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Walks & Prey Drive


Guest NeuGrey
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Guest NeuGrey

I am a relatively new grey owner. I have Stu who is 4 and very laid-back and Ella who is 19 months and has a high prey drive. I recently took both dogs for a leashed walk in the park, one leash in each hand. A gopher ran up to us (suicide mission I think :) ) Ella went for the gopher as if the gates opened at the track. And to my surprise, Stu also took off with the same enthusiasm or crazed/frantic behavior - whatever you want to call it. The dogs knocked me to the ground and drug me with my hands behind my back to get to the gopher. I actually had to let go of Ella's leash because it was wrapped around my thumb and I'm kind of fond of that appendage. Somehow I managed to hang on to Stu. This episode has made me leary of taking both hounds on a walk together by myself. I was scared for my safety as well as for the dogs'. Has anyone had this happen to them? Do you have any advice? They normally walk very well on their leashes and pull very seldom. Thank you!

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Guest PhillyPups

I have 2 very high prey greyhounds. I watch like a hawk when walking them in park like settings for both small wildlife and small fuzzy dogs that could be "lure". I make a slip knot with the leash around my wrist with their leads. I usually walk them in at least pairs and they do well.

 

It will take your new girl time, but with training work on walks and not allowing the initial lunge, it should get better. How long a leash do you use? I use shorter leads with my higher prey hounds.

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I have fond memories of my current foster's Sarge photo shoot I was helping with for his adoption web site pics. He saw a cat, I didn't and he literally took me air born and I landed about 5 feet from where my feet had originally been planted with the wind knocked out of me. I still had the leash though! :eek

You just have to be aware and scanning so that you can be prepared on walks. Make sure the leash is looped around your wrist.

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So sorry this happened to you. Hope you are OK. But please don't think you can't do this - you sure can. 12" of leash will help a lot. They simply can't get the momentum going. And you need to be mentally engaged in the walk. I don't talk on the phone or listen to an Ipod. I don't mean to make it sounds like "work". I love walking with my very high prey drive girl. But I'm listening and watching what's going on around us. Taking in nature. I also make sure her martingale is properly adjusted every time I put it on her. There are certain things you can control. Suicidal gophers are not one of them. :P Good luck and we'd love some pics!

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/mtbucket/siggies/Everyday-2.jpgJane - forever servant to the whims and wishes of Maggie (L's Magnolia of JCKC) and Sam the mutt pup.[/b]

She's classy, sassy and a bit smart assy.

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Guest KennelMom

I walk 4-5 almost every day. We live in the country with lots of suicidal squirrels and rabbits...we pass lots of different kinds of livestock, dogs behind invisible fences and some that are just off leash ol' farm dogs. Then there's the flock of guinea hens that roam free and just love to play "chicken" with us :rolleyes: We encounter traffic and little kids and just about everything you can imagine.

 

My dogs know "leave it" and "pay attention" (to me) and I'm control of our walk at all times. One mistake I think a lot of people make is having lots of slack in a 6 foot leash. You don't need that if you are walking. The dogs should be relatively near/next to you and the leash should have some "wiggle room" but not so much that you would have no control in an emergency situation. I use four foot leashes on our walks and wrap most of the loose leash around my wrist.

 

3465174531_2d06598dbe.jpg

 

eta: and as for "high prey"...that should never mean "oh well, the dog is uncontrollable"..."High prey" is not an excuse...it's a behavior the dog needs to learn to control and needs to learn to respect your authority to tell them when it's ok to indulge that drive and when it's not. The dogs in that picture from left to right: Tater, who has killed several birds and squirrels in our yard, Echo my lure courser extraordinaire with tremendous chase drive, Peanut who has ruined one rabbit hutch trying to bash her way in and will absolutely vibrate at the thought of chasing and killing small furries, and finally Diva who likes to chase but is fairly low prey drive.

Edited by KennelMom
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I walk our three together regularly. Bonny is inclined to start barking like a nut case at other dogs which can sometimes get our other two excited. In order to control it, I keep Bonny's leash in my left hand and keep it short. The other two I hold with my right hand. It works for us.

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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We have 5 and no one is really high prey drive, however we did have an overnight guest from Rhode Island (;)) who had a prey drive like nothing I have ever seen before and it was challanging to walk her with the pack. We only had 4 at that time and Lexus made 5. But I did manage to them all together, safely!

 

 

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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My dogs know "leave it" and "pay attention" (to me) and I'm control of our walk at all times. One mistake I think a lot of people make is having lots of slack in a 6 foot leash. You don't need that if you are walking. The dogs should be relatively near/next to you and the leash should have some "wiggle room" but not so much that you would have no control in an emergency situation. I use four foot leashes on our walks and wrap most of the loose leash around my wrist.

