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Problems With Adding Second Grey


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Guest grumpygrey

Any advice welcome! My husband and I (no children or cats) adopted a male greyhound 6 months ago after losing our first in December. Fletcher (our new dog, 4.5 yrs old) has been such a "heart healer" with a big personality. We decided to add a second grey to the family and brought Finley (another male 3.5 yrs old) home this past Sunday.

 

The dogs we introduced at the kennel, they showed no aggression toward each other. We removed the muzzles and allowed them to play with toys. . Fletcher is very toy motivated and I thought this would be a sure indication if there was any territorial issues. Each dog played with toys, they drank from the same bucked...all was well and we adopted Finley. On the ride home, We did have them muzzled, Fletcher started to growl at Finley. I have never had 2 dog before and I immediately called the kennel and asked if this was normal, trying to establish pack order, or should I correct the behavior. I was told Fletcher needs to learn it is not Ok to growl at his brother. Side note: when we first adopted Fletcher he would growl at me when I tried to get him in his kennel. He was testing me, and once I became alpha, there have been no other problems.

 

When Finley walks past Fletcher or steps on his bed he will growl.. I find it interesting that if Fletcher has a toy, Finley can take it and there is no growling. I realize it has only been 5 days since Finley came to live with us. Our hearts are broken, in the fact we thought this would be a good thing for Fletcher and he would enjoy the company. Finley is absolutely the sweetest, cuddle bug I have ever seen and the thought of returning him makes me break down, but I don't want Fletcher to be miserable the rest of his life. Am I expecting too much too soon? Any additional information I can provide, please let me know.

 

Sad grey mom.

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I do believe you are expecting too much too soon. Fletcher may have his 'nose out of joint' a bit due to the newcomer however he will come around. Right now it seems that he is letting Finley know who is the boss however I would muzzle them both for the time being to ensure if it were to escalate, less damage would occur. As for the growling in the car and at home, these were both Fletcher's domain and now he has to share so it's understandable he may react this way. Are you paying even attention to both pups? You mention Finley being a cuddle bug so obviously he is getting some, what about Fletcher? Are you ensuring he knows he is still #1?

 

It can be tough initially sometimes when introducing a second, we had zero problems with our two boys but I am sure there are others on here who have experienced what you are going through and will chime in.

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.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Any advice welcome! My husband and I (no children or cats) adopted a male greyhound 6 months ago after losing our first in December. Fletcher (our new dog, 4.5 yrs old) has been such a "heart healer" with a big personality. We decided to add a second grey to the family and brought Finley (another male 3.5 yrs old) home this past Sunday.

 

The dogs we introduced at the kennel, they showed no aggression toward each other. We removed the muzzles and allowed them to play with toys. . Fletcher is very toy motivated and I thought this would be a sure indication if there was any territorial issues. Each dog played with toys, they drank from the same bucked...all was well and we adopted Finley. On the ride home, We did have them muzzled, Fletcher started to growl at Finley. I have never had 2 dog before and I immediately called the kennel and asked if this was normal, trying to establish pack order, or should I correct the behavior. I was told Fletcher needs to learn it is not Ok to growl at his brother. Side note: when we first adopted Fletcher he would growl at me when I tried to get him in his kennel. He was testing me, and once I became alpha, there have been no other problems.

 

When Finley walks past Fletcher or steps on his bed he will growl.. I find it interesting that if Fletcher has a toy, Finley can take it and there is no growling. I realize it has only been 5 days since Finley came to live with us. Our hearts are broken, in the fact we thought this would be a good thing for Fletcher and he would enjoy the company. Finley is absolutely the sweetest, cuddle bug I have ever seen and the thought of returning him makes me break down, but I don't want Fletcher to be miserable the rest of his life. Am I expecting too much too soon? Any additional information I can provide, please let me know.

 

Sad grey mom.

 

 

Oh my. Since you are new here, I will warn you, you are going to get some "interesting comments" concerning your belief of the dominance theory. It has been shown in multiple studies that dominance theory is not really applicable to dogs. So when you say you "became" alpha, its not really a good thing depending on the way you went about it.

 

As far as him "testing you" when you got into his crate with him, I guarantee he wasn't testing you, he was probably scared of something, maybe the crate wasn't big enough, maybe he didn't like the way he was being handled, not sure.

 

Greyhounds growl to communicate with each other, your boy wasn't comfortable with the new guy crowding him. Whats wrong with that? He's not trying to establish some sort of dominance with the other hound, he was just saying, get out of my bubble. How would you like it if at a restaurant someone at the next table suddenly slid their chair up to yours where your elbows were touching? I would ask them to kindly move away, that's what it sounds like your boy was doing in the car and his bed. No big deal.

 

He's not miserable, he's communicating his comfort bubble. Why would you return your new hound for a few grumbles?

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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I also think that the more we learn about dog behaviour the more we realize that most dogs don't display true dominance aggression or behaviours. We can usually find some other good reason for a behaviour. For example, I doubt that Fletcher was balking at going in his crate because he was trying to dominate you by not doing as you asked. He probably disliked going in the crate for some reason. Not every dog has an innate love of the crate. My own dog, Summit, was crated for the first 3 months that we had him (after being in a previous home for over two years where he was no longer being crated). We had no problems with the crate and then one day he just started balking at going in. He'd still go, but he was reluctant. He wasn't trying to show me who was boss... he was trying to tell me he didn't like his crate much anymore. We ended up deciding it was time to start gating him in our bedroom.

