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  1. Hi everyone! We have a grey who we adopted 10 months ago and we are really struggling to “read” her emotions - she’s just a very unpredictable hound! But we love her lots. When meeting other dogs, she will pull me over to them, tail wagging wanting to say hello. They will sniff politely for around 5-10seconds but then out of nowhere she will growl. They don’t even have to be sniffing her face, just “in her zone”. But whilst growling at them, she will continue to sniff them - and we just can’t work out if she wants to say hello or for them to leave her alone! And this is all breeds, even other greys. And it’s definitely not a playful growl, she doesn’t bow or look like she wants to play, she goes all stiff and gives them the side-eye. She is even worse inside, she will tolerate other dogs outside as above if they don’t hang around sniffing her for longer than she wants them too, but as soon as you bring them both into the house she will growl at any sort of movement from the other dog, even if they’re really far away! We don’t live with another dog but it would be nice to be able to bring her over to friends of family with other dogs and know she won’t be stressed out by them, but we don’t want to upset her so we have stopped putting her in those situations where she’d have to be inside with another dog. She does also growl at us on occasion, again very sporadically. Sometimes we put it down to sleep startle, other times we’ll be stroking her and she paws us for more, then growls! So now we just leave her to it unless she comes to us for a fuss and can leave when she wants to. Any help greatly appreciated!
  2. Hi, I recently adopted a Macau Greyhound (Tres) who has spent six years at a race track, which is longer than typical racing dogs . He’s very sweet and loves people . I feed him in a separate room so he’s had no interaction with my other dog (Taylor) while eating . He doesn’t seem to be bothered by me . But he growls at my other dog our dog beds and toys . I can feed both dogs treats at the same time in vicinity of one another and have been trying to feed them both treats when they are near each other and have toys . My other Doug Taylor is a 13-year-old Doberman with mobility issues . I’m not sure if my new Greyhound senses his elderly-ness, or if the resource guarding is just because he feels insecure . I’m not sure how to handle Tres growling at Taylor.. from what I’ve read I shouldn’t necessarily be taking his toys away but just giving treats to him when he’s behaving how I want him to behave. I’m just concerned because he’s been especially growling today and Taylor has just been pacing the house looking for a place of refuge. Tres keeps trying to take Taylors bed and growls when Taylor comes near the bed or toys. There are literally six dog beds in my house for the dogs to lay in the entire basket of toys . Resources are not limited and Taylor is not trying to take Treaty from him. He will totally let me take the toy from him whether I give him a treat or not it’s just my other dog he has an issue with. I have had Tres in my house for 2 weeks. This is the first home he has lived in. Both dogs are baby gate separated when I leave. Thanks for any advice or things to try I see lots of resource guarding stuff in general but looking for dog on dog specific resource guarding with beds and space in addition to toys . This is my second Greyhound but I never had these issues with my first Greyhound. But this is my first race track Greyhound seems to be much different/difficult than just the stray Greyhound that I adopted.
