Jump to content

Aggression?


Guest MaddieOnMadison
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest MaddieOnMadison

We adopted a 2 year old greyhound, Maddie, 2 weeks ago and so far things have been pretty great with her. She is a goofball who loves belly rubs and meeting new people. Up until recently she hasn't shown any dominant traits and seemed to understand from the start that we were in charge; he would walk next to us or behind us during walks, always drops to the ground for belly rubs, responds to No, and has no problem turning her back on us when going to the bathroom.

 

Two days ago we started letting her on the couch. Earlier this morning she was laying on the couch next to my sitting husband and was snuggled up against him. Suddenly she lifted her head and stared at him so he stared back so as not to appear submissive and then she growled while baring her teeth. He immediately got up and told her no and she did her "ashamed" look where she puts her head down and sheepishly looks up at you. Also, last night she did pull on her leash and walk ahead of me but I assumed it was because she was just excited to be out (the weather had her cooped up all day).

 

We are concerned that she might be trying to test our dominance.

 

Any tips/feedback are appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations on adopting your new girl!

 

She needs to be taught the "off" command. Being on the furniture is a privilege, not a right. Telling her to get "off' as soon as she growls or bares teeth is the best way to handle it.

 

Dogs can be threatened by a stare down.She probably took it as a threat. A stare-down sounds like something from the Cesar Milan School of BS,

 

She will continue to test the waters as she gets more comfortable. There are several trainers on the site who will most likely respond and give you some pointers for introducing her to training and earning privileges.

 

In the meantime you might want to look up NLIF Training - Nothing in Life is Free. It's a good way to let them know that they need to privileges like being on the sofa, or treats.

rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

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 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

he stared back so as not to appear submissive

Staring directly at a dog is an aggressive act. You can read up a lot on "space aggression" on this forum. Generally new dogs shouldn't be allowed on furniture until they have settled in and established a relationship with you. Even then, some dogs don't always like sharing their space. We have one that grumbles if you move or touch her while on the furniture with us. We simply ask her to get off if she's going to be grumpy, or we don't allow her up at all. Your dog probably got bumped or moved while on the couch and didn't like it. She let your husband know "hey, I didn't like that" by looking at him, and in response he was somewhat aggressive by staring back, so she escalated. Direct eye contact is one thing I teach all new dogs to offer and enjoy so we don't have misunderstandings, but I also don't stare them down. All of our eye contact is constructive and friendly.

 

she did her "ashamed" look where she puts her head down and sheepishly looks up at you.

Someone got upset with her, so she turned on her appeasement behaviours. These are "you're upset and I don't know why, please don't be upset" behaviours. There is no guilt.

 

We are concerned that she might be trying to test our dominance.

 

I'm sure NeylasMom will pop by shortly with some good references, but dominance is way overrated in dogs. Dogs are rarely trying to dominate people. You'll have a much better relationship with and understanding of your dog if you let this one go.

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

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest k9soul

Some good responses already, but I would highly recommend checking out the book The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. You will really learn a lot about how your dog communicates and what their behavior and body language are telling you, as well as how they are interpreting your body language and behavior.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest xengab

More like she wanted the couch to herself.

Firstly put aside the whole 'I am boss leader dog person" mentality..

She needs to be off the couch, to be on there she has to share her space. Space issues are very common in greys, they've usually never had to share their sleeping area so most likely woke up and thought 'hey, this is now mine". Staring at her would get her to react anyway.

Best thing we ever did was LEAVE! Mine has had toy guarding issues, would growl and not want to give up the toy while playing, so I'd go inside. Pressure was off the dog and he just followed me inside. 3 times of this he caught on that it stopped the fun.

 

So just get up, call her to another spot in the house !RELAX!, give her a treat (food or pets) and then go back to sitting on the couch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a great group with many people having lots of experience in all fields of Greyhound parenthood. Therefore, you'll get a lot of opinions. Good luck! :) I can't offer advice because my dog has no issues whatsoever about anything and never has (not counting fireworks and thunderstorms). I'm a lucky one.

 

I will reiterate, though, that we don't want or have to be dominate over our dogs. (Forget Cesar what's his name.) Sure, there are rules we want followed, but as with children, we teach them to our dogs, and it may take time, as to what's acceptable and what's not. We don't dominate our skin kids. We don't dominate our fur kids.

 

Do you have pictures to share with us?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, completely forget anything you've ever heard about "dominance" and "submissiveness" and "alpha dog" and going through doors first and what it may or may not mean when a dog makes eye contact, shows their belly, or turns their back. Just let them go. These training styles are antiquated and completely unsupported by dog behavior science. Cesar Millan type training methods are NOT approved by any type of accredited organization and are very much discouraged by APDT (American Pet Dog Trainers) and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Here's a great article that will help with that.

