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Refusal to leave for walks, freezing on walks

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Hi all. I've had my girl Fiona (3, stopped racing in May) for 3 months, right off the racetrack. I started fostering her but decided to adopt last week and have been panicking since, she's my first dog I've owned on my own.

I live in an apartment with no yard, and since the beginning she's been a stubborn (I know this translates to anxious) gal. Her personality is coming out a bit, but her freezing has gotten much worse.

We started with short walks in the hot summer heat, and she did okay at first, but always froze a bit. I think it got much worse around July with the fireworks. Now, I can hardly get her out of bed to go out for walks.

We go to the park in the morning where she gets to play for a bit, pees and poos for a few times. After that, she refuses to go outside in the afternoon or evening. We've tried making a routine out of it but she simply won't even get out of bed anymore.

She used to wake me up excited to go out for about 2 weeks consistently, but now won’t at all. 

She isn't food motivated when on walks, and I feel SO guilty for having pushed her to go out when she clearly didn't want to. I worry that did a lot more harm than good.

 I don't really pull on the leash, rather push her bum. I'm worried about her ever being able to enjoy a walk, and even more worried about her mental health and physical health from holding her pee. 

I feel so guilty and as if she is starting to hate me. I'm second guessing my decision, and feeling. so hopeless

PS She has no corns on her feed or any injuries/ailments, it's almost certainly fear. 

PPS We have a vet appointment next week for her first real checkup after her spay

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Hello jujubean1008

I really understand your frustration my little girl does The Greyhound freeze quite often. She’s very stubborn and bossy. She likes to go her own way. Sometimes when she stops she will turn a certain direction to let me know where she wants to go. If she wants to go home I understand it’s too hot for her or she’s just not in the mood. Sometimes she wants to go in a different direction. Sometimes she wants to go out the back door, and then sometime she wanted to go out the front door. When I get desperate for her to walk I let her lead.

Every day is a challenge and I have learned that pushing her little behind on the road doesn’t help much so I’ve learned a trick her, when she gets a little fuss which is often, I know to trick her by telling her to wait and I stand still and I make her wait until I’m ready and she will reluctantly walk, and then I will say wait again as if I’m training her.

And sometimes I have a little talk with her and she changes her mind, but when I say “wait” and make her pause and let her know I’m in charge most times it works out as she will start sniffing, walking into her thing. Then she will quickly turn around. 

Many times she’s just not in the mood to go for a walk. I have learned that she knows her own body and she doesn’t have to for two or three walks a day. So I let her be and she will let me know if she wants to go out which is another challenge. 

I also started paying more attention to her body language. Sometimes it’s hard to even get her out the door and I’ve learned she wants to go out the front or back. And when we get outside she will face towards a house or a certain direction and she will keep staring in that direction. That is the direction she wants to go. And now it seems that she wants to take control and I try to make her wait during our walk and she starts to learn that I am the boss but it’s hard to stay consistent when they’re not feeling good.

Greyhounds have learned to hold their urine and feces for quite some time so they don’t spoil and make a mess in their crate that they have to sleep in overnight. 

I have taken Vesa to many parks. She is not fond of children screaming and playing, Motorized bikes or boards or vehicles. She’s not fond of bicycles. But especially if she doesn’t like motorized bikes going over a bridge. 
I don’t force her to do anything she doesn’t really want to do. But if we go over a boardwalk that she’s going to do in a motorized bike comes by I pulled her to the side and stand to the side with her with my hand on her side. She’s good with that. 

Fireworks of the worst things for animals and I do not take her out during fireworks I tried to take her out before the explosion start. And I never leave her side. 

Dogs get anxiety when they are they don’t understand, feel like they are in harms way and don’t have a shelter to run to. 

actually I was pushing my little girl down the sidewalk this morning and she is as stubborn as a mule, but after making her wait and pause take a couple more steps turn HER direction whatever you have to do, she may start liking the journey, her way of course! 
if she continuously wants to go home. There could possibly be something outside that she’s frightened of.

I hope this helps. I hope you have a Gretyful day.




Vesa is a Petite Red, 60 lb., DOB 06/01/2016, Adopted 08/2019. Vesa is allergic to all protiens , peanut butter, psyllium husk, egg, dairy and many other food allergies. She has been diagnosed with IBD and currently being treated with Chemo and Prednisone. 

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First...Congratulations on adopting a greyhound. Second...don't panic and don't worry about breaking her. Relax and enjoy her developing into a wonderful companion, as long as she has food, water, a comfy bed or sofa and gets to pee and poop outside she will be happy. Everything else is a bonus :D

Freezing is what most greyhounds do during the first few months while they get used to their new world and build their trust in you. Grace is also frightened of noisy children, footballs being kicked or bounced but she is now OK with noisy traffic, although that took her sometime to get used to. We go for her main walk early in the morning before the noisy inhabitants of the world have woken up. During the day I will take her in the car if I'm nipping to the shops (but not if she'll get to hot waiting in the car) or going for a coffee at a friends house. Sometimes she'll go for a short walk but more often than not she refuses, although I do make sure she's had a pee before bed time.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time


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  • 1 month later...

