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Boris Snaps At Kids


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Guest jharr

We have had Boris for almost a month now. When he first came home, he was good with everyone. Then about a week later he started growling at our youngest son. We had a behaviorist come to the house and he suggested that we make sure that the boy be involved with all of the 'happy' events with the dog (feeding, getting the leash, opening the car, giving treats, etc) which we have done. I thought it was getting better, but yesterday, Boris snapped at a 2 yr-old that was visiting and then snapped again at our son this morning. This is more than growling or barking, he is actually putting his teeth on them. He isn't biting down, so there has been no damage so far, but it seems to be escallating instead of getting better. Aside from telling the boy to ignore the dog (that's mean because he loves Boris) I am not sure what to do at this point. Has anyone socialized unfriendly greys to children?

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Have you spoken to the behaviorist again? This is the job of said person. Without explaining the situation with the growling and snapping, its very difficult to give advice, but if you truly have a behaviorist, and not a trainer claiming to be a behaviorist, then that person should be able to help extinguish the behavior. Are you doing all that was directed, or just some of what the behaviorist said to do? I am not trying to sound judgemental, but if you are not following ALL the advice given, and mixing signals, it really wont help. There is a very big difference between a trainer and a behaviorist, the latter requires many years of schooling (think psychologist for animals).

 

Chad

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Guest lasharp1209

What was/are the children doing when they were snapped at? and what was Boris doing? Both are hugely important in figuring out the problem.

 

You did not mention how old your son is, but I am not sure I would allow a visiting 2-year-old to get close enough to my dog to get snapped at. Primarily because it is difficult to monitor the actions of any 2-year-old, let alone someone else's kid who may or may not know how to behave around your dog, and aside from that if your dog has any space aggression issues at all (which you may not even have been aware of yet), that is not a good mix.

 

The big rules of kids and dogs are 1.) SUPERVISION at all times, NEVER leaving them alone together, and 2.) Teach kids to NEVER approach the dog while it is lying down.

 

Boris is still VERY new to your house. I know you feel like it's mean, but you might need your son to give him some space for a while (however, you can still let him give Boris treats and feeding, etc). Don't allow him to run up and hug Boris, which can be very threatening to a dog, and especially don't let him interact with him while he's lying down. Boris needs time to adjust, build trust, and approach him on his own terms. He is in a new place with new people and new rules, and very likely feels anxious. He needs to feel comfortable and have time to settle in. You need to protect your son from your dog, but you also need to protect your dog from your son. If you can do that, you greatly minimize the risk of injury.

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Guest jharr

yeah, I left out some detail. My son is 9 yrs old, but on the small side at ~65 lbs (Boris is 75 lbs). The growling happens seemingly randomly, but the snapping has been both times when Boris is laying in his bed. The surprising thing is that the growling was only happening when the 'big' people were across the room, but both of the snapping incidents happened with us right there. This morning, I actually had my hand on his head, petting him when he snapped at my son. That feels like escallation to me, but I am pretty new to the dog bahavior game.

 

Thanks for the help, everyone.

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You should talk to your adoption rep asap...you don't want a bite to happen.

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

If you adopted from a group, did they require a kids class? If your son is approaching your greyhound when he is laying in his bed, that is a big no-no. Other things, children should not stand face to face with a greyhound, children should not be allowed to hug or lay on top of greyhounds, children should not be allowed into the hounds personal space (be it the crate, or doggie bed), children or adults for that matter should not hover over the hound, especially when the hound is sleeping. There are many other things that need to be observed when acclimating a greyhound into your home. You have to realize that a greyhound does not instinctively see a child that is nearly the same size as the greyhound as superior as they do with an adult. These growling and nipping need to be taken as warnings that there is something happening that needs to be taken care of. Just from the short sentence that you gave, it sounds as if the greyhound is not comfortable with kids invading his space. So, I would strongly suggest you contact the behaviorist (see my above post regarding the title of behaviorist), and explain what is going on. It wouldnt hurt to contact the group you adopted him from to obtain further guidance and help in the situation. Please listen to the advice you are given (by your adoption group and behaviorist) and dont let the hound get labeled as "agressive" or a "biter".

 

Chad

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the snapping has been both times when Boris is laying in his bed.

