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Occasional Growling/snapping In Sleep


Guest k9soul
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Guest k9soul

Rudy definitely has some sleep startle issues and I am careful to call his name before stepping over him or touching him in any way. When he's awake he has no issues with people or other dogs walking near or around him.

 

The thing I'm wondering about is he seems to sometimes have these incidents where he will suddenly jerk up with quite a startling snarl/bark, stare a moment, then lay his head back down. At first I thought he was startling up from sleep, but the more I've witnessed this the more I think he's not really awake when he does this. I think he's still sleeping, or somehow not fully awake. His gaze looks a little unfocused, kind of like a dog newly awakening from anesthesia. Once he growl/air snaps,he often lays his head back down, and then begins letting out some low growls which sometimes culminate in him coming up snapping again. Once I call his name it stops, he seems to focus on me with his eyes, sigh and go back to sleep and it's over. He has done this at times when no one is moving around or near him at all. It seems to happen mostly in the evenings/after dark when he is really sleeping deeply.

 

I'm curious if anyone else has seen similar behavior in their hounds? I wonder what causes it, if it is a bad dream? Or just an intense track dream? I appreciate any insight.

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Guest DeniseL

Not sure what , if anything, causes it, but my Miami does the same thing. I just consider it part of his sleep startle. Gosh, a few times he lunged up at us out of a sleep. Very scary actually. We had to yell his name at him to snap him out of it. He was awake but still asleep if that makes sense. It has gotten better, but it does still occur on occasion and we just try to be very careful around him when he is sleeping...

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Guest k9soul

Not sure what , if anything, causes it, but my Miami does the same thing. I just consider it part of his sleep startle. Gosh, a few times he lunged up at us out of a sleep. Very scary actually. We had to yell his name at him to snap him out of it. He was awake but still asleep if that makes sense. It has gotten better, but it does still occur on occasion and we just try to be very careful around him when he is sleeping...

 

That sounds very similar to Rudy. He has made me jump out of my skin more than once because it's so sudden and intense. Like you said though I think he's still sleeping, or not fully conscious, when he does it. If I say his name and talk to him he seems to regain awareness again.

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We've had one hound for several years that is a total sweetheart while awake, but has had bad dreams from Day 1. We just ensure she is allowed plenty of undisturbed personal space while resting on dog beds on the floor. (We don't allow hounds on human furniture, especially not one with sleep startle or space issues.)

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We've had tha thappen as well. I have always treated it as an aspect of sleep startling. It seems to be part of a dream that they are having and responding to physically, yet they are still completely asleep. Sometimes you can break the cycle if you can wake them all the way up. With dogs that sleep with their eyes open, that can sometimes be hard to tell, so be sure they are awake before coming near them.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest k9soul

I appreciate the input from everyone. Rudy is my first greyhound and I've noticed he seems to sleep very deeply, much more deeply than my two mixed breed girls. I'm rather amazed at what he will sleep through; thunderstorms, neighborhood fireworks popping, ice cream truck loudly going through, and other various neighborhood noises. He does seem to wake easily though if I say his name, or click my tongue. Since I adopted him at the end of January, I've often at random walked up and handed him a treat or dropped one where he was laying to get him to associate my approach with good things and as nothing to worry over. I'm his fourth (and final) home so he has been bounced around a lot from placement to foster to placement to foster again. I am unsure if all that movement and insecurity plays a part in his dreams or not. Perhaps with time and more stability it will diminish more. He does not seem to have space guarding issues in general, but he has never gotten on the bed and I have not encouraged it due to his sleep startle.

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Guest Marsroving

Mars has/did have this when he first came home. It. Seemed as though he was having terrible nightmares, his legs would kick, he would whimper...it would be truly terrible to watch. In time it has seemed to almost completely cease.

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My first greyhound had sleep startle/aggression and never really got over it. And one of my current greyhounds, Carly, does it too. I've had her 7 years now and it hasn't really improved. Hers is actually worse than Frostman's was. I've heard some people say their dogs have gotten over it as time passed. Thanks for taking a chance with Rudy and deciding that this is his forever home. He's a lucky boy. :)

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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The only time we have ever heard Monty growl is in his sleep (though he has no sleep startle). It is a rather ferocious sound, coming from our pacifist dog! I just figure that he's dreaming.

 

I'm glad you've taken him in and working around his issues! :)

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Our dogs do sleep deeply and dream a lot. A couple months after we adopted one of our hounds, she had a horrible nightmare (vocalizing/crying more loudly than I've ever heard) while in the family room on a dog bed. I stayed in the next room whispering it was okay. Once she had fully awoken, she looked around the room trying to figure out where she was, then she noticed me standing in the next room. Instantly, she jumped up and FLEW across the room overwhelmingly showering me with kisses and cuddles!! She was clearly over the moon appreciative and SO happy to suddenly remember she was living in a loving family home. I was overwhelmed by her extreme reaction of delight. All our hounds seem to appreciate living in a family home, but that moment was unforgettable from a new, shy (at that time) Greyhound.

 

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Guest Doggone

Autumn occasionally growls, whines, and makes various sounds while she's asleep. Last night, I was treated to her "singing" while she was sleeping! :D

Most of my previous dogs were occasionally noisy-nappers, so I accept it as natural. :)

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Guest psdirector

Hutch has some space aggression when he's lying down if anyone touches his back end. You can pat his head and he's fine, but not his back end. If you get too close, he will get up and move sometimes where at first he would growl. He really snarled at DH once when he touched Hutch's back end a second time after he had just warned DH by growling when he was touched. Two seconds later Hutch was up on his feet and rubbling his head against DH's leg. He's a sweetie as long as you don't mess with his butt while he's laying down. So we respect his space when he's down.

 

He has real sleep aggression on occasion, though it seems to be a bit less than when he arrived in March. He will lunge up and snarl at his brother,Tibbs, and then go back to sleep. It sounds so awful.

 

Mr. Tibbs, our gentle soul, occasionally has bad dreams and he will cry out so piteously in his sleep. At first I would get down on the floor near his bed to reassure him - now we can gently tell him that it's ok and he'll settle back down. It hurts my heart to hear him so scared and upset.

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