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  • Food Aggression starting....HELP

    Romey (10 weeks old) has been doing very well until recently. I have been making sure to walk her before eating, make her sit calmly before I put her bowls down, and I always make sure to pet her while she is eating. I did this with my goldendoodle after reading many dog training books to avoid food aggression. This morning I did my normal routine and pet her head and she did a little growl at me. I wanted to let her know that this behavior was unacceptable so I took the dish away and waited for her to sit calmly before I put it back down. Then I waited for her to start eating again and pet her again. This time she did not growl but I could tell that she was agitated. Any suggestions on how to nip this behavior early?
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    Last edited by leb505613; 08-27-2010, 05:58 AM.
    Lauren, Eric, Bailey and Romey

  • #2
    Do you like someone in your space you while you're eating, even if its for "pets"? I don't. Your dog was telling you nicely that she doesn't either.

    If you're trying to prevent food aggression let her eat in peace
    Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.
    - Anatole France

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    • #3
      yeah, I wouldnt constantly mess with them while they are eating, and I especially wouldnt take their food away...this can actually cause food aggression.

      To keep them comfortable with you around their food, do things like hand feed, or walk by them and when you get by their bowl, instead of taking it away, add something extra yummy.

      You want them used to you by their bowl andfor them to look forward to you being there.

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      • #4
        Thanks guys! This makes total sense. I don't know why all these books suggest the opposite. It makes more sense to make them associate me with good things like extra treats. I just get nervous because I would not want anyone or any other animal to get hurt.
        Lauren, Eric, Bailey and Romey

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        • #5
          Try reading Before and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar...ton of good advice in it...

          and, its available for as free pdf

          Before

          After

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          • #6
            I agree with Greenmagick. I always did the same things she said. Sometimes I would just place my hand in the food dish & let her eat around it or out of my palm. I never took her dish away. Everynight I always rubbed her down handling her feet (each toe), ears, legs, face, tail & mouth (picking up lips & looking at teeth ect.).
            sigpic
            Roxy & Ace

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            • #7
              Petting her while she's eating is just annoying her - I'd be annoyed too, if it were me. The object is to convince the pup that people near her food bowl will lead to good things for puppies. And hand feeding is fun -- it can be a real bonding experience. I also like to feed out of a variety of dishes, and in a variety of places in the house, so the pup doesn't get too convinced that there's only one correct way to dine. When you think she truly believes that people near her food bowl leads to good things, you can start some trading games (trading the low value item she has for a higher value item), so that she will come to believe that if someone takes something away from her, they will deliver something better. A couple of years ago, I was really grateful we'd done that swapping because a 9 year old kid we'd just met reached into Mira's mouth to remove a wad of seaweed. I was a little horrified that the kid would do that, but Mira just lat him take it and stood there, serenely confident that something better would be delivered.
              I also heartily second the idea of gently handling all parts of your puppy everyday. It builds trust. Although it may result in a dog who expects a daily massage
              sigpicLisa
              Missing Mira (7/15/03-12/17/13)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Greenmagick View Post
                Try reading Before and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar...ton of good advice in it...

                and, its available for as free pdf

                Before

                After
                i second this recommendation. it's a GREAT book!

                even though all 3 of my danes came to me as adults, i still practice the methods suggested, pretty much every day. with 3 giant dogs in fairly close quarters during meals, aggression can't be an option. they all respect each others places and at each meal, i quietly drop a few little pieces of whatever meat i have on hand into their bowls while they are eating. we always finish with dessert...a handful of green beans!
                [SIGPIC]

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                • #9
                  What great suggestions, I just got an 8 month old dane pup who is showing mild signs of food aggression.
                  I will have to try some of these suggestions!

                  Holly

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ouesi View Post
                    Do you like someone in your space you while you're eating, even if its for "pets"? I don't. Your dog was telling you nicely that she doesn't either.

                    If you're trying to prevent food aggression let her eat in peace
                    Disagree, Because that is my food and I'm allowing them to eat it. I'm the leader and I own everything. Except their kennel. that is theirs.

                    I did hand feeding, sit stays and banging bowls together (for another reason).

                    I will also contribute a lot of it to my breeder for seperating the pups when eating. I think that is why he eats so slow in comparision to most dogs. It's not great when I need to be somewhere but great health wise. He takes his sweat @zz time.
                    Last edited by Carpet Bomber; 09-07-2010, 12:15 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carpet Bomber View Post
                      Disagree, Because that is my food and I'm allowing them to eat it. I'm the leader and I own everything. Except their kennel. that is theirs.

                      I did hand feeding, sit stays and banging bowls together (for another reason).

