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New Boy Growled At Me


Guest jenznaz
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Guest jenznaz

So we've had our new guy Xilo since Saturday morning. Tried to ease into teeth slowly. Saturday night I put some C.E.T. on his toothbrush and let him lick it; I touched one of his canines with the brush. Sunday night I did the same, but lifted his lip to touch his gums and he growled at me! Ruh roh, teeth brushing is a pretty important thing to be pissy about! I thought maybe it was the way I was standing over him with my arm, but a.) I have to get him to hold still and b.) I have to get my hands in there to actually get at his teeth to brush them. Any advice is very welcome - my first grey I could poke and prod all day and he didn't care, so figuring out this guy's boundaries in challenging for me. PS - at this point in time Xilo is completely food-un-motivated, so it's been difficult to reward him other than with affection.

 

Thanks!

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Guest SusanP

You might wait a little til he's settled in and trusting you more. Maybe stick with the licking toothpaste off the brush and brushing at the canines without touching his lips awhile longer. Will he let you lift his lip to touch his gum if you don't have a toothbrush in hand? Experiment carefully and make changes slowly. And remember, he doesn't really know you yet. Things should get easier.

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Guest gecko_foot

So we've had our new guy Xilo since Saturday morning. Tried to ease into teeth slowly. Saturday night I put some C.E.T. on his toothbrush and let him lick it; I touched one of his canines with the brush. Sunday night I did the same, but lifted his lip to touch his gums and he growled at me! Ruh roh, teeth brushing is a pretty important thing to be pissy about! I thought maybe it was the way I was standing over him with my arm, but a.) I have to get him to hold still and b.) I have to get my hands in there to actually get at his teeth to brush them. Any advice is very welcome - my first grey I could poke and prod all day and he didn't care, so figuring out this guy's boundaries in challenging for me. PS - at this point in time Xilo is completely food-un-motivated, so it's been difficult to reward him other than with affection.

 

Thanks!

 

First of all, let me say that I have been in your shoes - quite recently in fact - and I know it can be very intimidating to have teeth coming at you.

 

Second, every dog is unique, so everything after this is how I solved the problem with my greyhound. It may or may not work with yours.

 

Now that all of that is out of the way, here's the real meat of the post. :P

 

My greyhound is somewhat food-motivated, but he doesn't get very excited over his food. Special treats like hot dogs are only used during training, while peanut butter is a normal, medium-value treat that I use to make an experience positive.

 

I wouldn't stand over the dog until you have built up more trust. It's very scary to have a strange person looming over you, blocking your escape, and doing something that you aren't comfortable with. I'm not saying that your dog's response is fear-based, but it's something to keep in mind.

 

In your case, I would work with getting the dog comfortable with you handling him - everywhere, not just his muzzle. When I say comfortable I mean relaxed eyes, neutral ears, loose lips - to the point where the dog almost looks like he's falling asleep. IMO, I wouldn't proceed to mess with his teeth until you don't get any response from him while handling his muzzle or the rest of his body (no quivering lips, etc.). Also, I would initially avoid trying to brush the insides of his teeth until you have a good track record with handling. You can try some dental chews or something to help limit tartar/plaque build-up. Reward good behavior with a high value treat - all dogs will have something they like, but you have to find it. My grey likes hot dogs, peanut butter, and dental treats (go figure). Just remember that he has to trust you AND understand rules before trying something intensive. When you want to end a handling session, stop while the dog is doing well. This way, you won't overwhelm him, and he won't get bored.

 

Once you've built up his trust and have some good discipline you can start doing more intensive things (i.e. teeth brushing). Remember that the treats you use aren't bribery - they're to make the experience as non-threatening as possible. The dog has to behave well to get the treat, but that's why it's important to keep initial sessions short. Otherwise, the dog may get frustrated and/or overwhelmed.

 

I hope this is helpful. I wasn't trying to sound patronizing. Everything here is from personal experience with all of my dogs - not just my greyhound. Good luck!

Edited by gecko_foot
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I have 5 hounds and I wouldn't dare try to brush Beau's teeth! No can do. He is the whimpiest and sweetest of my hounds, yet he would try and take my face off if I try to brush his teeth!

 

Why don't you try raw turkey necks 2x a week. problem solved!

