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Guest Angelav

He Attacked A Puppy. What Do I Do?

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Guest Angelav

Yesterday I was walking banner by a house with a wire fence. At the same time a puppy came out with his owner and started running around. Banner followed the puppy yanking me until I got close enough to grab him. The puppy put his paws on the wire fence and banner grabbed his foot. He wouldn't let go. Two cars pulled over and had to kick banner to get his to disengage after trying to pry banner's mouth open and trying to relax him. About 2 minutes after banner grabbed him he finally let go after hit on the head. The puppy limped away and the owners started to care for him. The puppy was bleeding on the paw but had seemed to calm down. Banner acted like nothing happened. I stayed until I was told everything was okay. My question is, how do I handle his aggressiveness towards other animals? Is there a way to get him to where he can be around dogs the same size as him? Do greyhound ever get better about other animal interactions?

 

My husband and I are now going to put the racing mussel back on him every time we go for a walk.

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Guest RMarie

I doubt it was aggression. I'm almost positive it was his prey drive kicking in, particularly if he 'acted like nothing happened.' To him, he was doing what he was trained to do. He doesn't know that that puppy is an immature dog...to him, he sees a small, furry noisemaker. It might as well be a rabbit.

 

Our boy has a high prey drive. He is NOT allowed around small animals, including puppies. On walks, if a small dog is coming towards us, we cross the street. Even if there is one behind a fence, I still wouldn't let him go near it.

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Just want to say welcome to the forum :welcome , I'm sure others will step in with some great advice (I'm no trainer, so I will step back). How long have you had Banner?


Greyhound Collars on Etsy: Collar Town

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

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How long have you had Banner, and did your adoption group explain that he is high-prey? The reason I ask is because it sounds like you're dealing with a high prey greyhound. It doesn't mean he's an "aggressive" dog. It simply means that he will not be safe around small animals, including puppies. And you're right, they act like nothing happened, because really high prey dogs don't view puppies as dogs. They get in the zone (as they have been bred for centuries to do), and their one goal is to attack and kill their prey. I've met many, many high-prey dogs who are sweet and good-natured and would never hurt a person or another dog. But all bets are off when it comes to a small animal.

 

It's important that you make every possible accommodation to (1) set your dog up for success by, if possible, not exposing him to small animals, and (2) make sure you have control over him in those types of situations (i.e. muzzle and possibly a harness). There is a lot of methods of desensitization, but unfortunately, prey drive is one of the most difficult things to "train out" of a dog.

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Oh my word. Hope puppy just has a scratch, and hope Banner is OK after being kicked and hit.

 

Do you have a fenced yard for potty and exercise, or do you have to go for walks for those things? If you don't HAVE to go for walks, I would hold off on those until you feel more confident about keeping Banner next to you and controlling where he puts his mouth. I would consult with your adoption group and see if they can recommend a trainer to help you.


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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Guest Angelav

We have owned banner for a couple of months, since May. We were told they are high prey and attack small animals. He live in a small apartment currently, 650 sq ft. But we do plan to move to a larger apartment that has a balcony, 925 sq ft. We take him on about 3-4 walks a day for about 10-30 minutes. He constantly stops in front of cats and we have a harness on him at all times to pull him. Other dogs get curious about him but we warn people to stay away. The problem with the situation above was that 1) I was on a very small walk path with the fence on one side and the street on the other (it was not a sidewalk) so I had no where to go 2) the other dog wasn't on a leash (they were in their own yard).

Oh and thank you for the welcome :)

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Prey drive is variable. Some greys are fine with cats and small dogs (some grey owners on this board even live safely with chickens and bunnies). Other greys are almost prey-obsessed. Someone once told me that 25% are low to no prey, 25% are high prey, and the rest are somewhere in the middle.

 

Hopefully this is just an isolated incident, because it seems like you are doing everything else right.

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for your peace of mind please use a muzzle right now. contact your group, get as much info about handleing high prey drive from your adoption rep. also ask about any trainers that members of the group have used successfully. for your comfort and success working and talking to someone in person may help resolve and modify this situation so it doesn't happen again. the members of this group have some wise tips, but having someone to talk to when needed in person or on the phone will be a real asset. behaviors can change.

 

ps, my good friend who has 6 greys has one with a super high prey drive, she wears a muzzle will no ill effects.

