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Just adopted a gorgeous 2 yr old boy 4 days ago, having lots of problems so far and struggling to cope! Hes a lovely dog but so scared of everything. Ive had to sleep on the couch as he cant get up the stairs, and as soon as I try to go to bed he starts crying and digging furiously at the couch. If I go up to the bathroom or shower the crying starts straight away, and hes tried to destroy a few things like the tv remote already! Im literally having to stay downstairs for fear of what he will do when Im out of sight. He also circles and paces, and cries a lot and lies in the hallway next to the front door, as if he just wants to leave, which is quite upsetting. Also having potty issues, I can get him to go out to do his business in the morning as hes desperate, but he holds it in all afternoon and night, it cant be good for him! Hes easy spooked on walks and will just refuse to go any further, and he doesn't like going into the garden, so its very difficult to get him to do anything. I know all of these things are down to his anxiety and everything being new and scary to him, and I just want to help him settle as easily as I can! Any advice on any of these issues would be very welcome! 

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Have you spoken to anyone at the adoption group?  Do you have a crate?  Are the stairs carpeted?  If he is destroying things he needs to be crated when you can't be with him.   I used food on the stairs to get mine to go up and then guided them down gently by the collar.  Once they are up and down a few times they figure if out.  Stay calm everything you are describing is normal.    Also you should get a harness to walk him so he does not get away if he slips a collar. 

Edited by zimsmom
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Thanks for the advice! I dont have a crate. Ive had a greyhound in the past who we didnt have any of these problems with, so i naively thought everything might be the same! He has only been in a home before for 2 days then was returned to the kennels, so i know that will have traumatised him even more the poor thing. My stairs do have carpet, I've tried going behind him to help but that just freaked him out more! Will try the treats, he doesnt seem very willing to do anything for treats though! The kennels advised against using a harness for walking, hes actually good on the lead, and if he pulls they showed me how to wrap the leather lead round him to act as a harness, which works fine. I just want to help him get over all his fears so he can enjoy going on his walks and in the garden! 

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For the stairs, try keeping the leash on and go up next to him. Not to control him or force him except maybe a small bit, but more to give him confidence. You can also try finding a small set of stairs (3 or 4 steps) and starting the training there.

He's brand new, so I'll suggest that just because he doesn't like treats now doesn't mean he won't like them eventually. or even soon.

Besides the crate, you can also put a muzzle on when he's in a situation where he might want to chew things he shouldn't.

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2 hours ago, sarahskye said:

Thanks for the advice! I dont have a crate. Ive had a greyhound in the past who we didnt have any of these problems with, so i naively thought everything might be the same! He has only been in a home before for 2 days then was returned to the kennels, so i know that will have traumatised him even more the poor thing. My stairs do have carpet, I've tried going behind him to help but that just freaked him out more! Will try the treats, he doesnt seem very willing to do anything for treats though! The kennels advised against using a harness for walking, hes actually good on the lead, and if he pulls they showed me how to wrap the leather lead round him to act as a harness, which works fine. I just want to help him get over all his fears so he can enjoy going on his walks and in the garden! 

Aww. The early days are tough.

Mine was the same, especially with stairs. It took me sitting  up/down a couple, a gentle pull on the lead, lots of gentle calm encouragement  and some *very* smelly treats placed on each step  (cheese and ham work wonders) before I could even get him to step on one. 

I found once I’d wafted various treats under his nose I found some he reacted to and that made things much easier. He wasn’t a fan of treats when he was nervous and first arrived, despite being a food monster, but when I found cheese everything became much easier ;)

It may take an hour of coaching, gentle tugs and a lot of patience but once he’s done it a couple of times he’ll be clumsily running up and down them. 
 

Good luck! 

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Time and patience.  Lots of both.  Lots and lots of both.

Everything you're experiencing is really normal for a new dog.  Just keep repeating to yourself that his whole life has just been turned upside down and inside out - twice!!!! - and he's basically having to learn about EV-ER-Y-THING for the very first time.

Don't overload him with too much newness at once.   Keep a strict schedule - one you will do every day, even after you go back to work.  Keep his world small - one room, one walking route for potties, one place for his food and water - and only start expanding as he gets more comfortable.  Which is very individual for ea h dog.  It could take days, or weeks or months depending in how flexible he is.