 

No more petting him on his bed until he has settled in for 6 months+ Just call him over to you for petting and treats. Remember these guys aren't messed with while they lay down and it can stress them out. He might be ok with you, but your son might make him a bit nervous. Kids are scary to some dogs. Talk to your adoption group and behaviorist. You'll be fine if you work on it asap. ;)

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Jessica

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Guest LindsaySF
. The growling happens seemingly randomly, but the snapping has been both times when Boris is laying in his bed. The surprising thing is that the growling was only happening when the 'big' people were across the room, but both of the snapping incidents happened with us right there.

Snapping while laying on the bed is VERY common. Most greyhounds don't want to be bothered when they are laying down, so that one is a little easier to prevent/avoid. I would keep the kids away from Boris when he is laying down.

 

I would contact the behaviorist again about the growling. Growling is very seldom done randomly, but the triggers/cues might be subtle. The behaviorist should be able to witness these incidents in person and help you figure out the patterns. For now I would muzzle Boris when the kids are around, while you work on this.

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Guest jharr

Thanks for all of the feedback. I am gathering that it is a matter of size since I have a rocking chair right next to Boris' bed and I can sit next to him while he is in bed and stroke his head. I don't usually get down on my knees in front of him like a child would so position is probably a big factor as well. I tried it this afternoon and while he didn't growl or nip me, he sort of stared at me instead of giving his usual head-down tongue-out response. We will keep all of this in mind and restrict the little ones. I have moved Boris' bed to more of a protected corner of the room so that they will not be so tempted to approach his bed. I know that he will be an outstanding pet once we all learn each other's rules. Thanks again everyone.

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Guest jessie1234

Thanks for all of the feedback. I am gathering that it is a matter of size since I have a rocking chair right next to Boris' bed and I can sit next to him while he is in bed and stroke his head. I don't usually get down on my knees in front of him like a child would so position is probably a big factor as well. I tried it this afternoon and while he didn't growl or nip me, he sort of stared at me instead of giving his usual head-down tongue-out response. We will keep all of this in mind and restrict the little ones. I have moved Boris' bed to more of a protected corner of the room so that they will not be so tempted to approach his bed. I know that he will be an outstanding pet once we all learn each other's rules. Thanks again everyone.

 

We have a 3 yr old & a 6 yr old. Chloe came to us when she was 5 yrs old. She growled and snapped at the kids on a few occassions. We gave her a wide berth and noticed it took about 4-5 months for her to really settle down. Her bed is her bed. If she wants pats and cuddles she can come onto our floor rug for them! Good luck

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Guest jenznaz

Thanks for all of the feedback. I am gathering that it is a matter of size since I have a rocking chair right next to Boris' bed and I can sit next to him while he is in bed and stroke his head. I don't usually get down on my knees in front of him like a child would so position is probably a big factor as well. I tried it this afternoon and while he didn't growl or nip me, he sort of stared at me instead of giving his usual head-down tongue-out response. We will keep all of this in mind and restrict the little ones. I have moved Boris' bed to more of a protected corner of the room so that they will not be so tempted to approach his bed. I know that he will be an outstanding pet once we all learn each other's rules. Thanks again everyone.

 

I'm really glad you're taking this in stride, as I know how scary it can be. Our first grey snapped several times at our son (he was 8 at the time) and I contacted my group right away for advice. It was pretty obvious that Naz was frightened of kids. We did a lot of work with our son to teach him to be a Leader, as well as constant supervision. It took about a year for Naz to settle in and get used to children, although he and my son were never very buddy-buddy.

 

Boris may just be tolerating the adults petting him on his bed because he views you as the pack leader, but I would maybe back off a little on the affection, especially if you've only had him a month.

 

I'm sure you've heard it before, but the Boris you see now won't be the Boris you'll see once he's been with you a while. Takes time & patience!!

 

Jen

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What everyone else said! As much as you want to love him, he needs time and space. And be aware that some greyhounds will never love to be cuddled. I had Greta for a year before I kissed her. I spent months resisting the urge while also getting her used to me handling her without pushing her past her tolerance. I still recall the first time I put my head down on her side while she was lying on the floor. I got her all relaxed with massage and then, with one hand resting on her neck so I would have some warning if she objected, I just put my ear to her side for a moment. I've had her 6 years now and I still don't do that with impunity (she wouldn't snap at me, but it still could stress and upset her). I do it to help ensure that she will tolerate it if someone else tries it before I can stop them. I do kiss her a lot now! :P She doesn't mind at all, though she might walk away if anyone else tried it.

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Have you done any reading on retired greyhounds/behavior, etc.?

