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We've adopted a lovely greyhound from the Greyhound Trust, and I'm so anxious and depressed about it. I'm also really worried about posting here - please don't yell at me. We're really trying to do our best, but I am not coping at all.

I was so excited to adopt a greyhound. I always had dogs and other animals growing up, and I'd known quite a few greyhounds and thought they were wonderful animals. We were finally in a place where we could have a dog, in terms of home security, finances, flexible work. We did so much research into having a greyhound, including all the negative things to expect, and thought we were prepared.

We're only in the first week. I completely understand that this whole situation is overwhelming for our new dog, that he has no idea what's happening, that he's never lived in a house before and that his stress will hopefully decrease as he settles in. But I feel completely and horribly overwhelmed. I've been near tears or fully in tears for three days straight. Yesterday I just shut myself in the bathroom and sobbed for a while. I feel like we've made a terrible mistake getting this dog. We want to start a family in the next couple of years, and I can't imagine having a dog and a baby.

And he's a lovely dog! He's very sweet and gentle, he's played with us, he's mostly doing a great job of going to the toilet outside. When we're around he's pretty happy to just crash out on one of his beds and snooze, or chew on one of his toys. But he cries and paces and scratches when one of us isn't with him for thirty seconds. Someone has to sleep on the sofa to be near him, otherwise he howls and cries and gets so distressed (and I know everyone will just say have the dog in our room, but we do not want him in our room - we want our room to be our space). We're working from home right now, and will be for the foreseeable future, but now I can't do things like go to the loo or make a cup of tea without the dog getting stressed and crying and pacing. 

He has a crate and he's really happy to go in there and chew on his treats or toys, or go to sleep, but we've been advised not to shut him in there and leave him alone since he gets so upset, and it might ruin the good associations he currently has with his crate.

I thought I was ready for this, but I already feel overwhelmed and trapped by our new dog. I grew up with dogs but our lives didn't revolve completely around them. I feel guilty, I've lost my appetite, I cry all the time, I can't concentrate at work. I've been trying to read these forums and the greyhound subreddit and am starting to feel so alone because everyone loves their greyhounds. At the moment I can't imagine being able to cope for another week, let alone years. 

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14 minutes ago, Overwhelmed said:

We've adopted a lovely greyhound from the Greyhound Trust, and I'm so anxious and depressed about it. I'm also really worried about posting here - please don't yell at me. We're really trying to do our best, but I am not coping at all.

I was so excited to adopt a greyhound. I always had dogs and other animals growing up, and I'd known quite a few greyhounds and thought they were wonderful animals. We were finally in a place where we could have a dog, in terms of home security, finances, flexible work. We did so much research into having a greyhound, including all the negative things to expect, and thought we were prepared.

We're only in the first week. I completely understand that this whole situation is overwhelming for our new dog, that he has no idea what's happening, that he's never lived in a house before and that his stress will hopefully decrease as he settles in. But I feel completely and horribly overwhelmed. I've been near tears or fully in tears for three days straight. Yesterday I just shut myself in the bathroom and sobbed for a while. I feel like we've made a terrible mistake getting this dog. We want to start a family in the next couple of years, and I can't imagine having a dog and a baby.

And he's a lovely dog! He's very sweet and gentle, he's played with us, he's mostly doing a great job of going to the toilet outside. When we're around he's pretty happy to just crash out on one of his beds and snooze, or chew on one of his toys. But he cries and paces and scratches when one of us isn't with him for thirty seconds. Someone has to sleep on the sofa to be near him, otherwise he howls and cries and gets so distressed (and I know everyone will just say have the dog in our room, but we do not want him in our room - we want our room to be our space). We're working from home right now, and will be for the foreseeable future, but now I can't do things like go to the loo or make a cup of tea without the dog getting stressed and crying and pacing. 

He has a crate and he's really happy to go in there and chew on his treats or toys, or go to sleep, but we've been advised not to shut him in there and leave him alone since he gets so upset, and it might ruin the good associations he currently has with his crate.

I thought I was ready for this, but I already feel overwhelmed and trapped by our new dog. I grew up with dogs but our lives didn't revolve completely around them. I feel guilty, I've lost my appetite, I cry all the time, I can't concentrate at work. I've been trying to read these forums and the greyhound subreddit and am starting to feel so alone because everyone loves their greyhounds. At the moment I can't imagine being able to cope for another week, let alone years. 

Firstly hello and welcome!☺️👋🏻

So I personally don’t have my Greyhound with me yet, I’m going to get her this saturday and of course I’m also really happy/nervous/anxious/excited about it because she’s my first Grey. But I can tell you that the first couple of weeks or even moths with a new dog can be very stressful and nerve-racking! And that’s completely normal!

I do also have a now 4 year old miniature pinscher and I can ensure you that when I got her as a puppy at 8 weeks old I definitely had a super hard time for the first 3-4 weeks and I had multiple breakdowns...I cried, couldn’t sleep or eat properly for days, even wanted to give my puppy back to the breeder and at the same time I was thinking of myself as an utterly failure for feeling this way about my little puppy that brought me so much happiness as well. But I just imagined having a puppy as so wonderful, amazing and easy - as it was described in all the books I read before I got her and I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t like that at all...I really truly hated it.

Now, when I think about these horrible first weeks with my puppy I smile and look at her lying next to me sleeping peacefully but back then I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. But it DOES get better I promise!

Your Grey is a new addition to the family and in many ways he’s still just like a puppy too even though he’s an adult dog. Getting a dog changes your life in so many different ways and not all of them are great at first...you have to take so many new things into account and get used to having the dog around you at all times - it can be unbelievably overwhelming, just as you described!

