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Help needed with nervous greyhound

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Bishop, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    We have an extremely nervous rescue greyhound who after two years has quite a lot of confidence in the house but who employs the ostrich solution (I am not going to look at you so you can't see me) when we are outside. I haven't yet attempted to try to train her to come as she spooks so easily and I daren't let her off the lead. She is not food or toy orientated and I wondered how other people have coped with training when treats and toys aren't an option.
     
  2. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    Hi and welcome

    So what does she classify as high value? As all dogs have something that is really important..... and I don't train with treats/dog toys.
    Rescue greyhound could have had its informative learning behaviour months in kennels ( rather than a family home) and might never have lived previously in a home environment, never learned about home noises, people petting her, being taken for a walk, traffic etc etc , may have failed as a racer, not fast enough, focused or motivated to chase.... if so that would all be new to her and would make her feel anxious

    Put a lead on her in the home and just let it trail, as if she wishes to pretend not the see/hear you, that is an easy fix, you stop 'asking' her, you silently either put your foot on the trailing lead/pick it up THEN you have control you call her and guide her towards you..... so she can't pretend to be blind/deaf and she is doing exactly what you ask as she won't catch on she is being 'helped' to obey, she will just realise when you call one time she is not being asked it is a command so not given the option to choose what to do, so she always succeeds

    Think about what could potentially be of high value to her regardless of what it is and it is much easier for people to help/advise you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  3. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Honestly, she sounds like a normal greyhound. You might be best to accept her as she is. Many of them don't have a reliable recall, and the retired greyhound centres I have worked with recommend they are always kept on-lead. They are very powerful too, so be careful of situations where she might leap and run and pull you over.
    Such lovely dogs, too. I really like them.
     
  4. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    Thank you Inka and Hemlock for taking the trouble to reply. The only thing about her background that we were told when we got her from the rescue people was that she had been kept in a hut in the middle of a field with two other dogs and that she was the most nervous of the three. We have had dogs, latterly lurchers, for many many years and we have never had a dog like her. I think she had been rehomed once to a home with children which wouldn't be suitable at all and she had been returned pdq more nervous than before she went.
    I will definitely try the lead trick with a treat (if she will take it) when she gets to me. The only thing that she seems to value is her bed which was and still is her sanctuary.
    We bought her an expensive, very robust harness after she spooked, jumped about four foot in the air twisting out of the frailer harness as she went. I think this harness has helped a bit and if I trip over and fall (council and uneven paving stones on dark mornings) she just stands and looks as if to say I am not with this person, I am choosing to stand here. I was coming to the conclusion that she will never be let off the lead which is such a shame as I would love to see her stretch out and run in a field rather than round and round our couch when she gets a fright.
    Thank you both very much for your help and advice.
     
  5. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Many places have enclosed fields to rent by the half hour /hour where you could let her off if you didnt think she would clear fencing ...
    I have friends with greyhounds who are never let offlead and still have a lovely life ...
    Would you consider adopting another greyhound one that isnt as nervous .....
     
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  6. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    I don't think she would clear fencing unless she got a fright but the nearest place to us that rents out enclosed fields - perhaps I should say the nearest one I have been able to find near us - is about three quarters of an hours drive away and I can't drive that far these days. Would that I could. I know I am sounding really negative about all these great suggestions but I have tried or considered most things none of which seem to have much effect. I guess I will just have to accept her as is and make the best of it. I would love to have two dogs again but my husband is seriously ill at the moment so life is a bit too fraught to adopt another dog at the present time.
    Thank you all very much for trying to help.
     
  7. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    One thing you could use is Primular cheese Primula | The Original Creamy Cheese - Squeezy & Spreadable so it could potentially be treated as high value as unlikely she has had it before, the tube is clean /easy to put in your pocket, with a flip lid and all she gets is a lick... you can get bacon and/or ham flavoured...two concerns is most dogs are lactose intolerant however with the very tiny amount they get and high value only remains high value if it is occassionally used and/or special and some dogs are VERY clever and will look like they are going to lick it but will bite it to squeeze more out

    Any dog I have used this with has loved it and once they know the tube can be pulled out of the pocket and they behave like perfect angels... so the tube itself becomes high value.

