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Hi there, 

I am really looking for some honest advice and support.  I have adopted a 4.5 year old greyhound and have had him just over a week (very early days).

The rescue centre said he was very quiet but playful, great with people and other dogs, fully trained and would be okay by himself for a few hours at a time.....everything seems to be the opposite though.

I know he was housed before and returned due to a "change on circumstances" but don't know anything else.

My main worry is that I am.doing something or everything wrong and making him miserable. He barks aggressively at people, snarls and tries to lunge at other dogs, has accidents in the house and the few times I've left him home (just to nip to the shops and to a dentist appointment) he has howled and barked and paced the whole time (I set up a doggy cam).

I feel a bit soul destroyed because I've grown up around dogs and never expected this. I know he has been through a lot and needs time to adjust, so I'm not expecting a perfect dog with a perfect friendship. I know that it will take a lot of patience and work, but I hate to think that he may be miserable because of me and the leaving him alone is breaking my heart a bit because I don't have any other option, he can't be with me 24/7.

Does anyone have and advice? He bit me yesterday as well which was my fault as I reached over him to pick up my phone and it startled him and now my arm is cut and throbbing and I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed I think, but I want to give him a loving safe home and worry that he won't find that with me because I have to go out without him sometimes. 

😭😭😭

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I'm a new greyhound parent too (3 months in) but I wanted to share my experience so far and hopefully it may offer you some comfort.

Our adoption group described our dog as "confident and independent". But when he came to our home, he was extremely velcro and would bark and cry nonstop if I walk out of his sight for more than 2 seconds (tried to do some SA training). We gave up after a few attempts because it was pretty obvious he was stressed out. At about 4 weeks in, one day he miracally stopped following us around or cry when we go out of his sight. Now sometimes he would just stay on his bed in the living room while we are on the second floor working. Now I can see a bit of his confident and independent self.

My humble opinion is that your dog is still really stressed out with the constant change of environment, therefore the barking and separation anxiety. These behaviors are fear based so with time, training (which builds up his confidence and self control) and your love and patience, he will settle in and you will have a different dog.

A side note: dear husband also grew up with dogs. During our first two months he was also going through a lot of stress. our dog also snapped at him once when he manhandled the dog. DH was so upset at one point he was considering returning the dog as well. On the contrary I did not grow up with dog so our dog's "onboarding" was way easier on my simply because I did not have any expectations.

 

Edited by DoeEyeDog
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19 hours ago, Koalatronic said:

My main worry is that I am.doing something or everything wrong and making him miserable. He barks aggressively at people, snarls and tries to lunge at other dogs, has accidents in the house and the few times I've left him home (just to nip to the shops and to a dentist appointment) he has howled and barked and paced the whole time (I set up a doggy cam).

I feel a bit soul destroyed because I've grown up around dogs and never expected this. I know he has been through a lot and needs time to adjust, so I'm not expecting a perfect dog with a perfect friendship. I know that it will take a lot of patience and work, but I hate to think that he may be miserable because of me and the leaving him alone is breaking my heart a bit because I don't have any other option, he can't be with me 24/7.

Does anyone have and advice? He bit me yesterday as well which was my fault as I reached over him to pick up my phone and it startled him and now my arm is cut and throbbing and I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed I think, but I want to give him a loving safe home and worry that he won't find that with me because I have to go out without him sometimes. 

You poor thing. It sounds as though it's all very stressful. Firstly.... breathe! 

You're not doing anything wrong. You're not making him miserable. You're not at fault! He's just overwhelmed, anxious and struggling with his new environment. Completely normal and you'll find a lot of grey newbies go through exactly the same things. I know I did and recall the first month of so was incredibly stresfull and I worried about all the same things (was I doing what he needed? Would he ever be happy?...etc etc).