  3. Hi everyone, I have been reading this forum a lot over the past 6 months and have already learned a lot from this community. I was hoping I could get some help with an issue I'm having. I have a 2 1/2 year old female greyhound that LOVES people and other dogs. She has never shown aggression towards another human and very rarely with other dogs (always a clear reason why like trying to hump her or standing over her while she was dozing on the floor). However, something happened yesterday that I am hoping for some help with. My brother adopted a greyhound as well about a week ago and he is a shy 3 year old boy. Yesterday I took my dog to meet his at my brother's condo. We had them meet outside and everything went great! A lot of sniffing and we went on a short walk before heading inside. Once inside things were fine at first. My dog followed my brother into the kitchen and was standing next to him as he made coffee, and when my brother's dog came into the kitchen mine started to growl. We told her no and she stopped. I called her into the other room and she came. My brother's dog followed her over towards me and when she was standing near me she started baring her teeth looking straight ahead. Again we said no and separated them. I brought her to the couch and sat down next to her. My brother's dog approached me on my right and while I gave him neck scritches my girl started growling again. We told her no again and she stopped. We let them lay down and relax across the room from each other for a while. Then we put their leashes on and tried an introduction inside again. My girl was fine for the most part as the other grey came up and started sniffing. When the other dog started sniffing more towards the front of her very quickly she bared her teeth and snapped at my brothers dog. I took her to the corner and scolded her (she didn't really react or seem to care). From there we just let them lay separately across the room until it was time to go. We all went outside as we left and outside my girl was completely fine and friendly. A complete 180 from inside the condo! I'm hoping that I can get some advice on how to get these dogs to get along because I see my brother a lot and I am supposed to watch his dog when he goes on vacation in a month. Some other pertinent information that may help: My girl has been to the condo before and stayed overnight there two times (before my brother had the dog). She has gone to my fiancee's parent's house for the weekend and gotten along great with their dog (non-greyhound) My fiancee's parents and their dog have stayed a weekend at my house and again, no issues with the other dog My dog was recently started on Proin for spay incontinence and pyrantel for hookworm. She was panting and getting a racing heart on Proin so we are playing with lowering the dose and she is finally acting normal on a low dose. She was panting and I think feeling kind of crappy yesterday. Thanks for any help you can provide because if there is any dog I need mine to get along with, it is my brother's dog!
  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. 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
  6. 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!
  7. Hi All, Prepare for a novel.. this is the first time I have posted and I figure I will just spill my/our whole story in one go. Here are some basic facts about our situation: - Wife and I adopted a 3 y/o male (Stanley) about 3 months ago (Thanksgiving '16) -Both my wife and I are first-time dog owners -We don't have kids, but we do have several young nieces and nephews that like to come to our house. -We live in a fenced yard in a typical cookie cutter neighborhood -Stanley is not cat safe -Stanley seems to be afraid of other dogs -We are signed up for a greyhound only general obedience class starting late March. Before I get into the challenges, let me note that we love him dearly and he seems to continue to make positive strides in acting like a well-socialized dog. With this said, every time I get comfortable with him and think he is all the way settled in, we seem to have an episode that takes us several steps backward. I have read and understand that it can take years for Greys to settle in but human nature gets the best of me. Brief synopsis of our first three months with Stanley and the challenges we have faced with him: Separation Anxiety: At first, he had some mild SA, but after some alone training, he seems to be fine if we leave him alone in his crate (knock on wood). We consider this to be resolved at this point. Growling while being pet when he is laying down (not in his bed or crate) We noticed early on that he would lay down next to us, and after 10 or 15 minutes of begging us to pet him would apparently get fed up and would then let out a growl, get up and go to his crate. We just decided we shouldn't put him in this situation anymore and rarely sit on the ground and pet him anymore. He doesn't growl if we don't overdo it. (We are hopeful that after many months or even years he will become more comfortable with us and become more cuddly, but aren't holding our breath) Maybe uncomfortable with kids? **Disclaimer** we