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Agression towards and/or fear of other dogs

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We've had our boy (4 y/o male, retired racer) for several months now, and overall it's been glorious and smooth. He is not, however, fond of other dogs. 

He actively avoids interacting with them, and seems scared when they approach on the sidewalk. On one occasion, he met a higher-energy dog who wanted to play, and he responded with aggression -- no biting, but snarling, growling and barking. 

From you experience, is it possible to get retried racers who have this disposition comfortable with other dogs? Would you even recommend I try? If yes, how would you approach this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Caveat: I've never seen him interact with other greyhounds, and I have a gut feeling all would be fine. This problem is specific to non-greyhounds.  

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Some Greyhounds are 'breed snobs' and do not like other breeds..... Possibly because they have never seen other breeds of dogs until they are adopted into a home.     None of mine have ever displayed this type of snobbish behaviour.  Both Nixon lived moved in here quite happily with a GSDX and a PointeX, and Ruby with the little Pointer.

Don't force your your boy meet other dogs.  If you see another dog when out walking and he seems fearful, just turn the other way. Offer him a tasty treat and get him to look at you  'Watch Me!! and turn and go the other way."

Patricia McConnell has an excellent booklet...  'Feisty Fido' ...  with excellent ideas to help your leash-aggressive dog. 

Her other booklet  ...'The Cautious Canine'... is also excellent for timid/fearful dogs.



Nancy...Mom to Nigel (Nigel) , Sid (Peteles Tiger) and Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos)Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie) and especially Ruby (Watch Me Dash) waiting at the Bridge.


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We’ve had some success with using ‘Feisty Fido’. It allowed us to train Buddy enough to distract him if another dog approaches him for a sniff. Occasionally, a Buddy may also join in the sniffing but generally he just stands and waits for the other dog to move away. It works less well if more than one dog approaches him, and hardly works at all if the dog is excited or runs at him. 
Having said that, we normally warn the other owner that Buddy may snap if their dog is too familiar with him and we prefer not to let him mix with other dogs - the training we gave just buys us a bit more time if we can’t avoid the other dog. He does behave differently with other greyhounds, and lurchers that have a greyhound face. He doesn’t like most herding dogs and can’t stand bully breeds - and this includes lurchers with faces like Staffies. He has been attacked twice by these types of dogs since we have had him so I don’t blame him. 
Good luck! I wish ours was a bit more laid back with other dogs but I definitely think that with Buddy it’s a part of his personality and we can’t train the grumpy old man out of him.

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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You have to remember that greyhounds aren't socialised with other dogs when they are young and have only been around other greyhounds.

When you are out walking with him and you see someone with a calm quiet larger breed of dog ask them if your dogs can say hello to each other, but don't be surprised if he totally ignores the other dog. Let them have a quick sniff and move on as soon as he seems uncomfortable. Eventually he will become more accepting of other dogs and start to accept them but don't expect a quick fix.


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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Exactly what everyone else said! It just takes time.

We did considerable 'leave it' training and that seems to work in a variety of situations (squirrel, dog leaping about in his face....etc). I also keep mine on lead and muzzled. I know a lot of people aren't a fan of muzzles - and I agree that in some situations its not always good - but I have found that a) I can relax (and therefore not tense up and impact him) knowing that if he does snap for any reason he can't do any damage and b) when people see a muzzled dog they tend to be more sensible, call their dogs in and ask first if they can approach which usefully gives the chance to introduce the dogs gradually, briefly and calmly. 

My boy is absolutely ecstatic if he sees another sighthound, confident and very social. With any other breed he ranges from excited to terrified/slowly backing up behind me. We took a step back, avoided all dogs and walked around the field peripheries for a while, gradually closing the gap over a period of at least a month - that helped too. 

If yours is still reacting you could try taking a step back and keeping a bit of distance, and then build it up again slowly.

Feisty Fido is a must read! And i'm sure in time your boy will start to be a bit easier. Meanwhile enjoy the arm workout :-) 

Good luck! 


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