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Grey will not walk with only one person


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Hi all,

We are looking for some advice with our relatively new grey who we adopted 4 months ago. She is an ex racer and 4 years old.  She's been very good and settled quickly but is very shy - more so than we first realised.

The big problem we are having is that she will not go for a walk with only one person.  This was not an issue at the very beginning but soon after she would only go the green right outside our house and not walk any further than that.  The other quirk she has (which could be linked) is she will not go in our garden.  Again this was fine in the first few days but we made the mistake of shutting the door one night for 5 minutes whilst she was out there to encourage her to toilet and she got panicked.  Since then it is almost impossible to get her out there.  The only time she has gone is when she had an upset stomach.  She is a clean girl so clearly thought needs must on that occassion!

Because of the garden problem, she got used to being taken to the green outside in the morning, at night and at dinner.  She'd then get at least one, sometimes two walks with both of us to the local park.  She is perfectly happy to walk with both of us and wags her tail constantly with both of us there.  Unfortunately now we are no longer in lockdown only one of us is home during the day and she simply refuses to walk with one person.  She will go to the green outside to toilet but after that refuses to move unless it's to go back to the house.  Despite being happy when her lead comes out, she is visibly nervous if you try to continue walking past her green and can see her legs shaking if you try to wait it out.  You would think it was a different dog compared to when she is out with two people!

If I take her in the car to another local place it is 50/50 as to whether or not she will walk or statue.

My feeling is when she has one person she associates this with just a quick toilet break but struggling to break her out of this.

She loves food indoors, but when she's nervous with one person outdoors she doesn't care for it much and haven't been able to use this as a motivator.

Any other similar stories out there or thoughts on how we can break this habit?

Thanks

James

Edited by Jameschh
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  • Jameschh changed the title to Grey will not walk with only one person

Hi! I’m not sure how feasible this is for you, but while one of you is home, is it possible to leave the back door open? And possibly have the human at home go out into the garden for a few minutes every now and then? Sometimes they take a while with new things/changes in routine, but having spent several weeks avoiding the new thing, they will then surprise you . If you can leave the back door open she might work out for herself that it’s not that scary, especially if she sees one of you going out there. Try not to encourage her out there, because the less you coax them, the quicker they do the thing you want them to do! This method worked for us when we had new steps put in our garden - put there to help Buddy on to the lawn which is about two feet higher than the patio. We put treats on the step, we called him up with cheery voices, and all sorts of other tricks, but he would not use the new steps until about three months after they were put in, and some time after we had decided to leave him to his own devices. All of a sudden, he was happily trotting up and down them as if they had always been there.

As for walking her, could you try starting your walk with both of you, but one of you turning back quietly, maybe when she’s distracted by something else? Again, it’s going to take a bit of dedication on your part. In the short term don’t worry too much about her not getting enough exercise, and whatever you do, don’t let your frustration show! It’s easier said than done sometimes. You will get there!

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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We can try leaving the back door open more often (wish we had done this during the Summer now!) and see whether that encourages her.  Thanks for the suggestion!

As for the walking, we’ve actually tried something similar very recently.  My wife is commuting again so we have started both walking to the station and then half way we stop whilst she walks off.  Amber (greyhound) is not happy about this and then continues to cry/statue.  We can move again either by following the direction my wife went or by heading back for home.  Any other direction and she won’t budge!

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Welcome to the world of contrary greyhounds. 

Who feeds her and takes her out for toilet breaks? If it's your wife perhaps you could do it instead for a bit so she gets to trust you to the same level as your wife.

AND don't worry, as long as she is eating, getting a bit of exercise and going to the toilet let her get used to the change in her own time and I agree with MerseyGrey when she said "Try not to encourage her out there, because the less you coax them, the quicker they do the thing you want them to do!"

You're lucky in that when she freezes she will walk home. Grace wouldn't move in any direction if she decided to freeze giving my neighbours a laugh to see a six foot bloke carrying a greyhound back home. Then she would only turn right out of the drive which meant we would have to walk around the block to turn left. After a while, with time patience and a good dose of humour she got over 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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Thanks for the responses.

Zimsmom - unfortunately the treats she loves best haven’t worked!  When she is with one person she gets so nervous/distracted that she doesn’t care at all for food.

HeyRunDog - I do the majority of feeding already.  And she is the same no matter who she goes out with - if there’s only one person walks are simply no fun!  If there are two people (doesn’t matter who the two people are) she is fine and completely happy. It’s very odd!

The garden thing doesn’t bother us too much and we are likely to move relatively soon anyway.  The walks however are inconvenient and do worry she isn’t getting much exercise as a consequence.

 

 

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Unfortunately now we are no longer in lockdown only one of us is home during the day and she simply refuses to walk with one person.  She will go to the green outside to toilet but after that refuses to move unless it's to go back to the house.  Despite being happy when her lead comes out, she is visibly nervous if you try to continue walking past her green and can see her legs shaking if you try to wait it out.

At four months in, she is still relatively new to retirement. I wouldn't fret about her wanting to go back home after just a short walk. She is still figuring out her new life and I would try to be patient and not hurry her past her comfort zone of any situation. She'll come around :)

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. Bea. Punkin. Annie. Miss M. Cletus, knot like the others.

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno.Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea.

 

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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