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Sighthound and lurcher owners, question?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by 5headh, Oct 23, 2012.


  1. 5headh

    5headh PetForums VIP

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    Do any of you use basket muzzles while having your dogs out and offlead?

    Alfred is only 16 weeks but I am already debating whether to get him a basket muzzle for 3 reasons.

    1. I want to get him used to having one on, incase he ever needs one when older.

    2. when he is out and offlead, he is already chasing and getting a bit 'mouthy' with Woody and any other dogs.

    3. I've already noticed his strong prey drive while trying to run after a cat in the stree.

    I know the answer is training, i am discouraging any mouthing and rough play while they are in the fields and offlead but i want to do more group walks with Alfred and if i was the owner of another dog, i wouldnt be best pleased if my dog was being mouthed and 'grabbed' by another dog.
     
  2. metaldog

    metaldog PetForums VIP

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    Shannow wears a greyhound box muzzle at all times when out walking, both on and off lead.

    I would recommend muzzle training because with a sight hound type what their prey drive is very strong.

    Shannow will chase/hunt cats, rabbits, rats, voles, squirrels, birds, and other dogs. So for everyone's safety she is always muzzled. I still always put treats in her muzzle and get her to put her face in it herself, even though she's worn it every day for over a year.

    Whenever I get the muzzle out she get very excited because to her muzzle = walkies.
     
  3. 5headh

    5headh PetForums VIP

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    Im definately going to train him with one i think.

    I think his going to have a pretty high prey drive, he lives with my cat and seems fine but any other cats he wants to chase..

    And he plays so rough, others on whippet forums say its just how they play but some dogs dont like it and i dont want him getting over the top.
     
  4. Sarahferret

    Sarahferret PetForums Senior

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    No, I don't muzzle my whippet. She mouths dogs when playing sometimes, so only gets to play with other dogs of the other owner has okayed it first. As for hunting, that's in her nature and I don't feel the need to stop her. If she got anything I'd take it home for her dinner. I wouldnt muzzle unless it was absolutely necessary for the safety of other dogs or people.
     
  5. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    Yes, when we had greyhounds and lurchers, they were always in their muzzles when out and off leads. I just dared not take a risk, the lurcher had been used for catching rabbits and the greyhound chased anything that moved.

    They can move so quickly I think it's just peace of mind to know you've done all you can. When I walked them on the leads though they weren't muzzled; only when off and running.

    Just to add: My dogs had excellent recall and would turn on a sixpence when I called them, which is why I allowed them free running in muzzles. :)
     
    #5 8tansox, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  6. Sarah+Hammies

    Sarah+Hammies PetForums VIP

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    My lurcher is only little but I plan on muzzling her when she is off lead when she is older. At 8 weeks she is already keen on the local cats and anything that moves (like falling leaves) :laugh:
     
  7. 5headh

    5headh PetForums VIP

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    Dont get me wrong I have nothing wrong with him 'hunting' rabbits, it's just other people's dogs and cats!!
    When just me him and the wild rabbits in the field the muzzle will probably come off.

    It's just socialisation dog playing walks, more for a piece of mind.
     
  8. 5headh

    5headh PetForums VIP

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    That's guys for your help!

    Going to get Alfred a muzzle a train him to wear it and teach it means 'walkies'
     
  9. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    If you are going to take the muzzle off when you get to the fields I'd probably consider a headcollar in your position as he'd be onlead all the time you plan on muzzling him. The reason that Kilo wears a headcollar when we walk around the streets here is the number of cats. It has taken a while but we can now walk past them without him letting out a scream and desperately trying to get to them. If they try to run from us - prey drive kicks in, same with squirrels etc.

    I have got him accustomed to a muzzle though in case one is ever needed at the vet's etc.

    ETA - just seen you plan on muzzling him round other dogs; that changes things so my post is rubbish!!
     
  10. Sheen and Eli

    Sheen and Eli PetForums VIP

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    Was only saying last night, after looking at another nip on E's bottom (caused by a norty whippet up the street) :D shortly after a week of waiting for a tug cut to heal (probably Loki) That Shannow is probably the only hound that hasn't nailed E because she can't :D < said with great affection.
    My 2 do play very rough and grab at each others sides or bums when running, its just E is like tissue paper (I'm working on a Kevlar suit) and is always getting scraps and cuts.
    E is just waiting for Metaldogs daughters Maddie to bite his bum :eek: :D :)
     
  11. BoredomBusters

    BoredomBusters PetForums VIP

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    My Greyhound is used to a muzzle, although she hardly ever wears it. I'd never leave a Greyhound offlead with a muzzle on, because after talking to greyhound rescues about it, every single Grey who has gone missing wearing a muzzle has died through dehydration if it's not found very quickly.

    Although they can still drink with a basket muzzle on, that depends on finding deep enough water. Just not worth the risk imo.

    The only time Beauty wears a muzzle now is if we are meeting a new owner with small dogs who is nervous, or when lead walking on the streets - cats that sit in gardens and are used to dogs won't run away and sadly she did 'catch' one, which didn't survive.
     
