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I don't understand either of my dogs...

(11 Posts)
SexLubeAndAFishSlice Sun 01-Jan-17 00:21:31

I'll start by warning you that this could be long, so please bear with me grin

Ok, first things first, my dogs -
10yo male Greyhound, neutered, owned him for 5yrs, background mostly known.
4-5yo female Border Terrier, spayed, owned her for 1yr, background unknown.

Both of these two are unpredictable around other dogs. It's so baffling. My GH doesn't seem to have a trigger, there is no apparent relation between any of the dogs he reacts to. Some dogs he'll go utterly ballistic at, barking, leaping about, doing a perfectly marvellous impression of a fish on line. Other dogs he'll ignore, sometimes he'll politely acknowledge some dogs by giving a cursory sniff and a wag before moving on. And with Whippets and other GH's he'll be very happy to meet them, very sniffy and waggy.

It doesn't seem to matter whether the dogs he reacts to are male, female, neutered or entire, colour, breed or type makes no difference either. Sometimes we'll be walking along a busy road and he'll lose it at a dog on the other side of the road for no apparent reason, doing his barky fish thing. He seems to be ok with any dogs if he is offlead, but unfortunately he is too stupid stubborn to think recall applies to him and chooses to come back whenever he sees fit to come back. So for that reason he doesn't go offlead. Believe me, I've been trying for 5yrs to get even a half decent recall with very little success.

The BT is also unpredictable. When we adopted her, we were told she isn't good with other bitches. Fine, plenty of bitches don't like others, and anyway, we were well used to a reactive dog (see GH description above grin ). The BT can be very deceptive. Acting friendly, giving off lots of friendly body language, happy wagging, looking very interested in the other dog, then if they get close wnough to sniff each other, she'll suddenly turn on them! Tail straight up and not moving, growling and then snapping. I do warn people but I usually get the old 'Oh my dogs friendly, he just wants to play!'. This has happened while she's been offlead as well as on so it's not a 'I-feel-threatened-because-I'm-on-a-lead' thing. And it's not always bitches she turns on either.

But weirdly enough, although both my dogs are the way they are, neither of them have ever had a cross word with each other. When we took the GH to meet the BT at the rescue, before we took her on a trial, he did his customary polite sniff and she did the same, and instantly they reminded me of a teenage brother with his irritating kid sister, she devotedly follows him around everywhere, whereas he just looks like he couldn't give a stuff about her, even though I think he secretly does grin (I've seen him, following her around the garden trying to look as though he isn't interested in what she's doing wink ) and the BT is best friends with MILs male entire Cocker Spaniel and the GH gets on with him too!

It would be so much easier if dogs could talk! Why are they like this!?!

SexLubeAndAFishSlice Sun 01-Jan-17 00:27:09

See? He does secretly like her although he'll never admit it grin

Gosh, it took me ages to write the OP, I started it last year!

Deadnettle Sun 01-Jan-17 10:39:36

What are the dogs that your greyhound reacts to doing? My mums greyhound ignores calm dogs but freaks out at any dog thats slightly energetic.

I know a border terrier bitch that does the exact same thing yours does, I have no idea why and there doesn't seem to be a trigger.

Sorry I'm not much help!

Sipperskipper Sun 01-Jan-17 10:45:07

I have a bt boy, 4. had him from a pup. He was always great with all other dogs - silly, loved to chase and wrestle, not scared of any size. Last year he was attacked by an akita out of nowhere and needed stitches to his back. Since then has been v. Unpredictable around other dogs - just like yours. Fine with dogs he knows - friends & family's dogs - still loves to play, cuddle etc, but I can't let him off lead around other dogs, as he can be so snappy. Its almost certainly a defensive thing, since he was attacked. He's still lovely though!!

