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Guarding Her Rawhide!


Guest NRN13
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Hi again. So we have now had Cleo for 2 1/2 weeks. She is doing great. Has mastered the stairs, learned her name and "come", happily sleeps and naps in her crate (door open), no real digestive issues, improving on the leash, and no space or sleep aggression. Sweet as can be. One thing we have noticed though, is snarliness when she has a rawhide. She is not even 2 yet, and still really needs to chew. She has lots of toys and chewy things, but we thought we would try a rawhide bone. THe first time, she growled when I got close. We traded up with her favorite special occasion treat, and it was ok. I gave it to her again today when I was alone with her and she growled and barked at me when I was close. I got her interested in the treat and traded up. The rawhide is now gone. My question is, is this something I need to work on to remedy or do I just never give her a rawhide? I work with her daily, give her treats and kibble from my hands (which she has just started taking), and try to get her to associate hands with good things. She is very young and really naive :) I know this is very common when greys are first adopted. But will she just become more comfortable and not as possessive with time or do I need to work hard on this? And besides trading up, what do I try?

 

Thanks for the wealth of knowledge you all have (and your willingness to share)!

 

Nicole

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Nicole,

Well first you will have a lot of people say that rawhide isn't really a good treat to give dogs. Choking hazard as well as you have to be very careful where it comes from because of contaminates and problems with Chinese products (where most are manufactured). Regardless of that, the real issue is that your greyhound has never had anything as high value and as lasting as a rawhide. So yes, you will have to work with her until the behavior extinguishes. Typically this is a matter of your bonding with her and trust being built in the relationship. No big deal, most greyhounds react this way. You are doing the perfect thing, just keep with the trade up and everything should work out just fine. Personally I give raw femur bones or raw necks (turkey, chicken, duck) to help clean teeth as well as a nice treat.

 

Chad

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Depends on your comfort level.

 

If she will reliably trade up for something she has then you might choose to just continue doing that. If it was me ( ;) ) I would teach her a "drop it" or "leave it" command. These are really useful in all sorts of situations, including her resource guarding. You can do a search for teaching both commands (or hopefully Batmom will post her really awesome and easy technique).

 

Remember, she's never had anything of her own that was as good as a rawhide. It's a really common behavior and doesn't mean she's aggressive. She just wants to keep her bone.

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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Yeah, I totally get why she is guarding it. It's the best thing she's ever had! I don't plan on giving them to her often, just thought it might be good every once in a while to satisfy her need to chew. And don't worry, I made sure it's not made in China. I will try Batmom's washclothe technique too. Teaching her "leave it" would be great. When I am "trading up", do I make a big deal so that she sees what is going on? Today when I did it, I sort of distracted her with the treat, and gave it to her while I took away the bone with the other hand. Then she looked for it.

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I don't plan on giving them to her often, just thought it might be good every once in a while to satisfy her need to chew.

 

 

I would argue that she SHOULD have some type of chew on a regular basis (everyday or every few days)... especially if you're like me and not the most diligent about brushing. So to answer your question, no, the answer isn't to just permanently take that item away. That will make the problem worse. Continue working on trading up, and doing it on a daily basis. Also, I'm not sure if you did this part or not, ALWAYS let the dog have the original item at the end. So for example, trade for a piece of chicken, give the rawhide back, trade for another treat, give it back. Then at the end of your session, leave her with the rawhide. She'll eventually learn that she has no reason to guard because she will eventually get that item back.

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Guest Wasserbuffel

 

 

Today when I did it, I sort of distracted her with the treat, and gave it to her while I took away the bone with the other hand. Then she looked for it.

 

One good method is to occasionally trade up, then give the high value item right back.

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Yes, she has lots of chewy toys that she plays with daily. But I do need to try some others. What do you recommend besides chicken/turkey necks? I'd like to be able to buy her some extra good chewy things I can keep on hand. What about Greenies? and pigs ears? hooves? I would have to let her chew it in the house (yard isn't fenced) so hopefully nothing super staining.

 

And no, I didn't give the original bone back, just traded it up for a treat. yikes! Ok, so I was doing it wrong. Back to the drawing board!

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What do you recommend besides chicken/turkey necks?

