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No Lady & The Tramp: Bummed My Hounds Aren't Bffs


Guest GoingGrey
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Guest GoingGrey

Looking for some insight or experience with this. Or maybe just reassurance that it's OK, and I don't have to feel bad about "forcing" these two on each other. My Original Dog completely ignores my New(er) Dog. He's the big bro that's too cool for school, and she's the little sis who looks up to him with longing and admiration. Lol.

There's no aggression. They walk together, ride in the car together fine. She even used to rest her head on his back or across his paws, tho that happens less now, sadly. They'll eat cookies out of the same hand. She'll play bow to him, wag and perk up when he comes in the room and wait hopefully for him to join her in the yard, but unless he's correcting her for being too hyper-in-his-face while playing outside, or grumbling at her for something minor, he will not engage. Breaks my heart a little.

 

I've found her a couple playmates. It's a joy to see her chase and play to heart's content, but I worry it doesn't happen often enough. And I worry that he's annoyed at no longer being my only, tho neither show obvious signs of distress...

 

Background Bios:

 

OD: 9-yr-old male. Adopted 2007. Typical laid-back male, bit of a goofball streak. Always been selective about dogs he'll interact with. A bit independent at the dog park (marking perimeter, leaning into new humans preferred) but has definitely had "friends" he'd play with. Seen fosters come and go without much incident. Sometimes "alpha" or aloof with other dogs (if the "alpha" construct is real--don't want to divert into a debate on canid social theory but interested in relevant opinions), but hopefully not a bully. I have, however, seen him freeze Newer Dog in her tracks with just a head turn or a lift of an ear!

 

ND: 4-yr-old female. Adopted January 2014. Happy, waggy, expressive little nut. Not a "busy" grey, just more animated, social. Play bows to every dog she sees (hears or smells). Whines/cries when leashed and sees a dog she wants to get to/play with. Smart & sensitive. More eager to please and train. Probably "omega," but not needy, clingy or obnoxious. Minor spook issues (noises, etc.) getting better w/counter conditioning & big bro's chilled out example. Used to roach constantly, until she fell off the bed twice and couch once. ha.

 

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They both sound completely typical for their ages and genders, so neither of them is "broken" per se. He's older and pretty laid back, and probably thinks new virl is just another foster that will go away eventually. She's just been there a while longer. She's a bouncy little girl who wants to play and cuddle and just wants to be friends *so bad!*

 

They are naturally at different points in their lives and will need and want different things. FWIW, abxolutely none of the 9 greyhounds we've had have been bffs until we got a puppy. And even then, it was only one adult who engaged the puppy at all. The rest completely ignored her. It's taken four years and a lot of growing by the puppy for them to pay any attention to her at all.

 

So give your boy his space, and take your girl to play dates and meet and greets. If she's smart an sweet you might consider a training class and see how she does. She might make a great therapy dog!

 

And keep in mind that they are actually getting along really well! Their relationship is just more low key.

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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I wouldn't worry about it. Over the years I've had some greys and other dogs that totally bonded and some that were perfectly happy with live and let live. Poodle crawled in the bed with Rex the grey his first night here and never left. He never did that with any of the other 5 greys.

The two muttleys I have now will give each other kisses one minute and get in a dust up a day later. My neighbor says "they're brothers - that's what brothers do". They always work it out between them.

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My boys don't care a lick for eachother. Yeah, they don't get along and snuggle or are best buds, but hey, they don't fight or NOT get along with eachother either. Yeah it sucks a bit, but I still love them both.

 

Your background info sounds very similar to mine:

 

Kasey was adopted in 2005, and Ryder was adopted in 2010 so 5 years apart. Their ages are also different Kasey was 7 at the time we brought in a 2.5 year old. Kasey is fine as an only dog, figure I may have tried to "force" him to have a brother. I don't regret getting Ryder, but I am sometime sad that Ryder wants to engage Kasey and play and have fun, and he's always shut down. :(

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Sounds well within the norm to me. Rona will be 11 soon and she would love to snuggle with Nova who at 3 years young is the more independent one. Rona loves laying in the sun and Nova loves to run, run, run in the yard. Still they have worked things out between them and seem content. Give it time and you will see their relationship shift and change. Don't feel bad as it sounds like they are content with each other.

