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Guest Dakcopilot

We’ve been perusing the postings gleaning information as we are new greyhound adopters. Very helpful! Our 2 year old male, Dak, has been in our home for just 6 days. He belongs to our adult son who wanted to have a greyhound comfortable with him prior to moving as he anticipates doing so for his career in the future.

Dak came from a foster home of a married couple who had their own female greyhound. He spent about one month in that foster home. These folks were both home throughout the day - the primary caregiver appeared to have been the woman as she responded to most of our questions about Dak’s behavior and needs. They stated that Dak was rather timid and skittish initially but had improved during the time he had spent with them. He exhibited anxiety by crying when they (possibly just ‘she’) would close a door and Dak could no longer see them.

Fast forward to the present concern: Dak is following me, the woman in the home, wherever I go and cries when he cannot see me. Weekdays, I am out of the home from early morning until mid-afternoon. During this time Dak is in the care of our son. Feeding, walking, potty breaks, moving him around the home to remain close to his ‘Master’ throughout the day have been the goals. Dak also sleeps in our son’s bedroom and does so without crying. When our son leaves for work at mid-afternoon, the responsibility to care for Dak is provided by my husband – who accomplishes the late day feeding and a walk. I do accompany them handling our 7 year old female Australian Terrier who has tolerated this new addition to the home fairly well except when Dak gets in ‘her space’. He then graciously withdraws without a response to her growling.

It appears that Dak tolerates our son but is more interested in me – very frustrating for all of us! At the recommendations of some of the postings on this site our son has taken to hand feeding Dak to encourage bonding. I am also disengaging from Dak unless he approaches me – for example when I return home I acknowledge him and move on. In the last few days I am not approaching him to give him affection as I had previously done. However, he follows me from room to room and plops himself near me wherever I stay for a while. Should I move, he moves! FYI – we have crated Dak though it is difficult to get him in it as he dislikes it. He cries for a while but settles down and rests until he is freed. The longest crate time has been 2 ½ hours during which time everyone was out of the home.

We would greatly appreciate insight from others to improve to encourage bonding between Dak and our son.

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Some greyhounds, whether through their previous environment or because of some genetic component, just like one gender better than the other. It has nothing to do, necessarily, with anything either one has done or not done to or about the dog. Some people will speculate it's because only women or only men take care of them at the farm or in the racing kennel. That may be part of it. Or not. When my little brother was a baby, he would cry and throw tantrums if a man picked him up, but was quiet when being held by a woman - whether they were strangers or family members, or our Dad.

 

In your case, the greyhound in your home seems to like women more than men. As long as he tolerates and likes the guys who also live with you, I don't see the problem. Once the dog is living with only your son, the dog will most likely transfer his affections.

 

Other than that, it seems like you're doing every else appropriately. The person whose dog he is going to be needs to be the primary caregiver.

 

Is there a reason you feel it's necessary to crate him? Since he dislikes it so much, you might try him left out to see how he does. You can baby gate him in a smaller room, or an easily cleanable space (like the kitchen) if he still is having potty training issues. If you are crating him for a specific reason, you're going to need to work harder at making the crate a good place - you can feed him in his crate to help this.

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 RMarie

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Should your son ever move out, I'm sure Dak will miss you but will also be able to bond with your son, in time. In the meantime, keep having your son take care of Dak as much as possible.

 

When we got James, we were told he might prefer men over women because he was apparently fond of a boy at the kennel and would follow him around. But....he quickly became a momma's boy. :inlove This made DH sad, so we had DH do a lot of the care giving for a while. Now James is perfectly fine with both of us (but I still think he's a momma's boy at heart :kiss2).

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Guest Dakcopilot

Thank you greysmom and Rmarie! It is reassuring to know we are acting appropriately to encourage Dak to bond with our son. We have confirmed that he was handled by women in the kennel. I suspect the softer and higher pitched voice is just familiar to him and therefore, more soothing. We were told unwanted behavior was discouraged at the kennel by a gentle squirt of water provided from a position whereby the dog cannot see who is providing the correction - i.e. it comes out of nowhere. Hence, when he cries a gentle squirt should help to discourage the behavior as he is familiar with this type of correction.