never leave kids and the dog unsupervised together but we do let them interact together. As we aren't behaviorists, it is tough to tell what is going through his mind when the toddlers come over. A few observations we have had. 1. Initially, when he heard a baby cry, his ears would go straight up and he would pace which was the first concern we had. He seems to be less aggravated by crying and screaming now and will often times remain lying in his bed when it occurs, so maybe he has started to learn that crying comes from babies and it is no longer all that concerning to him... 2. Sometimes, he will get very excited when the kids come over, get down in a play bow and want to rough house with them at which point, I distract him into doing something else as he is too big to play with them. 3. One time he was laying down and a toddler walked close to him and he let out a little growl, got up and walked away. 4. Resource Guarding: This one is brand new. We gave him a high-value treat (bone) which he was loving but I didn't want him to devour it until I knew his stomach could handle it. He has very seldom demonstrated and resource guarding, so I didn't think twice about it and reached to grab the bone after he had been working on it for about 15 minutes. He immediately gave me a pretty long growl at which point I backed off, tried to distract him (he wouldn't take the bait) so I tried taking the bone again and this time he showed teeth. Then I took the trade up approach with his favorite treat (peanut butter) and was able to get the bone away without issue. (I will admit that this was stupid of me to think I could take the bone away and obviously I have now learned that he resource guards high-value treats). I then proceeded to do a few rounds of positive reinforcement trade up training with the bone that same day and he seemed to respond relatively well, though I do think he will still guard until I train him for months. Other Dogs: He seems fearful of other dogs especially if they are hyper. He will growl and bear teeth quickly if they don't respect his space. However, after he settles in and the dogs spend some time together he is fine with them and will even play with them (As an example, he wouldn't even enter the dog park today). Startles Easily: He is scared of loud noises but loves meeting new people. ( I don't think he is a spook by any means, but he is easily startled). A good example of this is he will often lay on the rug that is under (and infront of) our couch while we are on the couch. If we move position even slightly or rustle the blanket, he often time seems to be startled and will get up and go to his crate. Severe propensity to statue while walking: He will walk moderately well if we take him to the park, but won't walk in our subdivision. He statues immediately after leaving our driveway. Synopsis: Here is our biggest concern......Is he a risk to have around the kids? Both my wife and I are anxious people by nature and I'm thinking every behavior he has exibited so far has been in the norm, but the growling is definitely an unsettling experience which gives us pause. We have been and remain committed to keeping him (we would be devastated to lose him) BUT we are also angst-ridden when kids come over so ultimately I am just reaching out for some thoughts, advice and support. Anyone that made it through this whole book...I applaud you. Thanks in advanced for your help.
  8. 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!
  9. Hello All! Cyrus has been adjusting to life here pretty well. Everyone tells me how handsome and well behaved he is and I feel like such a proud mom Nothing new to report on Mac front, but no news is good news. A really strange thing has happened tonight though. Around 10:30-11pm tonight Cyrus goes into his crate to lay down and I head upstairs for a second. We've been playing crate games and he's gotten pretty comfortable hanging out in there on his own terms, so this isn't the strange part. I make it too the top of the landing and I all of a sudden hear sounds that honestly give me flashbacks to when he attacked Mac, until I remember Mac has made zero attempts past our two gate system. Cyrus is growling and barking and running around our living room frantically. He wasn't in his crate long enough to fall asleep and be startled out of a dream. I watch him from behind the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs just in case he redirects his aggression. I'm terrified at this point as he has never shown any signs of aggression to us, but he starts pacing laps through our kitchen and living room searching and growling. After maybe a minute he settles and walks over to sniff me on the stairs and goes to lay down on the sofa. I'd called our adoption coordinator in the meantime and he thought maybe he just had some pent up energy and wanted to run zoomies in the backyard or he was bitten by a tick..There was no indication that this was play related. I go over and sit across from him on the other sofa and all of a sudden I see him lift his lips and sort of make a face like he's going to howl, but he growls and jump off the sofa. He doesn't make any