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Saluki x greyhound - Behaviour advice needed please

(6 Posts)
paddythepooch Mon 31-Dec-12 10:12:19

Hi cj. I sympathise with you both! I know someone with a saluki x of a similar age with similar behaviours. She is working on it but it is hard. Lovely dog but quite a training challenge. equally I know someone else with a golden retriever that jumps up all the time and she's not working on it.

Perhaps you could offer to help her with the biggest challenge which seems to be the jumping up when meeting people. This is a very common problem and it can help to practice using a command like down with lots of people coming in again and again. It will take time though. The wonderful kikopup has a good YouTube video on stopping jumping up.

Good luck to you both

CJMommy Sun 30-Dec-12 22:33:46

Hi there.
Sorry I've not been back to this for a few days but I have had chance to mull everything over and I do appreciate your thoughts and honesty.

I take on board that she's not my dog. My frustration comes from being able to see that so much more could be done with her; but as you say, she is not mine and that is up to my DM.

It may come across as if I'm 'attacking and criticising' my DM but this has been a gradual thing. We have discussed, talked calmly, reviewed options etc over the last 6 weeks and DM says she is going to do things because she wants to and then quite clearly hasn't which is not a problem if she is going to put her into kennels when she visits. However, that's not really an option as she comes to see us for a few days each month and can't afford kennels this often.

I suppose my biggest gripe is that DM thinks that the dogs behaviour in her house (her house her rules, I understand) is acceptable in other people's houses......

e.g. we went to see friends on boxing day. DM walks in with dog, lets her race around lounge, jump on people sitting on sofa whilst she takes no notice and excuses it by saying ' ooh she gets excited'. I think this is wrong. Poachedeggs I don't expected the dog to be calm and collected in a different environment but I do expect DM to hold onto her, walk her around the house to familiarise herself with the environment and stay with her until she has calmed; is this so wrong? I sat with the dog until she was happy and calm (which only took a few minutes) but avoided the jumping/nipping etc that we started with.

I also have no problem with the dog sleeping on DM's bed but DM admitted that she only 'allows her' as she howls until DM gives in. She can't sleep on the bed at mine as DM shares a room with my DD (2). DM even said she would sleep on the floor in the lounge so dog would not howl hmm.

DM goes to training weekly but admits that she is not consistent with this during the rest of the week.

So, yes I'll lay off. I'll pass on info regarding clicker training and local charity (thanks for that) and will see what happens. Please don't get me wrong, the dog IS beautiful, intelligent and independent and I don't want to stop DM bringing her. But, I also don't want my DM to become isolated from going anywhere because she has no control over the dog.

Thanks again

poachedeggs Sat 29-Dec-12 08:49:31

I've got a Saluki x. She's beautiful, sensitive, either incredibly dim or incredibly smart (I've had her nearly ten years and I still can't decide!), and completely independent.

You cannot expect your mum's puppy to be calm and collected in a different, more stimulating environment than the one it is used to. Your expectations are unreasonably high and it sounds like you're giving your mum a pretty hard time. Why shouldn't the dog sleep on her bed at home? It's hardly bothering you.

When she visits it isn't fair to expect your DC to tolerate being roughed up by the dog, so you need to discuss it with your mum and compromise. You won't be successful in that as long as she's feeling attacked and criticised.

Scuttlebutter Sat 29-Dec-12 00:45:44

OK several points here. Firstly, she's not your dog, and from what I can make out, your mum does not live with you, though you visit regularly. This means that you can politely suggest training, but your mum is under no obligation, as this is her dog, not yours.

In your house, you are perfectly entitled not to have doggy visitors. We have four (relatively well behaved) greyhounds and one of my favourite close family members simply doesn't want them in her house when we visit. It's no biggy and really shouldn't be a drama. If your mum comes to you for a holiday, then hound goes into kennels or a home boarder.

Your mum is right about Salukis and their crosses. No dog is impossible to train, but a Saluki is widely regarded as being particularly difficult. Many sighthounds simply cannot do a sit - it's extremely uncomfortable for them because of their long backs and big thighs. Your mum's trainer should be aware of this and will allow her to work on a Down Stay instead. If trainer is insisting on a Sit, then this is a bad trainer. Similarly, they should be focused on positive, gentle methods. Sighthounds are often very sensitive and get stressed by people shouting or using harsh methods - though of course I would never recommend these for any dog.

Your mum's dog is also going through her teenage years, and if you look at the threads on here regularly you will see that many dogs, even with expert training, go through a very difficult time at this age. You are also probably never going to be able to stop her chasing cats - sighthounds have a powerful prey drive, and for your cat's safety I would not recommend that this dog should stay with you.