                      I will also contribute a lot of it to my breeder for seperating the pups when eating. I think that is why he eats so slow in comparision to most dogs. It's not great when I need to be somewhere but great health wise. He takes his sweat @zz time.
                      What part do you disagree with? Your reply has nothing to do with allowing a dog to eat in peace.
                      If we're talking alphas (which is hugely misunderstood anyway), no alpha (or normal dog for that matter) is going to groom or "pet" a dog trying to eat. Makes no sense from an "alpha" perspective.
                      Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.
                      - Anatole France

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ouesi View Post
                        What part do you disagree with? Your reply has nothing to do with allowing a dog to eat in peace.
                        If we're talking alphas (which is hugely misunderstood anyway), no alpha (or normal dog for that matter) is going to groom or "pet" a dog trying to eat. Makes no sense from an "alpha" perspective.
                        I disagree with leaving them alone when eating. Yes, most people misunderstand the alfa theory. don't agree with petting a dog when eating either. I feel if you take it away and always return it they will have always know it's going to be returned.

                        Sorry, one more thing on the Alfa Front. I do thing most people interprate the alfa therory as dominating your dog. They except your leadership because you are a good pack leader, you take care of all of their every need there for they respect your rule. a benevolent despot It's the difference between a boss that wills their employees through fear and one that rewards hard work. The first only shows result for awhile, until they find somewhere else to work.
                        Last edited by Carpet Bomber; 09-07-2010, 02:08 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Carpet Bomber View Post
                          I disagree with leaving them alone when eating.
                          You're contradicting yourself.
                          You credit the breeder in creating a dog who is super calm with food because s/he separated the pups - they got to eat in peace. Now you're saying don't let the dog eat in peace?

                          Sorry still makes no sense.

                          Part of being a leader means not having to constantly prove your leadership. CAN I take food from any of our dogs? Sure. But why? To prove that I can? Stable canids don't do that to each other! Why would I want to look unstable to my dog?

                          I feel if you take it away and always return it they will have always know it's going to be returned.
                          Or they will always know you're going to interrupt their meal when least expected and develop guarding behaviors

                          Sorry, one more thing on the Alfa Front. I do thing most people interprate the alfa therory as dominating your dog. They except your leadership because you are a good pack leader, you take care of all of their every need there for they respect your rule. a benevolent despot It's the difference between a boss that wills their employees through fear and one that rewards hard work. The first only shows result for awhile, until they find somewhere else to work.
                          I agree and subscribe to this somewhat myself. Except I am not the alpha, I am the HUMAN. Dogs know we're not dogs. Dogs know we don't follow the same social rules. I don't sniff their butt to say hi nor do they try to sniff mine.

                          Alpha does not apply here, but leadership does. How's that for confusing?
                          Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.
                          - Anatole France

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                          • #14
                            Okay a little more clarification then. If my breeder let the pups take from each other and not return (because they ate it) they would guard there food in an attempt to not go hungry. Nothing to do with peace and quite. To reenforce the work my breeder did I removed his food and then returned it. Not take it. I also hand feed him. So... Now when a little kid sticks his hand in his bowl he doesn't think it is going to be removed for good (eaten) and they aren't going to go hungry. So... I think it reenforces each other and doesn't contradict.

                            I also create loud noises when he ate so when he hears lightning, fireworks, cars back firing, ect... He associates it with good thing. Most people here advocate treating in training, feeding time is no different.

                            As far as the alfa thing goes, dogs can't speak human, but we can speak dog. We might not snif each others butts, but the way we do things is very similar. Trust me, there are alfas on every humans live. We let the IRS take from us on a weekly basis for the betterment of the group. We really are just pack animals.
                            Last edited by Carpet Bomber; 09-07-2010, 03:48 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carpet Bomber View Post
                              Okay a little more clarification then. If my breeder let the pups take from each other and not return (because they ate it) they would guard there food in an attempt to not go hungry. Nothing to do with peace and quite. To reenforce the work my breeder did I removed his food and then returned it. Not take it. I also hand feed him. So... Now when a little kid sticks his hand in his bowl he doesn't think it is going to be removed for good (eaten) and they aren't going to go hungry. So... I think it reenforces each other and doesn't contradict.
                              I did this as well when I started I always gave a great treat, neither of mine have shown any food aggression from the start but I wanted to make sure. I want to make sure if I drop something that I can take it away without fear of my dog guarding it also I want to be able to brush into them when they are eating or take the bowl away when ever, if I drop food they normally eat it so fast it doesn't matter, even leave it doesn't work. It's funny they know they aren't allow to eat the cat's food and No! will drive them away but they always wait until i'm busy then go eat it.

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