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Guest jackied
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Guest jackied

Hi all I'm new here. I have a greyhound I got a month ago. In the last couple days he has started showing aggresion. He barks and growls at people that come in the house. He is a big guy and its kind of scary. Not sure what to do? Thanks jackie

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Welcome to GT!

 

My suggestion, hire a good trainer who uses reward based training methods. If you tell me where you live, I can make some recommendations.

 

In the interim, if you have guests coming over, have him separated from where the guests come in in an area where he can create some distance between himself and those guests (baby gate works well). Have high value food (people food, not processed treats) on hand and feed him as the guests come in and get settled. Be generous. Don't force any interactions. Most likely he's reacting that way out of nervousness and as long as he has space he won't escalate, but forcing the situation could cause him to if he feels cornered or trapped. Food will help him associate strangers arriving with good things happening to hopefully lessen his fear, but if this doesn't resolve quickly I really recommend you get some professional help. Someone who can create a behavior modification plan for you and answer your questions as they arise as you work through it.

 

You can also give him something to "do" in another room while guests are coming in, a stuffed frozen kong would work well. But have the gate up so he has his own space initially.

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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Guest FloridaGirl

Have you socialized him to new people outside the house? That is the first step to getting him used to different people.

 

As for indoors, he may be thinking that the entire house is his new "crate" that he only shares with you and is showing space aggression issues. Have people been coming in prior to this with no incident? Was there something that happened that may have triggered it?

 

I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions from folks who had this issue - it's probably just a matter of socialization, and he's having anxiety about letting strangers into the house. Is he crated, or does he get the run of the house all day? I've found that if he has his own "space" that you rarely if ever move into (except brief visits for cleaning, etc) he may be more comfortable with allowing people into the house. Especially if he has something special that is "crate only" that he's working on (like a treat, chewie, toy) when someone new comes in so his little beany brain is distracted on a fun adventure.

 

As well, if you haven't made use of a DAP diffuser in the room he stays in, I'd recommend one. It certainly helps the transition, and may help him feel chill and like he doesn't have to defend the area.

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Need more info -

 

Is he laying down? Standing up? Is he barking before they are in the house? During? How does he act towards them after he is properly introduced? What is his exact body language - tail wagging, ears up, tail down, hunched body, anxious demeanor?

 

There are a LOT of reasons a dog may bark at new people which have nothing to do with aggression. I have four greyhounds that bark their fool heads off at anyone who comes to the door, but they are just saying HELLO! really loudly. It sounds scary to someone who doesn't know them.

 

It could be that he is settling into your home and feeling like he needs to "guard" his new place. Many greyhounds, while not exactly "guard dogs," fell the need to resource guard items - toys, food, treats, beds, couches - and maybe even his whole house.

 

If you are truly fearful for the people coming into your house, secure your greyhound away from the door behind a baby gate, in a crate, in another secure room away from the coming-and-going activity. Don't overwhelm him by forcing him to socialize with strange people. Let him hang out in what he considers a safe place. Don't crowd him into feeling cornered or trapped. If he needs to be out and about when you have people over, pop his muzzle on just to make sure everyone will be safe.

 

Contact your adoption group to see if they can offer you some on-site help asap. Ask for recommendations for a positive-reinforcement based trainer who is familier with working with sighthounds.

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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Guest jackied

Hi and thanks. We live in western ma. The first 3 weeks were fine,now he stands up and barks and growls. These are my sons friends and people that have been comming in and out since we got him. I don't have a crate I can get one if I have to. I started clicker training this week,he is so smart he is catching on fast. He went threw the prison program so he knows a lot,sit down give paw. This is he's first real home,he raced for4 yrs,and spent 9 months in the kennel because he can't be in a home with cats or other dogs. Sorry if this is so long. I just don't want him to bite. I will put his muzzel on him if I have to. Thanks

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Lots of good advice above. Just want to say that you shouldn't apologize for asking questions or thinking a post is too long. People here want to help and everybody loves to talk about Greyhounds!

 

BTW, how far west in MA are you? I'm in the Albany, NY, area so not far from certain parts of MA.

Edited by Feisty49
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My experience may differ from others but I was just thinking back to our first hound, she took a little while to adjust to live in the house. Growled quite a lot at the start but settled down herself after a while.

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Guest k9soul

Definitely agree that consulting a positive based trainer/behaviorist in person is a great idea. It's hard to assess a behavior accurately just through text.

 

A couple ideas though are having people who come in toss him a treat as they come in (builds association of people coming with good things), or try to distract him yummy treats before he starts barking/growling if possible, if he knows some tricks maybe have him do some of those to get his mind off of space guarding. It really depends on his level of arousal on these things so that's why it's definitely good to have an expert who can see it in person give you advice. I definitely would try to not making people coming over a negative experience for him if at all possible.

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Guest jackied

So today he tried to bite my sons friend. Talk to the people I got him from and she says if I want to keep him they will pay to have him go see someone about this. She works at tuffs and I guess is very good. I have been in tears all day. I just don't know if I should keep him its breaking my hart.

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Sorry for the trouble you're having. Please understand that most "aggression" is fear-based, and it's sounding like your pup is very stressed out. I guess I don't understand why your son's friend was anywhere near your dog. How old are the kids? Some greyhounds get very stressed out by the activity and noise level of children.

 

I would definitely take up the offer to have him evaluated at Tufts. What's your dog's name, btw?