 

A dog is also going to have an instinct to protect what it perceives as his. A dog who growls if you go to take away a toy or a bone isn't necessarily being dominant. Most times they just want to keep what they have. I would too, to be honest.

 

Summit absolutely growls at Kili when she gets too in his face, if she steps on him while he's trying to sleep, if she gets too close to his food. He has learned that I am allowed to do all of those things, but not necessarily because I am "the alpha". He trusts that if I take something away I will give it back, because most of the time I do. If I take away something dangerous (like a bone he has found at the park) I generally try to give him something in return (usually a treat).

 

I think it's just early and there's going to be some adjustment with the dogs. That's my take, but I'm sure you'll get a lot of more detailed replies.

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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Guest KsFrets

I wish I had a nickel for every time one of our dogs (or the occasional fosters) growled, barked or snapped at each other. Don't worry, they work it out, and will be just fine.

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Guest PiagetsMom

I was fortunate to have easy intros with a new pup, but a little growling or grumbling at first is not unusual. I would only second the suggestion to use muzzles if you feel the need to, even if it's just to make yourself feel more at ease until Fletcher and Finley have a little more time together and you can read their reactions better. It's probably not necessary, but I think the more relaxed you are, the better it is for them. Congrats on your new boy! :)

Edited by PiagetsMom
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Deep breath! No need to be broken hearted. It's totally normal for dogs to do a little feeling out of each other.

 

I would recommend keeping them muzzled when you're not supervising them, but I would NOT discourage a little growling. That's how dogs talk to each other, and you cannot expect to strangers to just live together in perfect harmony from day one!

 

MOST greyhounds get along with MOST other greyhounds just fine. I expect a month from now you'll be chuckling at your concern!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Our two greys got along great but they did not ever share a bed - one of them had space issues when it came to sleeping. Also, we had to muzzle them in the car - my one grey would get very "growly" and snarky with the other. Not sure why. They got a long great other than car rides.

<p>Kim and the hound - Rumor
Missing my angels Marlow, Silver, Holly and Lucky

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In addition to the "dominance is bunk," advice above...

 

Growling is the way they communicate unhappiness or discomfort with a situation - If you discourage growling, you risk creating a dog who won't communicate/warn, he'll just react.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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Both of my boys love each other to pieces, and they have lived together for a long time. But they still growl occasionally, and that is totally fine and does not warrant correction (not sure why your adoption group advised you that it does). It has nothing to do with 'pack order' or the role of 'alpha dog.' If you run into issues that require some training (as almost all dogs do) try brushing up on some positive reinforcement types of training methods. Consult someone with a professional affiliation through CPDT (Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers), APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), or AABP (Association of Animal Behavior Professionals). Many experts in the field of animal behavior don't consider the Cesar Millan approach a legitimate form of training. Even if it's worked for you in the past, the dog is taught to obey out of fear and submission... not the best basis for a positive, working relationship.

 

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2007250,00.html

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Guest grumpygrey

Thanks to each of you! I took a deep breath...have a little better understanding of growling. Thanks for breaking that form of dog communication down for me. I guess I have watched too many episodes of The Dog Wisper.

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Guest k9soul

Replace Cesar with Victoria Stilwell! She is very good. :)

 

I like Victoria Stillwell too. And I love the book The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. Excellent book.

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I've had Bu for 4.5 years and Sailor for 2.5 years. Bu still regularly growls at Saailor. Bu doesn't like sharing toys or food or getting steeped on. If its about a toy, Bu growls, runs and grabs the toy and runs off with it. If its over food, by growls and looks at me. Bu gets a large bowl filled with food and he eats however much he wants/needs and leaves the rest. Sailor likes to steal Bu's food because he's a pig. So Bu will look at me asking me to take the bowl away so Sailor won't steal it. For Bu, growling is just communicating that his younger brother bothers him. Most siblings get annoyed at each other at times.

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Guest blueberri

I freak out every time I hear Sparky bark or growl. Once was when the baby walked up and pulled herself up on the couch. Everyone understood it was because he got a fright (was asleep), but even knowing that from a logical POV, I still worried.

 

I'm getting more used to him communicating this way. It can't all be waggy-tail and moo-eyes... they need to communicate discomfort, fright, pain etc and that needs to be ok (I'm telling myself this!).

 

We've just added a second (literally, last night) and are on the watch for any issues. So far lots of growling and barking, but when Sparky is in a play-bow position, so can happily assume it's a good thing. Funny though, have heard him bark more in the last 12 hours than in the last 9 months! It's so funny to see him playing so much and then crashing asleep... so different :)

 

A wise lady told me that these growls and grumbles are them "talking greyhound" much better than she could, because they sorted themselves out and are now best mates. Let them talk to each other... they're saying what's ok for them and what's not so each of them feel safe and ok with the new arrangement. We do that when moving in with someone... so it makes sense that they do too!

 

All the best with your boys :) They sound lovely!!!!

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