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When To Make The Decision To Euthanize A Young Greyhound

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Guest jrbkett17

Hi All:

 

With so many dear greyhounds waiting to be adopted, considering the behavior of our 55 pound beautiful red female greyhound, my wife and I are considering putting her down. Why?

 

  1. In Nov. 2016, we first met Chanel and fell in love with her. She is not only a beautiful girl but is also sweet with a kind heart. However, our local "Friends of Retired Greyhounds" Non Profit group that rescued her, qualified that she should be the only dog in the home. There were a few bad incidents that occurred in foster homes, that including biting a cat and a small dog at different occasions. When we went to the pet store to see her the first time, she was kept away from the other greyhounds and was by herself with a muzzle on. We walked her around the store for about 30 minutes and got to know her a bit and went home to decide on whether we wanted to adopt her. We signed the papers to adopt Chanel a few days later.
  2. About a month later, during our first visit to our neighborhood dog park we had her muzzled. After about 2 minutes in the park she attacked a small dog. It was swift and fierce. We took this as a lesson that she should never be in the general dog area with Chanel.
  3. A few weeks later we decided to go with another greyhound friend to a large-dog-only fenced in area adjacent to the general area where she could socialize with other greyhounds. One of the people in the group, had a very small dog in their arms and was holding it near the entrance, yet still inside the large dog area. We let the other large male greyhound and another large dog run and decided to unleash Chanel and take her muzzle off to socialize with the other large dogs. What could go wrong? We were about 10 feet and facing away from the woman with the small dog in her arms. Once Chanel was unmuzzled & unleashed, she immediately did an 180 degree turn and ran and began leaping at the small dog in the woman's arms biting the little dog. I was furious and took her home and was beside myself. Honestly? I considered her a canine version of Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. We only had her for 6 or 7 weeks and I had decided we had made a mistake. She was not only a financial liability but also a threat to all of the small dogs she is near. We love all animals and I can't bear the thought of my dog injuring or killing another dog.
  4. In February late February, to calm her and hopefully get her more socialized we adopted her brother who was waiting in FL for a family. In March I got up very early (5:30AM), had their leashes in my hand at our outside door but did not have them leashed when i cracked the door open. Chanel immediately bolted out the door to chase a small dog that was with its human (a tall very kind man of about 6'2") and her brother, Banksy, followed. Similar to the incident described in #3 Chanel and Banksy were leaping and biting the little dog in the owner's arms. I had to tackle both, simultaneously wrestly both dogs to the ground. Lots of loud commotion during this wrestling effort. I tore the right leg of my jeans and had a bad cut on my right knee cap. I was distraught and a bit traumatized by this incident. I again concluded that this was not going to work out. I was convinced otherwide by my wife and our mentor greyhound owner, Mel. Via text after Mel had learned that I decided to change my mind and be more careful managing the dogs by leashing them before opening the door. Mel texted me, "I am very proud of you."
  5. About 5 weeks ago, the same people we met in incident #3 suggested that we take our dogs to The Boulder Creek Festival, which is a densely populated street fair. I dropped my wife off with both dogs leashed in the middle of a densely populated area. I had to run a quick errand and would meet up about 20 minutes later. About 1 minute later my wife texted me: "Chanel has bitten a small dog." I was hopeless to get back to my wife, because traffic was extremely congested and I simply could not get back to my wife, Chanel and Banksy. Animal Control officers were there and we were given a ticket. Chanel was to be quarantined for 10 days and then we would have a court date in July, about 2 weeks from now (June 28). We complied with the quarantine order and the Animal Control Officers who followed up with us were sympathetic to our situation because they felt the owner of small dog did not have his dog under control because the dog ran right at Chanel on a retractable leash. They also considered the guy to be a jerk, which is irrelevant.
  6. Fastforward to this past Saturday. We met our most respected Greyhound mentor, Mel, at my father's house where there is a wonderful large front fenced yard that Chanel and Banksy have been enjoying many times on Spring weekends. Mel's dog is named Lucy and is about the size of Chanel, perhaps a few pounds smaller. After meeting Mel and introducing the dogs to my father and step-mother, I drove to the grocery store to get hamburgers and cheese for our dinner. When I returned about 25 minutes later, there was somber news. Chanel had fiercely bitten Lucy on the neck. This was by far the worst incident yet. Lucy was shaking from shock and fear. Chanel was shaking probably because of adrenaline overload. We have a $500 bill to pay for that incident and a bill to pay for the dog injuries to the little dog's ear injuries that will be in the $200-$300 range. Let me be clear, this is not exclusively about money.
  7. After grave consideration my wife made a decision. Any time Chanel is outside our home, she is to be muzzled. We are on day 4 of that program.
  8. Today I arrive home from work at noon to take Chanel and Banksy to do their business and visit an older widow, Lila, who has become a friend to Chanel and Banksy. Miraculously her dog, Jessie, gets along very well with Chanel and Banksy. During this visit to Lila's I failed to comply with my wife's new rule. I had forgotten. There is a lot on my mind today. This is my last day working at IBM, after 12 years. During our time inside Lila's house Chanel was not her usual self. We have visited Lila's place about 10 times before and they were all delightful visits. Lila is wonderful with the greyhounds. They also love her. Lila is very tolerant of the distruction of toys not fit for greyhounds and she just loves them because they are so special. During today's visit Chanel was growling very aggresively at her brother as she was on Lila's bed (Lila doesn't mind, in fact she loves having them climbing on her furniture). The tone in her Chanel's growling at Banksy was not like I was used to hearing. About 5 minutes later Chanel started biting Banky's neck not in a playful way but in an escalatingly aggressive way. I had to take them home and have decided to have the muzzle on her at all times save when eating and drinking.

