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Introducing Greys To Other Dogs And Getting Along With Each Other


Guest dblgreys
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Guest dblgreys

I have 2 Greyhounds. My husband an I adopted them about a month ago. They are brother and sister who are 2 years old. Our girl does great. Or boy on the other hand is proving to be more difficult. He does not want to listen we have a hard time getting him to pay attention (Even with treats) he doesn't seem all that interested in anything (treats or Toys) and doesn't care to play. The only things we can find that he is interested in is feeding time, trying to chase the cats and rabbits that run around the neighborhood (Which we do not let him do) and our daily walks. Recently he met 2 very small dogs ( cat size) He was fine wagging his tail and non aggressive. So I thought I would introduce him to my mother's dog who is a springer spaniel. That went badly he got extremely aggressive and the spaniel didn't do anything to deserve it. everyone is fine but I got the crap scared out of me and so did the spaniel. We do a lot of family oriented things and I would love to take both my dogs there. My sister also has 2 coon hounds a black and tan and a walker who are rather large dogs which he has not met. My sister and I are very close. I would like to see all the dogs in my family get along. He has also recently started getting agressive with his sister for no reason. I am thinking maybe muzzles for our greys are the way to go. Any other sugestions would be appreciated. If we have to we will just have to leave them at home but I would like to be able to take them everywhere I can and now I am afraid to take him anywhere except for our walks around town but even then I am nervous of how he will react when he sees a dog in the distance since the incident with the spaniel.(he is already working hard in trying to slip his collar and lead so he can give chase.)

 

When we introduced him to my mom's dog he was on his leash and she was being held by her collar because we couldn't find her leash she was told to sit and she sat and as I moved forward my boy lunged and attacked her.

 

As far as his sister goes this has only happened a handful of time. ONce when she stepped on him by accident which he growled and nipped. Once when she fell off the bed in the middle of the night and scared him because he was sleeping on the floor (which except for my bot being upset was comical because she kept right on sleeping) and the las time he was Laying on the Floor my husband was playing with her and he jumped up and lunged at her head for no apparent reason.

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Guest Giselle

Where are you located?

 

You must seek a reputable, well-educated trainer or behaviorist. If you lend us your location, we can try to find you a good trainer. In my opinion, giving advice to someone who has no previous experience with problems like this would be unethical. I strongly encourage you to find a good behaviorist now, rather than later, because your dog already has a history of attacking. It is no longer a question of "if" he will harm another animal. It is a question of "when". You're going to need someone who has had extensive experience with aggression and who also has an academic background in animal behavior. Some quick links to find a reputable behaviorist:

http://www.dacvb.org/resources/find/

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=357

http://www.certifiedanimalbehaviorist.com/

 

Hang tight! With the right help, aggression is often simply managed.

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Guest team_tonio

All dogs are different, just Bc they're siblings they may not react the same to everythiing. It sounds like your boy is just scared and worried. A dog can react defensively on a leash if another dog is off leash. This could be why he had a good meeting w one dog and not with your mom's. I think you will need to introduce him to new situations much more slowly and have much more patience as these memories are now imprinted in his mind. You will have to work hard to make these new experiences happy memories to be more predominant.

He may be reacting to his sister for lots of reasons.. are you more loving with her? Maybe he is jealous....

My boy is very leary of other dogs. It has taken several walks over the course of a month to get him comfortable with my sisters dog ... the first walk consisted of them walking 20 feet in front of us the entire time! Also... normal treats do not work nearly as well as yummy fresh chicken! I buy the rottisserie bird at the grocery when I am introducing him to something new... this surely gets better results and is a great distraction! Traning will help... but patience and taking it slow will be imperative to his -and your - happiness! :)

good luck!!

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Guest dblgreys

Thank you for the advice. I will talk to my husband about a trainer/behaviorist. And for now just take it much slower. I suppose in some aspects we are more loving with her because she asks for it more than he does. More often than not he would rather just be laying on the floor on his bed and napping. Today he has wanted more attention than usual and seems happier and more up beat than he has in the last month since we brought them home. Which makes me so happy and puts a huge smile on my face! :banana I suppose it is just going t be a longer adjustment period. He seems like he is really starting to come out of his shell. Overall with us and other people they are a couple of the most loving dogs I have ever met. They are just soo darn sweet it is amazing!! I am certainly not ever giving up on them. We have actually finally gotten them both to sit. (he took longer than she did but he is doing it now) Now we need to work on stay. LOL They follow me everywhere in the house.