 

 

You will get A LOT of different opinions on this one. Lots of people advice against using bones because of the likelihood they can break/chip a tooth. Also, rawhide is a hot button issue. With that being said, my guys get both. :lol For bones, we use Merrick Corporal Caps (knee bones) twice a week. They also get rawhide rolls and CET rawhide strips from the vet's office. My other secret for good teeth is a water additive. The bones, in combination with the other things, gives my guys perfect teeth without regular brushing. Henry is almost six, and he's never had a dental. In fact, the vet just mentioned to her intern last time that Henry and Truman are the poster-children for greyhounds with good teeth.

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Thanks! I'll try those things. I got her a new Kong today and a few of the Never-ending treats. Which I didn't realize were supposed to be inserted into some kind of toy thing. Oh well! She enjoyed one all the same and chewed on it for hours. Then the whole thing was gone. In the midst of her enjoyment, I tried to trade up with the aforementioned rawhide. And she was not interested and made a very snarly face and growled. So I went and got a few of her favorite meaty treats. Traded up and then returned the never-ending treat to her. Did that a few times and will keep at it. I have to admit though, it is a little scary! Thanks for the tips!

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It's supposed to be scary!

 

My guys get a chew treat after each meal. And because I'm lazy, they get commercial treats. We use DentaSticks and Purina Busy Bones daily, and I haven't had to have a dental for any of my current crew yet (which goes back to '08 for Cash and Toni). Every once in a while they get rawhide twists - small ones that can be consumed in a single sitting - or sticks made of granulated rawhide. We have tried pig ears and hooves and they didn't really hold their interest. The antlers were a big bust here though I know many dogs love them. I keep meaning to try small raw chicken pieces like necks and wings, but just haven't yet. Many people give them as frozen treats which cuts down on the mess some. You can also put down a towel or blanket for inside eating.

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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So I've been practicing trading up with Cleo for days now. I offer a treat and take the bone. ( I can see that she is tempted to growl when I go in for it). I let her see that I still have the bone and I talk to her for a second. Then I give it back. I do this a few times and then leave her with the bone. I think I'm doing it right. She still growls sometimes when someone gets very close to her when she has a bone/chew and I really don't like it. But I understand it, it makes sense that she'd want to protect the first and best thing that she's ever "owned".

 

Last night my son (almost 16 and a very gentle animal lover) was trying to get her to come upstairs for bed. My husband and I had already gone up and didn't want to disturb her when we went up :) So my son pulled a little on her collar to get her to move. Not very hard and she growl-barked and snapped at him. She did not make contact with skin, and I am a believer that she would've bitten him had she wanted to. But it worries me and scared him. And she was not asleep so it's not sleep aggression. Again, we've only had her almost 1 month. And otherwise, she's very sweet. Is this something I should be concerned about or will she outgrow it (she's only 2) or get over it by living with us and acclimating? And besides saying "no!", how do I address these moments?

 

thanks again!

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Guest Wasserbuffel

 

 

Is this something I should be concerned about or will she outgrow it (she's only 2) or get over it by living with us and acclimating? And besides saying "no!", how do I address these moments?

 

The best way to address this is to teach her the off command. Never grab her collar to move her. Clip a leash on, and use it instead. To teach "off" have the dog on the couch offer her a treat. Either hold it far enough that she has to get off the couch to reach it, or toss it on the floor. Say "off" when she on the floor. I pair hand signals with my training, and I point away from the couch as a signal.

 

Many of these reactive behaviors will lessen as she acclimates to you guys, and you to her. In the beginning my grey was a lot like yours. She resource guarded, and was space aggressive. You must remember that these guys are brought up entirely differently than a dog whose lived in a home since birth. They're accustomed to being handled, but never when they're resting as she was in this instance.

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The one thing I would do is have her practice trading up with every member of your household. Also, it's good to rotate responsibilities like feeding, walking, playtime, treats, etc. It's not only a bonding exercise, but it also reinforces the idea that she needs to listen to a bunch of different humans- not just you. Also, I probably wouldn't have anybody grab her by the collar for awhile, at least not until she establishes a high level of trust. You can use high value treats to lure her into a standing position and to wherever she needs to be. If that doesn't work, leash her up, and say, 'let's go!' In a happy voice. I'm not a huge proponent of yelling or shouting 'No!' when a dog has an aggressive outburst (I'll explain why later).

