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Shocked, And A Bit Scared


Guest blueberri
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Guest blueberri

Hi all,

 

Since we got Sparky he's had his "crazy time" with me and my husband, running around the lounge with wild eyes, adopting a strange hunch-backed shape, and going beserk for about 5 mins.

 

Of late, he has started doing the spinny type things I saw on a youtube video (what greyhounds do in bed?) when either tapped on the butt, or stomp foot or "go!" I love this, and kinda figured it was part of his relaxing more (we have had him about 9 months now).

 

Today we came inside from potty break, and he assumed the posture and did some spins with me. When I tapped his butt for another however he bared his teeth and gave several deep bark/growls and air snappy towards my hand. Scared the hell out of me, I yelled "no! agggghhhhh!" and walked outside to take a few deep breaths.

 

I am now a bit scared that it'll happen again, but also wonder if this was just part of the game and I didn't understand the dogginess of it, or whether it was genuine aggression. I don't think he got "too wound up" because he'd only done a few spins, so we hadn't been playing for long.

 

Can someone clue me in? How do I move forward from this? Am I over-reacting, or is this a real worry?

 

FYI, Sparky is normally a sweet, sooky goofball who just looooooves pats and attention of any kind.

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Sounds as if he got over-excited.

 

Spinning, barking and growling during play, and air-snapping during play are all part of normal dog behaviour. You can usually tell the difference between a play bark and other kinds of bark because of the pitch; play barks are normally higher pitched, shorter and sharper, and the body language and facial expression will be different. My first greyhound used to play with me like this, and his eyes were always super-bright and happy looking, and while barking he'd (usually) also be play-bowing to some extent.

 

If you haven't had him long, I'd just tone it down a little for now, until you both get to know each other a bit better. It is possible for a dog to catch a hand by accident during play and cause a minor injury, because they don't always realise how fragile we are compared to dogs. They often have to be taught. There's a simple way to do this: when play has got too rough and you feel teeth, or his body bumping into you, yelp loudly like a puppy. He'll probably stop dead or move away from you a little way and look puzzled and this is good, because he's thinking about it. ;) In time he'll learn what you tolerate and what you don't.

 

It sounds as if he's settling in with you really well, and that he trusts you, and regards you as a companion, which is great! It also sounds as if he's quite a young dog, and should be great fun to train. :thumbs-up

 

You could probably turn your rough play sessions into a fun training session using toys instead of spins. Or you could even see if he'd be a good candidate for 'dancing' to music (canine freestyle). See if he'll follow you and turn with you while you're playing - Jeffie will do this with me, and if I'd had him as a young dog he'd have been GREAT at this, but he's ten, bless him and a bear of very little brain. :lol

 

Next time you have a spin-play session, have some treats and try directing him. Have him follow one way around you for a treat, and then change direction and follow you the other way round for a treat. I bet he'll enjoy it. There's a very short video here.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Paige does this, and does actually make contact with my hand. I personally don't mind- she only does it with me and has excellent bite inhibition. It's part of how we interact and is a way of her playing and showing affection.

 

I don't do it with Brandi. She spins, jumps at me and uses her paws.

 

I'm also pretty relaxed about barking, growling and play fighting but that's taken time and me getting to know my girls.

 

If you don't like the interaction or don't know him well enough train him differently. We're all different but I doubt he meant to scare you. Just show him what you want him to do to play with you and interact.

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If you want to continue playing that game with him, try following silverfish's method :) .

 

Little bit hard to tell but it sounds to me like he just got way excited in a "let's play hard" sort of way. Usually (not always) if you'd angered or startled him, you'd've gotten a single snarl and a snap rather than a bunch o' barks and air snaps.

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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Not knowing what it normal play for your dog it's hard to say.

My Peggy will go wild-eyed and 'roar' rather than bark to initiate play. She will puppy-mouth your hand too if allowed. (She then expects to hear "OUCH!!! NO BITE!!") and will then go off on spin cycle.

 

 

People who don't know Greys often think she is being 'fierce.'

Good advice is not to let them get over-excited and to direct them onto something else before problems begin

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I agree with others, sounds like he just got over excited. I would suggest also toning it down a bit even though he likely just having fun but they 'communicate' with their mouths so one does have to be careful. Try not to worry about it.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

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Agreed with the others. I would say when in doubt, don't do that. I never do things that makes my dogs growl or snap at me because I figure they are telling me it's something they don't like. That's safer for you, and better for your relationship with the dog. If he perceives that your behavior is erratic or threatening, he will not learn to trust you.

Edited by jetcitywoman

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I think he's just playing with you. Sometimes dogs-even greyhounds-play rough if you allow it. Growling, "biting", etc. is just a normal part of it. I used to play with my beloved soulmate Slim so violently that he would actually bite and draw blood. We BOTH tremendously enjoyed the rough play. However if you don't want to then just lay down the law that YOU don't want to go that far with it. Sounds like you did the right thing to me. He'll probably learn that you don't want to play that vigorously and then all will be well. JMO.

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I vote playing to, but if it makes you nervous it'll make someone else nervous and might not be worth the liability. Just toss him a stuffy next time to try and divert his attention.

 

Rainy doesn't play often but when she wants to play with you she puts her nose literally an inch from your face and barks and growls. Pretty sure I peed my pants the first time she did it. You feel the sound vibration in your teeth. It makes your head rattle. After 5 years I know her enough that I just start growling back at her and shove her chest away, which makes her waggle her body more and launch back at me. LOL

 

I came home from somewhere one day and the BF mentioned that he was laying in the couch sleeping and Rainy got right in his face and started growling... He said I *think* she was playing.... But I just sat up and she stopped.

 

I fell on the floor laughing! I can only imagine the terror that shot through him. LOL he's got her number now.

------

 

Jessica

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Guest blueberri

whew. I didn't think he was being truly aggressive, as he was still in play posture, but the depth of the growl and snapping gave me a hell of a fright, particularly as my face was right next to him.

 

I have no concern about him startling someone else this way. He does not play with anyone other than my husband or me.

 

He's been super smoochy since, so I don't think I've broken his trust either. He's very much treating me as mum still, and being cute and snuggly.

 

Thanks all. I needed the reassurance! :clap

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Guest Wasserbuffel

You should hear Jayne when she's playing with me. She growls and snarls like she's about to take my face of. We play rough, and have both hurt each other over the years, but we enjoy it.

 

Sometimes Jayne even growls to talk. If she's really excited to go outside, and I'm being excited too, we''ll walk/hop to the door together with her positively roaring with growls. If you could hear but not see it would be scary, but her body language is nothing but pure happy.

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