 

When we appear before the judge on July 11th I will not lie. The fact of the matter is, we have a liability on our hands and more importantly a danger to the safety to her brother and other dogs with whom she is in contact. After the episode in my father's yard and reflecting on the festival, I concluded that these 2 occasions were 'my fault.' I should have been in control of the leash in each case and if "I had been there, these incidents would not have happened." I cried on the way home from my dad's house this past weekend, defending Chanel; that this was not her fault.

I have come to realize that I am delusional about my role in these incidents.

 

After the incident today, I now think that she will attack other dogs, including her brother, again and again if given the opportunity. I think she may need to be euthanized. However, she and her brother are only 3 and a half years old. I'm open to other conclusions, guidance and wisdom from this community. I hate to be thinking about this, but how often does this have to happen in order to make the decision to euthanize a dog who has attacked so many dogs over the past 8 months? Is there some dog handling or medication resolution? Will she "grow out of this?"

 

Thank you for reading my post. I have a heavy heart and will not act without a lot of consideration. My wife and I love Chanel and Banksy like no other dogs we have ever had. One more note, as we hugged and apologized to Mel, she somberly suggested that we many need to put her down. There are so many lonesome abandoned greyhounds that need homes.

 

Regards,

 

Jim

 

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You need to return Chanel to your adoption group. They can find her a home that can properly manage her.

 

I also suggest you reach out to the Lexus Project - http://www.thelexusproject.org/


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You need to return Chanel to your adoption group. They can find her a home that can properly manage her.

 

I also suggest you reach out to the Lexus Project - http://www.thelexusproject.org/

 

 

This. This is not the right home for her. Not every hound is right for every home. There is no shame in putting her best interest first and letting the rescue group rehome her.


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Please, please return Chanel to your adoption group. They'll understand and find your girl an appropriate home.


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Unless otherwise ordered by a court, send her back to the group and let them deal with the issues. Let it be them that decide to euthanase after re-evaluation. Donate them some money for their efforts.

 

I returned one once, a really lovely dog, apart from seeing small dogs as prey, and knowing this from day one I never left the muzzle off when out or when visiting.

She got a new home within the week.

Really there isn't any blame in not wanting a muzzle-all-the-time dog.

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Please return the dog to the adoption group. If for any reason they will not take her- contact the Lexus project at Thelexusproject@optonline.net

 

They will help if the group won't. Or can't for whatever reason.


 

 

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I'd agree with returning her. This doesn't sound like an appropriate home for her. It sounds like she needs a quiet home where she can be an only dog, with someone who doesn't socialize a lot with other dog owners. Without seeing the behaviour in person it is hard to say for sure, but it sounds like she's a dog that needs some management to keep everyone safe. She shouldn't be going to busy public places like festivals or fairs, or to dog parks or other "play dates", and there likely needs to be some caution in terms of where/when to walk her in the neighbourhood. But there is probably a home out there that would be happy to have her as an only dog, who don't get together a lot with friends with dogs, and who are happy to not take her out and about too much in places with high dog traffic.

 

Reach out to your adoption group and to the Lexus Project as previously mentioned. Sorry you're going through this.


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In Nov. 2016, we first met Chanel and fell in love with her. She is not only a beautiful girl but is also sweet with a kind heart. However, our local "Friends of Retired Greyhounds" Non Profit group that rescued her, qualified that she should be the only dog in the home. There were a few bad incidents that occurred in foster homes, that including biting a cat and a small dog at different occasions. When we went to the pet store to see her the first time, she was kept away from the other greyhounds and was by herself with a muzzle on.

