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Growling And Showing Teeth


Guest kar
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One of my males scotch has started becoming more agressive. First incident happened two days ago. he stole a bagle off the counter and when I reached for it he was quite snarly and showing quite of teeth. I lured him away with a biscuit but really feel had I persisted in taking it without the biscuit he would have possibly bitten me. Second incident today. He was snarling at one of the chichahuas again over an empty food bowl. they were geting more into it so I smacked him over the head with a small magazine. He did snarl at me when I did that (first time I have done that, but guess I got excited). I then banished him to the bedroom for a short while. Never had a problem this bad with him before. I've had him for two years. My femnale whom I had since a pup will allow me to take anything right from her mouth - no problem at all. Any suggestions?

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The following, in blue, was written By Kathleen Gilley. It highlights what it is that makes Greyhounds different than other breeds, and what we as adoptors need to understand. In the OP's case, the red section, in particular, is important.

 

Of all breeds of dogs, the ex-racing Greyhound has never had to be responsible for anything in his life. His whole existence has been a dog-centered one. This breed has never been asked to do anything for itself, make any decisions or answer any questions. It has been waited on, paw and tail. The only prohibition in a racing

Greyhound's life is not to get into a fight----------------or eat certain stuff in the turn out pen.

 

Let us review a little. From weaning until you go away for schooling, at probably a year and a half, you eat, grow and run around with your siblings. When you go away to begin your racing career, you get your own "apartment," in a large housing development. No one is allowed in your bed but you, and when you are in there, no one can touch you, without plenty of warning.

 

Someone hears a vehicle drive up, or the kennel door being unlocked. The light switches are flipped on. The loud mouths in residence, and there always are some, begin to bark or howl. You are wide awake by the time the human opens your door to turn you out. A Greyhound has never been touched while he was asleep.

 

You eat when you are fed, usually on a strict schedule. No one asks if you are hungry or what you want to eat. You are never told not to eat any food within your reach. No one ever touches your bowl while you are eating. You are not to be disturbed because it is important you clean your plate.

 

You are not asked if you have to "go outside." You are placed in a turn out pen and it isn't long before you get the idea of what you are supposed to do while you are out there. Unless you really get out of hand, you may chase, rough house and put your feet on everyone and every thing else. The only humans you know are the "waiters" who feed you, and the "restroom attendants" who turn you out to go to the bathroom. Respect people? Surely you jest.

 

No one comes into or goes out of your kennel without your knowledge. You are all seeing; all knowing. There are no surprises, day in and day out. The only thing it is ever hoped you will do is win, place or show, and that you don't have much control over. It is in your blood, it is in your heart, it is in your fate-- or it is not.

 

And when it is not, then suddenly you are expected to be a civilized person in a fur coat. But people don't realize you may not even speak English. Some of you don't even know your names, because you didn't need to. You were not asked or told to do anything as an individual; you were always part of the "condo association?; the sorority or fraternity and everyone did everything together, as a group or pack. The only time you did anything as an individual is when you schooled or raced, and even then, You Were Not Alone.

 

In my "mobile abode," the Greyhounds each have several unique names, but they also have a single common name: it is Everybody. We continue to do things as a group, pack or as we are affectionately known in-house, by Kathleen's Husbandit, "The Thundering Herd."

 

Back to those who have not been permanently homed. Suddenly, he is expected to behave himself in places he's never been taught how to act. He is expected to take responsibility for saying when he needs to go outside, to come when he is called, not to get on some or all of the furniture, and to not eat food off counters and tables. He is dropped in a world that is not his, and totally without warning, at that.

 

Almost everything he does is wrong. Suddenly he is a minority. Now he is just a pet. He is unemployed, in a place where people expect him to know the rules and the schedule, even when there aren't any. (How many times have you heard someone say, "He won't tell me when he has to go out." What kind of schedule is that?) Have you heard the joke about the dog who says, "My name is No-No Bad Dog. What's yours?" To me that is not even funny. All the protective barriers are gone. There is no more warning before something happens. There is no more strength in numbers. He wakes up with a monster human face two inches from his. (With some people's breath, this could scare Godzilla.) Why should he not, believe that this "someone," who has crept up on him, isn't going to eat him for lunch? (I really do have to ask you ladies to consider how you would react if someone you barely knew crawled up on you while you were asleep?) No, I will not ask for any male input.

