True Love

This would normally be one for my dog blog but maybe my readers hereย  can help us find a solution.

Our three year old greyhound suffers from separation anxiety, so much so that if we leave her loose in the house for any length of time she destroys things….. lots of things…. things like carpets and shoes etc.

She has an indoor kennel which she loves (thank goodness) , it looks like a play pen with her duvet and stuffed toys delicately placed (by her) inside. Normally we can shut her in her kennel with a radio on for short periods during the day.

During the heat wave last week we decided to move her kennel outside into the carport, so that she could have the run of the garden but still have the safety of her playpen if she chose.

Hippie was only left for an hour and the neighbours were complaining because of the howling and barking, add to that she had destroyed anything she could find out there and, worse than that, she was distressed…

So, we have had to bring everything back indoors and still have the problem… she only does this (I am told) because she loves us and wants to find us …..

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Has anyone got any more ideas on how to help her?

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21 thoughts on “True Love”

  1. Ouch! We have the same problem. If our Sandy is left alone in the house she makes a point of finding a newspaper [or ten] and ripping it into the smallest possible pieces and than scattering them around the house. It looks like a snowstorm has hit.

    Apparently, moving a dog’s bed is very unsettling for them. Think about it – if you came home one evening and found your house was suddenly at the other end of the road, how would you feel? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Grandad´s last blog post..Waiting

  2. Hiya Grandad! I think I might like it considering the neighbours reaction!

    Actually her indoor kennel is just a day bed … her real one is in my daughter’s bedroom!!! When she’s not on my daughters bed or the settee or anywhere else she can lounge!!!

  3. Kate, no good news here. My friend’s dog Harry the standard poodle is hopeless. They’ve been to puppy school, had Bark Busters out but he just makes a total nuisance of himself when they’re not around so now they have a series of ‘babysitters’ and drop him off if they need to go out or go on holidays. Fortunately, she works at home so it’s not a huge issue for them but . . .if you’re out at work, big problem. I suppose lining your daughter’s room with soundproofing and shutting the door is out of the question? (Just kidding)

    Baino´s last blog post..Be Careful Where You Shove Your Jumbuck

  4. I kow this may sound a bit drastic, but have you thought about Premature Euthanasia? It would certainly solve the problem.

    Your neighbours relatives might comlpain, but sod ’em.

    Grandad´s last blog post..Waiting

  5. John – Welcome! Any friend of Grandad…… as they say…..
    Thank you for you help!
    I tried the link but there was nothing there – and the website didn’t hold any clues….????

    Baino – too right no good news there … other than the news that I’m not the only one with the problem – soundproofing Toria’s room would have been a good idea in her teens – sadly Hippie would just pull the carpet up and tear it into shreds like she did before.

    My word Grandad I thought you were trying to get rid of me for a moment!!! I see you speak the same language as my neighbours – do you come from round here????

  6. The post is one of William’s favourite past times when I am at work and always the important papers – they must smell nicer than junk mail!
    I have now had to resort to a box on the outside wall by the front door and a large notice taping the letterbox closed!

    As for the separation anxiety, it is recommended that you put them in another space where they can see you come and go and extend the length of absences from sight gradually so they get used to it. Also don’t make a big fuss of them as soon as you walk in the door – ignore them till you are ready to say hello to them. Taffy and William will see who is coming in the door but will go and lie on beds until I sit down to fuss them. Hope this helps xx

  7. Taffy’s mum – thank you …. I think we have tried everything we could find when we first had Hippie … but nothing worked and I guess I thought that 18months down the line, Hips would feel a bit more secure in the knowledge that we were coming back. But it seems that its her indoor cage/kennel or nothing at the moment.

    I don’t mind my house being full of kennel (too much!!) it just would be so much nicer for her to be outside!! Its not an option to leave her loose inside as you can see on her blog. And no, I don’t want another one although I know that is an option too… this one is enough!!! xx

    Grandad – I’m up for it – do you run training courses!?

  8. Well m’dear, I have no good advice as my own dearest greyhound has just destroyed a good part of our house while we were away!!

    I thought leaving him at home and having him looked after would be a good idea. Obviously not :o)

    I think you’re right – it seems to be a greyhoundy trait – they get terrible attached. Let me know if you come across any brilliant solutions x

    English Mum´s last blog post..Note to self: dogs and empty houses? Uh uh.