 

As for crating, once our son moves (which will be most likely be into an apartment) Dak will have to be crated during the workday. It was our intent to get him used to the crate in anticipation of this probable circumstance. He was crated today for three hours this AM without anyone home (excluding the little terrier) and unfortunately he defecated in the crate :-P Any help/suggestions for this challenge would be appreciated as well.

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Guest RMarie

It sounds like possible separation anxiety. The crate needs to be a positive place for him. It seems like Dak knows that crate = you leaving. There are lots and lots of threads on this forum about how to deal with separation anxiety. We never experienced that with James, so I can't offer any first hand advice. We did crate him in the beginning, though. He ALWAYS got a treat when we left him in the crate, usually in the form of a kibble and peanut butter filled kong. We also had lots of blankets and pillows for him in there. He has free reign of the house now, but the crate is still up for him to go in whenever he wants.

 

Good luck!

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While some dogs do probably have a general preference for one gender over the other... in my experience a dog will bond to the person who acts like his master/owner/leader/caregiver. My boyfriend always likes to joke that he could disappear and neither dog would be overly depressed. Which isn't to say that they don't greet him at the door or enjoy his company. They do. Just if given the choice of me or him... it's me every time. Kili I raised alone from the time she was 8 weeks until she was almost 20 weeks (boyfriend was living away from us for a period of time). Summit, however, was a bounce from a previous home where the MAN was his primary caretaker. At first I noticed he would check men out more if we were on a walk or at the dog park. He seemed to have more of an affinity for men. However, now he is MY dog.

 

The reason why both these dogs are mine? I do EVERYTHING for them. I walk them. I feed them. I give them their treats. I TRAIN them. I take them to the pet store. I take them to my sports games. Anything and everything they do/get comes from me. Why would they bother choosing my BF over me?

 

So if you want to promote your son as being the "master" the easiest/fastest way is probably to just relinquish any and all responsibilities from you/your husband to your son. He feeds all meals. He takes the dog for all his walks. He trains the dog exclusively. He takes the dog for car rides. That may not work with your household/schedule but I think the more your son does the more Dak will acknowledge him as his primary caregiver.

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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Do a search for separation anxiety, crate training, and alone training. He isn't used to being left entirely alone, and obviously doesn't count the other small dog as a companion.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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 Scarter55

We didn't have much of a problem with Lady bonding with either of us, but she seems to prefer whoever has been spending more time with her recently. I took her on a weeklong road trip and she was attached to me for quite a while after that. Not sure if your son is comfortable taking Dak on a roadtrip, but some extended alone time with the two of them could help.

 

I've also read that there have been studies done showing that dogs (of any breed/sex) prefer females over males, though don't know if there is any credibility to that.

 

For crate training, definitely check out other threads on here. It is a project that you need to work at for a while, but the end result can definitely be worth it. I've heard of some dogs not doing well in the crate if there is another dog out of the crate in the same room, so that might be something you want to consider.

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Guest Giselle

We didn't have much of a problem with Lady bonding with either of us, but she seems to prefer whoever has been spending more time with her recently. I took her on a weeklong road trip and she was attached to me for quite a while after that. Not sure if your son is comfortable taking Dak on a roadtrip, but some extended alone time with the two of them could help.

 

I've also read that there have been studies done showing that dogs (of any breed/sex) prefer females over males, though don't know if there is any credibility to that.

 

For crate training, definitely check out other threads on here. It is a project that you need to work at for a while, but the end result can definitely be worth it. I've heard of some dogs not doing well in the crate if there is another dog out of the crate in the same room, so that might be something you want to consider.

Do you know where you heard about this study? I feel like this is just a cognitive bias because, in my experience (and this is probably statistically true, as well) more women than men pursue professional dog training, are professional dog trainers, are veterinarians, pursue professional canine careers. So, it SEEMS like dogs may prefer females, but it's probably just because there are more women than men in these professions.

