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Space Aggression Incident


Guest NRN13
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We've had Cleo for almost 3 months. We totally love her, she's a quirky sweet girl. We've had resource guarding, which i've written about before, and space aggression. We've been working on both. Lots of trading up for the resource guarding, and not touching her when she's on her bed. We are doing obedience training and it's going great (very fun, positive reinforcement), and we've bonded strongly. Last night, I guess I got cocky. I thought she had worked through the issues and it's been a while since we had a growling/snapping incident (once with my son for petting her on her bed, and once with my husband for approaching her on her bed with the leash for a walk).

 

I pet her while she was on her bed. She was not asleep. Then I remembered her collar was rubbing a bald spot and wanted to take it off. I started to do so. She lunged, snapped, and bit me in the face. I have a huge black eye, a split lip, and 2 cuts on the side of my nose. I did not go to the ER, though I probably could have for a stitch on my lip. And I didn't go to work today - I am a mess.

 

I made a mistake. I know I made a mistake. And it's my fault. Nobody needs to tell me that. I broke my own rule. But I'm still really upset and shocked that she bit me. Both other snapping incidents were more like warnings, in my opinion. She meant to bite me last night. There were no warnings or "signs" to read. I pet her, she was sitting there sweetly, I moved towards the collar, and then she lunged.

 

I just need advice about where to go from here. Will she outgrow this? Will it get worse? Can I fix it? What should I do? I will of course warn everyone walking into my house to respect her space and no touching when she's on her bed. That was and will be our rule, but obviously I need to follow it too. And enforce it strongly. My fear is, what if a visitor disregards the warning or a kid just can't resist? and will her space aggression transfer to when she's on a bed in the car? or on a pad on the deck?

 

Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated. I love Cleo, she is a great dog, and is a big part of my family. And even though I knew this is common with greys, I just didn't think it would be this bad. Again, I KNOW it was my fault - let's be clear about that. No need to remind me. I just need to know, has anyone else had something like this happen and it worked itself out?

 

thank you.

 

 

 

 

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I'm sorry this happened to you. You have said you know what you did was not right.

 

I'm just letting you know that our Diego has sleep aggression issues and has had them the whole 6 years we've had them. He still sleeps in a crate at night, he's used to it. We just never touch him if he's sleeping. Period. He never outgrew it and will not outgrow it. Just letting you know that it MAY not go away.

Tin and Michael and Lucas, Picasso, Hero, Oasis, Galina, Neizan, Enzo, Salvo and Noor the Galgos.
Remembering Bridge Angel Greyhounds: Tosca, Jamey, Master, Diego, and Ambi; plus Angel Galgos Jules, Marco and Baltasar.

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I'm not sure I would consider this common in greyhounds. We have/had 4 greyhounds and have done petsitting and I've never experienced space aggression. It may seem common because those who need help with it, ask for it while those who don't may not post about it.

 

Many owners have been able to desensitize their dogs with positive reinforcement exercises, so hopefully they will chime in. I can say I was bit once and it was my own fault. I know at the time, I kept telling myself that she's a dog, this is not personal, do not attribute human feelings to this incident, but to be honest, my feelings were hurt. Even though I understood how it happened at a analytical level, at an emotional level, it took a bit to get over it. That's always the worst part imo.

 

Ironically, I look at the scar with fond memories. Four years after her death, I will always have a part of her (tooth mark) with me. Mind you, mine is on my arm where only I can see it.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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It may or it may not. I have had one that lost it completely, one that got much better, and one that never did. The only safe thing to do is to institute a policy of never approaching the dog when she's on her be. Either call her to you, or wait until she's standing. When people come over, put her in a crate or put an x-pen around her bed. Make sure you tell them about your *very strict* rule with her. A bed on the deck will probably be the same, but the car probably not - though that's up to her.

 

I'm sorry you caught the brunt of this one. Space aggression reactions tends to be cumulative, so this was more aggressive due to her previous warnings which (she felt) weren't heeded.

