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How To Respond To Greyhound Growling


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Hi all, we recently adopted a Greyhound, Pepper, and she is a sweet and spunky 4-year old girl. She loves food, dogs, people, and petting. We are working on training her with positive reinforcement (using Sue Ailsby's Training Levels) and she's doing great with the basics. She is currently doing well with "leave it" when something falls on the floor.

 

A few times she has growled at my husband or I - for example, when she found part of a sandwich that fell on the floor and I tried to pull it out of her mouth, and when my husband tried to take a toy that she was about to swallow a piece of. She hasn't growled at us when putting our hands near her food bowl to add special treats though. I am hoping that with training, we will avoid all of these problems (for example, once we get to the next level with "leave it," we should be able to command her to let go ). However, I am wondering what to do in the meantime. Should we just avoid going near her face when she has food/toys in her mouth? Or, should we immediately pause all other training and start working on "trading up" in order to nip this in the bud. One concern is that we spend a lot of time with my sister's dogs, both of whom have no problem sticking their heads near the other's food, treats, toys, etc., and I am worried that one of them might stick their heads near something Pepper is possessive of and she will bite.

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Growling isn't a bad thing. It's one of the only way your dog has to communicate with you. It's not a sign of aggression or any sort of dominance thing.

 

The best thing would of course be for her to learn a "drop it" command along with her "leave it." In the meantime, you can do trading up, even without any training. Just make sure you're using a treat that has a high enough value that she will drop whatever she has to take it.

 

And, yes, she will probably growl and snap if another dog tries to take something from her - that's why it's called resource guarding! - so it's best to closely supervise her anytime there are high value items around. Personally, I never allow one dog to approach or take anything that another dog has. I redirect them, or I am the middleman for all exchanges, for precisely this reason.

 

Congrats on you new girl, and welcome to Greytalk!

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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When one of my boys growled at me when I had to do something like preventing him from swallowing that piece of toy you mentioned I tell him to stop it with my voice of god. I'm 100% for positive reinforcement but sometimes you just need to be strict (is that the right word?).

Dogs don't do democracy. And in a possible life and dead situation I need to be able to stop them from doing themselves harm.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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No self respecting dog is going to let other dogs steal their food. Her behavior is totally normal.

 

If your sister's dogs are rude around food, keep them separated while eating.

 

Greyhounds have impecable manners compared to other dogs, owing to their growing up in packs, and not as little puppies removed from their dog family at 8 weeks of age. Your dog knows where it's at: your sister's dogs are the issue. :)

 

The simplest answer is usually right. Don't let them in contact with each other during meals.


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

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Thanks everyone! I should clarify that we already separate the dogs during meals, so I was more concerned about whether she might settle down next to a toy she likes and then get possessive of it if one of the other dogs (or people) got too close to it. When she growled at my husband trying to take the toy, it surprised us because it wasn't food (and she was laying on a pile of other toys), but now that you mention "high value" I realize that this was a new toy she had just discovered, so it probably was pretty precious to her at that moment. I'll continue working up to "drop it," and work on trading up in the meantime.

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I really appreciate this thread. We've recently adopted "Leica Tiger" (formerly raced ad T's Randy Savage), and I've been having to address similar issues. We've haf him just over a month, and rhe first couple weeks he showed no signs og growling over high value items. But I think as he's comes out of his shell and gets more comforts and confident in his new life, we will need to consistently address this witj him. Mostly now, I'm working on trading up, but I think I need to incorporate more obedience into those situations, like "leave it.

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