Even for a Saluki, much of the behaviour you mention (jumping up, etc) can be trained for, but as you correctly point out, your mum will need to attend training classes regularly. It's not clear from your post if she still does, and even just going to class is not enough, she will need to practice the exercises, and as you quite rightly say, be consistent at home. I would strongly suggest she has a go at clicker training - have a look at some of the threads on here about it. There's masses of fun things to do, which could harness some of the energy and enthusiasm. It will also help to tire her out and settle her as it uses her brain. I'd also suggest breaking up the hour walk into two or even three shorter ones - again, the idea is to give her plenty of mental stimulation. Salukis are brighter than most greys (partly why they are such a bugger to train), highly independent and quite contrary - add in that prey drive, and bags of energy and your mum really has her hands full.

The other thing I'd suggest for your mum is to get in touch with a local greyhound/sighthound/lurcher charity - many organise lots of events for these dogs and she will find it very helpful to talk to other owners who are facing the same sorts of issues. Some run activities like sighthound playdates for off lead safe play, and even things like lure coursing (this would be fabulous for her to do once she is a tiny bit older). Depending on your mum's fitness she could also consider running with her (again, when a bit older) - my DH does this with ours and they love it.

Good luck to you and to your mum. smile

CJMommy Fri 28-Dec-12 23:15:15

On the times I have tried to broach this with my mom she has either said that she won't come again or that the dog is obviously too much trouble and would get rid of I know she doesn't want to do this really and I would take the dog if that's what it came to as I can see that she would be a great addition to the family with the right training (although we both work FT so the only option would be to pay some one to come in during the day to walk her)

Just rambling now but am worried, fed up, frustrated sad

CJMommy Fri 28-Dec-12 23:09:49

This may be long but please try to stay with this as I am pretty desperate sad

My mom has a female pup, 11 months old. She has had her from approx 15 weeks old.

She is very excitable when people first come into the home or when she goes anywhere; jumping up at adults/children, licking faces (nipping at times when excited) and generally hurtling around the room, over the furniture etc. She does not always sit when told and won't 'stay' for the majority of the time she is told to. She has at least one long walk each day.

Mom started puppy training when she first had her, had a cage type thing for night time and was really into the training. Then, I'm not sure what happened? She stopped going to training, the dog started sleeping on her bed at night and is generally very disobedient. It wasn't really noticeable at first as we moved away. However, the first time they came to stop with us was horrendous! The dog was jumping up at the kids all the time and scratched my 18 month old face. She would chase the cats, race around etc etc. When i questioned Mom about this she said it wasn't a problem at home. I tried to explain that was because she allowed the dog to sleep anywhere, walk over furniture and generally had no boundaries with the dog.

e.g. if she told her to sit in her bed and the dog didn't, then Mom would just ignore her.

This went on for a few visits until I really lost my temper with my mom and told her that this behaviour was not the dogs fault but hers for not setting boundaries and persevering with the training. Now, I have had every excuse under the sun as to why she (the dog) won't train -
1) It's too late
2) She's part Saluki so has a mind of her own
3) It's difficult when you are on your own (Mom has no partner)
4) I spend all my time with the dog trying (She's retired and this is not the case)

So, this visit over Christmas I made her buy a muzzle as I was sick of the dog licking/nipping and we put it on at certain times when she would become excited - this appeared to calm her down and stop her jumping up so much. After 10 mins we would take it off. But, Mom does not do this willingly and I know she won't continue it when they go home tomorrow.

Also this visit, I made Mom leave the dog in the kitchen overnight as I did not want her sleeping in the kids room (where Mom was). Mom said she would have to sleep in the lounge with the dog then as the dog would not tolerate being on her own overnight. Cue a big row - I told her not to be so bloody ridiculous and 6 days later the dog is happily in kitchen overnight, settling well, only barking for first few minutes.

Mom has resumed training but I don't feel this is effective as every time they come to visit, my DH and I feel like we are training the dog all over again.

It is my DS birthday party in a few weeks - i am on the verge of asking mom to put dog in kennels for the weekend as can do without the hassle of trying to control the dog around all the kids and controlling my moms pandering to the dog

Please help! I don't know if it is me who is in the wrong, and I do love the dog dearly. She seems intelligent and has so much potential........but I don't know what else to do?

I did suggest a dog behaviorist or a different training class but Mom simply replied 'well I take her training every week' - what else can I do?

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