 

Now he is left alone, for the first time in his life, in a strange place, with no idea of what will happen or how long it will be before someone comes to him again. If he is not crated, he may go though walls, windows or over fences, desperately seeking something familiar, something with which to reconnect his life. If he does get free, he will find the familiarity, within himself: the adrenaline high, the wind in his ears, the blood pulsing and racing though his heart once again--until he crashes into a car.

 

Often, the first contact with his new family is punishment, something he's never had before, something he doesn't understand now, especially in the middle of the rest of the chaos. And worst of all, what are the most common human reactions to misbehavior? We live in a violent society, where the answer to any irritation is a slap, punch, kick, whip, or rub your nose in it. Under these circumstances, sometimes I think any successful adoption is a miracle.

 

He is, in effect, expected to have all the manners of at least a six-year old child. But, how many of you would leave an unfamiliar six-year old human alone and loose in your home for hours at a time and not expect to find who knows what when you got back? Consider that if you did, you could be brought up on charges of child abuse, neglect and endangerment. Yet, people do this to Greyhounds and this is often the reason for so many returns.

 

How many dogs have been returned because they did not know how to tell the adoptor when they had to go out? How many for jumping on people, getting on furniture, counter surfing, separation anxiety, or defensive actions due to being startled or hurt (aka growling or biting)? So, let's understand: Sometimes it is the dog's "fault" he cannot fit in. He is not equipped with the social skills of a six-year old human. But with your love and help, you can make it happen.

 

Me again: Basically, your Greyhound is not used to people or other dogs messing with his food. Whatever is edible, he eats. YOU have to teach him that taking food away is okay. And, you have to separate him from other dogs when eating. None of my dogs are food aggressive, but we separate them. No need for stress at meal time!

 

To teach him that it's okay, you need to "trade up." Place a low-value treat on the floor (your typical biscuit works well). Have ready a higher-vale treat (bits of cheese, for example). When he goes for the biscuit, step in front of it or cover it with your hand, and say "leave it." Immediately offer the cheese. Soon, he will begin to associate his action with something better.

 

Then you can move up to using the high-value treat to get him to drop the low-value treat. If he sees that BETTER things come from you, he will understand that he gets something better than he has, for doing what you want.

Edited by Sighthounds4me

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

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I do understand that. However this is a change in his behavior. He never would take anything from the counter in the two years I've had him. And has never growled at me. That is what I was concerned about.

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Well, then, in that case, I would say a vet visit is in order. Perhaps there is a physical reason he is more hungry, and therefore guarding food.

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

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Guest shanesmom

If these behaviors are out of character for him and you have had him for 2 years, I would start with taking him to the vet. Could be something medical going on.

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Guest payneia68

My Charly was doing this, also. He is our second grey and much more lively than our first. We could do anything to our first-he was completely submissive. Charly has staked his claim to the livingroom area rug and will not let my husband near it. Early on, he nipped my daughter when she slightly leaned over him while he was lying down. I have not had any issues with him myself.

 

What we tried was this: I sat on the floor with Charly and watched him very closely for the first signs of any warning. Tim would enter the room, make eye contact, say the dog's name and sit down in the chair. Then he would confidently reach down to pet Charly. If the dog showed the slightest warning gesture, I would give him a quick jab either just behind the front leg (on the side) or just before the rear leg. This is where an alpha dog would nudge for unwanted behavior.

 

If this agressiveness is new behavior,your dog may be testing his status in the pack, or he may have an underlying medical issue causing more hunger or maybe discomfort. Dogs tend to act out more when something isn't the way it should be.

 

I would suggest calmly working with your dog by claiming his food or toys-in a way that you will not be bitten. For instance, hold the collar when reaching for the food, or claim the toy with a shod foot. Even though this breed is quite different from other breeds in that they have never had to share-they still need to know their place within the pack. This status can be shown only by you, the pack leader. I would also suggest Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer series. There is much to be learned about pack behavior and how we treat our dogs!

