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Lively Lurcher on the lead(58 Posts)
Hi all. We have just taken in a rescue Lurcher. We have already had to lock the bin! He is sleeping at night fine and not too many accidents. He is thieving food off our plates which we are working on. However, he goes completely crazy on walks if he sees other dogs. To the extent that I thought he was going to slip his collar. I know it is early days and we need to work on his confidence and settle him, but just wondering whether people would recommend a harness (which I would use along with the collar I think) for added security. He just wants to play and misses his kennel mates I am sure, but he is incredibly strong. Any suggestions would be great.
Yep, a harness sounds very sensible. Even more so for a lurcher with a long neck.
I also wouldn't be so sure he just wants to play. Or at least, I would tred carefully because the frustration of wanting to play but being restrained can escalate into something more serious.
I'd be tempted to keep a long distance from other dogs for a few weeks, while you work on bonding and settling him in. You can then assess and see how he is with calm introductions to well rounded dogs.
Lurchers are notoriously jumpy. Mine is 9 months old and it has been a work in constant progress - I have had him since he was 8 weeks old. I'd advise a harness but because hounds are an odd shape, suggest something like Ruffwear or Perfect Fit. Don't put a lurcher in a Julius K9 as they restrict the shoulder movement.
I'd also not be walking your dog anywhere busy right now either. You don't know whether he 'just wants to play' and you certainly don't want him knocking humans over either. Just quietly walk him places for a while as you get to know each other. Then introduce to some selected and 'reliable' dogs as @missbattenburg suggests.
Thanks for you advice. I am keeping him well away from other dogs and will continue to do so. I am a bit confused by the different harnesses available. Is there a particular type I should look for?
@EnidPrunehat thanks for the harness recommendations. Our posts crossed. We walked him several times before rehoming and he pulled a bit but was ok. I wasn’t really expecting him to be so jumpy so it took me by surprise!
Mm Lovely Lurcher you say?
Pic or it's lies!!
I use this one for my greyhound. She’s not a problem to walk, very stable, but she is very slinky and I was concerned that with the right manoeuvres she could, albeit accidentally, slip out of a regular harness.
Ah - he's lovely. We use a Perfect Fit harness.
We took in a rescue dog just over a year ago and the most helpful thing I've done was to have a couple of one-on-one sessions with a professional dog trainer. We had one session a few weeks in to cover really basic stuff and I've been seeing her again recently to work on our remaining issues. Money very very well spent!
Thanks everyone for advice. I am panicking a bit now as everything we read and knew from experience before we took him in suggested he would be a great family dog. The rescue said he was suitable for kids, good on the lead etc. Now reading the comments above and researching some of his early issues, I am wondering whether he is a good fit after all. Hopefully it is the early days blues, and the impact of wees in the house!
We took on a lurcher deerhound x years ago. My best friend and I still miss him to this day.
He was a rescue dog. If you havent had rescues before brace yourself for plenty of wee accidents, destroying property and separation anxiety.
He was hard work but the most loyal and loving dog to us.
The wee accidents eventually stopped - we left the back door open constantly so he could go outside.
He eventually stopped destroying so much property (though would still go berserk on fireworks night).
He was brilliant at snaffling food (as lurchers are).
The separation anxiety never went away though, poor thing. He'd had a troubled start and I think it left that imprint on him.
With regards to other dogs, my dog never liked them and struggled to deal with them. We never had a harness but I used to make sure my grip and control of his lead was always extremely firm - loop in my right hand, lead across my body and held in my left hand with his collar closest to my left. So, very controlled. He would just have to sit and wait (albeit itching to get at this other dog, but there really was nowhere for him to go).
Have you got any friends with dogs to see if they can mingle? That might be a good way to be sure he can mix well?
We have had a rescue before but we obviously were very lucky before. Hmm - hope we haven’t made a terrible mistake.
I agree with Perfect Fit harness. They are very good for skinny dogs as they come in three separate parts. It took our dog 5 months before she stopped leaping and lurching at everything. We have had her 2 years now and she still has her moments. At first I took her out early to avoid others and gradually familiarised her. If she is food driven then a pouch of treats is great for training. We were told to give most her food this way in the early days.
The ruffwear webmaster is great the extra girth makes it very safe for a potential houndini & can always grab the handle on back if getting silly too. Using with a double ended lead clipped to harness and collar will give extra control.
I agree on avoiding for now & can be hard in dog walking spots to not get charged by few over friendly but intimidating dogs.
It can be fear or frustration at not being able to greet but is easy to make mistakes now that will set you back & better to socialise with known dogs that can do gradual introductions with.
Some 1-2-1 sessions with a good trainer may help so could be worth starting to look around at those in area while settles in.
You can take ddog to Pets at Home to try things on!!
Harness wise for a lurcher, Perfect Fit. Find a stockist and go for a fitting. But be aware this can give the dog extra pulling power! Double attachments (back and collar) with a double ended lead can help. Mildly.
We had a rescue lurcher; they said he was good on lead and could be left for 3 hours.
He was awful on lead, pulled like a train desperate to get to any other dog and he had terrible seperation anxiety. And a whole host of other issues the rescue hadn't told us about (but later admitted to).
It was not a good fit for the family, or for the dog, so we took him back to the rescue center on the advice of an independent behaviourist - best decision I ever made, looking back I had big doubts from the early days the fit wasn't right. Definitely best for the dog too, who was re-homed with adults only who had a calm, confident dog already. He was so happy
Sometimes it takes dedication, training and lots of patience to turn a dog around but sometimes the fit just isn't right - go with your gut, OP.
Wow this is so not the response I expected. We are all in love with him.
Don’t panic! Get a harness that you can attach a training lead to on two different points. Avoid other dogs for now. Just while he settles in and bonds with you. Then maybe contact a trainer. Someone who deals with positive and reward based training to evaluate and advise you. Could well just be exuberance and excitement. No one on here can know for sure. Good luck.
We’ve had a succession of rescue sighthounds. Enough to know that on one occasion it wasn’t going to work. (She nearly bit one of my older dog’s eyes out.) We prioritised our elderly dog and took her back to the rescue, whereupon she was rehomed into a huge Edwardian stately home and had her own room. And a retired couple to look after her. Some dogs do fall on their paws second time around!
Thanks all. @OneOfTheGrundys given this is week 1 and in most ways he is doing really well, in your experience is it too soon to know whether the walks are going to be a problem?
Rescue dogs have been through a stressful time getting rehomed and it can take a while for them to settle down. Its good to avoid any stressful situations and you might even avoid walks altogether at first, or just stick to very gentle quiet walks. If its a good rescue place they will be happy to chat to you about any problems you are having so first thing is to give them a call.
Just to add to my post remember nice exciting things can still be stressful and increase in the build up of stress. So if you went to a great party you would probably enjoy it but you would want to chill out the next day. In the same way walks can be fun but stressful for your dog. Since he is probably already stressed by all the changes what we need is chill out time.
Thanks! What is interesting is that he walks nicely at first but gets increasingly wound up and I was looking at some research yesterday that suggested he might be finding a long walk too stressful. We have been doing lots of chilling with him as well. I was chatting to the rescue place yesterday and they are being really helpful. Appreciate all the perspectives.