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Everything posted by IndyMama77

  1. We had some incidences of this when we first brought Ringer home. It was typically when one of the kids was on the floor near his bed, or as you described, stroking him for awhile and then stopping but "lingering". He would bark/growl in a threatening way and kind of lunge (he never bit us, it was always just a warning). It was quite alarming for us as well, especially since we have 3 children. I can honestly say I questioned our choice altogether, as we had just added him to our family and were longing to bond with him. I posted on here and contacted our rescue group, all of which reminded me of the importance of honoring their space boundaries, especially at first. Going forward, we did not touch him when on his bed. If we bumped him accidentally, we would toss him treats (we also did this on purpose to get him used to being jostled on occasion). We would call him over to us for affection and pet him only when he was standing up and off of his bed. We have never allowed him on the furniture. We are now at about 18 months into this, he hasn't growled/barked since those first few weeks. We can pet him even while he is lying on his bed. Just the other day, my son bumped him while playing and he hardly even looked up. We still toss him cookies as reinforcement, of course He still typically won't approach us on his own for affection, but it is starting to happen. As someone else posted, you really have to learn to speak dog with these greys, and their body language opens up more over time. I have had other dogs too, but you kind of have to forget your other dog experience, they are different. Patience is a virtue. We also learned to connect with Ringer in other ways then just touching/petting...we really enjoy walking him on trails and in wooded areas, or watching him run and play with squeaky toys. Best of luck.
  2. I totally get how you are feeling! We have had ours for a year and a half now, heck--we moved him with us cross-country! We truly do love him, and he has brought us a great deal of joy and laughter. He seems to be comfortable in our family and enjoys being with us. But there are some very challenging things we deal with off and on with him. We have had other dogs over the years, and none of them have stressed me out as this one can. His behavior can be erratic and we have spells where he doesn't sleep at night. We are currently in a "good" stretch, I hope it stays that way. Hoping you hit a good stretch soon too, hang in there!
  3. Hang in there! We had several episodes like this in the first few months. We followed the suggested steps here and have had 0 additional incidents, it just took a little time for him to feel more comfortable in his surroundings and for the kids to learn to give him boundaries while he is lying down. He is not allowed on the furniture, but he has several areas with dog beds or blankets to choose from. We have worked hard (especially with our youngest child and visitors) to remind the kids to leave him alone when he is resting. He has really settled in nicely! Time & patience...
  4. Whatever you decide, be aware that full immunity levels are not achieved until about 3 weeks after the 2nd dose. Many grooming/boarding facilities are requiring the dogs to have the vaccine, but it's actually pointless if they aren't allowing enough time for the antibodies to do their job!
  5. Agree on the "bitch" quote! I have always had male dogs (we have our 1st grey now). Better personalities overall, in my experience. But it all depends what you are looking for I suppose!
  6. This happened to us about a month ago! During an afternoon walk, I was trying to help a small bird that was wrapped up in string and Ringer looked over and just grabbed the bird in his jaws with no expression whatsoever. He wouldn't drop that bird for anything, by the time I pried his jaws apart, it was a sad and lifeless bloody heap of feathers. Although it kind of unnerved me, I realize instinct is instinct...you can't fight it. Just today, he grabbed a goose feather at the fairgrounds as though it was a prized possession. Clearly, mine has a thing for birds and he is not alone!
  7. I heard the Drontal works better as well, the Panacur didn't rid my dog of them anyway. The Drontal was super expensive though, I think $24 for 1 tablet, and at his weight he required 1.5 tablets just for one dose, which we will repeat in 2 weeks!
  8. A recent fecal test showed our grey is still loaded with hooks, despite repeated attempts to rid him of these nasty things. We are currently doing the Drontal Tabs/Advantage Multi double whammy. My concern is that the poor dog seems miserable...pacing, whining, biting at himself and panting. I feel badly for him, but I know we have to get thru it. Anyone else's dog experience this?
  9. Dave, just checking in to say that I am jealous of your fenced 15 acres! That sounds like a dream! Best of luck with the new addition, he'll get the hang of it all soon enough.