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 DeniseL

I have been exactly where you are and I know exactly how you feel. The night before I had to fly to Florida to move my Mom home, Miami bit me in the face. I had cuts and a black eye that lasted a while. It was shocking, painful, and I didn't know how to move forward, or even if we should. My family and DH thought we should return him. I was heartbroken.

 

Miami is my baby boy now, 10 months later, but I admit, I will never love on him like I do my others.He requires space and a different kind of lovin'. I still have flashbacks of that night and I still get scared sometimes. But we have moved on and he is a member of our family...

 

I'm going to PM you.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

3 months is not nearly enough time to establish trust. I have had 2 different hounds bite me. No biggie. I am a guy, so a cut a bruise, not really a big deal to me. Of course like you the incidents were totally my fault. Each hound took different amounts of time to fully trust me. One took about 2 years, the other about a year. They got to the point where I can do anything and they would allow it. This is trust. Please do not expect a few months of training to equate to total trust. I do believe that with daily training, a year or so you will probably look back on this and laugh.

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Thank you, that actually did make me feel better. I'm glad your dogs got past it with time and trust. I agree that 3 months is not long. And I'd love to look back on this and laugh (one of my favorite sayings). But right now I'm just worried. And sore. And sad. Is there "daily training" for this behavior?

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I just need advice about where to go from here. Will she outgrow this? Will it get worse? Can I fix it? What should I do? I will of course warn everyone walking into my house to respect her space and no touching when she's on her bed. That was and will be our rule, but obviously I need to follow it too. And enforce it strongly. My fear is, what if a visitor disregards the warning or a kid just can't resist? and will her space aggression transfer to when she's on a bed in the car? or on a pad on the deck?

 

 

I would not count on her "outgrowing" it. Usually behaviors like this are self-reinforcing. She didn't like what you were doing, she bit, you went away, success. However, she is new in her home and it is possible that as she settles in more, the behavior will dissipate. It could also get worse. This is all provided you do nothing. However, you CAN take steps to improve the behavior. I hate so much when I see people say in these types of threads that there's nothing you can do. You can use something called classical counter-conditioning to change her feelings about being handled or approached on her bed and over time, while you would still want to be cautious, you should see her behavior change. However, I think it's best to do it under the guidance of someone experienced with modifying dog behavior using positive techniques like counter-conditioning so you can make sure you do it safely. I don't live far from you so I can help you find someone in your area if you'd like.

 

A couple of other thoughts about this particular incident. Stress levels build so it's possible that if she were already stressed by things going on that day (things that may be subtle or unnoticeable to you), she bit instead of growled or snapped because her stress levels were already high. It could be something as simple as she encountered loud scary garbage trucks for the first time that day, or on you last walk before the incident she saw a dog she didn't like and got riled up barking at it. Jean Donaldson explained this bite threshold concept well in her book Culture Clash, but someone also posted a link to a great article just the other day using a spoon analogy. You can find the link here.

 

The other thing is that a lot of dogs don't like their collars grabbed, or by pulling on her collar you may have actually caused some discomfort. You can easily desensitize her to any negative feelings about having her collar grabbed by associating the action with high value food. This is actually the same process you'd use with the general space and sleep aggression, but again I'm not going to give specifics on that because I think professional help is wise. Anyway, when she's standing, alert, and happy, take her collar gently in one hand as you say something like "gotcha'" and feed from your other hand. Stop feeding as you release the collar. When you start, you might just quickly touch your hand to her collar, then work up to actually grabbing it, depends on whether you see any signs of stress from her as you're doing it. Use high value food - human stuff like cooked chicken or hot dogs. Do 10-20 repetitions and then go play with her to end the session. You can do this a couple of times a day. Eventually when you grab her collar you should see her eyes light up and her ears perk up as she looks expectantly for her food.

 

As far as your question about someone disregarding your instructions, if you can't ensure that visitors, including children will leave her alone, then until you resolve the issue, you need to separate her from your guests. You can use a crate, an x-pen, baby gate her into an attached room where she can see you but is separate, etc. And yes, the behavior could occur in other places so it's safer to just call her to you if you want to give her attention.

