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Retired Greyhound - Help day 2 and I'm a blubbering mess

(49 Posts)
ruthsmumkath Tue 13-Oct-15 16:50:46

I have rehomed a retired greyhound and feeling like I have made a terrible mistake.

I am a SAHM with 4 kids. Lo's are 11,8,4 and 1.

Yesterday I was stressed but doggy was calm.

Today he has a terrible stomach (runny poos), soiled in the house all ok if not ideal. He follows me everywhere.

The thing is this afternoon he has started 'challenging' me jumping in front of me and the kids. Jumping up and acting crazy.

I left him home today when I picked up the kids from school as the constant following me was driving me potty.

I'm trying to ignore him and instructed the kids to too but I really am not sure where to go now.

He is my first dog.

My husband is working away and hasn't met him yet.

He has been returned from a home once although behaviour wasn't mentioned as the reason (although the reason did sound a bit flaky).

I love dogs but not sure if I am not suited to them or if I am panicking too soon. My kids come first. But ultimately I don't know what to do.

I don't want to be a blubbering depressed mum just to keep a dog.

Makes no sense but please I'm desperate any comments experience would be a godsend!!!!

JoffreyBaratheon Tue 13-Oct-15 17:03:23

I don't know anything about greyhounds so if I was you, would ring the rescue centre tomorrow just to describe that behaviour and see what they say it is...

Give it time. It is scary and stressful - I felt the same way the first few weeks when we re-homed a pup from Dogs Trust (took til she was 7 months to housetrain her - usually my dogs have come to me virtually housetrained at 8 weeks - we were despairing!) Now she is reliable. I can remember having many a day when I wondered what I'd done. And was still grieving for my 14 year dog who'd died only a couple of months before, which, in retrospect, didn't help.

When you say 'put your children first' - do you mean you think it's aggression you're seeing? That could also just be attention-seeking - which is probably normal for a dog who has been in a kennel for some time and then finds themselves 'home'. Takes a longer time than people think to settle down a dog who has possibly been through a bad experience - especially as being returned to the re-homing centre once, has taught her that maybe a home is not a home for long.

I've heard greyhounds are lazy dogs but even so I'd be tempted to do loads of exercise and training and lavish time on her that way.

There will be problems and it is easier for someone who is a more experienced dog owner to rescue but just 'easier' not 'easy'. These dogs come with huge rewards as well and it is worth sticking it out to see what happens - just try and remember how excited you were to get her, and go with that. Takes a while for a true bond to develop, whatever anyone says. But when it does it's the best thing in the world.

mollie123 Tue 13-Oct-15 17:04:59

Greyhounds/and their ilk have very sensitive stomachs and react to changes in circumstances more than some other dogs (as I have found anyway)
Give him a little time to settle down and watch what he is eating, they do like quiet corners to find their own way and yes , they can become clingy
This is my experience with rescue lurchers rather than a grey and I am sure someone who has experience of greys and how to cope with the 'challenging behaviour' will be along soon smile
good luck with your dog and good for you to give him a new home.

Flaming0pie Tue 13-Oct-15 17:11:29

The problem with re-homing ex racing greyhounds is that they have never experienced living in a home so therefore are not house trained. A few years ago my DH had the 'wonderful' idea of re-homing one and then promptly pissed off away on business leaving me alone with it. Despite taking outside every half hour and walking it, it was still toileting in the house and attacking the front window everytime it saw a cat/dog outside. After four days of this I called the centre and they collected it - only then did they bother to tell me that it had been returned previously for same problem hmm

ruthsmumkath Tue 13-Oct-15 17:22:25

Thank you for giving me some experiences. I will contact the lady at rescue centre. The jumping up isn't aggressive exactly - eg he isn't growling but he is such a big dog and in the house it is quite scary.

He was only back in kennels for a week after 6 months of being in a home. He was apparently house trained, good with kids and 'the perfect pet'. I realise that it is early days and I don't want to give up on him. I feel like a nervous wreck and I am feeling very emotional. Friends have asked me what wrong because I'm not my bubbly self. I have wanted a dog all my life.

I feel like I have bitten off far too much...............

I was so excited yesterday and today I am in dispair.

Notthecarwashagain Tue 13-Oct-15 17:29:47

I don't have a greyhound, but have a leggy rescue hound who is prone to jumping for attention.
Although she knows the sit command, the only way she stops is if we fold arms, turn away slightly and make no eye contact.
It's taken ages to stop her, and she still jumps at my grandma because she insists on speaking to her

This is the only thing I can offer, other than lots of sympathy, and hope that things will get better soon cake

TheoriginalLEM Tue 13-Oct-15 17:37:34

why why why did you get a dog with a dubious background with your family set up and no experience of dogs. I am very surprised the rescue let him come to you as most wont rehome with children under 8.