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I'm sorry you experienced this. Our angel Jack did similar things and we only found out about it after an initial altercation with a loose small white fluffy dog causing my wife's finger to be severed trying to get Jack to let go of the dog. From that point onward, we avoided every dog whenever we lease walked him and in general that worked however one time last summer another loose dog, this time a labradoodle, got in his face and he did not like it and bit down on that dog's muzzle. No damage was done to either dog thankfully but we also never muzzled Jack when walking as we wanted him to be able to enjoy his walk, not be seen as a 'dangerous dog' as we was not and also to protect himself in the event of being attacked. In both our cases, it was loose dogs that caused the issue and both owners were not obeying the bylaws. The funny thing is, Jack was fine if he was off leash and other dogs were around.

 

So my opinion is, avoidance is your best option. Muzzling your dog and if it's attacked is not something I would choose to do. So he's higher prey drive, that's not a big deal if you recognize it and do what you can to avoid these situations.


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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I personally don't see the problem with muzzling your dog. I understand that it does leave them vulnerable to dog attacks but, given I must muzzle my two by law, to me there's no debate. Given mine are medium prey driven and I cannot trust them around small dogs, puppies, cats, etc etc, muzzling makes everyone safe. I am very very vigilant about other dogs and am lucky that my neighbourhood seems to have fewer off leash and small dogs than the one we moved from (daschunds excepted. Vicious little buggers who will be kicked or squished next time!).

 

If Banner is fixating I've found the only thing you can do is try to get in before the fixation. So, my strategy has been to shove a piece of food into Paige's (my prey driven pooch) mouth. Often her mouth isn't open, so I've used jerky and popped it into the side of her mouth between the gap in her teeth. This has encouraged her to start chewing on it. I've then told her 'Let's go!' or whatever and walked on briskly. Over time (18 months or so), this has shifted with her seeing prey, turning around and grabbing at the treat in my hand, effectively redirecting her prey drive onto me and the treat. This has more recently morphed into her seeing something, bouncing around on the leash and looking at me for a treat OR looking back quickly at me for a treat before going back to the prey. I am able to call her back for her treat though.

 

This hasn't been 100%. She did dart into the bushes and come out with an injured bird about a month ago. However, I got her to drop the bird and redirect onto the treat (and then called wildlife rescue and so on - think the bird had been caught by a cat). But it is better than it was and has also reduced her leash reactivity generally as well. It actually works for both of mine, but PK has definitely been the worse.

 

The treat that works best for me is a chicken kerky I can get. I think that the texture of it is important. I'm sure others will come up with other ideas as well.

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Guest Giselle

First, I am terribly sorry that this happened. As a behavior consultant working towards becoming a vet behaviorist, I deal with aggressive dogs every day. I've been in my fair share of REALLY serious dog fights, and it is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. You have my greatest sympathies for keeping level-headed and for being so proactive about it now.

 

However, there are a few things that concern me about this situation:

1) In the eyes of the law, your dog was in the wrong. Your dog was on public space, while the puppy (even if only his little paw was sticking out) was on private property. Your dog inflicted wounds and would be deemed "not under your control" (and there's probably a city law that specifies dogs on public space must be leashed and under control). The puppy's owners could rightly sue/report you to Animal Control. Your dog could be quarantined, etc. etc. It's a big big mess. I'm happy that your neighbors seemed to be very forgiving, but this was a pretty unfortunate situation.

2) Aggression is any behavior intended to harm, injure, or ward off another living being. This situation with the puppy counts as aggression. No matter the motivation, this is technically an aggressive act. Aggression should not be taken lightly because dogs can always practice aggressive behaviors, and it can always get worse.

3) You mentioned that Banner yanked you around, pulling you closer to the puppy, allowing him to bite its paw. My concern here is that Banner is clearly very strong when he wants to be, that perhaps you'd benefit from a different walking tool (a front-leading harness, a head halter, whatever it takes!) while concurrently working on his training.

4) Whenever there is a bite this severe, you should really see a professional behaviorist. That type of "just-zones-out-and-attacks" behavior is not something you want to let your dog practice. Trust me. You can muzzle him and keep him away from others, but is that really teaching him appropriate alternate behaviors? Or is it just a band-aid? To understand how to read Banner better and to control these behaviors, I really think you should seek a professional behaviorist who is trained in modern, progressive techniques and who has an academic background in animal behavior.