I can only promise you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know it’s not always easy and there will be hard times for all of you but give yourself and your Grey some more time to adjust to the new life. He will pay back your patience with so much love and laughter🥰

If it really doesn’t get better in a few weeks and you still feel too overwhelmed then talk about it with your adoption group and ask them for help☺️
 

Don’t be so hard on yourself because things like that happen and it will surely get better soon! Good luck and all the best with your new Grey!🍀😊


 

 

Karolin with Yuna (MinPin) & Faye (aka Patchwork Queen, retired racing Greyhound from Ireland)

I never met an animal I didn't like, and I can't say the same thing about people...  :paw

- Doris Day

 

yf-min.jpg

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Sorry you're feeling overwhelmed! I would rethink the sleeping in your room thing, just for now. It need only be for a week or so and it will help him bond with you. You will all get a better night's sleep and frankly you sound pretty frazzled right now - he will be picking up on that, worrying himself, round and round it all goes and into a downward spiral....

This link has some helpful downloads, see especially the ones on "The first night at home" and "spending time alone." My guys all slept in my room for the first couple of weeks and then happily migrated to a bed in the back bedroom where they could hear but not see me.

I will also add, I think it is absolutely normal to have some "oh my goodness what have I done?" moments when you first adopt a dog. It's such a big change for you both, especially with a first pet in adult life. 

 

 

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Hi, 

 

As a new greyhound owner this is my first post on this forum (and also afraid I'm going to get shouted out for giving bad advice!) but I had to reply to you because I felt exactly like you did when we got our first greyhound 3 months ago. And I know how awful it is.

We had wanted a dog for so long and were prepared but when we got him I couldn't cope at all. For the first week I didn't stop crying, I didn't eat and didn't sleep. I have anxiety anyway and getting him sent it through the roof and I was near the worst I'd ever been.

Now 3 months in I'm a lot better. Our grey has problems with other dogs and doesn't like being left alone, so it's still hard work and I still sometimes feel trapped. But we've seen a behaviourist and have a training plan in place and I now feel comfortable taking it day by day.

I'm far from an expert but just wanted to say you're not alone in feeling like this, and it does get better. A few things that have helped me personally :

- Splitting the care with my partner. We both have dog care days during the week and dog free days. This means I get a couple of days a week where my partner is responsible for all of his walks, feeding etc so I have a break from thinking about it, and I do the same for my partner. It gives me back some normality and headspace which works better for me than doing half of his care each day. 

- In the early days, telling myself 'If by X date I still feel like this, I can give him back'. It helped me be less overwhelmed with the idea of caring for him forever and took some pressure off. We were in contact with our rescue group and they reassured us we could take a bit of time to make our decision and would be happy to have him back without judgment if needed. Knowing that was very reassuring.

- Not trying to get everything right straight away. I was worried if we didn't fix his separation anxiety immediately, it would be a lost cause and he would never learn how to be alone. That's not true. 

- Working in increments. We didn't want him sleeping in our room either. He would happily sleep in his crate at night but only if he could see us – so we moved it in front of our bedroom door, then moved it back a couple of inches each night. Now he sleeps in the lounge just fine. Even if it takes ages, having a plan can make you feel a bit more in control! Oh and pick one priority to work on at once. We didn't try fixing his separation anxiety until we were all comfortably sleeping at night. It would have been too much for us. 

I personally would let him follow you to make tea, go to the loo, whatever for now. I'm sure others might disagree and like I say this is only based on my experience and not expert advice, but for me the priority had to be getting my head into a space where I was calmer and could cope. Him pacing and whining would send me over the edge! Once you are feeling better, you can start implementing rules / training as needed. At least, that's how I approached it.

Our boy has relaxed massively since I got a handle on my own anxiety and worry and we're all doing much better. I still see other people with their greys and think it's not fair how easy they seem to have it but in reality everyone has their own struggles.

We love our boy and are committed to making it work with him and giving him a happy life. He's started rolling over for belly rubs and coming up to us for a fuss, so we're getting there slowly but surely!

The last thing I'l say is that while you're confused and unsure whether you've made a mistake, trust your past self. You planned for this, researched it and wanted it - trust that you made the right decision then. You were probably thinking a lot clearer then than you are now.

If when you are feeling calmer and more rational you're still unsure whether it's the right thing for you after all, then you can decide what to do from there.

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I think you should return him to the adoption group so he can go somewhere he is wanted. I don't think you want a dog and their restrictions. That is OK. But its not fair to the dog to make him live somewhere he isn't wanted when he could be somewhere he was deeply loved and treasured. JMO.

 

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42 minutes ago, DocsDoctor said:

Sorry you're feeling overwhelmed! I would rethink the sleeping in your room thing, just for now. It need only be for a week or so and it will help him bond with you. You will all get a better night's sleep and frankly you sound pretty frazzled right now - he will be picking up on that, worrying himself, round and round it all goes and into a downward spiral....

This link has some helpful downloads, see especially the ones on "The first night at home" and "spending time alone." My guys all slept in my room for the first couple of weeks and then happily migrated to a bed in the back bedroom where they could hear but not see me.

I will also add, I think it is absolutely normal to have some "oh my goodness what have I done?" moments when you first adopt a dog. It's such a big change for you both, especially with a first pet in adult life.

