No support from rescue ?

(18 Posts)
TheTillster Fri 15-Mar-19 17:17:52

Feel free to bash me over the head with a fish .... I'm having a wobble .
Story is we have rehomed a lady greyhound from RGT just over a week ago , she was deemed as having passed cat testing and small children testing ( we have a nearly 2 and 7 year old )
Dog is not cat friendly in fact she wants to eat my cat ( and I didn't expect her to sail into the house and welcome a cat with open paws ... I also didn't expect quite the reaction I got at the very sight of a cat though .....and when he moves 🙀... i have been working my absolute heart out past week trying to begin to cat train her with the aid of a really good sighthound page whose members are so very helpful . I have the cat and the dog separated and have them having time in the house at separate times unless I'm doing introductions which are stressful and hard work . It's like Fort Knox here and I'm trying to deal with a toddler in the middle of it all too with the panic that a gate will be left open . I'm also now concerned about children dog is not ok with cats .... is she actually ok with children ? I must say here she hasn't put a paw wrong with them she does just seem to try and ignore them on the whole . My daughter fell over earlier and she rushed over to stand over ears pricked up , I'm not even sure if that's prey drive behaviour or she is just looking at what's going on ? I am also trying my best to keep the dog and toddler apart at all times unless I am with them .... not easy as dog tries to follow me absolutely everywhere.
My son adores her ( despite the lack of any real bother with him ) and we all really love her , she really hasn't done anything wrong apart from be an ex racing greyhound which is what she is poor girl .

I have rang ,emailed and text the rehoming lady who brought her to us since Sunday she did try to ring me back on Monday evening when I was at work , I sent her a text saying at work and would drop her an email , had no response so emailed and text her again on Weds still no response . I'm feeling really alone with this and would desperately like some support and advice, just to even make sure I'm doing the right thing with her cat and the dog training .....she may be really busy and I'm just being a pushy twat who expects too much after all it's just one dog and they have loads of others 😞. I didn't expect someone there 24/7 if I had the slightest problem I did expect some response to me in 5 days .

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Fri 15-Mar-19 19:51:27

I’m going to try and be as gentle as possible here.

Personally, I would return the dog.
Sighthounds, generally speaking are very highly prey driven and although some are okay with cats, most are not.

This is really amplified with coursing dogs and racing dogs both of whom have been reinforced and rewarded for chasing a target.

I would be very suspicious of any ex racer or courser that is listed as cat friendly personally.

If your hound has demonstrated she is not cat friendly you are on very dangerous territory as a dog can kill a cat in literally a split second.

Being eager to please creatures most highly prey driven dogs can be taught not to hurt THEIR cat but there is always a risk that one day it might prove too much temptation and they might lose themselves with disastrous results.

Predatory aggression and human aggression are two entirely different things and there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between predatory aggression and human aggression so your grey, is unlikely to pose a safety risk to your child if she appears relaxed and friendly around him so far.

I am disgusted to hear of the rescue’s slowness I’m getting back to you.

Doggydoggydoggy Fri 15-Mar-19 19:56:31

I don’t know how I missed this, sorry.

‘must say here she hasn't put a paw wrong with them she does just seem to try and ignore them on the whole . My daughter fell over earlier and she rushed over to stand over ears pricked up’

Trying to ignore is not a good sign in my opinion.
Are you the same poster where I queried the dog ignoring the 1 year old in the child test?

Trying to ignore suggests to me that actually, she is not at all comfortable with kids and is practising avoidance.

The rushing over, standing over, ears pricked sounds to me like high arousal as a result of fear.,
Again, not good.

Doggydoggydoggy Fri 15-Mar-19 20:06:11

I should quickly clarify, that I am not in any way qualified, my comments above are based on my own dog’s behaviour (who also tries to ignore and sometimes is very ‘alert, tail up, ears pricked, standing over’ who is dog aggressive and anxious and the information I have gathered from various sources while trying to help and understand my dog.