 

It's important to note that even the most outgoing, confident dog can have episodes of fear aggression when they're stressed. From what you described, I don't believe Cleo was being stubborn or trying to challenge your son. It's more likely that she was upset with him reaching or putting his hand close to her face. You see what I mean about not punishing her? To her, she was protecting herself from a potential threat, so yelling 'No!' would either increase her stress or confuse her. I'd recommend that you and everybody in the household be as calm and gentle as possible as not to cross her fear threshold. You don't have to tiptoe around her- just be mindful of your body language and movements in respect to her potential triggers. With more time, you'll get to the point where you can be more stern with training. For now, I'd just work on building trust and bonding with everyone in the household.

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Thanks Wasserbuffel and a_daerr. I guess I just wanted to hear that it's not some horrible personality deficiency! And that greys can get over this with time. I get it. We'll keep doing the trading up and most importantly, have other family members do it. My older two kids have gone back to college so it's just my husband and teenage son. And we're pretty mellow anyway, so it's not a stressful or crazy environment. I'll have my son use the leash if she doesn't want to go somewhere instead of touching her or the collar. I guess she felt threatened or just plain irritated! I agree that she probably wasn't "challenging" him . And I don't think he yelled NO at her, but definitely said it firmly. He was so startled/scared by her reaction. And then she got up and sweetly walked upstairs to my room and laid right down. My son does feed her and has been home with her lots this week since I'm back at school working, so they are bonding.. We'll just have to remember to be patient and work on that trust building.

 

I really appreciate your advice, I feel better with your tips! thank you!

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Guest LunaTheGreyt

For about a month after I got Luna, she, too, would growl (pretty scarily) whenever I got close to her at mealtime or when she had a treat. It just takes them some time to really settle in (even though it might seem like they take to retirement almost immediately, they still have to work out a few "kinks.") The first few weeks I let her up on the bed, she snarled/snapped at me if I tried to move her off my pillow toward "her" side of the bed. I had to banish her to her dog bed on the floor a few times, but eventually she learned that the left side of the bed is mommy's! Luna's otherwise a totally docile, gentle girl. Like others have said, they are kind of like little aliens when they come to us, and it takes time for them to truly acclimate to a home environment (no matter how many times they roach on their beds, haha). :) Sounds like you have a good thing going with the "trading up" to higher-value treats, and I second the use of a leash when moving her.

 

Oh, and my dogs only get antlers to chew on, but only chew for 15 minutes/day max. Rawhide scares me (can cause choking and intestinal blockages).

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That's so good to hear! Hopefully it will just take time. I like hearing that others went through this and it worked itself out (with a little help, of course). And she's really sweet natured. I do almost forget that a little over a month ago she was at the track!

 

I'm not crazy about rawhides either, I just bought 2 because I couldn't decide what else to try and she seems to need to chew! I'm off to buy an antler this weekend and maybe those CET veggie sticks. Anything to look for in an antler?

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Guest jetska

Fostering has taught me that they are all different! I had an older girl who was used to being dragged about by a hand on her collar. I had no issues with leading her outside by the collar etc. The other two I've had were from a kennel where they dont' wear collars and they use slip leashes when moving the dogs about. Both of these dogs were sensitive about being grabbed by the collar and they both did the GSOD the first time I grabbed them. I did a bit of work desensitising them, going from touching their collars, playing with their collars and then grabbing/leading by their collars and they were fine after a bit of that.

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Guest LunaTheGreyt

That's so good to hear! Hopefully it will just take time. I like hearing that others went through this and it worked itself out (with a little help, of course). And she's really sweet natured. I do almost forget that a little over a month ago she was at the track!

 

I'm not crazy about rawhides either, I just bought 2 because I couldn't decide what else to try and she seems to need to chew! I'm off to buy an antler this weekend and maybe those CET veggie sticks. Anything to look for in an antler?