 

I'm sorry you're in this situation. My first greyhound, my heart dog Neyla had similar issues - resource guarding (although only with other dogs) and space/sleep aggression. I can't even remember now what I did, but I did something once when she was on her bed that caused her to bite me. She didn't break skin, but it hurt like heck, although the emotional pain was much worse than the physical pain. Even though I understood what I had done, it felt horrible - it's hard not to take it personally even though growling, snapping and biting are normal ways for dogs to express this dislike. So I understand what you're going through. Neyla did over time get better with me as she got comfortable (she was a very fearful spooky dog when I got her), but I always had to watch her with other dogs. Zuri, one of my current greys on the other hand is a sweet outgoing dog, but had typical sleep/startle issues as well. I used the counter-conditioning I mentioned to you to change his behavior. There's a thread about it here in T&B that you could look for, and I just posted a thread in C&F yesterday with a picture of him cuddled up to his sister if you need some encouragement that you can take steps to modify the behavior.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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it takes a good year to gain their trust and for them to feel comfortable enough at home, with their new family... however, I still think this is not the dog for your family... You need a much more MELLOW dog as a first time greyhound family with a child... JMHO.... I said it before, and i'll say it again.... there is no shame in bringing her back to the rescue, telling them about the three incidents, and ask them for an older, more mellow grey.... Cleo needs to be in a home with experienced gh owners, who know how to work with her.... and you need your first greyhound to be much more accepting of people and kids... this should not keep happening, and you should not have to live with the fear of a worse accident from someone that doesn't know better (visitors, other kids, etc..) or she could be in a much worse place where The Lexus Project will have to interfere on behalf of a dog that has been unfairly labeled as "BAD" or unadoptable... please bring her back so she can be with people that have experience working with dogs like Cleo

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Good advice from NeylasMom about the collars and how to begin desensitizing. You wouldn't think a dog would be touchy about having a collar touched/tugged, but a lot are, and not just greyhounds. Weird, eh?

 

You can do the same sort of desensitizing regarding your approach. She's lying down somewhere and you're walking by? Drop a little treat in front of her as you pass. (You can reserve a handful of her kibble, if that's what she eats, for this purpose, or give a little less kibble and use some different, yummier treats. I say this because you may be using lots of treats for awhile!) She's lying on a dog bed and you're going to sit on the couch a couple feet away? Toss her a treat when you sit down and every 10 minutes or so while you're there.

 

One of the first things I teach a new greyhound is "Up!" meaning, get up on your feet. I also randomly reward for having the kennel muzzle (basket muzzle) put on, and I use that muzzle any time I'm unsure of how the dog will react to, say, having ears cleaned, a sore foot doctored, etc.

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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We have done the collar desensitizing at home and in her obedience class (with lots of treats) . She never seems to mind us touching it or putting it on or off in the least. I think it was the bed/space. No other stressers yesterday, no company, nothing unusual. Had a nice dinner, had gone out for her last time, etc. And she's really attached to me! Which made me stupidly confident I guess, and the whole incident worse to me. We've done, and continue to do the classic counter-conditioning, at the advice of our vet - random treats when we walk by her on her bed. Especially my 16 year old, who was snapped at a month or two ago. We have been working really hard with her and thought it was helping.

 

I've consulted a behaviorist/trainer in our area who does free consults for our adoption group and am waiting to hear from her.

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Treats when walking by is a good start, but if you really want to be able to relax about someone petting her when she's on her bed, you'll need to expand to work specifically on that. The safest way to start imo is to gently toss a stuffy on her (away from her face) when she's awake and then feed immediately. I personally much prefer human food for this sort of stuff - what you're asking her to do is very hard for her, we should reward accordingly. Don't use junk, use something like cooked chicken (the canned stuff is easy) and cut back on her kibble if you need to so she doesn't gain weight. You're looking for something called a CER (conditioned emotional response), which in layman's terms is the "where's my chicken" look. ;) When you're getting that repeatedly, then you could try touching closer to her face. Again, initially I would use something that keeps you safe, maybe a toy with dangling parts that you even attach to a broomstick if needed. Touch, feed, touch, feed, touch, feed, repeat ad nauseum. You'll work up to being able to touch her directly, and to do all of this when she's asleep, then to practice having other people do it. But because she's bitten, again, I think it's very important to do this under the guidance of a trainer. The last thing I'd want is for you to go trying this and get bitten again. You need to proceed slowly and watch at all times for signs of stress. A good trainer will be able to tell you what to look for - yawning, dog looking away, stiffening up, mouth firmly closed, etc. There are tons of these more subtle signs that you may not be picking up on yet and you want to be fully aware of them so that if you see them, you know you are progressing too fast.

