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-8.

enjoy your new boy and I look forward to hearing lots of stories in the future!


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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17 hours ago, MerseyGrey said:

Hello and welcome! We’ve had Buddy (also a big boy at around 33kg post racing weight) for just under two years and we were startled at how quickly he felt like we’d always had him. He’s a bit heavier now (37kg at his last weigh in, after losing a few kilos) but we have spoiled him a lot.

I have been hopeless with training him. I can get him to lie down to have his teeth cleaned but anything else I’ve failed at. It’s not that he doesn’t know the commands, it’s more that he doesn’t like them. Stay usually means I’m doing something interesting and he wants to know what’s going on. He is the nosiest dog I’ve ever come across. I tried to teach him ‘down’ earlier with a piece of gammon. He looked at where I was pointing, looked back at me, bed, then back at me as if to say ’are you for real?’. We got there after a few minutes. Healthy snacks - it turns out that Buddy really likes red peppers, raw carrots and broccoli stalks. He also loves bite size shredded wheat. Popcorn without oil or any other additives might also work and is low fat. 

We muzzled him for almost the first year on walks as we were told to by the adoption centre. I wish we hadn’t as he has started to respond so much better to other dogs without it. He was quite reactive to other dogs at first and certainly he can be snappy as he gets overwhelmed when other dogs get in his face. If they approach him slowly he responds pretty well. It might be a good idea to keep Sampson muzzled for a little while if you think he has a high prey drive - an interest in smaller dogs may - may - suggest he has. The muzzle probably isn’t bothering him as much as it is bothering you and it will give you a bit of time to work out if he has any triggers.

I haven’t worked out how to play with Buddy yet. He seems very content to play on his own and have me watch him. He’s not a retriever and he doesn’t like to share. He’s caught me a few times with his sharp teeth when I’ve not been quick enough to pull my hands away but it’s not aggression, he’s just very focused on what he wants. Which is anything he hasn’t got! Or anything I have got. As for toys, I can highly recommend a toy that should come with every adopted greyhound - standard issue honking hog. Buddy loves his and is currently on his fourth. I have to stitch them up periodically and trade them in for a new one when it gets beyond repair but this is without doubt Buddy’s favourite 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Outward-Hound-Kyjen-Hedgehogz-Squeak/dp/B0000AH9UH/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=kyjen+hog&qid=1587491487&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-8.

enjoy your new boy and I look forward to hearing lots of stories in the future!

Thank you! Great healthy treat suggestions so I'll give them a go. Popcorn is a very random one, I've definitely not seen that suggested anywhere.

"I tried to teach him ‘down’ earlier with a piece of gammon. He looked at where I was pointing, looked back at me, bed, then back at me as if to say ’are you for real?’. We got there after a few minutes" - that sounds EXACTLY like Samson! He clearly knows what "down" means and will do a bit of indignant pacing, looking at me shuffles before doing so (as long as the treat is 'good' enough). It does make me chuckle ;-)

Wow 37kg is a very big chap! I'm finding the downside of big lads, especially the inquisitive ones, is the ability to reach a lot higher and further than I anticipated. Samson does now seem to be aware that reaching things in the kitchen is a no no, but it took a few cheese wrapper wrestling sessions before I realised quite how high he can get. 

I will keep going with the muzzle - thank you. My only concern with that is because he was attacked a few months ago he is still wary of other dogs. And with the muzzle other owners tend to completely avoid us assuming he's aggressive. Not so good when trying to socialise a shy dog. But I'd rather take it slowly and keep everyone safe when I'm not sure of his reactions, especially around little 'uns. 

The squeaky hedgehog has been ordered and I'll see if Samson takes to it - thank you so much for the suggestion!! 

 

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On 4/21/2020 at 6:32 AM, HeyRunDog said:

Hi and welcome.

Apart from the first couple of days I haven't muzzled Grace at all.

You could use a pieces of kibble as healthy treats or as my Grace expects treats to come in twos I break gravy bone biscuits in half. She also had a Kong filled with kibble and plugged with peanut butter when I used to go to work (and hopefully will again post coronavirus furlough) but I deducted that amount from her evening meal.

You'll find greys can take up to 18 months to 2 years to fully come out of their shells so enjoy the ride.

I've bought a kong and some peanut butter - great suggestion :-)

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4 hours ago, Feefee147 said:

 

I will keep going with the muzzle - thank you. My only concern with that is because he was attacked a few months ago he is still wary of other dogs. And with the muzzle other owners tend to completely avoid us assuming he's aggressive. Not so good when trying to socialise a shy dog. But I'd rather take it slowly and keep everyone safe when I'm not sure of his reactions, especially around little 'uns.

 

We were told that Buddy had been attacked before we got him. We have had some success in trying to get him to look at us when another dog approached and then treating him. It didn’t take him long before he would look to us just when he saw another dog, and we moved on to treating him when he allowed the other dog to approach and he behaved well. He has done very well which is one of the reasons I had to look for healthy treats! He had a snark at another dog last week who got a bit too sniffy for him (and I was distracted by the other chatty owner so I missed what happened) but that really been our only setback in over six months. It definitely can be done and someone here recommended a book that was easy to get on kindle which is what I used to start his training

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Feisty-Fido-Help-Leash-Reactive-Dog-ebook/dp/B001DA99CG/ref=sr_1_8?crid=1ZDDKB6YWRXTW&dchild=1&keywords=patricia+mcconnell&qid=1587569489&sprefix=Patricia+mc%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-8

and also ‘the other end of the leash’ By the same author, which I didn’t get but is often recommended on this forum. After Buddy got set upon by a staffie last summer we were so glad that he wasn’t wearing a muzzle as he would have had no way to defend himself, and I think that this is part of the problem with muzzling a dog - they then go on the defensive and snap first, ask questions later. However they are a good idea while you are getting to know him and read his body language. I’m not very experienced with greyhounds (Buddy is our first) but we’ve learnt a lot in the last two years, and a lot of that has come from this forum. You’ll have lots of fun learning together!


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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