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Excited Greyhound Bites Hard, Leaving Bruises. Advice Please.


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Guest mborders39

Hello-- I hope someone could help with our issue:

 

My husband and I got a greyhound 2 months ago. He is a very tall boy, has a super high-prey drive, loves people (no cats, no small dogs -- really no dogs in general (he lunges at them after growling).

 

He is not allowed on furniture. He gets 1.5 hours of exercise (leashed walks) a day.

 

He has seemed to "claim" me; He doesn't even like it when I close the door when using the restroom. He whines for pets often. He used to growl when we pet him and this has drastically shifted the last 3 weeks.

 

He wants to be the BOSS -- very vocally demanding, always herding us, always stopping abruptly during walks and fighting us when we pull him.

 

 

Now... to my issue...

 

My husband and I are newlyweds and very playfully physical with each other: we tickle, wrestle, he likes to pick me up... yadda yadda.. also, we have our more "intimate moments". Whenever we are playful with each other, Brock (our greyhound), will immediately begin rooing VERY loudly--it's really more of a yell than a roo-- even if he is in the other room. Rooing with a wagging tail, Brock will run to wherever we are, yell right in my face then start biting my arm, hand, head, wherever. I know about nitting, and sometimes he does that to me when I get his leash out, and this is not it. He BITES me and shakes me. It hurts and leaves marks and bruises. I've tried to "yelp" in a high pitched voice, and this doesn't deter him. We have to push him off and yell and even grab his muzzle because he will still be trying to get at me. It's like he is treating my arm as he would a toy when he bites it and throws it around. I'm 100lb and he is 80lb. My arm honestly hurts typing this.

 

He doesn't do this to my husband. He likes my husband but he clearly likes me more which is strange that he hurts me.

 

What is the deal with this? We are TERRIFIED to introduce him to our 2 year old nephew -- he gets overly excited around small children and jumps at them.

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Guest mborders39

Hello-- I hope someone could help with our issue:

 

My husband and I got a greyhound 2 months ago. He is a very tall boy, has a super high-prey drive, loves people (no cats, no small dogs -- really no dogs in general (he lunges at them after growling). He wants to chase down horses, and tries to jump on kids.

He is not allowed on furniture. He gets 1.5 hours of exercise (leashed walks) a day.

 

He has seemed to "claim" me; He doesn't even like it when I close the door when using the restroom. He whines for pets often. He used to growl when we pet him and this has drastically shifted the last 3 weeks.

 

He wants to be the BOSS -- very vocally demanding, always herding us, always stopping abruptly during walks and fighting us when we pull him.

 

 

Now... to my issue...

 

My husband and I are newlyweds and very playfully physical with each other: we tickle, wrestle, he likes to pick me up... yadda yadda.. also, we have our more "intimate moments". Whenever we are playful with each other, Brock (our greyhound), will immediately begin rooing VERY loudly--it's really more of a yell than a roo-- even if he is in the other room. Rooing with a wagging tail, Brock will run to wherever we are, yell right in my face then start biting my arm, hand, head, wherever. I know about nitting, and sometimes he does that to me when I get his leash out, and this is not it. He BITES me, doesn't let go and shakes me. It hurts and leaves marks and bruises. I've tried to "yelp" in a high pitched voice, and this doesn't deter him. We have to push him off and yell and even grab his nose because he will still be trying to get at me. It's like he is treating my arm as he would a toy when he bites it and throws it around. I'm 100lb and he is 80lb. My arm honestly hurts typing this.

 

He doesn't do this to my husband. He likes my husband but he clearly likes me more which is strange that he hurts me. It seems like he is trying to play.. am I the toy?

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Guest mborders39

He uses his whole mouth; I have marks from his entire mouth, not just his front teeth. He also doesn't let go and shakes me. He knits me when we get ready for walks. This seems like something else. It has to be. Thank you for your response though. I'm hoping someone here has gone through something similar.

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You and your husband are playing and your dog wants in on the action. Your husband is in effect pulling at you and your dog responds by also pulling - however, your dog has bigger teeth.

 

Your dog is easily excitable, I have had a few dogs like that. For example, if you started running in a yard, he would likely grab your arm because he thinks you are playing. Training is going to be the key - you need to teach him to "calm down". I also suggest that you keep the activities to the bedroom and shut the door (at least for a month or two and see if it makes a difference). Some of this is happening because the dog is new and just wants to participate in whatever is going on.