Personally, in your shoes I would return her or alternatively seek qualified behavioural help

TheTillster Fri 15-Mar-19 20:31:50

Hi doggy doggy , yes I am 😞 I'm just floundering really . I adore the dog and honestly apart from the cat she hasn't done a thing wrong she is desperately eager to please ( and incredibly food driven which helps matters !) she hasn't done one thing with the children which concerns me .... apart from now the cat issue has really sprung me and I'm wondering if all is not as it seems . The odd thing is I have worked with her around my chickens and I can get her to ignore them now ( even free roaming with dog on lead and muzzled obv) and focus on me .... she just ignores them which makes me think her prey drive isn't massively high ?
I'm not sure what's happens to the rehoming lady she was really on the ball beforehand , perhaps benefit of the doubt something has happened but I would have expected some communication from an adopter begging for help . I think I'm going to try and find a behaviourist to visit us at home and see what they think ... we really don't want to return the dog and I do have a duty to her now ... she is lying stretched out snoring in front of me I hate the thought of returning her ( and actually I have no idea how I could seeing as I can't contact them 😳! ) but obviously my children come before her and if she can't work with our home set up she can't stay 😭

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Fri 15-Mar-19 20:42:13

Hm, for me, ‘trying to ignore’ children and ‘rushing up to the child, standing over, ears pricked’ are red flags.

I mean, what exactly do you mean by tries to ignore?

Do you mean comfortable around them but disinterested eg rests happily when they are nearby? Plays with toys without a second glance towards them when they are nearby, acknowledges their presence calmly and relaxed, just disinterested, I wouldn’t be concerned.

Or by ‘tries to ignore’ do you mean when the children are nearby she turns her head and/or body away from them?
Actively walks away from them when they approach her?
That sort of behaviour I would be alarmed by because I would interpret that as anxiety around them and actively trying to avoid.
Does she ever deliberately go and sit by them or approach for a stroke?

Hm, the cat might behave in a way that excites her more than the chickens?
Is she easily distracted from the cat?
What are you seeing?
Hard, focused staring?
Tense muscles?
Forward, up on toes body posture?
Forward ears and tightly closed muzzle?
Tail high up or straight out?
Whining/high pitched barking?

All bad signs.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 15-Mar-19 20:49:01

Totally different breed but when I am in pain my dog will come and stand next to me, especially if I'm lying down at the time. He'll get as close as he can to me but won't lie down until it passes. He isn't tense at the time though- hard to describe. When the dog went over was it like he was on alert and preparing for action or did he just want to be close by? I don't know what my dog is trying to achieve but he's not wound up.

Sorry not describing that well.


Hoppinggreen Fri 15-Mar-19 20:49:14

Not an expert but I’m really worried about your cat
I know it’s not your fault but it’s going to be bloody awful if the dog gets hold of it. With small children in the mix as well it sounds like an impossible situation and potentially dangerous. A lot of rescues won’t rehome when there are young children in the house.
I’m really sorry but I think you need to rehome, hopefully the rescue will take her back but it doesn’t sound like they are very supportive

TheTillster Fri 15-Mar-19 20:58:06

Thanks for your input Doggy . Ok yes she does rest while the toddler plays around her , being aware of sleep startle I try and keep her to sleep in her crate however earlier on she snoozed on the living room floor while chaos reigned as only 2 year olds can around her ... the toddler then ran and stepped over dogs nose before I could stop her .... she just lifted her head up looked what it was then put it back down again ( and tried to snooze again 🙄😂)
When I say ignore I don't mean she actively tries to get away or look away from them I mean she only really comes for fuss to me and my husband he doesn't really with the children unless they have a treat for her . She prefers going on a walk with my son and me though rather than me alone , she also cries when he goes to school .She is very keen on toddler in high chair and will sit patiently waiting for what she knows will rain down from above . Having said this I don't think she is a hugely confident girl ? I think because of the cat issue and the lack of support I'm feeling a bit what have I brought into the house here . !!!!
Hand on heart she has not put a foot wrong with the children but now I'm aware of what can go wrong so quickly ( she chased the cat when we were caught off guard ... husband who didn't realise quite how imperative it was to know where both were at all times left a gate open ! )

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Fri 15-Mar-19 21:09:09

That sounds more disinterested than actively trying to ignore which is good.