Thank you for this. Everything is so confusing - we've been told to be consistent about where he's able to go and where he isn't, so he knows which space is his. Letting him upstairs and into our room and then changing those rules seems like it would be confusing for him? I've never known anyone have a dog sleep in their room, and every dog my family owned just slept downstairs, so this isn't something I'd really anticipated. 

1 hour ago, Karolintschka said:

Now, when I think about these horrible first weeks with my puppy I smile and look at her lying next to me sleeping peacefully but back then I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. But it DOES get better I promise!

I hope we can get to this point! Right now it seems impossible, but it is reassuring to read about people who got puppies and felt this way and then got to a good place.

32 minutes ago, Newtothis said:

As a new greyhound owner this is my first post on this forum (and also afraid I'm going to get shouted out for giving bad advice!) but I had to reply to you because I felt exactly like you did when we got our first greyhound 3 months ago. And I know how awful it is.

We had wanted a dog for so long and were prepared but when we got him I couldn't cope at all. For the first week I didn't stop crying, I didn't eat and didn't sleep. I have anxiety anyway and getting him sent it through the roof and I was near the worst I'd ever been.

Now 3 months in I'm a lot better. Our grey has problems with other dogs and doesn't like being left alone, so it's still hard work and I still sometimes feel trapped. But we've seen a behaviourist and have a training plan in place and I now feel comfortable taking it day by day.

I'm far from an expert but just wanted to say you're not alone in feeling like this, and it does get better. A few things that have helped me personally :

- Splitting the care with my partner. We both have dog care days during the week and dog free days. This means I get a couple of days a week where my partner is responsible for all of his walks, feeding etc so I have a break from thinking about it, and I do the same for my partner. It gives me back some normality and headspace which works better for me than doing half of his care each day. 

- In the early days, telling myself 'If by X date I still feel like this, I can give him back'. It helped me be less overwhelmed with the idea of caring for him forever and took some pressure off. We were in contact with our rescue group and they reassured us we could take a bit of time to make our decision and would be happy to have him back without judgment if needed. Knowing that was very reassuring.

- Not trying to get everything right straight away. I was worried if we didn't fix his separation anxiety immediately, it would be a lost cause and he would never learn how to be alone. That's not true. 

- Working in increments. We didn't want him sleeping in our room either. He would happily sleep in his crate at night but only if he could see us – so we moved it in front of our bedroom door, then moved it back a couple of inches each night. Now he sleeps in the lounge just fine. Even if it takes ages, having a plan can make you feel a bit more in control! Oh and pick one priority to work on at once. We didn't try fixing his separation anxiety until we were all comfortably sleeping at night. It would have been too much for us. 

I personally would let him follow you to make tea, go to the loo, whatever for now. I'm sure others might disagree and like I say this is only based on my experience and not expert advice, but for me the priority had to be getting my head into a space where I was calmer and could cope. Him pacing and whining would send me over the edge! Once you are feeling better, you can start implementing rules / training as needed. At least, that's how I approached it.

Our boy has relaxed massively since I got a handle on my own anxiety and worry and we're all doing much better. I still see other people with their greys and think it's not fair how easy they seem to have it but in reality everyone has their own struggles.

We love our boy and are committed to making it work with him and giving him a happy life. He's started rolling over for belly rubs and coming up to us for a fuss, so we're getting there slowly but surely!

The last thing I'l say is that while you're confused and unsure whether you've made a mistake, trust your past self. You planned for this, researched it and wanted it - trust that you made the right decision then. You were probably thinking a lot clearer then than you are now.

If when you are feeling calmer and more rational you're still unsure whether it's the right thing for you after all, then you can decide what to do from there.

Thanks so much for this practical advice, it's so helpful - I'm glad you're feeling better and that your dog has started to settle! I think I psyched myself out with some of the research really, because it made it sound like you should start working on things like separation anxiety straight away so you're setting ground rules rather than starting out one way and then changing to doing something else. We thought we knew more-or-less how to approach things but now we really don't know what to do for the best. We don't want to upset and distress our poor dog, but we also don't want him to always be needy and clingy and unable to be by himself. 

Unfortunately we don't have much space in our room (even if we wanted him in there), though there is a small amount of space on our landing that might fit his bed, though definitely not a crate (small UK house - houses in America seem to have endless amounts of space for dog crates!). Having him sleep on the landing might be an option. 

 

21 minutes ago, racindog said:

I think you should return him to the adoption group so he can go somewhere he is wanted. I don't think you want a dog and their restrictions. That is OK. But its not fair to the dog to make him live somewhere he isn't wanted when he could be somewhere he was deeply loved and treasured. JMO.

Honestly, we may end up giving him back if we decide it's not right for us, but telling people who are finding a new and difficult situation stressful to give up after a few days seems counter-productive. Have you considered offering advice and reassurance instead? Your snippy response is one of the reasons I felt so unsure about posting here. I'm glad other people are able to be kind and thoughtful. 

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22 minutes ago, Overwhelmed said:

I think I psyched myself out with some of the research really, because it made it sound like you should start working on things like separation anxiety straight away so you're setting ground rules rather than starting out one way and then changing to doing something else. We thought we knew more-or-less how to approach things but now we really don't know what to do for the best. We don't want to upset and distress our poor dog, but we also don't want him to always be needy and clingy and unable to be by himself. 

Yes I definitely over researched and ended up stressing myself out even more! In the end I picked one resource and followed that - ignoring all others for a bit. You've got to give an approach a chance to work :) I also started focussing on right now instead of worrying about imaginary problems in the future!

