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My 4yo ex racing greyhound was in our front yard and a small chihuahua mix crawled under our gate and well, my dog got the best of him. 

He had it in its mouth and I had to pry his jaws apart to get the dog free. 

we have no idea who this dog belongs to. It had no collar and we have seen him wandering around before. Other neighbors remarked that they have seen this dog in their own yards, in the alleyway, etc. I don’t get the sense that it’s a stray, it had nicely maintained long hair. 


we called animal control and they gave us the run around. Ultimately we dropped off the deceased dog at their facility. A report was filed and they told us that was all we could do. 

I feel so so awful for this dog. I know my dog was only acting on instinct. He of course has a high prey drive having only retired several months ago. He was unmoved by the situation, nearly prideful. I place no blame on either dog and I accept that I could have been monitoring him better in the yard given my knowledge of his prey drive. My roommate is worried about legal repercussions but even animal control said it was not our fault because this dog entered our yard. 

he walks on a leash at all times and we muzzle him when there are other dogs nearby. But in our own yard we just let him go about his business. 

I have a trainer that he works with but we had such success with him meeting another dog his size that I thought it was not so pressing to continue with that training. We still worked on his leash pulling and crate training. I have another session scheduled with this trainer who now knows the extent of his prey drive with small animals. 

I am devastated. I am frustrated and I am beside myself. We were told by animal control that they would reach out if they got any information on the owner - today I was told it had no microchip. they advised me to look on Facebook groups for people who report missing dogs…

I guess I’m just venting at this point but I would love to hear any thoughts or advice or similar situations. Moving forward he will not be allowed outside without supervision. But even that feels futile because he is obviously faster than us and could get to another animal before anyone could stop him. 

Would training be hopeless? He is ok with other dogs that he meets, I believe the dog coming into our yard was a different trigger but I am now worried about any and all encounters(more so than I already was) 




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take a deep breath. 

you did the right thing and are smart about using a muzzle- kudos!  my dogs have killed feral cats that jumped the fence and entered our yard.

training him not to lunge out when you walk is what you should aim for. a good obedience class with all size dogs will do wonders, especially if you have an experienced trainer. do stick w/ a group situation so his actions can be observed and corrected by a professional. the class will also boost YOUR confidence and give your tools for control. 

now exhale- and another deep breath. 

that dog was not legal- no collar, no leash, no owner and it was asking for trouble. it could have been a car or another dog- 

Edited by cleptogrey
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Your dog was being a dog. It doesn't make it easier, but you shouldn't feel guilty that some other person neglected their own dog's safety. 

We've had dogs that wouldn't hurt a flea, but when a rabbit or other small animal ran in front of them, instinct kicked in. That's not really something you can train out of him, nor should you. 

Your dog has already forgotten the incident. Don't beat yourself up about things that you have no control over. 


The home of Camp Broodie.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, and Petunia MW Neptunia.


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Not your fault. They are hunting dogs. 

Like Time4ANap said … don’t beat yourself up over this.

Over the years my guys have proudly killed rabbits.  Once they got one of my barn cats who somehow got into their fenced yard. He thankfully survived. 


Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge


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Yes, first thing, deep breath. I know how you feel, the exact same thing happened to me except that my dog did not initially get a killing grip on the small dog and I was able to eventually pry his mouth open and the small dog ran away, apparently not seriously hurt. I looked for the dog, but never saw it again. My other two dogs were in the yard and just watched everything calmly, mildly interested. It still upsets me, more than ten years later.

Neither you nor your dog did anything wrong. I would continue with the leash training and always be alert when he is around small animals, although he may not be as reactive on leash as in his own backyard. Or he may be worse, but now you know to be careful. 

Fletcher was always very leash reactive to strange dogs of any size, and chased any cats in his yard, but lived peacefully with five indoor cats, so you just never know ahead of time how any individual dog will react.

Edited by Remolacha
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Mine get along fairly well with indoor cats--but lookout outdoor cats and small dogs and critters of all sorts!

Your yard is your pup's territory, and he did protected that territory.

Current Crew: Gino-Gene-Eugene! (Eastnor Rebel: Makeshift x Celtic Dream); Fuzzy the Goo-Goo Girl (BGR Fuzzy Navel: Boc's Blast Off x Superior Peace); Roman the Giant Galoot! (Imark Roman: Crossfire Clyde x Shana Wookie); Kitties Archie and Dixie

Forever Missed: K9 Sasha (2001-2015); Johnny (John Reese--Gable Dodge x O'Jays) (2011-19); the kitties Terry and Bibbi; and all the others I've had the privilege to know


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My heart goes out to you. What an awful thing, but totally not your fault and your dog was acting on his instincts. Sweep lives peacefully with two cats and yet when an off-leash Maltese snuck up on her on the sidewalk a few years ago, she grabbed it and managed to break its leg before I could do anything. It happens so fast. I felt horrible even knowing it was not my fault. The owners were right there and thankfully took full responsibility, and the Maltese is still around to this day but kept well contained. It's unlikely your dog will be totally trained out of the behavior, but you're doing all the right things to keep everyone safe.


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

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Prey drive isn't like a lot of other behaviors in dogs - it's mostly instinct and DNA - not something born out of their upbringing or nurturing environment.  That is, prey drive isn't learned so it's not something that can be unlearned.  You can mitigate it with distraction training and desensitization, but you never know when it will kick in and override all your hard work.  If a trainer tells you s/he can permanently change your dog's prey drive, keep looking for another trainer.

