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Struggling with our sight hound :(

Discussion in 'Hound' started by Jeanie11, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Jeanie11

    Jeanie11 New Member Registered

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    Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. We have a 10 month old saluki whippet cross and we're really struggling with him and his behaviour. We're at the point of wondering if he's right for our family. So we desperately need advice and reassurance if possible.

    The basic problem is that he's wild. He's so boisterous and excitable. And I know ow all puppies are but he's also so big that I worry about him hurting one of my kids. He still bites, when he gets excited he charges around and bites who ever is there (not aggressively but trying to play). This is unacceptable now he's so big but he doesn't understand that he's not to do it. He told no and ignored for a short time every time he does it. He often tries to play with my 3 year old it she just ends up getting hurt. I have to separate them all the time. He's is also a nightmare on a walk. He absolutely loves other dogs and just goes deaf when he sees one and is off racing to see them. Then he won't come back to me. His recall is really good when there are no other dogs around. I have to chase after him and try to grab him to get him away from other dogs. He also chased joggers and cyclists which is really bad as he jumps up and tries to bite their hands. So embarrassing and dangerous and I don't know how to stop it. He also goes absolutely mental when we have a visitor to the house and no amount of saying no/ignoring the jumping up etc stops him. Once he's excited that's it, there's no snapping him out of it.

    Sorry this is a massive outspill of things but I can't handle him anymore. Is this typical whippet type behaviour, will he calm down as he gets older? How can I train him better? I feel like he's an accident waiting to happen.

    Thanks so much for reading

    Laura
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    See duplicate thread in General Dog Forum :)
     
  4. Jeanie11

    Jeanie11 New Member Registered

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    I think the other one has been deleted
     
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    And I just wrote a big reply on it - I have asked Josie to try to recover it. Meantime it basically said there is hope - I will retype if necessary.
     
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ok, let's see if I can remember what I said.

    There seem to be 3 main issues, all stemming from excitability.

    The nipping - normal for puppies, it's an extension of the boisterous play he had with his littermates but by now he needs to learn bite inhibition. There are various ways to do this - some people favour sticking a toy in his mouth, others suggest a high pitched "ouch" but both these risk ramping up the excitement. My preference is to walk out of the room for a few moments - the message is that as soon as teeth touch skin, the fun stops dead. Say nothing, just as soon as he makes that contact, walk out. If you need to get him off you to do that, keep a short house lead on him (without a loop that could snag). Teeth on skin = end of fun. As long as the whole family is consistent he will het it. You may find he gets worse before he gets better - that is called extinction burst which is where a behaviour that used to get attention no longer works for the dog so he tries it all the harder. That's good, it shows it is starting to work.

    The visitors - similar strategy, have him behind a baby gate or in another room and he is only allowed attention when he is calm. Baby gates are great because everyone can see each other. So visitors ignore him but if he calms, then they can say hello.

    The chasing and lack of recall - he must be kept on a long line for his safety, and that of others, until you are on top of this. Long lines or flexi leads should only be attached to a harness, never a collar, as when he is running out he won't know when he is about to reach the end and the jerk as it stops him short could damage his neck or trachea. On the long line you can work more on recall (which sighthound sometimes struggle with, and which adolescents often blow - and you have both in one). A whistle is good as it is consistent. So to start every recall is rewarded, then mix up the rewards so you have a hierarchy - better ones for more challenging recalls, for example from a chase. There is a good book called Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson.

    There are a few sighthound owners here who may be able to help further but keep at it, there is hope!

    Hope I remembered everything I said earlier!
     
    LurcherLuv, Ragsysmum and merlina like this.
  7. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    The long line will be vital for managing him around cyclists and joggers as the more he does this, the harder it will be to break the habit. You might be able to find an enclosed field to let him off lead in to burn up some energy - check out this site: https://dogwalkingfields.co.uk/findafield.php?controller=pjListings&action=pjActionMap&listing_map Though bear in mind he may have some jump in him so you need to be sure he can't escape!

    This is normal for his cross. Whippets can be bonkers, but it seems to me that in general, saluki genes add a box of frogs to the mix. Embarrassment comes as part of the package with saluki crosses!

    Could you give a run-down of his normal day? What training have you done with him, and what methods have you used? Sighthounds, and salukis in particular, can be very sensitive, are very different to other types of dogs, and have different training requirements.

    Also, what do you feed him? I always hope someone's going to say they feed Bakers, which means the first step to getting a calm dog is straightforward!
     
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  8. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    Sorry @JoanneF I must have deleted it just as you were posting as I didn’t see your reply.

    I’m sorry :confused:
     
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  9. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Whippets and salukis are two of the hardest sighthounds to have especially as pups they are So naughty...But stick with him and you will end up with an amazing longdog (sighthound Xsighthound)
    Its all about exercise stimulation. ..food and routine and discipline. ...positive reward training ...ignore unwanted behaviour and reward good ...sounds like you may have to go back to the beginning. ..training like you would a brand new pup ....please post some photos ...
    I have 2 saluki crosses and the are wired totally different to my bull lurcher ;)
     
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  10. Jeanie11

    Jeanie11 New Member Registered

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    Thanks for your replies. He's fed Harrington's puppy food. That's the only food we've food that doesn't make him have liquid poos! He doesn't have the same routine everyday as I work 2 days of the week (4 hours per shift). He is usually looked after by another family member when I'm at work which iithink might be contributing to the problems if I'm honest. He has at least a good hour of running a day usually first thing or in the evening as well as a lead walk or a trip somewhere (eg. town/cafe/along the canal) during the day. It's hard for me to let him run while I have the kids with me as it's impossible to keep my eye on everyone!
    As for training, went to to puppy training when he learnt the basics such as sit, lie down, stay and some recall work which he was good at. His recall is good if he's not excited by something and will sometimes come back when called when playing with another dog. I definitely do need to ramp up the training again though. I know that. To tell him off for bad behaviour we say no and then either move away or distract him or put him on his bed in the hall. He does get a tap on the nose too sometimes. Someone has suggested pinning him to me, is that a good idea?
    He doesn't seem that bothered about pleasing us, if that makes sense?! He's not a very affectionate dog.
    I'm thinking maybe an agility class or similar might be good for him.
     
