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Guest iLoveLucie

Whimpering/whining When Meeting Other Dogs

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Guest iLoveLucie

My husband and I are new greyhound parents having adopted a 2.5 year old brindle girl (Lucie) about a month ago. So far things are going really well! She is a very quick learner and is adjusting to her new life really well as part of our family.

 

One quirk we've noticed is that she tends to whimper/whine whenever we see/approach other dogs. She does this with small dogs/large dogs, dogs that bark at her/dogs that pay her no attention, when we are out walking her on her leash/when we drive past them in our car. Lucie's tail is wagging during the whole process and she never tries to avoid other dogs, so we don't think she is afraid, but excited and wants attention. If we stop to let her meet the other dog (which we don't do all the time), once she sniffs them she is fine, and usually looses interest in the other dog. We thought maybe she would just do this with non-greyhounds, but no. We have met a few of the other greys in our neighborhood and we started a greyhound specific training class where she exhibits the behavior too. In speaking to the other parents and in reading thru some posts on this site, it sounds like this kind of vocalization on some level is very common/normal. It sounds like some even find it endearing; right now we find it endearing half the time and annoying the other half.

 

My main concern is that this whining seems to agitate/excite other dogs (and their owners). Sometimes this means other dog owners will avoid us (which isn't always a bad thing) or they'll assume Lucie is scared and feel bad for her. Occasionally it will get the other dog so riled up (jumping, lunging, barking) that I'm a little concerned that our dog could get hurt if there was any interaction. Before we adopted her she actually had to be treated for a dog bite with sutures after an altercation at a doggie play group with a small terrier.

 

So... can we train her not to whimper and whine when meeting other dogs? If so, what would be the most effective way? Or is this just part of her personality and part of owning a greyhound? Should we just need to roll with it until we find it totally endearing and limit her interaction with any dogs that we think could put her at risk of getting hurt?

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Sounds like she's just excited and happy to see another dog. You have to remember, these greyhounds are very well socialized. From birth until the time they go into adoption they are around greyhounds. Dogs who are only dogs are not used to being by themselves so she's going to get really excited to see another dog. The more you let her socialize with other dogs the more likely she is to stop the whining. If you could find a greyhound group that has fun runs on the weekend I'll bet she'd love the heck out of that. If you think the other dog is going to be too excited or rough, then I'd avoid those dogs but let her meet as many as she likes (as long as your walk doesn't drag on and on that is).


Judy, mom to Do Bee, Bandita, Angel and Gizmo

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey

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Someone once posted a link to "calming signals" dogs use to communicate to other dogs. I'm not sure if this was the link or not. Dogs often do things to basically say "It's okay, I'm no threat!" I know turning the head away slightly was a common signal as was moving slowly, yawning or licking lips (the last three our Molly does when she sees other dogs coming near or if she is approaching something she is unsure of). I almost wonder if the whining is Lucie's calming signal? Or her way of communicating she's submissive?

 

My suggestion would be that if she's in a training class already, it's probably something you could ask the instructor for help with.


 

 

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Molly (Blue Sky Dreamin), Tinker (BT My Lil Girl) and their feline brothers Miles and Lewis

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Guest LindsaySF

Sounds like she's just excited and happy to see another dog. You have to remember, these greyhounds are very well socialized. From birth until the time they go into adoption they are around greyhounds. Dogs who are only dogs are not used to being by themselves so she's going to get really excited to see another dog. The more you let her socialize with other dogs the more likely she is to stop the whining. If you could find a greyhound group that has fun runs on the weekend I'll bet she'd love the heck out of that. If you think the other dog is going to be too excited or rough, then I'd avoid those dogs but let her meet as many as she likes (as long as your walk doesn't drag on and on that is).

X 2 :)

 

 

 

 

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Guest pennmorgan

I wonder if your dog is Olivia's long-lost sister. She's done this since the first day we adopted her, as a 2.5 year old girl, about a year and a half ago. She still does it, though not for *every* dog, and she doesn't whimper at all when she's not on the leash (i.e., when she's at the dog park). So I think it's excitement and it may or may not ever go away. It used to bother me a bit, but now I think it's just her way of saying how excited she is.

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Poodle does it every single time he sees another dog and his tail wags a hundred miles and hour. No one has ever had a porblem with it and it's never bothered me. I do let him meet some under supervision and he too loses interest after he sees who it is.

 

Poodle has to qualify as a well socialized dog after about 150 foster dogs passing through. He just says "Mom! Who IS that? Look! It's a dog! Can I go meet them?"


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Guest iLoveLucie

Thanks all. Glad to understand Lucie is just excited to meet other dogs... our little social butter-fly! :) We'll be sure to seek out more events for her to socialize, ie. kennel runs, the local dog beach.

 

I'm still a little concerned that her excitement gets the other dogs too excited and she might get hurt, but I'm just being an over-protective "new mom." Just last night we met a medium sized lab-mix. Lucie was whining like crazy, but both dogs seemed curious and the other owner was OK with letting them meet. At first approach the other dog sorta jumped/lunged to get to Lucie, who just stood there with her tail wagging, trying to sniff her new friend. The other owner pulled her dog back a bit so that the dogs were just within sniffing nose-to-nose. After a minute, both were satisfied and we all went on our way, but I think I was holding my breath the whole time!

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On that last issue, be judicious in which dogs you allow her to meet. Familiarize yourself iwth dog body language and look for dogs that are interested in meeting her, but are also calm. When you let the dogs meet if you're doing it on lead, make sure both you and the other owner aren't holding tight leashes. The normal progression for 2 dogs greeting is a brief nose to nose sniff, then they let their noses travel along the body until they are sniffing each other's hind ends. The final step is both dogs will probably start to circle, mutually sniffing each other. It's important that you allow this natural progression to happen without getting leashes caught up, which can cause tension. I think the number one problem is that most owners don't understand any of this and you also don't know how friendly their dog is, so I tend to not do intros on lead unless I'm very comfortable with the combination of dog and owner. Plus, I usually have 2-4 on lead at once and I NEVER do intros between more than 2 dogs at a time (one on one).


