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Kennel front view

Home Alone

The Adjustment Period / Separation Anxiety

The length of time it takes your Greyhound to become accustomed to and relaxed in your home can vary tremendously. Some will waltz in and act as if they had lived in your house all their lives. Some will be afraid of everything. Most fall somewhere in between. It has been said that bringing a retired racer into a home for the first time is like dropping you or me on top of a mountain in Tibet. They have a lot to learn, so naturally it can be a bit frightening. But in all except for the rare worst cases, a few weeks (often just a few days) of patience and understanding will get you and your hound through it. Adjustment seems to be hardest, as a rule, for the first Greyhound, especially if there are no other dogs and if the humans are away from home a good part of the day. Remember, Greyhounds have been surrounded by friends of their own kind and spent most of their days with humans for their whole lives. Very few of them like to be left alone. So separation anxiety is not uncommon for new/first Greyhounds. It can manifest itself in many undesirable ways, including howling and/or destructive behavior. The best "cure" is often (but not always) the addition of a second Greyhound to the family.

Many new adopters, whether it's their first or their tenth Greyhound, try to arrange picking up their Greyhound on a weekend. Some choose to take a few days off work when their new hound arrives so they can spend plenty of time with him the first few days.

Don't be surprised if a hound you were told was playful and friendly seems to be subdued for a while when he arrives in his new home. Greyhound personalities tend to "blossom" over the first few months at home, even if they seem perfectly relaxed right from the beginning. As they begin to relax and feel secure with you, they'll let more and more facets of their character shine through. This can be good and bad. A dog who started out on his best behavior in an effort to fit in may let his "rascally" side begin to show during this period. But if you have consistently but lovingly established from day one that YOU are the top dog and that there are rules he must learn and obey, you shouldn't have much trouble. Many Greyhound owners thoroughly enjoy watching their initially quiet dog turn into a bit of a scamp. Just be careful not to let it get out of hand.

Remember, there is a whole network of people willing and ready to help with whatever problems might arise. All you have to do is ask.

STRANGE THINGS - Because Greyhounds have lived in kennels and on farms all their lives, things we take for granted as "every day" will be new and sometimes scary to them. Few have ever had to negotiate stairs (though the ones who go through our kennel learn them). Ceiling fans, linoleum floors, sliding glass doors and any number of other things can present challenges to them. If you have sliding glass doors or solid glass storm doors you should get several vinyl decals or masking tape and stick them on the doors at the dog's eye level until he learns the glass is there. Many Greyhounds have been injured by trying to go through glass they didn't realize was there.