There are reasons why dogs bite, bark, growl, jump, pull on leads, are destructive, have separation anxiety and just generally don’t do what we ask.

Greyhounds have further issues with past trauma, possible drug toxicity and back and neck issues.

They get anxious and worried and they also get deliriously happy….they also sleep a whole lot and can drop off in seconds…(are you jealous?) Greyhound owners are generally in awe of their sleeping patterns.

Some play, some don’t, some get obsessed with toys and others could not be bothered.

Some are food crazy and some couldn’t care less.

Every single dog is different and dogs from the same litter can differ widely in temperament. They can be soft as silk or extremely dominant and bossy!

Behaviour whether its good or bad can be related to so many things. It starts even before birth; are the parents healthy and even tempered? A lot has to do with the temperament of the parents of course and many dogs are bred from nervous or aggressive parents and are bound to be influenced by these traits.

The puppy may have been weaned too early and separated from his mother too young, which accounts for many behaviour issues such as separation anxiety and inability to focus.

Witnessed trauma very early in life and lack of socialisation with people and animals can cause all manner of problems.

Starting life in kennels and living in paddocks is denying them the most important necessities of life.….love, comfort and gentle guidance.

In general, in their kennel days, there is a severe lack of understanding of dog psychology and of course, no desire to learn it.

The diet can make a dog hyperactive, aggressive, unfocused and unwell….it can take years for those toxins to build up too so you might think all is well, but bad diet can lead to cancer, heart disease, destructiveness, behaviour issues, skin and other health issues. There is approximately 50% sugar in most if not all dry dog food. It is doubtful your hound has had the best start in life.

Then it comes down to whether your personality gels with your dog. If you are soft, then getting a boisterous difficult dog will make for some difficulty. And if you are a confident and bossy person, a timid sweet dog may not be the best choice.

Children in the house have to be taught (as with any breed) to leave the dog alone when sleeping and eating and to respect their space. Your hound may need a safe place away from boisterous children and never leave a dog and kids together.

Lifestyle is an important factor: if you are out all day at work, you may have to work on separation anxiety issues such as barking, crying and destructive traits.

The greyhound as a breed is nothing short of remarkable. They mostly adapt very quickly and even if they have problems, they are easily sorted with the right approach. It all starts with respect of where they have come from and taking things slowly.

Starting with a healthy diet, making sure they have the comforts of life they deserve and getting the right behaviourist who knows greyhounds if you have problems is a must.

Find yourself a good chiropractor, massage therapist, behaviourist and look into diet. Consider alternative therapies which help with anxiety etc.

Sometimes all they need is space and time and an understanding not to rush anything.

Behaviours can stem from one of the above issues, or it can be a combination of many. A holistic approach is most important and taking the time to sort out issues in a gentle and straightforward way is crucial.

You can have the best diet, but if your dog’s back is painful, he might be aggressive in certain situations. Keep in mind, dogs don’t whinge like we do, and pain can easily go unnoticed.

It is necessary to keep in mind all of the above and understand that patience may be required to get them to their happy place.

Always seek professional advice if your problems are too much to handle yourself. It is no wonder our dogs have issues when you understand how complex it can be, but the solutions are much simpler than you might think.

By Faith Wild, Bark Busters Sunshine Coast, QLD

Faith is available for phone consultations Monday to Friday, and appointments can be made
by emailing sunshinecoast@barkbusters.com.au

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