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Adopted greyhound behaving different after first 1.5 weeks

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we have adopted an ex-racing greyhound from Ireland, he is 1.5 years old
When he arrived he was the opposite of most of the things you read like timid or shy.
From day one he has been very social and curious towards other people and animals but nonetheless we followed the adoption groups recommendation to spend a lot of time with him and slowly introduce him to new things in the surroundings.

We live in a busy street, in a busy city and he's not used to the sounds and distractions of the city but he doesn't seem to mind.
For the first 1.5 weeks he's been good on the leash (pulling a bit but we were able to teach him to stop) and somewhat good around the house (chewing things but we're able to redirect him to a toy), I work from home so I can always have an eye on him. He's never growled or barked at us during that time

Two days ago, when we were about to go to sleep, he started acting up, barking and trying to nibble my hand and leg, we were told that he might just be under-exercised and that it can be common for greyhounds to communicate this way. We went to the dog park at night to let him run around and then he quieted down

Yesterday-night we came back from a really long walk because I thought it would be good to exercise him but afterwards he barked again this time at my girlfriend, we assume because she was laying on "his" spot on our bed. We moved away and he laid down and fell asleep.

He slept in bed with us at first and we realize this might have been a mistake, so we got him a crate and a bed and are trying to crate train him.

He has tried to countersurf from the start (and we have been trying to stop this), but the last days he has been countersurfing like crazy. Today my girlfriend stood in front of the counter to block him and he started barking at her. When he counter surfs he also cries a lot (it sounds like he's really anxious). He gets the recommended amount of food from our adoption group and he gets 2 Kongs per day filled with Kibble and wet food, always at the same time of the day. Breakfast and dinner are also on schedule.

He also started freezing on walks but we think it's not because he is scared more because he wants to walk into another direction than us, especially if there are food smells in that direction. We want to make sure that he get's enough exercise, but now he has started to refuse to walk, he freezes, and only wants to go back to the apartment. A treat can encourage him to walk for a while but we're scared to give him too many

He's had diarrhea now for a couple of days and we started treating with medication and got special vet gastrointestinal food.

Our question is, is it normal for an adopted dog to change it's behaviour so suddenly (in a negative way) after 1.5 weeks, when he was acting good and making progress beforehand? Could it be diarrhea that makes a dog suddenly act aggressive, and anxious for food? Could this behaviour point to a larger health problem? Or have we done something completely wrong in his training? 

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Does not sound like you have done anything wrong.  It takes time to have their personality show.  I would never allow a pet on the bed or furniture.  Google Nothing in life is free.  I used this for my 1st who was very bossy & it helped a lot.  Diarrhea is common in greyhounds.  You should have pumpkin & Imodium on hand.   The dog just needs more time.  

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If we aren't in the kitchen my grey will still sometimes counter surf. He now does it furtively (ie when we've left the room and he thinks we cant see him) because he knows it isn't allowed. He's a food monster so he probably always will! However we make sure we don't leave food out and have trained him to know that a sparingly used "NO!" means no so he stops whatever he is doing that is causing a telling off. 

A week and a half really isn't very long at all, it can take many months for a rescue grey to settle, relax and become their 'true' selves. So I wouldn't fixate too much on how he is now, just continue with good positive training and setting firm boundaries. It's not always easy but it will get better as you all bond and he learns some manners and to trust you. You haven't done anything wrong at all, he is just settling into his new way of life and finding his feet.

I have always found that rescue dogs of any breed tend to hit a belligerent stage, rather like teenagers testing the boundaries. That said, if he is unwell it could be making him a bit stressed and cranky. 

I would definitely recommend NOT letting a new grey sleep on or in your bed. Do continue to make him sleep on his own bed. Particularly if he is starting to resource guard (which is not unusual) the bed with your girlfriend. It can be tiring and take a while but if you are consistent in making him get off the bed he will understand that it is not his to sleep on. Bear in mind sleep startle is a common thing with greys also, and not to be taken lightly.

Good luck! Time and patience :-) 


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Oh my goodness!  Ten days is not nearly enough time for your boy to settle in.

What is his name?  

His entire world has been turned upside down and yes this behaviour is perfectly 'normal'.

Please read this article... it should help you understand what your new dog is going through


As well, there are a couple of Patricia McConnell booklets that will prove to be very useful as your fellow learns to live in his new world ...  'Feisty Fido'      'I'll be Home Soon'     'The Cautious Canine'


Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger) and Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   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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It sounds like he might be having sensory overload.  Your dog is probably freezing on walks because there is too much going on and he is trying to absorb all the changes that are coming at him from all different directions so, it is too much, too soon.  Take him on walks to quiet areas and stay away from dog parks for the time being - he is still too new for that. Let him relax and get accustomed to his new life. If he won't walk, you may just have to stand in a secluded place outside until he gets a sense of his surroundings. I've fostered many dogs and this is not unusual - sometimes I would take a dog to the end of my driveway and just stand there for a few minutes so he could watch the traffic go by and then repeat the next day adding a few more minutes each time.

Don't let him sleep on the bed - give him a bed on the floor. As to counter surfing, he doesn't know any better and if he sees you are doing stuff on the counter and it might include food, he wants at it too.  You can try putting a few empty tin cans in a plastic bag - sometimes when they pull that off the counter, the noise startles them enough that stay away from counter. 

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In addition to all this I would say that depending what you put in his Kong, that could be adding to his upset tummy and diarrhoea. If it’s too fatty it could cause this.

As already stated, time, patience and positive reinforcement are the best combination. You will get there!

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

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As to the diarrhea:

1.  Get him tested for hookworm and other parasites.  We spent 3 months getting rid of hookworms when we got our dog.  The recommended treatment has changed since we went through this but the current info is on this site somewhere.

2.  Consider getting a product called Olewo Carrots.  This was a game changer for us and we continue to feed it with every dinner.  I highly recommend it over anything else we tried.

Good luck.


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You don't say which country you are in but as NewGrey2017 says if you are in the USA get him tested for hookworm.

I would stop giving him the Kongs as routine and use them for when he's going to be left alone or as a reward.

Check what percentage of protein is in his food. Pet greyhounds should only have about 19% protein otherwise it can cause health problems later on and make them hyperactive.

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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