    Awful! However there is nothing at all you can do about her past, that or whatever may or may not have happened, dogs live in the moment she knows she is in her home now and loved, so all you can do is build up her confidence, tricks, training, being around other balanced dogs

    It could be helping her simply by making her feel more secure, like a 'portable hug', so I will suggest TTouch, either contact them and find a practitioner (or practitioners in training that needs case studies) near you or ask if there are any one day TTouch workshops being run for the public, you will then learn some basics yourself, be shown wraps, groundwork and how to do basic touches.
     
  8. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    I sympathise with you, Bishop. We’ve always had rescued sighthounds and, in their own way, they’ve always been somewhat aloof. I’ve yet to meet a rescued greyhound off the lead and they seem quite settled and secure. We used to attend GRWE events where there were in excess of 80 odd greyhounds and they were quite happy to lie there and ignore it all - until a terrier turned up and it would all kick off. We have Mabel, a five year old rescued whippet, and although we’ve made progress with her, we still have some miles ahead. Keep the faith!
     
  9. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    I had forgotten that she is quite partial to Dairylea (mixed with crushed calming tablets) and will definitely get some Primula next time I go shopping.. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I am at the stage where anything that works is worth a try even though dairy is not supposed to be good for dogs. She is also a parky eater and sometimes goes a day without food and I have found that a dollop of single cream means that she will eat something. I did Google TTouch and there is a practitioner in our local area who I will get in touch with. Hopefully we will have a happier more confident dog at the end of all this.
    Thank you again for your suggestions
     
  10. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    As you ONLY use a tiny amount ( a lick) and to keep it high value not used for 'everything' it won't affect her...if it works then you know you are onto the right lines and she is listening and as said just having the tube in your pocket which you can bring out so she sees it can work in the same way...dogs are funny, they often work harder to 'may be' achieve that 'lick treat' but once given they see it 'got it' or 'easy to get' and stop trying.

    Yogurt or cottage cheese is possibly better than cream. I make my own yogurt and cottage cheese and use goats milk, it is really easy and using goats milk means fine for dogs to have in any amount and you are giving her the good bacteria too.... a simple yogurt recipe, using a purchased 'live' yogurt( spoonful of) as a starter and instead of jars/incubate I pour it into a flask which is much easier, using that yogurt to make the cottage cheese and keeping a small amount of goats milk yogurt for the next batch I make How to Make Homemade Yogurt (Easy, Step-by-Step)
     
  11. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    My apologies for not replying earlier. My husband is now in hospital and life is rather hectic. I have tried her with yoghourt which she will eat intermittently. I have started just to give her dry kibble during the day then a couple of chicken thighs on a night (better fed than me!) and the dish is getting cleared so far. I have a large flask for making yoghourt that I got from Lakeland. I used to make yoghourt from the mixes that they sell and hadn't thought about having a go with that. Thank you for your very helpful suggestions and my apologies again for the delay in replying.
     
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  12. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    There's no need to apologise, Bishop. I'm sorry to hear your husband is in hospital and I hope things look better soon.
     
  13. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    Things now on the slippery slope downwards unfortunately but thank you for your good wishes. Pooch is helping to keep me going,
     
  14. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    I am sorry to hear this ....thinking of you and pooch ...take care xx kara
     
  15. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    I echo the thoughts and best wishes of all.
     
  16. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with you.
     
  17. Bishop

    Bishop New Member Registered

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    Thank you all very much for your kind thoughts. He is coming home next week so I won't have much time to post anything but hopefully I will be back. A promise not a tbreat.
     
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  18. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    And I’m sure your pointy face will be more than happy to have the household back together. Spirit of Woodstock - yes, I am of that age.
     
  19. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    I take it you dont mean the woodstock i remember. ..snoopys friend ...:p
     
  20. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    No, Tinytom, I’m referring to the event on Max Yasgur’s farm in 1969 which was followed in 1970 by the Isle of Wight festival where your namesake (or close) entered us with “There’ll always be an England” before pushing off in a hot air balloon. What fun!
     

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