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Where Should He Sleep? Growling


Guest Lenic
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Hi all, I hope someone can help.

 

I adopted a greyhound 6 weeks ago, he is very timid, but is slowly settling in. He is 5 and has been racing for 3 years. I got him from a general rehoming centre rather than a retired greyhound centre. They said I should let him sleep on my bed, but for the first 4 weeks he refused to leave the living room and was too afraid to come into my bedroom. Last week I came home and found him on my bed, it's been bonfire night so I figured he was scared and picked the safest/quietest space. He has a duvet on the floor of the living room but rarely sleeps on this. My housemate and I agreed that if he was on the duvet we would leave him alone so that would become his safe space.

 

The last few nights he has slept on my bed and I have moved in the night and he has growled at me - he also did this during the day today when I tried to move something on my bed (he was lying on a cardigan). I guess my question is should I now ban him from my bed? I am worried that he can't really share my bedspace and I don't really want to wake up to growling greyhound in the early hours - there isn't much room in the bedroom to put his bed on the floor - I also think he wouldn't understand this and would just try to get on the bed. So that would mean banning him from the room and making him sleep alone in the living room. However the centre I got him from said that dogs are social animals and that it's not nice to keep them out of the bedroom. He's struggling to adjust so I want to be consistent and give him a safe space. All thoughts and suggestions welcome.

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All mine sleep on dogs bed/duvets on the bedroom floor beside my bed and always have. None has ever tried to get onto the bed though and I wouldn't allow it anyway, but I like them in the bedroom so I know they are OK and can easily let them out on the rare occasion they happen to need it during the night.

Sue from England

 

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If I were you I'd try bringing the duvet from the living room into your bedroom for now, just at nights if there's not much room for it. That's what I used to do with Doc. There's no need for him to sleep on your bed, and indeed I wouldn't advise that given that it sounds that neither of you would be comfortable with sharing! Just tell him no, should you hear him trying to get on it in the night, but probably he will just settle down happy to have you within sight. When he has settled in and is feeling more confident you could always encourage him to sleep elsewhere, if you don't want him in the bedroom permanently, or he might even choose to do so himself - I shifted Doc to an upstairs bed in the back bedroom, from which he would take himself down to the living room in hot weather because he knew it was cooler. Then when he became old and arthritic our vet told me he should no longer attempt the stairs - I was worried how he would take this but actually with a bit of encouragement (new super-comfy bed, special bedtime treat) he was quickly happy about staying downstairs overnight.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Peggy gets off the bed as soon as I tell her to get off it (she doesn't share a bed). It took her about 6 weeks to get it that when I said 'off' or did things that prepare for going to bed she shouldd jump down into her own nest bed in the corner of the room. Tossing a toy or a treat towards her bed was needed at first and she has never gowled over being told to get down.

 

My last one was a real pillow-stealer and cuddler, but that can become too much quite often. Every dog is different.

 

Send your dog, when definitely awake (and they can sleep with eyes open), a Calming Signal: "Quick lick, YAWN, and look-away'

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Guest Liz_in_PA

You should not have to be in fear while you're sleeping. It's absolutely ok to have him on the floor. The big sad eyes are just like having a teenager trying to manipulate you. He can learn the rules. Bonnie can understand that if DH (Dear Husband) is gone, she can sleep on the bed, but if DH is home, she's on the floor. They are more than smart enough to understand these things.

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There is nothing wrong with having a dog sleep on the floor on a comfortable bed. I am actually very surprised that the adoption group told you that your greyhound should sleep on the bed with you. Sleep startle and/or growling on the bed is very common with new greyhounds, who have never been touched, bumped, etc. on their beds. I never let a new dog on the bed until I am sure they are showing no signs of sleep startle, anxious or "aggressive" behaviours around anything. Even with that, I have had a few sleep startle moments so I prefer mine to sleep on the floor (which he is totally fine with...he has never even attempted to get on the bed anyways :)).

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I'm rather shocked that where you got him from advised you to let's him sleep on your bed. Don't get me wrong allowing him on your bed would have been fine after you've had time to build up trust with one another. It was very irresponsible of them to advise something like that.

You'll want to be careful when making him move off the bed. Always call him down never grab him by the collar and pull him down from where he's been lying. I'm sure someone with more experience in this area will give more detailed advice. I've never had problems myself with the dogs I've allowed up on my bed I'm just thinking of some of the issued I've read on here from others.