Be careful about the trainer you use too. There's no real qualification for someone to call themselves a behaviorist, unless you have a Masters or PhD in animal behavior, in which case you can be certified as an applied animal behaviorist, but those people are few and far between and very expensive. Don't be afraid to ask the person your group uses what her background/training is and what methods she uses. Someone who uses reward based training, no coercion or punishment/corrections, and who understands classical and operant conditioning is a good start.

 

By the way, I didn't realize from your first post that you have children. I do think it's completely reasonable if you want to have your group rehome her. It will take time to work through this issue and in the meantime, there is a risk to your kids. Obviously if she bites again and the bite requires medical treatment, especially one of your children, the doctor will be required to report it and as I recall, VA isn't particularly generous about their dangerous dog laws. All of this to say, it sounds like you've been takign the right steps, but it's totally fair to meet with the trainer and get a better idea of the work involved and then weigh whether you are able to do it while also managing the environment in the meantime to keep everyone, including her safe.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I am very sorry. This is a scary post because we have had Payton almost 3 months now too and he had space aggression the first couple of weeks he was here. He actually did almost the same thing to my DD and I within a day or two of each other - he did not bite either of us, but I ended up with a black eye when he jumped up.We have worked on positive training, and we have a treat bowl above his bed. At random times, when give him treats when we walk by. It did not take him long to expect treats. He has also become much more affectionate and trusting.

 

We have a do not touch while laying down rule. However, often times I pet him or scratch his ears when I walk by his bed. He does not seem to have any issue with it all. He even looks at you imploringly when you walk by him. I watch his body language closely and nothing indicates any issues *unless he is lying down prone, then no one touches him.

 

We also do a lot of training in his bed – like down, sit and watch me. That seems to have help him learn to tolerate us near his bed (except for the cats – he hates the cats near him when he is lying down).

 

I would be completely shocked if he bit me. I guess it takes more than a couple of months for them to be trustworthy.

 

Sending hugs :bighug

Edited by Acadianarose

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Payton, The Greyhound (Palm City Pelton) and Toby, The Lab
Annabella and Julietta, The Cats
At the Bridge - Abby, The GSD

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No additional advice here, just sending warm thoughts and hugs your way. I'm very sorry this happened and I would give yourself a bit of time for your feelings to settle. Despite the logic behind dog behavior it can still impact us in a very emotional way. :bighug

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

There is no reason to be thinking or even considering rehoming. Your child is old enough to know better. And as has been said, if you cant trust visitors or others to keep their distance, then put a physical barrier between them, such as an x-pen.

 

While it is very difficult to not take it personally, I do think that you may be blowing this a bit out of proportion. You know the trigger, your pup doesn't like people towering over her when she is in her bed. Very simple to fix, as you know already.

 

Continue to do the desensitization training, as well as just every-day obedience training (such as sit, stay, down, heck get a book of tricks and teach her tricks). The more training you do with her, the stronger the bond, and ultimately trust, will become.

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I guess it takes more than a couple of months for them to be trustworthy.

 

 

Or the other way around - it takes more than a couple of months for us to be trustworthy!

 

We have three greys and Hermon, who has been with us about three months, had some space aggression and sleep startle when we first got him. I can remember sitting beside him and him growling at me out of the blue having chosen to join me and snuggle. He also bit my husband.