 

I agree. This is something I've often thought, when reading GT. Six foot leashes are not the norm over here, so most people (including me) walk their dogs on 3 to 4 foot leashes. Even then, the length really is only there to allow you to hold the loop end in one hand and take up the slack with the other, giving you far more control over your dog. I've walked two, both on one side of me with this method, by separating the two leashes in my 'slack' hand by running them between two different fingers. I find it gives you a LOT of control. Of course, KennelMom won't be able to do this with four of five, but with two dogs and some practice, it's easy. :)

 

 

eta: and as for "high prey"...that should never mean "oh well, the dog is uncontrollable"..."High prey" is not an excuse...it's a behavior the dog needs to learn to control and needs to learn to respect your authority to tell them when it's ok to indulge that drive and when it's not.

 

I absolutely agree with this too. Seems to me a lot of people have the attitude 'my dog is very high prey so it's useless to try to change that so I consider him/her uncontrollable'. But it's very important that your dog respects you and behaves while on leash. People here on GT have been pulled to the ground and dragged along by a single greyhound in full chase mode. What if you're pulled into the road? Everyone needs to at least attempt to train their dogs to walk politely (and therefore safely) on leash.

 

It's something to be aware of, by the way. Wrapping or knotting the lead around your wrist is not going to save you OR the dog if you haven't done basic leash training with them. I can think of at least three cases where it resulted in broken bones for the owner plus a loose dog, just from reading this forum. ;)

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The plural of anecdote is not data

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Guest MyBoys

I walk all three of mine together and two of them would chase whatever they see moving, but I swear by the safty harness and looping the leashes around my wrist, I feel like I have total control. I also use a voice command to keep them moving. As soon as they hear me say " WE'RE WALKING " they fall in line and keep moving. But again, a good safty harness is like a safty net.

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While in time you may be fine to walk both at once, maybe for now you need to walk separately so that the young one can get tired, and she can learn how to walk and not get too excited by other critters.

I bet in time you'll be able to walk both, but maybe take a breather and work up to it... sounds like they are still new to you?

 

I'll second harnesses, as I have found that to give much more control to our high prey-drive girl.

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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Guest KennelMom

Just wanted to add my two cents on harnesses...I think they are a really poor choice for dogs who do not have proper leash manners to begin with. The most obvious point being that there's a reason they put harnesses on dogs that are pulling things....harnesses maximize the dog's pulling power. Two, if you need to control a dog that's out of control, controlling the part with all the sharp pointy bits (teeth) can be really critical. Most importantly, if you control the dog's head, you control their attention - whether you do that via a voice command ("look at me"), physical touch or treat lure. It's also easier to teach proper leash manners because the neck is sensitive and a proper, GENTLE leash correction will instantly let the dog know that what they are doing is undesirable.

 

I use a one inch collar on dogs that are learning proper leash skills....Then I graduate to the wider 1.5 to 2 inch type of collars.

 

The only time I use a harness is on dogs with a medical condition that requires it or maybe as a safety backup on a dog that is a super spook...even with the latter it shouldn't be necessary with a properly fitted collar. You have to find what works for you, but if you are already being pulled to ground by the strength of your dog, a harness may be a dangerous tool to move to.

Edited by KennelMom
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I agree with KennelMom about harnesses. Personally, I feel like I have much better control over my greys with regular martingale collars. One of our greys, Celeste, wears a harness, but it's only due to having a compressed disc in her neck.

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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Guest TeddysMom

I can walk Teddy, Spice and Mandy with no problem but Spencer has already taught me that he will pull me to the ground if a cat, squirel or any other critter comes into his eyesight. I had his 6' leash slipknoted on my wrist and a loop handle attached to his harness in my hand last night with Spice and Mandy in the other hand. One of the cats ran across in front of us and Spencer tried to jump over Spice and Mandy, pulled me down and managed to get the other two leashes under him. Luckily Spice and Mandy didn't try to move and no one got hurt. I will now start walking Spencer by himself and start what I think will be a long training process. He will never be cat or critter safe but he will learn to walk without going over, under or through me to get to them.

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Guest jenznaz

*phew* we were babysitting a high energy little girl for a week and walking both she and my guy was a workout. Simalarly to what others have said, I slip knot both loops around by wrist, and use my hand to hold the slack on both leashes so they only have about 3 ft of leash. I walked both dogs together with the one hand. One thing I noticed was that if I kept my big, non-high energy/prey drive guy on the outside, and the little energetic one on the inside next to my leg, it seemed to calm her down.

 

Hope you're okay! I got knocked down and dragged out when Xilo spooked last month..got a nice bruise but was able to hang onto the leash...

