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"Hi Daniel, Secrets to Dog Training is a life saver. We have four dogs, and they all have different problems. Hiring a trainer would have been too expensive, $100 a session is a price we were given. With the books I downloaded from Secrets to Dog Training, we are looking up each dog's problem and addressing it. It's like having a trainer in your home 24/7."
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Katy is a retired greyhound from the retired greyhound trust. As far as I know she has not been abused or hurt but she behaves as if she has. I have had her for 6 weeks now and the only time she shows any kind of interaction is when we play. I control play time and have tried behaving like Alpha since she first came into the house. She seems to like children but needs a very high level of stimulation for any kind of response. I live alone so there won’t be any children in the house and no other company besides me.
I am feeling quite depressed about her withdrawn nature and lack of interest in her food (she is losing weight coz she never eats up completely - eats only a quarter of her bowl)
As far as I know she never has a problem with finishing her meal at the kennels where I got her from. I don’t treat her unless I do training sessions with her with recall/ fetch toy and also not every time. I have succeeded in getting her to climb up and down the home stairs with rewards and she does them on her own now.
I feel sorry but she may have to go back if her behavior doesn’t improve over the next two weeks, as I am getting depressed with her being so withdrawn and depressed.
Hi there Nathalie,
Thank you for your email concerning your recently acquired greyhound who seems to be quite withdrawn and depressed lately. There are several reasons for this and you should consider each of them before making a decision about whether you will keep her or not.
First and foremost, she has recently come from having a busy schedule of training and racing to being retired and sedentary, living a quiet life inside away from the track. It can take several months for a working or racing dog to adjust to life in an urban area, living inside or in a small backyard. It is definitely not uncommon for dogs such as ex-racing greyhounds to be down and withdrawn for a good period after being retired from racing. For this reason alone I think that with time ( months rather than weeks) her adjustment to you and your home will make her less withdrawn and will make her want to interact with you more often. It is of course important for these dogs to continue to get as much exercise as possible as they are very fit and active dogs. So, ideally you should be taking Katy for a walk twice daily for 20 - 40 minutes if possible. Interact with her via play at home as much as possible for the next little while to help her get used to you.
You also should be sure that you are feeding Katy both the food she is used to receiving as well as the correct amount in order to fulfill her dietary requirements.
There is a possibility that you are witnessing the depressant effects of a disease entity, in which case you should be taking Katy to your local Veterinarians for a quick check up. A general Veterinarian will help rule in our rule out any potential problems Katy may have that would cause her to be withdrawn. Please consult with your Vet if you believe something health-related could be causing her withdrawn nature.
Finally, you need to be sure that you provide plenty of boredom busters for Katy. Have plenty of chew treats and toys for her and in particular, playthings such as a 'Kong' filled with peanut butter are ideal. Leave these lying around the house for her to find. Be sure toplay with her where possible and walk her as much as possible.
Best of luck with Katy and please let us know how you get on with her and how she improves.
Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team
Thank you very much for all your advice. I am realizing gradually that I will need to stick with Katy for much longer than I initially thought. She is changing everyday and playing with her is certainly helping her to open up. She is also starting to eat much better (she loves Ham, cat food and weetabix the most), and her hysterectomy scar has also healed well. She is much less tense and nervous around visitors although many times she will slip back into her old pattern of behavior. Her favorite place is her bed and her favorite toy nowadays is the Kong although she doesn’t much care whether there are treats in it or not. I am taking her back to the kennels where they have a large enclosed field so she can run around. I hope to find a place nearer to home where I can take her more often. I am too afraid to let her off the lead in the park because she will attack squirrels. She has discovered her bark and uses it whenever she sees squirrels or when she is playing with me.
Thank you very much for your help with my query and I am really enjoying reading the book and watching the videos I downloaded from your website.
Best wishes and kind regards,
I've been a professional dog trainer for well over 20 years, and in that time I've helped thousands of dog owners just like you to get the friendly, well behaved, slipper fetching, best pal they always wanted.
But it didn't start out that way. I've always loved dogs, some things never change. But when I first started my professional dog training career I relied on the so-called 'best practices' when it came to dog behavior training. It was only when I heard people tell me over and over again that they just weren't seeing results that I started to question the old accepted wisdom. So I started a journey, a quest to search out the best, most effective, techniques, tips, and tricks that really work.
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