Help / regrets : Statueing, endless energy, won't sleep through the night

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Help / regrets : Statueing, endless energy, won't sleep through the night

This is a discussion on Help / regrets : Statueing, endless energy, won't sleep through the night within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi everyone, I adopted a six-year old greyhound two weeks ago and am really struggling. The first week was great -- I got the couch ...

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Old 03-30-2016, 02:03 AM
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Help / regrets : Statueing, endless energy, won't sleep through the night

Hi everyone, I adopted a six-year old greyhound two weeks ago and am really struggling. The first week was great -- I got the couch potato I wanted and we were getting along great, but starting a week ago her behavior has worsened and her energy is crazy high :

As far as exercise : I walk her 30-40 minutes before I leave for work, 20 minutes over lunch, and 40-50 minutes after work at around 7. And still, she's energetic, not ready to sleep or rest at night.

Problem is, she's started "statueing" on walks -- planting her feet and absolutely refusing to move during walks. (I wait it out, sit down, try to move her, walk her around in a circle, bribe her with cheese, etc). So it becomes 2-3 miles of me doing endless circles around my apartment complex because at least if she refuses to walk I won't be too far away from home.

When she's not statueing, she's lunging at small creatures, birds, and/or things only she can see. So my walks outside of the apartment complex become near jogs on a tight leash where I encourage her to stay focused and not stop ever until we're close enough for me to carry her if it comes to that.

She also does the "zoomies" at least twice a day, which I know are normal but really scare me and are at pretty inopportune times of day (downstairs neighbors). The first time she did zoomies was coupled with a morning when she barked me awake, so now I have this irrational (but still there) fear of my dog. I read up on calming signals and now I see them (real or imagined, who knows??) all the time, and I'm terrified that she'll bite me. She does have a sleep startle...so I never approach her when she's lying down.

Meanwhile, at night, she wakes up every two hours or so, does the "shake the water off" thing, whines and/or barks (I ignore it), and lays back down.

I'm sure all of these things are normal, but I guess I'm just really struggling right now. I feel like I haven't slept in a week, I spend every morning and night crying and seriously wondering why I decided to do this. I dread coming home from work and dealing with her and I absolutely dread going on walks. I came SO close to losing my temper today that I had to step into a different room and right now I'm seriously contemplating sleeping on the couch and baby gating her into my bedroom so I can get some sleep.

My job is taking a real hit since even when I go in I have no focus and spend the entire day on forums like these reading up on things I can try.

I've signed up for training classes (starting tomorrow), I got a midday dog walker, and once I get her vaccinations up to date I'm going to try day care. I'm just not sure what to do, I can feel the resentment growing in my heart and I feel terrible about it. I also am concerned about her energy level -- I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle a high energy dog, especially without a yard for her to run around in, so I opted for a much older, lower energy breed.

I'm wondering if this is a dog who just needs a yard to run around in -- I did look into renting a house (with a fenced yard) instead of an apartment, got a realtor and found out how to break my lease, but was advised that breaking my lease will only make it harder for me to rent here and anywhere. (Lease was just renewed so have another 12 months).

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Old 03-30-2016, 02:42 AM
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It's to late at night for me to write a long reply, and address many of your concerns, I'll try to do so tomorrow if no one else beats me to it. I do however have a suggestion for burning off some of her energy.

First though, don't fret to much about her behavior yet. She's still settling in and will likely change her behavior a bit more as the weeks and months wear on, hopefully for the better and her energy will lessen.