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Too soon to be so invasive!

 

The dog doesn't even know you yet. Just give him a bit more time to bond with you, work on other things, and try again some other time.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I agree. Wait a bit bfore trying more than superficial poking and prodding - he's telling you he's not comfortable. Keep doing what he'll allow every day and don't move beyond until he's OK with it. His teeth won't fall out for a couple of weeks of no brushing, so just take it slow.

 

BTW, I don't brush any of mine's teeth, though they do get a dental cleaning chew every night. I have one guy who needs yearly dentals but the rest have lovely teeth with just that chew.

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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Guest MyBoys

I brush all 3 of my boys teeth daily but I have to agree with the others about waiting a bit before you start brushing. In the meantime try putting some toothpaste on your finger and just rub his front teeth gently, you have to get him use to you touching his mouth before he may allow you to put a toothbrush in.

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Guest Sunset123

Have you tried a finger-brush instead? I think they're a little less scary than a toothbrush. I also read that letting them lick peanut butter or something from a spoon can help get them used to having a foreign object stuck in their mouths.

 

As for the leaning thing, I've had good luck with sitting on the floor and letting her stand in front of me. My hand sometimes has to go over her muzzle to hold her lips open, but otherwise she's not crowded.

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Guest sorenkkg

My vet says even before the finger brush, just some gauze or something similar, and just your finger (with or without the doggy paste) is a good way to start.

 

I gave up, btw-- mine don't growl, but they won't come to get their teeth done, and I hated chasing them down or having them come for something they hated-- save that for important stuff like medicine giving rolleyes.gif

 

So whatever you do, do it slowly and remember that the trust between you and this new dog is more important than toothbrushing.... personally, I think the turkey necks are a neat idea!

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Guest jenznaz

Thanks, everyone, for the awesome advice. Based on the Dummies book, I had always taken the advice to "do everything you are going to be doing to your hound the first couple of days". This is what I've been telling my to my Home Visits as well. But taking your time makes wayy more sense.

 

I will def. hold off on further mouth explorations, ha ha, and will see if he likes turkey necks!

 

Thank you!!

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Guest KennelMom

too much too soon...definitely take a step back. I don't recall that "do everything you are going to do in the first couple days" from the Dummies book, but its been quite a few years since I've read it. I wouldn't give that advice - nor do I follow it with my own pack.

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Guest sorenkkg

I was a nervous wreck, literally,. when we first got Haka in 2004. I read the dummies book, I read the retired racing grey book, I read everything I could get my hands on. And I was so worked up, trying to follow all the advice...

 

On the other hand, no one told me about cleaning his ears regularly-- so within a month or so, he got a raging ear infection.... or about finding the right food, or how easily they pick up worms from all sorts of places and how to recognize that--- what I'm saying is, try to take in all this advice, but also, just hang out and chill with your pup, and do things that create a good bond... the rest will come.

 

The best thing I learned to do in the first little while is associate his name (if you changed it, even if you didn't) with only good things-- don't say NO Xilo! But do say Good Boy Xilo, Xilo is a good boy (I still whisper this in their ears all the time blush.gif ), and play a game where you and a partner stand at either end of a hallway or house, with treats, and call Xilo back and forth, giving a treat each time he comes.

 

I think that will make for a fine first week or 2, plus walks and praise for "going" outside... :D

 

All this is just my opinion, there are many hugely experienced foster parents and multi-greyhound adopters here who give phenomenal advice!

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Guest kydie

I use bully sicks, My grey was with me 6 mo. before I stuck a tooth brush in his mouth, but I would check his teeth everyday, by lifting his gums, all the way around, and he was around when I sonic tooth brushed the others teeth, I would turn on the brush near him, so he would get used to hearing it, now he stands and waits for his turn :lol

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I also found the Dummies book very overwhelming -- I don't recall it saying specifically to do everything in the first few days, BUT it never gives you any sense of a reasonable timeline (for things like basic training) so it made it seem like it all was somehow supposed to happen at once.

 

The good thing is that even if their teeth get a little grotty after a few weeks, good care (and turkey necks!) will improve them. I'm a bit tooth-obsessed with Beth and have tried lots of products. I do brush daily now, which fortunately she tolerates, and that and raw bones a couple of times a week seem to work pretty well.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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