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Morning Bathroom Aggression


Guest LeroytheGoodBoy
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Guest LeroytheGoodBoy

My SO and I have had our greyhound for about 3 months. Every Monday-Friday, I take him out at 6:30 AM before I start getting ready for work. He was always totally fine with that, until about a week ago. He started softly growling, got louder, started barking, then snapping. I was always able to get the leash on him before any real snapping began, but today he snarled before I even got near him. I tried to pet him first, to show him it was okay, and he bit my hand. So I just reached in and grabbed his collar and pulled him up, thinking I was showing him who's boss. He showed all his teeth, his ears stood straight up....it was horrible. Once he's up and awake, he's totally fine. It honestly just seems that he'd rather keep sleeping. Anytime after 9:00 AM, he's totally fine going out. No aggression or anything. He never seems overly excited to be going out, but at least we don't have to forcibly pull him up.

 

He's really not treat motivated at all. He always just avoids eye contact whenever we try to bribe him with a treat.

 

My fear now is that I'm making him afraid. He knows the morning routine...I don't want him to associate anything negative, like myself or my SO pulling him up forcibly in order to get him outside. We've decided after today's incident to not grab him and force him up again, so as to not make him fearful of us. But the only alternative is to keep letting him sleep. Then he'll have to hold it until 5:00 PM that afternoon, which I think is way too long. Although he does seem capable of holding it for an extraordinary amount of time. Sometimes when we take him out when we get home from work, he'll only do a #1, and no #2. He'll do that before bed, so at that point, he basically waited 15+ hours, of his own choice though.

 

Anyone else experience this or have any insights? I never want to out him or myself in another position to get bitten/bite, but I'm not sure what's the next best step.

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See responses in the other thread in this section about "aggression." Though he put his teeth on you, it was not true aggression. If he had wanted to bite to hurt you badly he certainly could have. You ignored his warning growls, so he had to up the ante on his protest. This is why you never ignore or correct a growl.

 

He's finally beginning to become settled into your home and routine, and letting you know what he likes and doesn't like. As you've seen, grabbing and "forcing" don't really work. But he does need to go out in the morning. So you need to work on this during the rest of the day too. He may not be food motivated, but there is *something* that he likes. You need to find it and use it just for this excercise. Rotisserie chicken, liverwurst, cheese, hot dog slices, vienna sausage are all things to try.

 

First, make absolutely sure he's awake before you approach his bed. Part of his grumpiness may be a developing space aggression and/or bed guarding behavior. So call his name, clap your hands, throw a light squeaky toy on him to make sure he's awake. Once he is awake, sit across the room and call him in a high excited voice. When he comes to you, praise praise praise and lots of special treats. Put his collar/leash on and head out.

 

In the beginning you want to go through the whole action up to the going outside part. Praise and treat and then release him to do what he wants. A few minutes later, start it again. Do it in short, fun sessions when he's up and around and when he's laying down.

 

You also might consider changing your routine a bit so he gets to go out a little later when he might be more amenable. After breakfast is when a lot of dogs need to relieve themselves. I would also say to believe him when he says he doesn't want to go out unless he's shown that he can't/won't hold it. A dog walker at noontime or midmorning might help for a little while until you get over this little bump in his behavior.

 

And be a *little* thankful! Most greys get their new owners up way earlier than the humans usually want!!!

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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Can't add anything to greysmom's advice, just best luck with your pup.

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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If you call him off his bed with a cheery happy voice (while sitting down on the other side of the room), does he come to you? If so, try this. Stop approaching him on his bed for now - he doesn't like it at this time of day. Get him up another way, be it attention (call him over, give him lots of pets, then clip the leash and go), treats (the high-value treats suggested above typically work better than regular dog treats), or just ignoring him until he gets up of his own accord.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest LeroytheGoodBoy

Thanks for the advice! I'll have to try different types of treats. Nothing in the morning right now gets him going....cheery voice, treats, toys...I've tried opening the door, thinking he would come see if I was leaving...nope. I dish out his breakfast really loudly, thinking he'll come running bc he knows it's breakfast time....nope. He's actually lately started eating super late in the day. His breakfast just sits there for hours. Sometimes a little bit is still there when we get home from work. It really just seems that he values sleep more than anything else.

