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Hi guys,


I'm having a little bit of an issue with my sister's greyhound - 5-yr old ex-racing male - that I'm going to be looking after for a few weeks soon while she's on holiday. My family originally had him as a foster dog, but we all fell head over heels in love with him and only last week he was officially adopted! He's had two minor issues with growling at my mum (when she tried to move him off my sister's bed, where he wasn't meant to be), and snapping at my sister when she tried to stop him licking his paws, but other than that he's been a sweetheart!


That is, until he scared me today. The thing about our little guy is he shadows my sister EVERYWHERE - even into the toilet. He is extremely attached to her as she was the one who adopted him, took him away from the adoption centre, feeds him, lets him sleep in her room, etc. So when she's gone he flips out a little.


So today I was alone in the house with him for around 4 hours. He was fine for the first three, reasonably independent - sometimes taking himself off to her room to have a lie down, drinking some water, or just lying on the ground while I watched TV from the couch. But on around hour three, he went and picked up one of our doorstops and started chewing on it - I then had to take it away from him as my parents had instructed me to make sure he doesn't take those. Everything goes back to normal, I'm lying down on the couch and he's far away from me lying on the floor. Then he suddenly starts breathing heavily and makes a strange, sort of howl-y vocalisation. When I got up to check on him because the noise concerned me (it was almost the same as when our old dog - not a greyhound - used to whine when she felt lonely) as I approached him, his neck swung back to look at me and he snapped his jaws a few times while wagging his tail. I hesitated, and he made this sort of growly noise which frightened me, so I ended up going into my bedroom and shutting the door.


I feel like that was probably the wrong move, but to be honest I've seen Cujo and it flashed through my mind at that moment!


Does anyone know what those particular behaviours might mean? My mum suggested he might have just been lonely and was trying to get me to pay attention to him, but it was scary!


Cheers in advance,


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He was trying to engage you -- playful behavior. One of my girls does that every morning. If he does that again, you might get a treat and call him to you to get some petting, or toss a toy if he likes those. I'd be cautious of petting him while he's lying down as sometimes that can seem threatening to a dog, even when they're asking for attention.

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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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It sounds like greyhound air snapping, and it does appear scary the first time you see it. Totally fun tho.

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Invitation to play as others said.


However, you should learn to "trade up" when taking something away from the dog. it takes a little training, but the door stop or any item has a value to the dog. You teach him to trade up for something more valuable like a milk bone or other treat. There is lots of info on the site and online if you search for info about trading up. Trying to just grab the item is a bad idea and could get someone bitten or snapped at.


He also needs to be taught the "off" or "get down" command to be moved off the bed or furniture. Trying to move him physically may get someone bitten. Sounds like a great hound who just needs a little structure and training.


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he shadows my sister EVERYWHERE - even into the toilet.



Pretty common behavior for many dogs, not just greyhounds. Cats, too. Having pets means you may never have to pee alone. :)


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remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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To get the pup off the furniture, when he doesn't want to move: Do not try to physcally move him--that is asking to be bitten. Instead, put his leash on and use that to encourage him to move. (Don't use it to pull him off!, but a gentle quick tug along with encouraging words should do it). Once he is off, he deserves a treat.

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You've gotten great advice!


The breathing heavily and howl-y noise sounds like what my grey does when he is in deep sleep and dreaming. Often his eyes are rolled back in his head. The tail wags. And there are many sounds: whining, growling, woofing and howling. A vivid dreamer!


He gets the air snaps when happy and also smiles... Which can look ferocious! :P

Sarah with P Kay Ruger "Rogue"


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ours sometimes made a howly sound when he wanted us to pay attention to him, and he would often want when he wanted something from us, he would just stand in front of us, panting and staring :rofl and he loved to do air snapping like few millimetres from your face when he was super happy. But it's hard for me to judge what yours was trying to tell you, especially since I didn't see it. How was the tail wagging? was the tail high, like almost vertical and moving from side to side? Or was it the tail was more down with broad tail wagging? Cause the former can meet warning, while the latter is playful and happy to see you.

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Thank you so much everyone for the advice! It's been really helpful and made me understand our little grey a bit more! I think you're all right and he was just trying to play with me/asking for attention since I wasn't giving him any and no one else was home. He's growled at my sister a few times since when they've been playing together and it doesn't phase her so it seems to just be a happy/playful thing he does. Thanks again for the comprehensive responses! <3

Edited by glitter
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