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Guest mborders39

Yes, we have started closing the door, although it's kind of a buzz kill when you have a howling hound at the other side. I'll need to look up training techniques to calm him. He is generally a "calm" greyhound -- so I didn't consider teaching him to calm down. Thank you. It does seem like he wants to play --- it's just so aggressive so we weren't sure.

 

Has anyone taught their greyhound to "calm down"? Any techniques or tricks that work?

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Sounds like he's trying to play with you. Unfortunately, when greyhounds play they usually play hard - which is why they usually wear muzzles when they play with each other.

 

It also sounds like you have a dog who needs some help learning all the ropes of living in a home with humans. Two months is just a blip of time for a newly adopted greyhound. He's still settling in and learning about being a pet. Nothing that you describe is particularly unusual behavior, but it does need some time and attention.

 

Nothing is going to extinguish his prey drive - that is a behavior characteristic that is hard wired into his brain - but there are things you can do to help him manage it when he's around other dogs. You should be carrying some really yummy treats out on walks. When you see a thing that is distracting to him, try and anticipate his reaction *BEFORE* he does. Get his attention with the treat and keep stuffing them in his mouth as long as the other dog/cat/kid/animal/whatever is in his distraction range, keep walking. You want to change his brain from thinking of them as a "bad" thing to thinking of them as a reason he gets a yummy treat. Look up "leash reactivity" here in the forum.

 

As far as the biting is concerned, he's really probably just trying to play, NOT being aggressive. You and your husband are having fun and playing and he wants to join in. Unfortunately, he has way bigger teeth than either of you! When he begins to play too hard, you and husband need to stop what you are doing immediately, cross your arms, and turn away from him, and ignore him completely until he's calm. Ignore him when he vocalizes (at this point, because the biting is the worse issue). If you two want to have "private time" then lock him out of the bedroom, give him a nice chew treat or frozen Kong that will give him something to do, and ignore him until he goes and lays down again.

 

He's trying really hard to bond with you, so you want to give him activities and opportunities to spend some one-on-one time with both of you. Walking is good. You should trade off feeding him as much as possible so he doesn't get focused on only one of you being the food giver. Sitting quietly with him, reading a book or newspaper, and tossing a yummy treat. Play time out in the yard with a lure poll or ball. Going for family car rides to get an ice cream treat or a hike in a park.

 

I would be very careful in introducing him to a small child at this point. In fact, I probably wouldn't. He's too big, and too out of control at this point. If you *must* have them together, NEVER leave them unsupervised. Ever.

 

Here are a couple books to help you get started:

Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash Reactive Dog

https://smile.amazon.com/Feisty-Fido-Help-Leash-Reactive-Dog-ebook/dp/B001DA99CG/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1513560845&sr=8-9&keywords=patricia+mcconnell

 

Play Together, Stay Together - Happy and Healthy Play Between People and Dogs

https://smile.amazon.com/Play-Together-Stay-Healthy-Between-ebook/dp/B0037UYQ8C/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1513560845&sr=8-

13&keywords=patricia+mcconnell

 

How to be the Leader of the Pack...And have Your Dog Love You For It

https://smile.amazon.com/Leader-Pack-have-Your-Love-ebook/dp/B001D4TMXS/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1513560845&sr=8-12&keywords=patricia+mcconnell

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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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Guest mborders39

Thank you. That's very helpful advice regarding walks, we will bring treats from now on. Our walks usually consist of us crossing streets and politely informing everyone that he isn't ready to meet their dog. But sometimes in a city setting, you can't avoid them! We will try to distract him with treats.

 

We haven't been ignoring him when he tries to "play"-- it's usually a fiasco of my husband shoving him off of me and trying to keep him away. We will try that next time. It seems like our responding to him -- even negatively-- eggs him on for more.

 

Oh, he definitely gets more than his fair share of bonding. Its been awesome to see him change so much in just two months. He LOVES to play fetch at a nearby ballpark and is really good at dropping the ball now. I'm honestly so happy with how quickly he has bonded with us... he used to growl and show his teeth often! Now we need to work on his child/other dog/ over-excited behavior.

