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Aggressive Greyhound


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Guest ACT33

Good morning, everyone. I am very thankful for this forum, as it has provided guidance to both me and my husband in learning how to take care of our greyhound, Warbie. Warbie is an 82lb ex-racer that we rescued from Florida. I have always wanted to rescue a greyhound, so it was a dream come true for me to finally be able to do it.

 

To my great sadness, Warbie has turned out to be aggressive in a few situations that has me feeling completely distrustful of him. First, about 8 months ago, he bit my hand when I reached to take a bone away from him. His bite was hard enough to break the skin on my hand, bruise it, and leave a small scar. After that happened, I contacted the woman who runs the adoption group, and she put me in contact with a pet trainer. The trainer visited our house, and spent several hours with us and Warbie. We learned sharing techniques to help ease his resource guarding. We felt that he was doing better, but he again bit my husband a couple of months back over a bone. Warbie has also shown signs of leash aggression towards other dogs and humans, and can get snippy with other dogs at the dog park.

 

Yesterday, Warbie jumped up on our bed as I was trying to put him in his crate. We do allow him, and our other dog, Roscoe, to snuggle on our bed occasionally. When I reached for him, he snarled, growled, and snapped at me. He then proceeded to stare at me. I was very scared, and it broke my heart because he is my dog. He follows me everywhere, and he loves to cuddle with me. Whenever we are apart, Warbie always looks for me. I have no doubt that I am his “person.”

 

Herein lies my biggest concern – children. I am a practicing attorney that has seen several cases of dog bite incidents involving young children. My husband and I hope to have children within the next 2 years. It takes just one second for Warbie to turn aggressive, and while we might try to keep the child away from him when he has a bone/actin aggresive, I know that it will not be a perfect system. My husband is not ready to give up on him, but I don’t think he understands that once my trust in the dog is gone, I simply don’t know how to get it back. I don’t see myself being able to trust leaving a child near him without fear of harm.

 

Does anyone have any advice? I simply don’t know what to do. Thank you very much.

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I seems as if you've already decided, so please return the dog to the group you adopted him from.

 

This dog is not aggresive. This dog is not being properly "read" by you.

 

I don't want to say anything harsh, but you do this dog no favors by keeping him and having him labelled "aggressive"

 

Call them TODAY.

 

And bless you for realizing this is not working.


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

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Welcome to GT :) First off, stop giving him bones. He doesn't need them and he obviously considers them very high value. Any time you are training a behavior, you need to manage the environment. Until you have *really* worked through all of his resource guarding tendencies, you shouldn't give something as high value as a bone (and there's a chance you won't ever be able to work through those issues). Have you continued doing the sharing exercises? Can you describe what exactly your trainer had you doing? FWIW, I have a resource guarder over high value items like bones and chews, so we just don't give them, and the problem is eliminated that way. But I don't know what else your dog may guard.

 

Regarding the bed incident, you need to train a reliable "off" for furniture. Many, many dogs do not liked to be reached over or have their collars taken or tugged. Throw a really tasty treat (something high value, like cheese or chicken). When he's reliably jumping off the furniture to get it, start adding the verbal cue ("off" or whatever you want to use). Eventually, he'll happily jump down from wherever he is, but you need to reinforce like crazy in the beginning (the reward must be greater than what he already has (the bed) - the bed is a resource, just like a bone is - same principle applies). Know that training in an ongoing process. You can't just work on it a few times and consider it a done deal (kinda like you probably have to take CLE courses ;) ). So that's the training aspect. And I'd really encourage you to continue to work with a positive reinforcement based trainer or a veterinary behaviorist who can give you a good, honest assessment.

 

As to whether your dog will ever be able to be trusted with kids, that's a total unknown, sorry. You would obviously need to do a ton of work with him and he might turn out to be fine. But he might not. So do consult with a trainer or better yet, a behaviorist to get a good assessment and help guide your decision together with your husband. Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck to you!

