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Advice On Biting Greyhound


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Guest Cloud

Hi new here but need some wise advice. I dont want to be the Mum who didnt listen to obvious hints.

 

We have had Cloud since December, he was from the racetrack in October to the rehoming kennels then to us.

 

I love him to bits as does my daughter, son is getting there and husband is starting to get on well with him. We have had the issues of growling when he first arrived, he would come for a stroke then change his mind and growl. I get that, new world etc. He has moved on from there and aside when a rude dog comes too close he hardly growls now.

 

Very vocal when wants to be let out in morning and loves to play.

 

Made the mistake recently of realising he had grass hanging from his bottom and gently pulled it out. I learned that lesson, he turned on me and latched on my arm luckily with fleece so no damage. Again I get this, my fault.

 

Yesterday however, whilst in garden, my daughter inside saw him take a meat wrapper from the bin. She worried he would choke on it and went to retrieve it. He growled and took it to his bed. Daughter worried he would choke carried on after him (she normally knows to avoid his bed or if he gives a warning). He attacked her and left a nasty bite on her hand. She had it looked at in Minor Injuries Dept and is now under anaesthetic at local hospital having it cleaned out and checked.

 

I really dont want to rehome him, but want to be sensible for my children as well - they are 15 (daughter) and 13 (son).

 

We have had Cloud 5 months, would making sure we keep away from his bed, reinforcing the kids being higher than him and listening for warnings be enough or should I be thinking rehoming.

 

Help. Will talk to adoption group for their thoughts tomorrow, hospital took over today.

 

Thank you.

Andrea

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Guest Cloud

Hi new here but need some wise advice. I dont want to be the Mum who didnt listen to obvious hints.

 

We have had Cloud since December, he was from the racetrack in October to the rehoming kennels then to us.

 

I love him to bits as does my daughter, son is getting there and husband is starting to get on well with him. We have had the issues of growling when he first arrived, he would come for a stroke then change his mind and growl. I get that, new world etc. He has moved on from there and aside when a rude dog comes too close he hardly growls now.

 

Very vocal when wants to be let out in morning and loves to play.

 

Made the mistake recently of realising he had grass hanging from his bottom and gently pulled it out. I learned that lesson, he turned on me and latched on my arm luckily with fleece so no damage. Again I get this, my fault.

 

Yesterday however, whilst in garden, my daughter inside saw him take a meat wrapper from the bin. She worried he would choke on it and went to retrieve it. He growled and took it to his bed. Daughter worried he would choke carried on after him (she normally knows to avoid his bed or if he gives a warning). He attacked her and left a nasty bite on her hand. She had it looked at in Minor Injuries Dept and is now under anaesthetic at local hospital having it cleaned out and checked.

 

I really dont want to rehome him, but want to be sensible for my children as well - they are 15 (daughter) and 13 (son).

 

We have had Cloud 5 months, would making sure we keep away from his bed, reinforcing the kids being higher than him and listening for warnings be enough or should I be thinking rehoming.

 

Help. Will talk to adoption group for their thoughts tomorrow, hospital took over today.

 

Thank you.

Andrea

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Sorry, I know this is tough. :(

 

I'm sure others with more experience will chime in but with the wrapper example, that's a great time to use the "trade up" process - offer him something higher in value to him than what he currently has.

 

I wouldn't have thought the grass would be a problem, either, so I would have made the same mistake but I guess in future use a muzzle.

 

Keep us posted - I look forward to what others have to say.

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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Yeah, this isn't even the dog's fault.

 

It's your fault for leaving the meat wrapper out, and it's her fault for not coming to get you or Dad if she saw a problem.

 

None of this is the dog's fault.

 

Your daughter is plenty old enough to understand. When I was that age I handled four English setters on leashes all at the same time, as well as two horses all on my own. This is just a case of inattentive management of a kid and a dog.

 

Sounds easy enough to fix with lessons on trading up, and that the dog belongs to Mom and Dad, and if there is trouble, shout for Mom or Dad.


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Guest Cloud

Thank you, those were my thoughts. Was worried I was being swayed by not wanting to rehome him and it affecting my judgement.

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Resource guarding is really common, and fairly easy to manage. Anything that he feels is high value for him is "guardable" - his bed, the furniture (if hes allowed on is essentially like a bed), any high value treats, or anything he takes to his bed (like toys or stolen clothing or meat wrappers).

 

Trading up is the way to go while you work on training him to "drop it" or "leave it." There are lots of great training videos for how to do both.

 

FWIW, lots of people would return him after a bite like that, but in my opinion that puts the responsibility on the wrong party. He's not bad or aggressive - he was protecting something he wanted in the only way he knew how. He didn't know any better, and now your daughter does. I'm sorry she was injured, but I hope everyone can keep this incident in perspective, and use it as a learning experience in how to deal with resource guarding in the future.

