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Found 30 results

  1. We adopted a 3 year old male retired racer (Otis) in August 2018. He had just retired from racing that June and was fresh from the track. We dealt with hookworms for several months that just cleared up in October. We also dealt with separation anxiety that included accidents in the house and destruction of furniture, but all issues have been resolved for the most part (he still has accidents occasionally when we leave the house, especially when it is dark outside). As far as his behavior, he has always been very friendly toward humans and strangers. He pretty much ignored other dogs, sniffing them briefly but otherwise not interacting. Cats mean nothing to him. Recently, however, he has begun to develop some troubling behaviors involving aggression. A few months ago, a friend of my partner's was alone with Otis in the living room. He handed Otis a bone to chew on and then attempted to pet him on the head, and Otis lunged from a lying position and nipped him in the face. He had never done this before. He did not growl. Obviously the friend should not have attempted to get so close while Otis chewed on his bone, but the incident still shocked us and raised a bit of alarm, but we figured it was a one-off. Since then, he has shown some aggression towards other dogs on walks. When dogs and their owners are approaching us on the street, his ears and tail will stiffen and he gets eerily quiet before lunging and growling. It is clearly not playful in intention. We took him to my mother's for Thanksgiving (he had been many times before and never had any issues) but this time he lunged at a neighbor who entered the home and growled at my sister when she walked past his dog bed. He also growled at a small child who had been petting him for more than ten minutes without any issues. At the dog park he wears a basket muzzle and this seems to help. He plays with other dogs and does not growl or show aggression. He approaches other dog owners and asks for attention and rubs. He seems in a good mood and has a good time. We assumed his behavior was improving and that socialization was helping. However, last night my partner's mother arrived from out of town to stay with us. Last year when she stayed Otis was a perfect angel and allowed her to pet him and behave normally around the house. This year, he was excited to see her when she entered the home but attempted to bite her (bit her scarf instead, thankfully) when she approached the couch on which he was sitting. I should note that he has exhibited sleep startle in the past, but each of these scenarios occurred while he was completely awake and alert. This behavior is very troubling to us and especially to my partner, as this is his first dog. Does anyone have any experience with this bizarre new behavior pattern and have any advice? We have yet to reach out to our adoption group but are considering asking for recommendations for a trainer or behaviorist. Is there hope for this situation, or are we destined to have a dog who can't be around friends and family without a muzzle? AFTER NOTE: He has previously been allowed on our bed and the couches, but since the aggressive behavior began we have restricted him to only his dog beds and his crate. While my partner's mother is visiting with us, he will wear his muzzle in the house. We take the muzzle off when he is confined to our bedroom to sleep at night (at the foot of the bed in his own dog bed).
  2. Hello. My wife and I recently adopted a 2 year old male greyhound about 6 weeks ago. Overall he has been settling in really great and seems comfortable and at ease most of the time. However, I am seeking advice whether there's anything we can be doing to help him not be so fearful or timid when meeting new people, particularly while in our home. Overall he is inherently shy and typically won't let strangers pet him. Even if he's met someone before it doesn't seem to matter. However, I wouldn't describe him as excessively fearful either - just guarded. He'll approach and sniff, but from a distance and on his own terms. Sometimes (not always) we can entice him to accept treats from a stranger, but that show of goodwill never parlays into him allowing them to pet him. My wife is a singing teacher who works from home and she teaches anywhere from 2 to 10 students in our living room per day. Part of the reason we became interested in greyhounds as a breed in the first place is because they aren't known as incessant barkers and they're typically used to being handled by strangers due to the kennel environment - both traits that are essential given my wife's line of work. Luckily, the singing and loud sounds don't seem to phase him at all. The first two weeks in our home he hardly payed any attention to the students, I think because at that point in his adjusting to our home there was very little differentiation to him between his relationship to them versus to us. The following two weeks we were essentially snowed in together, so no students came to the house and during that period is when he truly became acquainted with us and began to bond to us. However, since my wife began teaching again about a week ago he has growled, barked, and sometimes lunged at her students on several occasions. Again, he didn't pay any attention to them at all for two weeks at first so we had thought that he was comfortable with guests at the house. But now that he is comfortable with the house and with us he seems to perceive visitors as a threat. Now we are wondering what to do, especially if we can't get it under control soon. We can't afford to sacrifice my wife's livelihood for the dog. Ever since he began acting out I have tried to carefully oversee and observe all of his introductions/interactions with the students. All of the students have been very gentle, non-threatening, and respectful in how they approach him. In fact, he never starts out the gate barking or posturing aggressively. Typically, he'll come over in an innocuously curious fashion at first just to see who has arrived, and then after 10-30 seconds he'll suddenly bark aggressively and assume a defensive (and aggressive, from the student's perspective) posture without warning. Clearly, for some reason or another he is fearful of them in that moment even though they haven't done anything to warrant that response. After we intervene he calms down and pretty much doesn't pay them any mind for the remainder of their lesson. Overall it's a pretty minor interaction, and if you have prior experience with dogs it's pretty easy to recognize that he's not acting purely out of aggression and that there's no need to be fearful. However, my wife has no prior dog experience, and it's clearly a rattling experience for her students as well. Plus, he's a big boy, which in itself can be intimidating. Also, although I discourage it, lately he's started following them around afterward out of curiosity to the point of being uncomfortably close in some cases. I'm sure this is very intimidating for the students, and if it led to another outburst that would be very bad. My primary question is are there any exercises or training we can be doing to accelerate the process of him becoming comfortable with strangers in our home (and in general)? I'm sure that in a few more weeks/months he'll naturally acclimate to the parade of strangers in our home, but I don't think we can afford to keep up the "I'm really sorry, I don't know why he did that" response for much longer. Also, I have been working from home as well during the entire time since we adopted him. So not only have I been around to oversee his interactions with students, but I've been primarily responsible for his needs throughout the day and he spends most of the day following me around. However, I go back to work exactly a week from today, and if there's anything we can be doing between now and then to make him less fearful of strangers it would really help give me peace of mind. Given my wife's overall inexperience with dogs I worry about something happening while I am gone. Clearly the obvious solution is to crate him up whenever company is here, but I really don't see that being a long term solution given the large number of people we have over during any given week. However, perhaps in the short term that would possibly help to get him accustomed to the frequent visitations and perhaps reduce any associated stress he may be feeling? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks! - Derrick -
  3. Hello everyone! My husband and I are in the process of adopting a grey. We are approved and currently waiting for the perfect pup to add to our family. I have a major concern though. We have a grandson who is 2 years old. He is respectful, but toddlers are toddlers and dogs are dogs. We were about to go meet a potential adoptee when the foster parents told us about the dog being aggressive towards her children. This happened three times with three potential greyhounds! Im starting to lose hope that we will ever find a greyhound that is kid friendly... our grandson is around probably 4-5 times a week. I realize it will take awhile for the dog to get acclimated to being around crazy toddlers and Im prepared to put in the effort and time to make it work. However, is this breed simply not compatible with toddlers? I want a greyhound so bad, they have the perfect personality but now Im starting to get cold feet.. anyone out there have a good experience with introducing greyhounds and toddlers? Thanks yall.
