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New girl suddenly nervous about going outside

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Hi everyone,

I used to be a member of this forum many years ago and got some greyt suggestions when my first hound had stomach issues, so I wanted to ask for some advice about our new girl. My husband and I adopted her 10 days ago, after unexpectedly having to say goodbye to our darling greyhound boy who we’d had for 7 1/2 years. She’s a recently retired racer who has just turned 2.

She’s our third hound and overall she’s doing really well – she’s calm in the house, and a real cuddle monster. We’re quietly getting on with life around her so she can get used to the daily routine, and trying not to push her too far too fast.

She was initially super keen to go for walks, but when I took her out yesterday morning something spooked her, and since then she’s become nervous of leaving the house. Although she's been completely clean inside she won’t do anything on the back yard (even if you walk her round it on the lead), so we don’t have any other option at the moment than to take her out for walks and pee breaks. If we go out in the car she can't WAIT to jump in and loves every minute of it – it's the walks from our house she's become nervous about.

At the moment, I’m tempting her out with treats and a happy voice – she seems fine once she’s actually made it outside, walks nicely and does her business, it’s just getting her to go through the door that’s the challenge. 

I’m guessing this has happened because she’s hit the point of feeling overwhelmed with all the changes in her life over the last few months (retiring from racing, going to the rescue and then into a home). It goes without saying that we’re prepared to do whatever it takes for however long it takes with her to get her feeling secure, but I wanted to ask for advice now so we don’t do the wrong things with her – I’ve never had this issue with a dog before, even our first hound who was scared of *everything*, so any suggestions would be much appreciated. :)

(I should just add – she’s just had a clean bill of health from the vet, is eating well and doesn’t have corns, so we don’t think this is a medical issue.)

Edited by AwesomeDogs
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I've never had this problem with a dog, but from what I've read over the years it sounds like you are doing all the right things.   Happy voice, as you've said, and act like you two are the most confident, kick-butt team in the world.

Sometimes adding another dog's poop the place where you want yours to go (your back yard, as of now) will stimulate them to do the deed closer to home.  


Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Have you another door you can to take her out of?


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 for your replies EllenEveBaz and HeyRunDog. That's a good idea about another dog's poop – our boy peed all over the back yard but I used to disinfect it regularly and had done so just before we brought our girl home so there was no smell left to tell her this was where she could go. I wonder if getting a friend to bring their dog over to use the backyard (once she's a bit more settled) would work.

I tried taking her out of another door yesterday and she was a lot happier about that so maybe whatever spooked her happened when we were going out of the back gate? It's a narrow enclosed space with a tall fence on one side and the house on the other, and our neighbours make quite a lot of noise (they also have a very barky dog and CATS), so perhaps she heard something which worried her.

Thanks again, fingers crossed with time we will be able to convince her the world outside our door is a fun place not a scary one. :)

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