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

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Resource guarding is really common, and fairly easy to manage. Anything that he feels is high value for him is "guardable" - his bed, the furniture (if hes allowed on is essentially like a bed), any high value treats, or anything he takes to his bed (like toys or stolen clothing or meat wrappers).

 

Trading up is the way to go while you work on training him to "drop it" or "leave it." There are lots of great training videos for how to do both.

 

FWIW, lots of people would return him after a bite like that, but in my opinion that puts the responsibility on the wrong party. He's not bad or aggressive - he was protecting something he wanted in the only way he knew how. He didn't know any better, and now your daughter does. I'm sorry she was injured, but I hope everyone can keep this incident in perspective, and use it as a learning experience in how to deal with resource guarding in the future.

 

This.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
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Yeah, this isn't even the dog's fault.

 

It's your fault for leaving the meat wrapper out, and it's her fault for not coming to get you or Dad if she saw a problem.

 

None of this is the dog's fault.

 

Your daughter is plenty old enough to understand. When I was that age I handled four English setters on leashes all at the same time, as well as two horses all on my own. This is just a case of inattentive management of a kid and a dog.

 

Sounds easy enough to fix with lessons on trading up, and that the dog belongs to Mom and Dad, and if there is trouble, shout for Mom or Dad.

This. Cloud is just being a dog. It is up to the smarter humans to properly manage him and set him up for SUCCESS-not failure. Until you learn that 'it is always the handler, never the dog' you will have issues with every dog you get. Dogs behave the way they have learned/been trained to behave-not necessarily the way we want them to.

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I hope your daughter is okay! A bite is very scary, even when we know it was technically our "fault". But we're all human, sometimes we do something without thinking because at that moment we're overtaken by concern or panic. I KNOW I shouldn't jump into a raging river to save a drowning dog... but I'm not guaranteeing I wouldn't if it was my own dog because... panic!

 

That said, removing items that dogs perceived as edible is always a potential, especially with a newer dog that you don't know that well and who doesn't know you that well. But it is also really important/beneficial that a dog allows its humans to take things away that might be dangerous. Although resource guarding may be a normal/appropriate response for a dog, that doesn't necessarily mean we should just accept it at face value without trying to alter it. And especially with your dog, I think it'll be really important to have skills and techniques to do that since it appears he doesn't have particularly good bite inhibition since he broke skin badly enough that your daughter needed medical attention. When it comes to dog bites there are two important distinctions... there's the liklihood that a dog will bite, and then there's bite inhibition. The worst combination of course is a dog that is more likely to bite and also has bad bite inhibition.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much you can do about the bite inhibition now. That's something that is generally learned before 4 months of age. What you CAN work on is your dog's likelihood of biting. I'd find a good, positive reinforcement trainer to work with on trading up. It's basically teaching the dog to trade a low value item for a higher value one, and then working up towards trading the highest value item for a slightly lower value one. Teaching a leave it and a drop cue will also be super helpful. I'd recommend doing this under the supervision of a good trainer/behaviourist for safety since your dog doesn't have great bite inhibition.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Dogs will get into things. We had a tree taken down and my dog is now picking up large pieces of wood shreddings and bringing them inside to use a chew toys. It would be impossible for me to pick them all up. Most of them were actually removed. I pick up large pieces that I see when I'm in the yard, but more are buried in the soil just waiting for Percy to dig them out. Thankfully I was able to take it right from Percy's mouth without any reaction whatsoever.

 

It sounds like your daughter may have been home alone with the dog and was probably right to worry about what he had. Sounds like all of you will need to learn how to trade up. Until that is established, in a situation like that, I would try to distract the dog away from the prize. Does the dog run for the door when the doorbell rings? Then ring the doorbell? Will he come when he hears the leash or his food bowl? Then do that. Once he leaves the prize, leash him or crate him and then remove the prize.

 

For me personally, not having dogs growing up and being bitten more than once by a neighbor's dog as a kid (nasty little thing and for some reason they'd ask me to look after him when they were away), I don't know that I could keep a dog that bites. If picking grass off his butt caused a bite, it seems like you never know what else might cause a bite.

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Guest Cloud

Thank you everyone for your comments, some really good suggestions to think about. We are teaching him to drop things and have been using the trading up ideas which do work on him, he loves treats and can be distracted, doorbell etc. My daughter should have known better, we were only a few steps away in the garden, but being a typical teenager decided to ignore what we had told her not to do as she knew best. Hopefully she will listen to me now.

Incidentally I dont blame Cloud for the grass incident, what I thought was a sort piece was actually quite long - I think I would have panicked if someone tried to pull that out of me lol.

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Pulling a piece of grass out of a dog's butt might actually cause a pain like a paper cut - so it could cause a dog to react. I am always extremely careful if I have to pull a piece of grass or hair and do it very, very slowly.

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