  9. Sorry but ill-mannered dogs are worse than ill-mannered children and a total nuisance for neighbours. Why didn’t you all train the dogs when they were pups, just like it is necessary with children.

    Try vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it at the dog each time it barks. The vinegar stings the dog for a second but does no lasting harm. If you also spray it on cushions, seats etc the dog will stay away from them. It may be necessary to repeat this each day for a week but IT DOES work.

    The other alternative is to buy a bark alarm that is tied on like a collar and gives a mild shock each time the dog barks. That works too.

    People complain about the sound of Fire crackers or Fireworks playing hell with a dogs ears and how uncaring it is to use them, well the sound of dogs barking has the same effect on some humans and I am one of them.

    How do I know that these methods work? My sister has to of the most Yappie dogs you ever came across and I tried both methods with them… problem solved.

    Once and only once have I had a dog stay in my house. It was the best guest I ever had. There was not a peep out of her and she was told once that she was not allowed on the furniture by her owner and she never tried. Also she was never given tit-bits from the table EVER and so did not associate human food with her food.

    It works if you want it to! Good Luck.

    Sorry, bad mannered animals are my pet hate! (pun intended)

    Grannymar´s last blog post..Creating a Consortium

  10. Hi Grannymar – I know exactly what you are saying – I believe all animals should know their place and in my house, when I am there Hippie has certainly learnt to do exactly as she is told. In fact many greyhound owners cannot quite believe how well trained she is.

    The problem with these dogs is that they are rescued from the tracks – ex racing greyhounds – and it is nigh on impossible to get a pup as they are all bred for training to race. We were lucky to get Hippie so young although she had been brought to the age of 18 months with the owners intention to race her and win a great deal of money.

    She had not lived in a house before and she had a lot to learn – the early days at were full of problems – most of which I dealt with using a water spray.

    Now Hippie rarely barks and is very well behaved when we are around – she just cannot be left, the anxiety of wondering where we are is too great – it is very hard to deal with and is the last hurdle.

    I hope, one day to have it sorted although from some of the comments here – I don’t feel very confident at the moment – so I think the cage will be staying – at least Hippie likes it!

  11. Val – Thank you – I hope so too but maybe like others I just need to find a baby sitter! She is so lovely when we are around I don’t want to upset her anymore.

    Daddy P – don’t they say that dogs are like their owners? In which case i agree…no contest…. barking mad here!!!!

  12. Grannymar clearly doesn’t understand that you didn’t get Hippie as a pup, any more than most of us greyhound owners get them as pups. We rescue them or take them on from the track as adults and as you know, they have never been left alone in their LIVES until they are rehomed as pets. It takes some getting used to.

    I think you should go to and do a search on ‘separation anxiety’ and ‘alone training’ and you’ll get a lot of extremely useful results, aimed specifically at greyhounds and with the ex-racer’s problems in mind.

    Another link which is useful to read (though it’s long) is this one –

    Good luck! No doubt I’ll have my hands full this coming week with a new ex-racer to train! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Have you tried leaving her with a recording of your voices?
    Record a CD of yourselves chatting to each other, or just chatting to yourself in general. Intersperse said chatting with a bit of singing, crooning, laughing etc.. Turn on CD when you go out – and voila (!) your pet canine will think you are still in the house and settle down for a nice nap! Until the recording stops that is… Perhaps you should make that a double CD…?

    Geri Atric´s last blog post..SCOTTISH DAY OUT

  14. Jay – Thank you, I sometimes think we are quite mad doing this but then I just look at her face and I’m lost! I have tried all the tricks and training I could find – I am convinced she just cannot bear to be alone – fortunately she is quite happy to be with my partner or my daughter’s partner so she has her loving set of hippie-sitters – it is just such a shame that we cannot get over this hurdle after getting over all the others!

    Let me know how its going with your new boy – I wonder if he knows what a lovely life he has to look forward to? ……

    Geri – The trouble is she follows us everywhere – with her eyes if not her body – and – she is very clever, she knows when I am nearly ready to leave for work and gets into her kennel ready for lock-down – she is quite happy… its only me that wants her to have a better time.

    I do put the radio on but I think a recording would only have her destroying more things in an attempt to find us!

  15. I would suggest joining Greytalk and searching for separation anxiety-they have some very good articles on it as to how to work with your dog-it takes a while, but it can be done.

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