Jump to content

Dominance Issue


Guest pippadog
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest pippadog

Hi

We had Arthur about six months ago from the retired greyhounds. Anyway he is our first greyhound and when we had him he was extremely nervous. He hardly came into the lounge and prefered to sleep away from us in his crate. That was fine as we appreciated it was a whole new beginning for him and it would take time.

Now he has really come on well, in that he now sleeps with us in the lounge and has a bed on the landing to sleep at night. Prior to Arthur we had two dogs a springer and golden retriever who both slept upstairs with us.

I think now he is starting to show some dominance issues around myself. He is still very responsive to my husband. But with me he is trying to assess his position. The reason I say this we used to have our dogs on the bed with us whilst we read and things like that. We were always in a position to get our dogs off the bed when we told them. However this is not the case with Arthur. If Arthur gets on my bed and I try to get in next to him, twice he has growled and shown his teeth. He has not bitten, just growled. At once I tried to get him off but he wouldn't go so my husband had to come in a and tell him off.

 

Now our bedroom is completely a no go area for Arthur and although he doesn't do it yet. All furniture will be no go areas as well. To be honest I am feeling a bit frightened of him. I never thought I would say that about a dog. I've had Staffies, retrievers, cockers and springers and never felt like this. I'm even wary of stepping over him. Our other dogs moved when I asked them, but Arthur won't.

 

We were hoping to get a golden retriever bitch puppy in the new year, but to be honest I'm not sure I can be sure Arthur will be okay. Luckily we have no kids, so I don't have to worry about the issue of children.

 

Should I ring the rescue we had him from to have a word? Any suggestions.

 

Thanks

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Arthur's doing is resource guarding, not 'dominance' - an outdated and unhelpful concept for dog training, this article explains why:

http://www.fun4fido.co.uk/blog/2012/10/15/debunking-the-dominance-myth

 

That this has come up as an issue now, after six months with you, is because he is settled in with you and now feels secure enough to try pushing the boundaries a bit - 'hey that bed looks comfy, maybe I can nab it for myself?' Don't forget that in his kennel days any bed (and any food) that he saw was his - he has not been brought up to share.

 

If you want to be in a position where you can share beds/furniture you will need to teach him an 'off' command first. A kind but firm voice and a ready supply of treats works wonders. If you don't want to share, that's fine too, so long as he has a nice comfy bed of his own to be sent to!

 

Meanwhile, if he growls at you when you ask him to do something he is probably picking up on your nerves. Kind but firm voice again, if that fails clip a lead on him and ask again. Don't ever try dragging him off the bed by the collar, that will feel threatening to him so he could snap.

 

By all means give the rescue a ring, if you think they are likely to be helpful. Are you in the UK? Is it a specialist greyhound one? My local one I know is very good about advice over the phone, and would also probably do a home visit if that might help.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and 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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a couple older threads on here regarding greyhounds on the bed. Personally, I like having my dogs on the bed with me. We had a few instances with Henry and Truman growling and not wanting to be moved. But we did re-training so the dogs could learn that the bed is MINE, not theirs. If I ask them to be on the bed, it's invitation only. When one of them growled, I would take him by the collar, give a firm "No!" and direct him onto the floor. I only ever had to do this a few times. It wasn't long before they understood that being growly and snarky gets you kicked off. Growling is not something I'd be too concerned about. One of my trainers told me it's actually really good for a dog to growl because they are giving a warning. A truly aggressive dog would bite or attack with no warning. It sounds like Arthur just needs a little training. Have you ever thought about an obedience class? Also, if your husband is the one who is mainly responsible for Arthur (i.e. feeding him, walking him, etc.) you can develop more authority and respect by assuming some of these duties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pippadog

Hi

 

Thanks for replying and I apologise for stating that I thought it was dominance, when it was resource guarding. I do most of his walking feeding and grooming. DH tends to be giving cuddles as much as me. I think Arthur is a little scared of men, hence the response to my husband. Arthur is a retired greyhound and it seems unfortunately that he has had a bad experience with men before.

 

We have took Arthur to dog training and it looks like that will have to commence again. To be honest, this has shuck me up and made me more nervous around him. Also I don't think we will consider getting another dog, whilst Arthurs training needs some work, as it wouldn't be responsible.

 

I need to work on my own confidence and communication skills with him. Seriously, I feel that I am letting him down.

 

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BaltimoreHounds

I adopted a dog almost 8 years ago who was returned to the adoption group due to "bed aggression". Basically he was jut a resource guarder....he LOVED his resources.

 

I basically just made sure that when I asked him "off" he had to listen.

 

Over the years I think he has learned to trust me and he knows that he has plenty of resources, and he doesn't have to hoard them.

It took me a couple of years to be able to take bones or food away from him.....it's a non issue now.

 

My big advice is: don't get shaken up. The dog can sense it. If you exude confidence, he will fold.

 

Good luck with Arthur :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My boy is completely respectful of me and desperately in love with me - an extreme velcro dog. However he will on rare occasion growl at me. It is just his way of communicating that he wants to be left alone. (This has only occured when he is on his bed. He had never attempted to get on my bed or any other furniture.)

 

It is a good thing that your dog is able to communicate his feelings. Don't be the slightest bit afraid, just work at understanding him and encouraging preferred behaviour.

 

Also remember that it has only been 6 months. Things can certainly improve for more than a year with some dogs.

Edited by KickReturn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Retired racing Greyhounds have never had to share their own space in a kennel. Your hound's reaction is very common for retired racers, and the reason so many Greyhound adoption groups teach people to "let sleeping dogs lie." The most important and simple solution is to give your hound his own thick, comfortable dog beds (including in the most human occupied rooms) on the floor. As you've smartly discovered, please keep him off all human furniture for at least a year, if not permanently. Respect his needs for his undisturbed personal space. Be careful to not lean over him on his dog bed. Allow him to be standing up and to come to you and your husband when he's ready for attention. Living in a family home is still new to him. Let him blossom in his own time. Treat him with respectful gentle patience so you earn his trust. The longer he is treated well, the sooner he will become your wonderful beloved companion. Some dogs take a little more time to "trust" in their new living situation.

 

One of our own hounds sounds similar to Arthur. We allowed him his personal space until HE felt more trusting of us. He is one of our favorite hounds now, partly because he has come so far in his trust and affection for us. He has accepted all our foster Greyhounds with ease; however, I wouldn't have expected him to live with a bouncing young puppy of a different breed and drastically different energy level so soon. (BTW, this hound was deemed cat-workable and has been wonderful and tolerant of our cats.) He hasn't felt any need to growl at us since his earlest months post adoption.

 

Greyhounds are very sensitive. If you do professional obedience training, please be careful to find a positive reward method trainer who doesn't use any physical training methods. If Arthur is having trouble trusting humans, positive rewards will be the best way to teach him to trust. Also, sharing happy feeding and walking responsibilities with your husband can help too.

 

I wholeheartedly agree that growling is an important method of dog communicating. As others mentioned, we don't want to reprimand a growl because it's a dog's warning alert. If reprimanded for growling, they may skip a future growl and go directly to a bite.

 

If he gets on furniture by mistake and won't move off, try going to another room to call him off by shaking a treat bag, dropping kibble in his food bowl, squeaking a toy or whatever would positively encourage him off the furniture. "Habits" are a bit harder to break, but it can be done.

 

Please try to be patient with your new boy. The eventual love and trust they reflect back to us is immeasurable. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...