  11. Jeanie11

    Jeanie11 New Member Registered

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    IMG_20180703_142402.jpg
     
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  12. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have 3 whippets and i totally agree with everyone , I've had other breeds of dogs but my whippet pups have been the hardest! My youngest is 5mth and totally bonkers! He's hard work but so worth it, i always think if you get through your first year then you've done the most difficult part.
    All pups nip i usually replace my hand with a toy and give praise when he plays with it. I definitely wouldn't let him off the lead as hes still young and you need to work on recall, im lucky i have a huge garden and thats were my boys run. We dont have any enclosed areas around us to let them off sadly.
    Keep your chin up it does get better they are just such goofy guy's lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  13. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sorry just meant to say i feed harrington to all my boys are i really like it.
     
  14. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Gosh he is lovely ...if you hadnt said he was whippet saluki i would have said he was bedlington X
     
  15. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please please please don't even think of pinning him. This is totally outdated (and potentially dangerous) advice regardless of breed, but for a saluki x could completely break him mentally. I wouldn't even tell him 'no' and wouldn't bop his nose - chances of it working are minimal. Simply try to make sure that unwanted behaviour goes unrewarded (i.e. the fun stops), and good behaviour is rewarded. Don't just reward him for 'doing something good' - reward him for 'not being naughty' (IMO this is even more important and easy to miss).

    Go easy on the sit, stay, type training. If you ask this type of dog to sit, stand, and sit again they'll wonder what on earth the point was, and then they'll go on strike, and who can blame them?;)

    If he does ignore you when you recall him, don't keep calling - all you are doing is teaching him to ignore the command. I like to have a range of commands, such as 'This way', 'Come,' 'Sausage!' and a whistle. I try only to use the whistle when I know he will come back because I don't want him to learn to ignore it.
     
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  16. Jeanie11

    Jeanie11 New Member Registered

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    I know, he doesn't really look like a saluki, he's missing the lovely long ears! He has a majestic beard though instead! We met his parents though and he's definitely saluki X whippet!
     
  17. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I would consider changing his food ...harringtons has a protein of 28%which could be why he is so hyper ....
    Have you tried raw food ....diet plays a huge part in a young dogs life especially sighthounds. ...
     
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  18. NaomiH

    NaomiH New Member Registered

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    Hi, this could have so easily been written by me a few months ago. We've got a 2 year old saluki/ greyhound cross and have experienced most of what you describe. He is starting to calm down but still has crazy moments. I am learning to manage this by trying to avoid places/ things that cause the biggest problems. One of the best things I have tried with his recall is using a squeaky ball/ toy on walks for emergency recall. It works really well (touch wood!) and today I managed to call him back from charging towards a herd of cows (they were on the other side of a fence but I didn't want to take any chances). I try to only use it when I really need to, in case over-using it makes it lose its appeal. When he comes back I make sure I play with him with the squeaky ball for a short time, which he sees as a real treat.
     
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  19. NaomiH

    NaomiH New Member Registered

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    Another thing that I do on walks is to keep giving Sparky treats when he walks nicely and calmly next to me. He is getting better at not charging up to people to say hello but still has the odd embarrassing moment. He unfortunately seems to have a knack of identifying people who are nervous of dogs and seeking them out, wagging his tail vigorously!

    A book that I found really helpful was "Calm Down!" By Beverley Courtney. She basically advocates training your dog to chill out on a mat by using loads of treats. It has helped me manage Sparky around the house and now he gets on hs mat pretty quickly, enabling me to get stuff done around the house (whereas previously he thought I existed purely to play with him/ entertain him).

    I'm sure you've been told all of this but activities are good - collecting identical empty yoghurt pots and then upturning them and hiding a treat under one for him to sniff out works quite well (it only lasts for a few seconds but you can keep hiding treats again and again) or dabbing a tiny bit of soft cheese on the inside of one so that he has to pick each one up and look inside it works quite well.

    I have also found (in the winter, it's obviously much too hot at the moment) putting a house fleece on him when it's time to calm down is a good cue that fun is over and it's time to settle down. In all honesty there were many times in the first year where I thought that i couldn't cope with him and he would have to be returned to the rescue, even though it would have broken my husband's and kids' hearts. As I said, we still have our moments and he is far from the perfect dog (he still has an incredibly high chase drive) but he is a gorgeous, sweet-natured member of the family and he really tries to please us (most of the time anyway!). What helped me the most was reassurance from people who had been there themselves and reading loads and loads of books.
     
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  20. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    If you ever need a bit of lurcher-related light relief, I can thoroughly recommend the book Walking Ollie by Stephen Foster (don't use him as a training guide, he was completely out of his depths at first!), and this blog post: Lurchers for Beginners - greydogtales The latter still makes me laugh and I've read it umpteen times!
     

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