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sleeping on the sofa, worried about sleep startle


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Hi all. I plan to adopt a greyhound soon and need advice on sleeping arrangements. I live in a small house with a small kitchen and living room downstairs. I don't really go upstairs to the bedroom at all. I sleep on the sofa and fall asleep watching tv. I have a crate already and I'm going to get 2 dog beds, one for the crate and one for the floor. The crate will be in the living room next to the sofa. So I know my future greyhound will want to sit on the sofa and probably want to sleep there. I don't mind the dog sitting and sleeping on the sofa as long as I'm awake, but when bedtimes comes, I'll want to dog to vacate my sofa so I can go to sleep. What do I do, how do I get the dog to get off the sofa when I need it to?

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Good question!  When you want your hound off the couch just clip a leash to the collar, say "down", and reward with a small treat once he/she is off the couch. Guide to the dog bed and give another small treat when dog goes there. Limit treat giving "just because" so it will be more effective for behavior modification.

Never just pull on collar to remove a hound from the couch. Since some sleep with their eyes open, always speak to your hound first.

Great information on this page: https://www.greyhoundfriends.com/adopt/resources/
I wrote the New Adopters Guide.
I also wrote the Lost Greyhound Emergency booklet. https://www.greyhoundfriends.com/2022/06/lost-greyhound-booklet/

Both of those will come as a free pdf download.

 

Freshy (Droopys Fresh), NoAh the podenco orito, Howie the portuguese podengo maneto
Angels: Rita the podenco maneta, Lila, the podenco, Mr X aka Denali, Lulu the podenco andaluz, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella),  Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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A dog doesn't have to be on the couch. You can make that a rule as soon as he arrives. That makes things much easier. And not all dogs want to be on the couch. Neither of my two greyhounds ever even considered getting on the furniture, even after spending time with dogs who did.

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

 

 

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Not all greyhounds suffer with sleep startle if that's your worry. Neither of my two do but as Jerlyn says they don't have to go on the sofa if you don't want them to. I only encouraged mine to do so as I have rheumatoid arthritis and the floor is a long way down.

Also you might want to start using your bedroom as greyhounds can be very noisy when they start licking various parts in the middle of the night and they might have a gas problem :blink:

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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You can either clip a lead to her collar and ask her to "Off" or throw some treats on the floor and say the same "Off" in a nice but firm voice. After she's complied, follow up with a "Thank you" and lots of pets. 

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. AnnIE Oooh M

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden 1-4.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Welcome to you and your new hound,  there is lots of good information for you to look up on GT.

My greyhound does not like her toes trimmed, they were trimmed on the couch once she will not get back on it for nothing.

Be sure to be well rested before you bring your greyhound home and if you can arrange it be able to sleep in if you need it the next day.  Just remember that this could be the first time your greyhound will be separated from other greyhound.  It is a big adjustment with time and patience you will find a good routine there just may be some bumps in the road.  

There are also things that you can do to help get over/manage sleep startle in some dogs too.  Search sleep startle for some ideas if you need them.   Post pictures and ask questions
 

 

 


 

 

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There *will* be whining.  Just expect it.  Any new dog in a new situation in a new home with new people is going to whine.  There is no way around it.  The good news is the behavior should extinguish itself in time.

Dogs are quite capable of learning the difference between day and night - on the couch during the day, off the couch (and in the crate) at night.  We teach all our dogs commands for moving them around right from the start.  "Off" means off the whatever-they're-sitting-on.  "On your bed" means just that.   "Scoot" means scoot over and give me some room on the d@mn couch!   "Kennel up" (your dog may know this one already) means go in your kennel and settle down.  Just decide on a command name and say it every time you ask them to do the maneuver. 

Remember to praise and treat when when they do it right.  Patience and consistency are key.

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

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, Lilly

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On 3/15/2023 at 8:57 AM, Jerilyn said:

And not all dogs want to be on the couch. Neither of my two greyhounds ever even considered getting on the furniture, even after spending time with dogs who did.

:nod Jerilyn and I apparently get our dogs from the same batch o' weirdos, because none of my three have ever tried the furniture either. A few days ago I even put Doolin's front legs on the outdoor couch on our porch, and he hopped the rest of the way up and then immediately back down. You never know!

53827132849_248d9686fd_o.jpg

Rachel with Doolin Doodle Dooooo, boss cat Tootie, and feline squatters Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Missing gentlemen kitties MudHenry, and Richard and our gorgeous, gutsy girlhounds
 Sweep and Willa:heart

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24 minutes ago, ramonaghan said:

:nod Jerilyn and I apparently get our dogs from the same batch o' weirdos

This made me laugh so hard! :rofl Because it's true.  Give your weirdos a smooch from me.

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

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Jerilyn said:

This made me laugh so hard! :rofl Because it's true.  Give your weirdos a smooch from me.

Delivered! Please do the same if you can locate the bandit. :ph34r

53827132849_248d9686fd_o.jpg

Rachel with Doolin Doodle Dooooo, boss cat Tootie, and feline squatters Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Missing gentlemen kitties MudHenry, and Richard and our gorgeous, gutsy girlhounds
 Sweep and Willa:heart

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11 minutes ago, ramonaghan said:

Delivered! Please do the same if you can locate the bandit. :ph34r

She's right here with me. She doesn't like to be out of my sight unless she's doing bandit business. :ph34r

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

 

 

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1 hour ago, ramonaghan said:

:nod Jerilyn and I apparently get our dogs from the same batch o' weirdos, because none of my three have ever tried the furniture either. A few days ago I even put Doolin's front legs on the outdoor couch on our porch, and he hopped the rest of the way up and then immediately back down. You never know!