  4. Good Afternoon Greyhound Friends! I wanted to ask a quick question about Greyhound to Greyhound behavior. We have had our boy for close to a year and a half and overall, everything is going wonderfully and he has really done well adapting to his retired life in our home. He gets along with small dogs, non-greyhound dogs, and other greyhounds; however, I do have one question - Sometimes, when we are at Greyhound Events he will growl and/or air-snap at other greyhounds -- especially if the other grey approaches him "nose to nose." I am just curious what other people's experience is with this. We have a foster girl that will also do this OCCASIONALLY; however, she is newly off the track and still not really confident with her surroundings. Again, most of the time our boy is just fine and when not on a leash, only growls if his space is invaded when he's sleeping (which is understandable). Thanks for any insight!! We appreciate it.
  5. Hey everyone, We adopted our 5 year old grey last April. She's been an amazing pup, but has been struck by a massive corn in her left hind leg. She's been lame for nearly a month while we waited for it to form, and now has a pulled groin as a consequence of it all. The corn was hulled today. Leading up to the procedure, she's been incredibly aggressive when approached and touched lying down. We've avoided triggering her this way as much as possible. But unfortunately - she never growls, resorting immediately to snaping & biting. She bit a friend recently and now she's become aggressive when I attempt to treat and moisturize her paws. Even muzzled, she still manages to nip me. I'm wondering if anyone has some suggestions on curbing her pain-aggression and managing her pain. I'm going to try treating her paws standing up. Any and all help is appreciated. Before this, we had absolutely no behavioural problems with her. Thanks, M
  6. Hi, I'm new to this forum and have had my retired greyhound (he's called Kai) for 1 week. I know this isn't a long time at all, but my grey has started to show signs of space aggression already and this is something we want to nip in the bud as soon as possible so that it doesn't escalate. His bed is next to the sofa in our house, as that's the only place it would fit (it's quite big!) and we've been snapped at a few times by Kai; the first couple of times due to our fault, the last one for seemingly no reason at all. The first time was because my boyfriend's dad came over and touched Kai's paw while he was sleeping, so Kai snapped at him. I've seen sleep aggression before and I told him not to touch Kai when he was on his bed as they've never been woken up by touch before and often get startled. The second time was when my boyfriend was playing with a soft toy. He was wriggling it around while Kai lay on his bed and Kai seemed to enjoy trying to bite it. We misread this though and Kai snapped at my boyfriend. Completely our fault; not blaming the dog at all. So now we leave him alone when he has toys on his bed. The third time was yesterday evening. I was sitting on the sofa just talking to my boyfriend when Kai growled and barked aggressively at me for no reason; I wasn't in his 'space', I wasn't even facing him! He just got angry at me and obviously this shook me up a little bit. I'm not sure if this is because his bed is right by the sofa so that he thinks the sofa is still 'his space' (even though he doesn't get on the sofa)? Every time he's snapped it's always been when he's on his bed. Anyway; we were considering getting a crate for him (the door would ALWAYS be open) as he'd been crated before when in foster and liked it as his 'safe space'. This will help both my partner and I, as well as Kai, get used to the boundaries as to where HIS space is and where OUR space is. The thing is though we can't fit a crate in our living area; and the only place it'll go is in the kitchen. This would mean that he's in a different room to us whenever he's in his crate and I'm not sure if that's a good idea either. Completely at a loss of what to do!! I've spoken to the kennels where we got him and they've agreed to help us to make him more confident and getting a crate was step 1. Do you think it'll be okay in the kitchen or does it have to be in the same room as us? Thanks in advance
  7. We've had our grey for about 5 months now. He's 4 years old and has been settling in great so far. He is small dog and cat friendly, and has always been calm and friendly with the other dogs at the dog park (we live in an apartment so we take him to the sizable apartment dog park several times a day). It's usually empty, but he's never had any problems with the dogs he's played with (more like co-existed with) there. He LOOOOVES chasing and chewing on balls so we are usually playing fetch with him there. HOWEVER, someone in our apartment recently got a lab puppy that is very in his face when they're together at the dog park. The puppy doesn't leave him alone, and is getting pretty big so he can really jump up to his face now. Usually he grabs his ball, growls at the puppy, and trots away when he gets too close. If the puppy gets bored and leaves, he lays down to chew on his ball until the puppy comes back and then the same thing happens. He grows and barks, but he has never nipped because he won't put the ball down when the puppy is nearby. The puppy's owner is unconcerned about this because "he has to learn to not to jump in dog's faces somehow". Today they were at the park together and this was happening, which was nothing new. I wasn't intervening because the puppy's owner wants to let them work it out themselves. When it was time for us to go, I took the ball from him (this is usually what I do when we leave the dog park, because he'll follow me if I have the ball in my hand) but he completely ignored me and went after the puppy. He was nipping/biting at him (I don't think he hurt him, but I was sure concerned) and completely bowled him over running after him, barking and growling the whole time. He ran around after him like this for a bit, with both of us trying to call/catch our dogs. He bit/nipped the puppy a few times, but I don't know if it was that hard because the puppy never yelped. The puppy was definitely trying to get away from my grey though. After we had the dogs under control, the owner didn't seem that concerned, sticking to his "that's how he's got to learn to not be so annoying to other dogs" line, but I was mortified and concerned because I'd never seen him act that way and he COULD really hurt the puppy if he wanted to. So now I'm wondering, was he just asserting himself the way dogs do and I should just let it work itself out the next time they're at the park? Or do I need to cut off all contact and make sure we're never at the dog park at the same time from now on? Is there an in between? He has never reacted this way to a dog before, even dogs that were acting aggressively toward him. A greyhound is by far the biggest dog I've ever had, so I'm not sure if I'm overreacting to a normal dog interaction or if this is really something to be concerned about.