attempt at me just paces the room frantically. At this point I'm sitting on the back of the sofa clutching a pillow as I'm sure my dog is about to eat me. He runs a lap and jumps in a chair and very pointedly starts growling at the window, then sniffing under the sofa I'm on with his entire head under the sofa, two things that he has NEVER shown interest in. Maybe its a rodent? I check the floor and don't see anything. I call his name and he settles down on his bed. I walk to the backdoor to see if maybe he really did need to go out, as when he was pacing he started lifting his tail. About an hour earlier he'd done all his business on a walk and has never had problems in the house. I reconsider after realizing I wouldn't be able to really monitor our black dog in the dark so I come back in the living room and he's fine. He comes over to me from his bed and licks my hand and goes back in his crate like everything is fine. He isn't limping or bleeding so I go back upstairs for what I originally planned. The next hour goes by without occurrence. My BF comes home and I'm telling him what happened when Cy jumps out of his crate and starts growling at the window again. My BF calls him over and pets him and Cyrus seems fine and lays on his bed. He starts making faces like he needs to vomit and I'm thinking maybe he's had something in this throat and it's been distressing him, but nothing comes out and he settles back down. He isn't showing any other signs of distress at this point and calms down to the point of sleeping in his crate. I decide to sleep downstairs to watch him. He's been fine going back and forth between his crate and bed without issue, until just now when he got up in a start again and barked at the window. It's now 6am and the sun is coming up. What in the world is happening? I can't for the life of me figure this out and he's not showing any other physical signs of distress other than jumping up in a start ever so often to bark and growl at the same window and pace. I've considered a number of possibilities. Toothache? A tick? Panic attack? Is our house haunted? Is the government performing low frequency testing nearby and it's being directed into one specific window? He isn't directing any aggression to either of us and he settles down and sleeps with no problem in-between the outbursts. Cyrus never barks and never really moves with any haste towards anything. Nothing has changed in this room, the house, his diet and we've spent almost every waking moment together while I've been on vacation the last few days. I'm pretty worried about him As I finish this he's roaching on the sofa like no big deal. At least one of us can live without worry...
  10. Hi everyone, I wanted to describe an incident that happened today with our 3.5 year-old, Cooper. He has a tendency to pick things up from the ground on his walks outside (acorns, mushrooms, garbage, etc). Today, he picked up something that resembled a chicken bone, but he did it so quickly that I couldn't get a good look at it initially. He took a bite, which made a crunching sound, and then it seemed to have gotten stuck across the roof of his mouth. He continuously put his head down, shaking his head and pawing at his face to try to get it out. His mouth started bleeding and he seemed to be in distress, but it was pretty clear that his airway was not affected. Seeing that he was in distress I was very concerned so I gently tried to put my hand near his mouth to see what was inside. He instantly growled at me. Given Cooper's history of growling when we go near his mouth (to make him drop foreign objects or brush his teeth) I didn't want to test him further. We decided in the moment to give him a cookie in the hopes of dislodging the bone, which may have helped slightly. We essentially waited for him to dislodge it himself because we knew he wasn't in imminent danger and I didn't want him to bite us, which he has never done. It has become pretty clear that Cooper is extremely food-possessive and that is simply the nature of our dog. However, in the event that he is in danger (i.e. choking) what do you suggest we do? Always appreciate the advice/suggestions.
  11. Hello! We've had our Maisie girl for right at a month. She was only off the track a few weeks when we brought her home from the adoption place - she will turn two in April. She's settled in really nicely - loves to snuggle, goes outside on a schedule, and has even gotten some tricks down! We had a weird experience tonight though: We had just given her a bath and she was doing her zoomies to finish drying off. We decided to give her a rawhide bone, something we had never done before. Man, did she go after it. She took it and went immediately to the farthest couch. When I simply walked near her, she growled, snarled, and bared her teeth like I'd never seen before! It was quite unnerving. She doesn't do that with her food in her bowl - she will wait until we tell her "ok" to eat, and she's fine when my hand is near her bowl to refill it. Any ideas? I'm not in the habit of giving her things just to take them away, but I'd like to know why she did this and how we can prevent it in the future. Thanks!