 

Hopefully some rotisserie chicken will work 😄

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Is it hot where you're at? Some dogs don't like eating when it's hot.

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

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Guest LeroytheGoodBoy

We're in the northeast. So temps in the 80s and 90s, but the air conditioning is always on so it's very comfortable. He had tape worms and hook worms when we first got him. The tape worms are now gone, but the hooks are proving tough to get rid of. So the vet has us giving him another round of meds. We're thinking that maybe when he had the tapes, he was so hungry and eating everything immediately. Now that the tapes are gone, he might not be so hungry. If it continues though, we're going to bring it up to the vet to make sure it's not a more serious side effect of the hooks.

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Hooks have been notoriously hard to clear lately - you can search the H&M section for various treatments and experiences - and they could definitely be causing his lethargy and discomfort. As long as he's being treated, which could be months, he will probably not feel well. You may also need to adjust his food amount now that the tapes are gone. He might not need as much and so he's leaving some. And because he's not eating as much, he doesn't feel the urge to go as much, hence the not wanting to get up in the morning.

 

An alternate approach would be to just sit with him for a few minutes (as long as you're clear he's not resource guarding his bed) giving him pets and full body rubs, talkiing to him about go o-u-t for a walk, and being cheerful but quieter. Then get up yourself and clap your hands, Let's Go!, praise and treat. Still use the other training for later in the day.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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How much are you feeding him? I think MOST new owners feed way too much.

 

As a way of comparison, my greyhound (and my first one) were small fellows, in the 65 pound range. I fed them each one cup of food twice a day. And some treats. But that's about 1/2 of what your average person feeds, as far as I can tell. That's what they needed to weigh the proper amount. If you're using dog food bag amounts you're likely feeding him way more than he needs.

 

Also, how much exercise is he getting? If he just lays around all day doing nothing (which I know is paradise to some hounds), why would he be hungry? Specially if you're giving him a generous portion.

 

I'm sorry he snapped at you, but he did warn you!

 

"Showing him who is boss" is outdated thinking. And trust me, I clung to "old school" methods for a long, long time! I agree with the happy tone, and I think that, and feeding him less, might help.


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

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Guest LeroytheGoodBoy

Good to know about the hooks! Ours is a big boy...90 pounds when we got him and he was skeletal. We could see all his ribs and the spaces in between. He's up to 95 pounds now and looks great. Still can see some ribs, but only the back ones, which the vet said is really good. The vet suggested 2 cups in the morning and 2 at night to help him gain some weight. Then we could most likely cut back. So maybe now is the time to cut back a little.

 

We walk him about 10-15 minutes in the morning, 20-30 minutes when we get back from work and before he eats, and about 30 minutes before bed.

 

Definitely agree about him warning me! It was so startling and upset me so much, but I can hardly blame him. He gave me warnings ever day and I just ignored him. He was probably thinking "why isn't she getting this yet?!"

 

Hopefully once the hooks are finally gone, he'll be feeling much better.

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90 pounds is huge! He must be a big fella!! 2 cups sounds pretty reasonable, actually. If you can still see ribs, then it's probably good. Then again, he's clearly not hungry... Is he getting a lot of other stuff? Peanut butter in a Kong? Pig ears? Rawhide? Anything else he actually ingests?


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

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Guest LeroytheGoodBoy

Hahaha he really is massive. He doesn't really eat anything else. Really not that interested in treats. We've given him a Kong with Greenies in it, but he gets bored with it and then doesn't get the treat out. Then we got him one of those balls that you put food in and when he plays with it, the food will fall out....not interested in that either haha. So he really just eats at meal times.

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Assuming medical issues are sorted out, perhaps an approach you could try would be to feed him earlier and less food the evening before. That may increase his hunger when you need to get him going in the morning.

 

I also think the situation could be helped with some work on bonding. I have found long walks in beautiful places had the biggest impact. With a strong bond most dogs will simply follow you when you leave your room. It's early days yet so hopefully things will start to improve.

 

I had a 90 pounder. He was special.

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