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Greyhound Without Self-Control


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I have two greyhounds, rescued hunting dogs (hunting dogs here are mostly owned by indigent and uneducated people who keep them half starved). Naturally they both have a strong prey drive and cats and small furry creatures are in danger around them. I accept that and take precautions. One is a perfect gentleman. The other has no self control, after a year of me trying to instil it in him. He listens when I get angry and reprimand him but nothing sticks. I have used positive reinforcement to train him ie food treats with great success.... until training time is over. He bounces around like mad thing, jumps on anyone including me when they enter the room/ house/ garden, nearly rips my arm off on walks when he suddenly and frequently decides to suddenly take off for the joy of it, jumps on top of me and other greyhound in his exuberance, crashes into furniture and me and other greyhound, climbs on top of us to be close, gnaws way too enthusiastically at other greyhounds face and throat in play.. you get the picture. (Hes also very affectionate and loves to cuddle). The point is, this is the first dog in a lifetime of owning dogs that I have been unable to teach self control to. Every single day he inflicts pain on me and his brother greyhound. Any ideas?

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Did you get them from an adoption organization. If so, you should talk to them to see if they have any suggestions. They might also know of a good animal behaviourist that you could work with. Worse case: you could return the dog as not suitable for your home. There is no shame in this, you've tried your best and it just was not working out.

 

How old is the problem child? He sounds like an extreme puppy. Greyhound mature slowly and remain puppies into their 2s. That said, even a puppy should be able to learn some manners.

 

Finally, I never knew that there were greyhounds in South Africa--interesting. Do you also have greyhound races? And welcome to Greytalk

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It sounds like your rambunctious pup is really a hunter. He most likly needs a ton of running and a very structured schedule. Yes, he can come around. Road work with a bicycle, games of fetch, soccer, tennis. He needs a job!and most likely maturity. I'm interested in more details.

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Thank you for your comments. I have very little background on my bouncy boy, just that he was rescued from hunters shortly before I adopted him. I was told that his estimated age was one year but as he has grown 6cm taller in the year Ive had him its possible he was younger. So yes, the puppy excuse could apply. However, I work in rescue, training pups to get them ready for adoption and they learn fast that calm is good. He gets all the exercise he wants. Walks are exciting for both my dogs and they love to sniff everything. They also, two to three times a day, wrestle and chase each other around the garden (to the extent that I have a racetrack worn into my flower beds and lawn) until they are both seriously out of breath. I play ball with them at home after their walks, again until they are tired. Both dogs sleep for an equal amount of time, in fact the bouncy boy might sleep a bit more! I have consulted a behaviorist and a trainer, both of whom feel that I am doing everything right. I had the vet check bouncy boy soon after I got him due to his clumsiness and bumping into things but nothing wrong was found. No, I would not return him. Like all of my rescues Ive had, hes my forever child. Hes a happy boy and very fond of me and his greyhound brother. Besides, the number of dogs rescued here so far outnumbers the number adopted, that returning him would be immoral to me. So, I shall continue to give him more and more training and exercise and hope for the best. Hopefully Ill survive this marathon!!! I must admit I was hoping to get a response from someone who had owned and tamed a similar lunatic. As for dog racing here, it is illegal but of course there are people who have no respect for the law. They seem to use Italian greyhounds for racing.

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Thank you for your comments. I have very little background on my bouncy boy, just that he was rescued from hunters shortly before I adopted him. I was told that his estimated age was one year but as he has grown 6cm taller in the year Ive had him its possible he was younger. So yes, the puppy excuse could apply. However, I work in rescue, training pups to get them ready for adoption and they learn fast that calm is good. He gets all the exercise he wants. Walks are exciting for both my dogs and they love to sniff everything. They also, two to three times a day, wrestle and chase each other around the garden (to the extent that I have a racetrack worn into my flower beds and lawn) until they are both seriously out of breath. I play ball with them at home after their walks, again until they are tired. Both dogs sleep for an equal amount of time, in fact the bouncy boy might sleep a bit more! I have consulted a behaviorist and a trainer, both of whom feel that I am doing everything right. I had the vet check bouncy boy soon after I got him due to his clumsiness and bumping into things but nothing wrong was found.

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Since I don't have any additional suggestions, I was going to say try a certified animal behaviorist or positive reinforcement trainer, but it sounds like you've done that as well!

 

It really does sound like he is quite a bit younger than you were told, and/or not a purebred greyhound. Greyhound puppies - and they are puppies for upwards of 3 years! - are notoriously active little sh!theads!

 

I've got one at home now, just turned a year old this week, who is much like you describe. Mostly we just try and stay out of his way when he gets a spell of naughtiness on him! :rolleyes:

 

We've had 8 adult retired racers, and one other greyhound puppy (who's now 7 1/2 years old), and this young one is driving both my husband and I insane! He whines, he barks, he growls, he jumps around and on and over and through everything and everyone! Plus he has the patience of a hyperactive flea! Everything is nowNowNOW!!