Get some Adaptil diffusers and a collar to help him feel more comfortable.   Use his muzzle when necessary, just be aware it's not magic and he can still destroy things if he tries hard enough.  If you have room for a crate, see if your adoption group can loan you one.

Pick up the training booklet "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell  to help you through his Separation Anxiety.   She has several great training books you might find helpful.

By all means, sleep downstairs with him during this adjustment period until you can teach him stairs down the road.  He just wants to be with you as you're the only stable thing in his life right now.  Give him and yourself a break and make this part easy.

Time and patience.  Lots of both!

Congrats and good luck!

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

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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 everyone! So although hes now been here 5 days without a crate, would it still be a good idea to get one? or is it too late to start trying with that now hes had free run in the house? I think the stair training will make the biggest difference, so I will try that today!

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Hello Sarah, are you in the UK? If so I wouldn't worry about the crate - they're much more of a thing in the US, where the dogs have lived in them when they trained and raced and so find them reassuringly familiar when they retire to a home. UK racers live (usually in pairs) in kennels and don't have much experience of crates, except when they are being taken to the races.

If you do want to try a crate your rescue might be able to lend you one while he settles in. But a greyhound-size crate is a big thing to accommodate in our smaller UK houses and I'm not sure how useful it would be. What I have always found useful here while my guys were settling in is to give them the run of as much of the house as I am comfortable with them using while I am out, but closing the door to my bedroom and bathroom and putting an upturned stool on the sofa in the living room! 

Doc my first greyhound had separation anxiety initially and I tried closing him in just a small lobby area with his bed when I went out, to see if confinement made him more comfortable. It didn't! What worked best in the end was giving him the run of the house, as above, and a special food-treat just as I went out so that became something to look forward to.

Good luck! These first few days can feel very hard, just be calm and patient and things should soon improve!

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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4 hours ago, DocsDoctor said:

Hello Sarah, are you in the UK? If so I wouldn't worry about the crate - they're much more of a thing in the US, where the dogs have lived in them when they trained and raced and so find them reassuringly familiar when they retire to a home. UK racers live (usually in pairs) in kennels and don't have much experience of crates, except when they are being taken to the races.

If you do want to try a crate your rescue might be able to lend you one while he settles in. But a greyhound-size crate is a big thing to accommodate in our smaller UK houses and I'm not sure how useful it would be. What I have always found useful here while my guys were settling in is to give them the run of as much of the house as I am comfortable with them using while I am out, but closing the door to my bedroom and bathroom and putting an upturned stool on the sofa in the living room! 

Doc my first greyhound had separation anxiety initially and I tried closing him in just a small lobby area with his bed when I went out, to see if confinement made him more comfortable. It didn't! What worked best in the end was giving him the run of the house, as above, and a special food-treat just as I went out so that became something to look forward to.

Good luck! These first few days can feel very hard, just be calm and patient and things should soon improve!

Thanks :) Yes im in the UK so he wouldnt have been kept in a crate before, and I dont really like the idea of putting him in one really when he's not used to it! I want him to be able to roam freely round the house, all he needs to do is master the stairs! Tried to help him today using a harness with a handle and cheese laid up the steps, we got him up there and he was so happy to finally see whats upstairs! Coming back down was another matter! Hopefully he isnt too traumatised to try again! He seems to be a bit livelier in general today which is great :)  540333538_skye1.jpg.6df1c8c611a4c1d1b402841bfc339d08.jpg

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What a handsome chap!  What's his name?

That's great that you've made progress with the stairs; I think up always comes easier to these guys than down, so again just be patient and he will get there!

 

Sounds as if he's beginning to feel more comfortable generally which is also great news :)

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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He is so handsome! His name is Skye :) Hopefully we will get there soon with the stairs! Then to try and get his confidence up on going outside, poor little guy is scared of every little thing, especially crows!