That being said, it sounds like you're doing everything you can do, so as others have said, it is what it is.  Having a high prey drive dog means you need to be vigilant out on walks (and really anytime your dog is in uncontrolled environments).  It's up to you to protect both your dog and other people's dogs your boy encounters.  The other thing to do is to periodically check your yard perimeter for holes in the fencing and fill in low spots so small animals can't easily get in.  

We are so accustomed to thinking of our greyhounds as friends and companions that we often forget how 1000s of years of breeding can effect their behavior.  The incident was upsetting and dealing with the aftermath is never fun, but your boy was just following his breeding - which you already know.   Hug your boy and say a little prayer for that little chihuahua, whose owner couldn't be bothered to be be a responsible owner.  If you have anger, that's who direct it towards.

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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Document everything while it's still fresh in your mind. Take photos of the area where the chihuahua got under your fence. Have documents handy that show your boy is up to date on all vaccines.
Then, hopefully, you'll never need them for anything.

If you are able to find the chihuahua on a lost pet page, do not make contact. Let Animal Control handle it.

I am leery of having you muzzle him when off your property. To me, it seems to signal that he is a dangerous dog. Yes, he's reactive when charged at, but otherwise not dangerous.

If you are following all the rules - always leashed when off your property, vaccinated, microchipped, and has ID tags, you've done everything right.

The Lexus Project may have legal advise if you need some.  http://thelexusproject.org/




Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I agree, I would not muzzle him as long as he is on leash. Your control is a much better solution, he can still hurt a small animal with a muzzle on. I never muzzled Fletcher except for play dates, and that has nothing to do with aggression, but greyhound’s paper thin skin. 

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I am sorry that happened and stressed you like that.  If you continue with dogs in your life you will get used to it. You should not feel any guilt whatsoever.  It is sad the little dogs owner didn't think enough of him to keep him safe but there sadly are a lot of owners out there who just don't care enough about their dog to keep it restrained and safe.  Most likely it gets no vet attention either which makes it a health threat to the healthy dogs in the neighborhood. Nor is it surprising there was no info on the microchip.  I was an Animal Control Officer in a large city-Louisville, KY- and I can tell you there is nothing for you to worry about.  He came into your yard-end of story.  

And no, you cannot train out prey drive.  Prey drive is a good thing.  It is genetics. Your guy just did what dogs do-thats how they stayed alive and obtained food. And just so you can be prepared for other possibilities a muzzle will NOT protect 'prey' no matter what it is.  Greyhounds know to MASH the prey to kill it when muzzled since they can't bite/grab it.  They will catch it and then mash it into the ground until it is dead so a muzzle won't protect you from seeing the kill. It is still thankfully pretty quick also. Now if you can catch up to the dog as soon as he makes contact you might be able to pull him back off and the prey escape before it gets mashed but that is a definite longshot. 

Just put it behind you and don't worry about it.  You had, and have, no control over such acts of nature. Dogs are dogs and prey is prey and nature is nature. If you continue to have dogs-especially dogs like greyhounds with good prey drive- then most likely this won't be the last time something like this happens.  In fact you should be watchful your guy doesn't bite off more than he can chew as sometimes the prey can hurt and kill the dog. For e.g. racoons are extremely dangerous, have been known to kill even greyhound sized dogs, and often carry distemper. Possums carry lepto so you wouldn't want them to get a hold of them either.

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As Macoduck noted, DOCUMENT everything and take photos. Let animal control handle any owner issues - don't pursue that path. Also, you may want to stop contact with Animal Control unless absolutely necessary. Note, even though Animal Control seems to be ok with this, they might show up at your door asking for you to turn over the dog because they deem it is dangerous. How they will handle this depends on laws where you are located.  Good practice for awhile is to make sure that you put your dog in another room when you answer the door so anyone at the door will not be aware that your dog is home.  I also suggest that you contact the Lexus project.

I am sorry that this happened, not much can be done in the case that you described.

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I am of no help in regards to legal matters but you got some good advice here. I know how you feel. Many here remember my old boy Andy, sweet and gentle, always off lead greyhound. He wasn't always like this. When I adopted him he had already killed a galgo (Spanish greyhound) at his foster home. He never gave any warnings, just attacked, people and dogs alike when he felt threatened, his space invaded  or when he wanted to protect his boundaries. 

This was a different situation than yours but I just accepted him for who he was and he calmed down over the years. He learned to trust. Your boy needs to meet small dogs on walks, no interacting, just looking and getting treats for calm behaviour. That's how my new boy Abu stopped screaming and dancing every time he saw a small dog. I wouldn't trust him off lead with something small but at least he doesn't bring people running anymore because they think someone is being murdered. 

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.


Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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I'm so sorry. You did all the right things and have gotten excellent advice. My greyhounds/galgos have killed numerous rabbits, birds and squirrels in our yard before. We used to have a neighbor with indoor/outdoor cats. We warned him of what might happen should one of his cats get into our fenced yard. He just shrugged it off. Thankfully, none of them were ever harmed. You're not likely to train out prey drive. It's not your fault the dog was killed. It was the irresponsible owner. Try to forgive yourself and your dog.

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
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