 

Second, relax. Your dog is brand new. She's never had the rules and boundaries you're expecting of her. She doesn't speak the same language as you. I'm certain some other people here will chime in with specific techniques, but what your dealing with is a very common/normal resource guarding response of a dog who is not used to sharing sleeping space. What she needs more than anything is time and a reliable "off" command.

 

Try not to read into it any more than that. :)

Edited by a_daerr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest MaddieOnMadison

Thank you for all the helpful feedback and tips! I'm glad we don't have to worry about the whole dominance thing. I don't want anyone to think we were domineering her or anything, there's just a lot of conflicting tips out there!

 

I just started listening to The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell as recommended by K9Soul, on Audible on my drives to and from work and it has been very enlightening. I never realized how much I move/make facial expressions when talking to Maddie. Poor thing is probably super confused!

 

We also contacted a trainer/behaviorist to do a home consultation and help us learn how to read her better and train her in a way that makes her more comfortable.

 

I would gladly share a pic but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to do so on this site!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also contacted a trainer/behaviorist to do a home consultation and help us learn how to read her better and train her in a way that makes her more comfortable.

 

Make sure that your trainer has some type of professional certification, preferably through APDT (American Pet Dog Trainers), AABP (Association of Animal Behavior Professionals), or CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers). And make sure they do positive and rewards-based training techniques. There are LOADS of crackpots out there claiming to be "trainers," with little to no professional affiliation to back it up.

 

If you hear the words "alpha" or "dominance," run the other way. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest k9soul

So glad you are enjoying the book! When I read it I felt amazed at all the little things I hadn't realized despite having been around dogs much of my life. I found it very helpful in dealing with some of the quirks of my first hound :).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest xengab

PLEASE make sure the trainer knows greyhounds. We go to dog classes, and the assistant trainer in our basic class told us our boy was super stressed as his ears were back.. which the trainer then corrected him saying NO that's how a greyhounds ears sit on their heads... LOL But he'd never seen a greyhound before in the flesh, but he knows now.

 

I'd ask your adoption group for recommendations..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PLEASE make sure the trainer knows greyhounds. We go to dog classes, and the assistant trainer in our basic class told us our boy was super stressed as his ears were back.. which the trainer then corrected him saying NO that's how a greyhounds ears sit on their heads... LOL

 

Not to derail... but it is amazing how many people we run into just on the street that say something like "Ohhhh... poor things! Good for you for rescuing them. You can tell how they treat them so poorly by how scared they look about everything". I then let people know that only 1 is adopted and that's just how his face is. He has a vanity tag on one of his collars that says "This IS my happy face". So fitting!

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

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The level of firmness you take with your dog depends on your dog and your situation. Everyone needs to get along in your house so decide on behaviour boundaries and do only the minimum discipline to get compliance. The dog will mostly want to do what you want it to do, so no real need to dominate.

 

My philosophy with greyhounds is gentle calm leadership. No raised voices. And there is nothing wrong with allowing a dog to lead depending on the situation. Shouldn't a dog have an opportunity to make some decisions for itself? Where to go? What to sniff? The animal will not turn into an unruly beast just because it gets a little taste of freedom. If you live in a location where you have multiple routes to walk, why no let the dog decide which route? Your not there yet but keep this option open.

 

Most dogs should be able to sense from you when it is OK for them to lead and when you want them disciplined and right by your side in a perfect heel. Takes time but is doable (again, depending on the dog).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest xengab

krissy- yes, have had that too. I've only lady who keeps telling me he needs to gain more weight.. UM no 83lbs is the perfect weight for my boy, vet approved and 100% healthy. She has a basset hound,, so yeah not the same body shape. My friends keep saying "you need to cheer him up" um no, he's fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a picture of "greyhound anatomy" on my desk--one of the characteristics is "permanent woe face". :hehe

Current Crew: Gino-Gene-Eugene! (Eastnor Rebel: Makeshift x Celtic Dream); Fuzzy the Goo-Goo Girl (BGR Fuzzy Navel: Boc's Blast Off x Superior Peace); Roman the Giant Galoot! (Imark Roman: Crossfire Clyde x Shana Wookie); Kitties Archie and Dixie

Forever Missed: K9 Sasha (2001-2015); Johnny (John Reese--Gable Dodge x O'Jays) (2011-19); the kitties Terry and Bibbi; and all the others I've had the privilege to know

36938152140_1a2fd29a1f.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...