  8. Hi all, This is my first post on this site - and first of all, let me say I'm so grateful a site like this exists! Here is a brief (kinda) breakdown of our issues: My husband and I rescued our greyhound, Ragnar, in August of 2017, at which time he had just turned 2. We both grew up with big dogs, but neither of us had ever owned a greyhound before. Let me start by saying Ragnar is the sweetest dog - everyone who meets him says the same thing. He will stand next to you getting pet for as long as you'll let him, give kisses, and is all around just playful and sweet with strangers and friendly with other dogs. He does get a little worked up over small kids, but more in a playful way, and doesn't realize how big and heavy he is compared to little children. So we avoid these situations and have kept him muzzled around kids just in case. So shortly after we adopted Ragnar, he started exhibiting some aggression with food, toys, and furniture to the point where he has bitten me and my husband, and his father in law who was staying in our home and making commands toward Ragnar. If we gave him something highly prized, like a bone, for example, and went to try to take it away, he'd start growling and probably bite if we proceeded. If we went near his food bowl while he was eating, he would pause and start growling. The few times he's actually bitten has been mostly over furniture. He used to be allowed on the couch (we decided no more couch access and got him a big, comfy bed instead) and we'd tell him to get off so a human could sit down, and if tried to physically move him off, he'd bite. My husband said he bit him once just by telling him to get off- I don't know if he was approaching him or what triggered the dog at that point. Anyway, we've tried a variety of things and had behavior specialists come over recently to give us some training tools. We've tried implementing the practice of approaching his food bowl with treats, trading toys for treats, etc. There has been some improvement. However, my husband is still very doubtful that the dog can improve and doesn't want a dog in our home that will bite people (however, it seems to only be with those very familiar with Ragnar and not really strangers). My husband thinks the dog is aggressive, and that we shouldn't have to accommodate the dog's behavior by keeping him away from kids, putting his muzzle on, or dog-proofing the house. He wants to get rid of the dog and ultimately get a "normal" dog who doesn't have these issues. I tell him other dogs are going to have other issues, or very possibly the same issues, but he doesn't believe me. Anyway, the point of my whole post is to ask if any of you have experienced similar issues and if you think these behaviors are normal or at least something we can and/or should work around? We do want to start a family within the next year or so, so obviously that factors in to all this. I'm just having a hard time imagining giving up this sweet dog, who I feel attached to now like a child. I understand some dogs, especially greyhounds, have their comfort zones, so sometimes you have to accommodate that (i.e., don't get in a sleeping greyhound's face), but I'm wondering if this is crossing the line into something dangerous, and I am too attached to the dog to see that? Please tell me what your thoughts on this!! Sorry for the long post! I just wanted to give as much detail as I could to give you guys the full story. Thanks so much!
  9. Hello-- I hope someone could help with our issue: My husband and I got a greyhound 2 months ago. He is a very tall boy, has a super high-prey drive, loves people (no cats, no small dogs -- really no dogs in general (he lunges at them after growling). He is not allowed on furniture. He gets 1.5 hours of exercise (leashed walks) a day. He has seemed to "claim" me; He doesn't even like it when I close the door when using the restroom. He whines for pets often. He used to growl when we pet him and this has drastically shifted the last 3 weeks. He wants to be the BOSS -- very vocally demanding, always herding us, always stopping abruptly during walks and fighting us when we pull him. Now... to my issue... My husband and I are newlyweds and very playfully physical with each other: we tickle, wrestle, he likes to pick me up... yadda yadda.. also, we have our more "intimate moments". Whenever we are playful with each other, Brock (our greyhound), will immediately begin rooing VERY loudly--it's really more of a yell than a roo-- even if he is in the other room. Rooing with a wagging tail, Brock will run to wherever we are, yell right in my face then start biting my arm, hand, head, wherever. I know about nitting, and sometimes he does that to me when I get his leash out, and this is not it. He BITES me and shakes me. It hurts and leaves marks and bruises. I've tried to "yelp" in a high pitched voice, and this doesn't deter him. We have to push him off and yell and even grab his muzzle because he will still be trying to get at me. It's like he is treating my arm as he would a toy when he bites it and throws it around. I'm 100lb and he is 80lb. My arm honestly hurts typing this. He doesn't do this to my husband. He likes my husband but he clearly likes me more which is strange that he hurts me. What is the deal with this? We are TERRIFIED to introduce him to our 2 year old nephew -- he gets overly excited around small children and jumps at them.
