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Help us settle greyhound in

(96 Posts)
PengAly Sun 06-Jan-19 14:14:20

We just brought home our lovely retired greyhound yesterday. He has been very anxious, panting heavily and quickly, frantically jumping at the window above the sofa as he is always seeing movment and lunges when a cat is outside. Im worried he will hurt himself doing this as he sometimes will climb on the back of the sofa and onto the window ledge with front two paws. As its only day 2, he does not cope at all with us leaving him. We left the room for 2 minutes and he was panting and jumping at the door waiting for us to come back. I know it's early days but any advice please? He isnt food motivated...doesn't seem interested in treats and only eats his dinner, wont have breakfast. Last night we slept on the sofas but we need to be able to leave the house and for him to settle down.

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PengAly Sun 06-Jan-19 14:15:34

Just want to say we are already falling in love with the big guy, we just want to help him settle as thats best for all of us smile

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PengAly Sun 06-Jan-19 20:40:31


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Wolfiefan Sun 06-Jan-19 20:43:41

Has he lived in a house before? What have the rescue suggested? Tried adaptil or is he used to a thunder shirt?
If he’s not used to a house would a kind of safe “kennel” be useful? I use a whelping pen (Ellie Bo off Amazon) for my big hound.

jinglewithbellson Sun 06-Jan-19 20:44:38


Had our retired grey two years now.

She also panted and paced for a while until she calmed down.
We spent a lot of time just say on the floor in the evenings stroking her when she walked past us. She eventually sat down and relaxed enough for us to gently massage her neck (they're favourite thing ever!)

Do you have a quiet area or corner you can put an old folded up duvet and a blanket so she can go and lie down ?they love to be covered up and ours always sleeps better when her blankets over her or she has her jumper on.

PengAly Sun 06-Jan-19 22:04:38

He has only ever lived in a kennel and we did get him this lovely, big bed but he hasnt even touched it! He changes his sleeping locations in the lounge often and we thought we found his fav spot so put the bed there but avoided it lol. He seems to be much more relaxed now (sleeping loads) and the panting has died down- it was SO heavy earlier sad we managed to go upstairs for an hour today and he settled without much anxiety so lets see how tonight goes... oh and here is a picture!

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Wolfiefan Sun 06-Jan-19 22:08:32

He’s lovely!! Any chance someone could stay with him tonight? (Whaddya mean I baby my dog?! grin)
What did he sleep on in the kennel? He may feel happier on vet fleece or something.
He’s gorgeous BTW.

LittleLongDog Sun 06-Jan-19 22:08:33

Bless! Good luck tonight - let us know how it goes.

Babygrey7 Sun 06-Jan-19 22:08:55

He is anxious, he'll get calmer once he learns how things work, and then he'll sleep most of the day grin

Take one day at a time, it is very early days

Wolfiefan Sun 06-Jan-19 22:10:45

What @Babygrey7 means is once he’s found the sofa!!! grin
Greys. The fastest couch potatoes in the world! grin

Moondancer73 Sun 06-Jan-19 22:22:09

Try giving him a bowl of porridge, it's a natural sedative and will help calm him. He can have it for a few days until he is more settled. Also, find a tight tee shirt to put on him - look up thunder shirt - it's like swaddling a baby and will do much the same job.
The poor boy is bound to feel nervous and but hopefully it won't take too long. Does he have a crate or quiet place to go where he might feel able to relax?

Wolfiefan Sun 06-Jan-19 22:31:17

There is also a way of tying a scarf round him that works like a thunder shirt. Have a google!!

dreaminofholidays Sun 06-Jan-19 23:28:15

Congratulations on adopting your grey, he's a beauty.
I have two ex racers at home, neither had lived in a home before. It's all very new to them.
Have you tried cocktail sausages as a treat? They absolutely love them. You could try putting them on his bed to encourage him to settle on the bed.
Regarding leaving him, the best advice we had was to say the same thing every time we left the house (still do it now 18 months later). We say 'bye bye Jaxon be a good boy', then we would leave for 10 mins, then come back and gradually build this up.
It is very hard going at first but it only gets better. 😊 xxx

Babygrey7 Mon 07-Jan-19 06:57:52

Dreamin, yes we did that too

But we said (and say): " cheerio Baby, bye bye baby girl" and over time she learned that means I am going out (but coming back). If I put my coat on without saying this, she thinks a happening

As soon as I say "cheerio baby" she settles in her bed

They have tiny brains, but will still figure you (and life) out grin

Ours slept happily on the stone floor the first week shock

PengAly Mon 07-Jan-19 10:59:52

Hi all! Thanks for all the advice. He actually settled really well on his own overnight shock we left him at about 11.30pm and didnt come back down until 8am. We have a pet camera so could watch him on our phones and he was perfect. BUT this morning after we'd come down and taken him out we went up to get ready and he jumped onto the baby gate blocking the stairs, he didnt do this before! Seems like each day he tries to do something we thought we'd try to show him to use the stairs and he went up fine but refused to come down so DH had to carry him. He started getting quite anxious but has now calmed down and is sleeping next to his bed. We are going to try actially leaving the house later today to see how he reacts...or should we wait to do that?

