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Growling And Snapping


Guest kimmi592
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Guest kimmi592

Ive had my greyhound for almost a year now. He hasnt bit anyone ... but he will growl and snap for no reason, even at me. If me or my bf are sitting by him and move in the slightest wrong way, he will growl and if you dont get away fast enough, he will snap. He doesnt do this all the time though. Its like hes bipolar. Also, I had my bfs brother walking him for me this week while I worked late. He knows this person very well and sees him basically every weekend (he lives with my bf). He walked him Monday and Tuesday with no problem and then came today (Wednesday) and told me he was growling and showing his teeth and wouldnt let him put the leash on. I cant figure out why he would do that just all of a sudden. He knows who he is. Its not like it was a stranger. I dont want to get rid of him, but its making my life really hard that I cant have anyone walk him and I have to race home on my lunch. Im a teacher so its not easy to just leave and come back. Has anyone else had this problem? What is causing this? What can I do?? Help!

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Have you had his thyroid levels checked? Sometimes if they are low it can cause a display of aggression in greyhounds.

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Guest kimmi592

Well if I work late then Ill be gone for 11 hours. All last year I would come home on my 30 mins lunch and walk him. I thought I found a solution, but I guess not.

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There pretty much *always* a reason for growling and snapping. It's just up to the humans to figure it out :) How is your dog walker trying to leash him? Is he calling him over, or is he standing over him and leashing him? With the behavior you describe with you and your BF, it sounds like your greyhound has space issues. Do not allow him on the furniture with you; respect his space and do not lean over him; call him to you when you need something from him. Do a search of this forum for space issues and resource guarding.

 

I would recommend that you find a trainer to assist you - make sure it is a rewards based trainer (positive reinforcement).

 

Good luck :)


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The behavior you're describing sounds more like resource/space guarding. He's NOT being aggressive, he's trying to communicate. True aggression in dogs is much more rare than most people think.

 

Definitely have your vet run a full thyroid panel and send it off the MSU. You can search the Health & Medical section here for information on normal greyhound thyroid readings. You always want to eliminate out any medical cause first.

 

Growling is just a tool from a dog's perspective. It's one of the only ones they have to express how they feel to us humans who don't speak dog. Dogs with space issues, like your dog, often want only a limited amount of contact, then they are done, but instead of moving away themselves, they want YOU to move away.

 

The easiest fix for this is to not allow him to become too comfortable anywhere near where you are sitting/laying. Give him a nice comfy bed out of the direct travel paths in your living spaces (bedroom, living room, family room), if you want to give him pets/attention call him over to you so he's standing up and not laying down, use a treat to lure and reward him, give him his attention then have him go back to his bed. You can also keep a small container of treats near his bed and toss him one every time you walk by, if he has issues with people getting near his bed.

 

Have your dog walker use treats as well - lure him from his bed (or wherever he is) to a standing position, reward, quietly and gently leash him up from the SIDE of the dog (don't loom over the top of him), another reward for good behavior, and off they go.

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