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New Grey Terrified of Everything

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Hello everyone! 

I have never used this site before, but am looking for some advice! Two weeks ago I brought home my very first retired racer, and he's amazing. I know there is definitely an adjustment period that can last much longer than these 2 weeks, but as a first time greyhound (and dog in general) owner I just want to make sure my new bud is doing ok. As the title of this post states, he is pretty much scared of everything (I'm assuming because everything is new to him?). Other than myself, he is terrified of nearly everyone and tries to run and/or hides behind me, whines/yelps in the morning (even after I take him out at 5:30am), is extremely reluctant to go on walks (but does great on them once I am able to get him to start walking), gets so terrified of stairs I can't even physically move his legs to teach him and he ignores any type of treat, etc. Is this normal? Is there something I can be doing to help him not be scared of really everything? I am trying to be extremely positive praise him whenever he tries to meet anyone or does anything new. Thank you in advance for the advice!


Bonus question: I'm assuming like many newly retired racers, he doesn't understand the concept of toys. I tried a big tennis ball, rope, [safe] squeaker and non-squeaker plush toys, realistic toys to try to trigger his prey drive, and more, but no luck at all. The only thing he seems to like is his Kong. If you have any advice on toys either that would be much appreciated!

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Hi mountaingrey21. In short: After two weeks, this is within the realm of normal for a new dog trying to make sense of his whole new world, sights, smells, sounds, new people, routines, etc. etc. etc. Dogs are all individuals but they're pretty adaptable, if given the time, patience and good calm guidance to learn, and feel safe.  *Calm* praise can be less overwhelming for a grey (or any dog) that's scared of everything.

If you have a range of dog toys at home, noise and movement helps. It's a good idea to swap some out with others occasionally so that your dog sees 'new' toys, even if he doesn't play with them. Maybe scrape something smelly/tasty (peanut butter, cheese, hot dog, whatever is likely to grab his interest) on a toy, change their position occasionally (if the toy is well away from him).    Peace.

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Search spook here and there is a treasure of good information. 

Here is a link to something I wrote several years ago.  

We are currently on our 5th spook.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
****OxyFresh Vendor ID is 180672239.****

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Perhaps this article by Kathleen Gilley will help you to understand your new boy...



Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge



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18 hours ago, Greyhoundlover said:

Hello mountaingrey21, 

Our retired boy was similar to yours for the first week. 

Read the post below (by HeyRunDog) that was life changing for me to help my grey, thank you!


I can't take all the credit as it's what I've gleaned from reading the more experienced members posts over the last two years. But thank you anyway. :D

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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I'd second the suggestion to search this forum for info on "spook" and "shy" hounds in case you are dealing with some degree of that in your new boy.  Moving from a kennel to the newness and relative chaos of a home really can take some getting used to.  Relax, don't out a lot pressure or expectation on him for anything right now.  This is a great time to gently and consistently offer chances to build your relationship with him.  Quiet, nonthreatening time together, good experiences shared, his confidence in you as his ally reinforced over time will help him.

My Spirit, now 13.5, has always been quite shy and scared of strangers, changes in routine--anything and everything.  The first time I tried to get him up the deck steps I'm sure my neighbors thought I was beating him. He shrieked a full blown GSOD--Greyhound Scream of Death. He's gotten so much better over his 11 years with me.  He's still not happy to meet strangers but now he lots of friends who he knows and enjoys.  He loves being touched and petted best of all things.  That was really the key to his heart.  Watching him bloom as been such a delight over the years.  It took him a loooong time to ever play with a toy and even now, he'll play only occasionally and briefly.  It makes me sappily happy to see my old man grab a toy and shake it.  

I think what I'm trying to say is that you're playing a long game here, so settle in and enjoy!  It's so very worth it.

Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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