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My Greyhound Picked Up And Shook A Small Dog


Guest Carol831
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Guest Carol831

Hello Everyone,

 

About 3 years ago we adopted a male greyhound. He is now 5 years old and has been the greatest dog. We had a scary incident happen over the weekend and I am wondering if this has happened to anyone else and how to handle it. Some background information: Our greyhound lives with a 10 year old French bulldog (about 20 pounds) and we have never had anything happen between the two of them, not even over toys, beds or food. When we adopted our grey, he had previously been in another home of one of the volunteers (for about a week) who had two small Chihuahuas but the smaller dogs were actually attacking him and he wouldn't do anything back so she had to give him back to the rescue. He had been tested with cats/ small breeds by the rescue. We had to bring our smaller dog to meet him before we could adopt. He meets other dogs on walks all of the time (always on leash). When we board him he is in a play group with other dogs of all breeds and sizes and plays nicely.

 

So I was completely shocked when this happened: My husband and daughter were walking our two dogs when our French bulldog started barking at a white fluffy dog (I think a Bichon) but our greyhound wasn't paying attention to it. The owners of the white dog were on the other side of the street and then crossed over and started walking behind my husband and daughter. Our bulldog started barking and acting all crazy and my husband was trying to settle her down when our grey pulled on my daughter's leash (she is 15 and used to walking our dog) and went up to the white dog. They were sniffing each other when all of a sudden our grey picked it up and started shaking it pretty hard. When my husband yelled, our grey let the dog go and it seemed to be fine but I think everyone was pretty shaken up and never saw it coming. I feel terrible. We gave the owners our info and told them to call if they needed to get the dog checked out and of course we would be for any bills. We haven't heard anything from them so I'm assuming the white dog is ok.

 

I know that some greyhounds have a strong prey drive but ours didn't appear to have any or much at all. We have rabbits that live under our shed and run across our back yard but all our grey isn't interested in the least.

 

Does anyone have an idea about why this happened and has this ever happened to you? We will keep him away from small dogs and maybe muzzle him on walks but I'm afraid people will see him as a vicious dog now.

 

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There are lots of stories of dogs of all breeds with long histories of gentle interaction with all breeds who then seemingly out of the blue, grab a small dog and give it a shake. My thought on this is that the dogs just loose themselves in the moment and see the small fluffy dog as just another toy to be shaken and tossed. Does your dog play with stuffed toys? Maybe white and fluffy was the trigger.

 

If your dog did indeed have high prey drive or was otherwise not small dog safe, you would know by now. The problem you have now is that regardless of your dogs disposition, this behaviour is a known possibility and you must take extra precautions. I don't think you have to muzzle but you must also warn off owners of small dogs and if one approaches off leash be sure to have good control of you dog - be super vigilant. Your dog might also be a candidate for counter conditioning.

 

I have recently been with a grey that was not small dog safe. There is no mistaking the behaviour - super intense focus/staring, silence, tense body, very very difficult to distract or divert.

Edited by KickReturn
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Little white fluffy totally different (looks much more like prey) than say for instance your 20 lb bulldog. I think its as simple as that.

 

I wouldn't muzzle him on walks as that leaves him no way to protect himself if he's attacked, but I also would take steps to make sure he can't get away again, including not letting your kids walk him. And of course be very clear to owners with small dogs that you do not want to let them meet. Definitely not off leash play with small dogs and make sure in camp he is separated from the small dogs. Any responsible day care facility should be doing that already.

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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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I think he thought it was a toy or decided that was the way to play with the dog. Not good, but at least there were no injuries. I wouldn't wait to hear from the owner of the white dog, I would call them and follow up to check on their dog. Document the date and time and what was said, just so you have a record of it.

 

I wouldn't muzzle him on walks. Rocket gets very nervous around small white dogs and I have no idea why. Instead of letting them approach, I simply tell the owners that plays too rough with small dogs. No one has ever questioned it and are happy that I took the precaution of telling them.

