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  • Writer's pictureHounds in Homes

Welcoming Your Greyhound: A Guide to the First Night

A foster greyhound settling in to its new home
Jessica - fawn greyhound

Bringing home a greyhound for the first time is a beautiful experience, but it can also be overwhelming, both for the dog and the new owner or foster carer on the first night. Understanding what to expect on the first night can make the transition smoother for everyone involved.

What to Expect: When your greyhound arrives, it's common for them to exhibit signs of nervousness or fear. These signs may include heavy panting, timidity, excessive water drinking, chewing paws, refusal to eat or drink, pacing, hiding in small spaces like bathrooms or laundries, cowering, and keeping their tail between their legs. These behaviours stem from the unfamiliarity of their new surroundings and the stress of transitioning from a shelter or previous home.

Creating a Safe Space: To help your greyhound feel secure, designate a quiet area in your home where they can decompress. A large crate can serve as a safe haven where they can retreat when feeling overwhelmed. Ensure the crate is cozy and inviting, with soft bedding and perhaps a piece of clothing with your scent to provide comfort.

Patience and Understanding: It's crucial not to force your greyhound to interact or come out of their shell prematurely. Give them the space they need to adjust at their own pace. Be patient and understanding, offering gentle reassurance without overwhelming them. Avoid loud noises or sudden movements that could startle them further.

Bonding Through Respect: Building trust and forming a bond with your greyhound takes time. Respect their boundaries and let them initiate contact when they feel comfortable. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to encourage good behaviour and create positive associations with their new environment.

Establishing Routine: Greyhounds thrive on routine, so establish a consistent daily schedule for feeding, walks, and bedtime. Predictability helps them feel secure and reduces anxiety. Gradually introduce them to your household routine, keeping activities low-key initially to prevent overwhelming them.

Seeking Professional Help: If your greyhound's anxiety persists or if you encounter any concerning behaviours, don't hesitate to seek guidance from a professional. A veterinarian or animal behaviourist can offer tailored advice and support to address specific issues and ensure a smooth transition for your new furry friend.

Welcoming a greyhound into your home is a rewarding experience that requires patience, understanding, and compassion. By providing a calm and supportive environment, you can help your new companion adjust to their new life and lay the foundation for a strong and loving bond. Remember, with time, patience, and plenty of TLC, your greyhound will flourish and become an integral part of your family.

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