 

22 minutes ago, Overwhelmed said:

Unfortunately we don't have much space in our room (even if we wanted him in there), though there is a small amount of space on our landing that might fit his bed, though definitely not a crate (small UK house - houses in America seem to have endless amounts of space for dog crates!). Having him sleep on the landing might be an option. 

We're in the uk too but were lucky to squeeze it in at an angle... But yeah maybe try the landing. It doesn't mean he'll sleep there forever. Just this week we've noticed ours seems to feel more comfortable in the office than the lounge, so now we've started leaving him to sleep on his bed in instead. So it just goes to show eventually you'll start getting to know him and things will feel a bit more natural and easier to make decisions. 

 

Feel free to message me if you want to keep chatting (like I say I can't offer expert advice but I can offer understanding). Hang in there!  

 

 

Edited by Newtothis
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Don't over-think stuff; it only makes you more stressed. You probably need to allow him in your room for at least a couple of weeks. He needs to be in his own bed there, so get one of those nice big deep ones that keep them cosy. Then you could put that bed back out in the house somewhere (with all the bedding and familiar smells) and put another new bed in your room.   Soon you may get some bonding moments, and as soon as "I'm so proud of my dog" enters your mind, the tension usually lifts.

Returning a Greyhound when he isn't a fit for your family isn't 'wrong', but you will feel bad about it. I returned one to an adoption agency and didn't even ask for my money back. You could donate a month's worth of food too. So try being less restrictive and give the dog a chance to settle. If by 6 weeks he still hasn't then, sadly, he probably needs to find a different home, perhaps where he isn't 'an only dog'.  

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First I'd like to say welcome, and next "take a breath".   It's going to be ok no matter what decision you end up making about the dog.  Give yourself and the dog a chance.  It's only been a week.  Was he fostered?  If so, can you reach out to the foster family?  If not, is the Greyhound group willing to help you?    He needs time and patience to settle in and to learn to trust his new people.  You need to learn him.  I would recommend that you get some of Patricia McConnel's books on different behavior problems. She has a great one about alone training. Also, greyhounds are incredibly empathetic and believe me, he is picking up on your distress.  I foster for our group and have found that some dogs just need more time than others to settle in.  They are pack animals and need their pack.  Maybe move his bed so he can be near you at night, if not in the room.  Since you work from home now, put him in the crate while you work. At least for a few hours.  Keep a schedule with him.  It helps him feel secure.  Make sure he gets lots of exercise, whether it's a walk or playtime with him.  Even a few minutes of games or training help.  Sit down and talk with him, they listen.   

If you find that he can't be an only dog, or that it's just not going to work out for you, then get him back to the group.  No shame in that, you're doing it for the dog's benefit.  Not everyone is a greyhound person, it's ok.   Good luck!

And just another note, my fourth greyhound has some separation anxiety going on right now.  I've never had that problem before so I'm figuring it out too! And I have 2 greys and hubby is retired.

<p>Mom to Kyle (Diehard Kyle) & Angel Gracie (KB's Sankey) Foster Mom for AFG

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Hey! Welcome! 

As everyone above has said - TAKE A BREATH! Have a nice cup of tea (or a huge bottle of vodka :D) and relax. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - although I may get grief for it - greys are NOT easy dogs. In my experience, and I've had/fostered a fair few breeds, my grey has possibly been the most difficult I've had. The adjustment times, issues and size make them (IMO) quite a challenge at times, particularly in the early days.

I fostered mine pending permanent rehoming. That fell through and a month or so later I got the point where I just couldn't bear the idea of turfing my big, gentle, nervous, clingy boy out into the unknown where I knew he would be frightened and agitated. So I adopted him. Even after all that I still had a period of time where I though "holy crap. What have I done?!".

You're not going to instantly bond and fall in love with him after a week. It takes time to build a bond, trust and love. That said, I'm 11 months in now and adore the boney backside off him. Warts and all :beatheart

It hasn't been easy at all and has taken a HUGE amount of bonding and training for snapping, resource guarding, freezing, reacting to other dogs, snapping at small dogs, reacting to children.... etc. Slow progress and we still have issues. But once I made the decision to keep him there was no way I was going to give up and send him off. He may not be easy, cuddly, playful and issue free like other dogs, but when he charges around the room flinging his toys about with his tail helicoptering around about in excitement because I've been out for an hour (which started happening about 6 weeks in) it makes it worthwhile. And when he waggles his tail manically and prances around waiting for me to throw his ball (took a couple of months of training for him to fetch and start to enjoy toys) I laugh in delight.

And then 6 months in I found out I was pregnant (accidental pregnancy - I would never have intentionally got a grey if I was intending to have kids) and one again went through a whole myriad of worries regarding safety, his happiness, a child's safety..... However, it is what it is and I'm confident I can manage it all carefully and make it work. 

I think you genuinely need to sit back, take a break and rationally think 'can I do this? Do I WANT to do this?' - and I mean that kindly with no judgement. You've got to *want* to continue. If your heart isn't in it and you don't feel you have the inclination to carry on it will be detrimental to all of you. Dog included - he needs love, patience, time and training. And you need to be comfortable with your choice and have good days as well as bad. 

A week is very early days in terms of greyhound rehoming. As someone once said to me - the dog you have now is nothing like the dog you will have in a month, 3 months, 6 months and a year. And that is absolutely true. 

Separation anxiety is a big issue with greys - they just aren't used to being alone. We've all been there. There are plenty of resources and guidance available and it WILL get better with time. We have our grey sleep on a separate bed in our room, and that works for us, but you don't have to. Even simple things like keeping your bedroom door open and putting a baby gate across can help - he can see and hear you still so doesn't feel alone at night and get upset. But whatever you decide he will take time to get used to it and you will have sleepless nights to start with. 

