Newbie Lurcher Owner

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Abby24601
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:43 am

Hi everyone!

My partner & I have adopted our first rescue dog together!

He is a brindle Lurcher, now named Henry (previously Hunter). He has just turned 3 year old & been in the rescue centre since November last year!!

He was given up by a family due to a change in circumstance (divorce I think). He was taken by one family but they gave him back for "jumping on the sofa"

He was very calm & quiet in the kennels & still is when you are with him at home. However, he is being very vocal about his separation issues (just whining & barking, no chewing or mess). We adopted him Saturday so it's still early days (I'm guessing it will take 1-3 weeks for him to understand how things work here). He was great last night though! But apparently refused to settle after I left for work this morning.

Henry sleeps in his (open) crate in our kitchen (as this is the safest place for him when we are not around). I work a 5 hour day job & I start his day by letting him out the back, taking him for a 10 min walk followed by breakfast at 8am (I then leave around 8.15). My partner is self employed so usually leaves around 10am (at the earliest!). Currently he is going to see Henry about 15 mins after I leave when he does not settle (howling & barking).

At the moment my partner (Will) has been working on our own house so he takes Henry out again for an hour so. He then works on the house (refurbishing the living room, which is a level above the kitchen Henry is kept in). As long as Henry can see Will come & go he then settles for most the day.

I am then usually home by 2.20pm and chill out with him for an hour (relaxing with my cuppa), & doing a bit of training/playing/mental stimulation (I find this has been very effective helping him calm down at night). He eats again at 8pm & we then take him for a 30-60 minute walk in the evening, preferably close to bed time. Besides all this he's happy to sleep in his crate but only if you are in the same room.

I do try to have some time to myself (allowing him time to himself) in the afternoon/evening (usually to do any housework & watch Hollyoaks, my guilty pleasure!). This is a bit hit & miss with the howling & barking.

My plan of action for most afternoons is to leave him for 5 mins, then 10, etc. etc. But any other tips are more than welcome.

JudyN
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by JudyN » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:16 am

Just a quick question - I'll come back to this later - but would you be able to arrange things for the time being so that he never had to be left at all? if both you and OH have to be out, would you be able to have someone come in to be with him, or could you leave him at a friend/relative's house?

In the meantime, there's more about SA here: https://positively.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=20143
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Abby24601
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:36 am

Hi,

We cant at the moment. Fortunately because of my partner being self employed he hasn't actually been home alone, but sometimes in different rooms.

We need the kitchen to be his sleeping spot also because I have slight dogg allergies. We did meet him several times before adopting him & my allergies were fine but bringing him upstairs (as we did once when we were afraid he may hurt himself) is just too much for my allergies. Also the kitchen is the safest place for him when we are out so we want him to get used to it.

Currently I find tiring him out with mental stimulation (on top of his walks)& fake leaving seems to help (though fake leaving can be a bit hit and miss). We want to make it as easy on him (and the neighbours) as possible.

We are advised not to let him off the lead for a week or so (he was good at the animal sanctuary but I suppose he needs to get to know this area). I expect once he can do some sprints he'll tire out quicker at night/when alone.

We are finding Victoria's videos great for mental stimulation ideas but all ideas are welcome.

delladooo
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by delladooo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:00 am

Hi and welcome to the forum. For separation anxiety, I really can't offer anything remotely as good as Judy will be able to so I'm not even going to try. I just want to wish you luck and say that you will more than likely find your allergies "disappear" in a few weeks. Technically, I'm allergic to all animals and most things in the environment but forced repeated exposure and you build up a resistance so there is hope on that front :wink:

Ask any and all questions you can think of, there are no stupid questions here :D

Abby24601
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:54 pm

Lol thanks for the welcome. I had dogs & cats since childhood then all of a sudden when I turned 16 I went into anaphylaxis shock from cats. (fortunately the dog was never allowed in our bedrooms & the cat pretty much went out all day every day, by her choice not ours lol) I'm still bad with cats but my dog allergy does seem to be improving (or my will power/denial). I researched greyhounds after seeing Henry at the shelter &turns out they only have one layer of undercoat & very thin skin so some allergy sufferers are okay with them. I can give him a few cuddles thank god! That isn't possible with my mums dog & you can tell he prefers my partner to me :(

mansbestfriend
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by mansbestfriend » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:12 pm

Hi. Could you clarify if your dog is a lurcher or a greyhound. Greyhound ex-racers can need fairly specific understanding, especially at first while they're settling in and tying to make sense of their new situation/home/people/etc. Cheers. :)
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Sit.