  10. Zoopy, I can completely relate to how you are feeling. We adopted a bounce dog in February. We weren't given a lot of info on why he was returned, other than his owner worked very long hours. We adopted him shortly after putting our previous dog to sleep. We have never had a greyhound before, although I researched the breed extensively before deciding to bring one into the family. Our previous dog was very outgoing and demonstrative of affection with us and everyone, so it is much different now to have a dog that is so reserved. Upon bringing him home, I felt uneasy for weeks, he just didn't show a lot of personality and the pacing at night right in the beginning drove us crazy from lack of sleep. I felt like all we did was walk and walk (and walk) and feed him. We had 2 sleep startle incidents that were very unsettling as well, and at that time I really questioned my decision to adopt this dog. We decided to continue doing what we were doing and be patient, my husband reminded me that this transition is harder on him than on us. He didn't choose to come home with us, we chose to bring him here. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and every day gets better and better. We are starting to understand him a little more, and the bonding is slowly coming along. Just last night, we had several people stop by the house for various reasons, and he greeted everyone at the door with a wagging tail. He has a very playful zoomies episode about once per day when the kids get home from school, he is giving us more (soft) eye contact, and he is learning a few simple commands. I was at a meet and greet with other much more seasoned grey owners after we first adopted him, and they told me it seems to take around 5 months for them really to settle in...which seemed like an eternity! Hang in there, and keep looking for things to experience together.
  11. Thank you all for the replies! You have given us a lot of useful information and I am feeling much better about this since first posting. We had one other episode the next day when he woke up and was briefly barking at the curtain hanging near his bed, and I am now confident that it is sleep startle behavior. Although it looks frightening, we have talked about it as a family and understand why Ringer is affected this way. We have worked a bit this week on tossing socks and such at him and then rewarding. We have also talked to the kiddos about not approaching him unless they are sure is wide awake. He really is a loving, stable guy and already a cherished member of this household. We are all so happy we had a chance to bring him in!
  12. Hello Everyone, long time dog owner but first time grey owner here. I apologize for the novel here, but I need advice. We adopted a lovely 4 year-old ex-racer mid-February. He was a bounce from a previous adopter who only had him for 6 months, he has been off the track for about 9 months. Other than being told he was likely cat friendly (he is not), he has adjusted well to our home. Seems to adore our 3 kiddos (ages 14, 11, and 7) and meets other children eagerly, whether visitors in our home or on walks. We have seen zero aggression toward people during the 6 weeks we have had him here. Our kids all participate in walking and feeding and otherwise caring for the dog. Yesterday we had an alarming incident, however. We were all in the living room as usual, hanging out on the couch and my youngest was playing with a tablet on the floor near the dog who was resting on his dog bed nearby. None of this was out of the ordinary, we are all typically in that room, watching tv, walking thru, whatever. I was sitting literally 2 feet away from my son, who had been near the dog for about half an hour. Suddenly the dog sat bolt upright and began barking and flashing his teeth, directing this behavior at my young son. I immediately yelled NO at the dog, and he stopped without further incident (it lasted only seconds). My son had made no movements or sound before this occurred, didn't bump the dog or anything like that. The dog was not sound asleep at the time. The only trigger I can think of was that a car door may have slammed outdoors. The dog is not an easily spooked type of personality. He hardly ever barks, he is very quiet. I was left very shaken by the incident, as was my son, understandably. I spoke with several dog people, including a rep from my rescue group, who chalked this up to a sleep startle response. I know this behavior can be typical of racing greyhounds. I guess my hesitation here is that we frequently bump and touch the dog while sleeping (we are a busy household) and have never previously encountered this in the time we have had him. We do not crate him because he was absolutely miserable and howling in the crate, to the point of injuring himself trying to escape. Except for baby gates, he has free roam of the main level of the house and does very well. We have a smaller, open concept home and there is no "out of the way" area to put his dog bed. He often chooses to snooze in the most high-traffic ares of the house, and doesn't seek to isolate himself or get away from our normal activities. He gets a great deal of exercise and I have started clicker training him as well. He has been a balanced member of the family pretty much since his arrival. Does this incident sound like sleep startle to you? What actions could I take to prevent other incidents of this kind? I will confess that I thought this dog was an ideal match for our family and now in the past 24 hours, I am afraid he will bite my kids. Curious whether anyone out that has any ideas that might help put my mind at ease.
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