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How Do You Handle Growling From Your Grey?


Guest jenznaz
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Guest jenznaz

Xilo up to this point has not shown any resource guarding (got 'em 3 months ago). I can give and take his food bowl with no problems and use the "bait and switch" technique to get tastier things away from him (i.e. turkey necks). So I was surprised tonight when he growled at me several times as I tried to move a marrow bone off of the carpet and back onto the protective cover sheet I use when I feed him raw.

 

So I'm just wondering how others handle this type of behavior. I'm hesitant to fuss at him for growling, but want him to know I'm the Boss. I got him to move back onto the sheet by moving away and calling him, that caused him to pick up the bone and start coming over to me, lol, then I told him he could sit back down when he moved back onto the sheet. Right now I'm sitting on my couch near his bed, and I've been moving my feet around near him and talking to him to try to desensitize him a little more to people being near him while he's going to town on his bone.

 

Maybe I haven't been alpha enough...

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Guest Sweetreba

My female Reba will growl when I want something she really wants which is a bone or treat. I too tried to put something messy on her pillow and off the carpet and got a growl that concerned me. I wanted her to know who was boss but my vet told me not to get into confrontations with her. she said they are fast and that is how bad bites happen. I found the trading up works the best. if I put a toy or something else in her face to distract her I can usually get what I want with no problems. I have now had her almost 2 years and things are much better now. she is better about letting me take things. For some reason the food dish was not a problem I could do anything with her when she was eating it was the good stuff the gnawies and treats she was possessive of.

 

As time goes on he may be better. Its almost two years for both of them now and I cannot remember a time we locked horns about stuff. Of course Petey my boy, never had any issues. I have never heard him growl or get upset about anything. If Reba or I take anything away from him it is "Oh Well I guess I'll go take a nap".

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Guest MyHoodies

Seems like you are doing ok by moving around by him to desensetize him. I always worry about that myself when i get a new foster. Maybe some grey rescue groups should sell those fake arms that we could use to test and get them use to people touching food / bowls / goodies without the worry of being bit. Trade offs work well. Also would recommend that you try moving the goody away with your foot if worried about using your hand; jeans / boots might provide a little bit of protection should he try to bit. I ususally do that the first time i give a foster a raw bone to chew. that way if i can get it aways and step on it with a firm "mine". hope this helps.

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"The honeymoon is over" :) .

 

It's not unusual for a dog to hit a setback after a couple months. They've been great, made steady progress, you're getting comfortable, he's getting comfortable - then...... BAM! :huh The setback.

 

He's hit a level of comfort, where he's not worried all the time about doing something wrong. So - he's going to push the boundries - to see what happens. You haven't done any wrong. It's not that you weren't strict enough. It's just time to change course a bit, now that HE'S changed course a bit. A new greyhound is a constantly evolving situation, and you have to evolve with it. :)

 

The problem is over a marrow bone. No more marrow bone for a few days. When you give one again, make him "deserve" it. Make him do something to get it. Something as simple as come when called, "look at me". He needs to know that YOU gave it to him for a reason. Give it to him, let him have it for a few minutes. Then, get an awesome treat - ask him to "trade" or "drop it" - waving wonderful treat under the nose - and when he does - give him the awesome treat and praise the HECK outta him. Then - ask him to come, or "look at me" again - and give him the bone back. Let him KNOW that giving into you is both expected, and also a positive thing.

 

This is a normal bump in the road. Nothing you or the dog are doing wrong. The great thing is - that you care, and are dealilng with it, and asking for advice. This is a normal transition point - you deal with this - the rest is cake. Don't deal with it - and the dog "could" turn into a brat. Or not. Greys are quirky! :)

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I would suggest that the marrow bone was just, for him, too much a high value item that he wasn't ready to handle yet. He needs to be more confident that an item of that extreme wonderfulness is okay to give up to you because he will always get it back.

 

You need to continue to consider whether he is ready yet for such a treat. And to continue to work on the trade up exercise. That is not unusual behavior at all even though it almost always takes us by surprise when our dogs do it. My gentle Jack was a dog that I could literally reach down his throat for anything. Then I gave him his first marrow bone. It was a easily two years after I got him. I didn't know about trading up or high value treats. It was one of my first posts here. My sweet boy gentle boy.......

 

It really isn't an issue of being the boss or alpha. He just needs to develop trust with those kind of items. He will.

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Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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Guest jenznaz

Thanks for the awesome advice! I agree and enjoy that our relationships with our dogs are constantly evolving...

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Guest gecko_foot

Xilo up to this point has not shown any resource guarding (got 'em 3 months ago). I can give and take his food bowl with no problems and use the "bait and switch" technique to get tastier things away from him (i.e. turkey necks). So I was surprised tonight when he growled at me several times as I tried to move a marrow bone off of the carpet and back onto the protective cover sheet I use when I feed him raw.

 

So I'm just wondering how others handle this type of behavior. I'm hesitant to fuss at him for growling, but want him to know I'm the Boss. I got him to move back onto the sheet by moving away and calling him, that caused him to pick up the bone and start coming over to me, lol, then I told him he could sit back down when he moved back onto the sheet. Right now I'm sitting on my couch near his bed, and I've been moving my feet around near him and talking to him to try to desensitize him a little more to people being near him while he's going to town on his bone.

