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Two New Behaviors - Need Some Opinions Please


Guest minwalker
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Guest minwalker

OUr grey, Dobby is entering week 6 with us and there has been all wonderful change all around.

 

Two new behaviors have popped up as a regular daily occurence - rubbing his head and back against the fence and against us in the yard for 5-10 minutes. Back is arched like a cat! Its hilarious but he also has dandruff and dry skin - could that be getting worse and causing itching? Should we bother?

 

The second behavior is very new - neurotically licking some part of his body with no affect. Just completely still and licking away!!!

As long as 5-7 minutes (I had to snap my fingers as it was getting annoyingly loud!!). Again - sign of something (boredom, dehydration) or "normal" grey behavior?

 

 

Has very litte water to drink - doesnt touch his SS water bowl attached to his crate anymore. Been 2 weeks and it may be because it was spilling and causing his bed to get wet. Again, any thoughts on how to incentivize water consumption OR how do we relax about it?

 

 

 

Thanks,

M&D

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Paige rubs against walls like a cat as well. She goes into a little trance sometimes. I keep her nice and brushed which reduces it,. so maybe think about brushing and some fish oil or coconut oil for his coat. The licking is something Paige does as well. It seems to be a soothing mechanism and seems to stop when we give her some attention. She tends to lick the furniture as well. I'd be worried if the licking was causing damage or if it were allergy related (redness on paws, chewing of paws perhaps?).

 

Can't help with water consumption. All of mine drink when needed as long as the water is fresh. Check if he's dehydrated (pinch the skin on his back and see if it springs back or not) but depending on the weather and what you're feeding him, he might be getting enough water elsewhere.

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Agree with coconut and/or fish oil for dry skin. Sweep will eat a fish oil capsule right out of her dish; I don't even have to drizzle the oil over her food. And she loves her nightly tablespoon of coconut oil (she even knows the word "coconut" now). Still, I see a few flakes on her this time of year with the heat running all the time and generally drier winter air, so that might be your culprit too.

 

Do you add water to Dobby's kibble? A little warm water enhances the food's aroma, helps reduce gagging/choking, and will help him stay hydrated.

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

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Licking is usually stress-related (unless it's related to a medical condition, but I assume that's been checked out?) whether it's carpet, bedding, or bits of the dog's own self. Sid does it also when he's in pain - it's one of the few ways he'll show it.

 

Try giving him something else to focus on - maybe a kong or something else to chew? If it's stress it should help. Both licking and chewing are self-calming activities.

 

As to the water consumption, are you wetting his kibble? Adding warm water to his dinner is a good way of getting more water into him and making his dinner more palatable. Or you can use broth, providing it's not salty or full of onion. Otherwise, leave him a bowl of fresh water out at all times and he'll help himself when he needs it.

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Guest minwalker

Thanks for the quick responses!

 

1) Sounds like the rubbing against fences and us is not anything to worry about.

 

2) The water intake is fine by your responses. We give him a cup of water with each meal (warm) and he has access to water in his crate and at his food station at all times. Fresh clean water (never more than 2 days old). he will drink some from the food station area after coming in from a walk but compared to our freind's lab its miniscule :) different breed right??

 

3) Dry skin/dandruff - we give him 1 fish oil tablet but have stopped the oil as he gained 5 lbs in 2 weeks after coming to us. We also reduced the 1 tbsp of canned food from twice to once a day (morning only now). We groomed him and then applied some warm coconut oil to his back and butt last week - he seemed to enjoy the attention A LOT and it was fun for us too!!! might do it once a week. Also got a humidifier going (we live in MA) to help combat the hot water baseboard drying heat.

 

4) Licking - we wipe his paws after EVERY outing (yard or outside). We wipe his paws with warm wet paper towels after outside romps to combat road salt. No injuries that we can see and he does change his licking area every time. Not much interest in chewing his rope toy (or any toy for that matter). how do we combat boredom?? we take him to training once per week and walks every day (about 2-2.5 miles total).

 

 

apprecaite the help as always.

 

M&D

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It's all normal behaviors.

 

Sometimes the rubbing will be about something - wiping a face off, or more like a cat. One of our does a thing called "trancing" which is where she just walks back and forth under a bush, rubbing her sides and back along the branches, almost in a "trance-like" state.

 

The licking, as stated above, is a self-calming behavior. You can cover up the licking spot with a blanket or towel and that will usually stop that licking session. Give him something else to chew on - a small chew bone or treat that will last a few minutes, a nylabone toy if he likes them, a kong with a bit of peanut butter of squirt cheese - to distract him. But you don't want him to get the idea he will get a treat every time he starts licking!

 

Greyhound are genetically pre-disposed to drink less water than other breeds. None of mine have ever drank very much water except after hard playing. They all get about a cup on each meal, and that's likely all the water they need.

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Guest AimeeBee

Totally normal. I'd add fish or coconut oil to his diet to help with the dry, itchy, flaky skin. I used a couple of humidifiers throughout the house as well last winter (more for the sake of my dry skin and musical instruments but it couldn't have hurt the dogs any) so I think you're on the right path there.

 

The random licking...George does it too. I think most of the time it's because he's just bored or it's some kind of soothing behavior. Usually if I distract him from licking he seems to forget about it or start licking my hands instead. Check with your vet if you think there's an underlying soreness issue or see a hot spot developing.

 

Water -- compared to my parent's lab (who is part fish, I swear) my gh appears to drink less. But 1 cup added to each meal and hitting up the water bowl occasionally is probably just fine. Neither my hound or my fosters have ever drank a lot of water in one shot, as long as fresh water was readily available they would get some as the needed it.

 

Sounds like things are going well for you guys!

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Normal dog behaviors not specific to Greyhounds.

 

I believe the coconut oil goes IN the dog, not on the dog!

 

If your dog gained 5 pounds in two weeks, you're feeding him way too much an one fish oil capsule a day wasn't the culprit (nor was that likely enough fish oil to help).

 

A full cup of water in his meals is also a lot. Just how much food are you giving him? My guy only gets a cup of kibble twice a day (he's a small boy though). But George also got 1 cup 2x a day, although he got lots of treats.


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Guest chickenpotpie

We do coconut oil in AND on the dog :hehe Forced hot air and dry winter weather dosen't do wonders for anyone's skin. I hit up Lucky's bald spots with a smear of coconut oil, thats where she gets the flakiest. We also give fish oils too but again, when its super cold and the heat is on all the time, everything just gets crunchy (including me and the dog!)

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