He wont eat his breakfast. Doesnt even taste it, RGT told us to give weetabix with a little skimmed milk and water. We have been putting it out but he isnt interested so we tske it away and he waits for dinner (which is gulps down). He does seem to be drinking a lot water, specially during stressful moments like when he can see stuff outside that he cant get to- is this also just settling in?

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PengAly Mon 07-Jan-19 12:13:39

Also he pants A LOT and very heavily during any kind of stress, for example he will jump up and stare out the front window and if there is a cat or something he see's his panting increases and it take some time for him to calm back down and then he does it again. Basically he seems to be working himself up quite a lot and im worried the heavy panting will do him no good

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Wolfiefan Mon 07-Jan-19 12:16:44

Can you prevent him getting to the window or close the curtain for now? Sounds like he’s on edge and on high alert.
I wouldn’t leave him just yet.
What’s the dinner? Maybe he just doesn’t like the weetabix? Odd breakfast for a dog!

Letsnotargue Mon 07-Jan-19 12:19:24

The best advice you will get on this is from the Greyhound Gap forum. They’re a friendly bunch and know their greyhounds. If you google them they have a pinned post on their forum for settling in a new dog and they are really helpful if you drop them a post.

I had one for 10 years - you’re the very lucky owner of a huge doofus who will outrun you at the park and out-sleep you at home. And steal your spot on the sofa/bed given half a chance.

PengAly Mon 07-Jan-19 12:49:19

@Wolfiefan we thought it was an odd breakfast too but its what greyhound trust told us to do so...maybe he isnt hungry in the morning or should we try something else? He never seems bothered about treats. For dinner he has the kibble he is used to from the kennels soaked in some water. Its the Odds on" brand and we plan on giving better food but want him to settle down first.

We considered closing the blinds but thought he should get used to it because wont he have to accept it? I mean im assuming avoidance wont help(also we dont want to sit in the dark!) but we are first time dog owners so please advice smile

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PengAly Mon 07-Jan-19 12:51:08

Thanks @Letsnotargue will check it out! Please keep advise coming smile

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Wolfiefan Mon 07-Jan-19 13:43:20

I’m a first time dog owner too so far from an expert!!
I wouldn’t change food just yet. Mine came having a supper of Farley’s rusks and special milk. As a pup! Let him settle before deciding what food you want to feed. (We feed raw.)
I’m not suggesting you spent the rest of his life with blinds shut. Sorry. I just meant whilst he was on such high alert. Once he’s settled you can address it longer term. But might help him feel more secure for now.
Let’s has great advice!!

mais Mon 07-Jan-19 14:21:47

Hi PengAly,
We have a retired greyhound for a year now, the first few days were tough as she literally was scared of her reflection in a window never mind a mirror smile She has settled really well now - I would really recommend getting Understanding Greyhounds; Our Companions Through the Ages by Mary Fox. Of all the books I’ve read on greyhounds hers is the most insightful on the retired/regimes greyhound. She ran a greyhound rescue for over 10 years and really gets what makes a greyhound tick - they are not like any other dog.
I did a lot of research online & bought other books but to be honest there was some very misleading information out there like wearing a muzzle while out walking, not taking them off the lead etc. All this is explained in the book.
For what’s its worth our greyhound loves porridge - it’s really recommended to settle them, and is also good for their coat. It’s supposed to have calming properties for greyhounds. Our dog also eats dry food supplemented with meat, pasta, rice and other bits and pieces. She much prefers human food to dog food 😁.
Best of luck with your lovely new doggie.

PengAly Mon 07-Jan-19 14:50:55

Thank you, we dont have any porridge but may keep trying weetabix for another day

Just took him for a walk and as its still all new he is pulling on the lead a lot and im trying to stay firm but feel like im hurting him with the collar as it has ti be tight...i have bought a full martingale so am tempted to try that instead.

Its the panting thats so sounds awful!! sad

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mais Mon 07-Jan-19 15:33:56

Yes a martingale collar is best if you have one - I’m surprised he pulls a lot on the lead, usually dogs from kennels are used to being walked in a group on the lead and are generally well behaved. Treats in your pocket to keep him close by and teach him wait with slight pull on his lead and give him a treat. Make it easy for him to succeed, don’t let him go too far from you before saying wait, you want to show him that it’s worthwhile staying close beside you. Stick close to your house in the early days as it’s all so new to him there is a lot to take in, short walks close by are probably best.
The panting is anxiety unfortunately but lots of treats and rubs and a couch to lie on and he should settle. Greyhounds like being up high! Keep him in just a few rooms to begin with, maybe don’t give him the full run of the house as there would be too much to take in, just bear in mind what his surroundings was like and how much different things are now for him.

Wolfiefan Mon 07-Jan-19 15:51:18

That book sounds brilliant.
Collars? You have to shop. So many stunning ones. Someone here always mentions Meggie moo I think.

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