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Help - Greyhound won't walk

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue and Adoption' started by LazySuzie, Jan 15, 2018.


  1. LazySuzie

    LazySuzie PetForums Newbie

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    Hello - this is my first post and I'm in need of some advice for my rescue greyhound.

    We've only had her a month and I know it's early days, but she's refusing to walk. She's been checked by a vet and is fit and healthy, but she displays the following behaviour:

    1. She's happy to be dressed for her walk in coat, harness, muzzle

    2. She's waggy when we walk to the door

    3. Sometimes she's keen to leave the door, other times not so much

    4. We start walking up the pavement, sometimes she'll get two houses up, sometimes 20, then she's just stop dead and won't move forwards or backwards. Nothing has spooked her and her ears are up, she just won't move.

    5. Sometimes we drive her to fields to change her environment, she seems a little happier, but the same thing will happen when we're half way round.

    6. She does seem easily distracted, not in a fearful way, but if she sees people she'll stop walking.

    We have tried so many things:

    1. Encouraging her with words

    2. Encouraging with treats - we use this sparingly as she will only walk start walking again if you throw a treat a meter or so in front of her, then she'll stop again

    3. Dragging her (as gently as possible) - she doesn't get aggressive when dragged but it does make her more stubborn and she refuses to walk at all after that.

    4. Waiting...and waiting...and waiting - often for 10 minutes at a time, every two or three steps. This turns a 5 minute walk into a 50 minute walk.

    5. Doing short walks, literally one house up and back - we were advised by a trainer to try and make every walk a success - the problem here is that she refuses to turn round. If we go one house up and try to turn her round she refuses, but is happy to walk another house up.

    6. Walking her with other dogs - some stopping happens.

    I know greyhounds don't need much exercise but she doesn't get any joy from playing with toys or anything, and she enjoyed walks at the rescue centre, so I don't know what has happened and I don't want my actions to be making the condition worse.

    Any advice from people who have overcome such an issue would be welcome.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I've not had this issue myself and only known it with a friend's ex-racer but that was due to her suffering with a bit of dimentia coupled with occasional joint pain.

    I would just suggest staying at home with her for say a couple of weeks and do some obedience training in the house and garden with her. Work at building a good relationship with her. Then try her on a short walk.

    My own lurcher took 6 months to come fully out of his shell and ex-racers have led very odd lives and "normal" life can be a bit of a shock.

    I'd be inclined to postpone walks for the time being if you have a garden and definitely avoid pressuring her or dragging her.
     
  3. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    I agree. Just give her time to settle and find her feet in the house.

    Ex-racers spent 90% of their working lives in kennels. Much like the ones in the rescue. A house is a major culture shock for them. Possibly the walks are a step too far at the minute.

    I bet that when you first put the coat and harness on, she thought she was off to the races and then got confuddled when she realised she wasn't. That negative feeling has stayed with her. So staying at home and letting her get used to the changes and build a bond with you will really help.
     
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  4. LazySuzie

    LazySuzie PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you both v much for your responses. We didn’t walk her over the weekend but we had her in the garden with us while we did some weeding and she seemed happy snuffling about.

    Yesterday I walked her around the garden on her lead for a bit, then took her out to the front of the house and back with treats for walking nicely on the lead. I’m trying to get her to associate walking on the lead with fun and treats and that she knows she always comes home afterwards for sofa cuddles.

    I just hope I’m doing the right things as she gets so little pleasure from anything (other than food and the sofa!). Hopefully she’ll learn to love walks in the future.
     
  5. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    Sounds like you are doing exactly the right things.

    TBH, food love and sofa love is a greyhound thing. They are notoriously lazy dogs who sleep for hours and are not keen on exerting themselves for more than a few minutes. That's what they were bred for. So don't worry if she never gets really excited about going out for walks. It's not a greyhound thing. Some do love it but most don't.
     
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  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    It can take at least 6 months, often longer for them to become de-institutionalised.

    Also be aware, they often don't recognise other dogs as being the same species so keep a respectable distance at first and reward/praise her if she stays relaxed.

    Do try and avoid others letting their dogs invade her space too.

    Greyhound Walks have walking meets all over Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire.
     
  7. Kirsty Broens

    Kirsty Broens PetForums Newbie

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    Hello there, I have just signed up after seeing LazySuzie's post whilst googling.