 

We live in Northwest Pennsylvania. Close o Erie.

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Guest Giselle

I know it's a relatively far drive from your location, but you have a FANTASTIC behavior medicine resource: http://www.vet.upenn.edu/RyanVHUPforSmallAnimalPatients/SpecialtyCareServices/BehavioralMedicine/tabid/431/Default.aspx

 

Visit them now, rather than later. Folks often try to delay seeking a behaviorist because they want to save money, and I understand because I did that, too. However, unaddressed behavior problems will only worsen - they won't improve. And unaddressed or mismanaged behavior problems are dangerous and costly (I've been there done that). So, in reality, you're much better off seeking the help of a qualified professional now and avoiding any further problems. A little investment now will save you a lot of trouble later :) Pennsylvania is a very well-endowed state, behaviorally speaking. You've got great resources:

Laurie Bergman

VMD, DACVB

Keystone Veterinary Behavior Services

P.o. Box 455

Villanova, PA 19085

United States

office tel: 484.590.9838

Info@KeystoneVeterinaryBehavior.com

http://www.KeystoneVeterinaryBehavior.com

I accept media inquiries

Karen Overall

MA, VMD, PhD, DACVB ABS Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists

10 County Lane

Glen Mills, PA 19342

office tel: 610.399.3009

office fax: 610.399.4860

kloverallvmd@gmail.com

www.k9behavioralgenetics.net

I provide legal consultations

I accept media inquiries

Ilana Reisner

DVM, PhD, DACVB

Reisner Veterinary Behavior & Consulting Services

P.O. Box 1108

Media, PA 19063

United States

office tel: 484.443.8738

office fax: 484.443.8739

www.reisnervetbehavior.com

I provide legal consultations

I accept media inquiries

And the folks at AVSAB are not necessarily board-certified, but they are veterinarians with special interests in behavior medicine:

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/index.php?option=com_dbquery&Itemid=319&task=ExecuteQuery&qid=10&previousTask=PrepareQuery

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As far as trying to slip his collar, I strongly recommend a gentle leader or a no-pull harness on him. My first greyhound was very aggressive with other dogs and the only way I could really control him or feel secure he was not gong to escape was with the gentle leader and then a harness. I so understand your pain, I always wanted him to be able to socialize with others. We worked with a behaviorist, a trainer and he got used to a few "buddies" in our neighborhood eventually. One thing looking back I know I did wrong was to tense up and grab his collar tight whenever we saw another dog. He was feeding off of my nervous energy, but it was so hard to teach myself to relax. A lot of careful supervision, muzzles, and relaxation and positive rewards should help tremendously as long as you are committed to it.

Jen 
Forever in my heart: my girl Raspberry & my boys Quiet Man, Murphy, Ducky & Wylie
www.greyhoundadventures.org & www.greyhoundamberalert.org & www.duckypaws.com

 

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Guest dblgreys

Thank you for all the wonderful thoughts and experience advice. It is great to know we have support besides each other! We do have gentle leaders. They are wonderful for training to walk. My loving boy has slipped it more than once trying to chase rabbits and cats especially. Luckily it attaches to his martingale collar so he has not been able to slip that as of yet. :nod

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I agree that seeking professional help is a good idea, but especially if you're going with a trainer, you'll need to be very particular about choosing a good one. Not all trainers are created equal, and inappropriate training methods (anything based on confrontational techniques like corrections or punishment) can make his behavior worse. Find a trainer who uses positive reinforcement with rewards, perhaps clicker training. Don't be shy about interviewing any trainers you're considering and ask to seem them in action before committing to work with them.

 

From what you've posted so far, I'm not sure you really need the services of a board certified veterinary behaviorist. Since both dogs have only been in your home for a month, these may just be issues related to their initial adjustment period and will improve as they settle in and become more trusting and comfortable in their new environment.