 

That's what I was worried about regarding our nephew. It unfortunately is not avoidable, but we have purchased a big metal kennel for the occasion and will have him wear a muzzle. We know that most bites happen to children.


Thank you for the book recommendations -- we will check them out! We have the Greyhound for Dummies book, but it doesn't cover some of these issues as in depth as we need.

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My recommendation would be to find a good, reward-based trainer to do an in home private or consult with you. There seem to be multiple issues going on, several with some aggression involved and a general misunderstanding of why certain behaviors occur, which is common, but can also lead to issues as you try to resolve them. Dogs don't need or want to be boss, their actions are driven by what motivates them or in some cases fear. The biting that you are describing is concerning, especially if he is holding and shaking. That is likely not just play. Best thing again would be to get a trainer in who can observe the behavior and help you figure out how to manage and modify it. In the meantime, I would NOT introduce him to young children. Keep him separated by baby gates, crate, etc. or have him on leash and muzzled. I would NOT trust a dog with a high level of predatory behavior and a history of biting that hard when aroused around a small change. Just don't do it.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

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What you describe, in general, is not a "calm" greyhound AT ALL. Sounds like you got one of the more rare big, bouncy boys. It also sounds like you've never had a dog before. This is all normal dog behavior not really related to his greyhound self.

 

He's way to big and bouncy to be allowed free access to a two year old. You should probably consider a baby gate and let him chill in a room rather than stuffing him in a box which he is no longer used to and expecting him to just behave in it. Sure, he might. He also might ruin your party by howling his head off. Baby gate him into an room you don't need the kids in, and make sure to give him stuff to do, and visit him, and then put his muzzle on and bring him in on a leash, and let him be part of things in small bites. If he's good, he gets to continue. If he's a pain, put him back in his room CALMLY and patiently. This is all new to him, and he's very young.

 

Have fun!


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Guest mborders39

Thank you for everyone's advice. We purchased an extra large crate (not a small box) on the advice of the adoption agency for his separation anxiety as well as for him to use as his "safe place" because he was trained at his foster to lie down in one when he got fearful or needed alone time. I realize it is my fault for leading everyone to assume that we would allow our dog to freely roam around a 2 year old -- this, however, is not the case.

 

I went to this site seeking advice because we have done A LOT of research before getting Brock and our literature didn't discuss this over-excited behavior that our hound exhibits. We wanted to see if anyone has gone through this situation. We realize it is common to other dogs, but we know that greyhound have quirks and were curious if this display of play-"aggression" (no, don't say the word aggression, my dear), "biting", "hard-knitting", "mouthing" - whatever is the correct way to label it, if this has happened and what it means in the greyhound-realm of behavior.

 

Brock is 4 years old by the way.

 

I suppose I should preface all posts on this site by telling people that I've done the research and I also volunteer once a week at a shelter so I'm used to dog-behavior, but I am NEW to greyhounds.

 

You see, he PULLS me away from my husband. For instance, if he has a hold of my sleeve, he will try to pull me into another room. He also shoves me out of the way if I try to pet another dog. We haven't heard of greyhounds being "possessive" over their people, so we didn't consider it and chalked it up to him wanting to play, but sometimes it seems like he is.

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I forgot to add earlier - one of my greyhounds also has the traits you describe in yours ... he was a big bouncy boy that had spurts of excess energy. What worked for me was to make sure that he had plenty of exercise (in spurts). It's funny, if I took him for a long walk - he would be dragging near the end- so more shorter walks worked well for him. There is also one other trait that might be occurring and that is the "cop behavior" where a dog tries to stop other dogs from playing - somewhat acts like a cop but this usually does not happen with people. I had one of the "cop" dogs too and usually keeping a muzzle on these types will work to chill them out. It doesn't sound like yours is being a cop but, maybe others in the group can give you more examples of "cop behavior".

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Thank you! Honestly, "cop behavior" may possibly be what he is doing. He seems to want to take me away from the "playing". I am curious if other people have seen this type of behavior as well. It might not be, but I am going to research this and see if it applies. I haven't seen or known dogs to do this to humans. Although I know dogs can get jealous, but I haven't heard of greyhounds being the jealous sort.

 

Brock is the same way with walks-- we have to do short spurts or he will drag and draaaag.