 

So this post is more about fear. Hermon is the first dog I've ever been scared of. I remember those incidents and feeling as if I couldn't manage because he's a big dog and I'm responsible for most of the feeding and walking, so I was in the situation of handling a dog I was afraid of alone. Three months on, I don't fear him but I do respect him. I also love him, but I don't entirely trust him. He, on the other hand, seems to have relaxed completely with me and yesterday morning I woke up with his head resting on my shoulder and chest and his paw over my stomach. My first thought was how cute. My second was, how do I wake him up without startling him. Fortunately he was awake anyhow and I think had snuggled in just to enjoy being close.

 

But he still doesn't sleep on our bed and I am cautious with him.

 

Things that have helped me get over my fear are lots and lots of walking and handling him. He's a member of the Order of the Yellow Foot, so his feet and legs get wiped every day. I brush him every couple of weeks. I do his nails and his teeth. I play with him, feed him and give him medications. Everything has been accompanied by treats.

 

Obviously this type of stuff won't work for the specific issue you're having, but what it has done for the two of us is allow us to begin building a relationship where he accepts that I touch him all over and that nothing bad happens when it does. As he has relaxed, I've become more confident and less fearful. I still don't snuggle with him on his bed, but he is welcome to join me on the couch or my bed.

 

The other thing is that fear is a pretty normal emotion. It's the reason that I gave up riding horses after ten committed years. I loved riding but the more bad experiences I had (and they do happen), the more frightened I became and the less able to deal with things I became. Finally, the fear outweighed the enjoyment. So although I still love horses, I won't ride again. With Hermon, if I couldn't deal with the fear and build a relationship, I would not have been able to have him stay. Fortunately it didn't come to that, but don't underestimate the power of fear.

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greyt_dog_lover, I pet the dog and touched her collar, not my son. I was bitten, not him. And I don't think I'm blowing this out of proportion. I will be off of work again tomorrow because I don't want to face a classroom of kindergarteners with a big black eye, and a bandage on my lip and nose. My face hurts. And I can't really smile . I look like someone punched me in the face. And I'm trying not to take it personally, but I can't help it. Even though it was clearly my fault, I'm still really bummed.

 

And I have to admit, that like Brandiandwe above, I do feel fear now. And who likes to fear their pet? Seriously, it's not a good feeling.

 

I really appreciate all the support, advice, and tips from everyone. I spoke with a wonderful trainer today and do feel a little better. We'll continue to work with Cleo and will take it day by day. No plans to rehome, as of yet.

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Guest zanzibargirl

Hi everyone - I am fostering my first hound starting next weekend, and this board has been a great source of info and education. But I am just having trouble understanding this: while I totally get sleep aggression (I, too, wake up with a jolt if startled! :) and I understand leaving them alone in their crates and while sleeping on their beds - but I just can't get my head around it being OK that one gets bitten IN THE FACE when simply taking a collar off ( especially after 3 months). Not trying to be difficult, just getting worried - I don't want to walk on eggshells around my dog - while thinking gee, did I come too close to his/her bed? Did I lean in/ forward a bit too much? Did I move too quickly? I know we have to give them time to understand us and what being a pet is all about, but we can't all be expert dog psychologists and worry that we are not reading the most subtle of signals. I just don't know what I'd do in this situation, and I hope my foster is not this sensitive. We love our dogs, make sure they have the best of everything, is it too much to expect that we are safe from being bitten in the face???? Would we tolerate this from ANY other breed?? Sorry had to vent - too many similar stories on this board are making me anxious about fostering...:(

 

nRN13 - my heart goes out to you - I just don't know what I would do in your situation. To me - no biting is the ultimate golden rule....

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Guest LazyBlaze

:grouphug to you. I know it's hard not to take it personally. We've had Blaze for over a year now and I still feel a wee bit gutted if he growls at me, even though I know he's just communicating. But less than three months is really such a short amount of time - although you might feel that you love Cleo and have bonded with her strongly already, it's very doubtful that she feels as open and confident about the relationship as you do. 14 months on I can see that Blaze is still just learning that he can trust us, and it is a slow burner for him. He had a whole three years of a radically different life to *unlearn*, and we still have a way to go. But, slowly but surely, real trust IS developing, and it will with Cleo too. Just keep working with the positive reinforcements and don't be tempted to push her boundaries. Let her test them herself, which I'm sure she will with time.

