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Progress and then Regression

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Hello there, I am new to this group and it seems like the perfect place to seek advice over my concerns!

I adopted my girl, Saffie, about two months ago.  She came to me very very timid and shy, had never been in a house before and could tell instantly she had a dislike for men (I have a male flatmate).  I knew it would be a long settling in process, firstly wouldn't leave my bedroom, had to teach her how to go up and down stairs (I live on the fourth floor), traffic and noise was very scary for her.  Getting her to go out was a battle in the early days, we would walk around the gardens of our complex constantly as this is the only quiet place, we then went on to walk her out in the country when her confidence built and she was more settled in.  I then started very slowly to try and get her used to walking near traffic and noises by walking at night, with another dog etc etc and she was great! Ended up being able to walk her along the road no problem.

Her progress was amazing recently and she was beginning to act like an actual dog! I was so so happy with her progress!  But now all of a sudden she has drastically regressed.  She has started just stopping on our usual walks, will not move, I have been stuck for 30 mins before.  I know what her fear response is like as she showed it many times in the beginning and she does not display any type of fear.  She doesn't care at all about treats outside of the house (not even high value like cheese or sausages) so that doesn't help, I have tried doing the tight circles, nudging with my knee behind her leg and pulling does not help whatsoever.  She does this at the most inconvenient time and I end up having to turn back and then she's fine.  This was never an issue until last week.  Whenever she didn't want to go anywhere I would pick up her front end for a few steps, put her down and she would walk along fine.  She also doesn't show any excitement for walks anymore (she used to get up and wag her tail when she heard the lead and me putting my shoes on).  I have to force her out the door and down the stairs for the toilet again and I just feel so mean but cannot for the life of me understand why she has gone back to acting the way she was before when we had made so much progress together.  She no longer looks like the happy dog she had become.

Also I think I should add she has been spending a lot more time with another dog, joint walks and I look after her once a week.  She then spent the whole day with the other dog and away from me for the first time (she knows the dogs owner and has been around her since the start), it is after this that her behaviour completely changed.  I was thinking maybe she is missing having another dog around, being used to always being with other dogs.  But I'm not sure that would affect her this much though. 

Thank you for reading! Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! 

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Hi. A dog's 'typical' behavioural response to fear, and/or of feeling overwhelmed, is the fight/flight/freeze response. I'd guess that the 'regress' in behaviour is actually progress but your well-meaning efforts to help are now overtaking her ability to cope. Remember the timid dog you had at first. She's still that same timid dog.

Try dial back on the training plan to a point where she used to be comfortable, possibly back to quiet walks in the country, or even quiet walks in the garden, or whatever, and start again from her happy place. Rinse and repeat. Can't tell what may have happened with other people or other dogs though.

Since dogs can't talk, my Max has learned to plant his feet (freeze) :) during walks to tell me 'something' - sometimes best known to him, but there's always a reason. Sometimes he hears distant thunder and wants to head for the safety of home. Cheers.



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2 months is still a very short time in the arc of adjusting to home life for a Greyhound and it honestly sounds like you are doing really well with your girl.  She's gradually settling in and adjusting and, sometimes as old issues resolve, new ones appear.  Oh, joy!  I've dealt with a timid, fearful hound but have never dealt with a "statueing" hound.  However, I know that the freezing on walks behavior is fairly common.  I'm going to suggest that you use the search function within this training forum--top right of screen, 2nd tier--to search for the terms "statue", "statueing" and maybe "freezing".  You'll find lots of threads with great advice on this issue.

My Spirit was/is a timid boy.  It took him a few years, but he now goes to the fence to get petting and attention from my neighbors son-in-law.  Watching your shy, timid hound blossom is a real joy.

Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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