Edited by turbotaina


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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The dog is over-stressed and over-anxious and non-family-members should not be anywhere near him, for the time being. If you are committed to keeping this dog then set up the consult asap.

 

Only you can assess your home environment, and the ability of your dog to adapt to it. From the minimal description, and in my opinion only, it sounds like your home is just not the right one for *this* dog. You will be doing both of you a favor by returning him before he does actually bite someone. Then, he can be placed in a quiet home with no kids, and you can get a dog that will love strangers and commotion.

 

Sometimes, it's just not the right fit. There's no shame in admitting that for anyone.

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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Please do not let him near the kids.

 

If there is an incident of any kind, make sure you get the dog out of your house and get him to the group who should contact the Lexus project ASAP thelexusproject@optonline.net

 

Www.thelexusproject.org

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Guest Laurmann2000

I don't have any advice for you. I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. My heart is breaking for you. Good luck in your decision. I know it's not easy.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Since the OP hasn't posted any real explanation of what is going on, i think some of the posts should relax. The whole, "don't let the dog near your kids" is a bit extreme without more information. As one poster said, maybe the dog is very excited. I have a hound that will bark his head off when people come over, mixed with growls and such. You would think he is mean, but he is a very excitable guy and its him getting over-stimulated.

 

Jackied,

Please give some very detailed explanation of what is happening. Just "the dog is barking and growling" really doesn't give enough information. Here is an example of what would be a better explanation:

 

My son has friends over to the house. The hound is laying on his bed watching everyone in the house. One of my sons friends goes over to the dog and sits next to him. My hound immediately jumps up and barks and growls at the kid when he is next to the hound.

 

To really get an idea of what is going on you need to explain what is going on in the room with the people, dog and any other events such as maybe a party or large gathering, etc. I would relax and take a deep breath and try to take a look at the entire situation. A growling greyhound is not an aggressive act, it is the greyhound's attempt to diffuse the situation which is causing the greyhound stress.

 

Chad

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Guest jackied

Hi my dogs name is kayden, my son is 13 and his friend was over yesterday. All he did was walk by the dog and kayden went after him and tried to bite him in the arm. He had a sweatshirt on and didn't get his arm. I don't have little kids here there was not any loud noise at the time. I'm waiting on a call back from tuffs to make an appointment for him. He was at the vets last week and everything was fine. Maybe I should return him I don't know anymore. I live near westfield ma.

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Has he been lying on his bed every time he's reacted like this?

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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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

A few things, first, if Kayden wanted to bite and make contact, he very easily could have. This was a warning. Of course, it seems like an inappropriate warning, none the less. Were you in the room the entire time before this incident? The reason I ask is because we would all like to think that our children and their friends interact appropriately with the family pet, but kids sometimes like to tease and taunt animals. Is it possible any of this was happening? Does Kayden only do this to your children and his friends? Does Kayden do this with any adult? Is Kayden afraid of strangers, new situations, noises, ceiling fans, etc? Where Kayden was laying, is this is normal sleeping place? Was Kayden fostered? If Kayden was fostered, was he fostered with children? Do you allow anyone to approach Kayden when he is laying on his bed? Does Kayden get any furniture privileges? I know, a lot of questions, but it is not typical for a greyhound to suddenly launch themselves at children for "no reason". Greyhounds are not aggressive by nature, so there must be something that is triggering this reaction.

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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Guest normaandburrell

I hope you get the evaluation soon. Babygate him away from the kids in the meantime. Don't make a decision too soon. Sending good thoughts.

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Guest jackied

No he was not on his bed. He was standing in the living room and I was there. The kid was just walking by him. This kid came with us when we met the dog and has been over lots. Kayden was at the vets kennel for 9 months because he needs to be an only dog and dosent like cats. Since most fosters have both he couldn't be fostered. He has been here a month and this aggersion just started a few days ago. Also he is ok with adults sometimes but will growl at the same people at other times. I can never be sure. There seems to be no way to tell. He has been fine with myself and my sons 13 and 21. Also he never tries to get on the couch.

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Is it possible you're confusing his actions? My dog nips at me all the time, but it's what is called "nitting." That is to say basically little love nibbles.

 

I would have to say though you seem totally overwhelmed. It's hard enough to deal with teenagers, but if you're not a "dog person," and you end up with a dog that needs some experience, it's probably best that you return this fellow and take a break and try again another time with a different dog.

 

There is no shame in it not working out. But if you're fearful of the dog (and it sounds like you are) and you have a lot of activity in the house, it's most likely going to be too difficult for you to deal with. Best the dog go back now before he's too attached to you.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I was going to stay out of this, but your dog is beginning to sound like one of my dogs.

 

She was fostered in an active young adult home. No other dogs or animals but lots of activity and comings and goings and house guests. She started showing signs of anxiety by biting at a hand that approached her while she was on her bed. It progressed when this wasn't addressed to her jumping off her bed to snap at a person as they walked by her bed. It culminated in her jumping onto the couch and biting a house guest who startled her while she was sleeping. He went to the ER.

 

The thing about this story is that her anxiety and behavior was never really addressed in the house so she continued to escalate. I took her into my very quiet home and after months of work she became a fabulous pet.

 

You need to give him his own space now where people aren't bothering him or you need to talk to the group about spending a weekend in the kennel to relax or simply return him. This does not get better by ignoring it.

Edited by inugrey

Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

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