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Hello!

We adopted a greyhound three days ago and need some advice! He's a lovely boy but very bolshy. We are first time owners and feel he's riding roughshod over us!

- At first he settled in his bed in the living room, but then decided the sofas looked more inviting. We tried to physically block him from getting on (he climbed on top of us), put boxes on to stop him getting on (he pulled the boxes off), lure him off with treats (he ate the treat and got straight back on) and making his lovely dog bed seem inviting with treats etc - none of it has worked and ended up stressing him out. We ended up exhausted and eventually let him on and he's barely left since. I really don't mind him being on the sofa as long as he knows it's on our terms and that he knows it is ours and not his! I've read a lot about greys that take the sofa and then resent the owners for being on there too, or experience sleep startle. I feel like i'm failing at the moment so any help would be so appreciated. 

- he growls and snarls at his own reflection in car doors and also growls and snarls at other dogs. We have read a number of training methodologies involving giving him treats as soon as he sees the dog. I'm also trying to introduce outside stressors slowly as even the quiet walks around us have busy streets and freak him out. Again any shared experiences would be really appreciated!

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As to the second part, mine would bark at himself in the glass back door every night after dark.  It has mostly gone away after 3 years of acclimation but every once in a while he still goes and makes sure.  On walks, he is better ignoring other dogs, but still unpredictable.  Sometimes he'll ignore them, sometimes he will snarl/bark at them.  We always cross the street when we see a dog coming. The exception is the greyhound around the corner where he will pull me across the street to say hello.  He knows a greyhound when he sees it.  We also try to get him to focus on us with treats as other dogs approach/pass. 

On rare occasions, fire engines will go by with the siren on and he will ROOO. We also get a tight grip if a motorcycle goes by.  Something about motorcycles makes him want to race.

Our greyhound has never got up on furniture/beds/counters so I'll let people who've solved that reply. 

Congrats on your new greyhound.  Almost everyone feels like they are failing at first.  We felt that way for a year.  It gets a lot better as you both adjust.

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I can’t help you with the sofa stuff because ours has never really been interested in being on a sofa, he seems to be quite happy with his beds.

re: reaction to other dogs. We used the short book ‘Feisty Fido’ by Patricia McConnell. Basically you have a treat to hand, and get him to look at you when another dog approaches, and then reward him. With ours, we are at the point that he looks at us for a treat if he walks past another dog without snarking at them. On most occasions he can also have some interaction with the other dog and then he has his treat. It took a few weeks to master, and he is still overwhelmed if there is more than one dog, or if the dog runs at him, but it’s a vast improvement on how he was before.

1 hour ago, NewGrey2017 said:

 

Congrats on your new greyhound.  Almost everyone feels like they are failing at first.  We felt that way for a year.  It gets a lot better as you both adjust.

This is definitely true! It does get easier, you will relax more and the reward for your hard work is a quirky and loving companion who provides almost endless entertainment, from running in his sleep to tossing toys in the air. Enjoy!

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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Not all greyhounds suffer with sleep startle but greyhounds and sofas do go together like bread and jam so time and patience is needed to break the habit.

You could try leaving his collar and lead on so when he's gets on the sofa you can pull him down and in an authoritative voice say OFF. When he's off give him a reward with either a treat or praise. 

Grace was frightened of traffic so we would go to a busy road and just stand there a few yards back on a quieter side street. I wouldn't interact with Grace at all then after a few seconds we would go back down the quieter road. Each time we would stand there a bit longer and a foot closer. Now she doesn't take any notice of the traffic at all but it did take a few of weeks.

Greyhounds are like wine, they improve with time and can take a year or more to become fully settled and develop into what they can be. Don't let that worry you because each little change is it's own reward and makes the effort worth it.

 

 

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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Rather than leaving his collar and lead on I would invest in an inexpensive slip lead, like this. That's what the greyhound kennels advised me to do with Tiger, who came to me with a reputation for bed guarding. The kennels explained that it was something already familiar for him, as it's what they use in greyhound kennels for turnouts, etc. It worked very well, though I haven't had to use it for a while - advice was to form a large loop, approach in a confident manner, drop over dog's head and tighten which talking in a cheery tone: "let's go, Tiger!"

It worked a treat for us, while he was still settling in, and the issue has gone away now.  I will add, he was a bounce - i.e. a dog who had been adopted out once but returned because of this problem, which they and I believe was inadvertently created by poor handling in his first home.

From my own greyhound experience I think a lot of what you are currently seeing is nervousness rather than true aggression - the snarling at reflections for instance, which I can remember my first dog Doc doing. He'd never seen a mirror or even been in a house before, and there was suddenly this strange dog.... all the funny-looking other animals we would meet on walks were a challenge too, until he began to work out that they too were  dogs.

The other side of your problem is, dogs are opportunists. That sofa looks comfortable, again he will be used to a raised bed already from his time in kennels, and so he will keep jumping up there. Personally I wouldn't give in "for the sake of peace" if I didn't want him getting on there personally. It's not that I think he'll then plot to take over the household, or whatever, just that all dogs, and these ones more than most (because of their early life in kennels) thrive on regular routines and consistency.

All of this can feel quite daunting I know if you are a first-time greyhound adopter, I can remember how worried I sometimes got myself! Did your boy come from a specialist greyhound adoption place? Would they be ready to advise you over the phone or even via Zoom? Actually, any good dog adoption charity should want to do this. It's just, I have the feeling that you are beginning to feel nervous yourselves, and if so your boy will be picking up on that too. Which is no fun for anybody, and won't be helping, but is probably easier to work through with the aid of a friendly voice/ face than typed words on an internet forum!

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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38 minutes ago, DocsDoctor said:

Rather than leaving his collar and lead on I would invest in an inexpensive slip lead, like this. That's what the greyhound kennels advised me to do with Tiger, who came to me with a reputation for bed guarding. The kennels explained that it was something already familiar for him, as it's what they use in greyhound kennels for turnouts, etc. It worked very well, though I haven't had to use it for a while - advice was to form a large loop, approach in a confident manner, drop over dog's head and tighten which talking in a cheery tone: "let's go, Tiger!"

Great suggestion! We found this too with a slip lead (completely by accident, it was the closest thing to hand so popped it on). Ours was snappy and nervous if we ever tried to move him, the second we put a slip lead on he just got up and moved. It transpired the kennel he came from them used them for training. Well worth trying!

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