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Stressful Nighttime Routine and Sleeping Arrangements

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Hi Everyone - i adopted a 7 year old lady called Odie during lockdown, i've had her about 2.5 months and she is so lovely. I live alone so this forum has been a great source of help to me recently as i've brought her home and started trying to work her out!

Until recently she slept downstairs, it was never a smooth process but was getting better. Slept on her bed at the bottom of the stairs, cried for a while when i went upstairs then barked a few times, but usually settled down. Wakes up at 6am on the dot every morning.

a few days ago she escaped, it was the worst night of my life. she came back with toenail ripped out and cuts all over her, and i've been cleaning them and looking after her since. This seems to have ramped up her clinginess to unmanageable levels. 

It now takes two hours to settle her to sleep at night, she has been howling, barking and crying at the bottom of the stairs. I am trying to teach her to climb stairs but also she has a damaged foot (from escaping!) so it's currently a bit harder. I've brought her upstairs to be closer to me, she still barked at me and ran downstairs (no problem getting down the stairs!).  when she was down, she barked again, so i brought her back up, where she started barking again. I'm sure she is trying to tell me something but i don't know what. (not toilet, as we go for walk just before bed).  it went on like this for almost 2 hours and ended with me in tears and the dog clearly distressed, this has happened the last few nights and can't go on.  

I am sure this is SA as she just hates being apart from me, so i thought sleeping next to my bed would have solved this, but it has not. Coupled with her super early wake up calls i'm finding this very hard and have been very upset about it, i'm exhausted and not sure what to do next. During dark moments recently i've considered maybe i've made a mistake, but i think it's mainly sleep deprivation making me have those thoughts. Does anyone have any advice?




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I think you just need to go back to your old routine and tough it out for a few nights.  I'm also hoping one of our UK folks will chime in as attitudes and expectations are very different between dog companions in the UK and the US.  Greyhounds are definitely pack animals.  They are never alone - without a human or another greyhound - from the time they are born until they go off into a home environment.

It's not really a puzzle why all this is happening though.  She had a huge scare and her leftover anxiety from being out hasn't had a chance to work itself out yet.  She does have separation anxiety, so it might work to treat it as such - do Alone Training with her to get her used to being alone downstairs again.  It also might help her to get some DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) diffusers to put near her area downstairs to help her relax.  It may also be that she could use a short course of anti anxiety medication (or OTC calming product of choice) to help her over this "escape" hump.

It's just something you're going to need to work through with her.  If you need a good night's sleep before giving it a try you may need to take over the couch downstairs for a night.

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


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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Hello Odie’s mum (or dad - I always assume everyone on here is woman at first, don’t know why!). I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time at the start of your relationship with your hound. I think Greysmom’s suggestion of a couple of nights on the sofa with your hound sounds like a good idea so that she knows you’re around and not going anywhere might help Odie feel a bit more settled. Whichever room she sleeps in, consider the position of her bed. My boy’s favourite bed is in a corner, enclosed on three sides (and we have recently added an old mattress topper to his pile of bedding which he loves to snuggle into).

Do you know anything about her history? Presumably at 7 years old yours is not the first home that she has been in so maybe your adoption group can shed a little light on her previous behaviour. Buddy was 7 1/2 when we adopted him and from the first night with us he has slept downstairs and never disturbed us, which made us assume that he’d been in a home before ours. The only time we considered having him in the bedroom with us was when we went on holiday, but he scratched and fidgeted so much that we turfed him out after about an hour and he spent the rest of the holiday in the living room at night. I think that it is very much personal choice about where you chose to train her to sleep and that having her in your bedroom overnight is probably a lot more common than it used to be in the U.K.

I think that greyhounds seem to be a lot more clingy than other dog breeds and certainly mine will follow me from room to room, practically asleep on his feet at times but determined not to miss out on anything! He wants to be near us, preferably touching, and failing that he must be able to see us. this changed a little with his new bed and he is now (two years into his life with us) willing to sleep there rather than at our feet. The Buddy alarm is also very reliable and goes off at 5.27 each morning so early mornings are in your future while you have a greyhound!

You already know how rewarding it is to have your new companion. Things do get easier with time, but the more people with greyhounds that you can talk to, the better. Maybe your adoption group can put you in touch with other owners in your area who you can meet with. Is there a great global greyhound walk organised for near you where you can meet people? Even if they can’t help you directly with this problem, they might just share war stories and make you feel a bit better! Good luck!

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

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Has a vet taken a look at her injuries just in case there is anything hidden causing her pain and preventing her settling at night?

As greysmom says, you need to do some alone training so she gets to trust that you will come back when you leave her. I was told by my adoption agency that although I was on a weeks holiday when I got her make sure I leave her on her own at least once a day even if it's for only 10 minutes.

Is she in a draft at the bottom of the stairs which is unsettling her? My Grace sleeps in the main through room on the sofa so she is off the ground and has a corner to curl up in. It's your choice where she sleeps but if she sleeps away from you you must ignore her when she cries or barks otherwise she'll think that's how to get attention and you're rewarding her when you do. Warn the neighbours and get a pair of earplugs :D

We've all been through dark moments with our greyhounds but stay with it and time and patience will reward you when suddenly your hound gets it.

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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Thank you so much for your helpful replies. I realise i am super lucky to have such a lovely dog and i just want her to be happy, and it's hard to manage the situation when you are exhausted!

I've been toughing it out as recommended by @greysmom  and @HeyRunDog - i have closed the door to the room sharing a wall with the neighbours and going to bed really early so she gets bored of barking before it's too late. She seems to be recovering (emotionally) from the escape and has become a bit calmer, but we are a way off where we were before the night she escaped!

@MerseyGrey thank you so much for your kind words. It has been a tough couple of weeks! Unfortunately Odie raced until December 2019, until she was almost 7 and then was kept on as they planned to breed from her. She has been on human hormone suppressants for 5 years. This also means years of kennel food so has absolutely terrible teeth - tomorrow she is going in for Spay and Dental and i'm not expecting many teeth to be left when she comes out.

I've started some basic alone training just going in and out of the front door throughout the day until she's used to it, but that will have to go on hold until she has recovered from tomorrow's spay. In summary, thank you for your replies, it is good to know that there is this community here i can ask when i have any specific questions, everyone knows so much!

I'll let you know how i get on.

thank you!



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