Neighbour told DH her dog has been known to kill small dogs!

(52 Posts)

Out of courtesy DH told neighbour we are getting a mini dachshund puppy today. She looked taken aback apparently and said her rescue greyhound hates small dogs and has been known to kill them in the past.

As you can imagine we are now checking the garden is super secure.

She has two kids living in the house with her killer greyhound.

Peggotty Sat 02-Mar-13 09:03:44

Greyhounds are sight hounds which means they have a strong prey instinct to chase and kill small animals, which may include cats, smaller dogs etc. It doesn't mean her dog will attack children, in fact with people they are usually gentle lazy dogs. She has been honest about it with you so at least you know to keep your puppy away from her greyhound. You're doing the right thing in making your garden completely secure and it would be sensible to have a further discussion with her about whether her dog wears a Baskerville muzzle when she takes it out (it looks a bit like a sort of basket/cage muzzle that fits over the dogs nose and mouth) as some greyhound owners use them to stop their dogs killing squirrels etc. You're probably right to be a little concerned but don't get panicky about it.

SpicyPear Sat 02-Mar-13 09:48:45

I understand your xoncern for your puppy and you are right to make sure the garden is secure. Perhaps tall to the neighbour about management of the dogs in the garden as greys can often clear quite high fences.

But please don't worry about her kids. A grey seeing small dogs aa prey is no indicator of generalised dog aggression, let alone aggression towards people, which is very different. I would strongly suggest you read some up to date books on dog behaviour to get a better understanding before you bring your pup home. E.g. In Defence of Dogs by John Bradshaw.

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 02-Mar-13 10:31:18

Some greyhounds chase and kill small prey, it's in their breeding and they are trained to hone this instinct at the track, because of the way they are raised (at the track/kennels, only ever seeing other greyhounds, not socialising with a mix of breeds) they sometimes don't distinguish between a smaller dog and prey.

Children generally are not small and furry, so you don't need to worry about that.

Your garden should be secure anyway and you should not be letting your puppy out unsupervised, nor should your neighbour be leaving her greyhound unsupervised in her garden.

I agree with SpicyPear on the muzzle, most greyhounds are already used to wearing them and they don't bother them at all. Ask if your neighbour would mind popping one on her greyhound whenever it is out, just to be doubly safe, although unless they meet off lead, they should be safe. Greys tend to only chase and kill when it runs, if both dogs are on lead when they are near each other, you shouldn't have any issues.

Callisto Sat 02-Mar-13 11:03:33

Her 'killer' greyhound? hmm There are some figures somewhere about dogs most likely to bite people and greyhounds come in last.

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 02-Mar-13 11:10:10

CAlisto i dont think she meant that the dogs was a danger to children and probably just using emotive language as she is worried for her dog.

It is your neighbours responsiblity to ensure that if her dog has this history then he needs to muzzled whenever he is outside and in the back garden too, unless you can ensure that fence is safe.

Callisto Sat 02-Mar-13 11:20:33

"She has two kids living in the house with her killer greyhound." Says it all.

She said it not me. I don't really know the woman, DH went over out of courtesy. Our pup is not likely to be off lead round here anyway. Not until he is out on a proper walk.

Cheddars Sat 02-Mar-13 12:08:37

I would be concerned. sad

Her dog will go mad knowing there's a small dog in the next garden, and if the greyhound has already killed dog(s)! I would be asking the neighbour to contribute to an 8 foot fence separating your gardens.

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 12:14:16

Id be concerned enough to tell her than if her dog EVER laid a tooth on your puppy, you would both sue her and insist her dog was pts and that you hope thats clear and that she keeps her dog under control.

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 12:15:29

Did she say her dog specifically or her breed of dog?

NeverWinsMNComps Sat 02-Mar-13 12:19:56

Actually, if her dog has any kind of training it won't be too hard to teach it to recognize your pup's scent and "leave it" so that it won't be inclined to whine at the fence, etc.

But even with familiar animals the sighthound instinct can kick in if they see something small running away--then it's catch first and ask questions later.

piprabbit Sat 02-Mar-13 12:20:07

I find it a bit strange that the owners' of a dog that has killed other dogs (i.e. this is has happened more than once) haven't already been sued.

SpicyPear Sat 02-Mar-13 12:22:43

The issue is it's not worth the cost of suing, because all she would be ordered to pay is the open market value of your dog. You are not entitled to compensation for any upset etc as dogs are seen by the courts as things, like an iPod for example.