Speaking of energy, that's what I had a suggestion for. Since she seems to have a really good prey drive what I'd do is make or purchase a flirt pole (dog toy, attached to a rope, attached to a pole) many people make them out of horse lunge lines, then I'd make or buy a long line of at least 25 to 30 feet or longer, and a harness for her in case she bolts on the long line. Find a nice field and take her there, have her wear the harness and long line and play with her with the flirt pole. Move it around, have her run and jump trying to catch it. You'll be able to pretty much stand in one place while she wears herself out. Once she has a bit less energy she'll likely walk better on leash and you'll be able to work on her other problems a bit easier.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:15 AM
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First things that come to mind...is this an ex-racing greyhound and if so do you know where she's been since the end of her racing career eg, in other homes, breeding? If it's like UK she'll be tattooed, possibly inside of mouth.
Do you know why she was available for adoption?
Is she eating food that has any artificial colourants, flavourings or preservatives? Like in children, these can cause appalling behaviour in some dogs.
Can you go back to whoever you adopted her from ( particularly if it was a shelter/re-homing centre) and get help?
Do you think a vet-check may be in order? Sometimes physical stuff/pain can affect behaviour.
Sorry this is just lots of questions and no answers yet for you. As far as racing greyhounds go ( just as a comparison) in UK they do 2 x 20 minute walks on lead a day as basic exercise so not much compared to what yours gets ( got this info from a trainer).
Hope some of this will help eventually. The main thing with any rescue dog with problems is for you not to feel like you're failing...some of them come with a lot of baggage.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:49 AM
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What sort of mental stimulation do you do? People often underestimate how much this can wear a dog out. I have a fairly high energy lab x border collie and after every training session, she plops on the couch. She loves to train and is excited and attentive but when we're done, she's wiped. On the contrary, I've taken her on a 13 hour hike up a mountain and when we get back to the car, she's wagging her tail and running circles around me, ready to go back up! It's not always about physical exercise. I recommend doing a few short training sessions per day, play crate games, get puzzle toys, etc. If her obedience is good, start teaching her tricks. There are FB groups and YouTube videos that can show you how to teach them so it wouldn't cost anything at all.
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:40 AM
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I agree with Aspen. Nothing really wears my guys out like training.

Everyday I make sure they get some good physical exercise and training (mental exercise) and it works beautifully. When we're not doing stuff with them, they just quietly lay around the house, chew on their toys, and relax. When I don't give them enough physical AND mental exercise, they aren't tired out and there is lots of running around the house barking like maniacs.

With physical exercise, they could go for hours. But the 1 hour weekly obedience class we go to wipes them out (it's an advanced level class). At home I divide their training into several short sessions throughout the day (I often use their kibble to train them twice a day at meal time).

For the OP- daycare can be a great option while you are working, provided you find a good one. The one I use is run by an experienced dog trainer and she personally screens every dog that comes through the door. A full day evaluation before the new dog can join the play group. She also separates the dogs into two groups based on size, energy, and play style. I generally take my guys for a half day (4-5 hours) twice a week. They love it. I would encourage you to take a tour of the facility and ask lots of questions before bringing your dog.

Additionally, I strongly recommend you do an obedience class. This is a great way to bond with your new dog AND tire your dog out. Bonding is more than just developing mutual affection, it means you and your dog become a team that knows how to communicate with each other and work together to accomplish tasks.

Hang in there. It gets better
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:35 AM
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Thanks everyone!

Rain -- I love the flirt pole idea! I'm going to a meet and greet with the rescue group this weekend so I'll see if anyone has an extra one I can try out / a field with relatively low traffic I can go to.

Linda -- It's US, so her tattoo is in her ear. She was a blood donor for a couple of years after the end of her racing career. I will definitely check the food coloring. I've been emailing back and forth with the rescue center but they haven't had too many suggestions for burning off energy / statueing so I wanted to open it up. I'm going to the vet very early next week -- she used to be on a thyroid medication but I was told to wean her off, so I'm wondering if that could have something to do with it.

Yeah, I figured maybe 2 x 30 walks since she's not racing at all, but doesn't seem to be enough :P. Also, even if she required 2 x 60 I would be okay with that, if walking wasn't such an ordeal.

Aspen726 -- I'm starting obedience classes today! So hopefully I can work in some sessions. I have a couple of puzzle toys and she gives up pretty easily if it's just kibble. I'm going to try putting just a little bit of her favorite treat in there to see if that will help.

SchnauzerGirl8810 -- I'm starting basic obedience now but depending on how she does I was thinking about joining an obedience club that we go to once a week, hopefully it'll wear her out! As far as daycare, yeah it's one of the ones with a full day evaluation, screen, and size separation ... still nervous to leave her there though but I think she'd love to ability to run full speed one or twice a week.

Thanks for all of your support!!!
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:46 AM
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All great suggestions here. And I wouldn't put greyhound and couch potato together....

Type of food and when you're feeding? If the dog is getting sugars and carbs - but not able to burn it off. That would be akin to jumping a kid up on sugar and expecting them to sit and be quiet.

Does the dog have any recall? Trusted to be off leash? I really have to try one of those poles, keep hearing about them.

Are there any past blood test results or vet records that you can pull? If the dog was on a thyroid med and you were told to wean, then there should be some reason for it.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:48 PM
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If a dog is on thyroid meds, means the thyroid is off and usually it's a lifelong health issue and is not weaned off. Unless she had another health issue that temporarily affected the thyroid gland but not sure how common that would be. If she's bouncing off the walls, she could very well have an overactive thyroid. I wish you all the best in figuring out something that works for you and your dog.
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