 

Try:

http://www.animalbehavior.org/ABSAppliedBehavior/caab-directory

http://iaabc.org/

http://avsabonline.org/

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If you walk him with only a harness you should get a good martingale collar. You have to control the bitey end :colgate .

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Guest joviemom

^ agree on the martingale instead of the harness. I personally find harnesses offer very little control on actually directing the dog.

 

That being said I would use your muzzle from now on if you have to walk in that area.

 

My dog is low prey drive but she always goes after puppies and small dogs (not the bunnies and squirrels in my yard) anyways the reason I say that is my parents just got a puppy and she is not allowed to be in the general area of the puppy unless she is muzzled.

 

I personally wouldnt walk in an area where you dont have an "out" (either another sidewalk or the option to turn around). Its not worth it for you, or the dog your dog ends up snapping at.

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Guest Angelav

Thank you for all of the advice. I truly was doing my best. I probably should of not had a phone in my hand that is how I lost my second grip on the leash. We had walked by that tea every day and had no trouble. I think I will try the treat thing. And I will look into the martingale. I understand it was my dogs fault and action could be taken. Well my fault. Banner was just acting on instinct. I have just owned small dogs in the past, and multiple at a time. So having a dog that is so anti social with other pets is different for me.

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Try the treat thing but also make sure you aren't being pulled towards something and can stop his forward momentum. If only works if you can reach the pointy end. I use a harness with mine because Paige used to get so worked up that she ran the risk of strangling herself or getting free. I use one with a front clip. The first time, when things were really bad, she lunged after something (100 meters away) and flipped herself onto her back. Upsetting for us both but it slowed her down and gave us a bit if time to teach alternate behaviors.

 

Please understand that I'm not an expert and not am I as experienced as others on this board. This has worked for me and my dogs but Paige was trainable. I do not trust her around other dogs and no one else really walks her except sometimes dh. The instinct is still there. All I've done over time is redirect it.

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Guest Giselle

I doubt that he's antisocial. Very very very few dogs are truly "anti-social", and, when they are, they usually have deep, ingrained, probably inherited problems!

 

I also don't think it's fair to blame the dog. Whenever something goes wrong, I *always* say it's my fault. Because, y'know what? It was. I should have read the dog's body language better, I should not have pushed the dog so far, I should have controlled the dog from Step 1, I should practiced this behavior more, etc. etc. Dogs just perform as much as we practice. If we don't practice, we lack the skills, if we don't train them, it is not the dog's fault. It's ours.

 

Also, it's not just "a treat thing". It's a training protocol that you have to follow to ensure that Banner develops impulse control. It's not just popping treats into their mouths, and I'd highly recommend seeking a professional. Like I said, you're very lucky the puppy's owners were so forgiving. If it happens again in the future, you may not be so fortunate. And, I guarantee you, we all make mistakes. I make plenty of them. Better to train now than be sorry later.

Edit: Sorry, HE not she. Gender mix-up!

Edited by Giselle

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Guest Giselle

I dug up some videos that may help. I really love training aggressive dogs, so I really hope that you can find a way to incorporate these training protocols into your walks. Life with a well-behaved dog is so much happier and more relaxed.

 

There is basically one thing to teach aggressive dogs: Impulse control. To do this, we teach them great handler focus. I like to do it this way:

th_LAT_walks.jpg

My dog, the Dobermutt, has seriously attacked 4 different dogs, sending 3 of them to the veterinarian's before I really got my $%(^ together. It took a lot of studying, a lot of practice, and a lot of help from mentors. But here we are now. And notice that I do not use special equipment. Lo and behold, my very powerful Dobermutt is on a harness, and it does not pull me around. What is important is your training, not your tools.

 

This is also another way to do it:

http://drsophiayin.com/resources/video_full/podees_aggressive_to_other_dogs

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Guest JessieRahl

Such an unfortunate situation, poor puppy and poor Banner. :( Along with all the training and resources everyone has suggested here, I would suggest getting a yellow ribbon (for the leash) or yellow bandana to put on Banner. The Yellow Dog Project is a movement I've read about on facebook and such. Basically, it helps signal to others that your dog needs some space from other pups and people when you're out and about in public. I don't personally use one with Claire because she's okay with other people and dogs, but it sounds like it would be good in your situation, along with a muzzle. '

 

Edit: Here's a nifty link that sells some "I Need Space" bright yellow stuff: http://www.coats-4-dogs.com/Space-Dog-Campaign.html

Edited by JessieRahl

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Just a warning: dogs can still kill small animals while muzzled. They may not be able to bite easily, but they can still bash the prey, and do some serious, if not fatal, damage that way. So it will help with this situation, but don't let it make you complacent. I agree with everyone else that dealing with a good, preferably positive reinforcement, trainer is a very good idea. Trainers who use dominance methods in a situation like this are likely to make the situation worse.