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 12:32:23

Why do people insist on "rescuing" dogs with issues that theyre not qualified or prepared to actually change.

There are millions of rescue dogs without violent tendencies. I dont see why there are breeds of dogs banned as potentially dangerous and PTS if found even as tiny puppies, when dogs with history are fine.

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 12:35:46

All greyhounds will chase small things. Did she say HER dog or did she mean her BREED of dog?

A dog attacking and killing another animal is not an issue, it is a dog being a dog, doing what dogs do naturally. This does not mean it is an aggressive dog, or has behavioural problems. I have watched my dog kill a wild rabbit. She is a timid, sweet little animal who happens to be a terrier.

Unless you are a vegan, and have only vegan pets, you have no right to complain about dogs eating meat.

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 12:37:24

Depending upon how you categorise "violent tendencies", either all dogs have them or none at all.

Cheddars Sat 02-Mar-13 12:50:43

colditz Op specifically states its that actual dog that has killed dogs.

Op - my main concern would be your small dog escaping. It's relatively easy to fence in large dogs but small dogs are a bugger for escaping through previously non-existent holes.

Callisto Sat 02-Mar-13 13:25:47

FGS 'violent tendencies'? I have yet to meet any dog without violent tendencies of some kind or another.

Fallenangle Sat 02-Mar-13 13:37:51

Colditz, Who was complaining about dogs eating meat? <Confused>
it is the greyhound owners responsibility to ensure that her dog is properly controlled but thats not much help if it kills your puppy.

Cheddars Sat 02-Mar-13 13:44:23

And here is why people won't post in the Doghouse.


Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 13:57:22

a dog chasing a squirrel or a rabbit is one thing.

A dog even chasing cats is a step up from that

A dog killing other dogs where they werent even fighting, is NOT a pet.

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 02-Mar-13 13:57:32

Her dog is unlikely to go mad at the scent of another dog, small or large. Greyhounds, as mentioned earlier, are sight hounds, they hunt on sight, if they see it running, they will chase. Scent hounds are an entirely different breed category. Her dog and greyhounds in general do not have an inbuilt desire to kill anything smaller than them, it is all about the chase.

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 13:59:31

violent tendencies, as in being aggressive or killing when not provoked

Of course not all dogs are like this.

My dog will chase squirrels but if i call her back, she will stop the chase and has never ever killed another animal herself or even hurt one

ProphetOfDoom Sat 02-Mar-13 14:07:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 14:10:05

ive only ever seen greyhounds firmly on the lead.

pigsDOfly Sat 02-Mar-13 14:15:53

Really Colditz, you think if it's 'just a dog being a dog' then it's all right for it to kill another dog, because they eat meat and it's what they do?

How lovely for you to watch you dog kill a rabbit because your dog is a terrier.

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 02-Mar-13 14:18:27

That's a shame, Bran, there is nothing more majestic than watching a Greyhound run by choice and with freedom. The last one I had could bring a smile to any face when off lead, his sheer enthusiasm for life was infectious.

I foster greyhounds. I have a cat and two small dogs, so I am unlikely to ever have one with a very high prey drive, however if I did I would still consider off lead running, in an enclosed area, with a muzzle. I wouldn't walk a small dog/cat chaser without a muzzle, there is always the risk of a slipped collar.

Do we know the neighbours dogs killed other dog(s) while in her care? It could have been something he did with a previous owner/trainer. The neighbour could be perfectly responsible for all we know.

As for violent tendencies, well that would suggest that the dog was acting maliciously, killing just for the joy of it. A greyhound has no understanding of how it's actions might effect another being, it is instinct, pure and simple. They are not killing for blood lust, chase, catch, kill is an instinct people purposefully breed into the breed for our own gain.

Pandemoniaa Sat 02-Mar-13 16:02:11

How lovely for you to watch you dog kill a rabbit because your dog is a terrier.

I don't really see the issue. My terrier kills rats. It's what he was bred to do long before terriers were assumed to just be cute little lapdogs.

Some of my friends have "hired" him to kill rats too because the instant death he metes out is a more humane way of killing vermin than putting poison down.

So far as this so-called "killer greyhound" is concerned, it may well be that your neighbour is merely warning you of her dog's attitude towards smaller dogs. Although if the dog has something of a history in this respect I'd be surprised that there haven't already been consequences.

