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Melly's Achievements

Still wet behind the ears

Still wet behind the ears (3/9)

  1. Hi everyone. We have an 8.5 year old greyhound who we love dearly, but she has a history of biting. She has bit several adults that got down on her bed with her (while she was asking for pets), and she bit my 5 year old niece who just sat down next to her on the couch (the dog is not allowed on the couch, and I didn't know she was up there). She is not very well-behaved: she steals food, garbage, and household items, and she has bit or snapped at people for trying to take away things she has stolen. I made progress training her, but we now have two young children, and she doesn't get as much attention as she used to, so her behavior has gotten worse. We keep her gated away from the children (but we are worried that one slip-up could mean that she bites one of our children). She is stealing more and more items these days, and we are constantly having to figure out how to stop her from eating or destroying them without getting bit. She ends up being locked up for most of the day because of this. She needs attention and training that we can't give her, and we think she'd do well living in a house without children. Is there any chance that a Greyhound group would rehome a dog that bites? Or is it a lost cause? We are so sad at the idea of rehoming her, but the situation is so stressful and dangerous, and we don't know what to do.
  2. Hi all, I am hopping on this thread in hopes that someone with experience with Trazodone can give me some advice. Pepper is 5, and we adopted her 1.5 years ago. She had noise anxiety when we got her, but it has gotten much worse in the past few months (and now we are in storm season in Florida). She used to just go lay down and not want to move when she heard thunder or fireworks, but now, she also pants and shivers, and then she is mopey and uninterested in moving, eating, going outside, etc., for at least a day or two afterward (she also peed in the house during one storm, which is very unusual). I took her to the vet a few weeks ago, and she prescribed Trazodone, and instructed me to start with a 100mg dose, and if that doesn't help, to increase the dose up to 300mg (Pepper is 80lbs). We got up to 200mg, and it seemed to have no effect. Yesterday I tried 250mg, and she was quite sedated. She barely wanted to open her eyes, and then when she did get up, she seemed wobbly and off balance, and she had trouble jumping into the car (the thunder stopped shortly after I gave it to her, so I don't know whether it affected her anxiety). I am curious if this is what people experience with their dogs, or if it sounds like that is too high of a dose. I am trying to find a good dose before the July 4th fireworks start. Her behavior on the 250mg dose was concerning, so I thought maybe I should try the 200mg dose a few more times, but given what I read here, I don't want to sedate her without the anti-anxiety effect. I am waiting for my vet to call back so I can discuss it with her, but I wanted to get some input from those of you that have experience with Greys on Trazodone. Or, if you have any suggestions for alternative medications that might be better for noise anxiety, those are welcome too. I plan to work on desensitization training, but given the frequency of storms and Pepper's complete lack of interest in anything when she is anxious, I can't do that for the next few months at least. Thanks.
  3. Thanks for the suggestions. I should add two things: we do the back turned, arms crossed thing until she calms down. But on the rare occasions when nipping happens (maybe once every two-three weeks), we ignore her until she calms down, and then when we turn around and start walking, she gets excited again, and that's when the nip happens. I will try the toy thing! Second, when I did catch her peeing and successfully interrupted her, I took her outside and she finished peeing out there. It's the interruption that was difficult, because my efforts at making noise to stop her were not successful - she only stopped when I got to her and physically lifted up her belly.
  4. I just wanted to update in case someone comes across this thread looking for info: we ended up returning the Thundershirt, because it didn't seem to have any effect on Pepper. As an alternative, we are working on some sound desensitization using youtube Thunderstorm sounds played through the stereo and pigs ears to chew on whenever we play the sounds. We started out with the sound very low and she is tolerating louder and louder sessions, so I think we are making progress! She also did really well in Hurricane Irma. The only time she got really freaked out was when the transformer blew in our yard, but that scared the humans too.
  5. Hi all, we've had Pepper for about 9 months, and I have been working on positive reinforcement training (using Sue Ailsby's Training Levels). She's doing great, and she rarely misbehaves. Because of that, we don't have a good way of stopping her when she does misbehave. We've encountered two issues: 1) Occasionally, when she is very excited (like if we come home after an unusually long day), she nips at us as she greets us. I have been working on training her to move to her bed after we come in, where we then go and pet her; however, when the nipping happens, it occurs before we get to that step. I have tried yelling "No!" but she just wags her tail. 2) Although she's had no potty accidents in our house, she has in my sister's house, because my sister has a dog that has accidents in the house. Although the spots have been cleaned with bleach (and it is tile flooring), Pepper still smells something and pees in the same spot. We are only there occasionally, and it happens rarely, so we haven't had many opportunities for training. However, this week, I caught her in the act, and I yelled, clapped, stomped, etc., but she didn't stop (until I lifted her up around the belly). Because we reprimand her so infrequently, she doesn't seem to get it, so I am not sure what to do. A spray bottle doesn't seem to work (she loves water and being sprayed with the hose), so I am looking for any other suggestions. Thanks!
  6. Hi all, we received Pepper's thundershirt today and the XL fits great! I'll report back in a few weeks about whether we've had any success with it.
  7. Here is a video where you can hear the sound of our old Grey's bark. It was deep, but she was not a guard dog - the only time she would bark was when you stopped petting her and she wanted more, as you see in the video (my Minpin who you can hear in the background was the guard dog in the house).
  8. Thanks for your replies, everyone! I checked and my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond didn't have them either, so I ordered one today - based on your suggestions, I went with the XL.
  9. Hi all, we are having some noise anxiety issues with our Grey and are going to try a Thundershirt. I haven't found one locally, so I'm going to order it, but I'm not sure what size to get. The Thundershirt FAQs only give the size chart in weight. She is a 75lb female with a chest circumference of 30.5" Can anyone give me any info about the sizes you've used with your Greyhounds? Thanks!
  10. Thanks everyone! I should clarify that we already separate the dogs during meals, so I was more concerned about whether she might settle down next to a toy she likes and then get possessive of it if one of the other dogs (or people) got too close to it. When she growled at my husband trying to take the toy, it surprised us because it wasn't food (and she was laying on a pile of other toys), but now that you mention "high value" I realize that this was a new toy she had just discovered, so it probably was pretty precious to her at that moment. I'll continue working up to "drop it," and work on trading up in the meantime.
  11. Hi all, we recently adopted a Greyhound, Pepper, and she is a sweet and spunky 4-year old girl. She loves food, dogs, people, and petting. We are working on training her with positive reinforcement (using Sue Ailsby's Training Levels) and she's doing great with the basics. She is currently doing well with "leave it" when something falls on the floor. A few times she has growled at my husband or I - for example, when she found part of a sandwich that fell on the floor and I tried to pull it out of her mouth, and when my husband tried to take a toy that she was about to swallow a piece of. She hasn't growled at us when putting our hands near her food bowl to add special treats though. I am hoping that with training, we will avoid all of these problems (for example, once we get to the next level with "leave it," we should be able to command her to let go ). However, I am wondering what to do in the meantime. Should we just avoid going near her face when she has food/toys in her mouth? Or, should we immediately pause all other training and start working on "trading up" in order to nip this in the bud. One concern is that we spend a lot of time with my sister's dogs, both of whom have no problem sticking their heads near the other's food, treats, toys, etc., and I am worried that one of them might stick their heads near something Pepper is possessive of and she will bite.
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