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Spooked rescue greyhound

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Maggie Tyler, Nov 8, 2020.


  1. Maggie Tyler

    Maggie Tyler PetForums Newbie

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    My 2 yr old rescue girl has regressed. I can hardly get her out the door some days. If she hears voices or sees someone in the distance she freezes. Tried favourite treats and being patient. Even walking with friendly dog does not help. She gets so excited when we get ready for ‘walkies’. Worried that she is not getting enough exercise.
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I’d have a quiet week at home with her to allow the stress hormone to dissipate and start again with tiny steps.

    Do some play and training whilst at home to strengthen your bond and focus her mind, which will use up some energy too.

    How long have you had her?

    When you say she freezes, will she move if you walk away from the trigger?
     
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  3. Maggie Tyler

    Maggie Tyler PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry - new to this so posted reply from my in box and not sure if you got it.
    Thank you for the advice.
    Much appreciated.
    To summarise:
    Had her for 6 months
    She just wants to head home when spooked.
    She is such a sweet natured girl and very friendly so I don’t get it?
    She was very traumatised when she came from Ireland.
    Does she need professional help?
    I always keep calm and keep to a routine.
    Many thanks
    Maggie
     
  4. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

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    I would worry less about the lack of exercise - as you might know, Greyhounds don't need huge amounts of exercise (they're not known as couch potatoes for nothing!) You could just stay at home (as Lurcherlad suggests) and do some training (nothing stressful) and play time to stimulate her mentally.
    I presume you got her through a rescue centre? Are they a specialist Greyhound organisation? Can they offer ay help? Some rescue centres have a 'tame' behaviourist who can offer help; or they may just have some general advice to help put your mind at rest.
    Have you tried taking her somewhere else (ie, driving her to a different location and walking there?) Is it a local thing or just a general 'walking outside' thing?
     
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  5. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I work with a greyhound very very similar to this when they first got him they couldn’t even have the TV on as it scared him.

    he is absolutely lovely and friendly with people he knows but is very nervous of noises and people he doesn’t! His owners have had him 18 months and for the past month or so he has reliably walked from his house to the woods or the field every time they’ve wanted to go but it has taken them months to get to this point. We started off not even thinking about going for a walk, just getting him in the front garden and playing scatter games (he’s very food orientated) to get him comfortable coming out the house. The goal was never to go for a walk, just to get out into the garden. He gradually got better and better and then we could move him to going closer to the front gate to actually go for a walk, then we built it to just opening the gate, and then taking a step out and having a look around etc. Always used treats, throwing them in the direction we want to go but also in places he was comfortable to not force him into a scary place. Generally, nowadays, he doesn’t need too much encouragement, but we’ll throw the treats in front of him and he likes to follow.

    Once he was comfortable coming out the house, he was actually better going into the car and his owners driving him somewhere quiet as the street noises (people talking, gates banging, car doors going etc) is what spooked him the most. At first he was only getting a decent walk on the weekend when they weren’t working but it was fine as greys don’t need lots of exercise.

    They also walked him from the house very early in the morning and he was much more comfortable then. I walk/visit him in the afternoon (I’m his dog walker) so it can be busier on the street and it’s only been the past month he’s actually come on a walk with me every time. Before, we might get half way up the street before he’d turn for home.

    They do work with a behaviourist with him too which helps. One of the bits of advice she gave them was to use a longline with him, then he’s not restricted by a lead and this really helped him as he could move back or forwards on his own. If something spooked him he used to make a beeline for home and wouldn’t come back out, now, he might only retreat a little bit down the street, not all the way home and the longline allows this.

    It may be worth speaking to a professional behaviourist/trainer for tips. But it is doable, it takes a long time for the nervous ones. The lad I work with is in no way ‘cured’ and does still have bad days and good days and he is still nervous of certain things but he is better able to cope with them now. The stress hormone does take a while to go away so, if she’s had a stressful episode, it would be better to give her a few days to recover before trying again.
     
    #5 Teddy-dog, Nov 8, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
    LittleMow, Ian246 and JoanneF like this.
  6. Maggie Tyler

    Maggie Tyler PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you.
    Yes she came via a Greyhound Rescue Centre. I will get back to them.
    I have tried to take her somewhere new and varied direction when I leave the house but to no avail yet she just loves sniffing every ‘p -mail’.
    Such great advice from everyone. Feeling more optimistic having read Teddy Dog
    Thank you
     
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