If i were you, i'd take him back so that it will have the chance of getting rehomed before it develops more issues.

He is following you because he feels stressed and worried, that will settle down. As for the toilet - have you changed his food? AGain, could be stress. Might be a good idea to get an adaptil collar, they are quite expensive but work really well to make dogs feel more settled. The jumping up is expressing his anxiety, which is now becoming a vicious circle.

Maybe wait until life is less hectic.

ruthsmumkath Tue 13-Oct-15 17:40:32

Thank you so much Notthecarwashagain! Feeling a bit embarrassed as I was so excited - maybe I'm not really a dog person????

tabulahrasa Tue 13-Oct-15 17:40:36

The jumping at you is very very likely to just be over excitement and trying to initiate some play/attention...

Ignoring it is absolutely the right way to deal with it, loads of praise and attention when he's got all 4 paws on the ground and totally blanking him when he hasn't.

He isn't challenging you or trying to take over your house, he's just trying to interact with you and doesn't know how to.

You might have to put up with him following you at least for a while, he's probably feeling a bit insecure.

And it's totally totally normal to be panicking and going WTF have I done?!!!!! Give it a chance and that will go.

Notthecarwashagain Tue 13-Oct-15 17:47:54

Oh don't be embarrassed!
I shed a lot of tears in the first couple of months, and a friend told me she gets tearful in the early dog days too.
The responsibility is very overwhelming sometimes!

ruthsmumkath Tue 13-Oct-15 18:39:52

TheoriginalLEM I think you are right - I just saw so much about how perfect a pet greyhounds are - and I love dogs but just feel so miserable - like all the colour has been sucked out of my world. I can't even enjoy my lovely kids.

I would feel awful returning him BUT I feel awful now.

Arghhh!!!!!! I am a fool!!!!!!

mollie123 Tue 13-Oct-15 18:50:00

Please don't give up on him after 2 days unless it is really really unbearable
You have been given lots of useful advice here and the first few weeks of a change in your household is really hard
Have you considered a crate (large size obviously) with a comfy bed (I covered one with an old blanket to create a secure cave) when my dog was unhappy at being left when I first got him)
Encourage him to stay in it without closing the door so he can have quiet time in a busy household (sounds as if yours is full of family comings and goings)
if all else fails perhaps wait until your husband is home and see what he says - returning him to the rescue may be the only answer sad

TheoriginalLEM Tue 13-Oct-15 19:17:32

Give yourselves a week, talk to the rescue people.

That OMFG what have i done feeling is felt by many new dog owners.

I hope it works out either way

Collared Tue 13-Oct-15 19:26:24

I've owned a few cats over the years and last year we got our first dog. Every pet I've ever owned (bar the goldfish) I've had that "What have I done?" moment. It's a massive upheaval and totally normal to feel like that. In the first few weeks I used to travel home from work enviously eyeing up the people who didn't have a bitey, barking puppy who pooed everywhere to deal with when they got home. Now I race home to see our dog and feel sorry for anyone who doesn't have that craziness in their life. Hope everything goes ok.

TooOldForGlitter Tue 13-Oct-15 20:26:30

Can I ask where you rehomed him from?

Sossidge Tue 13-Oct-15 20:34:52

Aww the wee pet wants cuddled! He's jumpimg on you for reassurance and attention, look at the FB group Dog Training Advice and Support, they have files about 'all four paws on the floor'-when he does that, treats rain from the sky. He'll be bewildered and scared and wondering what's going to happen to him now, he needs to learn you're safe, he's safe with you and he is home. Dogs get upset stomachs for a million reasons, emotional upset and change of diet being two. (Mine was up several times last night booking up bone pieces. Which a magpie then ate...). Give him a nice big raw home from the butchers and sit with him.

ruthsmumkath Tue 13-Oct-15 21:42:02


ruthsmumkath Tue 13-Oct-15 21:43:57

i think the main problem is I'm so protective of the LO that I can't bond at all with him. i think returning him is the only option. I feel so negatively about him. not good for either of us.

PacificDogwod Tue 13-Oct-15 22:51:57

I feel you pain - we rehomed a young, male greyhound some 5 months ago and the learning curve has been steep.
He is totally crazy when he sees me, but calms down quickly. We are working on rewarding calm behaviour and 'punishing' over-excited jumping up by saying 'no', turning my back on him and generally ignoring him.