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My Sophie is the sweetest soul you could possibly imagine and I've had the pleasure of her company for 7 years now. She sometimes sleeps on my bed and to this day if I move in the night she'll give a little grumble. It doesn't bother me in the slightest and I either ignore it or just tell her not to be silly (in a nice voice, not a stern one) and then we all go back to sleep. Actually it makes me laugh because it's totally out of character for her as she is so not a grumpy dog, but I figure she's entitled to her little foible. I also know her well enough to know that she has no intention of taking my face off. All four of the greyhounds I've had have done this in the early days but usually they stop once they realise there's nothing to be worried about ie once they trust you. That said, if you don't feel comfortable with your greyhound on the bed there's nothing wrong with having him sleep on the floor next to your bed, as long as he has a nice soft warm nest. If you want to get him off your bed, use a tasty treat rather than physical force.

SunnySophiePegsdon.jpg

When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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Thanks all - very helpful. I will set up a bed in the room and begin the training on 'get off' so that he learns not to get on my bed, then keep the door shut in the day so that he learns. That seems sensible

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Ok so next issue . . . He won't get off the bed once he has jumped on - not even for a treat. I don't want to manhandle him off. I think treats have been used to lure him into places in the past as he is very wary of me when I am holding one.

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Better treats, and lots of them. What are you using? Lunchmeat tends to work. It's fine in small quantities, even with the sodium content. Cheese or bacon are also good. They don't understand the difference between a slice of bacon and a little nibble, so you can make it stretch.

 

At some point, teaching him "up" and "off" is a good idea, and pretty easy with a stinky, irresistible lore. (Says the person whose own hound dug in and REFUSED to get off the bed last week. I had to resort to a leash and manhandling -- but he's been here 4 years, and I was *mostly* sure he wasn't gonna eat me over it!)

 

Edited to add:

 

When I don't want them on the bed, I cover it completely in junk. The hamper, cardboard boxes, hangers -- just a ton of crap. Martha Stewart does NOT live here!

Edited by Riverhound
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I have tried cheese, sausages, bacon, dog treats - he likes them and will eat them but will not move from where he is for them. Looks like manhandling is going to be the only way.

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For your own safety, do not try to physically pull him off the bed. From your previous description, it sounds like he is really guarding the bed, so much so that he could resort to biting. Use high value treats- meat, cheese, something that is soft and has a savory smell. Toss the treats to him first while he's on the bed. Let him get a taste. Then toss them farther and farther away from him in the direction you want him to go. High-pitched, happy voices. Flood him with treats and praise when he lays on his own bed.

 

For the record, I also have to question why in the world anyone told you that sharing your bed with a brand new dog was an appropriate thing to do. I hope they don't routinely tell new adopters that.

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For the record, I also have to question why in the world anyone told you that sharing your bed with a brand new dog was an appropriate thing to do. I hope they don't routinely tell new adopters that.

Agree... That's just :crazy

 

Can you clip his leash on and pull him off, if tossing treats does not work?

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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Clip a leash on him, encourage him off them bed with the leash (gently pull him off while saying "off") , then give him a treat when he gets off and praise him. You need to be able to remove him from the bed safely until he learns "off". I wouldn't suggest manhandling him - that can get dangerous.

 

IMHO - he's not ready for bed privileges. Until a dog can sleep without aggression, and isn't space-guarding - he can't be allowed in the bed. It's WAY too early for that. Keep him off the bed, but let him sleep in your bedroom. Don't let him in that room during the day. At night, let him go to his bed in your room. If he jumps on the bed, clip a leash on him and do as above. If he gets on the bed in the night, tell him "off". If it doesn't work - use the leash. NEVER grab and try to force him off the bed by hand.

 

I'm so sorry that anyone suggested that you let a new greyhound in your bed. Space and sleep space are a big deal for new greys. I've had many a grey share my bed - when they were ready. Not right off the bat, ever. They've spent most of their lives sleeping solitary in a crate. A bed is too much, too soon.

 

You can fix this easy. Just do it. Down the road - you may be able to let him cuddle in your bed. Not now though. Kick his butt out. SAFELY.


I have tried cheese, sausages, bacon, dog treats - he likes them and will eat them but will not move from where he is for them. Looks like manhandling is going to be the only way.

Do NOT manhandle. You'll get bit. Leash.

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IMHO growling in this situation isn't always about aggression or space-guarding. Sometimes it's just an anxious, insecure dog saying "I don't trust you yet and I don't feel comfortable with what you're doing". I'm curious as to whether the couple of times he growled it was just a little grumble or if it looked and sounded as if he really meant business. Obviously the OP will and should do what she feels safest with, and I wouldn't want anyone to get bitten, but it's easy to get carried away and call it aggression when in fact it's nothing of the sort. Just my :2c.