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Guest GoingGrey

Oh good. Thanks so much, everyone, for your replies and stories! Feeling less neurotic about my dogs' social lives now. :flip

 

@greysmom -- So far my gal (Jammer) has done basic greyhound obedience. It was fairly hilarious.

 

Picture a bunch of still-shell-shocked new adoptees plus a too-shy older one and all their hesitant owners, white-knuckling the leashes. You could almost smell the nervousness in the room. In bounces Jammer, like an over-excited contestant on the Price Is Right who'd just been invited to "Come on down!" Lol.

 

She'd already spent months in foster before me, and recently healed from a shattered toe, so she's wiggling with excitement, straining to greet all these potential new friends. Plus, she has a habit of being, um, nosy. That is, she likes to poke it where the sun don't shine, whether you're canine or human. Unfortunately, this made her hot pink muzzle a serious hazard to the unsuspecting men in the class once we started the off-leash training, if you know what i mean. Sigh. I'd already taught her sit, stay, lay down & her name, so she was ahead of the curve. But to quote the instructor, "She's a lot of dog." (Meaning a lot of greyhound, which is just fine by me)

 

AS soon as I have the $ I'm going to do nose work and/or agility with her. Her agility blows me away, tho it could be cuz I've spent so many years with her klutzy brother, who has trouble with his rear-wheel drive, due to a racing injury.

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This situation is entirely the making of your 9 year old male. He is a serious dog that is unlikely to play with others. I have the same type. Countless greys and other breeds have invited him to play. Most of the time he will like yours absolutely freeze them in their tracks with just a stare. At best he will stand tall and allow the other dogs to inspect him. However just because he doesn't interact with your female in the way that you would like, doesn't mean that he won't develop deep affection for her and draw great comfort and contentment from her presence.

 

Is your dog a splitter? Does he stop aggression between other dogs? Does he stop other greys from running or playing? It just may be that his genetics compel him to assume certain behaviours with other dogs, play not being one of them.

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Some dogs become pals and some don't. Some dogs are more snuggly and playful than others. There are a lot of factors. I've adopted without meeting the dogs prior, kept a foster, and raised puppies.

 

I have 6 (and have had 8) personal dogs. I also fostered for years and took care of other people's hounds. Some were fast and immediate friends and some exist in the pack and get along but aren't snuggle and play buddies. My 2 Ibizans and 2 of my Greyhounds form a fairly close play and snuggle group. The other 2 Greyhounds do their own thing. Their ages are spread across the board. The 2 who do their own thing are 11 and 7 and the other 4 are almost 3, 5, 6, and 9.

 

My Galgo was big-time integrated into the play and snuggle group and took both puppies under his wing (for better and worse LOL!). I know they missed him when cancer took him. My old Dalmatian was the grumpy matriarch who thought she was an only dog most of the time but sometimes, when she did not think I was looking, I would see her sneak in some play and snuggle time. ;) Oddly, despite the fact that she did not really integrate into the rest of the pack that much, they all took her death very hard. Sometimes they have an attachment even if you can't see it.

 

 

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Guest GoingGrey

@KickReturn : Yes, how interesting that our guys seem to be a type! I guessing that type would be considered alpha. He does try to break it up when a group other dogs get too unruly for his liking! He'll bounce on his front legs at the edge of the pack, barking and trying to stick his nose in the melee. I then redirect him before he escalates. And sometimes he does stand tall, ears pricked, tail up, etc. when approaching other dogs. In fact, that shot of your Hester at the beach is exactly his body language. So funny: there's a big black male grey on our walk route. They both do the "I'm the big man" dance when they meet, and even turn it up a notch: prancing, kicking up sidewalk w/their back legs, then peeing & over-peeing on the nearest vertical. Me and his owner just laugh cuz it's so predictable.

 

However, he's not 100% that dog. Cuz he will play with other dogs. And chase the dog that's chasing a ball. Just not as often as when he was younger. When I first got him it was chasing the pair of Australian Shepherds at our old park. Then there was a boxer he would romp with for hours in the yard. He was mostly meh with our fosters; they would either seem to be the boss of him, stealing his bed or even laying on top of him laying in his bed (ha), or he'd obnoxiously stand over them while we they were laying down or even pee on their crate while they were in it, leaving me to some serious forensic work in terms of figuring out whether i actually had a crate soiler or just a jealous only child.