 

Your child should not be going near him when he's sleeping. At nine years old, not only is he old enough to understand that, he's old enough to read the books himself!

 

No toddler should EVER be close enough to the biting end of a large dog that you ALREADY KNEW might snap!

 

If he were mine, he'd be in a crate if there were visiting children.

 

I'd suggest you do some reading, and at least one or two more sessions with the behaviorist. And have a long talk with your kid.


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Guest Drumhellergrey

the snapping has been both times when Boris is laying in his bed.

 

No more petting him on his bed until he has settled in for 6 months+ Just call him over to you for petting and treats. Remember these guys aren't messed with while they lay down and it can stress them out. He might be ok with you, but your son might make him a bit nervous. Kids are scary to some dogs. Talk to your adoption group and behaviorist. You'll be fine if you work on it asap. ;)

I agree with what is said above. Don't allow children to go up to the dog when it is on its bed. Make him come to you, then offer petting or treats.

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Guest Swifthounds

We have had Boris for almost a month now. When he first came home, he was good with everyone. Then about a week later he started growling at our youngest son. We had a behaviorist come to the house and he suggested that we make sure that the boy be involved with all of the 'happy' events with the dog (feeding, getting the leash, opening the car, giving treats, etc) which we have done. I thought it was getting better, but yesterday, Boris snapped at a 2 yr-old that was visiting and then snapped again at our son this morning. This is more than growling or barking, he is actually putting his teeth on them. He isn't biting down, so there has been no damage so far, but it seems to be escallating instead of getting better. Aside from telling the boy to ignore the dog (that's mean because he loves Boris) I am not sure what to do at this point. Has anyone socialized unfriendly greys to children?

 

Just as a starting point, no one will tell you that your son should ignore the dog (that won't help), but it doesn't really matter what seems mean to your son. If he loves Boris, and you want Boris to like him, there need to be ground rules and mutual respect. All too often, we push things in a child/dog relationship or "allow" certain inappropriate things because the kid loves the dog - that's setting both the child and the kid up for failure. With kids and dogs, you need a plan and you need to stick to that plan, or the kid or the dog (or both ) will pay the price - at which point nobody loves anybody anymore.

 

As a starting point, it's important to note that Boris isn't unfriendly. Your son isn't respecting Boris' boundaries. That's not your son's fault. He just likes the dog. It's your job as the parent to give him ground rules and make sure he follows them, or supervise where that's not possible, so that he can have a good relationship with Boris.

 

yeah, I left out some detail. My son is 9 yrs old, but on the small side at ~65 lbs (Boris is 75 lbs). The growling happens seemingly randomly, but the snapping has been both times when Boris is laying in his bed. The surprising thing is that the growling was only happening when the 'big' people were across the room, but both of the snapping incidents happened with us right there. This morning, I actually had my hand on his head, petting him when he snapped at my son. That feels like escallation to me, but I am pretty new to the dog bahavior game.Thanks for the help, everyone.

 

You (the adults) are the humans and the pack leader as far as Boris is concerned. The exercises given to you by the behaviorist weren't to teach your dog that your kid is a nice kid, but to teach Boris that your kid is above him in the pack standing. Pairing the kid with both things the dog associates with something that out ranks him pack-wise and something that's enjoyable increases the learning. Dogs learn faster through positive training, and they mentally process things better when you are positively reinforcing acceptable behavior.

 

Here is the most important thing to understand about this dog/kid interactions: it is your responsibility to keep the dog safe from the kid and the kid safe from the dog. You haven't been doing that so far.

 

A toddler like the 2 year old crawling or walking toward a dog is asking for trouble. The problem is that a child under the age of 4/5 can't understand that, and cannot be taught to not do things to the dog that are intimidating or threatening to the dog. The kid at least has the luxury of being blissfully unaware that the dog presents a danger to him. A dog, any dog, does present a danger to a child. Dogs have teeth, nails, instincts, and -in many cases - size. A child under 4/5 is too young to cognitively process the incident at this age, which has the advantage and disadvantage of this situation not provoking a fear response. Good, in that it means the kid won't develop a fear of dogs at this point; bad, in that there's no real chance that because of this incident, a similar incident is less likely to occur. The dog, on the other hand, is probably pretty scared of the toddler. If he wasn't before, he is now. You didn't tell us what your reaction was, but that factors in as well.