Similarly you just have to start being a little ruthless at times (which is hard, I agonised over all of this initially) eg shutting the bathroom door, starting leaving him alone for a few minutes and building it up slowly. 

It's worth noting that our grey cried and ran around trying to find me (heartbreaking) when I left him (even though my partner was home) and absolutely howled the place down (I have a good neighbour) if we both went out. But I made sure right from the start that I started to deal with the SA. Now I can go out for hours (he'll mope a bit, peer out the window and then fall asleep) and if my partner and I both go out (difficult during lockdown) he'll usually do the same. But that took months of slowly building up. There is no quick fix. 

Sorry - it's a long one! Just wanted you to know that it's very early days, completely fine to feel panicky and reassure you that IT WILL GET BETTER!

 

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2 hours ago, Newtothis said:

 

We love our boy and are committed to making it work with him and giving him a happy life. He's started rolling over for belly rubs and coming up to us for a fuss, so we're getting there slowly but surely!

 

You're doing really well! You know they are relaxed when they start rolling over for belly rubs. It's the little things like this that make it all worthwhile :-)

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I felt exactly the same way and yet here I am 9 years later with the same dog who I can't imagine life without. I did too much research and was coming from a life full of cats, who are much more self-sufficient! I'm also an anxious person by nature which did not help matters. 

As others have said, take a breath, consider *very temporarily* sharing your room with him, and don't over-research. Perhaps set a deadline for yourself. If you don't feel any better in, say, another two or three weeks, it is probably best to return him before you get more attached. He sounds like a lovely boy who will find another home easily if yours is not the right fit. It's certainly not worth sacrificing your mental health for, but do give it a little more time to see if things settle. Please keep us posted!

Edited by ramonaghan

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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Part of dog ownership is learning about each other and learning how to compromise with each other - both ways. Some possibilities:

Sleeping at night. Would it be possible to add a dog gate at your bedroom door, and put a dog bed just outside that gate? That way your greyhound can see you and sleep comfortably, but you still have your own space. May or may not work, but something to try. I would expect that he may still cry for a while since he is gated away, but should get tired and fall asleep. After a few nights he would likely get into the habit of just going to sleep on the provided dog bed. 

Crying whenever alone. This is one where the dog eventually needs to compromise, as you cannot be around 24/7. There are many posts on the training forum on away training (I think that is what it is called, someone can correct me if wrong). The idea is basically to go away for short periods, maybe only a few minutes initially (even just going outside and hanging around the house), and eventually building up to hours. The goal is to teach the dog that you will be coming back, which he is not certain about right now. At least initially, a schedule can also help. My dog knows I go to work, so after I feed him breakfast and he sees me getting my lunch together he heads off to the extra bedroom where he sleeps. But even now, after over 7 1/2 years, he is unhappy if he sees me leaving late in the evening when he thinks I "should" be at home with him. Dogs are pattern creatures, so it will be easier for him to adjust to a fixed pattern in which you are gone at a set time or times during the day.  

Another thing that may help is exercise - a tired dog is a good dog. Try taking him for a long walk, get him really tired out, and then do an away session. If you are not walking him much then that could be part of the problem, simply pent-up energy. 

I'm a little confused about your statement: "can't do things like go to the loo or make a cup of tea without the dog getting stressed and crying and pacing." Is he locked in his crate? If not, I would expect him to head on over to the kitchen with you, and as long as he is with you not to be overly anxious. Does he go in the kitchen with you, and is still crying and pacing? Or, if you keep his dog treats kept in the kitchen, maybe what he is really doing is trying to get a treat? :-)

Anyway, not sure if any of the above is helpful, but just some ideas. Good luck however you proceed!

Rob
Logan - LoganMaxicon15K.jpg - Max (Aug. 4, 2004 - Jan. 11, 2018)

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Welcome just wanted to offer a hug, a shoulder, and an ear.  Sometimes we just need to vent and share our fears and concerns to feel better.

If I can share some stories and a few tips hope they give you some light at the end of your tunnel.

For me greyhounds temperament and behavior are closer to a show horse than a  typical shelter dog or the in your face hunting breed.  When they first come off of the track in the US. would imagine similar to your dog but not sure.  Meaning they have a routine of being out and active and the center of everything. Followed by time in there crate/stall and the cycle continues.  So coming into a home is so unnerving and scary.  Just provide for basic needs and spend time together going for walks even if it is just circles in the driveway/garden or just standing outside getting used to the sounds and smells.  

I did most things wrong with my first greyhound in 1990 before adoption groups and many resources and the internet!  I made a phone call looking for a companion dog to a vet on Friday picked up my dog on Monday and only saw them on tv.  She would not come out of the dog house for 4 days.  Vet said to let her be and if not out on the 5th day force her out gently.  She survived being outside for over a year.  I did not know better and would never do that now but she had a well insulated dog house with straw and another dog and luckily it was a mild winter.  

Do not worry about training time yet as your dog is learning just by exploring there new world.  The only thing you need to do is reinforce good behavior and prevent naughty (if they are jumping on people for example I would discourage that and things you do not want) otherwise no formal training as it will just be frustrating for both of you.  Give all of you time to adjust you have a lifetime to train.  There are many ways to do things find what works for you and leave the rest.

So to make a long read short greyhounds are very adaptable and forgiving.  If you handle them with love respect and a soft touch.  You can not go wrong and can fine tune the behavior anytime.  If they have gotten used to doing something it just may take longer to change the behavior but given time, love and consistency it will.

