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Any idea how to help DHound to be less dependent on me??

(23 Posts)
PacificDogwod Sun 28-Aug-16 22:29:57

Our boy is a rescue greyhound, 3 yo next week smile, never actually raced, has been with us for almost 18 months, no major problems.

He is unhealthily attached to me. Separation anxiety but only when I am around: I work 4 days per week and he is perfectly happy being with DH or our childcarer when I am not there, but the second I am he is attached to me like sticky glue.
I feel sorry for him because when I do what I do in the house, he constantly feels he has to get up, follow me to the kitchen, lie down, then follow me to the bins, lie down, follow me to the bathroom, whine while I am in there (I close the door because otherwise I'd have dog nose where the action is - I kid you not), follow me to the washing line, make me trip over him while I take the washing down, follow me to the futility room etc etc - you get the picture.
He sleeps downstairs, knows and likes his bed almost as much as the sofa and he can be left on his own in the house for a couple of hours without whining or barking or any kind of destructive behaviour.

Is there anything I can do to reassure him a bit?
I don't make a fuss when I leave, I don't make a fuss when I come back. Oh, and he also behaves as if I had just risen from the dead when I come down in the morning - leaps and bounds like a hypomanic deer, only does this with me.

Everybody else is trying to love bomb him but DH just does not 'speak dog' and does not get him and our boys, well, they are kids and their interest waxes and wanes and is not very consistent.

Any strategies that have worked for you? Any other anxious hound owners??

PacificDogwod Mon 29-Aug-16 21:35:21

Anybody? <sad puppy eyes>

plominoagain Tue 30-Aug-16 16:50:21

He sounds just like our New Boy ! It's like having a shadow . I'm at the cooker , he's laying on the floor . I'm at the table , he'll be on the kitchen sofa . He lays at the foot of the bed, and when I get up I get exactly the same reaction as you . Again, it's just like I've been away forever , every morning . Yet he's quite happy to accept DH as a substitute when I'm away from home , or any of the DC's , but once I'm home , he doesn't leave my side . I think it's just the way he is , tbh . He's not whining , of unhappy when I'm not there , he's just ecstatic when I am . So no suggestions but I know exactly what you mean !

ErrolTheDragon Tue 30-Aug-16 16:58:08

Do the other members of your family feed him? I'm wondering if doing that consistently would help.

My boy doesn't follow me obsessively (though he's more likely to be near me than not), has cuddles at different times of day with DH and DD, but apparently he howls if I'm out and anyone else is in (as far as we know he doesn't bother if there's no audience). They call me his godess!

CMOTDibbler Tue 30-Aug-16 17:00:47

How about another pointy friend for him grin

PacificDogwod Tue 30-Aug-16 17:21:31

plomino, yes, I was braced for the 'new rescue dog attachment' I just thought it would have worn off after a few weeks months. I grew up with a number of rescue dogs of all or indeterminate breeds and the dependence on one particular family member did not last quite this long.

Errol, I am the main putter-downer-of-food, but when others are around I make the point of having DH/kids also do. I am the only person walking him - kids cannot be bothered hmm (and frankly they would not be able to have him off lead and he needs a good hoolie round a field once a day) and DH really does not do walking for fun (knee arthritis). And I am happy to walk him, it's time to myself and is pretty much the only exercise I get.

CMOT, don't you start! grin
We've thought about it, but picking up twice the amount of poo having another huge hound to accommodate is a bit too much at the mo'.

Thanks for everybody's thoughts smile

ErrolTheDragon Tue 30-Aug-16 17:24:45

get another small hound then.

PacificDogwod Tue 30-Aug-16 17:28:54

Yes, a small female fierce whippet that sorts him and his crazy ways out grin

Horsegirl1 Tue 30-Aug-16 17:29:05

Gosh I could have written this post. My little jackapoo is all of these things. Except if I go out (even if dh and dcs)are in house she lies at the front door on her dog bed till I return. She comes everywhere with me. Even when I pop to shops she comes. She yaps and whines in car till I get back tho angry like you during the day in the house I feel she never gets to rest because she follows me everywhere and lies down in between jobs. Following post for advice

Motheroffourdragons Tue 30-Aug-16 17:35:32

I just love the idea of a futility room.....every home should have one grin.

Sorry I don't know. My dog is like yours but only as he has got old. I can't go anywhere without him coning with me, and I am not the only one who walks him. I am putting up with it for now as I don't think we have much time left with hi,

PacificDogwod Thu 01-Sep-16 15:59:40

The main advantage of having a room dedicated to the futile task of keeping house is that I can close the door on it... hmmgrin

Motheroffourdragons, wishing you lots of quality time with your old boy thanks

Today, he had to go one way with the childminder while I went the other way on the way home from school and took major persuading to go with her. Even though he is very happy to see her in the morning, happy to spend time with her when I am not present, and loves her dearly because she is more generous with treats than I am - weirdo!

No solutions then, no? I was hoping for some dog whisperer stylee miracle cure, I guess wink

CodyKing Thu 01-Sep-16 16:06:19

I have one too - he's just protecting you from all the nasty people in the world - because if you're safe then so is he!

He's my little shadow and I just let him get on with it. Unless DS takes biscuits upstairs then he's hot on his tail and I don't see him for dust

AnUtterIdiot Thu 01-Sep-16 20:05:38

I also have a greyhound! No help I'm afraid, I quite like him following me about. Most of my housework is punctuated by cuddling. But he will go and settle himself in another room sometimes.