 

But there was one female foster he loved. He actually followed her into the crate one day, and they both just stood inside peacefully together. Weird, eh? Wish I could remember if SHE was the one he tolerated laying on top of him. And sometimes he'll play bow to a tiny white fluffball dog on a walk. He's even play bowed to cats--and he's not supposed to be cat friendly! I guess he's confused.

 

Does your dog mark everywhere outside, to the point of being no fun to walk? Sigh.

 

I sometimes wonder if it's my fault; that I'm not alpha enough and so he feels he has to compensate with so much peeing and prancing around like a hot shot.

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I sometimes wonder if it's my fault; that I'm not alpha enough and so he feels he has to compensate with so much peeing and prancing around like a hot shot.

I have to rein myself in here, but I tossed the "alpha" myth out the window years and years ago. My dogs and I live on shared respect.
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Guest GoingGrey

Oh, and @GreytHoundPoet, I have wondered if he enjoys her company even if he doesn't show it. Then I hear him howling after I leave the house and think nah, I'm just romanticizing and anthropomorphizing. Ha.

 

Thing is, Jammer's perfectly fine in another room by herself. But my guy will eventually find whatever room I'm in and plop down nearby. (unless he's snoozing.)

So, who knows. So fascinating, their behavior--and so frustrating we can't read their minds. But I bet you've learned a lot having so many more dogs and watching their dynamics unfold. Love your hound icons, btw.

 

OK, Jammer keeps peeking around the door frame at me with that hopeful "walkie time?" look. lol.

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Guest GoingGrey

I know what you're saying, @Hubcitypam. I go back and forth between whether or not the alpha thing applies, based on the last thing I read! I think it's all too subtle and complex to be summed up in one tidy theory that applies to every situation.

 

So I'm on board with mutual respect til scientific studies prove otherwise :-) Cuz I can't say whether it matters WHO goes thru the doorway first, me or the dog. But I can say that consistency, kindness and boundaries seem to be appreciated (and rewarded!) all around. :nod

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  • 3 weeks later...

They sound so much like my Sobe and Diana. Aloof big brother, social-butterfly little sister. They never cuddled, never played together, but they lived amicably together for many years. They liked living together, liked each other more than other greys, always stuck near each other when other dogs were around, but never "showed" their affection. It's fine.

I know Diana mourned when we lost Sobe. And Sobe regressed into instant SA any time I took Diana somewhere without him. They needed each other, and cared for each other. They just didn't get obviously cuddly. It's not every dogs' style.

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@KickReturn : Yes, how interesting that our guys seem to be a type! I guessing that type would be considered alpha. He does try to break it up when a group other dogs get too unruly for his liking! He'll bounce on his front legs at the edge of the pack, barking and trying to stick his nose in the melee. I then redirect him before he escalates. And sometimes he does stand tall, ears pricked, tail up, etc. when approaching other dogs. In fact, that shot of your Hester at the beach is exactly his body language. So funny: there's a big black male grey on our walk route. They both do the "I'm the big man" dance when they meet, and even turn it up a notch: prancing, kicking up sidewalk w/their back legs, then peeing & over-peeing on the nearest vertical. Me and his owner just laugh cuz it's so predictable.

 

Yep, this is what we get. Ridiculous "alpha" type behavours. Most other dogs get ignored but with large males it can get super intense. I use to intervene but I've come to respect Hester's decision making when it comes to dealing with other dogs.

 

 

However, he's not 100% that dog. Cuz he will play with other dogs. And chase the dog that's chasing a ball. Just not as often as when he was younger. When I first got him it was chasing the pair of Australian Shepherds at our old park. Then there was a boxer he would romp with for hours in the yard. He was mostly meh with our fosters; they would either seem to be the boss of him, stealing his bed or even laying on top of him laying in his bed (ha),

 

This is actually pretty good. We don't get any playing.

 

 

Does your dog mark everywhere outside, to the point of being no fun to walk? Sigh.

 

I sometimes wonder if it's my fault; that I'm not alpha enough and so he feels he has to compensate with so much peeing and prancing around like a hot shot.

 

The marking is unbelievable. Even experienced dog owners marvel at the capacity of Hester's bladder. Being safe off leash has helped. Hester can pee all he wants and I just keep walking. Eventually he'll catch up.

 

You don't want to be more "alpha" with your dog. It wouldn't change a thing. No way I would ever think of taking a firmer approach to caring for Hester. He clearly is the alpha of all, including me. I am just grateful he lets me come on his adventures. :flip

 

 

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