 

Edit: just saw the bit about leash aggression and dog park issues. I'd stop doing the dog park, period. Some dogs are fine with it, others aren't. If he's snippy at the park, he's not enjoying himself, so don't take him. For the leash aggression, there are a couple of things you can do. If he gets upset at a distance, *before he gets upset* start shoveling treats into his mouth. Stay under his threshold, turn back the other way if you need to. Eventually you'll be able to start approaching the trigger and you'll have conditioned him to think of it as a good thing. But it takes time to build up to it. Always always always stay below threshold. You can also teach a watch me or look at me command to draw his attention back to you and give him treats. Sounds like he needs a bit of work so you and your husband both need to be absolutely committed to the training. Not everyone is cut out to handle dogs that need a lot of work, and there's no shame in that. My boy Heyhokha is a giant pain in the ass, but he's worth it. Talk to a reputable trainer (preferably a behaviorist), talk to your group and definitely talk to your husband. Good luck :goodluck

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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Hi - I'm so sorry for your troubles. In the time it took me to type a response, better responses were posted. Wholeheartedly agree with Meredith's post, she gave some excellent feedback and advice. If you don't feel that you can work with him, then yes, you and your husband need to talk and talk to your group. Try not to let it get to a "me or the dog" point.

 

Best of luck - keep us posted.

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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Ditto everything in Meredith's post. Adding, your dog needs a leader. He wants to follow you but if your instructions aren't clear he becomes confused and he thinks "these people really aren't getting me" and makes up his own guidelines. Trust with your heart and mind that you are going to help him succeed, because believe us, your dog can read your body language and what you are thinking before you may have even finished formulating the thought. When you are annoyed, scared, and especially apprehensive, he knows it. Change your mindset and you have a whole new dog. He can succeed and be a wonderful family member. *You* have to want that. So you can either give it your all or if you have truly lost all faith then there is no shame in contacting your group and rehoming him, indeed it would be the kinder thing to do for the dog. Best of luck!

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We have had Rocket for over 7 years. He has very similar traits as your Warbie when it comes to high value treats, personal space etc.

 

We have some basic rules to follow with him, having had him snap at and actually bite people over the years. I need to preface this by saying that he is the sweetest, most loyal dog you will ever meet. He simply has some quirks that training has done nothing for, so we learned how to deal with the quirks. In each case of a snap or bite, the human involved (myself included) did something stupid at that moment that caused it. Each time it happened, we think it was more of a sleep startle, but he does also have the resource guarding issue with certain treats.

 

The rules we follow are:

 

1. His space is his space. We do not approach, lay on his beds, or pet him while laying down. He sleeps with his eyes open at times, and startling him while sleeping will result in a bite. He is not allowed on furniture. Furniture privileges are earned, not a right, Since he can;t be trusted on the furniture if a human is next to him, he shouldn't be on the furniture.

 

2. If he gets a treat with high value, like a Bully Stick or Bone, we let him finish it and walk away before we take it, or we trade up. There are some things that he perceives as higher value than bones, but if he is focused on a treat that he has, I'm probably not going to attempt to take it unless there's an imminent hazard like choking or splintering. I can often throw a cookie across the room to get him to leave the bone in an urgent situation.

 

3. When walking near his bed, I call his name or say something like "Hey Buddy," to let him know that i am near him. Again, this is to keep from startling him.

 

4. WE ONLY PET WHILE HE IS STANDING! - This is the big one. Visitors are advised of this every time they come in the door. There is also no hugging him, or grabbing him unexpectedly. He comes to us for pets, we don;t approach him and just start petting out of nowhere.

 

In a household with small children, these rules may or may not be workable. The other issue that comes into play is that even though your kids may follow the rules, there could be an issue if they have friends over who don't follow the rules. The last thing you want is for this boy to be labeled aggressive, and I can tell that you are highly aware of that.. That puts a death sentence a dog if there is an incident such as a bite where Animal Control gets involved.

 

Only you can decide if this is a workable situation. I am surprised that he is a snuggler, and that's where he is much different from Rocket. Rocket will lean on me, or lay on my feet if I am sitting, but that's it. He does not snuggle and will growl if anyone attempts it. He is not comfortable with snuggling and that's okay. He is just not a snuggler. Not every dog is.

 

In each of the situations you describe with the bone, the human made the mistake - not the dog.

 

He may still be very workable, but it's going to be a lifetime training situation. Training is not 3 or 4 classes and then you're done. In this situation, the training is going to come from constant reinforcement of some basic rules, and consistency in actions. If one person lets him on the sofa when no one is around, that breaks the training, and he is again a hazard when it comes to space or furniture as a resource to guard.