 

I always make sure a decent amount of marrow is visible at the end of the antler. Also, I get ones that are quite thick and have texture on the outside (not completely smooth). :) I got my last one at Pet Valu and before that at a specialty shop, but I'm fairly certain you can get them at most chain stores now. :)

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Guest larock

Hi again. So we have now had Cleo for 2 1/2 weeks. She is doing great. Has mastered the stairs, learned her name and "come", happily sleeps and naps in her crate (door open), no real digestive issues, improving on the leash, and no space or sleep aggression. Sweet as can be. One thing we have noticed though, is snarliness when she has a rawhide. She is not even 2 yet, and still really needs to chew. She has lots of toys and chewy things, but we thought we would try a rawhide bone. THe first time, she growled when I got close. We traded up with her favorite special occasion treat, and it was ok. I gave it to her again today when I was alone with her and she growled and barked at me when I was close. I got her interested in the treat and traded up. The rawhide is now gone. My question is, is this something I need to work on to remedy or do I just never give her a rawhide? I work with her daily, give her treats and kibble from my hands (which she has just started taking), and try to get her to associate hands with good things. She is very young and really naive :) I know this is very common when greys are first adopted. But will she just become more comfortable and not as possessive with time or do I need to work hard on this? And besides trading up, what do I try?

 

Thanks for the wealth of knowledge you all have (and your willingness to share)!

 

Nicole

 

I'm sure everyone has covered all the bases but in short we've had 5 greyhounds and ALL five of them act(ed) like complete jerks when they have a rawhide product of any kind. So, we just don't give them rawhide. They do get raw marrow bones from the butcher but they only get that when we are there to supervise.

 

As an aside, we do not give our pups any product that is made in China but you have to watch the packaging as sometimes it can be packaged in the US or Canada and still made in China.

 

Hope all this information helps you out with your new girl Cleo!

:)

Edited by larock
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Thank you! I definitely check the labels now too. No treats, food, etc. from China. I am trying other chewy things instead of the rawhides. I don't like them either and if she can't be nice with it, then we will avoid them all together too. She is so young (almost 2) and still needs to chew a lot. So I am trying different things. And if it can help keep her teeth clean, all the better! Thanks for the info., I am constantly learning from this forum!

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So last night my husband went to take Cleo out before bed. She was resting on her bed in the family room, but wasn't asleep. He said, "come on, let's go!" and tried all the usual commands to get her to move. Nothing. I told him not to try to move her by the collar but go get the leash. So he did and when he went to put it on, she barked and snapped at him (loudly!). He gave a stern "no" in reaction, he was totally caught off guard and shocked. So then she got up and went to the door. He put the leash on and she happily went out. THey came back in and she did not come upstairs with us for bed. So we left our door open, closed up for the night, and she came up in a little while and was fast asleep. Just like last time, there was no actual biting, but man, it's scary!

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I would have used a treat to lure her up. She still seems to be adjusting and is not sure of things. I would work on getting her to come to you and your husband at various times with rewards when she does so. If she enjoys treats this will be pretty easy to do. This is something I've worked on frequently with Rudy. It strengthens recall, trust, and helps in bonding I think. When she was being called to get up, the more rewarding thing for her was to stay where she was comfortable at the time, so it will help a lot if you can find something that overrides that like a yummy treat. Being approached and reached for might be pretty unnerving for her, especially if there's any direct eye contact. It will be much more pleasant for all involved if you can get her to want to come to you and earn a reward.

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Guest Giselle

So last night my husband went to take Cleo out before bed. She was resting on her bed in the family room, but wasn't asleep. He said, "come on, let's go!" and tried all the usual commands to get her to move. Nothing. I told him not to try to move her by the collar but go get the leash. So he did and when he went to put it on, she barked and snapped at him (loudly!). He gave a stern "no" in reaction, he was totally caught off guard and shocked. So then she got up and went to the door. He put the leash on and she happily went out. THey came back in and she did not come upstairs with us for bed. So we left our door open, closed up for the night, and she came up in a little while and was fast asleep. Just like last time, there was no actual biting, but man, it's scary!

This is actually a very common problem, and I wrote a blog about it explaining how to use food and the leash. I also made a video of what NOT to do (poor dog had to tolerate my 'wrong' actions! Very noble dog!):

http://www.progressdog.com/1/post/2013/07/help-how-do-i-get-my-dog-off-his-bed.html

 

Edit to add: In the video, you can see how earnestly the dog was sending body signals saying, "STOP. You're scaring me. I'm trying to ignore you. You're terrifying me." After about a minute, he just can't take it anymore, so he lunges and snaps. This is likely what your grey did, as well. I would not reprimand the dog but instead try to understand the stream of body signals the dog is sending to say, "Stop doing what you're doing. You're scaring me." Then, you can change your approach and make it safer and happier for all.

Edited by Giselle
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