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Hello!

 

We've had our Maisie girl for right at a month. She was only off the track a few weeks when we brought her home from the adoption place - she will turn two in April.

 

She's settled in really nicely - loves to snuggle, goes outside on a schedule, and has even gotten some tricks down! We had a weird experience tonight though:

 

We had just given her a bath and she was doing her zoomies to finish drying off. We decided to give her a rawhide bone, something we had never done before. Man, did she go after it. She took it and went immediately to the farthest couch. When I simply walked near her, she growled, snarled, and bared her teeth like I'd never seen before! It was quite unnerving. She doesn't do that with her food in her bowl - she will wait until we tell her "ok" to eat, and she's fine when my hand is near her bowl to refill it.

 

Any ideas? I'm not in the habit of giving her things just to take them away, but I'd like to know why she did this and how we can prevent it in the future.

 

Thanks!

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The rawhide bone would be considered a very high-value treat by any self-respecting dog. She was guarding something very special, something different from her everyday food. She can be fine with your hand by her everyday food bowl because that is no big deal, that comes every day. More than likely she will relax once she realizes she can trust you and hopefully receives these great treats on a regular basis. Give the adorable Maisie time, you have only had her for a month, she is learning the ways of the world.

 

There is information on 'trading up' in case you ever do have to take something away from her. Essentially it is offering something even more enticing to the dog to trade for what you want or need to get away from him or her.

 

My first Greyhound reacted the same way when I gave him a meaty bone -- only he growled when I merely walked by the room he was in! He quickly learned that good things weren't a one time only deal and after receiving several high-value treats he relaxed.

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of Greyhounds.

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You probably don't want to see my behaviour if someone comes near me when I'm enjoying Belgian chocolate.

 

It was a very high value treat and she doesn't know you well enough to trust you. I am still the only one who can remove those sorts of treats from my dogs mouths, and even then its very very carefully and only in an emergency. The newest dog here has been here 18 months, and I still don't venture near him while eating unless absolutely necessary.

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It's very, very common. She doesn't trust you completely yet, which is totally understandable. Trust and trading up. Plus, if you're not comfortable with her behavior, don't give her this kind of treat again for a while.

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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Please make sure the rawhide is made in the USA, and never leave her with it when you are not home. Rawhide from other countries is treated with nasty chemicals--also, when the swallow it, it can give them some pretty strange looking poos a few days later!


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

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She's normal. In fact if anything it means she is a good dog hehe. Either trade up as some have suggested or just quit giving them to her until you have got to know each other well enough to POSSIBLY take it. She may always be like that and thats ok-in fact its more than ok- its actually a good sign in disguise. May I recommend "Team Dog"? The New York Times–bestselling book by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland that teaches all dog owners how to have the close relationship and exceptional training of combat dogs.

http://www.amazon.com/Team-Dog-Train-Your-Dog--/dp/0425276279/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455812957&sr=8-1&keywords=team+dog

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I second what everyone else is saying and also I've been there. It is very scary to see your sweet baby growl and bare their teeth- it's meant to be scary! Being a first-time dog owner I thought that a good dog should always let you take things from them. I quickly learned that it's always the case. We now let Jake enjoy bones on his bed and don't mess with him when he's enjoying one. If we need to take it for some reason we ask him to go for a walk and jingle the leash (even if not going for a walk- it happens rarely enough that he still trusts us ;) )

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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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Please make sure the rawhide is made in the USA, and never leave her with it when you are not home. Rawhide from other countries is treated with nasty chemicals--also, when the swallow it, it can give them some pretty strange looking poos a few days later!

 

This as well as I've seen a dog choke on a piece and words can't describe how scary that was. I don't give rawhide to Annie, even if I'm in the same room.

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You've gotten some good advice here. One thing I would add is do not correct or scold her for growling. You do not say how you reacted to her growls, but hopefully you just left her alone. Growling is a dog's way of telling us that she is not happy about something and giving us a warning. If you stop the growling, the dog may feel she has no choice but go straight to biting. Then you do have a big problem.

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Greys just aren't used to having anyone around while they eat. They have always had in the privacy of their crate walls. With time, many learn to relax and not worry so much over food, even without a lot of training.

 

One safe way to desensitize is to toss (really yummy...higher value than whatever they are chewing...shredded chicken, liver treats, etc.) treats to them every time you walk by when they are chewing and in a relaxed state of mind (if they are tense or growling don't reward, but it also means you need to take a step back to the point or distance in which they are comfortable). Don't go too close, and don't make a big deal about it, just toss and keep walking. When you see that they are comfortable you can gradually get closer with the end goal of trade ups. I think with time, and proper training almost all dogs can learn to share. Other people are happy to just leave them in peace when they eat and not worry about it.

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If you do a search in this Training & Behavior forum on "trading up," you should find some training tips that'll help you work toward a more comfortable experience with these things :) . Congratulations on bringing your pupper home!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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This as well as I've seen a dog choke on a piece and words can't describe how scary that was. I don't give rawhide to Annie, even if I'm in the same room.