 

I do feel that introductions with other dogs needs to be done very carefully, and that's an area where a good trainer may be able to provide guidance. JenniferS's comment about collar/leash tension is very important as I see that as one of the most common triggers for leash aggression. It's hard to not hold the leash tight or grab the collar if you're worried about how your dog will react, but that tension on the collar can make him feel trapped, increase his stress, and actually cause him to react.

 

When we introduced him to my mom's dog he was on his leash and she was being held by her collar because we couldn't find her leash she was told to sit and she sat and as I moved forward my boy lunged and attacked her.

 

Definitely not an ideal way to introduce 2 dogs. You want to avoid direct face-to-face approaches, and both dogs should be on loose leashes and free to communicate using their natural body language. I typically recommend taking the dogs for a walk on neutral territory. You should at least have 1 person per dog, and an extra person or two would be helpful. Initially have the dogs on opposite sides of the group, so that all the people are between the dogs. And you still want to use your boy's muzzle as a precaution.

 

If the dogs want to go after each other, you'll need to increase distance between the dogs. If they seem calm and relaxed, you can gradually decrease the number of people between the dogs, and then the distance between the dogs. However, being very aware of their body language and tension is very important so you can tell if they're ready to get closer or now. This is where working with an experienced trainer can be invaluable.

 

If the dogs seem relaxed enough to meet each other, try to circle them around to encourage nose-to-tail snifffing rather than face-to-face. Again, try not to pull the leash too tight.

 

As far as his sister goes this has only happened a handful of time. ONce when she stepped on him by accident which he growled and nipped. Once when she fell off the bed in the middle of the night and scared him because he was sleeping on the floor (which except for my bot being upset was comical because she kept right on sleeping) and the las time he was Laying on the Floor my husband was playing with her and he jumped up and lunged at her head for no apparent reason.

 

The first 2 incidents you describe are understandable. It's not unusual for a dog to growl and snap if they are stepped on or suddenly startled. Hard to comment on the last incident without seeing it or having more detail. Were they playing near enough to him that he might have felt threatened? Was the the only time he's gotten aggressive with his sister "for no reason". IMO, dogs always have a reason for what they do. We just aren't always aware of what that reason is. Being aware of canine body language can help you identify signs that tell you he is stressed or uncomfortable with a situation. Here's a good article to get started.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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Guest PennysDad

I agree with everything up-thread, my own 2 cents:

 

As far as meeting new dogs, my girls do much better meeting in neutral territory. If we have people bringing a dog over we usually meet them in the driveway where everyone's leashed and no one's favorite toys are nearby.

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I agree with the posts above, but just wanted to chime in to say I ALWAYS introduce two dogs by walking them together (side by side). Meeting face on for the first time can cause problems for dogs who are prone to lunging or snapping. My parent's old dog was like this and every time I went to visit we immediately went for a walk altogether with all the dogs. This way they walk side by side, sniff with each other, and by the time we get back to the house and go in the door they hardly even notice each other.

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Guest dblgreys

It was the first time he had gotten aggressive with his sister sine we brought them home. Not having owned dogs before I am still learning how to interact with them and have them interact with others. After some reading I fully believe tat what happened was my fault because I didn't know any better.

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Guest Giselle

Don't feel bad! It's easy to admit that the first few incidents seemed like human error. But it's not easy to prevent these problems in the future if you don't have the help of a professional.

 

The reason I urge you to seek a professional with a solid background in animal behavior is because efficient behavior modification requires: 1) a fine-tuned understanding of body language 2) at the least, a basic understanding of learning theory 3) at the least, a basic understanding of animal cognition and the relationship between stress and memory 4) the ability to apply these theories. It's not an easy task, and it's not something you can learn off reading online forums. Especially because you're a first-time dog owner, you'll need to find someone who, at the least, can teach you about reading body language. I'd say most dog attacks are exacerbated, if not directly caused, by human error because most people can't read body language well. It's definitely not your fault! For example, I've seen a LOT of bites occur in veterinary hospitals due to techs/veterinarians who couldn't read the warning signs of a stressed animal. Body language is something you have to study deliberately, and a professional can help you with that.

 

I would urge you to take a cautious route and nip this in the bud with a veterinary behaviorist OR someone with CAAB. It's an investment, and, if you invest in the right behaviorist, you'll reap the rewards later :)

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