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New Grey has already attacked 2 small dogs

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Hi everybody, long time lurker first time poster.

I adopted my guy about two months ago, and he's very sweet and settling in nicely. I have almost no problems with him at all, and he seems to love living with me.

But the one problem is fairly big. I live in an apartment with a lot of smaller dogs and cats in the other units, and since I've had him he's attacked two of the smaller dogs. He seems to have a very high prey drive and will get very fixated on any small animal, including small dogs, and unfortunately I've accidentally let him get too close on two different walks. With very little warning (no growling, barking, etc) he just lunged at them, grabbed them by the face/neck area, and started trying to lift them off the ground. The first time he let go when I yelled and gave a hard tug on his collar, but the second time it took me hitting him pretty hard in the ribs to get him to let go of the other dog, who he was lifting up right off the ground and looked like he wanted to shake.

Needless to say it was upsetting for everyone involved. Thankfully the other dogs weren't seriously hurt and the other owners have been very understanding.

This makes walks with him extremely stressful, since I have to be constantly vigilant about essentially making sure we aren't on the same side of the street as any small dogs, of which there are a lot in my neighborhood & building.

Anyway, I've been trying to figure out if this is something that we can work through, or if I need to just bring him back to the shelter so that they can find him a more suitable home. I really don't want to bring him back because he's just been awesome in every single other way, and I'm willing to put in some work, but if it's something that he just won't be able to get over then this probably isn't the right home for him.

Have you had any success with taming prey drive towards small dogs and cats?

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You've been very lucky that no one's been seriously injured yet and the owners have been understanding, but two attacks in two months is concerning. Are these other dogs loose or leashed? Have you spoken to your adoption group? You mentioned a shelter, so I'm unclear on the situation. Rehoming might be the best decision for both your sakes (lest there be another incident with an angry owner, a major injury, and/or your dog is labeled aggressive and therefore harder to rehome).

If you decide to work on it, first I'd recommend a harness so you have better control over him and won't injure him in the process of trying to keep him away from other dogs. I understand it's stressful for you to have to be constantly vigilant on walks, but that's just how it is for some dogs (including mine, though she has mellowed with age and her issue is leash reactivity more than prey drive). If he is food motivated, I'd also suggest working on distracting him with a "Watch me/look at me" command. The key is distracting him *before* he gets fixated on the other dog. There are probably subtle signals he's giving--it's not going to be a bark or a growl. Set him up for success by avoiding walking him in common areas where you know there will be small dogs, or only going at off-hours. We lived in a townhouse for the first couple of years with Sweep, and we had to work around her issues (and our neighbors probably assumed we were antisocial :lol), but it is usually manageable if you put in the work.


17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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Good suggestion but call me an alarmists,  PLEASE START USING A MUZZLE! Contact your adoption group and ask for the name of a trainer that you can work with.

My daughter's 13# rat terrier was just attacked by a 70# dog....50 stiches later she is lucky to be alive. 

And even without a strong prey dog those small dogs with Napoleonic complexes can get any dog rallied up. 

PLEASE MAKE SOME PRODUCTIVE CALLS TOMORROW AND STEER CLEAR OF THE LIVE BAIT!

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MUZZLE! Use it if you were given one or get one right away!

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Yep, muzzle! I hate to use them but I would absolutely put one on (the dog!) in this circumstance. It will put you at greater ease and you can read his body language rather than worrying about him getting his teeth around the victim. I also agree with the harness suggestion. It makes them so much easier to control, and if necessary, lift out of a sticky situation. Good luck!


Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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I may get flamed, but I don't think a dog with that high of a prey drive should be living in an apartment complex where he will be seeing small dogs regularly.  You would need to be constantly on alert and attacks may still happen. Even a muzzle will not totally protect small dogs. I don't believe a high prey drive can be trained away.  I think the dog needs to be returned.  Somewhere there is a home for him where he doesn't run the risk of constantly seeing small dogs and cats.  The fact that you say he is incredibly sweet and has been house trained will help him find that home.

t

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1 hour ago, Scoutsmom said:

I may get flamed, but I don't think a dog with that high of a prey drive should be living in an apartment complex where he will be seeing small dogs regularly.  You would need to be constantly on alert and attacks may still happen. Even a muzzle will not totally protect small dogs. I don't believe a high prey drive can be trained away.  I think the dog needs to be returned.  Somewhere there is a home for him where he doesn't run the risk of constantly seeing small dogs and cats.  The fact that you say he is incredibly sweet and has been house trained will help him find that home.

t

Soutsmom, I'm going to agree with you. We adopted our first grey when we lived in Manhattan and while we didn't need a cat-safe dog for our own personal lives, the group was VERY quick to say that we absolutely did need a cat-safe dog because of all of the small fluffies we'd encounter daily.

 

To the OP - I'm sorry that whomever you adopted him from didn't guide you better on this. You're going to constantly have to be on high alert and muzzle your dog. We now have a non-cat safe greyhound but it matters less because we're in the suburbs and can stay a safe distance away from the few small fluffies that live around us. Living in an apartment building means that you are constantly going to be on alert for small dogs in the hallways, going around a corner, walking down the street, etc. It's also likely to be a source of stress for your boy, too. You'd be doing him a kindness to allow him to find a home better suited to his prey drive, I"m so sorry. I know how heartbreaking it can be - we had to return one of ours after several months because as he came out of his shell, it became apparent that he had a higher prey drive than worked for our family - especially, at the time, with a one year old baby. That hound found a much better home than ours after only 2 weeks in foster care.