 

Imagine this scenario with the 2 year old. The kid was on the floor moving toward the dog. The dog has no way of predicting what this wiggly, oddly moving thing is going to do to him. Worse, it's on his level, staring right at him, and it's getting too close with its unpredictability, so he warns it to stay away (growl) and it KEEPS COMING. A dog or a person would have taken that as a warning, and proceeded at its own risk. This aggressive toddler thing just keeps on truckin.' (Sure, the kid didn't mean to be aggressive, and you should have intervened at that point if not sooner, but that's what it is from the dog's perspective.) The dog has two choices. He can run away in fear, or he can be proactive and make sure this thing doesn't attack him. If he runs in fear from the toddler, he has demonstrated that he is submissive to the toddler, and thus his pack status has been lowered.

 

It's not exactly equivalent, but think about it this way: what if roles were reversed? What if the kid was laying there resting, and the dog starting jaunting toward the kid, and the kid cried, would you have let the dog keep on truckin' toward the kid? Probably not.

 

Your 9 year old so, OTOH, is old enough to learn rules for interacting with the dog. Rule #1: Do not disturb/pet/touch the dog while it's sleeping on its bed. A dog's sense of security is vital. #2 the Dog MUST have a safe place to retreat where there are no children allowed. It can be another room, a crate, a corner with a bed, but it must be a kid free zone. #3 Never leave the child alone with the dog. You can't supervise if you aren't there. Interaction such as petting should ALWAYS be supervised by an adult and should always occur by calling the dog to the child, not by having the child move toward the dog.

 

I would seek more help from a behaviorist (a behaviorist, not a trainer).

 

Snapping while laying on the bed is VERY common. Most greyhounds don't want to be bothered when they are laying down, so that one is a little easier to prevent/avoid.

 

Snapping while laying on a bed isn't actually all that common, and in most of the situations where it occurs, it would not have happened had the people treated the dog as they should have from the get go. A small number of dogs will have space issues, most of which can be worked through and should be worked through. Track bred greyhounds have been conditioned to expect that when in their sleeping area, no one and nothing will disturb them. Imagine what a shock it is to discover that everything you've been taught no longer applies. It's doubly hard if no one tells you the new rules - and that's what happens to many greyhounds.

 

Dogs function and survive by being able to predict their environment and react accordingly. A dog that can't predict its environment is an insecure dog, and that's where the problems start.

 

Have you done any reading on retired greyhounds/behavior, etc.?Your child should not be going near him when he's sleeping. At nine years old, not only is he old enough to understand that, he's old enough to read the books himself!

 

Exactly.

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Guest LindsaySF
Snapping while laying on a bed isn't actually all that common, and in most of the situations where it occurs, it would not have happened had the people treated the dog as they should have from the get go. A small number of dogs will have space issues, most of which can be worked through and should be worked through.

Space issues are actually pretty common in Greyhounds, especially retired-racing Greyhounds. Some of them grow out of it, some don't. Most people that I have interacted with (being an adoption rep) have had at least one incident with growling or snapping due to space issues. It might be a little growl and never happens again (an isolated incident), it might be some more serious snaps but will dissipate in time and with giving the dog space, or it might be a dog with serious space/sleep issues that can never be touched or cuddled when it is laying down. But I see it quite often.

 

I think sometimes people downplay how common space issues are in Greyhounds. Maybe they have been lucky and not had many of their own dogs or fosters with space issues? Somehow they all end up at my house? lol.gif Sure on this forum everyone says "Let sleeping dogs lie", it should apply to all breeds, etc, but most breeds don't have this problem at the rate that Greyhounds do. And it happens to retired racers for the very reasons you describe:

 

Track bred greyhounds have been conditioned to expect that when in their sleeping area, no one and nothing will disturb them. Imagine what a shock it is to discover that everything you've been taught no longer applies. It's doubly hard if no one tells you the new rules - and that's what happens to many greyhounds.

 

 

I have worked with other breeds in other breed rescue and at an animal control shelter. Greyhounds are overly represented in space and sleep aggression incidents. (The other breeds I have seen commonly have space issues are toy breeds, notably when they are on the couch or someone's lap). People looking into this breed should be aware of this fact. Sometimes people don't do their research, or sometimes (IMO) adoption groups paint an overly-rosy picture and recommend this breed as a very gentle docile animal that is "great with kids". Most families with kids need/want a more rough and tumble breed like a Lab, not a Greyhound. I actually don't recommend retired racing Greyhounds to most families with young kids.