One last tip talk to them as they understand more than we can ever know.

My first therapy dog was at a retirement home and one of the residents said “I bet you would like to look out the window”. To my astonishment she walked over and looked out.  I had never even said window and she came straight from the track.  

A foster would calm down if I made up stories and talked to her.  Her “mom”would call when she first got her and I would tell her stories to help her settle.  Her mom thought I was crazy 😜 until she saw that it worked.  It may just make you feel better too.  

Best wishes and you will be ok and do what is best for all.  They do take a long time to show you the dog they truly are.  It is a frustrating, scary, exciting and rewarding journey so give yourself a hug 🤗 and know you are not alone!

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12 minutes ago, 1Moregrey said:

One last tip talk to them as they understand more than we can ever know.

 

This! Couldn't agree more! 

My grey is not a tactile, affectionate boy. He'll roll over for tummy tickles if I sit beside him and ask if he wants a tickle, but for quite some time - months - he couldn't bear being touched. I found when out walking just chatting to him really helped with freezing and panicking. And indoors too - if he was anxious or struggling I would just talk to him and he'd calm down. And if he peed on his feet (daily occurrence) I'd chat to him about cleaning his paws and he'd shift his weight and pass them up to me without panicking. 

Sounds daft and I must have (and still do) look nuts but if I sit and chat to him he'll crawl on the other sofa and gaze at me while I babble away. 

I have no idea if he understands me, I suspect not as he's not the sharpest tool in the shed. But talking to him has definitely helped.

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4 minutes ago, rsieg said:

Another thing that may help is exercise - a tired dog is a good dog. Try taking him for a long walk, get him really tired out, and then do an away session. If you are not walking him much then that could be part of the problem, simply pent-up energy. 

Thanks for your response! About this bit in particular - at the moment he is freezing and statuing whenever we take him out, so our contact at the Trust said to just leave walks for now and let him build up his confidence in our garden, then move on to short "winnable" walks. We've been trying to wear him out with games and things in the garden (he is very unhappy about going out in the rain, though he lives in Britain so he needs to get used to that!) and doing some games with him inside. He lasts for about 10 minutes and then lies down.

We do need to start leaving him more, though since we can't even leave the room right now I can't imagine how long it will take until we can leave the house.

8 minutes ago, rsieg said:

I'm a little confused about your statement: "can't do things like go to the loo or make a cup of tea without the dog getting stressed and crying and pacing." Is he locked in his crate? If not, I would expect him to head on over to the kitchen with you, and as long as he is with you not to be overly anxious. Does he go in the kitchen with you, and is still crying and pacing? Or, if you keep his dog treats kept in the kitchen, maybe what he is really doing is trying to get a treat? :-)

He's not locked in his crate! His crate is open for him to go into it whenever he wants. We have a baby gate on the kitchen as it is not dog-safe (we need to redo the whole kitchen at some point). We have minimal storage, so a lot of things (like his big bag of food) are just on the kitchen floor. He can see partly into the kitchen from where he is, but if I disappear briefly behind the door to get the milk out the fridge or something he starts to cry. He can be lying down asleep but if I go into the kitchen he goes right back to pacing and whimpering.

17 minutes ago, 1Moregrey said:

Welcome just wanted to offer a hug, a shoulder, and an ear.  Sometimes we just need to vent and share our fears and concerns to feel better.

If I can share some stories and a few tips hope they give you some light at the end of your tunnel.

For me greyhounds temperament and behavior are closer to a show horse than a  typical shelter dog or the in your face hunting breed.  When they first come off of the track in the US. would imagine similar to your dog but not sure.  Meaning they have a routine of being out and active and the center of everything. Followed by time in there crate/stall and the cycle continues.  So coming into a home is so unnerving and scary.  Just provide for basic needs and spend time together going for walks even if it is just circles in the driveway/garden or just standing outside getting used to the sounds and smells.  

I did most things wrong with my first greyhound in 1990 before adoption groups and many resources and the internet!  I made a phone call looking for a companion dog to a vet on Friday picked up my dog on Monday and only saw them on tv.  She would not come out of the dog house for 4 days.  Vet said to let her be and if not out on the 5th day force her out gently.  She survived being outside for over a year.  I did not know better and would never do that now but she had a well insulated dog house with straw and another dog and luckily it was a mild winter.  

Do not worry about training time yet as your dog is learning just by exploring there new world.  The only thing you need to do is reinforce good behavior and prevent naughty (if they are jumping on people for example I would discourage that and things you do not want) otherwise no formal training as it will just be frustrating for both of you.  Give all of you time to adjust you have a lifetime to train.  There are many ways to do things find what works for you and leave the rest.

So to make a long read short greyhounds are very adaptable and forgiving.  If you handle them with love respect and a soft touch.  You can not go wrong and can fine tune the behavior anytime.  If they have gotten used to doing something it just may take longer to change the behavior but given time, love and consistency it will.

One last tip talk to them as they understand more than we can ever know.

My first therapy dog was at a retirement home and one of the residents said “I bet you would like to look out the window”. To my astonishment she walked over and looked out.  I had never even said window and she came straight from the track.  

A foster would calm down if I made up stories and talked to her.  Her “mom”would call when she first got her and I would tell her stories to help her settle.  Her mom thought I was crazy 😜 until she saw that it worked.  It may just make you feel better too.  

Best wishes and you will be ok and do what is best for all.  They do take a long time to show you the dog they truly are.  It is a frustrating, scary, exciting and rewarding journey so give yourself a hug 🤗 and know you are not alone!

