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juliedenisecurd

Growling and lunging at us

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In the last couple of weeks my grey has begun growing and lunging towards us as if to bite. This begun happening in the evening while just sitting watching tv on occasions the person he aimed for had food on others it seemed to be for no reason. He has know started to do this to my husband in the morning when he goes to take hes breakfast bowl to the sink the dog will just get up growl and go for him. We have has him for a year now and he has done this a rare occasion if disturbed from sleep but never for no apparent reason. He loves food and will always beg. We were wondering if it could be down to the fact that the house is always busy now with kids of school and us not working. Any suggestions on how to deal with this would be grateful thank you

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Going to start with the caveat that it's nearly impossible to diagnose behavioral issues over the internet.  We're not there to see the behavior and the interactions your dog has with the household, so this is kind of just general info on what I *think* may be *a* problem you might be dealing with.  In a different world, I would urge to contact a certified animal behaviorist to come into your home and do just that - observe - and give you pointers for how to move forward.  This may still be possible of you find a behaviorist who will do a video consult or Skype/Zoom session with you.  Your adoption group may have a recommendation for you.

 

It sounds like he's a big time resource guarder, and has now started guarding resources you haven't even given him yet.  Usually this only happens after the dog has a resource in his possession - growling, snarling, generally being a butthead when a human tries to take the resource (treat, toy, food, bed) away.  In general, you want to distract the dog with a different high enough value treat that he leaves the original object he's guarding for the new one so you can pick up and put it away.

In this case, I would ask what sort of training, if any, you have done with him?  Does he know any commands at all?  Is there any behavior he can offer as a "payment" for receiving his food?  Especially at mealtimes, you should practice this "Nothing In Life Is Free" technique (NILIF).  So before his unwanted behavior begins, ask him for this "payment" behavior - sit, down, paw, whatever.  Once he does the payment he can have his food, not before.  This might mean he doesn't get fed a time or two - that's OK.  If he's healthy missing a meal isn't going to hurt him.  

If he's growling and jumping I would definitely keep the kids out of the feeding area during mealtimes, particularly if they are younger that 10 or 12 years old.  They're just too vulnerable in case of an accident.  If they are older, make sure they understand how the payment-feeding routine works, and have them help.  This should happen for EVERYTHING your dog puts in his mouth - he needs to pay for it with a behavior YOU ask for. 

Greyhounds can be stubborn and they are extremely good people trainers in their own right.  Be patient and be consistent for as long as it takes - and it could take a long time if the habit in ingrained.

During people mealtimes, decide where you want him to be - his bed, another room, his crate, wherever - and consistently lead/lure him with a treat back to this spot until he stays there during your entire meal.  This will take time, and a bunch of people meals will be interrupted until he breaks his begging habit, but he needs to develop some manners.  Time and patience and consistent repetition will do the trick.

If you need some pointers from an actual really good trainer I would suggest this book:

Family Friendly Dog Training by Patricia McConnell


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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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#1 take him to the vet to see if there is a physical problem discuss the situation and his actions with the vet  #2 discuss medical findings if any    #3 this should be done at the same time as 1 & 2 speak to the adoption rep at your group. 

i am sorry to say that this does not sound like a safe situation. he needs to be kept away from the children. please use a muzzle so that there isn't an incident which will label this dog as dangerous. the muzzle is for everyone's well being and safety. 

currently a friend is going thru the same thing. her quiet boy has started growling at both my friend and her kids, one is 6 the other is 2. i love greyhounds and love kids but not all greyhounds should be with kids. not all kids should be with dogs. my friend's kids have been taught how to handle, feed, groom the GH under supervision. but toddlers do tumble- sometimes into a dog's personal space. a child and parent should not have to worry about that. there are way too many other things going on in life today.

best of luck in staying safe.

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The responses above are spot on.  We had a big boy for 10 years who did not have a mean bone in his body, yet was reactive like this if you tried to pet him when he was laying down or if he was startled. The only thing I want to add to the above is that you need to institute a rule for everyone's safety that there is no petting unless he is standing up and comes to you for pets. No exceptions for anyone on this.  These guys can look like they are awake and be sound asleep with their eyes open. Implementing that rule can be the difference between preventing an injury to someone and  having Animal Control show up to quarantine your dog after a bite. I've been there and it's a visit you don't want to have to deal with. 

 


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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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Thanks for you advice the children are all teenagers and aware not to touch him when asleep or lying down I will try the tips you have given thanks again 

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17 hours ago, juliedenisecurd said:

We were wondering if it could be down to the fact that the house is always busy now with kids of school and us not working

It could be that he feels his space has been invaded and he needs to reinsert himself in the pack's hierarchy. Have you a quiet area to put a bed, his toys and food and water so he has a quiet escape area?


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Hi. I don't have advice to add, but I'll say that dogs get stressed just like us. Have you heard of Spoon Theory for dogs? Especially in this time of COVID disruptions, some parts of this https://yourdogsfriend.org/spoon-theory-and-funny-dog-gifs/?fbclid=IwAR16b1nW_pwMoCWtTS9nt80AOkALjQfOXWQZ8_cVXhXrA8dGgNIjd3EwF1Q article may be helpful. Peace.

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