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Yes, what everyone else said, I adopted Spud when my son was 9 years old, and he grew up with dogs, very dog savy kid. We quickly learned not to pet Spud when he was on his bed, or lying down in general, when my son had friends over I would muzzle Spud, just because I can't trust that other kids knew how to act. When all the kids sat around the living room playing video games, Spud would be on his bed nearby, but if the kids starting getting too close to his bed he would growl, they would move over.

Over time Spud learned that we are not a thread to him, and my son especially made an effort to desensitize him by slowly over time moving closer, now we can pet him even when he is on his bed, I still don't when he is asleep though.

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Two of our three greyhounds (Bonny and Darcy) have space issues when lying down or eating. Bonny was even given up by her last owners because of snapping at kids. We've never had that problem with her, but that is because we don't invade her space when she's sleeping. We have seen her snap at our other greys though if they try to steal her bed. Our third greyhound, Celeste, is the perfect family dog - zero space issues, extremely tolerant, etc. When BIL and SIL bring our nieces over - they always direct them towards Celeste. They learned early on not to bother Bonny and Darcy unless they were awake and not on their beds or eating.

 

To the OP - it sounds like you just need to set boundaries for how your son interacts with Boris. Greyhounds can be great family pets, but like any dog, children should never be unsupervised around them.

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Guest jharr

Have you done any reading on retired greyhounds/behavior, etc.?

I had actually done quite a bit of reading and research before deciding on this breed, so I'm not approaching this as a complete noob. But as with anything, the more anecdotal 'evidence' you collect and consume, the more confused the issue can become. Even within this thread, there are dogs who never have, never will snap even when in 'their space' and there are others that growl even at the suggestion of an apporach. So, reading aside, I am at this point left with my own experiences and some general 'better safe than sorry' guidelines. We did move Boris' bed to a quiet corner. He still occasionally growls at the boys (and the cat) when they come down the stairs into the room (15 feet away), so I think we might put Boris into the 'overly space-sensitive' camp for now. We are trying to ignore (not approach or stare) when he is on his bed. Here is a little twist, though. Boris likes to lay around in the traffic areas of the house. So far he hasn't growled or snapped when we are stepping over him, but at this point I wouldn't put it past him. How to deal with that? I mean he lays himself out right at the bottom of the stairs that go up to the boys bedrooms or right in front of the refrigerator when we are preparing dinner. How do we respect his space when his space is expanding to fill the whole house?

 

As a note in case it wasn't clear before, the 2 yr old was a visitor. My wife and his mom were right there with him and that was the first time ever we had seen that behavior with Boris. So he wasn't unsupervised and we/they had only ever seen Boris be calm and docile in his bed, so at that point we had to re-assess and start making rules to protect Boris and the kids. Which we are.

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Greta tried to lay down in traffic areas, too. That is absolutely not acceptable in my house--I'd break my neck for sure. I did not walk over her, I walked through her--shuffling my feet very carefully so as not to hurt her and commanded, "MOVE". She learned pretty quick to move when she saw me (or anyone) coming, and no longer ever lays down in traffic areas and now will head for her bed any time anyone tells her to move for any reason.

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Guest Swifthounds

Space issues are actually pretty common in Greyhounds, especially retired-racing Greyhounds. Some of them grow out of it, some don't. Most people that I have interacted with (being an adoption rep) have had at least one incident with growling or snapping due to space issues. It might be a little growl and never happens again (an isolated incident), it might be some more serious snaps but will dissipate in time and with giving the dog space, or it might be a dog with serious space/sleep issues that can never be touched or cuddled when it is laying down. But I see it quite often.

 

I think sometimes people downplay how common space issues are in Greyhounds. Maybe they have been lucky and not had many of their own dogs or fosters with space issues? Somehow they all end up at my house? lol.gif Sure on this forum everyone says "Let sleeping dogs lie", it should apply to all breeds, etc, but most breeds don't have this problem at the rate that Greyhounds do. And it happens to retired racers for the very reasons you describe:

 

IME, if you listen to people (or watch) what they do with the greyhound, you'll see that the greyhound exhibits "issues" with space because people begin by violating every rule of dog etiquette and expect that because it's what the human wants, a dog must be just waiting for you to come at him, touch him, and hug him. It's a failure of humans to communicate with their dogs in a way that the dogs can understand. You build trust, you communicate with a dog in a way it can understand, and then you set boundaries and expectations. You do that first, before you ask the dog to trust you enough to be confident interacting with you.