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I have two high prey drive greyhounds and I walk them at least twice a day. The boys walk fairly well on leash so I don't use harness to help control them. But I do use a coupler (a Y-shape leash) when walking them by myself. Even they two may go after something, it's kind of hard for them to go on full speed, I imagine. I will also suggest you carry a squeaker. Just in case they run away from you again and that's probably the one thing to get their attention when they are in the "sighthound mode"

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I walk both mine together on 6' leads and hold them both with my right hand. I've taught "leave it" to both dogs and I'm always alert on walks since we have lots of squirrels where I live. It really didn't take them long to catch on and now even though their ears go up when they see a squirrel they no longer try to lunge after it.

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Guest Obidog

I am only new here and Obi has a really high prey drive and he never got to race (broken leg) so he tends to want to go after anything that moves. He will be two in June and the whippets two in October. I walk him and the two whippets twice a day and he has his moments. We had a short term foster and all four walked really well together. Lately I have just been standing still when he carries on and I am finding he gets sick of yanking himself real fast, walking on only seems to encourage him. The foster was a really quiet boy of four. We have only had Obi for 7 months.

Edited by Obidog
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Guest Swifthounds

Just wanted to add my two cents on harnesses...I think they are a really poor choice for dogs who do not have proper leash manners to begin with. The most obvious point being that there's a reason they put harnesses on dogs that are pulling things....harnesses maximize the dog's pulling power. Two, if you need to control a dog that's out of control, controlling the part with all the sharp pointy bits (teeth) can be really critical. Most importantly, if you control the dog's head, you control their attention - whether you do that via a voice command ("look at me"), physical touch or treat lure. It's also easier to teach proper leash manners because the neck is sensitive and a proper, GENTLE leash correction will instantly let the dog know that what they are doing is undesirable.

 

I use a one inch collar on dogs that are learning proper leash skills....Then I graduate to the wider 1.5 to 2 inch type of collars.

 

The only time I use a harness is on dogs with a medical condition that requires it or maybe as a safety backup on a dog that is a super spook...even with the latter it shouldn't be necessary with a properly fitted collar. You have to find what works for you, but if you are already being pulled to ground by the strength of your dog, a harness may be a dangerous tool to move to.

 

 

I'm seconding (or more likely, thirding) this. Couldn't have said it better myself. I do use a harness on Cupid when we travel. She can be timid and sometimes spook at strange/loud noises. The flip side of that is, she can pull a grown man right off his feet. The harness keeps her from spooking and getting loose. The other hounds around her acting as if nothing is happening (or in the case of Trojan, looking for trouble only a 13y/o hero in his own mind could find) and my reaction (or non-reaction) is slowly bringing her around. This time last year when we went to GIG, she was only 5 months off the track and we all lived.

 

to the OP: Sorry this happened. Though one of your hounds is higher prey, you now know that one dog reacting can stir up those instincts in even a low prey drive hound. I would spend some time teaching them "look at me" to get their attention and work on exercises where they need to focus on you.

 

When I walk multiples I put my right hand through the loop and then hold the leashes with my left hand. Over time the left hand strengthens and the right is there as back up.

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Guest MyBoys

As for using a harness, I think it is what ever works for that dog and that owner, like I said I feel like I have more control with a harness and I know if one of them does get excited and starts to spin and twist there is no way he will slip his collar. I have trained all my boys to walk like gentlemen using a harness and voice commands.

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Guest NeuGrey

Thank you everyone for the great tips! I'm going to try the shorter leash, slip-knotting it around my wrist and possibly getting a squeaker. I need something to snap them out of it. We've been working on "focus" and "leave it" so I'll continue with those as well. Great, great ideas!!!

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Guest gecko_foot

I am a relatively new grey owner. I have Stu who is 4 and very laid-back and Ella who is 19 months and has a high prey drive. I recently took both dogs for a leashed walk in the park, one leash in each hand. A gopher ran up to us (suicide mission I think :) ) Ella went for the gopher as if the gates opened at the track. And to my surprise, Stu also took off with the same enthusiasm or crazed/frantic behavior - whatever you want to call it. The dogs knocked me to the ground and drug me with my hands behind my back to get to the gopher. I actually had to let go of Ella's leash because it was wrapped around my thumb and I'm kind of fond of that appendage. Somehow I managed to hang on to Stu. This episode has made me leary of taking both hounds on a walk together by myself. I was scared for my safety as well as for the dogs'. Has anyone had this happen to them? Do you have any advice? They normally walk very well on their leashes and pull very seldom. Thank you!

 

I only have one greyhound right now, so I can't really answer your question. I would be very wary of approaching wildlife. Unless the gopher was being fed (or otherwise had a reason to approach you), I would be worried about rabies. I'm not trying to scare you, but I've never had a wild animal approach me on a walk, and we have lots of gophers everywhere.

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I walk 3 and use a harness on the boys because I feel I have better control over their entire weight, however, the boys need to be muzzled when we walk, if we walk.

 

Wayne and Ekko have a high prey drive and that has rubbed off on Lenny, however the biggest problem I have is re-directed aggression with the boys, thus, the muzzles.

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Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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