    I would very much appreciate any advice for similar situation please. Angus who we named and adopted from The Greyhound Trust is lovely and sweet, and typically loves his sleep, almost as much as his food it seems ... took a little while to get to grips with basically having a big, skinny black cat on the sofa for hours on end lol!

    At the beginning he walked typically well and was fine doing a walk, walking just in front or at the side of me, whilst I walked at a good pace, stretching my legs ... really enjoyed it! This however, only lasted a few days and then it became a bit of a chore trying to gee him up to keep walking, as similarly, as with Lazy Suzie, he would stop, and at first, when I started using a comfort harness I thought it must be that, then quickly realised everything was fine as, as soon as I turn around for us to go back he walks fine next to me or slightly in front. I admit I have to try not to become frustrated, and have resigned to just taking what comes, although it niggles me sometimes, especially as I know that he can and does just suddenly start walking at a good pace, and then other times, there's just no budging him further than the few yards where he does his business. Again, I feel there's nothing the matter, and also, throughout the 5 months we have now looked after Angus, he has coped amazingly with being in a house, with our 2 adopted indoor cats, and of course us. I admit I feel guilty sometimes as I can feel really frustrated that I cannot have a good walk with him, and always need to encourage him at least half of the way, on every single walk. I have tried using a whistle, as I cannot, and he appeared interested at first, but after a couple of times of using it, it didn't work. Angus does appear more enthused when my Husband walks with us at the weekends, and he likes people, so if he sees someone or another dog, his interest spikes up. I thought early on that maybe he's someone that would just like to run around a garden for half an hour and then sleep the rest of the time lol! We cannot let him out into the garden to run and play as the ground is very uneven, and there is a lot of gravel and stones, and we also look after rescue chickens and turkeys.

    Any thought please?

    Many thanks, Kirsty
     
  8. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    You’ll probably get more replies in a busier part of the forum. @SusieRainbow could this be moved?
     
  9. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

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    Remember ex racers are used to being in kennels for the majority of the day and in big paddocks for exercise. The only time they may have been on leads has possibly been to go in to the vans to and from the race track and parading in the ring before the races and then they are with other greyhounds even in rescues the chances are they have been taken for walks with other dogs. Remember also they don't wear harnesses on the track they wear collars and leads some dogs just don't like a harness I have a Chinese crested who happily walks on a collar but put a harness on her digs her claws in and refuses to walk.

    Things like houses pavements cars are all alien to them they need to take time to get used to their new surroundings my racing greyhound passed away 2 years ago but when we first got her she came straight to us from the track she was collected from the track straight after finishing her last race she walked fine to the car but after that she was unsure of everything but she would go for a walk as I had a show bred greyhound and she went for walks with him.

    Please give them plenty of time let them see that going for a walk is fun and they will always go home do you know anyone else with a greyhound who would possibly go outdoor a walk with you and their dog. They do recognise other greyhounds but some can be unsure of other breeds as when in kennels the only other dogs they will see are greyhounds. See if there is a local greyhound or lurcher rescue that may do meet ups or would allow you to take your greyhound out walking with some of their dogs.

    The main thing is give them time and don't worry about it if you get worried or concerned it will pass down the lead them them don't look at them and expect them to stop just keep walking briskly with plenty of rewards when they do walk if they stop don't give them treats as that is rewarding them for behaviour you don't want give the treats when they do walk again.
     
  10. Kirsty Broens

    Kirsty Broens PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Freyja

    Thank you very much for your reply. As we live rurally, we hardly ever see any dogs (and humans, which quite frankly I am very happy about!), but surprisingly did come across an elderly gent with 2 elderly greyhounds ... we met them when we'd only had Angus for a couple of weeks and it was lovely to see how gentle and quiet they were when greeting each other.

    I always praise Angus and talk to him whilst walking, and when he does his business. I know I need to let go of the feeling he is controlling me. He is a dog of course, but different from other breeds due to his background I know, and as you have said. And they are as a breed a lot more sensitive. I think because I know he seems to like walking at certain times, it does feel as if he is controlling me, how we walk whenever we go out. I always take him outside the property to do his business, and this is 6 x a day. The midday outting is usually the time I try and go for a decent walk with him. He surprises me sometimes, when it is almost effortless to walk with him.
     
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