 

Maybe she will never be okay with having her collar touched when she's lying down - could you and your family live with/be happy with that? I do believe (as a first-time greyhound owner) that so much of it is about managing my own expectations; when I dialled them down a bit and accepted that Blaze would maybe never be a dog for serious hugging, then I relaxed and just let things happen (still doing positive reinforcement and counter-conditioning training all the time of course). It has made a big difference. He actually comes and cuddles in quite often these days (and my heart feels fit to burst) and growls are getting rarer and rarer. We're both happier, just taking things really slowly. I don't even think it's particularly a greyhound thing - any dog, given the kennelled, working life that the racing hounds have had, would take time to adjust after years of very limited life experience.

 

Best of luck with Cleo. I'm sure you'll get there, you obviously love her and are working hard. Time and patience. Hope you heal up soon.

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Would we tolerate this from ANY other breed??

 

Other breeds do the same thing. We don't hear much about it here because it's a greyhound board :) .

 

Also, here on the internet, we're giving opinions based on what the original poster (OP) tells us in words. It's impossible for us to know what signals, however subtle, the dog might have been giving, what the home environment is like from the dog's point of view, what other stressors there might have been, what the dog's basic personality is .... This OP has contacted a trainer, who can presumably visit with OP and family and dog in person. Assuming a moderately competent trainer, that's a GOOD thing. Eyes on the ground beat written words on the internet most every 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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Hi everyone - I am fostering my first hound starting next weekend, and this board has been a great source of info and education. But I am just having trouble understanding this: while I totally get sleep aggression (I, too, wake up with a jolt if startled! :) and I understand leaving them alone in their crates and while sleeping on their beds - but I just can't get my head around it being OK that one gets bitten IN THE FACE when simply taking a collar off ( especially after 3 months). Not trying to be difficult, just getting worried - I don't want to walk on eggshells around my dog - while thinking gee, did I come too close to his/her bed? Did I lean in/ forward a bit too much? Did I move too quickly? I know we have to give them time to understand us and what being a pet is all about, but we can't all be expert dog psychologists and worry that we are not reading the most subtle of signals. I just don't know what I'd do in this situation, and I hope my foster is not this sensitive. We love our dogs, make sure they have the best of everything, is it too much to expect that we are safe from being bitten in the face???? Would we tolerate this from ANY other breed?? Sorry had to vent - too many similar stories on this board are making me anxious about fostering... :(

 

nRN13 - my heart goes out to you - I just don't know what I would do in your situation. To me - no biting is the ultimate golden rule....

 

I understand your concern, but also remember that any online forum like this is going to have more people writing in for support and advice for problems than posts from people talking about how sweet and cuddly and tolerant their dog is. It's not an accurate representation of the whole picture, and thus not worth worrying over before you find out how YOUR dog will be. Many of us have dogs who will tolerate just about anything, but non-events don't "make the news." My cat missed a jump the other night and fell practically on top of Sweep in her bed. It startled everyone and there was some cartoon-like scrambling on both their parts to get away from each other, but no snarling, snapping, barking, or anything of the sort. Some dogs are just wired differently than others, and that goes for any breed. When you've reached the point where your research is making you more anxious than excited, stop researching. The "what ifs" will make you crazy, and none of them may even happen. Spoken from experience. :)

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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I do not believe you are blowing it out of proportion. It is normal (I believe) to be concerned and scared if you are bitten by your dog. I am concerned about my dog just reading your story.

 

However, I do understand what Greyt_dog_lover is saying – I have had this same argument with my DH. It is not like the dog is running around attacking people. He (in my case) was lying in his own bed, minding his own business. I walked up to him and bothered him. If he is only aggressive in his bed, then it should be simple enough to not get bitten. Also, I think what Greyt_dog_lover is saying is that your child is old enough to understand to leave the dog alone while she is lying down – unlike a toddler who probably would not.

 

Again, I am so sorry.

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Payton, The Greyhound (Palm City Pelton) and Toby, The Lab
Annabella and Julietta, The Cats
At the Bridge - Abby, The GSD

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