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Nettle
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Nettle » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:13 am

Be very careful when you do let him offlead. I think a week is too soon but I can't see him and how he is bonding with you (SA is not necessarily indicative of bonding) and I would strongly recommend finding an enclosed area the first few times. Also keep well away from anywhere with deer. I've kept lurchers for decades and I love 'em - but I never exercise where there is a chance of coming across deer.

Have you read The House Lurcher by J. Drakeford? Lots of useful information for pet lurcher owners there.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Abby24601
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:39 am

He is a lurcher, the rescue think whippet x. No previous racing,

Fortunately there's no deer but plenty of squirrels i'm sure lol. Thanks for the book recommendation!

He seems to be coping better now. Last night was another silent night for us, and he seems to stop crying & barking after 10-15 minutes alone. Is this a good sign?

JudyN
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by JudyN » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:00 am

I agree with Nettle that a week is quite soon to be letting him off lead. In the meantime, you could try walking him on a long lead (attached to a harness, not collar) and working on recall.

You are doing great with the mental activity - as you've discovered, it can tire out and calm a dog very effectively. There's some ideas for exercising his brain here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1135

It's brilliant that he's doing well at night :D Ideally, during the day, you wouldn't be leaving the house at all until you knew he was happy to be alone in his room with you elsewhere, but as you can't do this, try to ensure he's as tired/relaxed as possible when you do leave him. If he gets really upset just once, it can reinforce his fear about being left, whereas leaving him for very short periods of time (which can just be seconds to begin with) gives him lots of experiences of you leaving and it being OK. Do you leave him with something to do, such as a frozen stuffed Kong, treats scattered around the room, a cardboard box to destroy, or so on? How well this works will depend on how food motivated he is and how inclined he is to entertain himself - my lurcher hardly ever plays with a toy by himself so I can't leave him if he's not ready to relax/sleep.

As he isn't destructive, one thing to consider is whether he'd be happier with the run of the house (excluding your bedroom because of your allergies). Some dogs prefer it, others like the security of a more confined space. Some people find Adaptil calming diffusers effective as well. But it does sound as if everything is headed in the right direction so you may want to carry on with what you're doing and see how it goes :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Abby24601
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:37 am

Thanks everyone.

He will get more space but we are refurbing the living room atm. We were hoping to get it done before getting him but the rescue convinced us the ktichen is fine.

We do plenty of fake leaves throughout the day which seem to be helping (he won't entertain himself either though lol)

We actually came across and empty childrens park that was fenced in with no one around so we tried letting him have a run around, it was amazing! He seemed so happy once he realised the lead was off took him a while as he walks loosely on it anyway) We tried calling him back & fourth to each other (& getting him to stop when he reaches us) turns out his recall is great! He seemed much happier throughout the evening after this (a tired dog is a happy dog). This morning when I woke up extra early to let him relieve himself & take him out before work, he wouldn't even get out of bed! Finally starting to see the typical lazy lurcher! :)

JudyN
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by JudyN » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:21 am

Yay, he sounds wonderful, and he's lucky to have found such great new owners!

I'm sure you've already considered this, but his recall in an open area with lots of interesting smells, sounds and movements is likely to be worse than in an enclosed children's park. You could say that of amost all lurchers though!
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Abby24601
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:03 pm

aa yes tat is a worry. we are gonna stick to te park for another week or so, so e can let off steam without any dangers

Also alf my key board is broke so ope tat makes sense lol

emmabeth
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Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by emmabeth » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:32 am

With your recall practice (fresh in my mind as I've been working on this with some clients dogs this week)...

As he comes to you, run backwards, so he keeps coming, and make sure you slip a finger through his collar BEFORE you give him his reward.

This way you make it a habit to run RIGHT to you and not stop a foot or so away, and you make it a habit that his 'has his collar felt' prior to reward, so he does not associate this with being caught and put back on the lead.

You can also chuck in clipping the lead on and taking it off again to further proof against shenannigans in this area! :)
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

Abby24601
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:26 am

Re: Newbie Lurcher Owner

Post by Abby24601 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:58 am

Awesome idea! Thanks!

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