36 minutes ago, Jerilyn said:

She's right here with me. She doesn't like to be out of my sight unless she's doing bandit business. :ph34r

You know she's knot on the couch :lol

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. AnnIE Oooh M

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden 1-4.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Apollo has sleep startle and sleeps with his eyes open.  (tongue hanging out too, but that's for another thread!)

My solution to the startle problem is this...I start by saying his name as I approach..."Apollo, are you sleeping?  Hey buddy, I'm coming up here, what are you doing?"    Then I start rubbing his hind leg and then up to the chest  and back, talking the entire time.  Usually I wait until his breathing changes.  Usually it's a sigh or something.   That's when I will rub on his neck or head and he's aware that it's me.  

If I need him to move while he's sound asleep, I get a high value treat and place it a few inches in front of his nose.  When he wakes up I toss it to where I want him to go.  He doesn't like couches though and prefers his bed... or my comfy bed.

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Buddy’s from the same gene pool as Wiki, Doolin and Willa. The sofa is too squishy underfoot, and Buds prefers the ground under his feet to be firm and unmoving.

Your dog will probably love that you are in the same room as him as he won’t have to sleep alone. The whining will probably subside when he’s used to his environment- but it’s the middle of the night flapattack that could shred your nerves!

https://www.pinterest.fr/pin/859413541370510139/

You could look up Rich Skipworth’s Greyhound glossary for other such quirky traits, including the ‘glopping’ that HeyRunDog mentions above!

Buddy Molly 🌈 5/11/10-10/10/23

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi!  I just wanted to say welcome to GT. Ask LOTS of questions.  So many great resources here.  Just remember, each dog is an individual.  No matter how much research you do, you'll have specific questions for the dog you get.  

Best of luck to you!  It's an awesome adventure!

 

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  • 6 months later...

Ark has serious sleep startle and there is absolutely no touching him in his bed, asleep or awake. He started sleeping on my bed early on, which I was warned about but he has never bitten me while sleeping with him. The problem tho is if he is on the bed before me, he will growl if I attempt to 

lay down anywhere near him. My solution was to throw a treat to the opposite bottom corner of the bed, when he moves to get it, I can safely get into bed, and we're good after that.

In the morning, he is always laying next to me, I make a playful sound and I can read his body posture that he is ready to cuddle or play. Recently he has started going to bed on his own bed and coming into my bed in the middle of the night - problem solved!

He does have aggression issues and has bitten me about 4 times - non bed related. Once when pushing his rear end lightly to get him to move..snap! Another time, we were in a hall way that wasn't well lit, I put a piece of material up to the side of his leg to measure it and snap! 

He was returned from two homes before I adopted him for biting, I've had him for three years and I am not giving up on him - this is his forever home. He has never drawn blood and I live alone so I don't have anyone else to worry about. I have recently had hip X-rays done to see if he is protecting his back end as he often whimpers when going to lay down on the floor - we'll see. He is on Fluoxetine, the rescue group had him on canna companion but the vet does not believe it will help, it's also very expensive. Wondering if anyone else has a similar situation.

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Dear Jeter had sleep aggression.  I did not allow him on my bed.  I did allow him up on the sofa with me for a few hours, especially in the mornings, because he was not in deep sleep then.  I never touched him while he was sleeping, at any time.  I had him get down before he went into deep sleep.  He was the most affectionate dog ever when not startled when asleep.  But when that happened, he went into full Cujo mode.  Not advancing on me, but ferocious growling with teeth bared.  And he didn't apologize once he was awake, either.  

I would have been afraid to have him on my bed.  

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Sweep never outgrew her sleep startle and actually got a little worse as she aged in terms of not wanting us to pet her on her bed. For the first several years with us, she got regular massages in her bed but in the last couple she would snark at us once she'd had enough. She was as affectionate as can be when upright—a leaner and a chatterer and all around sweetheart—but I'm glad she never tried to get on the furniture because that would have been a difficult negotiation. You're brave to allow Ark on the bed, but if he has never drawn blood, then at least he's showing appropriate bite inhibition. It sounds like the other incidents were warning snaps as opposed to real bites intending harm or even indications of "aggression issues"—he's letting you know he's uncomfortable with something you're doing in the only language he has. As long as you're heeding those warnings and you have a system that you're both comfortable with, I say carry on unless it escalates.

Edited by ramonaghan

53827132849_248d9686fd_o.jpg

Rachel with Doolin Doodle Dooooo, boss cat Tootie, and feline squatters Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Missing gentlemen kitties MudHenry, and Richard and our gorgeous, gutsy girlhounds
 Sweep and Willa:heart

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Ark has never apologized either! He is a wonderful dog but has these occasional issues. I did see a behaviorist with him who was adamant that I stop letting him on the bed, to reestablish that as my territory, not his. I tried that for a few weeks but in the end,

I decided that our mornings together were really special times to bond and there have been no issues while we are both in the bed, it was an issue more with him being there first.  I decided to try desensitizing him when he's on the bed, sitting on the corner of the bed when he's on it, and talking to him briefly. 

then laying down on a separate area of the bed, not close to him. He is much better now, but I still do not reach over to touch him before or after getting in. In the morning when he wakes up, he's a different dog and wants to cuddle. I'm hoping to learn more from the hip X-rays to see if there is something that is bothering him, 

or causing chronic pain. I've gotten a list of behaviorist from a trainer and will continue to search for one who can help him. I'm glad I adopted him, like children, they come the way they are and we just have to love and support them the best we can. 

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