A shy or timid Greyhound will come around quickly.
A spooky Greyhound may take YEARS to come around.
A Spook is a Greyhound that, either because of genetics or abuse, cannot handle stress or anxiety appropriately. They over-react, in an anxious or fearful manner, to things that don't seem scary to us at all. A spook may take months (or longer) of exposure to a specific situation before they show any improvement in their stress level.
Shy dogs usually do not exhibit the physiological symptoms related to stress (panting, shaking, tail pinned under the body). They will not take to adjust to situations that.
Please don't assure adopters that all shy/spooky Greyhounds will come around in a week or two - this is just not true.
REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES
In some cases (perhaps many), shyness is either hereditary or the result of hypothyroidism. In this guy's case, it does sound like he was abused. We've had two similar cases, one of which was the result of abuse.
the first case (*not* abuse) a female lived her first 10 days in a walk-
The second case was a male. He had been in a foster home for a month before we got him as a foster. The first thing I noticed about him (other than his size, etc.) was the look of absolute terror in his eyes. He didn't trust anyone, but was particularly terrified of men. This was about 2 years ago. I haven't seen him for about a year, but last time I saw him I was still the only man (except the Idaho foster dad) he trusted. It took him almost a month to fully trust me.
As for what to do, understand I'm no expert in this, but ...
Bring her over to friends that you know will understand and
will work with her...have them squat down and quietly speak to her and give her a treat.
Take her to Meet & Greets with your local GH organization. If she balks, continue to
walk on telling her in a light happy voice what a silly dog she is being. Get behind her
and push her with your knees if you have to get her past a place that is normally OK but
one day is too scary. Let her know that you are in charge and you will protect her.
I think you should be respectful of her discomfort but don't give in to it. Don't avoid people or warn them - other than she is a shy dog. Bring her by them so she learns people are not going to hurt her.
I have a special place in my heart for the spooky dogs....when you earn their trust you will have a bond with this dog that is un-explainably special.
Believe it or not--I just wrote an article for our newsletter about spooks. What I call a spook is a shy, fearful, timid dog that will cringe in the back of her crate to avoid all human contact. However being a spook has nothing to do with the dogs relationship with other dogs. Frequently a spook will have more confidence when they're out in the yard surrounded by other greys. Being afraid of humans has nothing to do with pack hierarchy. Spooks are slow to place because they don't show well.
Here's what has always worked for me (some slower than others, of course).
Most spooks "haven't" been abused - although everyone likes to think so. Spooks are spooks due to lack of socialization during critical periods of development in puppyhood. Combine that with an inherited shy temperament and you have a tough dog to place. They usually adjust quicker if there is another grey in the home but it is essential the spook is forced into bonding with their person and not just the dog.
Since we often get complete litters of greyhounds, minimal socialization or poor treatment would manifest through most of a litter. However, when there's a spook, it's usually only one or at the most two out of the litter. One will often deal with the same breeders every year for racers to be leased. Same breeder and "raiser"...most litters are free of spooks...but every now and then one comes along.