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Perhaps your Frenchie's barking gave a signal to your greyhound that he was annoyed. Then along comes the source of that annoyance for a sniff. Seems kinda dumb of the white fluffy's owner to approach and follow a dog that was barking at it. Hopefully the white fluffy's owner has learned a lesson too.

 

Per your description, it didn't appear that your dog has ever been small dog aggressive. But on that day he became annoyed,aroused or overly stimulated and reacted.

 

I agree with the others: do not muzzle, don't let your kids walk your greyhound, and even you should be on a higher level of alertness *just in case* when outside. I would not allow mixing with small breeds at a day care either.

 

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I think it's possible that the over excitement of your Frenchie to the fluffy overstimulated your grey. There also may be something to the "small white fluffy" which pushes some buttons in your dog that aren't usually activated. Probably a situational incident, but I wouldn't let him greet or play with small dogs anymore just in case.

Our grey, after we had him a year or so became overstimulated by small dogs and cats and he had tested small dog and cat safe. He air snapped right beside a small dog and we were completely shocked.

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Since your dog has never shown any aggression to small dogs before, I would guess that the Frenchie's barking was the difference. Your grey probably thought, hmmm, my "brother" does not like this creature, I'd better check it out. I would not muzzle him, just be extra cautious around small fluffies from now on.

 

Edited to add, one of my greys grabbed a small dog that got into my backyard somehow, so I understand how scary it can be!

Edited by Remolacha
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White fluffy is completely different than your small bulldog. And outdoors is different than what happens in the house.

 

We have a mini Aussie. He is about 10 pounds and very fluffy. In the house all my dogs are small dog safe and cat safe. We also have a 3 pound chi mix and a 12 pound cat.

 

However, outside my greyhounds have chased and even grabbed the mini Aussie. They don't even mess with the chi but the hairy dog bounces and the hair shakes and, well, looks like a stuffed toy rolling through the yard.

 

You don't need to muzzle your dog but you do need to take some precautions. Any new dog, fluffy or not, should have some precautions when meeting.

 

We shaved the dog. :lol. Stopped all the problems.

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We shaved the dog. :lol. Stopped all the problems.

:rofl

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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 Carol831

Thank you all for the information and answering quickly! I learned a lot and feel better now about the situation. We talked to the owners of the white dog yesterday and they had him checked by a vet and all is well. So now I need to take extra precautions but I won't muzzle. Thanks again!

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Agree--just avoid similar dogs.

 

If you're worried about offending anyone, just say in a cheerful manner as you avoid them, "Looks too much like a bunny! Best stay clear!"

 

I find that works quite well!


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Our boy did something similar to a neighbor's dog he'd met probably a dozen times previously. It was a cocker spaniel (not even white & fluffy) - but he was a puppy, maybe a year & a half old. He was getting a little too in our boy's face - after trying to ignore the little guy for a few seconds, he snapped and clamped down on his mouth. He completely ignored us telling him to stop and the owner of the spaniel tried to pull him away, only to find that his lower lip was clamped in our boy's mouth. Super scary!

 

In the end, he didn't cause any damage - no blood even. He could've torn that dog up, but instead, he was giving him the biggest warning he could. We felt horrible about it and, of course, offered to pay for anything he needed if he was hurt.

 

That dog never came near him again.

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Agree--just avoid similar dogs.

 

If you're worried about offending anyone, just say in a cheerful manner as you avoid them, "Looks too much like a bunny! Best stay clear!"

 

I find that works quite well!

This is similar to my usual line if people let their off-leash small dogs come running up to my two big sweeties! I just tell them their little dog (regardless of colour!) looks too much like the lure they chased when they raced! The owners very quickly grab their dogs! Sometimes people just don't think - you would think they would at least ask me if my dogs are "friendly" before they let their little dogs get too close to us! Some do ask, but most don't!

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Outside I would never ever let small fluffy dog around a grey unless you are 1000% sure they have a low prey drive. Our Maggie is great with our cats inside but outside all bets are off. Shes chases and goes after anything that moves close to the ground.