  12. Hello, Long time lurker, but after our issues with our newly adopted Greyhound I figured it would be a good time to reach out. We recently adopted a retired racing greyhound (about 2 months ago) and it has been fairly good so far. Our dog has been adapting pretty well, but he does have what seems to be sleep and/or space aggression issues as well as possessiveness. After a few weeks of perfect behavior he will have a relapse where he snaps/growls/nips (i hesitate to use the word bite, but he has broken skin, just not a full out chomp, if that makes sense). After each "incident" my wife and I lose trust in the dog and feel like we can no longer be close, pet, or interact with him as the outbursts are so sudden (there is very minimal growling before he snaps). He also seems to be disobedient at times and has growled/snapped at me once during a walk when he did not want to go my way. I have already researched and read the various posts here and have found them both helpful and insightful, but I have heard other information from my own adoption group that sometimes is inconsistent with what I read here. For those who have had aggression issues like these, I would like to pose the question: 1) Can sleep/space aggression be overcome? Is time to warm up/get accustomed to his environment still something we can expect to help? 2) If not, is this just something we are going to have to live with...we do expect to have kids and I do not know what the long term prospects are of us keeping him if he continues to have unpredictable behavior. I know giving the dog back is a last resort and is not something I take likely, however, I do not know how prepared we are to deal with the type of scary behavior that we are seeing and I would not be able to forgive myself if something more serious were to happen. Are there people out there who have dealt with these issues and what outcomes can I realistically expect. I do not want to be naive, but at the same time I do not want to give up without a true attempt to include him with the proper training, behavior, and graciousness that he deserves...
  13. Hi! I'm a first time grey owner and have generally been super pleased with our big red boy Biggie (he will be two in February and we've had him for 2 months). He is very friendly to my boyfriend and I, loves meeting/greeting new people and loves belly rubs + cuddles. I have done a ton of research /reading grey talk to work on what I think are Biggie's mild/moderate resource guarding and sleep aggression. He doesn't bite or snap - but will get very growly occasionally - probably a total of 8 times in 2 months. My concern is that I find it hard to work with Biggie on these issues when they only seem to happen infrequently and (of course) in the worst possible places. Biggie seems to growl more at large men who are coming into a room while he is in bed - they won't even be near the bed - just entering the room and Biggie growls. Tonight's incident that prompted this post is that Biggie got a hold of my brother's dog's marrow filled bone (we don't give him anything like this since he isn't ready for it) and was laying in bed chewing it. My Dad walked in the room and Biggie growled at him. I came in after the first growl and had my Dad walk in again - eliciting another growl from Biggie. I gave him a firm no then said "drop it" and gave him a treat and took the bone away with no problems. (Luckily he is learning "drop it" pretty quickly) My question is - how should we be addressing this? I know the prevalent school of thought is don't discourage growling but I really can't have him growling at my Dad when I am visiting my parents. Unfortunately my Dad is very set in his ways re: dog training and he is definitely of the school that a dog that growls at him in his house needs a "butt whipping" . He hasn't disciplined Biggie physically yet - and I am trying to keep him from getting to that point. I've been trying to educate my Dad how greys need time to adjust - but I would really love to have an appropriate and concrete response in place for my Dad/myself/others when Biggie growls. Any advice would be supremely welcome - I love Biggie and want to keep helping him adjust positively without scaring people in the meantime!