 

The only thing we've found that works at all is "Nothing In Life Is Free" training, 24/7/365. He has to work for everything he wants using everything we've been able to teach him. Training basically never stops if he's interacting with us.

 

We do try and tire his mind out too - nosework games, food puzzle toys, snuffle mats - any kind of non physical game or training we can think of or discover.

 

I don't know what you have in South Africa, but he sounds like a good candidate for Flyball, Agility, and competitive lure coursing. These are overseen by the American Kennel Club here, a national organization.

 

The only other thing I can think of to mention is to have him neutered if he isn't already. It *may* help to calm him down some.

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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it sounds like a good stiff case of adolescence. YOU CAN DO IT! i survived adolescence thru 3 salukis and my current greyhound who came to me at 7 weeks. during that period poor felix had to repeat a session of obedience training since all of it went out the window! i had temporary accident insurance- he used to run smack into garden fencing. he acquired more dents, bruises and staples during that period. i will say that neutering him did help. it took a couple of months for the hormones to subside but i just couldn't wait for his bones to finish developing. i was not as young and naive as when my salukis were crazy. he survived, just turned 12 and has been the very best dog ever!

 

so, hang in there. hormones ..... not your best friend, but GT will support and listen to your suffering. PICTURES of the devil incarnate please!!

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Thanks friends. I believe my other greyhound probably has a touch of Saluki in him somewhere, I think this bouncy boy is purebred. If I could post a photo I would. Sterilisation is a requirement of all reputable rescue organizations here. We dont want to add to the unwanted pet population.

I strongly agree with the work for everything policy with this boy, although the idea of it just exhausts the other one... but then, hes an angel! Ill soldier on!

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It shouldn't matter if he's purebred. He's still a young guy. Seems like you're doing a great job; just have to wait for him to grow up a little and try to keep your sanity in the meantime :lol

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I was just asking because to me it seems like comparing an ex-racer to a sighthound with a different origin and upbringing does not fit in every respect.

Because of my english you might figure out I am not from an english speaking country. We do not even have greyhounds here originally, only some imported ex-racers or imported galgos. But definitely a completely different way to handle them as like in the US.

 

So especially regarding excercise my hounds (Galgo crosses, one with greyhound one with who knows what else) would go nuts if they where treated as recommended for ex-racers.

 

What you describe reminds me of my senior. Galgo Lurcher. Maybe Galgo-Greyhound Lurcher. He was...bouncing. Jumping. Sitting on other dogs faces.

 

Had absolutely no self control when food was involved. Don't know if this is the same with yours. Lack of self control dealing with food might have had its origin in how he was raised. Nearly starved. Puppyhood on the streets. A year or so in a shelter where the dogs had to fight for food.

 

He was older, when I got him. Approx. 2- 3 years. He was and is the most friendly hound one can imagine but he was clumsy, bumped into things, jumped on tables, onto people and really lost his mind when food was involved.

 

It got way better over the years. But for at least the first year it was not possible for me to train him with treats. He could not concentrate and learn in his high state of arrousal.

 

What you describe sounds like a very young high energy hound to me. On top of puberty. Not able to concentrate long.

 

It does not really matter if purebred greyhound or small boerwindhond. It just might explain some things. But even a pure bred grey from any south african hunter may be more energetic, more of an endurance runner than any American or Irish racing dog. Simply because the are not that strictly line bred for speed as the racers are. Selection more towards highspeed hunting offtrack, all terrain. Highly likely makes them less injury prone, which is a good thing.

 

On the other hand: these hounds may need more exercise, may be more independent.

 

I guess it is like with the spanish galgos: every hunter does his own thing. So in spanish rescue shelters you find up to 99% crosses. The "real" Galgo Espanol is barely found. What is often found: badly raised dogs and poor genetics.

 

My lurcher boy (guess is 25% non sighthound) may have had a bad puppyhood, poor genetics or both that makes him "a little different". He shows no typical signs of deprivation but still he is a "strange" hound. Some people think he is mentally handicapped. Especially when he steps onto other dogs or sits right on their face as if they where not there. Still he is a fantastic dog but he was and is different (Now he is at least 13).

 

Oh, and he needed exercise. Aged 12 he still ran 10k with me. At age 4 10-20k free running and jogging and trotting at least 3 times a week was necessary to keep him satisfied. Otherwise he started hunting motor cycles, skateboarders etc. I did running up to half marathon distance with him or he ran with my pit bull next to the dogscooter.

 

His clumsiness became better as he aged but still he bumps into the door when we leave. But he does not bump into trees anymore. And he stopped jumping like crazy. Did not really train that. Just tried to stay cool and calm and laugh a lot about that strange dog jumping like a ball up and down.

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