It's a tough time when you first bring them home and takes a lot of adjusting (for you too). Not knowing his past as well, "change of circumstances" isn't helpful at all. Sometimes the adoption centres put a good spin on things as obviously they need to rehome dogs, but it would be helpful to get a full honest history so you are completely aware of what you are dealing with. 

I'm sure you'll get a lot of good advice along the way. Just reading through the posts on Greytalk will help. 

Separation anxiety is a VERY common issue. It is 'fixable' and you will, in time, be able to leave him. It will take patience, time and training to build it up but you will get there.... honest. 

Also sleep startle is definitely something to be aware of. I found that my grey was very nervous and startled a lot initially, I was snapped at a few times in the first few months. Again, time and patience can help with this (again, lots of threads on this topic). 

It's very early days and greys take a long time to adjust - a LOT longer than other breeds. So I'm not surprised you're struggling, especially in comparison to other dogs you've dogs you have had. I felt the same and genuinely couldn't understand how a grey could be so different. 

For what it's worth - I've had my boy 11 months now and he's gone from an anxious, snappy, introverted dog who couldn't bear to be left alone for even a minute and was VERY difficult on walks to a lovely, cheery, fun bag of farty sweetness. It hasn't always been easy and has involved a lot of training. But if you are willing to put the work in and persevere it is worth it. 

Good luck! 

 

 

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Thank you both for your kind response.  I had typed a reply to each of you individually a few days ago, but whatever I have done wrong, neither reply actually posted haha.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your encouragement and for sharing your experiences.

We've made a tiny bit of progress in that now I can in most cases leave him in the living room alone for a few minutes at a time.  It doesn't always work, but it seems to be okay about 80% of the time..…..I even managed to get an almost 10 minute bath last night haha. SO that is great.

We've not really made progress anywhere else, so he is still quite aggressive and refusing to walk (I think some of that is stubbornness as it is very cold and wet here just now) and has had a couple more accidents in the house (plus he tried to bite me again last night), but today I think I will just give him plenty of space and quiet and not attempt to make any physical contact and just keep working on building up the time in separate rooms.  Aiming for 5 minute intervals today.

 

Fingers crossed :)

Thanks again

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4 minutes ago, Koalatronic said:

We've made a tiny bit of progress in that now I can in most cases leave him in the living room alone for a few minutes at a time.  It doesn't always work, but it seems to be okay about 80% of the time..…..I even managed to get an almost 10 minute bath last night haha. SO that is great.

 

Awww. A TEN MINUTE bath?! Well done! Sometimes the small victories can seem huge :D

You must be about two weeks in now? You're doing well to be able to leave him alone in a room - so well done for that. 

What was the situation with the bite last night? Was it similar to the last one (eg you leant over him?)

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4 hours ago, Feefee147 said:

Awww. A TEN MINUTE bath?! Well done! Sometimes the small victories can seem huge :D

You must be about two weeks in now? You're doing well to be able to leave him alone in a room - so well done for that. 

What was the situation with the bite last night? Was it similar to the last one (eg you leant over him?)

Haha it did feel like a bit of a victory.

It was at night he went to bite me. Misunderstanding again I think. He jumped onto the bed and lay beside me and I moved my arm out his way and he snarled and went for it. I was quicker though, so he didn't actually catch me.

I'm just trying to take each hour as it comes. He's been good most of today but then in the last hour peed in the hall and refused to go a walk 😅

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I am no expert but have found with some dogs it is best to feed them and then just go about your business for a few days (or sigh...weeks).  They will come to you when they feel comfortable.  Must you leash walk or do you have a yard/garden?  

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23 minutes ago, Hubcitypam said:

I am no expert but have found with some dogs it is best to feed them and then just go about your business for a few days (or sigh...weeks).  They will come to you when they feel comfortable.  Must you leash walk or do you have a yard/garden?

Yeah this afternoon I have pretty much left him alone at the other side of the sofa and then had a Teams meeting, so about 10 minutes ago he did the "rub my belly at once human" thing, wo I gave him a little rub and then left him alone again :)

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