  14. Hi All, I've posted about my new grey Biggie's growling/listening issues previously - and to help work on/manage them I've scheduled an appointment with a local dog trainer (that advertises using only positive training methods). Any suggestions on what to expect or look for? I've never had to go to a dog trainer before and am really hoping to get some good strategies to use from him/her to work on with Biggie. Should I expect to just speak to them about the issues I've been seeing initially or will they independently evaluate Biggie themselves in addition to talking to me? I'm thinking of writing up a list of the things I'd like to work on with the trainer (in order of importance) - would this be too much for the first meeting? Any tips or positive/negative experiences dealing with trainers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  15. My computer's been down so I've been kinda scarce around here lately, but I have a bit of an issue that's been building for awhile now. If you want you can just skip to the end, but otherwise bear with me. So Dane has become more comfortable here, he's become stupidly protective of the house/his territory. He gets really riled up on our walks around the neighborhood when he sees other dogs (though I don't blame him because a LOT of them are really rude in dog language+the number of "beware of dog" signs around is unreal....). At our training classes and the dog park, he's lovely. Completely calm to indifferent. We even passed the CGC! (Step one in our service dog training). However, the real concern is that he has taken exception to anyone being around the house. On our way back from a walk the other day, we rounded the corner and Dane started barking his head off at some little old lady. We just passed the CGC, Dane! Come on!! Fortunately he calmed down fairly quickly and she was very patient and understanding. Inside the house, however, we have a bigger problem. He loves to bark at our guests. I've tried making it very apparent that they are welcome here, by formally shaking their hand or actually inviting them inside at the front door, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. He barks his head off at guests/workmen/deliverymen/family members. Like my aunt and uncle? Who come over on a regular basis? He still barks his head off. (I had them let him out a couple times once, and he barked the whole time apparently. Again, over at their house? He's a total angel.) A different aunt is staying with us for X-mas, and while the barking has lessened, he still barks at her, and occasionally lets out the strangest growls I've ever heard a dog make. (It's a weird rolling... engine-like sound I guess? Or maybe 'circular throat purring/growling' It's bizzare.) She got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and he barked his head off again. I guess this isn't "new" new behavior, but he definitely didn't do this a few months ago. To sum up: How can I get my dog to relax in our house and realize that the humans are the ones who decide who is and is not welcome in the home? What's the best way to counter-condition this behavior (humanely) without teaching him to stop communicating at all? I don't want to accidentally train him to be silently aggressive. (Although I don't THINK he'd bite anyone... I don't know. We've got a pretty close bond now, and he's probably also super-protective of me.) He's so, so, so good away from home. He's normally such a mellow, calm guy, but we've only been together 5-6 months. What if his behavior gets even more porotective to the point of aggression? I know this is an unusual problem in greyhounds, but I'm just not sure how to proceed here. When I mentioned it to my trainer some weeks ago, she wasn't too concerned about it, and she thought it was a plus, but now I'm not sure. I think it's gotten more intense. It's definitely more aggravating if nothing else!
  16. Sheldon is my third Greyhound. My first two boys came from New England tracks and were in much better shape when they came to me than my poor Sheldon. He I a wonderful dog but if really pushy in regards to human food. He actually brings counter surfing to a new level. I am concerned that he is going to burn his nose due to the fact that he really would like to be able to pull food out of the pan that is cooking on the stove top. I am afraid to move away from the spot if he is in the kitchen for fear of him actually ending up trying to get what is in the pan and burning himself. He also will pull food off of the table as my husband, two children and myself are eating a meal. So that would be issue #1. Issue #2 is that Sheldon is becoming aggressive/pushy while he is on the couch. My 9 year old son gently bumped into him while sitting down next to Sheldon and my son got growled at. My husband is also starting to have an issue with Sheldon not wanting to come off of the couch at all if he does not see the need to do so. I would like to start correcting these behaviors as quickly as possible so we don't have them turn into very serious problems in the long run. I am at a loss a to what to do with Sheldon in these aspects. My first two Greyhound boys were slugs. Dashiel would counter surf but would be much more sneaky about it definitely not as pushy or a brazen as Sheldon. Gates really did not care. I could use some advice on how to handle Sheldon's behaviors.
  17. My daughter and son-in-law adopted a lovely greyhound 2 months ago. They have been wonderful about informing themselves on the best way to deal with her and with greyhound traits in general. I have started walking the dog once during the day - my son-in-law works from home and walks her also during the day. They tell me that at first she loved other dogs, wanted to rush up and meet them, but lately has become afraid, esp. of small barky dogs, and whimpers and growls. I noticed the other day when I walked her, there was a dog behind a fence, set well back from the street, just looking out, not barking or moving around. Lara first whimpered and then began to growl. Yet we can go past houses where dogs are in the window looking out and barking loudly and she doesn't pay attention to them. What is the best way to deal with this? Thanks for any tips.