 

Hugs to you - this isn't easy. 


Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

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3 hours ago, sarabz said:

Soutsmom, I'm going to agree with you. We adopted our first grey when we lived in Manhattan and while we didn't need a cat-safe dog for our own personal lives, the group was VERY quick to say that we absolutely did need a cat-safe dog because of all of the small fluffies we'd encounter daily.

 

To the OP - I'm sorry that whomever you adopted him from didn't guide you better on this. You're going to constantly have to be on high alert and muzzle your dog. We now have a non-cat safe greyhound but it matters less because we're in the suburbs and can stay a safe distance away from the few small fluffies that live around us. Living in an apartment building means that you are constantly going to be on alert for small dogs in the hallways, going around a corner, walking down the street, etc. It's also likely to be a source of stress for your boy, too. You'd be doing him a kindness to allow him to find a home better suited to his prey drive, I"m so sorry. I know how heartbreaking it can be - we had to return one of ours after several months because as he came out of his shell, it became apparent that he had a higher prey drive than worked for our family - especially, at the time, with a one year old baby. That hound found a much better home than ours after only 2 weeks in foster care.

 

Hugs to you - this isn't easy. 

Well said and I agree with Scott's mom and Sarah's 100%

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Did your adoption group tell you you were adopting a high prey greyhound?  It's not the greyhounds fault. He should not be around small dogs. Use a muzzle before you end up paying someone's vet bill or your greyhound gets put down. If an owner gets between the small dog and your greyhound and blood is drawn he can be labeled as a vicious dog. Once he is declared a vicious dog he will be put down.

Unfortunately this happens.

For your safety and the greyhounds safety it would be best to return him. They might have a return that could care less about small dogs. Your adoption group should have advised you better. 

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. You've all confirmed what I sort of already knew—I'm going to bring him back to be rehomed. It's just too dangerous for me, my neighbors, and him. It's really sad because you'd never know that he has this side if you saw him around people, or other dogs about his size, but when he sees a little fluffy guy he just goes into a different gear. Hopefully now that they have this information they can find him a more appropriate home :(

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Sad though you feel about this, just think that you will actually help him in finding the correct home for him.

When I got her, just a month off the track, my Chancey was a nightmare to take out, screaming and leaping at other dogs. I kept her muzzled on every walk for over three years until she eventually calmed down. Food didn’t really distract her and it is difficult to get treats through a muzzle, however I live on a housing estate next to a forest so although we met plenty of other dogs I could keep her apart from them. I still preferred to use a martingale collar on her but could hold it tight up behind her ears as she leapt shoulder high beside me. Unfortunately it sounds as though you don’t have the luxury of space in which to avoid meeting, or close contact with the small fluffies so for your hound’s safety perhaps returning him might be the best thing.


Miss "England" Carol with Chancey - (Goosetree Chance) and whippet lurcher Nutmeg

R.I.P. Bluegrass Banjoman. 25.1.2004 - 25.5.2015 and Ch. Sleepyhollow Aida. 30.9.2000 - 10.1.2014.

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I am so sorry you are going through this:unsure.  Such a hard situation.  The adoption  group now has this valuable information that the next owners will  be aware of.  He will find a home I am certain.  There are a lot of experienced greyhound owners out there that can deal with a variety of difficult things.  Hugs:beatheart

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On 5/2/2020 at 6:01 AM, throwaway said:

Thanks for the replies, everyone. You've all confirmed what I sort of already knew—I'm going to bring him back to be rehomed. It's just too dangerous for me, my neighbors, and him. It's really sad because you'd never know that he has this side if you saw him around people, or other dogs about his size, but when he sees a little fluffy guy he just goes into a different gear. Hopefully now that they have this information they can find him a more appropriate home :(

That sounds horribly stressful. I can't believe you weren't given a muzzle when he arrived!

Our chap (we've had him just under three months) is always muzzled outdoors - as he is an ex racer we were told to do this when we fostered and then adopted him. He is 90% VERY shy but if a small fluff ball comes along he shows interest and swings toward them. We've got a nice light comfy muzzle and can easily pass treats to him through it.

You can't control other dogs coming up to him, but you can control what he does about it. 

If you do want to keep him (although it sounds like you've got the ball rolling on rehoming) a muzzle REALLY helps, believe me. You can walk him without constantly having to scan and worry, and give him time to learn some new behaviours. It's slow progress with these lovely creatures but worth it. 

I've been working on 'leave it' and it is starting to sink in. Now, even if he fixates on a squirrel (probably the MOST exciting thing in the world to him! He'd go through fire to get one) he will begrudgingly turn and come with me. He did once boop a little Daschund with his muzzle so I do make sure I've got a tight hold on the lead when a little one comes near, but I find with a muzzled dog people are a little wary and keep their small dogs away anyway (which isn't always helpful with socialising!)

It all takes time and if you're hoping to find a reason to keep him - a muzzle makes walking so much easier and pleasant, genuinely much less stressful.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

Fix

 

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