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Becoming Aggressive


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Hi all,

 

We've had our four year old ex racing greyhound Dolly for 6 months.

 

She has always been very good with other dogs in that she just completely ignores. In the past couple of weeks that has changed though.

 

We let her off in a fenced paddock and previously if there has been other dogs she hasn't interacted with them. Then I took her out with my friend's much smalle4 dog and she started chasing it around, nipping its back and tripping it up. She did it again with a smaller dog, but was ok with bigger dogs. But in the past week she has started doing the same with bigger dogs too.

 

It's not exactly aggressive...more very rough play...but understandably other dog owners don't like it.

 

She has also twice this week started barking at other dogs while on the lead, something she has never done before, even when they've barked at her.

 

I'm worried she is becoming more aggressive and confused about the change in character.

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This is how greyhounds play and why they are normally muzzled when greyhound playgroups get together. It is not bad or aggressive behavior on her part, but rather a dog doing what the the dog has been bred to do for hundreds of years. This is why you will see mostly negative remarks here about dog parks. Same concept, the other dogs aren't used to rough play, and those teeth will do some damage quickly. The easy answer is to avoid putting your dog in this situation with the smaller dog. The smaller dog is causing her prey drive to kick in, and someone is going to get hurt. Your dog could end up being labeled as aggressive when she isn't.

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Ya, I'd call this normal greyhound behavior. Our first hound had a couple too many run-ins with little dogs at the dog park; even when muzzled he could pound them into the dirt. We don't go to the dog park anymore. Though there is a place by us that takes private reservations, and I know some people in our local hound group have gone together. Something like that might work nicely for her, but if it was my dog I wouldn't be taking that chance at the regular park anymore.

 

It's also worth mentioning that there's probably no such thing as a dog being good with "all dogs" or "all big dogs" etc. Every dog is different like every person. The dogs she has met up until this point may have been communicating "we cool" whereas at the dog park (or similar scenario) it's a free for all of playing/rough housing/chasing and she can literally catch any of them she wants.

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Stay away from letting her run with other dogs, large or small. Early on I took Sheba to the large-dog dog park because my first greyhound was fine there, no issues. But Sheba chased other large dogs and was bitten twice by dogs that didn't like being chased. Both were only nips, but greyhound skin is thin with hardly any fur or fat for protection, so the nips required vet visits resulting in wound care and sutures, which added up quickly cost-wise. She also ran along the fence line between the small and large dog areas, chasing the small dogs back and forth, which got other large dogs excited to join in and that, too, led to issues. We no longer go to the dog park for good reason.

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At the six-month mark she's probably feeling much more comfortable and confident than in the early days, and more of her true personality is coming out. As others have said, this is normal behavior for greyhounds and not cause for alarm. She's not aggressive, she's just more comfortable playing and asserting herself now, which includes "correcting" other dogs if necessary. Something similar happened with Sweep. I always carry treats on walks so she'll ignore the dogs we pass. Before we had a fenced yard we took her once a week or so to a baseball field so she could run without us having to worry about other dogs (or their owners!).

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  • 3 weeks later...

My dog is very vocal. He loves to chase the dogs, and then win by I would almost say herding them.

 

So! When I take him to a park, I make sure that I speak to the other dog owners first. I tell them he loves to chase, and he is vocal. I also say that I understand your dog may take it the wrong way as greyhounds are not easily understood by other dogs, but ensure them its just his racing noises. I ask them if theyre comfortable with that first, and ensure that them if their dog seems uncomfortable I will grab him right away so theres no fracas. The results are always great! Either I get No, worries, my dog loves being chased, hes good at telling him off if he feels he needs to (vocally not biting)! And rarely I get My dog is a little nervous, or aggressive himself so I tell them its all good, and we can come another time. This helps in two ways, it creates a dialogue, and an agreement that we are both responsible for whatever happens (so they dont report the dog), and it also helps us both keep a close eye on them for any signs of aggressive behaviour so we can step in. I hope that helps!

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Also! My dog became aggressive on leash when he finally decided I was HIS mom. We stayed away from meeting new dogs, and he continued to play well with friends. Having another grey stay with us for the weekend, he was craving other dog love. So almost instantly that phase passed. However. Im always careful when I let him meet new dogs on lead. Now Im walks, if he reacts negatively to any other dog, I cover his eyes and make him stay behind me, showing him that its not ok behaviour, and then he doesnt get to say hi to any other dogs on that walk. Its worked well for us.

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This is how greyhounds play and why they are normally muzzled when greyhound playgroups get together. It is not bad or aggressive behavior on her part, but rather a dog doing what the the dog has been bred to do for hundreds of years. This is why you will see mostly negative remarks here about dog parks. Same concept, the other dogs aren't used to rough play, and those teeth will do some damage quickly. The easy answer is to avoid putting your dog in this situation with the smaller dog. The smaller dog is causing her prey drive to kick in, and someone is going to get hurt. Your dog could end up being labeled as aggressive when she isn't.

THIS! It can't be said any better :)

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