  10. This week we had an in-home consult with a trainer who uses the positive reinforcement training recommended in Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies. I thought I’d post my notes here for others who may have similar problems. (Our boy Django just turned 2, and we’ve had him for 2.5 months.) Sleep Aggression Start be petting gently while he’s on the floor and wide awake and give him treats when he responds positively (our boy has no problem with this, so this would likely not work if anyone is not at this stage yet.) When he’s comfortable with that, gently nudge him while he’s lying down and wide awake, giving him treats when you do. This will help acclimate him to responding positively when people are irritating him when he’s lying down. When he’s comfortable with that, wait for him to fall asleep. Get a long-handled feather duster and very gently nudge him awake, praise him, and treat him. Don’t use basic treats for this work—use something really special, like steak. You want all his associations to be very positive. Be sure that he’s comfortable with each step before moving to the next, and do it gradually. She said if you continue doing this, it will change the way he reacts to being startled awake. She said that because he’s only 2 and if we really work at this, there’s a good chance it can be resolved. Nipping When Excited Django gets really excited around me and playfully nips. She put us on a 15-day program where my husband has the dog doing down-stay, and I would do various things, starting with getting up and sitting down on the couch to kneeling on the edge of the rug where he was to getting on my hands and knees beside him, to desensitize him from going crazy around me. She said in the end I should be able to dance around the room and have him stay calmly in a down position. (It’s really a sit-stay program, but he still has trouble with sit, and down is easy for him.) The full program is the Protocol for Relaxation by Dr. Karen L. Overall in Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, and the goal is to sit (or down) and stay while relaxing in a variety of circumstances. We’d never done the stay command before, but during that consult he stayed for 5 minutes while I was doing all sorts of things around him! I don’t have the link to the program, but you basically increase the complexity of the stay commands each day (day one starts with him staying for five seconds, or staying while owner walks one step away and one step back and then increases so he stays longer and you’re doing things like jumping up and down, jogging in place, leaving the room and talking to people, etc.) For each stay task he completes successfully (there are about 25 each day, but you can break them up into sessions), you praise and then treat. When he starts getting up from the stay position, take a step toward him (not in a threatening way), give the down command, and then repeat the stay command. When you’re done, say “free” to release him. Refusing to Walk I saw other posts about this—statuing or refusing to walk further. She said start with him on a leash in the house or your yard or somewhere where you don’t have to worry about how to get him home if he refuses to walk. Every time he moves, say, “Good dog!” or “Good walk!” and treat him. When he’s walking nicely, treat him. She said do not coax with treats. Instead, if he refuses to move, just wait him out. As soon as he moves, praise him and treat him in the direction you want him to go. She said to also pay attention to when he stops. She said he could be seeing, smelling, or hearing something he’s not comfortable with. I’ve read Temple Grandin’s books on animals, and she gives a checklist of things that can can scare most animals--things flapping in the wind like flags, the color yellow (a high-contrast color for them) like a yellow flag or raincoat hanging on a fence, anything moving fast and silently like bikes, and areas of high contrast between bright light and darkness. In other words, get in the head of your dog and try to see if there’s anything that could be scaring him if he’s stopping at the same place. If you can identify it, do classical conditioning (treat and praise him as soon as he sees whatever’s scaring him, then praise and treat him as he gets closer, etc.) Because our boy would balk about turning around and wanting to come home, she recommended giving him a really special treat after every walk, like a kong filled with treats and cheese, so that he would always look forward to coming back from his walks. Growling when Having Something Taken Away She said don’t reach down and take something from him. Instead, we need to work aggressively on the drop-it command. But instead of saying “drop it” and offering him a treat immediately, she said to say "drop it" then toss the treat at least a few steps away to give you time to get what he dropped so you don’t have to reach down to take it from him. She said she had a client whose dog would drop it but then attack them when they went to pick it up. They trained the dog to run to their bathroom when they said drop it so that they had a lot of time and space to pick it up. We were very skeptical of this and pointed out that any treat we have on walks will never equal chicken bones. She said to practice it like 100 times a day. She said eventually, he will associate the command with dropping whatever he has in his mouth and moving away from it. (We’ll see! Chicken bones on the street are now the bane of my existence.) Mooching Food We often eat at our coffee table in front of the TV. She said we can train him to put our plates on the floor and eat right beside him with him not getting our food. Again, this takes a lot of time and repetition. Start with putting some treats in your hand. When he goes for it, close your hand and say “off” or “away.” When he backs off, give him a treat and say “get it.” When he learns that, advance to putting the treats on a plate. Do the same thing—put your hands over the treats when he comes close, and when he backs off, treat him. Gradually work up to using real food, get him to do a down-stay, and then treat him after you’ve finished eating. She emphasized that we need to really practice and stay committed in order for them to work. So we have our work cut out for us!
