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Interaction With Small Dog Family Members


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I have 3 greyhounds and an elderly Cavalier King Charles spaniel. They've always gotten along well. Winston, the Cavalier, doesn't play with the big dogs, tends to stay out of their way, but is very willing to stand up to them if he has a toy or food, and has never seemed afraid of them. Other than occasionally getting stepped on in the crowd, I've never worried about Winston and the hounds.

 

Last night all 4 dogs were into the back yard for their last potty trip before bed. I heard a lot of barking and went out to investigate. All 3 greys (but mostly the 2 younger ones, who were muzzled) were cluster around something in the yard, barking and poking at it with their muzzled noses. I thought they'd caught something but, as I got near, I realized it was Winston. :eek He was fine, other than being a little wet from lying in the grass. I think the ring leader among the hounds was Spirit, who continued to try to dominate/intimidate Winston--based on posture (tail up) and stance (standing over Winston).

 

Now, I am not angry with the hounds for acting like dogs. However, I am interested in promoting peace, harmony, and safety for all 4 dogs. I'd appreciate suggestions for managing this kind of pack dynamics and keeping Winston safe.

 

At this point, I am making him go out alone or with me so he doesn't get ganged up on again. The only thing that has changed recently is that Winston had a dental about 2 weeks ago in which he lost 7 teeth, poor thing. He was rechecked Saturday by the vet and everything was healing well. I'm not suggesting that he ever had to use those missing teeth to defend himself, but I had wondered if the healing wounds in his gums played a part in exciting the other dogs or making Winston somehow seem vulnerable.

 

--Lucy

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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Winston was not barking or fighting back. He was just lying down in the grass. In the past, that is how he typically deals with any dog who bothers him or plays too roughly. I am remembering a neighbor JRT who wanted to play but was rougher than Winston liked--Winston would just lie down until the unpleasantness went away. :rolleyes: He tends to be a bit of a Drama King. It is certainly possible that he got stepped on and cried out at the beginning of last night's episode. I would likely not have heard that and yet it might have excited the greyhounds.

 

I saw no evidence either before or after this incident that he'd had a seizure and he has no history of seizures. He had a full senior checkup within the past month. I have noticed in the last week that he avoids the greyhounds in ways he has not done before--stays up on the deck in a corner by rocking chairs rather than going on down into the yard with them, gives them a wider berth than usual. I am, of course, wondering if he has felt threatened by them before over the last week.

 

--Lucy

Edited by LBass

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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All it takes is one hound to start that Lucy and it sounds like it was your Spirit. It only happened twice in our house and Emmy was the culprit that went after Jilly Bean, when she did the others followed suit. Fortunately for us, Jilly Bean doesn't take crap like that and will fight back, biting at any dog trying to get her. Both times it was in the house though. I always go outside with mine so I'm there to stop anything that starts. Outside is totally different from inside, especially if Winston runs and Spirit is chasing after him. You end up with the pack mentality taking over.

 

If Winston is not the type to fight back I would be afraid to put all the dogs out there with him again. Maybe let him out with the greyhound least likely to challenge him so he at least has a yard buddy. It sounds like Spirit may have really keen intuition and knows when Winston isn't feeling 100% which doesn't help because that's probably the time he is least likely to fight back.

 

I just saw where you said he was very submissive. Spirit already knows this so if he starts to run, even though he's not playing with the hounds, she may chase him and the pack mentality will kick in again. I'd definitely either put him out by himself unless there is one other hound who he gets along with really well and I'd put those two out together. Thank goodness you muzzle or it could have turned out so differently!

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Winston also might be avoiding the greys because he understands that he's not able to deal with them in the same way anymore. If he has some pain from arthritis, or his dental, or just doesn't feel up to snuff he may be self-regulating his interactions with them.

 

 

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Winston also might be avoiding the greys because he understands that he's not able to deal with them in the same way anymore. If he has some pain from arthritis, or his dental, or just doesn't feel up to snuff he may be self-regulating his interactions with them.

 

 

 

 

Very good point because when Emmy became ill and lost her sight, she avoided the other greyhounds in the house. She would go up the stairs last and down last where as before she was always first in everything. Even at bedtime, she would come to the bedroom last. She spent the rest of the time on her bed.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest wmlcml6

I personally wouldn't put them out without supervision anymore. We never let our 4 out alone because it's so not worth the risk that one will get annoyed or competitive with the other. These greyhounds are smart (and Spirit is a bugger - Sorry! I really didn't know that, Lucy) and they always know when you aren't looking.

 

Maybe Winston and Piper can go out together without you, but not the young 'uns.

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I have noticed in the last week that he avoids the greyhounds in ways he has not done before--stays up on the deck in a corner by rocking chairs rather than going on down into the yard with them, gives them a wider berth than usual. I am, of course, wondering if he has felt threatened by them before over the last week.

 

It does sound like this may not have been the first incident... .

 

 

I personally wouldn't put them out without supervision anymore. We never let our 4 out alone because it's so not worth the risk that one will get annoyed or competitive with the other. These greyhounds are smart (and Spirit is a bugger - Sorry! I really didn't know that, Lucy) and they always know when you aren't looking.

 

Maybe Winston and Piper can go out together without you, but not the young 'uns.

 

I agree with MC. Now that I've got 3, and with General being so new, I make sure I watch them closely when they're outside (inside, too, for that matter).

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So many good observations and suggestions--thank you all so much. I do recognize that I am going to have to be extra vigelant and careful in the future with both supervision and muzzles. I do think that sweet gentle Piper can go out safely with Winston and Piper might appreciate a respite from the young'uns too.

 

Cathie, don't apologize for Spirit. I think he is such a handful because he is also such a smart boy. That also makes him a terrific dog and a wonderful character. It just means that I have to step up to the challenges he presents.

 

Winston is a little old lovable grump and I will need to take extra care of and for him.

 

--Lucy

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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I'd let them out separate :) Severe damage can be done with muzzles on. I saw it almost happen to a greyhound pup that was put down from his owner's arms to play with 5 or 6 adult greys around. Not fun and scared the heck out of me and everyone else (no, I didn't put the pup down--I come with common sense.....)

Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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Guest lotsogreysmom

I would definitely do separate turnouts from now on!! I have greyhounds and 2 very small chihuahuas (6lbs & 3lbs). My greys are fine with the little ones in the house but I would NEVER let them outside together.

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good points made about outside being very different from the inside. for all animals. there have been many posts on here about accidents happening outside, between hounds who would normaly always get along otherwise, but being outside is such an overly stimulating environment.

 

When we had our Betsy girl, piper our lil mini doxie. even tho they got along at all times, piper even slept ontop of betsy, they ate together ect. i'd of never let them both out to run loose together. i always knew it of took just one lil thing to set that prey drive off.

The Fruitloop crew: Piper, Bloomer, Sirius Black the kitty cat, Goober, .....Insane human crew: Nikki, Chuckles, Jakob (ds), Naomi baby girl........... and Our Angel babies,, Betsy (Betsy Kiss), Momma Cat, Blue Fish, and Georgie the g-pig.

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