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Worked out what makes my greyhound growl

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We've been trying to figure out what makes Sully growl at all of us sometimes when he's lying down, not just on his bed, but anywhere in the house.  He doesn't actually mind being petted on his bed, despite the common opinion that they should be left alone, he wags his tail if you approach his bed and looks up and asks for love.  HOWEVER, sometimes he growls and we couldn't work out what the issue was.  We have finally made a connection though.  My wife seemed to be getting more growls than the rest of us, she has been suffering from a slipped disc in her back this year and though that's healed she still has a sore muscle in her backside that makes getting up off the floor difficult, so she tends to get down and up from the floor by going on her hands and knees - she's also been given exercises by the physio which involve lying on her tummy and pushing herself up on her hands to bend her back backwards - Sully HATES it!  I've tested the theory myself and indeed he will growl at me if I get on all fours when he's lying down and if I get too close he will give a growly shout, jump up and move away (better than trying to nip I guess).

I assume he has some switch in his brain that makes him think that we are a dog invading his space if we are on all fours.  I've never come across this before.  Obviously we can work around it, but I wonder whether we can get him used to it somehow.  I have also noticed that he gets super excited if kids are playing on their hands and knees, he can't seem to distinguish that they are still humans, just on all fours, he'll go into chase mode if he sees it.

Anybody else ever seen this type of behaviour?

Edited by GreyKnight
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He sounds like he's settling in well and not all greyhounds suffer from sleep startle. I can approach and stroke Grace when she's asleep and she doesn't react even when she wakes up during it apart from going into the roach position for a tummy rub.

I wonder if the growl is more of an invitation to play than a warning. "You're on my level now lets play greyhound style." But until you're sure continue to be cautious

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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Many dogs will get anxious when their humans do unexpected or unusual behaviors.  Standard deconditioning techniques should help him relax when there's folks on the floor around him (treats, praise, small doses of the behavior at a time).

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


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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