Here's what helped me:
- he is crated. We have a huge crate in the dining/kitchen bit and he is put in there when he is either left alone and overnight. He likes his crate (that is key! Lots of treats thrown in to the crate from time to time during the day and to encourage him in when I need him in there).
- Runny poos are a well known problem for greys, mine has improved with changing his food and adding Chappie
- Kids. Mine are 12, 11, 7 and 5 and have been taught how to ask his 'permission' to approach. He only jumps up on them when inviting them to play. He is ridiculously playful (which is why he has never raced grin) and will be anybody's BFF if they kick a ball for him
- Kong. Get a Kong, fill it with pate/soft cheese/peanut butter and freeze it. Keeps him entertained for hours.
- Baby gate. He is not allowed upstairs at our. You could separate any part of the house as dog free zone. I now close the bathroom door as he will not not follow me… hmm

He is great - I would not be without him now.
But I am a few months don't the line from 'OMG, what have I done?!"

I had very good post-adoption support from the charity I got him from. Do speak to the RGT again.
You really cannot thing about giving him back after 2 days - give it a week or 2 at least.
It took 3 months for mine to loose his kennel coat

Dieu Tue 13-Oct-15 23:04:29

You must give it longer than 2 days, c'mon. Would be different if he was aggressive, but he's not. I hope it works out. I know nothing about the breed or their lives on the track, but I take it you did your research? All the best, OP.

CrabbyTheCrabster Tue 13-Oct-15 23:13:35

Poor fucking dog! angry

Did you just get him on a bloody whim?? hmm

Scuttlebutter Tue 13-Oct-15 23:46:54

Hi OP, I'm really sorry you're in this situation. Everything you've described sounds very normal so far but TBH it sounds as though the rescue haven't prepared you at all for this, or that you yourself haven't fully. In the situation you describe, where you are so clearly unhappy and stressed (and this will be transmitted to the dog, further increasing his stress) I think the very best thing to do is to look at rehoming him back to the rescue right away.

Firstly, I'm very surprised that they gave a family with so many DC and such young DC, and little dog experience anything other than a tested hound. Did you have a homecheck visit? This should have been an opportunity for them and for you to go through some of the practicalities, and advice on teh settling in period. From what you've said, you've not been well supported by this particular branch. The RGT has a lot of variation in branches - some are absolutely brilliant, others are dire. There is little or no quality control from the centre.

Any new dog will likely have an upset tummy - that's completely normal, along with following you around everywhere including the loo.

Being constructive, if you think about getting a dog in future when the DC are a bit older, please do some more homework both about the breed and the setting in period.

FWIW nothing you've mentioned actually makes me think this dog isn't good with kids, or housetrained (any dog will shit in the house if ill) - but if you don't want him, there's no point at all in prolonging the agony. It's fairer on him and on your DC for him to go back right away.

JoffreyBaratheon Tue 13-Oct-15 23:55:05

Have to say my dog is now a year old and still follows me to the loo. She also has to have a bit of time, every morning, sitting self-importantly on my knee. She insists. I sometimes think if she could live inside a pouch in my stomach like a baby kangaroo - she would! I suppose this is something I could 'work on' but as it doesn't massively inconvenience e - and makes an insecure-ish little dog feel a bit safer - I embrace her clingyness, as part of her. With a new dog though, it might well be a passing phase - something the dog needs, for now, to feel safe.

I can see why folk are saying "Rehome quick" as there is a sense in which that is less traumatic for dog and for you. Especially with kids who get attached quickly... On the other hand, two days is nothing and the thoughts and feelings you describe and not at all unusual. I felt the same way too - I can remember one day just looking at this puppy and bursting into tears as she wasn't my C (dead dog). And cute and great as she was, she was a huge disruption in my previously tranquil day (having a settled, elderly dog for years I'd forgotten what it was like to have a pooing, peeing, playful, attention seeking doggy baby again). But I held on, and am now so glad I did. She is the new love of my life, a year on.

Toughasoldboots Wed 14-Oct-15 00:05:17

pacific what a beautiful dog

PacificDogwod Wed 14-Oct-15 08:23:35

Tough, thank you blushgrin[I luffs him]

He used to be scared of water too….

I don't know about the 'rehome him quick' argument - I suppose it all depends whether you see yourself as a family with dog or not in the longterm.

The first few weeks with DDog here I felt just like I did after I had come home with PFB with a constant run 'I don't know what I'm doing, OMG, I am responsible for him, and the kids, and making all our lives work around him etc etc'. This was after having grown up with a number of dogs and having done my research for 2 years AND having been heavily involved with the rescue we got him from. I cannot claim that I was not prepared, but I did not feel prepared.

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