  11. Hi all, Have had our boy about 6 months now (first greyhound, 8th dog) and have had some incidents that have led up to a bite in the face today. He is 4 years old and he was describe to us by the adoption agency as somewhat bold, fearless and able to be an only dog. He is not affectionate and does not seem to enjoy petting from us (lip licking, turning his head away, etc). Funny thing is, he is ALL about strangers, licking them, nibbling them, melting into them and begging for petting. Since we have had him, multiple times, he has growled, Jumped up and charged at us like he was going to bite. One time it was when he was laying by the table (not asleep) and my mom accidentally pulled out the chair to sit down and bumped him. He jumped up growling and barking and kind of charged forward like he was going to bite but didn't. Another time she was trying to put his turn out muzzle on and he did the same thing. He has done it with me multiple times when I have put ointment on a scratch or even been looking at a scratch on his leg. He has also exhibited this behavior when we have accidentally stepped on him. The other day him and I were walking and he stopped dead in front of me so I accidentally walked into the back of him. He verbally went off, snarling and lunged at me and when I tried to walked toward him to pet him while I was saying "It's ok buddy" he growled at me and wouldn't let me come near him. A few days ago, my 6 year old niece who he seems to adore was over and did a cartwheel and landed on his foot and he had the same reaction. Today, I made the mistake of leaning near him to pick something up and he jumped up, growling and barking like usual only this time he bit my face drawing blood. Just puncture wounds. Hurt my heart more than anything so I went to the bathroom to clean it up and had a good cry. When I returned from the bathroom, I went to try and talk and pet him and he growled at me. I am confident there is nothing physically wrong as he just had a physical and blood work. He eats great and the only health issues seem to be hookworms which we are treating and food allergies. I am concerned because while we can control leaning over him, things are going to happen by accident like us bumping into to him or stepping on him and now he has progressed to biting. This is a bit scary and I am so sad about this. No dog we have ever has ever bit us and I am starting to feel like I have to walk on egg shells around him to avoid setting him off. Any advice? Thank you in advance!
  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.
  13. Hi Everyone, This is my first post here, I'm hoping to find some good conversation as a first-time greyhound adopter. Our newly adopted greyhound is 2 Years old. We assume that he didn't qualify as a racer, he is registered as a racer but does not have a racing record. He has a low prey drive and was turned over to the rescue group at a young age. We adopted him 3 months ago. 2 Weeks ago he bit our dog-sitter, and we have since employed a trainer to help us modify his behavior. Marco has a bit of a bite history. When we adopted him, we were told that he had bitten a young child at his previous home, and returned. They hadn't seen any evidence of this kind of behavior while he was at the rescue facility. We don't have kids, and he got along great with us and our tiny Boston Terrier, so we decided to give him a chance. He is very polite with us, and has shown a lot of trust in us since day 1. His daily schedule: 7AM - 20-30 minute walk 7:30 AM - Breakfast 12 Noon - Dog-Sitter break (while we are at work) 5:15 PM - Dinner when we get home, then another walk later in the evening Here are the events that led up to him biting the dog-sitter: Marco began to show a lot of anxiety in his crate anytime that we were away from home - he tore off the bars and destroyed his water bowl one afternoon and we feared he could hurt himself in there. At that point we let him out of the crate for short periods while we left. We monitored him with cameras and he showed far less anxiety. Now he is doing great out of the crate and is no longer anxious when alone, sleeping soundly. The dog-sitter was aware of the new situation on his first full day out of crate. However, as soon as she opened the door to enter the house, he bit her hand - requiring a trip to urgent care, a tetanus shot, and 2 stitches on her knuckle. My thought is that this was very much a fear-based bite in a new situation. I take full responsibility for not foreseeing this, but he had never shown aggression toward the dog-sitter when he was crated. She had been working with him for almost 3 months. In the past, he has shown some fearful aggression during feeding time and when new people arrive at our front door, especially food delivery. He is doing well with positive training, no longer allowed on the couch (doggy beds only), and we are working with him on his "WAIT" before feeding and when anyone moves between doors or enters/exits the house. We also installed gates at the entryways so he has plenty of time to see who is entering the house. We are committed to modifying his behavior through training, but we are anxious about future incidents, and creating a safe environment for a dog-sitter. Any thoughts that you have would be greatly appreciated. Has anyone had similar experiences?
  14. Weve recently adopted blondie and have had her home for two weeks. For the most part she is settling in well, snd loves to go for her walks. But when she meets another dog on the street or dog park, she starts whining if we dont let her approach the other dog. When we do let her get close, she starts to smell the other dog for a while and eventually growls and then barks. If we then take her away from the other dog, she would start to whine, and sometimes starts jumping up and down. We are a bit worried about this behaviour as it seems like she wants to pkay with other dogs by whining, but when she gets close all she does is growl and bark. Should we keep her away from other dogs or should we continue to allow her to get close to get used to them? Ive been taking her to dog parks late at night when no other dogs are there so she can get used to smell of other dogs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  15. My SO and I have had our greyhound for about 3 months. Every Monday-Friday, I take him out at 6:30 AM before I start getting ready for work. He was always totally fine with that, until about a week ago. He started softly growling, got louder, started barking, then snapping. I was always able to get the leash on him before any real snapping began, but today he snarled before I even got near him. I tried to pet him first, to show him it was okay, and he bit my hand. So I just reached in and grabbed his collar and pulled him up, thinking I was showing him who's boss. He showed all his teeth, his ears stood straight up....it was horrible. Once he's up and awake, he's totally fine. It honestly just seems that he'd rather keep sleeping. Anytime after 9:00 AM, he's totally fine going out. No aggression or anything. He never seems overly excited to be going out, but at least we don't have to forcibly pull him up. He's really not treat motivated at all. He always just avoids eye contact whenever we try to bribe him with a treat. My fear now is that I'm making him afraid. He knows the morning routine...I don't want him to associate anything negative, like myself or my SO pulling him up forcibly in order to get him outside. We've decided after today's incident to not grab him and force him up again, so as to not make him fearful of us. But the only alternative is to keep letting him sleep. Then he'll have to hold it until 5:00 PM that afternoon, which I think is way too long. Although he does seem capable of holding it for an extraordinary amount of time. Sometimes when we take him out when we get home from work, he'll only do a #1, and no #2. He'll do that before bed, so at that point, he basically waited 15+ hours, of his own choice though. Anyone else experience this or have any insights? I never want to out him or myself in another position to get bitten/bite, but I'm not sure what's the next best step.
