Why does my greyhound just stop and freeze?
Your new greyhound has lived a very sterile life and when he goes into a home, he can become very overwhelmed – even if he doesn’t appear to be. He may very much enjoy his walks but occasionally he freezes. It can be a build-up of various things which have happened on the walk – a small dog yapping, a bike back firing, a leaf falling near his foot – or it can be just “because he can”.
Whatever the reason – he is doing it because he has not got the ability to rationalise what is happening in his new world. His head has reached overload, so he no longer knows what to do. So, he stops doing anything. So, what do you do?
This is where you – as the human – must step up and take control of the situation and help him.
He is not being naughty – he is being a greyhound and this phase doesn’t last.
DO NOT make your dog worse by becoming anxious or annoyed. It is your responsibility as the human to make this work. So long as your dog is not having a full melt down, by far the easiest and simplest way to “jolly him along” – sing, dance, muck around, speak to him in a silly voice. BUT never make him feel worse than he already feels. If you become anxious, annoyed, or irritated – you will make your dog feel anxious and then you have told him he is right to be worried. If his human is anxious, then there really is a problem – because his human thinks there is a problem.
A top tip is to ask someone a friendly dog owner to walk with you – so your greyhound can copy the other dogs behaviour.
Sometimes, in the early day, you cannot get them to turn around and walk back – so just go around in a loop until he learns. Or, try putting him in the car to drive to his walk.
If you don’t want to do that – then you need to use your muscles and carry him home.
Please always remember this never lasts – if you remain calm and stress free, it will all get better. Just take baby steps, once they find their feet and settle, they keep walking. If you slowly drip feed common sense, routine, and stability into his life he will be fine.