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Huh. My first greyhound used to try and bite my elbows during sexy time with the husband. He was easily discouraged though and didnt continue the behavior. He was actually trying to play. Later on, he became the fun-police type dog, but these behaviors didnt occur concurrently. Anyway, Neylasmom here is an actual dog trainer, so Id follow her recommendations.

 

BTW, the behavior you are describing is not that common in greyhounds, so I dont doubt you did your due diligence before adopting :)


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I've had one greyhound who was the "fun police" with people. All three of our Danes were this way. They were *very* protective of me specifically, even from my husband. Generally with greyhounds it's them wanting to play - they just don't usually get the protection gene!

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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Huh. My first greyhound used to try and bite my elbows during sexy time with the husband. He was easily discouraged though and didnt continue the behavior. He was actually trying to play. Later on, he became the fun-police type dog, but these behaviors didnt occur concurrently. Anyway, Neylasmom here is an actual dog trainer, so Id follow her recommendations.

 

BTW, the behavior you are describing is not that common in greyhounds, so I dont doubt you did your due diligence before adopting :)

 

 

Thank you for responding and providing the correct term -- "fun police", I didn't remember it correctly. I did a google on the term and there are plenty of links.

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I'd agree with finding a behavioralist, he could be playing but I also wonder if he thinks your husband is hurting you and is trying to get you away? He's got a lot going on to unpack.

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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Thank you! Honestly, "cop behavior" may possibly be what he is doing. He seems to want to take me away from the "playing". I am curious if other people have seen this type of behavior as well. It might not be, but I am going to research this and see if it applies. I haven't seen or known dogs to do this to humans. Although I know dogs can get jealous, but I haven't heard of greyhounds being the jealous sort.

 

He wasn't named Paddy "ALVIN Mayhem" for nothing. Brock sounds to me as tho he has a bit of his own mayhem gene, it isn't about being the fun police. While he never had to share me with another human, he wanted my other campers to know that it was All.About.Him. Apparently he was also that way at the track (43 races). Here, he would insert himself into conversations that had nothing to do with him. While I'd be petting or tending to another dog, Paddy would join us and put himself at the front of the line. He occasionally knit me. He (too) often took that to a higher level with my other campers. Sigh. Angel Paddy (I miss Paddy Mayhem) was a complicated fellow and it must have been hard to be him. He loved me with all of his ginormous heart and I apologized to him frequently for him having landed as part of our multi-pack vs. being the only dog. And yet, without question he loved the other campers. It was frustrating to him when he would be, um, assertive, toward them and then seem confused as to why they didn't like him and want to play. It was a real challenge to manage Paddy Mayhem and you will constantly be on your toes but if that sounds like Brock I have no doubt you are up to the task.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. Bea. Punkin. Annie. Miss M. Cletus, knot like the others.

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno.Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea.

 

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Brees used to bite me on the rear when (now ex)hubby and I fooled around. Put holes in more than one pair of jeans until we learned not to do that around her.

 

Kids and Brees dont mix well. They make her nervous, which makes me nervous, so I avoid the situation as much as possible.

 

Your dog will change a lot over the course of the next year year, and even more later.

 

Keep the kid and the dog mostly separated until both are older and wiser. Consider taking the kid with when you walk the dog, but with the kid having a separate keeper. Get some baby gates. Avoid doing the stuff that you know will cause the dog to do ouchy things. Give it time. Relax.

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How are things going?

 

Your dog is playing with you as if you were a dog. And as you have noticed, if you yell, push, etc., your dog just gets more riled up -- he thinks you're playing back! I have had a couple who tended to do this. (I have one now who thinks people are dogs, the more so when they have no clothes on.) One easy thing to do is keep a toy close by that you can give him when he starts getting mouthy. Might also be worthwhile to keep a stuffed Kong or other treat toy in the fridge/cupboard, that you can give him when you shut him out of the room. Perhaps a slight loss of spontaneity at times, but it might keep him occupied and quiet for a bit :) .

 

Some posts already made good suggestions re positive-methods behaviorist, plenty of exercise, etc. A couple of obedience or activity classes might be worthwhile. He doesn't necessarily need to learn to sit but the process of learning would help him tune in to what you want and vice versa. Agility, nosework, tricks class -- all would be helpful.

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