  16. Hello! We have only had our new girl all of one week (we brought her home on May 21st), and I'd like to start off by saying that she's wonderful & I know everything we're seeing is manageable. She is our first grey though, and I wanted to get some feedback from those who have more experience with ex-racers. Our Alice will be 3 on June 7th, so she didn't do too much racing, only 38 races- and she happily gets along well with our 17lb West highland terrier who is 16 years old. I've been taking Alice out for her daily walks with me, and she is very well mannered- heeling beautifully on my left side. But whenever another dog her size comes up, she immediately growls at them and even give them an opened mouthed snarl in their direction. She will happily approach these dogs, but the moment that they try to sniff her (while she's sniffing them) she starts growling again. Yesterday my rescue group rep even told me that apparently she was the Queen of the turnout pen while at the Kennel- ordering everyone else around and harassing the other greys if they stepped out of line. (we didn't know anything about that at the time of her adoption). Obviously I know everything is new, and that it will take time for her to get comfortable in our home (although she's been very affectionate with us, and is learning new commands quickly from me). My main question is this- is it possible to get her to not be such a B**** with other dogs her size, and if so, how would you approach this? Currently I've been keeping her away from other dogs, and watching how she interacts with Nikki, our much smaller westie. Thanks in advance for any guidance, I really appreciate it. ~Liz
  17. Hi All, Cyrus has been with me for about 5 months and has settled quite well. He's very much the dog I was looking for and I couldn't be more pleased. My problem is however not with him, but with the human I live with. I originally adopted Cyrus with my live in bf, who is now my live in ex-bf... I haven't moved out yet because he pays for some of Cy's care and the rent is cheap. Neither of us owned dogs before him, but I was way more committed to the idea of dog ownership than him (he's a selfish manchild). Needless to say I'm way more in tune with Cy's needs and behavior. About a month after we got him there was one occasion when Cy growled at me when I tried to take a high value food treat away from him. I immediately recognized this as a problem and started adjusting my behavior to discourage resource guarding and he hasn't done it in the months since or so I thought. When I brought it up to the ex he seemed very unconcerned at the time since he'd never growled at him, I didn't push the issue because I didn't want to be obnoxious about it. Forward a few months and I'm upstairs and Cy and the ex are downstairs and I hear a sharp single bark. Cy rarely barks and it's only ever been at cats and men he doesn't know. Kitty was in bed with me, so I go downstairs and Cy is laying on the sofa in front of the ex. The ex plays it off like 'oh, he just barked'. Knowing how little he barks I'm concerned by this. I look around the arm of the sofa and I see a shredded wad of foil. I promptly tell him to drop it ad Cy does without issue. Turns out the ex was eating a burger and Cy took the wrapper off the table and barked at him when he reached for it. I asked why he was allowing him to continue chewing on foil and he finally admit that he didn't want to get bitten since he'd recently growled at him when he left chicken wings on the table and Cy got a hold of them. I rage at this because of how hard I've been working to discourage bad behavior. I asked our other roommate about it and he said he growled once when he was eating but stopped after he gave a firm leave it command. Once a dog gets a reputation for biting, no matter the reason, it will carry a label. I don't want that for my dog, he's been through enough in his life to be punished for idiot humans. Obviously I can't police where the ex eats in his own house, but clearly he's setting him up for failure by eating high value foods in face and being lazy about disposing properly. Who knows how long this has been going on. Until I can get my own place, having another person to look after him for free when I'm not around is a helpful. He's mostly ok with my requests for his care, but he's just very lax and isn't as concerned (hence the ex title). Anyone out there have any advice for dealing with bad influences on your dogs or people that undo the work you've put in? I tried to explain all the reasons why it's a problem and what he should do in the future should Cy react again, but he's so hard headed!
  18. Our longtime sitter was just attacked by our greyhound over the weekend. We took her to the hospital to get stitches, fortunately the bite missed her eye by a few inches or there would have been more serious damage. We are all shaken up by this and dont know what to do. He was not laying in his bed, but was laying on the carpet, and she was picking up the kids toys/tidying up the house a bit, and he was awake... she picked up a toy near him and he lunged forward and bit her in the face. HE has shown his teeth if you pet him when he is awake on his bed, but I understand that's his space and more about territory. But to attach an adult when he is awake on the carpet makes me not trust him at all anymore. My husband wants to get rid of the dog immediately and does not want to risk anyone else getting bitten. Im at a loss right now, the dog has been great with our kids and is usually so affectionate. And our babysitter has known him a long time and feeds him sometimes, and loves dogs.
  19. We recently adopted a greyhound in June, he was bounced once before. When he first came off the track he was put into a foster home that had other greyhounds and he did well there and had no issues. Then he was adopted for a little over a week, the previous adopter returned him because of separation anxiety. Apparently she would leave for most of the day (8+hours) and keep him in his kennel, he would make a huge mess inside the kennel and she would get angry. I'm not sure what she did for punishment but I do know when we first met him he had cuts on him. He went back to a different foster home with more greyhounds and she actually set it up for us to adopt him (she matched him to us). She told us of his previous home and why he was returned, we reluctantly accepted him as he was our only choice and we really wanted a greyhound. She assured us he didn't have separation anxiety that she could see. We adopted him and right away noticed he had separation anxiety as he made a huge mess in his kennel the first time we had to leave him (only for a couple hours, he went to the bathroom before). We then tried again outside the kennel and he made a mess again. We've tried many times after with results of a mess and contacting the agency to get help. They suggested a calming pill, a muzzle, and music which we have used but still he has anxiety( we got the messes more under control, as we only leave for short periods of time). After attempts to help him, they suggested another greyhound, so we have been fostering a second greyhound and that has helped a little. Our S.A. greyhound still paces and hangs out by the door when we leave, but will take an occasional up to 15 minute break and lay down. He whine, howls, barks almost the whole time we are gone. Meanwhile the second grey is completely calm, he is a collector but still has been more balanced. The second grey has been roaching from the start, he is good with our kids, where the 1st one has growled many times. We almost decided to adopt the 2nd greyhound that we love (we love both) SA greyhound is very sweet most of the time and has no bad habits when we are home, but my husband said no to owning 2 right now. Anyway very recently the SA greyhound has been showing very alarming signs of aggression. He has been growling at my husband when he comes in the house or even if he hears him in another room. He tried to actually attack my husband the other night and it was a bit difficult to calm him down. He has growled and barked at my kids scaring my 10year into climbing into her bed as he came towards her. We aren't sure why he is doing this. Last night my husband came out of the bathroom as we were settling down for bed (my husband had walked him into the room and then went to the bathroom) when he came out SA grey startled growling and coming towards him in a snarl. I feel horrible to want to give up on a dog in exchange for a different dog, and I'm not sure it's the right choice. Should I try to work on the 1st grey? I hope this isn't confusing to understand, I just don't know what to do and if this is something that is normal in some greyhounds.