 

1. Needs to be an only

2. Biting incidents at foster homes

3. Muzzled

4. Kept away from the other greyhounds

 

Your group was up front about #1. Chanel needs to be an only dog with someone experienced with this type of behavior. She can be managed, but she has already been set up to fail multiple times. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but I do believe that you want what is best for Chanel. Please return her ASAP.


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Guest goofydog2

Agree with the other posters, Chanel needs to be returned to your adoption group. She really needs to be an 'only' as she has proven that she isn't comfortable around other dogs. There is nothing wrong with returning a hound that isn't a good fit for your home and social/activity level. There is a home out there that will be a great match for Chanel and she'll have the opportunity to live a long and happy life.

 

You also need to think of Banksy's mental and physical health. You might be surprised at his being happy as an 'only.' If he isn't, your group can find an acceptable companion for him.

 

I currently have my 2nd 'only' and he is fine with it. I did find out at a local event that he is intolerant of other dogs. While he wants to meet others and sniff he won't tolerate being sniffed or being face to face. When I adopted him from a dear friends group she told me that Morrie didn't need a brother or sister. He didn't need a pack. All he needed was a 'person'. When I met him we spent some time together and when he buried his head in my chest he was letting me know that I was his 'person.'

 

Tough decision to make, however you'll do what's best for all involved since that's what we do for those we love.

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In Nov. 2016, we first met Chanel and fell in love with her. She is not only a beautiful girl but is also sweet with a kind heart. However, our local "Friends of Retired Greyhounds" Non Profit group that rescued her, qualified that she should be the only dog in the home. There were a few bad incidents that occurred in foster homes, that including biting a cat and a small dog at different occasions. When we went to the pet store to see her the first time, she was kept away from the other greyhounds and was by herself with a muzzle on.

 

1. Needs to be an only

2. Biting incidents at foster homes

3. Muzzled

4. Kept away from the other greyhounds

 

Your group was up front about #1. Chanel needs to be an only dog with someone experienced with this type of behavior. She can be managed, but she has already been set up to fail multiple times. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but I do believe that you want what is best for Chanel. Please return her ASAP.

Everything Jan says reflects my opinion as well.

 

Another alternative to returning Chanel to your group, especially since someone with them ( I am presuming) has mentioned putting her down, is to contact GBARK. They take in problem greyhounds from adopters and greyhound groups and give them a good life. 1gbark@gmail.com (812) 510-3900 "We provide lifetime care to dogs that are hard to adopt due to age, disability or temperament." Physical address: 3715 E. Sylvania Rd., Bloomfield, IN 47424


 

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Guest jrbkett17

Hi All: Thanks so much for your prompt guidance. Will let you know how this goes returning her to Friends of Retired Greyhounds. Take care, Jim

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Guest jrbkett17

@Greyaholics I agree with your analysis. I want to add that the reason we got her brother, was not only for socialization but because she constantly whimpers while alone. I think she needs to be alone in a very big yard or on a farm. But as a rookie, I'm sure there are other options that make sense too. Living near Denver surrounded by a lot of farm country, how difficult can it be to find a suitable home? Our reflex is to not trust our group, but we need to let her go and trust the best will happen. We are reaching out to the Lexus Project as well. Thanks for that recommendation. We also are contacting GBARK.

 

I want to say that you are all wonderful caring people. I don't take offense to any direct recommendation. We are rookie greyhound owners and we learned some things and have a lot more to learn.

 

In my father's yard she does zoomies that are amazingly powerful and breathtaking to watch. Her weight to strenght ratio is so optimal that she's able to propel her body at amazing speed in a matter of seconds. She's also a fierce competitor. Now I understand why these dogs are muzzled on the track. I will pursue GBARK as I do not want to see her euthanized. We feel like having her killed would be like killing a beautiful young eagle. She's never been aggressive to a human...ever. She's the type that attracts people on the street and immediately leans into the person with affection - with that unique slow wag of the tail. The fact that she loves seniors so much is particulary touching. Under the care of the right family I bet she will thrive. She's only 3 and a half! We want to be a part of the solution since we feel responsible for 90% of what has happened.

 

We've gazed at Chanel in particular, and Banksy too, with a feeling in our gut that the ancients who initially fell in love with the breed had excellent judgement and very good taste. Utility for those times? for sure. But in the last 8 months we've been introduced to some of the most majestic and mysteriously charming dogs we have ever encountered. I will let you know where she lands.