SunnySophiePegsdon.jpg

When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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Hi all, Many thanks for your helpful suggestions. I have tried leash clipping and he just puts his head down and looks away. All treats are treated with mistrust - I am almost certain that they have been used to lure him into places and he will happily eat them when they are offered on a walk but will not get off the bed for them. I have discovered though that if you move said furniture he is afraid and jumps off - cue praise, treats, fuss etc. At the moment I am trying to prevent him getting up so that I don't have to do this often.

 

Sadly life for him has just become very tough, after posting this he also growled at me when I sat next to him on the sofa so now both bed and sofa are barricaded and blocked so that he cannot get up. He has 2 comfy duvets in both living room and bedroom but last night spent most of the night whining to be let up on the bed - I ignored this put treats on his bed and praised him when he did lie down on it but we both had a restless night with him pacing and whining and me ignoring. I am determined to be consistent so that he knows he cannot get on any furniture but I am obviously kicking myself for not having done this from day one as it is my fault really that he has to learn this now.

 

I adopted him from a general rehoming centre with lots of breeds I knew I wanted a greyhound/whippet but their advice was given to all the dog owners. I am likely to have misinterpreted 'let them sleep with you' and assumed that meant on the bed. He used to be afraid of my bedroom and we had a hiatus of four weeks with him happily sleeping on the sofa while I slept in my room but I think he has got a little braver. To be honest I think the growling is a fear response, he is afraid of most things and I think it shows that he's growing a little in confidence and can protest now. He's a smart dog and learnt his name and other basics very quickly so hopefully only a few more sleepless nights until he nails this. I think it's a shame the centre didn't bother to get to know him as it probably would have been best if he had been homed with another dog to help his confidence.

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Guest chickenpotpie

I agree with whats being said. clip the leash on and show him where you want him to go. Give him plenty of praise when he does this. Lucky does NOT sleep with us..... that would be a travesty as this diva has several seriously comfy beds all over the place. :hehe But seriously, make your pups sleeping place as comfy and as inviting as possible, and for now, make sure that your bed is not his as he dosen't realize he's got to share. 6 weeks isn't really all that long in the grand scheme of things, and it can take a while for your pups personality to come out. I think if you couple obedience training (a few commands and lots of praise) then it will help grow the bond between you.

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Guest GreyHawk

I think you have completely misunderstood the situation.

 

Your dog had spent his whole life in institutions and then,suddenly, everything he understood was gone.

Our dog growled at us,the cat, the TV, and the washing line and yet there he lies,on my bed,
his feet pointing at the ceiling,and if I were to lay next to him and push him over to make room not
a sound would he make.

 

It's a time for patience and understanding, not confrontation and punishment.

 

You are just confusing your dog.

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I am not confronting him or punishing him, if he cannot share spaces yet he needs to be given safe spaces where people are not going to bother him. I made a mistake in allowing him on my bed or the sofa, he has claimed them as his bed and is now upset and anxious if someone sits with him - this is a shared space and I cannot garantee he will be left alone there. I also want to use the sofa myself. His growling is getting worse rather than better and is specifically around his sleeping spaces, whether it is fear or agression it needs to be prevented. So now he needs to be kept off the sofa and my bed to help him understand which spaces are safe for him to sleep undisturbed. He's not being punished, he hasn't done anything wrong but I have changed the rules and for that I feel for him.

 

At the end of the day I don't want him to feel fearful or worried about being disturbed and I don't want him growling at guests or me when we want to sit on the sofa. He has 2 comfy beds and can rest there without being touched. I am sorry that my inexperience has lead to this as it is not his fault. He has been lavished with treats and praise for going to his bed and has slept undisturbed all day. I thank everyone for their advice it is most gratefully received

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I think you have completely misunderstood the situation.

 

Your dog had spent his whole life in institutions and then,suddenly, everything he understood was gone.

Our dog growled at us,the cat, the TV, and the washing line and yet there he lies,on my bed,

his feet pointing at the ceiling,and if I were to lay next to him and push him over to make room not

a sound would he make.

 

It's a time for patience and understanding, not confrontation and punishment.

 

You are just confusing your dog.

Huh? I didn't read anything about confrontation or punishment!

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Hi all, I just thought I'd update everyone with a big thank you for your support. It took only 24hours for Wigs to get the message and he is like a different dog. He now chooses to sleep in his bed every night and never bothers me. He also now only comes to us for fuss and attention when he wants it so that's great. He snuck up on the sofa yesterday and got 'down' when told, cue massive fuss and treats and one happy dog . . . Am very pleased he's bright enough to train so quickly.!

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Excellent news - well done you! :)

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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