What about the standing over incident?
Was she tense as a previous poster asked?
Signs of tension:
- tight closed mouth
- stiff muscles
- furrowed brow
- eats pricked forward
- weight forward
- up on toes
- tail high up or straight out

Is she easily distracted from the cat?

Definately think a behaviourist is a good idea.

GemmeFatale Fri 15-Mar-19 21:26:21

Regardless of the dog and their prior behaviour with children any dog should be constantly supervised around a toddler. If you can’t do that you can’t have both.

My boy was a guide dog. He’s basically bomb proof. He still will never ever be left alone with the baby/toddler/child because if something happened that would be my fault and I wouldn’t forgive myself.

TheTillster Fri 15-Mar-19 22:54:58

Completely agree Gemme she is never ever left alone with the children as much for her sake as theirs , she is however part for the family and they do integrate . If she did want to snap at the children with the best will inI the world I wouldn't be quick enough to stop her but I do try and make sure she isn't put into a position where she feels she needs to . Her food time she is left alone in room to eat her food in peace and she has a crate set up in the corner of the living room with her bed in that no children mess with , it's her escape if she wants it , she occasionally goes into it if her own accord and also she sleeps in it at night when we lock the door so the cat can roam in peace .

Doggy difficult to say , her ears were pricked up but they often do sometimes seemingly for no reason , she looked "interested " but none of the other signs you mentioned .

I have worked little and often for a week now with dog muzzled and on lead , I can get her right up to the cat nose and nose ... I use a firm "leave it " command and this means she must stop looking at whatever she was looking at and give me eye contact .. for this she gets a very high value treat reward . We have had an absolute breakthrough tonight as whilst doing this cat decided to do a runner and went though dogs legs at full pelt . She stiffened, thought about chasing then immediately looked at me for her treat . Very proud of her ! We have gone from barking , lunging and pulling towards cat and ignoring me to this !
I am definitely going to get some professional input with her , I'm doing all this with advice from a sight hound forum as awol rehoming lady is still no where to be found and I doubt she will ever be able to be trusted with the cat fully.
This all may well be a massive wobble and an omg what have I done moment but I thought that's what the rescues were there for to support you through it . It's been a lesson in itself

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Fri 15-Mar-19 23:05:10

Yes, see a behaviourist but it sounds like your doing well 😊

As you say, never give 100% trust with the cat but your last update sounds really positive!

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 15-Mar-19 23:54:49

Well done OP that sounds like a massive step forward.

GemmeFatale Sat 16-Mar-19 00:55:29

Excellent work with the leave it and treat practice

Carouselfish Sat 16-Mar-19 09:40:45

You sound like such a brilliant, thoughtful dog owner op. Well done for everything you've done so far. Lucky dog being rescued by you.

fivedogstofeed Sat 16-Mar-19 09:41:59

You sound like you've done amazingly well op.
It's a shame the rescue could not have helped you - I certainly would have expected better.

I have dogs and cats and they coexist well but tbh even though it's been years I am not at the point where dogs and cats curl up on the sofa together, nor would I leave them closed in a room together. We have stairgates, and the cats always have a dog free zone to escape to.

ALargeGinPlease Sat 16-Mar-19 09:51:35

With regards to getting a behaviourist in, if you are still thinking of going down that line, please be aware that anyone can call themselves a behaviourist and sometimes, these well meaning people can offer very bad advice. If you join the Facebook page 'dog training advice and support', and ask for a behaviourist in your area, they will recommend an 'approved' one. Good luck with your training.

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