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Very glad to hear that she's being returned, and very sorry it wasn't a right fit. :(

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Our group recently had a return just like this. The greyhound had successfully been in a home for several years, then due to their circumstances changing, she was returned to us. She is an extremely high prey drive dog who does not like other dogs of any size, even other greyhounds. She also has quite severe separation anxiety. In her foster home - who knew she needed to be managed - they let her out in the yard and she killed a free-roaming cat in seconds. Back she came to us again.

 

She was just adopted into a wonderful experienced home where she will be an only dog of someone who is there nearly all the time. So there is a proper home out there for your girl.

 

FWIW, in my opinion, there is quite enough blame to go around. This dog should never have been approved to go to a home that had no greyhound experience. And despite them telling you she was a high prey drive dog, you continually set her up to fail by putting her in situations where she could not be managed properly. A certified animal behaviorist may have been able to help you with positive coping strategies, and I'm sorry your adoption group didn't recommend this.

 

Thank you for putting her first this time and returning her to GBARK. The Lexus project will also be able to help with your legal situation, should you need it.


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It is startling to me that any dog with this sort of history would ever be out in public without a muzzle. And now with another dog in the house it I would muzzle 24/7 until Chanel is returned. Each and every one of these incidents was completely and easily avoidable with the most basic dog management - hmm... so we think that it is not a good idea to have a high prey greyhound in the general area of a dog park? - I'm almost speechless. I only fault the adopters for not realizing immediately how ill-equipped they are to manage a dog with this sort of character. The real fault lies with the group - what a mess. I feel sorry for all involved, especially Chanel.

 

And what about Banksy? What will be his fate. He's already tried to attack a small dog. Are his reactions in all situations known? Or will we throw him in the general dog area of the dog park and find out?

Edited by KickReturn

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Since I assume you are planning to keep Banksy, I'll add a few comments.

 

Racing Greyhounds are accustomed to bolting out of racing box/trap doors the instant the door opens to chase moving lures. Unfortunately, as you discovered, newly retired Greyhounds can react similarly to other open doors (house doors, car doors, etc.) leading to the outside. Greyhounds consider an outside environment with small furry moving creatures (aka: lures) as "game on", which is one of several reasons it's so important to leash hounds before opening doors. As an extra safety measure, our hounds enter/exit the house through only one door which leads into a fenced yard. This reduces risk of accidental escape, and helps ensure they are leashed for walks before the fence gate is opened. Some people (self included) use a 4' tall ex-pen as an extra U-shape air lock/catch pen to surround a fence gate, or door leading to a non-fenced yard. This also helps on windy days if an unlocked gate is blown open, but we recommend a gate lock or carabiner clip.

 

Public dog parks can be high risk for all dog breeds. Many of us don't take our hounds into dog parks for many reasons. Some adoption groups schedule "Greyhounds only" play dates in which ALL hounds are muzzled for safety because it's so easy for a tooth to catch and tear their paper thin skin wide open during play, etc. Greyhounds are competitive racers and play differently than other breeds. A general rule is muzzle one dog equals muzzle all dogs because if a fight breaks out, one muzzled hound can't defend him/herself from other non-muzzled dogs.

 

If a dog cries out or a fight occurs in a public dog park, normal canine instinct can quickly take over becoming a group pack dog fight. I've seen this happen with about 20 dogs. It happens so fast, no human can control or stop it from happening. Dog packs work together to eliminate their perceived hurt, ill, or weakest link. (Dog squeaky toys are made to sound like a weak, distressed animal.)

 

To answer your question: Chanel will never "grow out of this behavior". Clearly, Chanel should never be allowed around any other animals, and her being muzzled is a safety requirement, even inside your home with Banksy. I would keep Chanel and Bansky completely safely separated from each other until Chanel is returned to the Greyhound adoption group or GBARK ASAP. As I'm guessing you will, please be very clear about every single incident in which Chanel was involved. The Greyhound leaders need a full understanding of her recent history.

 

Chanel does not need a large property. Adopted retired racing Greyhounds are indoor dogs. They are temperature sensitive and should not be left outside. There are Greyhound experienced people who live alone after their Greyhound passed. Chanel could be a companion for someone in that sort of situation.

 

You and your wife are in our thoughts during this difficult time. I'd encourage you to continue to explore GreyTalk.