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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest iLoveLucie

Great tips on meeting new dogs. I have to admit most times we approach another dog I'm holding onto her leash VERY tightly. I find myself hyper aware when walking with Lucie, noticing things I never paid attention to in the past. I am shocked at how many people walk their dogs and totally ignore them while the chat or text on their cell phones!

 

Any thoughts on how to handle meeting a dog when Lucie is on a leash but the other is off leash? We live in a city, so it is rare, but happens occasionally. Personally, I get a little nervous about that....

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Something Doc and I found very helpful was attending some mixed-breed obedience classes with a good trainer. We're in the city too and the ones we attended were called something like 'good manners for the urban dog'. This was a great way for him to meet lots of different kinds of dogs under controlled conditions. It was helpful for me too, because I learnt a lot about doggy body language, as well as being fun and a good bonding experience for us both. You need to find the right trainer obviously, one who uses positive rewards-based training only and preferably has some experience of greyhounds - I found ours via our vet.

 

I sympathise about the off-lead dogs rushing over. Bad manners on their owners' part, even if they call out 'he only wants to say hello/ play!' Bad manners on the dog's part too - see this article:

'He just wants to say hi!'

 

This trainer's website is also very good and informative about dog behaviour and body language Turid Rugaas

 

While greyhounds are very well socialised with their own breed - far better indeed than the average pet dog, homed at eight weeks - other breeds are new to them, making it natural for your girl to be curious about them. Some will be harder for her to 'read' than others so may appear puzzling/threatening. Doc for instance found breeds like pugs (squashed face, curly tail) and boxers (squashed face, docked tail, 'gladiatorial' stance) alarming until he got to go to know them, which the trainer told us was very common. Also, be aware that different breeds will play in different ways, something which may again cause misunderstandings - greyhounds and other sighthounds favour 'nip and chase', which can be terrifying for other breeds, but can themselves be frightened by bull breeds attempts to wrestle!

 

You will both gain in experience as time goes on and get better about assessing whether the dog racing over is just being over-the-top friendly or intends aggression. Meanwhile, and if in doubt, I find it best to tuck Doc behind me (facing away from the other dog) and firmly tell it 'NO!' as it bowls up. If this doesn't feel secure enough, I'd suggest a small umbrella which you can pop open in the dog's face. I've never found it necessary to go further than this, but I know that some posters in the US carry sticks, etc - I think this is usually to deal with aggressive dogs left to run loose outside their homes, which thank goodness is not an issue round here.


Clare with Ken (Boomtown Ken, born 01/05/2011), and remembering Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Guest chaoran22

this describes my male greyhound exactly. down to the part where once he greets them, he shows no more interest in them but he vocalizes like crazy until he can greet them. he does it with all dogs and yes, the behavior itself is no big deal but it makes other dog owners SUPER anxious. I don't know why b/c he's not barking, i don't know why whining/whimpering from my dog would make them anxious but it does!

 

what we've sort of worked out is notice his signals, he starts off with a slight pull on the leash and bobs his head and then the little whining starts (and erupts into lots of whining) and when i see another dog and he does the slight pull on his leash (before he starts whining, once he gets going, there is no stopping him so the key is to get his attention before it starts), i say in a very low quiet voice "no" or "stop it" it doesn't matter what i'm saying really, i just say it in a firm, low, but calm voice and it often works to calm him down to the point where he's just making itty bitty whimpers and then usually the other dog owner is not so anxious about it and will let him greet my grey. Because the problem with us is if the other owner gets anxious and pulls their dog away from greeting my dog, he really goes nuts and starts whining/whimpering REALLY LOUDLY at them as they walk away and it makes him look crazed. But if they just let him sniff their dog, then he wants nothing more to do with the dog after 2 seconds. He's ridiculous. So my low voice calming words get him to tone it down just enough so that other owners aren't so anxious (although if you try it, don't let the other owners hear you doing it or it'll make them more anxious like you're trying to calm your vicious dog or something).

 

my other technique when i don't feel like putting in the effort to calm him down is to just say in a very audible happy friendly voice, "ok silly boy, you can say hi, i know it's exciting, you can't wait to say hi!" or something liek that and that does nothing to alter his behavior but I do it so that the other owner hears it and knows that he's just excited to say hi and not rabid. it's easier to just do that a lot of the time than try and control my grey's behavior.

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Lexie whimpers when she sees another dog. She does it because she wants to meet the other dogs..lol. I suppose if it really bothers you and u want her to stop, use a command like ""shh or quiet"" then reward her with lots of hugs, pets, praise ect..


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Guest iLoveLucie

Great tips - thanks all! We've been trying to "shhh" her before she gets going and that works maybe half the time. We'll also make comments about her just being excited so other owners won't get to anxious, and that works about half the time too.

 

Today I tried something new with decent results: I brought some really good treats on on our walk - and then whenever another dog approached, I'd call her to the side and tell her to sit. We've been in obedience classes, so I figure I'm getting her to respond to her name, focus on me vs. the other dog and practice sitting amongst distractions outside. She did GREAT! No whimpering at all!! Although it did limit the number of dogs we actually got to meet, but one thing at a time... I figure if we can keep her calm, more calm dogs and owners will want to meet us :)

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Your approach was excellent. Just to say Joshy does this all the time. It is very quiet but it is like "mum look it's my new best friend over there!" and the pitiful whining when we don't stop which we don't because Jilly is less amenable to meeting, is hysterical. lol.gif


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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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