 

With all of that being said, and as much as it may hurt, there is no shame in returning a hound that isn't right for the household. Anyone who says that there is, doesn't have the hound's best interest at heart. There are several people on this forum who have had to return a hound and then ended up with the perfect dog for their household and family. The "quirky" dogs also find the right homes. It doesn't hurt any less, but it is truly the right thing to do for both of you.

 

It's obvious that you love this hound. I hope it works out for you, but if you feel that this isn't going to be workable with your plan to have children, please do yourself and the hound a favor and let the group re-home him. They can work with you to find the hound that truly is the right hound for your family.

 

Good luck, and please let us know how it goes. There may even be someone here on GT who is the right home for your boy if he is re-homed.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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Please don't call him or think of him as being "aggressive" because he's showing defensive behaviors. If you saw two people interacting wordlessly in the manner in which you describe here, his strike out is actually him trying to prevent someone from taking his stuff or making him do something he doesn't want to - so he's defending against *your* aggressive move toward him (to his eyes). This does seem to be a real communication problem between you, which is going to increase the stress for all of you.

 

Bones are a super high value item, and reaching in to take it is, well, rude. And reaching out a hand (to grab a collar or to shove a dog) is very threatening behavior. You don't indicate how long you've had him, but it can take a long time - even when there are never any 'trespasses' that you've had happen - to truly show yourself to be trustworthy in the eyes of a dog that has never had to share something super special and delicious like a bone, or have to deal with trespassing or being forced to yield a super spiffy resting spot like a bed. Any instances of 'stealing' from him will make it that much harder for him to know that you are completely trustworthy in situations where he is already worried that he might lose his prize.

 

I know that sometimes you have to do the dangerous task of getting something dangerous from a dog, but it sounds like you expected him to just give up his great things because he should. It looks like you need to work on 'trading up' for a lot longer, and working with more valuable items, before you can assume that you can take the best things from him. I hope that's been how you have been 'working on the resource guarding' with him.

 

I can't say that you need to give him up, but it does sound like you are expecting too much of him at this time. Some dogs are going to be more possessive of 'prizes' than others, and you have to work to minimize the chances to trigger a situation where a dog feels pressed into having to fight to keep something. To his eyes, possession is paramount, and you are a thief that is trying to take his great stuff.

 

Oh, and defensiveness on leash is very commonly a way to make sure that other dogs, or strange people, give him the space he needs. He could well be just trying to keep others out of his personal space because he doesn't trust them when they are closer. If you've ever had someone push into your personal space, by touching you uninvited or crowding you or even being at more of a distance but maybe staring (leering) at you, I bet you've felt the rush of adrenaline and desire to push them away or tell them off. And we're humans, with language and words and decades of socialization with other people! Imagine being a dog, of a certain body type and 'language' used with others that look and mostly act like you, forced by something around the neck into a situation where another dog that looks and probably acts different (or a person) gets too close, acts rudely, and *you* risk be punished for protesting any rude or unwanted attention. Can't get away, can't redirect and avoid letting someone get too close by altering your own approach angle, and are made to actually approach another dog in a manner that you yourself feel is rude (straight on, face-to-face). It then makes sense for you to try to warn others off, because *you* can't do anything about the situation. I don't think they realize that the other dog may have the same constraints (collar, leash, and human in control), and if not, the off leash dog may have ALL of the control. Man, it is surprising that extremely dog-socialized dogs, like greys, aren't more leash reactive when thrown into that kind of situation.

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Guest ACT33

First off, thank you very much for these replies. I was feeling very alone in this situation, with no idea what to do next. It is so reassuring to know that others have been able to continue working with their dogs despite some bad incidents. I also apologize for the use of the word “aggressive.” It felt aggressive, while it in fact might not have been at all.

 

@Time4ANap – I am so glad to see that there are others who have found ways to alter how they treat/approach/train the dog so that both thrive. While no one can guarantee the perfect future with Warbie & children, I certainly have much more hope now.

 

@turbotainia – great advice, I have read over your post now at least 10x. I hope to call a dog behaviorist this week. I’m committed to Warbie. He deserves at least (but much, much more) than that.