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Nothing has changed in the house. He has seemed to have much more of an appetite t his winter. He is just recovering from a hind leg injury and is no longer limping. He is asserting himself more towards the other dogs though. Usually he stops with a firm No. He as on a muscle relaxer for his leg and is now off of it. Was thinking of trying the Springtime Calm for him - has anyone every used it. Maybe I should ask in a separate topic.

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Nothing has changed in the house. He has seemed to have much more of an appetite t his winter. He is just recovering from a hind leg injury and is no longer limping. He is asserting himself more towards the other dogs though. Usually he stops with a firm No. He as on a muscle relaxer for his leg and is now off of it. Was thinking of trying the Springtime Calm for him - has anyone every used it. Maybe I should ask in a separate topic.

 

I wouldn't even consider an herbal supplement before having the dog looked at by a vet. "Natural" does not mean "harmless," and most of that stuff doesn't seem to do a lot, and you need to find out if he has a health issue BEFORE you consider such "might help" remedies.

 

I'd mention that taking a swing at him with an object in your hand when he's already fired out might have been a stress reaction, but one that COULD escalate the situation. I'm sure you wouldn't do that again if you thought about it, right? colgate.gif


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

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Guest LindsaySF

Agreed with Sighthounds4me.

 

Look up "trading up" and "resource guarding". Don't yell at him or smack him, that only reinforces his fear that you are a scary person and he needs to protect his food from you and growl at you.

 

I would feed the dogs separately and not leave bowls on the floor (even if they are empty). Good luck.

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Actauly, something "has" changed in your household. He had an injury. Even if it was minor - the dynamic in the household may have changed when he wasn't feeling well. The other dogs may have started stepping up, and he may have backed off. That's normal pack behavior. Now he's feeling better - he may be trying to reassert himself and "prove" that he's OK now. Also normal.

 

Keep an eye on it. Don't let him get snarky to you, but if he backs off another dog - see what happens. He might just be trying to reistablish his place in the pecking order.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Hmmmm. Lets see, your hound is acting agressive, snarling, ect. Ceasar Milan style of training, dominance. Those two combined may not be the best solution for your hound. I would suggest obedience training. If you havent already, do so now. If you can get him to work with you on things such as sit, stay, leave it, etc. there will be less need for "alpha" behavior on your part as he will already accept you as the leader. The "alpha" stuff is pretty old school and has been shown to actually create more fear and lessen your bond with your hound as your hound does not trust you, your hound fears you. Yes it works, but at what cost, your dog fears your presence, thats not much of a relationship in my opinion. Of course rule out further pain and other medical issues first, but if those are all clear, then I would suggest NILF (Nothing In Life is Free) training, as well as it sounds as if you may be free-feeding, if that is the case, I wouldnt do that. If you are not free-feeding, then you need to regulate where everyone eats so that they dont move around when they eat. They eat, then when done, go outside. You clean up the mess when they are outside, and when they come back in, no food lingering around, no problems.

 

Oh yea, please try to find a more effective way of communicating with your hound, hitting an animal really isnt communication.

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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Guest KennelMom

Your dog was behaving as dogs do when they are guarding something. You smacked him for it? That's a good way to either 1) escalate the situation or 2) get him to distrust you even more.

 

With a sudden change in behavior, it never hurts to rule out anything medical. Make sure he's not in pain (which can cause behavior changes) or anything else along those lines. Other than that, I agree with the others that advised to look up "trade up/trade out"...that's a good way to diffuse a situation like that. It's definitely preferable to hitting him on the head.

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First of all I really did not smack him - I picked up a small insert from the newspaper - just to make the noise the distract him from the other dog - I probably couldn't have killed a fly with what I had. I do not free feed and believe me all food is gone within 5 minutes. I am already teaching leave it and drop it and watch and stay. However, leave it and drop it did not work very well with the bagle. He definitey is not afraid of me, in fact he is the most affectionate of the group that is why I was so taken back when he growled at me.

Edited by kar
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