Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Search Continues

I am still shopping for Ray. I was really hoping that Riley's littermate, Bob's Cane, would be a good fit, but he was not. He was not as food motivated as I was hoping and food motivation is important to clicker trainers. I was able to find out more about Cane and to give Screening and Placement a detailed profile on the boy. Unfortunately and fortunately, Cane is quite independent and aloof. This type of personality does not appeal to the person looking for a dog to "pick me", but he is absolutely perfect for someone who works full-time while the greyhound is home alone. Greyhounds who do not immediately bond and beg for human attention are much less likely to suffer from separation anxiety.

I prefer the aloof, independent types (i.e. Katie). I like a confident dog. You have to earn their affection and it is so rewarding to see he or she become sweeter over time. Katie had no use for me until she found out there was food in my pockets. Now she is such a doll. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love that greyhound!

I also looked at RJ's Skippy. Skippy has the food motivation I want, but he is a lazy boy. Ray has access to miles of logging trails, so I also want to find him a greyhound that enjoys lots of hiking and walking. I took Skippy on a 40 minute hike. He starts out like gangbusters, but was bored after 20 minutes. He is more of a stroll around the neighborhood hound.

On the bright side, Skippy was giving me a really good "family dog" vibe despite our original profile saying otherwise. At SEGA, we work really hard trying to pinpoint which of our available greyhounds enjoy the company of children. I took Skippy to Petco, hoping to find some children and I was in luck...... two little boys and two little girls. Skippy was very sweet. He sniffed their faces and got very calm and close to them. My gut was right! So Skippy fills an important need!

When I search for greyhounds suitable for living with small children, I like to find a greyhound that is affectionate and tends to get very close to people. If kids are available, I love to see the greyhound seek the children out or at least give them equal attention with adults. I also want to make sure I do not see any other red flags during our temperament test, such as food aggression, dramatic reaction to any handling, fearfulness, and excessive noise sensitivity.

Keep in mind that a greyhound suitable for children may tend to be prone to separation anxiety due to his or her affectionate nature. Steps to prevent separation anxiety are important for ANY greyhound that is going to live without the company of other dogs, but especially those that are very sweet and clingy. Even when you have a dog like Bob's Cane, why take a chance? I always tell people that they will never regret spending a few weeks doing preventative groundwork to ensure the new dog is happy and comfortable with the routines and rules.

SEGA has an excellent manual that includes information about separation anxiety prevention.

Rest assured, Jules. Despite being passed over, these two hounds will easily suit someone else. They are in no danger and will be adopted soon.