Lumberries Sun 01-Jan-17 11:01:05

Aaaah your greyhound: it's a hound thing grin

I have bassets and one of mine is exactly the same, also a rescue. We've figured out that it happens when the other dog looks at him when he's in the lead and it's because he can't get away and doesn't understand the other dog is in the lead too! He's a basset so doesn't ever want to kill it, but arooooo's and barks like he's about to attack. When he's off lead he'll do this, then as soon as he gets near the dog he dissolves into waggy play time. Other dogs don't seem scared of him at all so we think he's not giving off aggression, just excitement.

My other basset is like your bt: he's absolutely fine 99% of the time and loves to play etc and was the most chilled out dog you'd ever meet. Then sometimes in seemingly random days he turns into a complete he'll hound and goes for things. He seems to take a dislike to certain dogs but no idea what triggers it.

We've come to the conclusion that body language is a huge factor and dogs can sort of swear at each other without us ever spotting it.

Re greyhound: do you have a secure field somewhere where you can let him run? Maybe if he has some safe off lead time it will get rid of his pent up energy?

Mine can sleep for England and don't seek to really care about walks, but if we skip a day of off lead time they are noticibly more reactive. Might be worth a try?

Pics of my buggers attached smile

SexLubeAndAFishSlice Sun 01-Jan-17 11:44:06

Dead there appears to be no rhyme or reason to it, he can react at any kind of dog, no matter breed or anything. As an example, he once met a little JRT bitch on a walk, he seemed to really like her, he was playing with her! Then the next day we were out and we saw a JRT bitch, very similar to the one he made friends with and he hit the roof! Hackles up, growling, barking etc. It literally makes no difference to whether the dogs he reacts to are old, young, big, small, male, female, slow, fast, full of energy or just pottering along. The ONLY dogs he has never had an angry reaction to are other greyhounds.

SexLubeAndAFishSlice Sun 01-Jan-17 11:54:57

Lumberries your Bassets are gorgeous, I love Bassets! WRT a secure field and pent up energy, he has none. There is the odd place I can take him and let him off (a very flat beach for example, you can see for miles!) he doesn't do anything. Just potters along sniffing, or trails along behind me. It's when he potters off sniffing that you can't get him back! It's very very rare that he'll have a run. He is so lazy he doesn't even get up for a drink. He literally won't get up and walk over to his water bowl until I insist he has to stand up to go outside, then he'll be like 'Ohh well if I'm stood up I may as well have a drink.' Take a massive drink and then go outside.

dudsville Sun 01-Jan-17 11:57:24

(your dogs are adorable!)

(I have no other help to offer)

MrsJayy Sun 01-Jan-17 12:01:56

My dog collie x hates labs and retrievers he sits at the window all day watching the world go by a retriever walks past every day he goes nuts proper lunging and barking the dog just plods by not bothering anybody it is very odd and not sure what is is

ToffeeChops Mon 02-Jan-17 00:22:18

OP, you could be describing my BT - boy, 16 months, got him at 5 months. He leaps around like a loon if we get close to another dog, barking, lungeing, generally acting up. We've tried everything to try to teach him some manners but after nearly a year of very little progress I wonder whether we have to accept that avoiding other dogs while out is the best way forward. I feel sad about it really, as we live in a beautiful part of the country and can't really make the most of some of the lovely places to walk a dog.

Strangely, the people who look after him when I work (he boards overnight in their home 1-2 nights a week) introduce him to loads of other dogs - they've got three of their own and regularly have six or seven in the house and he gets on well with all of them after a noisy first meeting.

Namechangeemergency Mon 02-Jan-17 17:23:15

One of mine is like this.
She goes nuts when she sees some dogs. She sounds aggressive but isn't. She is fine if allowed to go and say hi but of course a lot of owners are wary of letting her near their dogs.
She is a tiny mongrel but possibly has hound in her. She has a slightly beagle shape head.

She doesn't go bonkers at dogs she has met a few times.
It makes dog walking a pita and my youngest dog has picked up the habit but I am pretty sure he is copying her.

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