Thank you so much for your reassuring words! We've not tried any kind of formal training so far (except things like redirecting him away from the table when we're having dinner and towards his own treats and toys) and are mostly just letting him hang out with us. The main problem is that he can't be with us 24/7, even though he'd obviously prefer that. A lot of guidance I've been reading has been so firm on things like establishing expectations early, so I'm very worried that we're creating further problems that we'll have to deal with further down the line. I hope our dog is as adaptable as yours!

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Then you are doing it right.  Can I offer a suggestion to help get some exercise.  If you feed dry kibble and it is nice outside.  Have one person go outside with half or a fourth of his meal and spread it out in the garden he will have fun searching for his meal.  If he eats it all up you can do more just do not want to leave uneaten food in the garden to attract unwanted visitors.  Do put a word on it maybe “find” what every you want.  So he gets a command and will learn it is ok to eat things he find.  Will help later when you are on walks for him to leave the road kill at the side of the road.  You can also do this indoors to if you have the room to spread out.  You can also toss it and have him go get it.  Just know it has a time limit that is short.  My first greyhound would only do anything 5 times a day at the most that was it regardless if she did it on her own that was one of the 5. So know that is a thing too was very frustrating before I caught on to her limit.

You can also do a “leave it” piece of kibble in palm of closed hand the second he leaves it open your hand me he can have it.  
But that is the first step I am sure there is steps to it if you search or reach out when you are ready and I would be happy to help you.   Let me know how it is going.  If you are looking for some fun ways to teach, reach out and I will share a fun training book I found years ago by a greyhound owner I am not sure where it is or the title but I will do some searching.

Just because they look like a dog is misleading in our expectations since they are really over grown babies who need to explore and learn there place in a new world.

Again best wishes, patience and time

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Separation Anxiety is probably *the* most common issue we see in newly adopted greyhounds.  It can be challenging to deal with, but it's also completely normal.  You are not alone.

You can search through the forum for different threads on SA - there are a LOT of them - to see how others have dealt with this issue.  Just keep remembering that his entire world has changed overnight, probably a couple times, in a very short period of time.  He's scared, anxious, and struggling to find comfort with the only things he can, and there's bound to be some whining and crying.

Spend some time just trying to bond and connect with him - sit quietly in a room close to him reading a book or magazine or watching tv.  Hand feeding him his meals.  Playing with him in the garden.  Walking as he's able to.  Use treats and praise like like water to pour comfort on him.

Get some DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromones) diffusers for your house.  Consider some OTC calming supplements, and if necessary, talk with your vet about prescription anti anxiety medication.

For some step by step help, get the booklet (or ebook) "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell.  She's got good, workable advice for dog owners in a form that's easy to understand.  And that works!

Again, nothing of what you and your new dog are dealing with is unusual.  It's all very normal, and each of us has had or will have a dog who comes into our home and has issues settling in.  It takes time and patience and more time and patience - for the dog and for the humans involved - but you will get through this!!

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

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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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There are so many thoughtful and reassuring posts here that I'm not sure I have much to add, but having been in your position I know how much every bit of feedback can help, so: I have been there!! Try to give yourself a break and give your pup a break. It's a big change and you both need to adjust, and don't stress about setting a strict precedent in these first few days or even weeks. Dogs are adaptable and we all know that they change so much over these first few months. You can start training in earnest in a week or so when you feel on more solid ground.

As far as overnights, in my experience it's trial and error and depends on the individual dog. Our first greyhound HATED her crate at night despite what every other greyhound owner seemed to suggest... so we stopped putting her in there (though still keeping in an enclosed safe space) and she immediately became more relaxed and well-adjusted. Our second greyhound sleeps all night in his crate no problem -- as long as it's partially covered with a blanket and we only close the crate door when we're *really* going to bed (not when we're still brushing teeth/lights on etc). This is all to say that you might need to try a few different tactics to figure out what works best for him, and don't make too many changes at once.

Good luck! It will be okay!

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Most of us have at some point threatened to return our greyhound especially if it's our first but glad we didn't. Where he sleeps is up to you. In the UK and Europe most owners have their dogs sleep downstairs and in the USA they sleep in their bedrooms so don't get hung up about it. You've had dogs before so you know not to let them do something you later don't want them to.

The Greyhound Trust should be calling you once a week to start with to check how things are going. Ask for advice and if there is a local owner near you you could perhaps "accidentally" bump into at a local park just for a chat, Covid restrictions permitting.

You will get over this. You've made the first move by contacting this forum meanwhile with time, patience and a sense of humour you will come out the other side. Oh and earplugs :rotfl

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 so much to everyone who's replied, I really do appreciate it. We're going to give it a month and then see where we are - not that we're expecting things to be perfect in a month, not at all! But just see how I feel after a month, and how much (if any) progress we've made. If it feels like things are getting better then we'll persist. If I still feel like this, then we may reconsider and accept that it's not right for us, and that our dog may need a more experienced home, or a home with other dog friends. Mentally I really need to have that escape clause.

Our dog seems a little more relaxed today which is good. Last night he sort-of slept in the dining room while my partner slept on the sofa (the sofa isn't even a metre away from the dining room door). He cried when we shut the baby gate between the living and dining room, but he settled once it was open. If he'll accept sleeping downstairs without the gate then that would be absolutely fine - we just don't want him to come climbing upstairs. We're going to persist with this for now rather than have a baby gate on our bedroom and the dog on the landing, since he seems to find being stuck behind a gate (with us in sight) as upsetting as being alone. We don't shut him in his crate at night, it's just open as a den for him to go into when he wants. He chooses to go in there pretty regularly in the day, and hides his toys in there, and we've been able to shut the door on him for a few minutes at a time so long as we're nearby. 