 

To everyone else, I appreciate it. I’ve got to stop feeling heart broken, and start putting forth the determination that I know I have to make sure that I lead Warbie in the right direction. He is a sweet dog. @Fruitycake, I think you are very correct when you wrote that I am expecting too much from him at this time. Thank you again to all. This has been most helpful.

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Happy to help. You might find these books very helpful as well:

 

Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs

 

Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash Reactive Dog

 

Anything by Jean Donaldson, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dr. Karen London, Pat Miller or Dr. Sophia Yin is going to be worthwhile :) McConnell and London have particularly easy to understand writing styles. Donaldson is really good but not the easiest read, in my opinion. Though she did author the pioneering "The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Behavior between Human and Domestic Dogs" (or something like that - I normally just refer to it as Culture Clash :lol ). On that same note is McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash" which is fabulous and should be read by every dog owner ever. Hope you find these useful.

 

Also, see if you can find a veterinary behaviorist. Not all behaviorists are the same. Yes, a veterinary behaviorist will cost more for the consult, but pretty much any yahoo can hang out a shingle calling himself a trainer/behaviorist *coughCesarMillancoughcough* and have no real training whatsoever. If you provide your location, we may be able to give you specific recommendations (city state is fine :) ).

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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Not to contradict turbotaina because she's given really great advice, but vet behaviorists are really hard to come by and can be prohibitively expensive. I usually reserve recommending them when I think the dog may need pharmaceutical help or may have an underlying medical issue that needs attention. Since this behavior sounds like pretty straightforward resource guarding I might consider working with a certified behaviorist or if that won't work, a skilled reward-based trainer who has a lot of behavior experience. The cream of the crop would be a certified applied animal behaviorist, but they are again pretty hard to come by and expensive (worth it if you can find one and swing it). You can see if there's one near you or to whom you could travel here:

http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/applied-behavior-caab-directory.php

 

If not, then I would look for someone with an IAABC certification:

https://iaabc.org/consultants

 

Or alternatively, someone certified as a behavior consultant through the CPDT. This is not CPDT-KA or KS trainers, but those with the CBCC-KA initials. You can search for one here:

http://www.ccpdt.org/dog-owners/certified-dog-trainer-directory/

Once you enter your search location, you'll have to search the results for "Certified Behavior Consultant Canine" to find the CBCC individuals.

 

If that doesn't produce anything, there are CPDT-KA certified trainers who are committed to reward based training and who have good experience working with clients on behavior issues. The good ones know their limits and many don't work with aggression cases early on, but it does take some digging and knowing what to ask to figure out who these individuals are. I'm on a few list serves with trainers whose recommendations I trust. I can certainly ask for recs in your area if you'd like. It may take me a few days to get back to you with a response so let me know.

 

I'll just add - I think the hype over the word aggression gets a little blown out of proportion here. His behavior was aggression, by definition so there's nothing wrong with you labeling it as such, but I think the distinction is it's better to label the behavior as aggression rather than the dog as a whole. Aggression - growling, snapping, biting - is how dogs communicate with us. It's their language when body language has failed them. Of course, it's often not acceptable to us in our home environments, but that doesn't mean the aggressing dog is a bad dog. My guess is there were lots of subtle warning signs that preceded the bite that you weren't aware of. Most dogs who guard will first stiffen up, move away with the resource if they have the ability to do so, put themselves between you and the resource, or give what's typically called "whale eye". They may also growl or snarl. All of those warnings should be heeded, not ignored or punished - otherwise you're likely to see an escalation in the response (ie. snapping, biting).

 

As others have said, resource guarding is a workable issue through management (as turbotaina said, key until you've done the training, which will take some time - your goal is to 100% prevent situations where your dog will feel the need to guard) and counter-conditioning and desensitization. What you cannot guarantee is that the dog will never guard in the future (say he comes across an item that is higher value than the bones he's guarding now) or that the degree of response won't be a bite. It's possible - he's very new in your home so it may be worth seeing how things progress, but you do have to weigh the increased difficulty of rehoming him down the road if you aren't willing to risk having kids with him in your home versus returning him now. It's a tough decision and I wouldn't judge you either way.