 

Anyhow, I agree with the rest regarding looking at past posts for separation anxiety and alone training. I would also encourage seeking alternatives to the crate. If the dog is stressed to the point of defecating but can tolerate being alone in a room, why not try an exercise pen instead? It would keep the dog confined without creating that extra anxiety.

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Is he crying for more than a few minutes when you have left the house and other people are still home?

 

It's normal for a dog to have something to say when you've secreted yourself in a room where they can't go. They can hear you but don't know what you're doing -- of course they want to come along and see! I hope he's not being squirted for that (or for vocalizing in his crate).

 

If he fusses in his crate, I wouldn't crate him. Pick a room where he hangs out during the day, dogproof it as best you can, and use babygates to keep him in there. You can use a kennel muzzle (plastic basket muzzle) to prevent excess chewing if need be. Make sure he's been out to potty and is empty before you leave him 100% alone.

 

I wouldn't worry about who he's bonded to more. Dogs have favorites and choices, too. Those things usually moderate over time.

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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I hope he's not being squirted for that (or for vocalizing in his crate).

 

 

:nod I disagree with using the squirt bottle. There's a basis for his vocalizations, and the key is find out WHY he's crying. If it's separation anxiety or crate anxiety or housetraining issues, whatever, those issues should be dealt with first. Also, if Dak is being squirted in the crate, then it's very possible he's developed a negative aversion to the crate. That would explain why he's stressed and having accidents. If you're going to use a crate, it is crucial that the crate foremost be a positive, safe, comfortable space for him.

Edited by a_daerr
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Do you know where you heard about this study? I feel like this is just a cognitive bias because, in my experience (and this is probably statistically true, as well) more women than men pursue professional dog training, are professional dog trainers, are veterinarians, pursue professional canine careers. So, it SEEMS like dogs may prefer females, but it's probably just because there are more women than men in these professions.

 

Anyhow, I agree with the rest regarding looking at past posts for separation anxiety and alone training. I would also encourage seeking alternatives to the crate. If the dog is stressed to the point of defecating but can tolerate being alone in a room, why not try an exercise pen instead? It would keep the dog confined without creating that extra anxiety.

 

One of my adoption coordinators mentioned that actually dogs (or greys at least) tend to bond stronger with the opposite gender. Females bond to male masters/caregivers, males to female masters/caregivers. I don't know how true it is, but that was his opinion on the matter though any dog will bond with whoever gives it most attention and care. :nod

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Guest Scarter55

Do you know where you heard about this study? I feel like this is just a cognitive bias because, in my experience (and this is probably statistically true, as well) more women than men pursue professional dog training, are professional dog trainers, are veterinarians, pursue professional canine careers. So, it SEEMS like dogs may prefer females, but it's probably just because there are more women than men in these professions.

 

 

A few of the puppy books we read made mention of this, I could go back and find them but I don't think they mentioned any studies. It might just be "common knowledge". I do remember in one of our puppy classes, there was a 6 month St. Bernard who had just been adopted and had been very poorly socialized by a seemingly unethical breeder. The trainer had everyone help to socialize the pup by giving her treats, but was super careful with the males (humans) in the class approaching her.

 

It somewhat makes sense to me. My very unscientific hypothesis; it's clear that dogs can immediatly sense the sex of other dogs and act differently, so why not people?

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Guest Giselle

I'm not sure if dogs can actually immediately sense the sex of other dogs. According to the research I've heard, most dogs cannot accurately discern the sex of other spayed and neutered dogs from their urine. They're often completely thrown off by neutered male urine, as well as spayed female urine. It confuses their idea of how old the dog is and of its reproductive status. Their own reproductive status (fixed v. intact) can also affect how they perceive the other dog's sex and repro status. So, if they can get that thrown off by urine, I kind of doubt that they can perform any better in person... especially because they aren't allowed to sniff people's sexual organs! :P

 

I admit that I've been trained to think as a skeptic, so my feelers get all tingly whenever I hear something that smells a bit like pseudoscience. Of course, I could be wrong! After all, it took until 2011 for scientists to realize that the universe's expansion was accelerating rather than slowing down! So, I'd love to see the research that prompted those "dogs prefer women" statements. Otherwise, they really sound like cognitive biases to me.

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