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This is a couple of weeks old now, but I wanted to add my experience.

 

Our first dog, Jim, was totally small-dog safe. He would play with the little ones off lead and if they fell/rolled over/etc he'd stand back and wait for them to get up and they'd carry on playing. He was great! He was even scared of cats. He'd chase and kill rabbits though, and I'm absolutely certain that prey-drive had nothing to do with our one-off incident.

 

We used to walk a certain route at night for the last pee break. As we live on the edge of a village, the choices of route are limited and this was the nearest and most convenient, so please, no suggestions that we could have 'gone another way'. ;)

Along this route, there were two dogs that would come out (loose) and bark and growl at Jim: one an elderly JRT crossbred, and the other a terrier mixture of some kind called Taz. Taz was not content with patrolling his own house frontage like the JRT, but would follow us and snap at Jim's heels if he could, often several days in a row. One evening, this was happening yet again, and I was (as usual) doing my best to keep Taz at a distance, when he ran in a little bit too close, and one time too many. Jim swiftly turned and grabbed that little dog, gave him one shake and pinned him in the gutter for a few seconds before releasing him. Taz ran off screaming, but as it turned out was perfectly okay. However, he never chased Jim again, and Jim ignored him completely in future when he came out to watch us go past (Taz grumbling under his breath). This was simply a large dog telling a smaller nuisance animal that he'd had enough, and Jim continued to be perfectly safe loose with small dogs and continued to play with them. Never another incident with little dogs until the day he died.

 

Perhaps your Frenchie's barking gave a signal to your greyhound that he was annoyed. Then along comes the source of that annoyance for a sniff. Seems kinda dumb of the white fluffy's owner to approach and follow a dog that was barking at it. Hopefully the white fluffy's owner has learned a lesson too.

 

Per your description, it didn't appear that your dog has ever been small dog aggressive. But on that day he became annoyed,aroused or overly stimulated and reacted.

 

I agree with the others: do not muzzle, don't let your kids walk your greyhound, and even you should be on a higher level of alertness *just in case* when outside. I would not allow mixing with small breeds at a day care either.

 

Agreed. :nod

Edited by silverfish

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Guest annaspanner

Our female greyhound is such a gentle laid back girl who never reacted to our neighbor's cat, until one day she just went for the cat out of the blue, luckily she was on a lead and the cat got away untouched, but it was a close call. She has also been bitten by another dog, she was on a lead and the other dog was not. All dogs are capable of biting or shaking a small dog or cat, but you don't see many dogs wearing muzzles, because their dogs do not bite other dogs all the time. I think it depends where the dogs are and the circumstances at the time. I have found that the owners of other dogs are forever expecting all dogs to play together nicely and let them off the leads. Their dogs have no recall awareness and they constantly pester and sniff and won't go away, then the owners are surprised when your dog feels threatened and does what comes naturally. We were very naive when we first got our greyhound, thinking other dogs just want to sniff, be freindly and then go away, but dogs are not like that.Since our girl got bitten, I just avoid situations where dogs are in each others face in a confined area, I just keep walking our dog away. I know this sounds antisocial, but I know of dog trainers and professional dog walkers that do not go to dog parks or places where there are loads of dogs unless it is in the very early hours of the morning. It is not your dogs fault, he just felt somehow threatened at the time, or maybe the small dog just looked like a lure, it's not their fault they are trained to run after small furry things. I would not put a muzzle on your dog, just quickly move away from situations that may cause your dog to react in that way. I also read somewhere that dogs behave differently outside depending on the scents, whether they are in woods or noisy roads or feel their territory is being invaded by another dog. Also, when we first got our greyhound we put a muzzle on her when we went for walks, and quite a lot of dogs saw this as a weakness and snapped at our dog. Greyhounds may seem like gentle creatures, but they are just like any other dog.

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Guest Bean_Scotch

No child should be walking a greyhound, especially outside!!! and it's no more than he saw a white fluffy outside that he wasn't taught not to chase...so he did. He's being a Greyhound...Kudo's to him. :)

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