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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Thanks, Jen :). OP: Neylasmom (Jen) is a trainer (and my friend), so yeah, listen to her :D


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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Lots of great advice here - and I just wanted to add that we've dealt with a truly space-aggressive greyhound before and we had to learn to respect him and his space, as others have mentioned. He was never allowed on furniture and we did not try to cuddle with him or pet him while he was laying down - we always made sure he was awake, even when we just had to pass by him while he was sleeping. Slowly, over time, he allowed my husband to sit on the floor with him to pet him - and later - he let me do the same - but we never pushed it, and we always watched him very closely for his danger signs. We have no children, but we were always worried when we saw my brother (he had two young kids).

 

Also, our current boy, Finn, has displayed some resource guarding tendencies. For example, when we bought a slumber ball (bed) for him after our girl passed away, he immediately jumped right on it - we walked over to pet him (something he normally loves) and got very growly with us. He's also growled over toys and food. He is totally chill about his slumber ball bed now, as soon as he realized we didn't want the bed, he was fine. As far as toys go - we normally try to swap it for something better (a better toy, a treat, etc.) or we just don't try and take it from him. If we try to play and he gets testy, we just don't play. Same with his treats - those are his and we don't take them away from him - we only give him as much as he can eat in one episode so we never have to worry about taking something away from him like that. We are also working on the "drop it" command and he's doing pretty well with that - hopefully he'll be a pro with it if we ever really need him to drop something.

 

I'm sure you'll learn lots from a behaviorist - we got one with our first boy, the space aggressive one. He was also super destructive when he'd get bored - but he was also super smart and he learned so quickly, it was amazing (and fun) to learn new things and teach him stuff. He was silly and funny and he taught us a lot. We feel like we can handle any dog now. :)

 

There is definitely hope - good luck! (And we'd love to see pictures). :colgate

Edited by Sundrop
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And don't forget it is no big deal to him to wear his hound muzzle. He can do anything he wants in it. Minny used to have to wear his muzzie 24/7. With the kong treat ball etc they can even play ball while wearing it and carry the ball around etc. Don't hesitate to whip out the muzzie. Far better then some of the alternatives.

 

He wants a benevolent pack LEADER. You have to show him who is boss in order for him to respect you. He can smell your fear-it is a very strong odor for them- and he simply cannot have/respect a 'leader' like that. This book has a very good explanation and lays it out clearly. Things can turn around 100% if you can learn how to assume your rightful position as pack leader. Then everybody including him is happy. Don't take this wrong but its not the dog. If you got another dog don't be surprised if the same type negative behavior occurs. You just need to learn a little more dog handling skills.

http://www.amazon.com/Team-Dog-Train-Your-Dog--/dp/0425276279/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464965143&sr=8-1&keywords=Team+Dog

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For your future child, I would start regularly exposing Warbie to children as soon as you can so you can see how he reacts. Especially to adults holding small children, and to crying children of all ages. Always keep him leashed and at an untouchable distance. Let him just observe a newborn fussing, a toddler running around and yelling in excitement, a toddler throwing a tantrum, older kids playing. You don't want his first experience to be when you bring home your newborn.

 

In my home, my two year old and Brandy never, ever, ever get to intermingle freely. My son has his safe/play room as the living room, which is sectioned off with a 36" tall babygate. High enough that Brandy gets no ideas about jumping it. Ideally Brandy would also have her own dog-only, no children allowed room permanently set up, but the way my house is laid out it's not possible for me. She has never shown any sign of aggression, but still, I will never trust them together until my son is capable of reading her body language- he will probably be well into school age. I allow Brandy to sniff him through the gate, and he will occasionally pat her shoulder through the gate but I am always right there, ready to separate at the slightest hint of anything going south. My son has no interest in dogs and will literally run away if one comes up to him. If he was the typical child that is obsessed with hugging/petting/bothering dogs in general I would have never dreamed of adopting a hound during this stage of his life.

 

It takes just one second for Warbie to turn aggressive, and while we might try to keep the child away from him when he has a bone/actin aggresive, I know that it will not be a perfect system.

 

I don’t see myself being able to trust leaving a child near him without fear of harm.