 

We tend to think space issues are a greyhound thing, because their prior experience tends to make them more prone to be conditioned to expect that when in their sleeping area, no one and nothing will disturb them. While this is perhaps an exaggerated form of conditioning to reinforce dog behavior, it's not the source of why fido isn't thrilled about someone entering his sleeping space. There is no situation where a dog would willingly accept another strange dog into its sleeping/resting space. A dog would not enter the personal space of a strange dog. By the same token, a human should not enter that space with a dog who hasn't been conditioned to accept it. That conditioning takes time and communication in ways that a dog can understand.

 

Almost without exception, the dogs that have space issues are dogs whose owners haven't taken the time to establish the relationship, trust, and parameters of the human/dog relationship. There are greyhounds with sleep issues, but that isn't the case with most greyhounds. My 12 year old, Comet is one such dog. He happens to sleep with his eyes open. Along with conditioning him to accept human invasion of his space, I taught the humans to vocally make their presence known, even where he appeared to be looking right at them.

 

I have worked with other breeds in other breed rescue and at an animal control shelter. Greyhounds are overly represented in space and sleep aggression incidents. (The other breeds I have seen commonly have space issues are toy breeds, notably when they are on the couch or someone's lap). People looking into this breed should be aware of this fact. Sometimes people don't do their research, or sometimes (IMO) adoption groups paint an overly-rosy picture and recommend this breed as a very gentle docile animal that is "great with kids". Most families with kids need/want a more rough and tumble breed like a Lab, not a Greyhound. I actually don't recommend retired racing Greyhounds to most families with young kids.

 

I don't really ever recommend that anyone with small children get a dog, especially a dog that is much larger than the child. People get a dog as a "family" dog, when in reality, it's the adult's dog. Children and greyhounds can live peacably, but it takes work. It takes work with the dog and work with the children - and until the children are at least 5 or 6, physically keeping the two separate. Thereafter, it's a matter of making rules , reinforcing them, and maintaining order between the kids and dogs.

 

A lot of people get the lab because it's supposed to be "rough and tumble" and give no though to the fact that labs were bred to be a dog that could run many miles in a day and, as a result, require a lot of exercise that most families don't happen to have time for. Hence, why labs (and goldens) account for so many of the dog bites to children each year.

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I'm nowhere near a training expert, but I just wanted to pop in here and wish you luck with Boris. It sounds like you are taking this seriously and doing what you can to safely integrate Boris into your home. I also want to give you some reassurance. Both of our greys have been absolutely exceptional with children (we have a one year old). Our current hound, Bootsy, is so tolerant that I wish sometimes he would discipline our son when he pushes his limits. :lol

 

One rule we are pretty strict about is never bother Bootsy when he's eating or laying down, and Bootsy is expected to follow those same rules with Lucas. Mutual respect of one another's space helps a lot.

 

Good luck. Boris is a handsome boy. :)

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I second that you are doing the right things, asking for advice. It's very hard to deal with a pup who has space issues when at the same time you want him to get comfortable in the house. He's new and it will take time for Boris to get accustomed to his new home. This is not to say that he will give up his space issues but over time hopefully he will improve.

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Guest jharr

Both of our greys have been absolutely exceptional with children (we have a one year old). Our current hound, Bootsy, is so tolerant that I wish sometimes he would discipline our son when he pushes his limits. :lol

 

It's very hard to deal with a pup who has space issues when at the same time you want him to get comfortable in the house. He's new and it will take time for Boris to get accustomed to his new home.

 

 

 

Thanks for the encouraging words. I think what I am taking from this conversation is that it's not so much an "issue" with the dog unless we make it one. It is really just a behavior that we need to be aware of. We do this with people all the time. For instance I know that if my 13 yr old son doesn't get enough sleep, he is cranky. So either I insist that he goes to bed earlier or I steer clear of him until he has rested more. Then later I have a talk with him about the relation between mood and sleep deprivation. We accomodate antisocial behaviors in people intuitively, but we are surprised when they arise in the family dog. I think this "issue" with Boris can be overcome with some rules for the people and some training/socialization for the dog. I think about my first adventure with room mates in college. It was not always fun or pleasant, but once I figured out the personalities and habits, it made for a pretty good situation. It was often just about tollerant cohabitation, but the pay-off was in those times when there was real comraderie and friendship. If we think of Boris as a new room mate, it might be easier to settle in. I just wish he would get a job and pay his share of the rent!

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