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Some Curiosity Questions (3383 Views)
CeeCee
Posted: Oct 1, 2004 at 6:35 AM - CeeCee's 5th post Copy Link
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Having had my three wonderful retirees for almost three years now, I have had the opportunity to observe some of their curious behaviors and thought I'd ask about them.

Q1 - I have noticed that greyhounds in general seem to be extreemly fascinated with white plastic shopping and garbage bags? Besides being fun to play with and tear up, is there some pratical reason as to why they love these things so much? Are they a common item used in training?

Q2 - One of my retired girls had several comments in her racing history to bumping. When she runs with other greys she seems to want to control all the action. Was wondering what the definition of bumping is?

Q3 - Having lived with a grey spook and experiencing first hand how difficult it is to work with them, are there any special training techniques that are used in racing to work with these easily frightened pups?

Q4 - And just as a fun question, has there ever been an incident in racing where a grey up and turned around and went the wrong direction? My three will sometimes do this to each other when they are running, it's almost like one decides to turn around and ambush the others.

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rockingship
Posted: Oct 1, 2004 at 11:20 AM - rockingship's 36th post Copy Link
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Hi Cee Cee

A1....my cats are fascinated with krinkly white bags...one of them used to bring one into the bedroom and lick it so that we would awake and feed her in the AM, on days when we had the audacity to sleep in for 15 minutes or so....it was an extremely annoying sound, and she knew it. I have no idea why greyhounds would be fascinated by them, however....any more than any other odd thing like that which they might encounter.

A2....greyhounds bump one another when racing for position in a race. Nearly all greyhounds have a preferred "line" on the track from where they are most comfortable racing. Some prefer the rail, some prefer mid-track, and some prefer to race wide. Others will "shotgun" the turns---- that is, race from the midtrack to the rail as they change their lead entering the turn----chopping down on dogs who are ahead and inside of them as they seek that inside line.

Others will "blow" the turn, seeking an outside line, if kept to the rail as the turn approaches, often bumping hard into greyhounds who might be trying to shotgun the turn.

Bumping might occur when one dog's line intersects with the line of another, and they arrive at that point simultaneously--- however much trafic there is, and at whatever sttage of the race this happens. Some greyhounds are quite adept at offstriding others on the turns, or when they are being passed, or in the process of passing.

Greyhounds often bump into and lean all over one another when they are running together and not actually racing. Once you give them something to chase, they usually begin to run in earnest, without fooling around.

A3....all greyhounds behave and perform better, when they are relaxed. IMHO, that is one of the paramount jobs of the trainer----to get his greyhounds to relax. Relaxed dogs-----in a state of pleasant fatigue/anticipation and contentment----are happy dogs.

Spooks have little control over their fright response. The more relaxed and serene an environment you can give them, the easier it is to get them to calm down enough to behave normally in the kennel. As a general rule, spooks are OK with others when going to the races, and with the attendent hubbub---touchy but manageable...but you have to gain their confidence on a one-to-one basis.....and the more relaxed and serene and environment you provide-----and the more content you can make them feel-----the more easily they begin to accept and trust you, and things as they are.

A4.....regretably, there have been occasional incidents when greyhounds are knocked down, and evade the leadouts attempts to gather them.....and turn back on the lure-----which has resulted in some pretty grisly accidents....I once had a dog turn around whle sprinting with others, for exercise-----and then run straight into another.....and in that case, badly injuring the other dogs shoulder.

The leadouts at racetracks almost always do an absolutely amazing job of getting the greyhounds off the track after a serious spill, and before they can endanger themselves and/or the others.

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CeeCee
Posted: Oct 1, 2004 at 6:54 PM - CeeCee's 6th post Copy Link
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Thank's Rock. I can definitely see how a relaxed environment does help with the spooks. I also noticed that my spook is normally very relaxed around other greyhounds and from what I have learned she was a bit touchy at the kennel but otherwise she was fine.

Sounds like that cat sure knew how to train you. LOL

As a side note, like the new hair cut, but also liked the long locks too. I must admitt I really didn't recognize you in the shoreline adoption day pics at first. And really enjoyed reading about and seeing the pics from that big event. Sure wish we lived closer, would have really loved going and meeting everyone in person.

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rockingship
Posted: Oct 1, 2004 at 7:40 PM - rockingship's 37th post Copy Link
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Spooks are a real test of one's dogmanship, Cee Cee.....where were the pics of Penny's shindig?....on GG?

It would have been greyt to have met you there----we had a wonderful time. Can't wait until next year.

I had toyed with the idea of growing back the hair----I like it because it embarrasses my fresh kids (especially the older 2)-----but it's just too much bother.

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CeeCee
Posted: Oct 2, 2004 at 5:39 AM - CeeCee's 7th post Copy Link
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Yes, the pics were on GG. It was quite a gala affair. I was tickled to read about all the people who are a part of the industry who were there. That's wonderful. The PR for RFA was great. I am so hoping that the concept takes off and more hounds get to race for adoption. Trying to get the money to stay operative in adoption can be so frustrating. I did a one day festival last weekend and for all our work and time we only brought in 40 dollars for an all day event.

Spooks sure are a challenge, but a very rewarding one. Once they overcome their fears enough to be themselves they become quite the characters. I bought a new food bowl the other day and decided to use it for my spook. Well, she stood three feet away from it, sniffed the air in it's direction and decided NO WAY. That's not my bowl and I'm not going near it. So, now I have a new challenge getting her to eat out of different bowls.

I gave up on long hair many many years ago. First short hair cut I got my DH decided to change my name to Butch. Needless to say, I told him until he got his cosmotology license and he could do my hair everyday, he was going to have to be content with a wife named Butch.

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FullHouseRacing
Posted: Dec 23, 2004 at 12:52 PM - FullHouseRacing's 8th post Copy Link
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A3. I agree 100% with Rock's breakdown of a greyhound spook. We have had several with that problem over the years and I have found that the best way to approach them is slowly and in group situations, where they aren't singled out. Allow for them to be relaxed and comfortable where they feel that if need be, they can move away or get away in a controlled area, such as a turnout pen or backyard with large fences.

Approaching them slow is one of the best, they want to be able to almost control all of your actions, and if you move slowly, they think they have the edge on you and are more likely to stay around with you. If they start to become a little more comfortable with you, spend a little more time with them one on one. Get them to know you and that you won't hurt them, you're there to help.

If you can get a spook to trust you, the spook aspect seems to fade away wrather quickly and you see an excellent personality start to blossom beautifully.

Cory Owens
Full House Racing

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