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>>If a dog cries out or a fight occurs in a public dog park, normal canine instinct can quickly take over becoming a group pack dog fight. I've seen this happen with about 20 dogs. It happens so fast, no human can control or stop it from happening. Dog packs work together to eliminate their perceived hurt, ill, or weakest link. (Dog squeaky toys are made to sound like a weak, distressed animal.)>>

 

:nod 101% correct. They rush in in an instant to join in the mayhem and may demonstrate that they can do it (the potential violence) better

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I want to add that the reason we got her brother, was not only for socialization but because she constantly whimpers while alone. Please read up on "Separation Anxiety" - there are numerous threads here on GreyTalk.

 

We would also suggest reading the books "Greyhounds for Dummies" as well as Cynthia Branigan's "Adopting the Racing Greyhound."

Edited by FiveRoooooers

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Our reflex is to not trust our group, but we need to let her go and trust the best will happen.

 

 

I'm not sure why you wouldn't trust the group. They were very clear with you about her issues and what she needed before she was adopted. Now they just have a larger laundry list of things for the next adopter that is better equipped to deal with her issues.

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There is nothing the wrong with your dog. Some dogs are dog aggressive PERIOD. She will always be. Its probably not her fault. There is a good chance that the reason she is dog aggressive is that she herself was attacked at one time. She needs to be muzzled and I wish you would quit putting her in positions all the time that calls for a non dog aggressive dog. I don't care what your human reasons or interventions are she is probably never going to be social. It is never good to set a dog up to fail all the time. If you don't love her enough to manage that then please return her to the group. Being dog aggressive is NO reason for a dog to get killed over. If that were true almost half the dogs in the country would be wiped out. There are MANY people- like myself- who have no problems managing such dogs. I have had a greyhound that had to be muzzled 24/7, big deal. He didn't care and I didn't care. I have had aggressive dogs. Its just a management issue. It certainly should not be a death sentence. Please let her go have a nice life somewhere that she belongs. Please don't kill her just because you don't want to or can't meet her special needs. There is somebody that will. An interesting thing about dogs is sometimes just the simple act of moving them to a different home immediately changes their behavior so much they act like a different dog. Please give her a chance at a happy stress free life.

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Guest nicky604

When discovered that a dog is NOT SMALL DOG SAFE, the dog MUST be KEPT AWAY from small dogs. Muzzled or controlled so not close enough to a small dog to reach it.

It sounds like you have a very busy, very social life. It would be much better for you to have a dog that is GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS, both big AND small.

My current foster is good with small dogs.

First, I tested him, muzzled on leash, then on leash without a muzzle, then loose in my yard with my neighbour's small dog, muzzled. Then with the muzzle off.

Next at the park, first only on leash and after seeing him behave himself while meeting many small dogs, then AND ONLY THEN loose with a small dog.

 

However, my foster before that was NOT SMALL DOG SAFE. I small dog tested him with a Bichon Frise on leash.

I had my eyes glued on him, watching for signs of him recognizing the small dog as a dog and being appropriate by sniffing politely.

 

Nope, he was SALIVATING over the dog and I had the leash just so, ready to haul him off just in time, which I did. He opened his mouth

and was going to try and pick the dog up in his mouth! Even though the dog was too big for that! Just before he got his mouth around the little dog,

I hauled him off.

 

This was explained to the adopters but they didn't listen. I cannot talk about what happened but despite agreeing to keeping him muzzled or completely under control on leash,

there was an incident.

 

As a greyhound owner, you have to assess your dog and once the dog has shown himself to be unsafe with small dogs that's it.

 

He mustn't be allowed to injure or kill them. That means, either MUZZLED or not allowed to be close enough to be able to reach the dog.

 

By not providing that safety, you endanger the small dogs lives and the life of the young, high prey drive greyhound.

 

Luckily, our rescue group was able to get our greyhound out of state before Animal Control had a chance to euthanize him.

 

He is now safe with experienced trainers in a kennel. They are working on socializing him.

 

I feel sad that the incident occurred at all as I had house-broken him and taught him very nice leash manners and basic obedience.

 

He is only 2 years old.

 

Hopefully, they will find him a home with people that can provide a safe environment for him until he settles down.

 

Usually by age 4, the dog settles down and with the proper socialization in CONTROLLED settings, he can learn what is expected of him.

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This is an old thread. I wonder how it turned out for Chanel?

Edited by GreytNut

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Well, this poor dog was set up to fail over and over.

 

It's fortunate no small dog was killed (yet).

 

Yes, please return this dog who CLEARLY cannot "socialize" at dog parks, ever, for any reason. There are plenty of people, like me, who know how to prevent this sort of problem (you know, by keeping her away from other dogs, not using dog parks, etc.).

 

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you but RETURN HER before she kills a small dog or injures someone.



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