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Tips for a nervous/reactive grey?


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Hi there,

I adopted my greyhound three months ago (where does the time ago!) and she's had a bit of a rough time settling in. I was advertised by the rescue she was absolutely fine with other dogs and had lived with another greyhound previously - she's 7 and was in a home for 2 years before she was rehomed apparently due to family circumstances. But I have found she is very unsure around other dogs, less so sighthounds but still will bark at them if they get too close. I walk her on lead at all times with a muzzle, because on a few occasions at first she did lunge for other dogs so this seems much safer and she is perfectly happy with the muzzle on. Unfortunately I live in an area with a lot of dogs so she's going to have to learn to get used to it! Does anyone have any tips for a grey who struggles with other dogs on how to help alter that behaviour? I appreciate it might improve over time but anything I can do to help her would be great.

 

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The leash may be part of the issue.  Here are two books you should find helpful:

Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash Reactive Dog

and

The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears

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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How do you react when you see another dog? Do you tighten her lead, change pace or stop? That givers her the signal that something is wrong and she needs to protect you. Carry on walking with a slack lead but when, and only when, she starts to show interest in the other dog give a quick tug on the lead and the command NO and keep walking. You can also try the "look at me" technique.

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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22 hours ago, martymum said:

Hi there,

I adopted my greyhound three months ago (where does the time ago!) and she's had a bit of a rough time settling in. I was advertised by the rescue she was absolutely fine with other dogs and had lived with another greyhound previously - she's 7 and was in a home for 2 years before she was rehomed apparently due to family circumstances. But I have found she is very unsure around other dogs, less so sighthounds but still will bark at them if they get too close. I walk her on lead at all times with a muzzle, because on a few occasions at first she did lunge for other dogs so this seems much safer and she is perfectly happy with the muzzle on. Unfortunately I live in an area with a lot of dogs so she's going to have to learn to get used to it! Does anyone have any tips for a grey who struggles with other dogs on how to help alter that behaviour? I appreciate it might improve over time but anything I can do to help her would be great.

 

Your poor girl! That’s a lot of upheaval for her to cope with.

Our boy was rehomed and instantly attacked by another grey. So he was removed and brought to us with stitches all over his face. 

He was terrified of other dogs - initially freezing and then, once he was more relaxed with me, leaning in or hiding behind me. 

I found ‘leave it’ training at home has helped (if he is anxious or fixating I can now say “leave it”, walk on calmly and off we go). I also found gradually decreasing the distance between him and other dogs was helpful - so we started off at a fair distance just cheerily walking along, no fuss no bother. And gradually over 6 months we’ve got closer. We can now walk past other dogs, even grumpy shouty ones, and occasionally say hello and have a sniff, without any fuss. Initially he just couldn’t cope being near any other dogs so we took a big step back and worked from there.

It’s a slow road but I’m sure with all the helpful tips you’ll get there.

😁

 

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8 hours ago, HeyRunDog said:

How do you react when you see another dog? Do you tighten her lead, change pace or stop? That givers her the signal that something is wrong and she needs to protect you. Carry on walking with a slack lead but when, and only when, she starts to show interest in the other dog give a quick tug on the lead and the command NO and keep walking. You can also try the "look at me" technique.

I read that on here quite a bit and realised i was tightening the grip. It’s hard not to, but since leaving a tiny bit of slack I’ve found it much better. Great advice! 

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Yes, I definitely do tighten my grip/shorten her lead...she's bitten me a few times when she's been approached by another dog and got scared (another reason she's now muzzled) so it has made me quite nervous on walks and if I see another dog I do tend to freeze or instinctively try to move her away. I've looked into getting a behaviourist but it's so expensive, I don't have £70+ an hour I can spend :( But reassuring to know that there are things I can try. She tends to be okay with dogs on lead, it's mainly off-lead dogs, and unfortunately the owners in my area aren't always the best about calling their dogs away from her! I would walk her elsewhere but it's a very built-up area, which is why the green space is so busy.

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