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 16:05:26

PigsDOfly, am I to assume from your name that genuinely don't understand how animals work and what they are? That you are completely innocent if the fact that dogs are not, in fact, furry people, and cannot be held to human standards of behavior? That a dog killing a rabbit and trying to eat it is no more horrifying and less natural than me picking blackberries? That dogs are carnivorous hunters?

Are you seriously that ill educated?

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 16:06:47

and my terrier kills nothing because its a domestic pet and I think the killer instinct is a bad trait and not to be encouraged in family pets.


Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 16:08:02

they're not. they're not wolves. if your dog kills other animals then its badly trained and a bloody liability

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 16:11:25

Instinct is defined as a behavior pattern that is already present regardless of training.

It is my dogs instinct to kill small squeaky things. She is a Jack Russell, she was specifically bred to chase small animals down holes and kill them. Now she occasionally gets the scent of something small and squeaky, and just once, she caught it and killed it. To be fair, it was a baby rabbit and it pretty much jumped in her mouth. Baby rabbits are amongst the most stupid mammals alive, which is probably why rabbits have to breed so fast.

I haven't trained my dog to kill anything, it was a bloody horror show. But what did you expect me to do, pull her off the dying bunny and call an air ambulance? She gave it a quicker end than I could have done, because she broke its neck.

You cannot expect dogs not to want to eat rabbits when we put it in their pet food!

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 16:11:53

Oh bless you bran, do you live in a city? Or do you have pet rabbits?

Cheddars Sat 02-Mar-13 16:15:34

So you'd have no objection to your neighbour's dog killing your dog then Colditz? It's just their instinct innit. hmm

Because that is what this thread is about, you know. A neighbour's dog killing small dogs, and being concerned for the safety of small dogs.

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 16:16:43

I keep my garden secure, if a dog gets into my garden and kills my terrier, it really is my own fault for not securing my garden.

CalamityKate Sat 02-Mar-13 16:16:44

A greyhound is no more likely to attack children than a retriever is likely to retrieve them.

Make sure your garden is ultra secure smile

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 16:18:19

But anyway, according to branleuse, dogs are not carnivorous hunters, and dogs that kill animals for food have a behavioural problem. I am talking about rabbits. Not other dogs. Anyone who thinks it is unnatural and dangerous for dogs to eat rabbits needs to go and talk to a vet. Or a primary school teacher, perhaps.

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 02-Mar-13 16:30:39

Greyhounds chase, catch, kill
Terriers chase, catch, kill and then kill it a few more times just to be sure it is dead
Retrievers chase, catch and bring it back
Collies chase and round it up into a herd

We designed these dogs to do that for our own gains, either for entertainment or to assist with a specific task. These days more and more working breeds are being kept as pets, which is not necessarily a problem, Greyhounds in particular make excellent family pets, but we can't now start demonising them for acting on instincts we bred into them.

A greyhound will chase things, a terrier will savage small prey, a collie will try and round up your children (I often threaten mine with a collie on the school run grin), that is what we bred them for, it's what they do, it's nature. We know that times are changing and dogs are now expected to behave less naturally than ever before but unfortunately dogs have not read the new rules.

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 16:38:43

no they do have an instinct and you bloody train it out of them or teach them recall otherwise you're not fit to have a dog.
I don't have rabbits and I live in a town next door to a park and we have rabbits ducks swans squirrels and my staffie is as fond of a chase as the next dog. What she doesn't do is savage anything to death and if she starts chasing something I call her and she stops and comes back BECAUSE SHE IS TRAINED.
If you can't call your dog off something then keep it on the lead till you can because a dog with Crap recall is gonna get itself into trouble, hurt something or get itself run over.

kitsmummy Sat 02-Mar-13 16:43:48

This may be a ridiculous idea and perhaps Doin and the other experts could comment on it, but I wonder if the dogs could be introduced and spend time a fair bit of time together (obviously with massive supervision, on leads etc etc) so they might become friends, rather than potential prey?

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 02-Mar-13 16:46:03

I could train my dog not to hunt rabbits, but I'm not really that upset about him catching rabbits, I'm sure Colditz could also train her terrier, but if the dog is chasing in an area away from roads and primary schools, then it's not really a major issue is it?