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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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So having a dog that is so anti social with other pets is different for me.

 

 

This says to me you don't understand what "prey drive" means. And that you didn't do much research on Greyhounds before you adopted one. There was NOTHING "anti social" about what the dog did. He's an animal. He has an instinct bred into him for over 2,000 years. Something moved quickly in his line of sight and he grabbed it. That's all. Now, we don't live in a time where that's a really positive thing! But if you were counting on your hound to catch you dinner, you'd be thrilled with his success!

 

Please--put the phone in your pocket. Unless you're quite strong, you cannot handle this dog with one hand. Ditch the harness. I know some people think they HELP with pulling, but to me that's silly. There is a reason sled dogs and other dogs who pull things wear a harness--the harness goes around the strongest part of the dog, the part that allows them to exert all the pressure they want without any uncomfortable feedback. The whole POINT of a collar is that a dog will not NORMALLY choke himself on purpose. So a properly fitted martingale collar will give you much better control of this particular dog.

 

So you weren't really paying attention. You didn't really have the best equipment. And he just did what he was bred originally to do. This is not a massive tragedy, thank goodness, but one that needs to not happen again. With some adjustments and some work, it's really rather easily avoided.

 

My dog does not like other dogs. He loves all Greyhounds, and thinks any other bred is best bitten. THAT is antisocial behavior! On the other hand, he has virtually NO prey drive, as evidenced by the wee baby bunny that was hopping three feet in front of him this morning. He could easily pull me if he wanted to, and all he did was prick of his ears and take only little dancing step before saying, "Meh. Bunny. Too hot. Let's just walk!"

 

Sounds like it would also be useful if someone from the group you got him from would come out and take a walk with you. Show you properly leash handling techniques and perhaps got you started on teaching him to properly walk at heel, and how to distract him when you need to.

Good luck.



Hamish-siggy1.jpg

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

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Guest Angelav

Some of these post are a bit harsh. I am sorry if my choice of words were wrong. I didn't mean antisocial. I did do plenty of research on greyhounds. However, I was slightly misinformed about banner's behavior. And if you read my response Giselle I did state that is was my fault.

 

As for the phone I realize that I should of not brought it. I did it for safety reasons (I am a young woman). I did not have pockets cause this was after a workout. I appreciate all of those that have given me soild advice and I will definitely be more proactive in the future as a new greyhound owner. For those who were bashing, please understand I was looking for advice not reinforcement on all the things I did wrong. I am very aware that I created that situation and it is my responsibility to correct. I will proceed in doing so.

 

Thank you again for the help.

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Angelav, just take what you can use and ignore the rest.


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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Guest RMarie

Angelav, just take what you can use and ignore the rest.

:nod

 

You were brave to post what happened because as you can see, people are harsh. But, it really is to help both you and Banner. The important thing is that you realize what happened, what you did wrong, and what you can do to prevent something like this from happening again.

 

I'm not a dog expert or a behaviorist, but I'm of the opinion that prey drive cannot be trained out of a dog. Even after the most intense/the best training...I think it's too instinctual, and for ex-racers, too long reinforced. And, I, for one, am not going to take that risk of testing the training. When we first got James, his reaction to small animals was much more intense than it is now. But would I trust him off leash with a small dog now...absolutely not. Even though he doesn't present the same intense physical displays, I know what he's thinking. For him, a lot of his drive comes from sound. He can be leashed very close to a quiet small dog and be fine (I did this with the consent of a friend, to see if James could understand that this French bulldog was, in fact, a dog). BUT, when that dog walked across the room and started yelping, it was game on for James. Because I can never predict when a small dog will make noise, we just avoid them....period.

 

Best of luck to you and your prey driven boy. Please don't shy away from here. Yes, some people can be mean, but the vast majority are nice and super helpful.

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