 

Maybe I haven't been alpha enough...

 

I don't tolerate any growling at all from Tumnus and usually reprimand him verbally ("No!") followed by the move command. I try not to act frustrated or angry with him when he does it (even though I am often VERY frustrated). Calm authority and consistency work best. :)

 

That being said, he has only growled at me once - the first time I was cleaning his teeth - and I try to make it so that he is comfortable with everything I'm doing by doing lots of repetitions and praising him for positive behavior.

 

Small repetitions of trading/"leave it" with lower value items would probably be the best option for now since your guy is being possessive. For Tumnus, I always give him a dental chew after his meals, but a few seconds after giving it to him, I grab one end of it and give Tumnus the "leave it" command. Once he drops the chew and ignores it, I return it to him and leave him alone. I do this at least once or twice every day and haven't had a problem with him being possessive, but then again, he's a very calm boy.

 

I like the bait and switch technique for teaching the dog to leave an item, but I also believe that it's something that should be heavily used only in the beginning. What happens when you need to retrieve an item and don't have something to trade?

 

Sorry for being so long winded, but I hope this helps. Good luck!

Edited by gecko_foot
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Guest jaws4evr

I'd just continue to work with the trading exercises with lower value items... and work your way up as you and dog gains confidence.

 

Do some hand feeding kibble for a few meals (not hand in the bowl, just straight hand feeding a meal), make an un-threatening routine of standing and walking around the dog while he's eating if he can handle it... don't be a bully and try to take everything away he ever has, you want a balance between both trust and "being the boss". You want the dog to trust that you're not going to steal things, AND that you often give even better things in return!

 

The other suggestions about asking dog to do things for treats/meals is good... stay, come, sit, down, whatever skills dog has, you can use. It doesn't have to be a big production, just "do your work, then you get to eat in peace"!

 

If your dog fetches or chases toys you can use that as further proving that good things (chasing!) happen when mom takes toys from dog, and it's neither permanent or a big deal :) Make sure to only give toy back if dog was gracious in giving it up in the first place.

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Guest paulsmachetti

Leah will growl once in awhile .She has growled at me when I've asked her to move from a particular spot on the bed to the end of the bed and she's growled at me when we come in from a walk and I start cleaning her front paws. I'll just say "No Growling " in a low firm tone of voice.

Paul

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Personally I dont do the "trade up". I hand-fed my hounds for the first month or so that I had each one, it built up a strong trust relationship from the beginning. That said, my boy did decide that the first bone he had (about the 3 month mark) was his and neither my wife nor myself could do anything about it. We made him come, sit and told him to leave it. At the same time taking the bone from his mouth. He started to grumble, I simply looked him straight in the eye and told him that I would "end him" if he decided to bite me when I took the bone. I guess he did understand english that day. =} I think its the tone of voice and authority that I was exhibiting that he respected. Then for the next 45 minutes or so, I held the bone while he chewed. That was the only way he was going to be able to chew it. A few days later, I started by holding the bone and allowing him to chew, then let him have it. Walked away and came back 5 minutes later and told him to "leave it" and took the bone. That seemed to have worked for him. My girl Olive, she is so submissive that there is no need for any stern looks or such, she freely gives me anything if I say leave it. My newest girl has only been in our house for about 2 months, so she hasnt earned a bone yet. It truly depends on the confidence of your hound. A hound that is very confident, you can be more "agressive?", whereas a shy hound you should only need a "look". Understand how much your particular hound can handle in terms of correction should dictate your reaction. It is not as simple as "one size fits all".

 

Chad

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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It is a bit of a tricky one because you don't want them to skip the step of growling, but then again you don't want to tolerate guarding. I kind of determine my reaction on what the growl is about. Stella growled at Faith for letting her 'walking pooh bear toy' walk toward laying down Stella, then got up and moved , I wouldn't reprimand Stella, she did the right thing, let Faith know she didn't like that and then gave ground and moved herself somewhere safer.

 

Jeff growled (first time!) at Craig the other day, he was enjoying his first marrow bone and craig came around the corner, just planning to walk past, but since Jeff growled, resource guarding, he had to change plans from walking past to saying 'uh uh' and taking the bone. He got it back a few minutes later and it was taken and given back a few more times to make sure he got the idea.

 

When I am going to take something I know is valuable, I always call the dog to me first, let him know it is happening rather than walk over and reach down.

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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As Chad notes, there isn't really a one-size-fits-all solution -- sometimes all you need is a laugh, or a firm "Easy," or a "Uh-uh.". That said, I usually suggest people use the trading up technique (starting with totally undesirable objects) to teach a really good "Drop it!" and cement in the dog's brain that dropping whatever he has is a joyful occasion, earning him much praise and either his own beloved object back again or something even better. It takes a little time to train but it's totally safe and works with all flavors of possessive behavior.

 

In your case, if you have a dog willing to pick up less desirable objects than a bone, you might work on teaching the dog to keep things on his mat as well. That'll get him used to your actions in that regard.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Bang_o_rama

Bang growled (sort of) once, when I inadvertently loomed over her as I got up from the couch we were sharing. The VOG was employed and she became very apologetic. In fact she avoided the couch for a couple of weeks after that. Has not happened again. Of course, Bang has all the prey drive of a house plant.

~D~

Edited by Bang_o_rama
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