 

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2 hours ago, sarahskye said:

Thanks :) Yes im in the UK so he wouldnt have been kept in a crate before, and I dont really like the idea of putting him in one really when he's not used to it! I want him to be able to roam freely round the house, all he needs to do is master the stairs! Tried to help him today using a harness with a handle and cheese laid up the steps, we got him up there and he was so happy to finally see whats upstairs! Coming back down was another matter! Hopefully he isnt too traumatised to try again! He seems to be a bit livelier in general today which is great :)  540333538_skye1.jpg.6df1c8c611a4c1d1b402841bfc339d08.jpg

WELL DONE SKYE!!!! And you did well too! 

The next step will be where he gets more confident with stairs, thunders up and down them but (bless!) is a bit clumsy and often misjudges..... :-D 

(We still have a pillow at the bottom of ours as there is a wall and he still after 4 months occasionally misjudges *facepalm*)

He's a gorgeous boy. Beautiful face.

If you are on Facebook there is a UK sighthound group called sighthound Sundays - well worth a look if you aren't aware of it.

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I love having a photo in the thread as it definitely helps when giving advice!
I second the advice about giving a treat as you leave. While my boy doesn’t have separation anxiety, he is very much a creature of habit and deviation from his routine causes a mini meltdown. But now when we want to go out we give him something at the front door - almost anything that he can take from us and go away and munch - and we can escape for a little while. Now when we want to go out it seems like he is more concerned that he might not get a treat rather than being left alone. Initially you could try leaving Skye just for the time that he is distracted with his treat and build up from there. Do you have a device that you can record him with while you do it? This will help you gauge his reaction when you leave the house and direct your training from there. I will add that in the first few weeks of living with us ours was anxious when I left the house in the morning but this wore off after a month or so. We’ve had him for nearly two years and now he barely opens his eyes when I leave for work 🙄.
cant help you with the stairs training I’m afraid as Buddy has never even attempted to get up our stairs and we’ve never really had a problem with his sleeping arrangement in the living room, but he is an older boy and I think he’d been in a home before he came to us and this is what he was used to.

Skye is a handsome dude, BTW!

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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4 hours ago, sarahskye said:

Thanks :) Yes im in the UK so he wouldnt have been kept in a crate before, and I dont really like the idea of putting him in one really when he's not used to it! I want him to be able to roam freely round the house, all he needs to do is master the stairs! Tried to help him today using a harness with a handle and cheese laid up the steps, we got him up there and he was so happy to finally see whats upstairs! Coming back down was another matter! Hopefully he isnt too traumatised to try again! He seems to be a bit livelier in general today which is great :)  540333538_skye1.jpg.6df1c8c611a4c1d1b402841bfc339d08.jpg

He is so sweet looking.

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

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If your garden is fenced, don’t make him go for walks. They are often a sensory overload. It won’t kill him even if he doesn’t walk for weeks, as he gets used to his own yard and it’s sounds and smells. By the way, he is very handsome! 

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I agree with giving him a treat when you go out. Grace gets a Kong filled with kibble and a small plug of peanut butter, and like MerseyGrey's hound, she looks forward to me leaving her so she can have her treat and get back to undisturbed snoozing.

Crating and dogs sleeping upstairs in bedrooms is more prevalent with our American friends. Grace sleeps downstairs and has the run of the main room but hardly moves off her blanket on the sofa so don't feel your boy has to sleep upstairs.

It can take some hounds a couple of years to shake off their racing days so with time, patience and a good sense of humour your handsome looking boy will develop into a wonderful companion

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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6 days in and theres definite improvement already, hes starting to come out of his shell for small parts of the day, doing zoomies and playing with his soft toys :) He's ok going for a walk in the morning, he quite enjoys it when its nice and early and no one is around (except for a few scary crows and pigeons!). In fact he is like a different dog for the first few hours of the day, then seems to go back into his shell a bit, but its very early days!

So my main issue now is that I still cant sleep upstairs yet, as he wont be left downstairs alone! Im going to start his alone training, not feeling very confident about it! I can manage to get a shower in the evening now if I sneak up while hes flat out asleep, but any other time if i go up to the loo the crying starts within seconds! I feel he will either never want to use the stairs, or its going to take a very long time to get him to, so he may always need to sleep downstairs. Any tips on how I can start to sleep in my own bed again while he sleeps downstairs? He wont get on the couch or anything, just likes to be on his bed on the floor, and even if hes asleep he will realise im gone very quickly and freak out! And I have caught him trying to chew at the couch a few times now just through the day when im working at my desk across the room!