  12. whitefire

    whitefire PetForums Member

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    ok ok ok, before we muzzle our dogs which is mostly likely because we havent thought this through, have you thought about the following:

    1) strict socialisation regime? new dogs, cats, birds, people, trains, cars, busses, horses, different surfaces, different environments?
    2) training and recall?
    3) alternatives to muzzling, like head harness (as mentioned)?

    and before we all scream 'but it's a sighthound and sighthounds chase and kill!!" i have a whippet and he likes to chase squirrels, but he also knows the difference between a yorkshire terrier and a squirrel. my boy goes to a school from time to time (well it's a farm) and there are loads of different dogs of different sizes and shapes.

    whippets mouth and nip and make strange throat growly noises but i step in when the situation calls for it.

    and again before we scream 'but it's a sighthound and sighthounds chase and kill!! (again). i recently met a another in tact male whippet, i think he was 2 years old, and the owner and i got talking and we obviously got taking about squirrels and prey drive and she taught the dog that squirrels are not to be chased. yes, she trained that into her sighthound that is meant to chase and kill! i asked how and she said she used - http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&...vpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_8xm764nody_b . i was amazed and it makes sense. every time there was a squirrel the squirrel meant a weird nasty sound so now he doesnt bother. the dog is super friendly and well behaved and he doesnt wear a muzzle.

    and i am sure it's been mentioned before but the face and facial expressions are super important tools for canine communication, put a muzzle on it and the communication will change and your dog and other dogs will not respond in a way they should. you will cause confusion, especially because your dog is a puppy. it's young and needs to be trained not muzzled.
     
    #12 whitefire, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  13. Sarahferret

    Sarahferret PetForums Senior

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    Have you read the book 'The House Lurcher' by Jackie Drakeford? If not, I highly recommend it, it is the best book you can get as a lurcher owner and she makes some very good points in there about the use of muzzles.
     
  14. AmberNero

    AmberNero PetForums VIP

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    Ambam used to wear hers when out all the time, as she's progressed with training she now only wears one when we go on big group walks- and after half an hour or so she can have it off- it's a precaution when meeting new dogs or a larger group. Ambams recall is very good, and her prey drive has diminished a lot alongside this. Even on our honeymoon with many wild bunnies knocking about she didn't go mad for them- interested of course, pulling on the lead, but no manic keening or thrashing and that's SO different from before training!

    Nibs has no teeth, so we stopped using a muzzle- particularly as he hated it so much, he scratched his face a fair few times in trying to get it off. He is not often offlead as he is so rough when he plays and his recall has been something we just cannot get perfect, so he's only offlead if there are no dogs within sight- we have got to the point where if we see a dog we can put him onlead again- he has a 'don't run' willpower of about 3 seconds, so we're always on high alert when he is offlead even if it LOOKS deserted.

    Both of them do the painful rub of doom though, where they will scrape their muzzle over and over and over and over and over and over again on the back of our legs- another thing that has been very difficult to train particularly Ambam out of- don't know why she's so stubborn about it- she reeeally isn't a muzzle fan.
     
  15. 5headh

    5headh PetForums VIP

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    Alfred goes to school, puppy school at the moment and will progree up through the groups, we have a big socialisation play at the end of each lesson, with off lead play.
    Alfred lives with a cat.
    Its hard to socialise him much round here as we live in a small village, he sees lots of cats in the street (cat lady lives next door)
    I do train him, his recall is 70% even with distractions, i dont have a problem with him chasing rabbits, squirells... its what his whole family bloodline was bred to do, and he may go hunting in the future with his breeder.
    I just dont want him to end up hurting/upsetting other peoples dogs when he plays too rough.
     
  16. 5headh

    5headh PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the answers guys. Im going to get him a muzzle and teach him its not a bad thing, just incase in the future it is needed.

    I have no problems with him on lead with other dogs, i just dont want him to upset other dogs while playing offlead... and therefore them hurting him, as he gets very carried away and veyr mouthy.
     
  17. whitefire

    whitefire PetForums Member

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    im going to give this one more try...

    dogs are not humans and anthropomorphising a dog's behavior in certain circumstances may lead to more problems in the future for example a little 'defenseless' dog playing with a larger dog when the little dog mouths the owner runs in and picks the dog up cuddling and saying sweetly 'it's ok poppet it's ok and keeps the dog 'safe'. this will cause the little dog to develop a fear of being played with because the human has taught it that even the human gets scared when the dog plays. dogs do not understand 'it's ok poppet, it's ok' what they understand is '****, now we're both scared because a larger dog approached me', this gets worse now because the dog get scared and the human automatically needs to save the little dog. it's a vicious cycle.

    in your case you dont want your puppy (which can be trained) not to mouth and play rough, so you put a muzzle on it. what have you taught the dog? dogs dont have to like every single other dog JUST because it's a dog. a dog will let another dog know 'listen, please dont sniff my butt because i dont like it' and that's it. it's normal.

    all play should be supervised and if your pup gets too rough, pop it on the lead and start distracting it by asking for a sit, down, a wait or anything else to break the chain. if your dog struggles and twists and fights with you. stay clam and breath and walk away. when he is calm come back.

    if your dog doesnt not already have a problem with attacking then a muzzle is not needed.

    if you do want to use something for corrective behavior have you tried this / thought about this? Pet Corrector

    i understand you live in a small cat crowded village but could you ask your cat lady neighbour if you could sit for a while and introduce a calm cat to your dog?

    please just think this through before you slap a muzzle on your puppy. it is a puppy!
     
  18. flyballcrazy

    flyballcrazy PetForums Senior

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    I wouldn't put a muzzle on a puppy, but do muzzle my saluki when outside the house she is so fast and even though she lives with cats, I wouldn't trust her with anyone else's.

    My Greyhound has been muzzled in the past as she did bite one of my other dogs in play quite badly. The muzzle didn't stop her chasing him and the muzzle still hurt him, so I did use a pet corrector spray, my other dogs didn't mind the noise but she hates it, I only had to use it twice and she know now's to leave him.

    Sight hounds do play ruff, that's how they practise to bring their prey down. Some are worse than others, yes its up to you to keep yours and other dogs safe, its also up to you who you allow your pup to play with. Mine only play with each other as they all enjoy chase games but when I say enough, it all stops.

    Also teach your pup a good leave and recall.:)
     
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