With his quirks, I wouldn't ever allow either of these situations to happen. They should be kept separate at all times by a solid barrier. If you have to take the child out of the safe zone, crate or babygate Warbie into a separate room until the child goes back into the safe zone. Until your child reaches the age where they will reliably respect and control themself around dogs, I wouldn't trust them being together. It's a lot of work, especially keeping the experiences positive for both the dog and child as far as not being allowed to roam freely in your home. It can be done, but you will have to make sure your husband, regular visitors to your home, babysitters, etc. all follow the rules you decide on without exception.

 

Highly recommend the book "Living with Kids and Dog Without Losing Your Mind" by Colleen Pelar.

Best wishes for whatever route you decide on!

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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 Jordan33

There have been some great comments and resources given, but here are a few more for you:

 

Bones Would Rain From The Sky by Suzanne Clothier is a fantastic book that talks a lot about perceived aggression in dogs and how to recognize when a dog is upset, unhappy, and may bite if the human or other animal continues doing something he doesn't want. You can buy a used copy cheap on Amazon. It's worth it!

 

The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell is another great book about dog and human behavior, which I see has been recommended above. I've not finished it yet, but so far it's been very good!

 

Both books are very enlightening in how we treat animals!

 

I found out recently that my dog will get angry and fight if another dog pushes her too much to play rough when she just wants to be left alone. We just need to be aware of who's at the dog park and whether or not she'll get along with them before we go in. If they're too aggressive in play, we just don't go in. Otherwise she's a sweet pea. Best dog in the world!

 

Read these books first, before you make any rash decisions, and hopefully then, you'll know what you need to do.

Edited by Jordan33
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Guest Jordan33

I just picked up Cesar Milan's book Cesar's Way from the library, and he's got some great tips on dealing with phobias, which can cause aggression, and how to be calm-assertive. He has a whole chapter on energy and how dogs perceive the energy of humans. One actress he worked with realized she needed to "become" Cleopatra when walking her dog, as a way for her to become calm-assertive. I'm equating that to Chuck Norris, especially when he was Walker, Texas Ranger. He was always calm-assertive. You never doubted him. How will I become him? I'm not sure, but I'm gonna give it a try. For my dog.

 

I've also got another of Cesar's books, Cesar's Rules. Haven't cracked that spine yet, but I'm recommending him based on what I've read so far. Plus, he mentions Patricia McConnell, which is a good sign!

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Cesar Milan has no idea what he's talking about. :( He has no real education in dog training or behavior, doesn't demonstrate an understanding of basic learning principles, and uses techniques that are likely to lead to increased aggression over time (which of course they're not going to show you on TV). The whole alpha/dominance theory in dogs has been debunked - see the links I posted above to start. Please reconsider reading his books or watching his shows unless it's to learn what not to do.

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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Welcome to GreyTalk. I agree with many others.

 

Try to set Warbie's environment up for his success.

Very important to learn to read canines' body language and calming signals. See signals listed here by Turid Rugaas: http://en.turid-rugaas.no/calming-signals---the-art-of-survival.html

 

IMO, eliminate bones; no human furniture; provide nice thick dog beds on floor. Let resting dogs lie undisturbed.

Wait for dog stand and approach human before offering attention.

Remember to reward Warbie's good/desired behaviors. (Catch/reward him doing good things naturally.)

Teach "drop it" and "leave it" (with low value items), "off", "heel" and "watch me" cues; reward with treats.

(Later, "watch me" cue works to keep his attention during walks while passing other dogs.)

Remember that leash reactivity/aggression can be rooted from fear, stress, etc.

Leash reactive dogs blog post by Dr. Sophia Yin: https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/reactive-dog-foundation-exercises-for-your-leash-reactive-dog/

(Dr. Yin's all breed post mentions dogs sitting which is often uncomfortable for Greyhounds, so standing is a good option for Greys.)

 

Important to respect dogs' growl. Please do not reprimand for a growl. Growls are a dogs way of communicating his/her displeasure/discomfort in a situation, even pain. If growls are punished, dogs are more likely to feel forced into escalating their communication level to a bite -- just to get their point across.

Respect begets respect.