I actually use rabbits as training treats [shock horror] As in check in with me and I will reward you by letting you chase the fluffy bunny over yonder. This means I can call him off prey if I need to because he knows he might get permission to chase freely instead of being recalled and leashed, so I can call him off foxes when he spots them.

pigsDOfly Sat 02-Mar-13 17:01:32

And are you really that stupid Colditz?

It isn't acceptable for one dog to kill another under any circumstances, you seemed to be saying that it is.

Of course nature is savage and yes, a great many dogs will kill rabbits and other small creatures, I just don't see the need to boast about it.

And dogs aren't small furry human? Oh no!!!

CalamityKate Sat 02-Mar-13 17:03:17

Dooin I did the same with my collie X - put chasing flocks of gulls on cue to use as a reward. Well actually I tried to but it appears that that took all the fun out of it and she now pretty much ignores them.

digerd Sat 02-Mar-13 17:30:52

My Lhasa Apso - a tibetan temple dog- wouldn't kill anything. The breed was not bred to hunt, retrieve or herd. She was friendly with cats and mice - never chased anything and was non-aggressive. She was bred to sit around well-behaved and quietly in the Temple and had amazing hearing that their job was to hear any stranger approaching and alert the outdoor guard dogs, with just 2 barks, but remain seated and composed.

She was wagging her tail and being friendly to a wild mouse, when my Westie went to see what it was and killed it. My Lhasa was very upset that the mouse was no longer moving and made whimpering noises.

OP a mini dachshund will be tiny, even when fully grown, I had a normal size and she was tiny as a pup.
Perhaps you could introduce your little dog to your neighbours later on and hold him in your arms so they can sniff eachother, without yours running around, so next doors gets to know yours.

Greyhounds maybe sight dogs, but they still have a powerful sense of smell

Good Luck

colditz Sat 02-Mar-13 18:11:38

Who's boasting? I was quite clear that I wasn't best pleased about it. But I don't mind that much, and it is not a behavioural problem for a dog to try to eat rabbits, any more than it is a behavioural problem for children to try to eat fruit.

Now, if you don't want your child to eat fruit, or your dog to chase rabbits, you don't let them. But that doesn't mean that every other child eating fruit or every other dog chasing rabbits has a behavioural disorder, or is behaving in an unnatural way because this is how the creature they descended from behaves. Yes, wolves hunt rabbits - dogs like it too. Chimps eat fruit - people like it too. Rabbits are as natural to dogs as fruit is to people.

whateveritakes Sat 02-Mar-13 19:39:09

Branleuse - no they do have an instinct and you bloody train it out of them or teach them recall otherwise you're not fit to have a dog

You are so so confused.

You can have a very well trained dog with amazing recall but with the best dogs have good instincts. They train easily and well because of them. To "train them out" of their normal dog behaviour is cruel. Since when have staffies gone down rat holes or been used to retrieve anything?

RedwingWinter Sat 02-Mar-13 20:06:27

OP, Dooin is right about greyhounds. Just because a dog has a strong prey drive for small furry animals doesn't mean that children are at risk. But it does mean that your new puppy has to be protected from it.

It's helpful that your neighbour has told you this as you know that you will have to ensure your garden is very secure and that your puppy can't escape. To be honest it's best not to leave a dog on their own in a garden anyway (as for example they can get stolen). Also, since you know that this greyhound is a threat, if you see it running around off-lead without a muzzle on then you should keep your puppy close to you and ask her to put it on a lead. (She should do this anyway but you never know).

Hopefully, since you know she is worried, she will take steps to ensure that her dog doesn't go for yours. As said above, greyhounds are usually used to wearing basket muzzles, and that would be the sensible thing for her to do.

By the way, there is a great book for new puppy owners that was only published last year, called Life Skills for Puppies. There is lots of great, general, advice in there about bringing up a puppy.

Callisto Sun 03-Mar-13 09:35:06

Branleuse - you really are astonishingly ignorant about dogs and their natural behaviour.

Hi All, I think my neighbour may be a Mumsnetter - Hi if you are. She came to see me and apologised about scaring us half to death. We discussed and 8ft fence and making the garden more secure. In the meantime my wee boy is only going in the garden supervised. Thanks for the advice.

RedwingWinter Tue 05-Mar-13 00:46:17

That's good news smile

SpicyPear Tue 05-Mar-13 08:19:54

Yep, great news. Maybe she reflected on her choice of words! It does seem poor as it's unlikely the dog "hates" small dogs. Sounds like she might not understand the prey drive very well!

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