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New Greyhound, Resource Guarding? Or Uncomfortable?

Guest sabrina_v

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Guest sabrina_v

Hi everyone! I adopted my boy, Mac a month ago today! He's been amazing so far, very calm, loves walks, LOVES people and getting PETS, and is settling in well.


We had one resource guarding incident when I gave him a bone and he growled a very low warning at me when I came too close to him eating it. I immediately did a trade for the bone and he hasn't been allowed to have it since.


The incident in question was about two nights ago -- I let him on the couch for the second time ever and he laid down between my roommate and I. He was fine getting petted and seemed quite content, but then my roommate went to cuddle with him (his back was to my roommate and my roommate put his head on Mac's shoulder area and was petting him while he did this) and Mac seemed fine for a moment but then gave a low growl. I got up from the couch and told him to get down, which he did very willingly and then I sat back on the couch and ignored him for a bit. Was this the right move? I wasn't sure if this was resource guarding or if he was uncomfortable/felt trapped by my roommate's hug. Thoughts?


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Many dogs don't like hugs and the growl was likely him saying "Whoa, I barely know you - please do not." You handled it well (in my inexperienced opinion ;) ) - don't correct the growling (it's a good warning to have and you don't want to correct him out of giving it), but calmly get him off the sofa and then don't let him back on the sofa for a while (until you have a better read on his likes and dislikes, anyway).


Also, welcome!

Edited by Roo

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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I cuddled Rogue sometime in the first week that I got him and got the same response. I had my head near his shoulder and he did a low growl. It was on his bed so I backed off and then resumed belly rubs without extra cuddles. He just didn't know me then. Now that I've had Rogue for six months, I can cuddle him without making him uncomfortable.

Dogs in general don't really care for hugs, so I try to stay away from that gesture.

Sarah with P Kay Ruger "Rogue"


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Yes, I think you handled it perfectly. Your roommate needs to be aware that leaning over and putting your head on his shoulder is very threatening. You are lucky that Mac only growled as that action was asking to be bitten. Mac was being very good by just growling! Remember greyhounds don't grow up with people doing things like hugging them and leaning over them. It is very hard for an adult dog to get used to these behaviors of their people.

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My dog adores me, and sleeps with me, and snuggles with me. That doesn't mean he allows me to put my head on him! He hates that. And clearly your dog does too.


That's not resource guarding--it's communicating. Just tell your roomie to not do it again, problem solved!


We assume dogs like the same kinds of displays of affection that we do, but they often don't. Patricia McConnell's book "The Other End of the Leash" talks about it in detail.

Edited by GeorgeofNE


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

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