  20. Hi everyone After many months of mooning after the idea of having a dog, I finally feel ready and the fiance is open to the idea. But. We have a 1.5 year old son. I decided on a greyhound after a ton of research, and falling in love with their general personalities. Couch potato! Goofy antics! Smiling and rooing! Lazy but loving! I've been lurking on here for a few weeks, and even have an application sent in to an adoption agency. My slight worry is though, I've come across quite a few posts on here about various aggressions. Food, bed space, etc. I plan on keeping the dog and my son separated and supervised, of course, but I'm just looking for some success stories I suppose, or even pointers for what to look for in that first home visit to make sure we choose the right pooch and set ourselves up for success. Also, my son takes zero interest in dogs. At most he'll look at them in interest for a few seconds, point and babble a little, but never any touching, pouncing, or hitting. Usually he straight ignores animals, even when they are trying to lick his face. He's a weird one.
  21. I've had my grey for 2 1/2 years- got him at 2 years old. He's always been calm around other dogs. We have 2 cats and he hardly notices them. We've been going to a large open off leash dog park since we brought him home and he has always gotten along fine with the other dogs. So..(you know what's coming)- all of a sudden within the last few months he has gotten increasingly aggressive with other dogs. The first time I thought it was just because it was a puppy that was getting in his face- he didn't just growl or bark- he pinned the dog down. I got him away and took him home. With increasing frequency at the park he is initiating aggressive behavior- even at old dogs who appear to be no threat at all. He hasn't bit but it's bad enough that I have to intervene. The only other accompanying different behavior he is exhibiting is burrowing in the dirt with his nose quite often- something he never did before. For now I've decided I can't take him to the park but it does worry me not to be able to run him- he still LOVES to run and is used to getting that exercise most days. He is listless if he doesn't get to run. Also, I fear that if I don't let him around other dogs at all he'll lose his ability to socialize entirely. I can think of no changes in our situation or environment that might be triggering this behavior. Any advice???
  22. Hello.... My name is Marc and we are on our second Grey. Our first was 14 years ago; we got her when she was 6 when she had been turned back in due to a divorce. She was great, but sadly, we lost her to cancer when she was 10. Now, our 2 kids are older and were great with our other dog (8 year old 30# cattle mix - also a rescue) that we have had for 6 years now. We had always wanted another greyhound, so figured this was a good time with the kids being older and able to help out. We ended up with Bogey, a 3 year old male back in April of last year. He has been great but had a devil of a time at the start with 'toddler' type behavior; no listening, counter surfing, standoffish at times - but an incredible love 99% of the time. Any aggression/not listening seemed to dissipate as the months passed - attributed to him just being fixed prior to him coming to our home - lots of remnant testosterone? One trait has remained and is becoming a major scare/issue. We know he has a HUGE prey drive and are ok with that - very cognizant of it and cautious. However, he has repeatedly shown a biting issue. When the kids are playing (play wrestling like kids do), and/or doing that with me, he will come from where ever he is/was and go to bite the head/face of the weakest member. He does not attack the largest, but usually the smallest. It almost seems like he is trying to play but doesn't know how. All very minor scratches - no gashes or anything and he sort of backs off when rebuffed by an adult--but not a full retreat. He has gotten away from my wife twice when he went to attack a small dog (2 times, 2 different dogs). Grabbed them by the neck, but was immediately pulled away with only minimal damage. He has 'played' aggressively with our other dog as well to the point that our other dog keeps his distance at times; at others, will walk under him and co-habitate well - but zero real bonding has occurred. It is almost like a switch goes off in his head. We have altered behavior to try to teach him. We tried 'doggy daycare' where he played fairly well with the other dogs and was only aggressive a bit. However, most recently, he was on the couch and the kids and I were playing. We were ever watchful of him and he was relaxed. As we continued to play, we were thinking he had grown and understood what was going on. Suddenly, he came off the couch, made a bee-line for my son (10 yrs old); we immediately stopped, stopped his approach, firmly redirected him, and he then turned and made a bee-line for my daughter, 5 feet away, who was not wrestling any more, by herself and just on her back on the floor. He 'bit' her forehead. I put 'bit' in quotes as again, not full bite as only a scratch, but his mouth was open and most of her forehead was in his mouth. We are at wits end. We love Bogey, but are scared at his 'switch' behavior. He gets walked 2 times a day at minimal. He has been given runs before all this major snow in the North east. And we have tired him out with doggy daycare - but none of this has stopped this switch behavior. My daughter, as well as the rest of us, will be crushed if we have to turn him in. Just wondering if he has to be an only dog with adults in the household? Or we are missing something. Please, please, please - let me know what else we can try as we are at the end of our rope and quite frankly scared. He is such a sweet love 99% of the time, but we can't keep this up as is. Thank you in advance. -Marc
  23. On June 10th, I adopted a sweet female grey named Lois. At first she was fine with everyone in my family which includes my grandparents, parents, and four sisters ages 16,11, and 5. But as time has passed, she has started to snarl and bark every time my smallest sister gets near her. The first few days, I didn't hear a bark or a snarl and now it was three separate times today. I am really confused with what to do because some posters say that being aggressive toward my grey could cause her to be more aggressive toward my sister. I really don't want anything to happen to my sister and it hurts her feelings when she is just trying to be sweet and Lois freaks out. Do you think this behavior can be fixed or will it continue? If need be, I have until Tuesday to take her back to the retired racing home that I got her from for my sister's safety. What should I do?