  18. Hi, My name is Tracy and I’m new here. Me and my boyfriend Jim adopted a greyhound named Bo 2 months ago. This might get kind of long… Bo is sweet and was very shy and withdrawn at first. The first month he was like a zombie. It was nearly impossible to even get him out of his crate to go to the bathroom. He mostly just slept a lot. He had zero interest in play or toys, but we knew this might happen so we were very patient. Then, after about a month, he really started opening up. Playing a lot with toys, being super goofy and energetic in the morning and when we came home, and loving walks. He also started to trust me and Jim more, and would come over to us. Bo then started to experience mild separation anxiety. (We are at work during the day, but he did fine on his own for quite a while). We got him the Thundershirt and he was better. He only seemed to howl when we left him and he just didn’t want us to. During the morning/early afternoon he didn’t seem to mind because he’d snooze all day. So anyway, things were going good. We had a good routine (3 walks a day/play time/pets/napping). We slowly started socializing him. Other dogs tend to bark, lunge and growl at him, but he has never showed a hint of himself being aggresive to them. he just backs off. He's okay with people petting him once he sniffs them out. He loves car rides and did okay meeting new people. He seemed to get pretty attached to us. When I brought him with me overnight to my parents, he was glued to me and freaked out if I was out of his sight. He also peed in their house, which he has never done. Well, fast forward. I think Jim is definitely the “alpha” and Bo sees him that way. Me, who knows? I try and be assertive and give him fair discipline, but this is what happened: 2 months into it, Bo scratched up his paws with Jim on the sidewalk. We take him to the vet and he gets antibiotics. He also has ear infections, so we get medicine for that. Right around this time, Jim was locked outside and he threw pebbles at our 3rd story window to get my attention. Bo FREAKED out at that motion of Jim throwing his arm back and up. Like, pulling on his leash, shaking his head, etc. Seems like he’s been abused. Then, a fews days later, Jim had to leave for 2 days for business. One day in, my parents come over for dinner. They knocked at the door (this has never happened) and Bo started barking really aggressively at them. This was also new. Well, he has met my parents before, and in our home. Then Bo growled at my dad as he walked by him. I told him firmly no each incident. I had my dad feed him treats and pet him when I was with him (standing up away from his bed) and Bo seems totally cool with my dad. But before they leave Bo was on his bed, not in his crate, but his bed in our room and my dad walked by, said hi Bo, and went to pet him. Bo jumped up, barked, growled and barred his teeth. I see now this was a space aggression thing, but he nearly bit my dad! Now we are very clear about no petting Bo when he’s lying down, especially in his bed. Here’s the biggest issue though: The next night Jim comes home, and walks through the front door like always. Bo hops up and starts again aggressively barking. At Jim! His owner/master. Jim was shell-shocked. I kept firmly saying no to Bo, and after 15 seconds he stopped barking, but then he growled for a little bit. After a few minutes Bo was fine. And we go to take him for a walk and he was totally fine. After that, no more hints of aggression toward Jim. But now, and ever since really the pebble-throwing/ear infection incident, Bo kind of sulks around a lot, and seems to walk away from us, esp. Jim. Jim was so upset that he would react that way toward him, we were thinking of returning him, but we want to give him another chance. Sorry for the ramble, but this has really been a stressful time for us (and I’m sure Bo.) Is this “normal” behavior? I’ve never heard of a dog barking like that at their owner. It was like, after 2 months of care from us, Bo totally forgot who Jim was. I think now it was because when Jim left Bo went mega Alpha and was being very space aggressive/overprotective. But Jim leaves a lot for work. How do we deal with this? How can I show Bo I’m boss, too? We don't want to worry that Bo might be aggresive with strangers and perhaps hurt someone. Sidenote: We haven’t done obedience training, but we’re planning on it soon. Any help or guidance about the issues above would be much, much appreciated. This is all new to us, and we did tons of research, but we’re kind of clueless here. Thanks so much for reading my novel. Tracy
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