 

Dog parks can be especially dangerous for retired racing Greyhounds. Sighthounds are trained to chase smaller furry animals that move, especially outside (thousands of years of ingrained hunting instincts). Racers are naturally highly competitive, often nipping while running with other dogs. Greyhounds often have very different manners, and play styles than other pet dogs. Greyhounds' thin skin tears more easily than other dogs. Liability for other dog park participants is a concern.

 

In lieu of public dog parks, many Greyhound adoption groups encourage adopters to gather for "Greyhounds only play dates" where all dogs are safely muzzled in a fenced enclosure. Otherwise, some Greyhound owners visit dog parks only when they are empty of other dogs. If another dog shows up, the hound owner leaves.

 

Do not muzzle a single dog in a multi-dog setting like a dog park. The muzzled dog can't defend him/herself if attacked by others.

A muzzled dog is often targeted as the weakest underdog, and is subject to be attacked by the non-muzzled dog pack. General rule: If one dogs is muzzled, ALL dogs are muzzled.

 

 

 

Ditto, and ditto.

 

 

Cesar Milan has no idea what he's talking about. :( He has no real education in dog training or behavior, doesn't demonstrate an understanding of basic learning principles, and uses techniques that are likely to lead to increased aggression over time (which of course they're not going to show you on TV). The whole alpha/dominance theory in dogs has been debunked - see the links I posted above to start. Please reconsider reading his books or watching his shows unless it's to learn what not to do.

 

Agree. C. Millan's long outdated (3+ decades old) dangerous techniques can be disastrously damaging for the sensitive Greyhound breed, their human families, and other dogs. The U.S. Humane Society; veterinary medicine organizations; veterinary animal behavior organizations; professional animal training organizations, etc. are against using those archaic methods. (I saw those unfortunate training results of increased aggression in animals in the 60's-80's.)

 

 

Vet medicine snippet quote:

"American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior issued a position statement about the use of punishment for behavior modification in animals, detailing 9 possible adverse effects of using punishment when training dogs. While not naming any trainers by name, the statement was written to counter Millan's techniques...

 

According to an article by Timothy Kirn for VIN News

"The AVSAB recommends that veterinarians not refer clients to trainers or behavior consultants who coach and advocate dominance hierarchy theory and the subsequent confrontational training that follows from it," the position statement says.

 

That statement was initiated with Millan in mind, says Dr. Laurie Bergman, of Norristown, Pa., a member of AVSAB's executive board.

"We had been moving away from dominance theory and punitive training techniques for a while, but, unfortunately, Cesar Millan has brought it back," she says."

End quote.

Source: http://vetmedicine.about.com/b/2009/07/07/veterinary-behaviorists-take-a-stand-against-cesar-millan.htm

Edited by 3greytjoys
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Guest Wally

This is a sign of dog in control. From day one Shirley earned rewards and learned sharing. My grand daughter (12 months) was handfeeding Shirley from her bowl. Shirley taught Rohee ( granddaughter) to walk. With Rohee arm over her back she slowly walked round the house. Shirley is chastised with a very loud and deep "aarrrggh" or "no" the latter only when she wants to do something not appropriate and it is used softly but firmly. You are the pack leader and need to assert yourself from day one..Fear and anxiety are sensed by the dog! You are then relegated to a step down in the pack. You now have to reestablish you position as pack leader using a single sound or word loudly to say "I am boss" Wear a glove and talk softly when removing bones and any sign of aggression use that loud sound and proceed cautiously but with authority. Do this often. If you have lost the ability to do the above without fear then I would suggest a week or 2 apart (boarding kennel) then see how you feel.If still unable to go thru with the above then rehomeing is the only way. There is nothing wrong with your dog.Some where YOU have put him in charge and need to wrest that back.Cheers Wally

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.If still unable to go thru with the above then rehomeing is the only way. There is nothing wrong with your dog.Some where YOU have put him in charge and need to wrest that back.Cheers Wally

Totally and completely false!

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 Wally

After 74 years of owning and training/ communicating with 16 dogs (all of which lived in excess of 18 years)some hunting,sport,and like Shirley companion dogsand having been bitten once and not have hit onein anger,I believe my statements are qualified.

Shirley has amazed many (with her learned affection) including from the trainer who got her from another trainer for me. So don't call me a liar unless you can match my experience.It takes an intensive 2 -3 months to

bring a dog from a pack situation to a loving pet

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