AdelindSchade Thu 01-Sep-16 20:45:46

We've had our rescued greyhound for 4 years and he still does this so no useful advice here. We got another one but now they both do it. I can't go to the toilet without them both coming. To be fair he's is better than he used to be, but it took a long time.

Scuttlebutter Fri 02-Sep-16 00:21:00

I hate to say this, as it's not what you want to hear, but this sounds like absolutely normal greyhound behaviour.

I can't remember the last time I had a wee without an audience grin - whenever I disappear into the bathroom, a pointy nose will inevitably be appearing round the door seconds later. All of our current and former hounds enjoy being with us, and like to supervise/get in the way and gently keep an eye on things. The only exception is when they are asleep. None of ours have SA and they are not stressed, but they genuinely love being with/watching us.

Getting another lovely pointy is a great idea - you then get two lots of noses appearing round the bathroom door instead of one, more fur on the furniture and less room in bed. And they are very good at working in partnership to set up diversionary tactics with one distracting while the other pinches something desirable. smile

villainousbroodmare Fri 02-Sep-16 00:38:31

The clicker might be your friend. Click and treat for settling on their bed when asked. More so if they opt to do so without being asked. Teach "stay" and work on increasing distance as you would when teaching this difficult command to any dog. Reserve a good treat like a peanut-butter-smeared Kong for situations where your pooch manages to remain in their own space. Avoid constant "are you all right" anxious glances. Check in periodically in a matter-of-fact manner. Avoid summoning the dog unconsciously with a glance as you move around the house. Shut the door on them now and again and don't open it while howling or whining is going on - wait for a quiet moment. Don't take the dog everywhere. Get another family member to regularly and actively engage the dog in games while you are out. No tumultuous reunions when you return. Try not to exacerbate the nerviness ... but at the same time you cannot but appreciate the adoration! grin

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 02-Sep-16 02:07:35

My girl lab is like this. Follows me everywhere. Other family members can be substituted but she's besotted with me when I'm at home.

It must depend on the dog, because my boy lab isn't the same, although he'll come and find me for a cuddle every now and then.

It's quite sweet, but a little cloying!

PacificDogwod Fri 02-Sep-16 08:07:08

Oh, if it's normal behaviour then that's fine but it strikes me that is IS anxiety driven - if he doesn't keep an eye on me I might disappear in a puff of smoke or something. It's not so much that he follows me around, it's what I see as desperation in it, he seems quite 'driven' to do it.

He does sleep during the day on his bed, but if I only shift position on the chair I am sitting on, he'll by up! like a shot.

I have thought about clicker training. He has no concept of a 'stay' command blush, so training might be what we have to do.

villainousbroodmare Fri 02-Sep-16 09:07:31

Clicker training is easy and really is good fun for both of you. It really works on clear communication and taps into the animal's own initiative. You could have a look at Karen Pryor's website. Pat Miller is another trainer who has several good clicker books. "Stay" is not a starting point though, it's not an easy thing to teach! Your dog does sound anxious.

PacificDogwod Fri 02-Sep-16 10:55:01

Yes, I am sure he is anxious.

Thanks for the book/trainer tips - I'll look into those.

He never raced and was relinquished by his trainer to the rescue we got him from because he was 'too playful', read 'absolutely bonkers.
He can get very hyper, usually in a happy way (I put my shoes on and pick up the lead grin), but is just too big a dog for this to be a safe or desirable thing, so we are working on that.
If we meet dogs his size or larger than him, he's right behind me grin, smaller dogs he is very happy to meet and even with larger ones once it's clear that they are not attacking him, he's having a nice sniff and play with them - we have no problems with other dogs now (it took a while for him to understand that small, white, fluffy things that bark are also dogs...).

It is funny that he seems quite happy when I am not there. Or even when left alone in the house confused, which does not happen very often or for very long.
I have a dental appointment later today, he will get a peanut butter Kong and I know he'll be quite settled for the hour or so that I will be gone.

LumpyMcBentface Fri 02-Sep-16 10:59:21

Watching with interest as my little dog (jack chi) is like this with me. She's my little shadow. She comes almost everywhere with me but when I do have to leave her she yaps at the window, possibly for the whole time I'm out. She also yaps outside the bathroom door. Unless she's asleep, she follows me from room to room.

AdelindSchade Fri 02-Sep-16 19:59:48

They have had a bit of a weird upbringing so there are always going to be these quirks. I have one who on the scale of things seems quite confident and outgoing, and issue free. He did race briefly but was injured and only two when he came to us. However our wee one came to us as a pup and I can see in comparison how he is quite anxious at times. If there is food around for instance he pants and paces up and down as if he thinks he will never see food again.

Scuttlebutter Fri 02-Sep-16 22:46:39

As you may know, I do a lot of clicker training with all of ours and do Rally/Obedience with our lurcher. It's definitely a great thing to do, no question, and it strengthens the bond between you. But for instance with our stripey greyhound girl, doing lots of training together means she is now thoroughly and completely bonded with me, and we are closer than ever (both physically and emotionally). She's very good at reading me, very affectionate and really interested in what I'm doing (except when she's asleep) so it hasn't led to less attention. Similar story with our lurcher girl - if anything, she is even closer to me - attentive and interested and very, very snuggly. I'm writing this in the office, and stripey is lying in the doorway (helpfully forming a trip hazard) and lurcher girl is snuggled up in bed next door with her head on the pillow snoozing peacefully waiting for me to join her. If I'm later than my usual time, she will come and check on me and tell me to come to bed.

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