Otherwise he is being a very good boy, and is such a gorgeous gentle dog :)

 

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4 hours ago, sarahskye said:

6 days in and theres definite improvement already, hes starting to come out of his shell for small parts of the day, doing zoomies and playing with his soft toys :) He's ok going for a walk in the morning, he quite enjoys it when its nice and early and no one is around (except for a few scary crows and pigeons!). In fact he is like a different dog for the first few hours of the day, then seems to go back into his shell a bit, but its very early days!

So my main issue now is that I still cant sleep upstairs yet, as he wont be left downstairs alone! Im going to start his alone training, not feeling very confident about it! I can manage to get a shower in the evening now if I sneak up while hes flat out asleep, but any other time if i go up to the loo the crying starts within seconds! I feel he will either never want to use the stairs, or its going to take a very long time to get him to, so he may always need to sleep downstairs. Any tips on how I can start to sleep in my own bed again while he sleeps downstairs? He wont get on the couch or anything, just likes to be on his bed on the floor, and even if hes asleep he will realise im gone very quickly and freak out! And I have caught him trying to chew at the couch a few times now just through the day when im working at my desk across the room!

Otherwise he is being a very good boy, and is such a gorgeous gentle dog :)

 

I LOVE zoomies! It's perilous sometimes with those giant bony elbows flying around but oh so cute!! 

Our grey zooms around like a lunatic and then still looks surprised at himself - like he's excited but doesn't quite know what to with it :-D

I know you've probably tried it but have you attempted just sitting at the top of the stairs with some smelly treats and not paying him attention - so he can see you nearby, hopefully won't get upset and start chewing things, and hopefully will attempt the stairs more. You could try encouraging him up that way? Once he's done it a few times he'll be fine.

And as far as the sofa goes I reckon once he's inspected it, got rid of his 'woah.....what is this strange moving surface' suspicion he'll be on it and claiming it! We couldn't get our grey on the sofa or bed for at least a week, he just had no idea what they were. No we can't get him off them!

Well done - you're doing brilliantly by the sound of things. 

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2 hours ago, Feefee147 said:

I LOVE zoomies! It's perilous sometimes with those giant bony elbows flying around but oh so cute!! 

Our grey zooms around like a lunatic and then still looks surprised at himself - like he's excited but doesn't quite know what to with it :-D

I know you've probably tried it but have you attempted just sitting at the top of the stairs with some smelly treats and not paying him attention - so he can see you nearby, hopefully won't get upset and start chewing things, and hopefully will attempt the stairs more. You could try encouraging him up that way? Once he's done it a few times he'll be fine.

And as far as the sofa goes I reckon once he's inspected it, got rid of his 'woah.....what is this strange moving surface' suspicion he'll be on it and claiming it! We couldn't get our grey on the sofa or bed for at least a week, he just had no idea what they were. No we can't get him off them!

Well done - you're doing brilliantly by the sound of things. 

Yes he'll only do zoomies in the living room, so just waiting for him to crash into the radiator or dresser! But it is cute, and makes me laugh, which makes him do things even more!

Tried again today luring him up the stairs with stinky cheese, with the harness on to support him, and he did much better on his second attempt, both up and down, still quite a way to go though I think, but we will get there and I might get my bed back!

He might change his mind about the sofa, at the minute its just something to rest his chews on or toys on while hes chewing them!

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Just now, sarahskye said:

Yes he'll only do zoomies in the living room, so just waiting for him to crash into the radiator or dresser! But it is cute, and makes me laugh, which makes him do things even more!

Tried again today luring him up the stairs with stinky cheese, with the harness on to support him, and he did much better on his second attempt, both up and down, still quite a way to go though I think, but we will get there and I might get my bed back!

He might change his mind about the sofa, at the minute its just something to rest his chews on or toys on while hes chewing them!

