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Time off work to help settle new hound?


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Hi all,

New 'round these parts; please do advise if this post would be better suited to another section. I also apologise if this has been asked a thousand times before - my searches haven't turned up any specific discussion but that doesn't mean it's not there!

We're preparing to adopt our first hound. I plan to take some time off to help with settling, so we'll have some time to take things very slow with all the new experiences, and so that alone training can be done in stages. I'm hoping that ten days might be long enough to do this? I know that every dog is different and the plan could go entirely out the window ("best laid plans", and all that), and I'll take pacing cues from how well the dog seems to be settling in, but my basic plan is to spend three quiet days at home without even leaving the property, and then another week introducing short neighbourhood walks, slowly increasing time spent alone over the whole period.

I'm also planning to sleep in the living room with the dog until they seem to be comfortable enough in their new environment for me to return to the bedroom with the door open and a baby gate so they can always come and check on us (we're in a small house and there simply is not room for a dog bed in the bedroom, or even in the corridor outside). I'm hoping that being present and available overnight will keep stress levels low overnight, and leave us with some stress to spare for working through alone time training during the day.

I'd love to know whether others have taken time off work, and if so how long? Does my 10-day plan sound at all reasonable?

Thanks!

Edited by LifeWithLuca
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I wrote about my new greyhounds first 5 months in introduction and biography section. Hope you find it helpful.  You may find that ten days is fine or a little long depending on how things go.  I am on number 9.  I got my first one from a track vet before there were many adoption groups around.  I just went to the clinic an hour away got the dogs and was on my way.  I got some very good advice from a new vet that could get us in that day.  I really lucked into a good one.  

1.) I was told to have her on a leash and go about my day with her following me for an hour or so at a time and then put her up (crate whatever area is going to be hers).   This has served me well and I have not had issues with SA.  I could have been just lucky too.  I try and find out what the gh schedule is and follow that as far as potty time, feeding, turn out walks, and stick to it for a few days and slowly adjust to what my schedule will be.  

2.) Never let the dog do anything that you do not want it to as it settles in.  Example if you do not want it in the kitchen do not take gh into kitchen as part of the house tour.

3.) Muzzles are your friend but gh can still do damage to small animals with them on.

Greyhounds are wonderful, they can be very different from other dogs.  They are very tender hearted and respond to gentle tones.  Harsh tones or frustrated tones can shut them down.  They like to be talked to,  so explain things to them (it is ok to be the crazy gh person on the block).

Enjoy your time off and exploring with your new hound just be sure you are not the gh whole world until you leave and go back to work.  I think that is one reason for SA.  One last thing do not let the gh on furniture for a while they need to earn the privilege, and know that you are letting them up they need to share.  It is not only for them.  Unless it is only for them.  
 

Enjoy this is a special time with lots of ups and down.  Take it slow and be gentle with yourself and your new friend.  Both of your worlds will be changed the minute you take the leash.

 

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Good advice from 1Moregrey.

2 hours ago, 1Moregrey said:

2.) Never let the dog do anything that you do not want it to as it settles in.  Example if you do not want it in the kitchen do not take gh into kitchen as part of the house tour.

Also include not giving your hound titbits when preparing food or feeding him/her when you are eating.

Don't be surprised if your new hound doesn't do anything for the first few days and let them come to you when they are ready. Grace ignored me for the first two days apart from eating and going to the loo.

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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LifeWithLuca -- so many apologies in just your first post!  :)  You did fine with posting, just like you will do fine with your hound.  (Will the hound's name be Luca?)  

I agree with the suggestions above, and will add a stronger recommendation that 10 days may be too long.  Even with alone training, you and the hound will be together much more than in your regular work schedule, and you do not want the hound getting used to that.  I've never taken more than a long weekend, and that didn't break any of my new hounds.  :)  If you still feel uneasy about this, maybe you could space it out more -- take a half day off after a few full days at work, for example.  You'll also want to save some time off for any emergency vet trips, etc.  

Your sleeping plans sound good to me.  Warning --  sleeping with greyhounds can be addictive!  There is something about the deep, quiet, regular breathing that puts me immediately into a Zen state.  

Enjoy every minute with your new friend.  Yes, let him come to you, but when he does, treat him like he is a confident, happy hound and that is what he will learn to be with his new family.  

siggy_z1ybzn.jpg

Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Just to be the party pooper - our grey was a very anxious boy for a LONG time. I started on SA training straight away and had to go from scratch and build up very slowly - 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 12 minutes....etc and it took months before he could be left alone even for an hour or so without agonising and crying his eyeballs out (poor neighbours!)

He was (and still is sometimes) a very clingy, anxious chap so perhaps I got a 'duff' one in that respect and they usually adjust quicker, it sounds as though that is the case looking at previous comments. 

Whatever happens - good luck and enjoy :-)

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58 minutes ago, Feefee147 said:

He was (and still is sometimes) a very clingy, anxious chap so perhaps I got a 'duff' one in that respect and they usually adjust quicker, it sounds as though that is the case looking at previous comments. 

Whatever happens - good luck and enjoy :-)

Wonder if he would of done better in a multi dog home if he was an only dog. Some just are so afraid of the world jumping out at them, they get there confidence from others dogs.  I have known a few to do well as pairs and when something happens to there “rock”.  They regress back to SA.  
 

It comes down to being able to manage behavior and training.  If they were to easy we would all be so bored.  😂.  Glad there are people who can love them all and let them thrive in there own way❤️

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18 minutes ago, 1Moregrey said:

Wonder if he would of done better in a multi dog home if he was an only dog. Some just are so afraid of the world jumping out at them, they get there confidence from others dogs.  I have known a few to do well as pairs and when something happens to there “rock”.  They regress back to SA.  
 

It comes down to being able to manage behavior and training.  If they were to easy we would all be so bored.  😂.  Glad there are people who can love them all and let them thrive in there own way❤️

Definitely. He is just not comfortable being alone, even now (a year in). That said, he's a lovely boy and is a lot more relaxed and has done brilliantly in all other areas so time, gentle patience and training have done wonders for his confidence overall.

I really wanted to get another once he settled a bit (he was rehomed elsewhere previously and attacked by another dog so was very nervous of other dogs initially). But, alas, a surprise pregnancy put that on hold as I don't think I could cope with another greyhound AND a baby.

Maybe one day.... 

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It's great to have a plan, but the most important thing is being flexible and adaptable to what the dog needs in those first days. If you're calm and relaxed, the dog will be calm and relaxed. Rules for the first couple days are easy - potties are done outside only, dogs don't chew/steal/destroy things that are not for dogs, don't bite other living creatures (but if it gets to that point you've gone very wrong somewhere else). And it's your job to set them up so they can be successful at those things - treat her like you're potty training a new puppy, put away anything that might be temping to chomp.

I recently welcomed a new hound after 10 years with the most perfect one. My plan for her first few days was just me and her, sticking to the house and yard. But by the second day she NEEDED a walk to get out and explore and a few people stopped by uninvited to meet her. And it all was fine.

Good luck, your life will be so much better with a greyhound in it!

Lila Football
Jerilyn, missing Lila (Good Looking), new Mistress to Wiki (PJ Wicked).
 
 

 

 

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Wow, thank you so much for all the advice and encouragement!

It’s great to hear that 10 days could turn out to be too long - I had wondered whether it might be. I can see how it could be unfair to let the hound get used to having me around so much, and then go back to nearly full-time work. I’ll adjust this plan and take a little less time off.

And yes, the name will be Luca or Nora, depending on sex :)

Thanks again, everyone.

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