Any words of wisdom to help an owner (me) of a 7yo girl grey who has become a reluctant walker due to local squawking and sometimes swooping mynah birds.  They have never actually connected with her but as soon as she hears them it’s time to go home!! She loves car, beach, shopping centre or night walking - as long as there are none of these birds around.  Other birds no problem.   Freezing in middle of road can be a little problematic at times 🤣. Ah the joys of grey personalities 😊

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Mynah birds swooping are not a problem I've encountered in the UK :D but I guess it's the same for any situation, gentle exposure until your greyhound gets used to them. Unfortunately I guess you never know where or when the little flying devils will attack.

Freezing is a common greyhound problem, freezing in the middle of the road is doubly so :(. Put a couple of fingers through the collar and with a slight lifting motion, as if you're about to bowl your dog down the bowling ally, and walk.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time


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Oh, my goodness, I was just about to create a post about this...but now I'll just add to yours, and hope that it helps!  I just created a helpful video about greyhound "statuing."  It took a lot of research to put it together, but it was worth it; to be able to show what goes on in their heads, and how you can get her moving again.  I like Sandy's "Wait" technique, too. 


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Thank you, I feel much better knowing I am on the right track, gentle leadership!  My greyhound Vesa responds so much better since I have been leading....even though she is VERY strong willed and wants to go HER WAY.  Even to the point of going out the front door or back door.  I love this video, I have always thought she was hallucinating, spacing out, in a spell, or not feeling well, and I have always believed she has Post Traumatic Stress! Greyhounds have been jolted from their secure structured schedule. Vesa is unique and I have to listen to her, she is sometimes not feeling good, and she is going through a lot physically.  Walking in a circle workdsI will check for corns...love the toothpaste trick.  

Little Vesa retired before she turned 3 years old. Her name was SE'S KC ALI and she won 13 1st place and 12  2nd place races!  She is a petite 60 lb greyhound. When I met her she jumped all over me and stuck to me like velcro ever since.  Come to find out Vesa has many food intolerances...so do I. That is how GOD works, he gives us all the right animal to help.s

It has been a long road, but I started treated her as if she could possibly have pancreatitis, cooked for her and quit my job to care for her. After much testing she is allergic to all protein and she has IBD. Currently on CHEMO and Prednisone. She is doing much well! She is only allowed Purina HA Vegetarian and she never complains. Never has treats...she doesn't know what those nasties are and no bones which is sad. 

Walking her is so much a challenge since I have to LISTEN and WATCH CLOSELY since I can't smell and see like she does....and I have finally learned her language and needs.  

She communicates to me in so many gentle ways that is would be easy to miss if I didn't learn from her language and body language.  She has taught me so much and still... I am the student  here! She had a hard life, and I let her be her!

Thank you so much for this video, I absolutely love it. If Vesa steps on any little pebble, or the leach gets turned under her front leg..... she stops and lifts her paw! She is waiting for me to rescue, and I feel to proud to rescue her over and over.  She is teaching me so much about life!

Vesa is a Petite Red, 60 lb., DOB 06/01/2016, Adopted 08/2019. Vesa is allergic to all protiens , peanut butter, psyllium husk, egg, dairy and many other food allergies. She has been diagnosed with IBD and currently being treated with Chemo and Prednisone. 

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Add Stanley to the list of greys who 'statue' with regularity at the beginning of walks. The reasons can vary, but this is VERY common. In Stanley's case, he is not a fan of any motor noise, be it from lawn machinery or large trucks (he is accustomed to cars however...thank goodness). Often times it isn't even a sound that I can barely hear, but maybe a lawnmower's engine on the next block, or a truck passing by on the larger road two streets away, etc.

Sometimes if I walk behind him then continue on the other side of the body, he will follow.. SOMETIMES that works but not always. There's plenty of time to try all kinds of remedies when statue-ing is involved.! I also often take this opportunity to give him a quick grooming in our driveway, be it a hand-brushing/scratching or (if I can remember) bringing the grooming tool in my pocket.  While he's standing still--a quick exfoliation session.  Then when I'm done with making his fur fly all over the driveway, I whisper to him a quick "Okay!", begin walking and he will follow (again...'sometimes').

Don't worry, allow for extra time, and good luck!



Was a subscriber in the mid 2000s (the aughts!).  Reactivated in 2021.  What'd I miss?

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