It’s likely that many greyhounds haven’t experienced everyday household things before, like stairs, different and slippery floor surfaces (wooden, tiled, lino, carpet) or glass doors. They tend to have poor body awareness and aren’t used to navigating all manner of home furnishings so can be fairly clumsy.
Ways that you can help your hound:
- Refer to the Fear and Anxiety to educate yourself about body language.
- Add some non-stick matting or carpet to provide grip on stairs or slippery flooring.
- Make a treat trail with delicious high value treats (e.g. possyum/superior chunky dog roll, cooked chicken, cheese) across the floor surface or stairs and let your hound investigate at their own pace.
- Have your hound wear a harness or so you can support them as they navigate stairs so you can catch them if they rush and slip.
- You may need to use a baby gate to prevent access to the stairs if you can’t supervise so the hound doesn’t hurt themselves trying to go it alone.
- Keep energy levels low for the first few days. Remember that the noise from TV, blenders, phones and garden machinery may all be new.
- Put stickers, coloured tape, an ornament on the glass door, or a chair in front, to prevent the greyhound from running at the door thinking that it is open.
- Lure them around the glass door with the treat to show them the way through.
We do ask that you keep your foster greyhound off human furniture, like beds and sofas. This is because their new family may find this behaviour undesirable, and it is confusing to have different expectations for the foster greyhound when they go into a new home.
However, if your greyhound does climb up on furniture please don’t grab their collar to pull them off, there’s a risk of the dog getting a fright and turning to snap at your hand.
Here are a few things you can do instead:
- Refer to the fear and anxiety resource to educate yourself about body language.
- Prevent your dog from climbing on the furniture in the first place by managing their environment. If you can’t supervise them, have them in a crate or a pen, attached to you on lead, or outside, so they don’t have access to the sofa or bed. Provide plenty of soft bedding for them on the floor or in the crate. This way they aren’t being rewarded for jumping on the furniture and learning how soft and comfy it is, and instead they’re being encouraged to lay down on something that’s already cosy.
- You can feed them treats when they’re settled down on their own bed to reward this behaviour. Call the dog off the furniture over to their own bed in a happy voice and reward them at that location.
- Create a positive association for having their collar grabbed – just in case you slip up and do end up reaching for their collar. When the hound is not on the furniture, gently grab a hold of their collar, then immediately feed a treat, then let go. Repeat this 10 x twice a day so they learn that having their collar grabbed equals delicious treats! This way they will be more tolerant of being handled, and less likely to snap if you do grab their collar accidentally.