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Greyhound Nippings


Guest jfhandy
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Guest jfhandy

I have a grey hound I have had for two years and I have noticed something that he does that worries me a little bit. Whenever a new person walks in, particularly a man, he follows them around chomping his teeth and will occasionally nip at the heels or their bottom. I wouldn't really call it biting, but it makes me (and typically the person he is following nervous.) He seems to almost have a smile on, but his tail isn't wagging. I can't tell if it is aggression or not. Any advice? Any one else see this?

 

I love this dog completely, but I can't have him biting anyone either.

 

 

Thanks!

 

Jon

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Guest OPointyDog

Sounds like it could be "nitting" - you can search on that term and come up with several entries about it. Here's one from last year.

 

One of mine does it when he's super excited - he sort of nibbles on the surface of my skin. Sometimes he misses and kind of nips me. I try to discourage the behavior.

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My first greyhound used to do this. He was the sweetest, gentlest soul but if any strange man (usually a tradesperson of some description such as a plumber) came into the house he would sneak up behind them and try to nip their behind! Once I realised what he was up to I just used to gate him in another room for his own safety whilst they were there. It seemed like a suspicious, protective behaviour to me, at least in my boy's case. My boy was fine with regular visitors once he knew them so I didn't consider it anything to worry about.

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Gating in another room or a quiet "leave it" and redirecting his behavior to something he should be doing like laying on his bed or playing with a toy could also help.

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Guest Lillypad

This is an interesting topic, my girl did this to me for about a week or two when she first moved in with us. I concluded it was play and a little bit of bullying. My thoughts were she was rough housing me like one of her mates. I just firmly said no and redirected her attention elsewhere. It sort of resolved on its own, I don't know if it was because she found her comfort zone, confidence in me or just what. I am anxious to hear what Greytalk members, behaviorist, have to say about this. Will be reading that link suggested by OPointyDog.

 

Not condoning bad hehavior, but it does sound sort of funny, especially if he is smiling. I don't think it can be considered aggression. I just think it sounds a little bossy.... but I really can't give any educated advice on this behaviour or how to manage it. Forgive me but he sounds like a real character. LOL

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My Diana used to be a terrible knitter. She did it out of affection, or when she was really excited, like when a new person came to visit - she LOVES new people. If this is what your dog is doing, it's not aggression or biting, but it is a bit of a problem.

 

When Diana tried to knit me I'd giver her a stern NO, and cross my arm across my chest and ignore her. She was also a hand-chewer when she was happy, so that worked. As far as others - I enlisted the help of friends. I briefed a couple friends on the issue and asked them to help out. They'd come to the house, greet the dog, visit like normal, and when she started her knitting (nibbling their arms or hands, or butt-nipping) they'd say NO, and clamp up their arms and turn their back. Then they'd go back to normal. One friend did a high-pitched "yip" and jumped then turned her back and crossed her arms, and that worked too (startled the heck out of Diana). After 5-6 visits over a couple weeks Diana stopped knitting on my friends. After that when others visited, she didn't do it. There were a few "mistakes" but I'd correct her and she'd stop. She hasn't done it in years now.

 

It DID take her longer to quit knitting on me. That was a long process. For some reason she learned that it's not ok to chew on visitors pretty quickly - but momma was still fair game for a long time.

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Guest beetle_slayer

My Diego did this when we first got him. He was 18mos and quite a handful as he didn't know how to act. Track, fostered for a few weeks and then our home. He finally settled down after we got some help with basic training. This is not your problem at all as you have had yours for a few years. However, he still gets playful and excited and will nip at me, but I also roughhouse with him and let him chew on my arm. He always stops with a simply no. One thing our trainer told us that worked was to be a tree. My kids were only 4 and 5 at the time. Just a few seconds of being a tree made him stop and go about his business. Hope that helps.

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