  24. Actually the cats are not the trouble, it's the dogs. I am crying as I post this because it's so hard to see a good outcome. We have two older cats that we've had for a long time. Both hounds that have been placed with us were tested and were rated "cat friendly." We got Zoe two years ago, and she was really "cat correctable" and we worked hard, and eventually we got to the point where she was with the cats (always supervised) and would leave the cats alone. We used baby gates up off the floor as escape routes, and always crated Zoe when we were gone. We got Mika about 18 months ago, and he's very reactionary - everything sets him off, and he leaps up and runs off to look to see what's happening. He barked at the cats, and then would try to chase them. Over the last 18 months we've tried pennies in cans, spray bottles, "NO CAT" in a deep voice, and treats when he ignores the cats. He improved somewhat (no more barking), but isn't really trustworthy, so we put the baby gates down, and the cats mostly live upstairs and the dogs are gated into the downstairs. Dogs are always crated when they are unsupervised. I even took Mika to a professional trainer to work on this issue, but he completely ignored the cat that she brought in to test him. We've had a few chasing incidents over the last year - always in the kitchen, since the dogs have to pass through the kitchen from the gated area to go out the back door, and the cats have access to the kitchen. I check to make sure the cats are upstairs, and then let the dogs in. Sadly, Zoe has unlearned her tolerance for cats, since Mika taught her it was fun to chase them. Last night, I thought our cat Ellie had gone upstairs, and I let the dogs into the kitchen to go outside. Unfortunately, they found her, and Zoe grabbed her and started shaking her. I screamed at Zoe and grabbed her collar and eventually got her to drop the cat, and then Mika grabbed the cat. More wrangling as both dogs are grabbing for the cat. Ellie finally got away and ran upstairs. I put the dogs back in the crates, retrieved the cat out from under the bed, and raced her off to the vet. Fortunately, x-rays show no internal damage - though I'm sure she's sore from being picked up and shaken so hard. We are now leashing up with muzzles to go through the kitchen. Both cats haven't been downstairs at all since the incident. I can't get the image of Zoe trying to kill my cat out of my head. I contacted the adoption group, which basically said, "you've done what you can training wise. Either you have to keep them completely separated or we can rehome the dogs for you." They were gracious and sympathetic, but it's so hard to think about giving them up. But I feel I owe it to my cats to give them a safe home. Has anyone successfully lived long term with a divided household? Clearly the dogs are not cat safe, and I worry about my cats.... I am heartbroken about the idea of giving the dogs up, but also want my cats to be safe.... I feel so awful and that I've betrayed my cats by bringing the dogs in, but I also have worked so hard with both dogs on their health and behavior issues that I feel responsible and love them, too.
  25. It's been forever since I've been on greytalk! Bhombolina (aka Ale Flashy), who we've had for over two years, is a great people dog. She's incredibly patient around kids (yes, we supervise), she puts up with nutty Halloween costumes, and she listens to commands fairly well. We moved 6 months ago, and for the most part things are going wonderfully. Since moving, she's got a large apartment to herself, is more comfortable staying alone for longer periods of time, and even has a dog park across the street! However, the move also brought to light a new challenge: it turns out Bhombolina is REALLY unstable around large dogs. To be clear, we did know this before we moved (we were warned when we got her that she'd bitten a dog in her foster home). She has always been sweet with little dogs (no prey behavior), and has gotten on famously with every pitbull she's ever met. But, if she encounters any dogs (greyhounds included) as large or larger than she is (and she's very small for a greyt), then there's a good chance that she'll become both aggressive and defensive. Before we moved, this wasn't really an issue. When on leash, Bhombolina can be in the same vicinity with other dogs without a problem. Since there were no dog parks in our area, she was rarely off-leash, except for during late-night tennis court playdates with her best friend, a pitbull rescue. Now that we've moved, though, we live across the street from a dog park. We thought this would be a great thing, and at first, it seemed it was. During the summer months, we'd hang out at the dog park, where she'd run and play, and then promptly retire to hole digging and snoozing. She would guard her hole a bit, and snap if a dog sniffed around too long and/or too close. Other than that, though, she hung out nicely enough. As the weather has gotten colder, though, she's gotten less and less tolerant of other dogs. This is more than a little confusing, because on the occasions she decides she wants to be social with the other dogs, she does run and play, and seems to have a great time. Basically, she sniffs out other dogs nicely enough, but when they go to sniff her back, she freezes, makes a subtly angry face (no difference in tail height, no standing fur, etc), and then freaks, barking and snapping. She doesn't seem to be trying to bite, per se - the dogs are always close enough that she could easily sink her teeth in if she tried - but she sure scares the heck out of us (and the other dog owners). It's gotten to the point where my DH stands near her at the dog park at all times, ready to pull her harness away at any moment. She seems to seek out the company of other dogs, but has no idea what to do with it. As if being on the receiving end of sniffing is completely unexpected? Does anyone has any ideas for how we can work on this? Do we just forego the dog park altogether? We've tried treats, but once she gets around other dogs, she's much too overwhelmed to pay much attention to the treats.
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