For delicate dogs they seem quite durable with bangs (luckily). We have a small home so zooming around often results in skating on the wooden floor and donking his head on furniture - poor thing. 

Mine didn't get excited, zoom around or tail waggle for about the first 4 weeks so you're doing really well! And brilliant regarding the stairs! You'll back in bed in now time :-)

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21 hours ago, sarahskye said:

So my main issue now is that I still cant sleep upstairs yet, as he wont be left downstairs alone! Im going to start his alone training, not feeling very confident about it! I can manage to get a shower in the evening now if I sneak up while he's flat out asleep, but any other time if i go up to the loo the crying starts within seconds! I feel he will either never want to use the stairs, or its going to take a very long time to get him to, so he may always need to sleep downstairs. Any tips on how I can start to sleep in my own bed again while he sleeps downstairs? He wont get on the couch or anything, just likes to be on his bed on the floor, and even if hes asleep he will realise im gone very quickly and freak out! And I have caught him trying to chew at the couch a few times now just through the day when im working at my desk across the room!

It is going to be hard on your part to get him used to being left alone whilst you go upstairs to sleep, shower etc. He doesn't want to be left alone and he's scared that this nice human isn't going to come back so he cries and like magic they return. You've got to be hard hearted and not return when he does but only when he's quiet.

The first few nights I had Grace she cried when I left her to go to bed then would go quiet for an hour then start up again. Shouting down to her would quieten her for a bit until she realised I wasn't coming down so off she would go again. I tried coming down and taking her out for a wee in case that was the problem, but no, she had tricked me to be with her again. In the end I remembered how my father got our Labrador to be quiet through the night. I said goodnight to her and shut the door as if I was going to bed. I then stood quietly by the door and waited for her to start. After a couple of minutes of whining I burst through the door, told her to be quiet in a firm loud voice, shut the door and went to bed. It was the first nights sleep for a week.  

21 hours ago, sarahskye said:

And I have caught him trying to chew at the couch a few times now just through the day when im working at my desk across the room!

Try spraying the area he's chewing with bitter apple.

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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Finally was able to sleep in my bed while he slept downstairs last night! I left Classic FM playing at  low volume and left a tshirt with my scent on in his bed, then quietly sneaked off upstairs, and didnt hear a peep from him all night! He was still awake at the crack of dawn wanting to go for a wee, but think I'll just have to get used to that! Such a big improvement on that issue in just over a week :)

Had a bit of an incident yesterday morning when my mum took him for a little walk, on which he decided out of nowhere to suddenly bolt, pulled her over and ran off! After a panicked phone call from her thinking he would head straight for the road, I found him standing outside the garden gate!! Little bugger, almost gave us both heart failure! Actually amazed he found his own way back and remembered his house!

Just got some bitter apple spray delivered to try on the couch, but he seems to be leaving it alone now, and concentrating on ripping the edge of the carpet in the hallway with his claws instead!:blink:

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Great progress in a week :) 

And yes..these dogs can go from zero to 60 in a split second.  Hopefully your Mom wasn't hurt. 

We live very rural and I am always on the lookout for cats, squirrels, chipmunks etc.  Kibo, our little Spanish boy, is super high-prey and is always searching for things that move.  He hears "Leave it" a million times on every walk we take!  But, even with the more relaxed hounds, I only use a 4' leash and they are always clipped to my cross body belt. 

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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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2 hours ago, BatterseaBrindl said:

Great progress in a week :) 

And yes..these dogs can go from zero to 60 in a split second.  Hopefully your Mom wasn't hurt. 

We live very rural and I am always on the lookout for cats, squirrels, chipmunks etc.  Kibo, our little Spanish boy, is super high-prey and is always searching for things that move.  He hears "Leave it" a million times on every walk we take!  But, even with the more relaxed hounds, I only use a 4' leash and they are always clipped to my cross body belt. 

Hes doing so much better :)

Shes a bit sore today bless her, she was more worried about the dog though! I'm kind of pleased theres not many little critters around here, although Im not sure if he would bother with them or not! Hes actually a bit scared of pigeons and crows! I think my mum will have learned now not to be fooled into a false sense of security when hes walking on a loose leash, need to keep a good grip on it at all times!

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