Throwing some of his kibble around the living room (last night) and the garden (this morning) seems to have gone well. He's pretty good at waiting patiently for the food to be thrown, though he gives up on looking for things really quickly! 

We have an Adaptil diffuser (we got that before we got the dog, and it's been plugged in since the day before he arrived), and we've just ordered one of the collars as well. Our contact at the Trust recommended Valerian as a herbal supplement to try and it does seem to make him a little calmer in the evening. He can be happily distracted by a filled Kong for a little while, but he'll leave it if there's something else that gets his attention and then only remember about it later.

I've read the Patricia McConnell book and I really like how practical it is, though we're definitely not at the point of leaving him alone in the house yet so we'll need to adapt it. It's impossible to never, ever let him cry, though. I already feel trapped downstairs with him in the day, and if it's wrong to let him cry for even a second then I don't know what to do. Everything seems so split on this - it's okay to let him cry sometimes! No, never let him cry, if he cries then you've gone too far and need to do less! When I leave the room I do it with as little ceremony as possible and ignore him, and then come back with equally little ceremony. When he finally relaxes and lies down after I get back to the room I give him praise. Hopefully he'll eventually realise that I do come back every time?

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If I know all his needs have been met (potty, has enough activity for the time, etc).  Sometimes they just need to whine to get over it.

one foster that was a bounced, I was told she sleeps through the night.  First night she whined all night not constant. Just the really frustrating every 20 min from 10pm till 5am.  Just enough to let me think I might get to sleep...... Nope the first time it happened she went to to potty... then she just had to deal with it.  It took a few nights then went away.  I think I was the first place she was an only dog.  Her adopter went through a similar transition early on.  It got better she did learn to sleep all night in her crate after protesting.  Later got the run of the house!  Just time and patience and naps when you can.

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3 hours ago, Overwhelmed said:

I've read the Patricia McConnell book and I really like how practical it is, though we're definitely not at the point of leaving him alone in the house yet so we'll need to adapt it. It's impossible to never, ever let him cry, though. I already feel trapped downstairs with him in the day, and if it's wrong to let him cry for even a second then I don't know what to do. Everything seems so split on this - it's okay to let him cry sometimes! No, never let him cry, if he cries then you've gone too far and need to do less! When I leave the room I do it with as little ceremony as possible and ignore him, and then come back with equally little ceremony. When he finally relaxes and lies down after I get back to the room I give him praise. Hopefully he'll eventually realise that I do come back every time?

Personally, I think he's going to get upset initially until, as you said, he realises you always come back. They're used to kennels and company 247 so it's all a big change for him to get used to.

I used to (rightly or wrongly) shut him out the bathroom and could hear him pacing and crying outside the door. Or if the doorbell went and I received a delivery I would shut him in the lounge and he would just stand in front of the door whining. I felt absolutely horrible about it at the time, genuinely sick at hearing him upset. But he had to get used to the those two basic bits of time alone as a starting point. I persevered and very quickly he got used to me going for a shower and shutting him out - he'd just go and snooze nearby. And then I moved on to leaving the house in small increments. 

They get used to routine pretty quickly, *need* it even. So (and I know everyone does things differently - I'm not suggesting I'm right!) I would carry on as you are, be pragmatic about it and if he cries for a few minutes when you've left the room then just grit your teeth, rationalise that you are doing the right thing, don't beat yourself up and just carry on. 

He WILL get used to gradually having some alone time and before you know it you'll be pottering about and realise he hasn't panicked and run around after you for 5/10/15 minutes.... 

My grey is still clingy and loves to be sprawled out nearby. I don't envisage a time when he will every be completely happy being left alone, but at least after building it up I can go out for a few hours and not feel like the worst person on the planet ;)

 

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Gosh, I know a little time has passed on this and you've had heaps of validation but I just wanted to say how helpful this was for me to read to identify with how you are (were?) feeling. You seem to have rationalised it really well and are doing everything you can.

We adopted Mich on 12 Dec (also UK) and I felt exactly the same. I cried loads in the first week. It was such a surprise to me as we had prepared a lot (I thought) and had a proper rescue dog in the past with their own set of behavioural problems. I do love him now so much and basically rationalised it the exact same way as you. It is useful to have a month in your mind for sure (I did at first!) but hopefully once you get there you will be in love. Our Greyhound Trust was surprisingly unhelpful afterwards with the one issue we asked about. I hope yours is better!

Mich was entirely velcro in the way you describe at first. And he almost still is - but now he doesn't cry every time I use the loo, shower. We are at the stage where I can leave him downstairs with a frozen Kong for half an hour before he comes looking at me now. Progress is incredibly slow - I don't really believe in letting him cry too much (each to their own) - but it is there. We do have a bed upstairs in our spare room and started with him in our bedroom and then gently moved him out, foot by foot, into the spare room. Now we have the door open and he can come and check we are here. We are hopeful once he properly settles we might get him downstairs.

I found Patricia McConnnell's book didn't give me enough detail to feel confident (neurotic over here) and I really have loved both Julie Naismith's book (she has a really brilliant FB group too) and Malena DeMartini-Price's. They are a bit bigger so go gentle on yourself - nothing has to be solved this instant, or even in a couple of weeks.

Good luck, and I hope you are okay!

 

 

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