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Guest iclarkz

Dealing With Multiple Dogs

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Guest iclarkz

Hi all,

We got our first greyhound a week ago today, and for the most part everything has been wonderful. We had an existing 12 year old mixed breed (small- 30#) who for the most part has taken everything quite well, but a couple of his buttons are getting pushed and he got snappy with our grey twice this morning. Once it was when she got frisky and wanted to play with a squeaky toy, and once I think I have deduced was over some dog cookie crumbs that fell when she was eating her cookie.

 

He has always had good bite inhibition so I don't think he is biting, but he is definitely snapping/warning her. We did have issues with him and my son when my son was 4 or so with some food aggression (same issue - kid dropped food, dog wanted food.) At the advice of a trainer, we have always just made sure since then that potentially bad situations don't come up. Like, he sits outside the room when we eat, we don't have snacks around him, and he hasn't had toys in the house because he is possessive of them.

 

So, our grey girl is a laid-back girl, and seems pretty oblivious. Even a few seconds after both incidents she is tail-wagging, etc,. but I am not sure how to approach this. Is there some amount of them just working it out that has to happen? Do I work on reinforcing for him that when she gets treats, that it is a good thing? (I have been "treating" them right next to each other with no issue so far.)

 

Obviously I interject when these things happen, and make sure the situation is diffused and give a stern "no" to the older dog. In general I tend to overreact to these things, but I do want to do the right thing.

 

Thanks for any advice.

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The only thing I would do is monitor their interactions while eating. If possible, feed your grey in her crate or in a different room. Other than that, I would just let the older dog correct her. Anytime you add a new member to the pack, there is a re-integration where the dogs' roles and rules change. If, however, the 12-year-old is growling and snapping just because she's annoyed or grumpy (i.e. not in competition of toys or food), then it may just be best to separate them when you can't supervise.

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Guest iclarkz

Thanks. Yes, it as only been a week, so they are always supervised, and I do feed them separately. I guess I need to hear that a little bit of this is ok and to be expected. Our dog has been an "only" his whole life, so this is all new to him, too.

 

My instinct is to jump in and "save" the new girl because she is such a little sweetie! I see how the babies of the family in humans can get preferential treatment!

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Too bad your trainer's advice for a behavior problem was to just avoid it.I don't think that was the best advice but I'm glad that the possessivness never escalated into other areas,which sometimes it can if it's not addressed at the beginning.At this point in the older dogs life it's probably best to continue what you are doing and give the older dog a break if the new greyhound is bothering the older one too much.

Edited by cometdust1

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Guest iclarkz

Well, I think that the trainer's main focus was for me to be more dominant as the pack leader so that the older dog would relax a little. She wanted me to do forced downs with him, which I was not comfortable with.

 

I would think some clicker training would be helpful, but obviously when my son was 4 I wasn't going to put him in harm's way, nor would I the grey. I am not sure how to train a dog not to be possessive when the instances are kind of diffuse and hard to predict. To add to the problem, the grey is just learning about toys, and has only played with them once this week.

 

The older dog defers to both me and my husband, and now my son for the most part (who is 9), and the funny thing is, my dog has shown no interest in any toys we've brought in -- it is as if he knows he is not "allowed." But when he saw the grey going for one, he wanted it!

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She wanted me to do forced downs with him, which I was not comfortable with.

 

I don't consider this an acceptable way to train under any circumstances. Glad you had the sense not to do it.

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Guest jaws4evr

Sounds like you're doing the right things.

 

Allowing the old dog to enforce her own boundaries will make a more stable group in the long run.

 

Watch interactions to make sure the new GH is respecting the warnings that old-dog is giving her (ie if she's backing off, allowing for more space) etc.

 

Watch for either declining indicents (meaning old-dogs boundaries are becoming clear and respected), or escalating behavior, or additional stress on the oldie.

 

We allow ours to warn if other animals get unreasonably close (ie trying to steal objects etc), but we also ask the dogs to give space and respect so that the dog with the object doesn't have to warn at all :)

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The dominace theory has been dubunked long ago, In fact I read that dogs don't try to be dominant, rather other dogs become submissive, rather than one of them strives for dominance.

 

I don't correct over low warning growls, sometimes Brooke gets in Ben's face too much and he'll tell her to back off. However, I certainly would step in if it escalated, but it never has.

 

Some people don't allow thier dogs to growl, and they correct/punish them so much, that when their dog is anixious or uncomfortable, they expect to get punished for growling so they'll go right to the bite instead, so please keep this in mind.

 

It sounds like your dog is resource guarding and there is a lot of information on here if you do a search which I recommend. Please note your new girl will wag her tali right away, simply because dogs live in the moment. Its us humans that anthropomorphize their behaviour and wonder how they get over it so fast, or think they look guilty, etc. etc. Often our pups are just reacting to "our" feelings at the time, rather than displaying human emotions we attribute to them. I'd certainly supervise all feeding right now until you can get the resource guarding under control. jmo


Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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We added a greyhound puppy recently to a family of one 7 year old greyhound. He tells her where to put it all the time, however for the most part he is very appropriate about it. The only time I correct him for his behaviour is when I think he is being unreasonable. For example he will sometimes growl/bark at her when she is in her crate rolling a treat toy around or chewing on a bully stick. In those situations he's just being a jealous @ss. It's not like he didn't get the same treat. Not the puppy's fault that she eats them much slower than he does and therefore still has hers half an hour later. Besides that I allow him to teach her.


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I might separate when you are not home; at least, in the beginning.


Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
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Guest iclarkz
Some people don't allow thier dogs to growl, and they correct/punish them so much, that when their dog is anixious or uncomfortable, they expect to get punished for growling so they'll go right to the bite instead, so please keep this in mind.

 

That is really interesting - I think I have been too quick to intervene. I am going to try to relax a little and let them sort it out a bit. (Within reason!)

 

 

P.S. We are keeping them separate when not home, feeding them separately, etc. I am finally letting them out in the yard together, which thus far has been fine -- and kind of cute.

Edited by iclarkz

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I think there is a fine line with multiple dogs when it comes to what growls are acceptable and what are not. Growls are not always "bad" they are a form of communication, and sometimes needed. I only allow growling when another dog is doing something rude or innappropriate like mounting, stealing food, playing rough, etc. (assuming I know the dog, and they aren't going to escalate the growl into anything worse). I don't allow it for anything else, like growling when another dog gets attention, eating side by side, a dog simply coming to sniff, etc.

 

It is also a matter of knowing your dog. Karma, my older non-grey, for example, rarely growls EVER, but can read other dogs amazingly. So..on the rare occasion when she does growl, I trust she has good reason for it (and she does!). It sounds like your pups are both pretty level headed, so I would keep an eye on things, and use your judgement :)

Edited by RedHead

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