I used to buy the most expensive rawhide chews that were supposedly also unlikely to present a choking hazard. One evening Slim began to choke while chewing one. Because I had read the Whole Dog Journal article on the Canine Heimlich Maneuver I knew what to do but it was NOT disloging and he didn't understand why I was doing that to him and actually began to bite me. I thought OMG if he dies his last thought of me on this earth is going to be that he thinks I was trying to hurt him!!!! On the FIFTH try a piece a little over a inch long and about 3/4" wide came flying out and he recovered by the grace of GOD. I have not allowed any rawhide chews of any kind since then. I also lost an outstanding Dalmatian one evening when she choked to death on a rather small piece of cooked liver. Over the years I also dislodged and saved from choking a chihuahua- by eventually hitting him so hard I was afraid the trauma would hurt him but I did it because I knew he was dead of choking otherwise; and a puppy by simply removing the offending food with the simple mouth sweep. He did require additional treatment however. Always good to followup with vet even if you dislodge it because they might need further treatment. I am always acutely aware of the seriousness of choking now.

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You probably don't want to see my behaviour if someone comes near me when I'm enjoying Belgian chocolate.

 

Same with me and someone trying to pry my wine away. Out of my cold dead hands thank you very much. :lol

 

She may always be like that and thats ok-in fact its more than ok- its actually a good sign in disguise.

I just want to point out that you can do behavior modification to reduce or eliminate resource guarding. For many it's not worth it because it's easily managed (avoid giving things you will have to take away and just give her her space when she has them) and she may naturally do this less over time as she realizes that resources are abundant in her new home and you guys aren't going to bother her when she has them, but if you want to do training once she's more settled in, you can modify the behavior.

 

In the meantime, the simplest things you can do are to not give her things you will have to take away and when she does have high value items, simply walk by and as you do toss something really yummy (even higher value) to her and then keep going. My favorite thing to use for this sort of issue is meatballs (I just buy the big bag of frozen turkey meatballs at Costco and keep a few defrosted at a time). Just make sure you're just passing by, at a distance that doesn't totally stress her out. The idea is for her to associate you being nearby when she has these resources with GOOD stuff happening.

 

In the meantime, if you do need to take something away from her, please don't just try to take it. That could result in growling, snapping or worse a bite. Instead, go grab a few of the meatballs, break them into a few big chunks each and then toss them in a trail away from wherever she is lying. She should drop the item in order to go get the meatballs and while she is engaged in eating them and away from you you can safely pick up the item. But reserve this for emergencies - for chew items like rawhides or bully sticks, plan to let her finish them in peace.

 

If the behavior escalates or you decide you want help with training, please contact someone who uses reward based methods only. I am always happy to refer trainers if you let me know where you live.

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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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Our hound does the same with bones. Quite a shock the first time to see our gentle boy suddenly turn into a wolf with a bloody bone in his jaws. House rule is now that he can have bones but only on the patio by himself so he can go at it undisturbed, nor can he carry it elsewhere into the house.

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This has all been so helpful! We are definitely pro rewards based training and well aware that she is still getting used to use. All things considered, she has settles in remarkably well.

 

To update, we gave her the bone, let her have it for a little while, then did our "come" and "stay" commands. She came right over to my husband, stayed while he went and got the bone to put it up, then went about her business. Wasn't bothered in the least. We won't be in the habit of giving her things just to take them away, but we needed to test out the best way to do it if the situation arose.

 

The comments about rawhide do make me nervous - I wouldn't want her to accidentally choke! While we've never given her something unsupervised, we would like to know what are some good alternatives are. Is the XL Nylabone a good option?

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I have never had a dog yet who would touch a Nylabone!

Miss "England" Carol with Chancey - (Goosetree Chance) and whippet lurcher Nutmeg

R.I.P. Bluegrass Banjoman. 25.1.2004 - 25.5.2015 and Ch. Sleepyhollow Aida. 30.9.2000 - 10.1.2014.

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I just bought one of those nylabone brand toys that you can fill with treats. So far it's worked pretty well, but the treats get expensive! Also bully sticks and marrow bones (from the grocery store) are good. I think it will just take a little time to see what kind of a chewer your dog is. Jake is really good about chewing and not swallowing big pieces, but we watched him for quite awhile before we trusted him.

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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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That's great that she got up and came and then stayed. I would be sure and heavily reward that with very special high value treats to reinforce that behavior, as well as giving the bone back right away at first and then randomly. This will prevent her from associating being called from losing her prize, since she may then decide it's not worth the risk to come when called.

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We got told no to nylabones, any hard bones and things like that. (bully sticks are ok). Mainly due to the fact they can crack a dogs teeth if they are aggressive chewers. So mine just gets retriever roll rawhides (USA sourced and made) bully sticks, and salmon cigars. He also gets a kong with Peanut butter in it and has an everlasting treat ball.

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Because I had read the Whole Dog Journal article on the Canine Heimlich Maneuver I knew what to do but it was NOT disloging and he didn't understand why I was doing that to him and actually began to bite me. I thought OMG if he dies his last thought of me on this earth is going to be that he thinks I was trying to hurt him!!!! On the FIFTH try a piece a little over a inch long and about 3/4" wide came flying out and he recovered by the grace of GOD.

 

Just as a helpful tip in case, DOG forbid, you or anyone else on this board should need to try this again... the movies make it very dramatic with the dislodged object flying across the room, however this typically doesn't happen even when the Heimlich is performed correctly. You should thrust firmly, and then you need to open the mouth and sweep the back of the throat for the object as that is typically as far as it goes. If it's not there then of course, proceed to try again. Hopefully no one ever needs to do this, but just in case....

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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