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Foster dog dominance & spraying

(5 Posts)
TomYumSoup Fri 01-Jul-11 09:10:31

Had foster dog a few weeks now & the first week my dog seemed to be the dominant one but then they had a scuffle over a ball & my dog nipped the other one. I think I have done the wrong thing here but I gently brought my dog away & let foster dog have the ball. Now this week foster dog has been showing signs of dominance, growling at my dog & has sprayed in the house five times in total (once in DS's bedroom which wasn't pleasant) Now he has done it on the huge dog bed which isn't washable apart from cover shock Apart from washing with bio powder & warm water have you got any tips to stop him spraying & restore harmony. BTW I haven't caught him doing it but am pretty sure it is him. Foster dog also pushes my dog away if he comes for a stroke & foster is more powerful. Both ex-racing greyhounds. TIA

TomYumSoup Fri 01-Jul-11 09:35:14

Forgot to mention but he is recently castrated. First day we got him we picked him up from the vets after his op.

Scuttlebutter Fri 01-Jul-11 12:53:55

Hi Tom,

Congratulations on fostering a grey. They're addictive, aren't they? grin

Spraying five times in the house after a few weeks is not that much - I'm guessing that most of the toilet training is going well, as most greys are partly trained, and pick it up quickly, but the odd "accident" is quite normal. Just make sure you have a really good routine for going out every couple of hours at least and immediately after meals etc. We found that greys took a while to be able to "tell" us they needed to go so it was up to us to pre-empt this and give them a good routine. Generally find they enjoy routine anyway as they would have been used to this in their racing days. I would also keep doors closed in bedrooms or other rooms where you don't want them to go, at least for the time being. Have you listed the times of day when this happens? Any common factors?

The odd growl or snap is perfectly normal dog behaviour - this is how they communicate, and does not mean World War 3 is going to break out. Please don't worry about either of them being "dominant" - they will sort out their relationship themselves quite happily and all dogs will occasionally have a little grumble or grump. We have three and one accidentally trod on one of the others on the way out to the car this morning - honestly, the racket! They can be such drama queens.

With the pushing for strokes, ours do this too. Just gently ignore the one you don't want to stroke - although I often end up stroking both. Ours do this too when I'm grooming them - they love it, and will try to come back for more when I'm doing one of the others. I just gently talk to them and carry on with the one I'm doing. Again, please don't get hung up on "dominance" ideas - these have now been completely outdated and don't reflect how dogs actually interact socially.

Lastly, if you are still worried, have a chat with the foster co-ordinator at the greyhound charity. They should be able to offer you lots of help and support and advice.

TomYumSoup Fri 01-Jul-11 13:14:05

Hi Scuttle, thanks very much for your reply. With regards to the spraying, the first time he did it was during the first night after his op and thought that was sort of expected. Since then he had been totally housetrained until this week when he has done it each day. He can hold on all night fine but he seems to do just a quick spray in areas he likes eg the big dog bed which is the best bed (they have five beds grin) I thought this made it seem more like behavioural rather than not having been in a house before. What do you think?

Scuttlebutter Fri 01-Jul-11 14:36:14

Hi Tom,

A couple of thoughts. It could be that there is still a lingering smell and that is keeping him going back, especially in this warm, humid weather - it makes scents very powerful and lingering. I would really go over it again carefully and use one of those special anti wee sprays you can get at PAH that mask the smell.

The other thing is that as it is so new, it might be worth taking him along to the vet for a look - could be a urinary tract infection, especially as he's recently had surgery in that area (poor boy!) grin .

Alternatively (and this is always a strong possiblitity) it's just random ..... grin

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