Help with whippet who is depressed ?

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Help with whippet who is depressed ?

Postby luvmywhippet » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:20 pm

Hi Guys,
I need some help/advice for my 9yo whippet, Geno. Our other dog passed away almost two years ago. Geno grew up and absolutely adored him! they were inseparable. After his passing, we all went through a very depressed stage. Geno's personality changed completely. He was afraid of everything, couldn't be alone, had nightmares, etc and was NASTY to all other dogs. A trainer helped work with him and said it would be a good idea to get another dog, preferably a puppy so that Geno wouldn't feel threatened. We did proper introductions. and haven't had any issues. But I feel as if that beautiful spark is long gone out of Geno eye, ya know? He's not as playful and silly anymore. and i feel like he just tolerates our other dog. once in awhile you will catch him playing with the other dog but it is short lived. Geno is just kind of like mopey dopey. He's had a full medical health check up and everything is just fine. Geno has gotten much worse being around other strange dogs. He wants to rip every dog's face off that he meets. So we don't take him for hikes or walks on trails anymore because if a dog comes up to them he snaps and has grabbed ahold of a few lips! I don't want to muzzle him.
I have tried Bach flowers rescue rememdy and honeysuckle for about a month now and i dont think that's done anything.
Im pretty convinced that Geno's life has fell apart and is just living. Can't say that i blame him. i feel like that too, but i know i can't live life like that and i push myself to go on.
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Re: Help with whippet who is depressed ?

Postby Greybeard » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:14 am

Geno's behaviour sounds a lot like the behaviour of my Whippet/Saluki cross, Lily. I won't try to offer advice because the reasons are quite different: Lily came from a very poor home, had been beaten regularly and probably starved too. After eight months with us it's clear she still doesn't feel safe, and this probably explains her withdrawn behaviour. I would, however, like to comment on your reluctance to use a muzzle.

Lily wears a muzzle every time she goes out with us. She was introduced to the muzzle gently and with plenty of positive reinforcement, and is quite happy to wear it. Not only does this give us a less stressful time when out for a walk, but also gives us the opportunity to try to socialise Lily with other dogs (considering Lily's temperament, only with 'robust' dogs and with their owner's consent, obviously). This has helped immensely, and there are dogs Lily will now happily play chase with in safe areas (the muzzle stays on though).

Provided the muzzle is of good quality, fits comfortably and allows the dog to drink, pant and has room to feed small treats you may find Geno will be quite happy to wear one.

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Re: Help with whippet who is depressed ?

Postby GrandmaB » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:30 pm

So sorry on Geno's loss and yours. Having had two whippets who were raised together, one went into a dreadful funk when her buddy died. It took some work to get her back on track, and even years later she would retreat to her crate if something - like ice cream - reminded her of him. Could you find something totally different to do for both of you, since your mutual grief is likely reinforcing. If trail walking was something the three of you shared, what about doing something like agility or nose work at a place that will work around her snappy turn. I am suggesting that breaking up a habitual pattern and introducing new shared by the two of you activities could start the recovery process. It will be hard work but ultimately you may both find new things to enjoy and later be able to return to old joys. Let us know how it goes.
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