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  1. #1
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    Food obsessed

    I've got a lab/golden retriever mix that is super food obsessed - shocking I know

    From this post I think it will be obvious that I don't know a ton about dog behaviour/training. I also want to preface it with the fact that we adopted him (Luca) just about 2 years ago at the age of 6. He had spent his entire life, from 8-week old puppy until then with one family and then they decided they didn't want him anymore. So we do not know his training history at all or how he was treated/handled as a puppy.

    There are two main issues we are having with him. One is the food stealing. Anything within Luca's reach his fair game to him (or even if it's out of reach, he will figure out how to reach it if left alone for long enough; he's very resourceful). I understand that this is 100% normal dog behaviour and anytime he does thieve something, I know that it's our fault for making it available to him. We do attempt to use a baby gate to separate him from food, but we have a 1.5 year old toddler so sometimes we might not have enough time to put up the gate in the kitchen before running to prevent the kid from doing something suicidal. However, he will still jump up on the counter/table even if I am right there in the same room and just happen to shift my focus for 1.5 seconds. And if he sees an opening, and I say, "Luca, no!" he will actually just run faster instead of backing off to get even just one bite of food before I can get to him. Is it normal for a dog to be so absolutely bold and brazen? Like, it's super infuriating. And any sort of negative repercussions have zero effect on him of course, as he's already rewarded himself with the food.

    Second is when he manages to grab something off the counter/table or if he finds something delicious when we're out for a walk. When we feed him his meals or give him treats, he sits like a perfectly well-mannered and obedient dog (other than the out of control salivating) and he knows to wait until I tell him, "take it", even if he has to wait for an hour. If he is then eating from his bowl, or even chewing a bone I have given him, I can with 100% confidence take the food/bone/whatever right from his mouth with no reaction. However, if it's something he has found himself or stolen, he clamps his jaws so tight and absolutely will not drop it. And if it's something he absolutely should not eat (i.e. chicken carcass, rotting roadkill squirrel corpse ) and you try to get it away from him you literally have to pry his jaws apart and he does get defensive about it. He's never bitten one of us or anything but he does bare his teeth for about 1 second and has snapped before and then immediately turns back into his normal starving happy lab self.

    I tried that training method of "leave it" where you have the handful of food and make the dog leave it and treat him when he stops searching your hand, and then drop food on the floor, etc. He was basically 100% perfect at it the first time. It seems like he's too smart to train that way - he's clearly smarter than me! He knows exactly when he has to obey a command in order to get a treat and when it's actually in his own best interest to ignore me and move at lightning speed to get at the food before I can get to him.

    Anyway, just curious if anyone has any tips for me? My husband gets so mad at him and if I didn't absolutely forbid it, I think he would consider more extreme measures such as a shock collar or something. I also obviously want to avoid ever having a situation where I didn't feel like my daughter was safe around him. So anything at all that might make our home a little more harmonious would be much appreciated!

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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: Food obsessed

    Honestly your best bet is to absolutely not allow him access to anything you don't want him to have. I'm speaking from personal experience with a professional counter-surfer/food thief. So long as he keeps having success he will keep doing it. If he NEVER gets anything, for like 6 months or a year, maybe he will lose interest/give up. But it's possible he will always try (he is a lab).

    Don't leave any food within reach. Ever. Put food up on the counters at the far back. If he can reach there, put it away completely in a cabinet. If you're eating and need to get up for some reason, take your plate with you. Use the baby gate (get a couple more if necessary).

    Continue to work on "leave it" and start creating distance so eventually he will leave it even if you're not right there beside him. Teach him a solid "drop it" command using treats/trading, and work your way up to more valuable things for him to drop.

    My dog is now 6 and is pretty good with not stealing/counter surfing anymore (we've been working on it since she was old enough to reach the countertops). However, if I do leave something out that's too valuable to resist, and she gets it, she will go back into the bad habit of counter surfing for about 6 months before finally realizing she's not having success anymore and she gives up. Now even if I have something in a Tupperware container (like cookies for example) on the counter, I put them away in the cabinet before leaving for work otherwise it's possible Pepper will have the whole thing on the floor and open (and empty) when I get home. Been there, done that, learned my lesson (though sometimes I get sloppy and she gets the jackpot).
    Last edited by Jen2010; 05-10-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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    Re: Food obsessed

    Thanks for your reply.

    "Teach him a solid "drop it" command using treats/trading, and work your way up to more valuable things for him to drop."

    Can you explain "trading" - is that just offering something in place of whatever I'm trying to get him to drop? I assume whatever I am offering must always be more valuable than what he has?

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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: Food obsessed

    That's exactly right. Every dog values different things so use something your dog values more (if possible) than what he has. Some dogs like tug toys, some dogs like hot dogs, our dogs love cheese. Use steak, chicken, peanut butter, whatever it takes to get him to trade you for what he has.

    If he has something he doesn't value greatly it might work to use regular treats to "trade" him. If he has something valuable, you might have to break out the steaks :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by shannoncassidy1 View Post

    We do attempt to use a baby gate to separate him from food, but we have a 1.5 year old toddler so sometimes we might not have enough time to put up the gate in the kitchen before running to prevent the kid from doing something suicidal.
    This is a really small thing, but it sounds like you are using a removable baby gate. We used to do that too but it did not prove to be an effective solution because we constantly found ourselves having to install it and remove it.

    We replaced it with one of these

    https://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Au.../dp/B01BTUNJT8

    And it is awesome. You just leave it there and you open and close it as needed or you can leave it propped open if necessary. You can even let it swing shut behind you and it automatically closes and locks.

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Food obsessed

    For training purposes, the trade has to be higher value. But, after you train the cue, some dogs will trade for any hand-fed treat. After you're sure he is solid with the cue, it is worth a try to occasionally something like cheese or a dog biscuit, rather than always needing liver, chicken, or steak for the everyday trade. If he doesn't trade, you can always elevate the trade.

    The nice thing about the Leave It and Drop It cues, is that once trained, the dog should listen when trying to steal food from a person. Then, with practice, you may be able to enforce the choice in the house, and later outside of the house.

    Another behavior is to teach a "look at me" distraction cue. Click your tongue and give him a treat if he looks at you. When he gets the idea and looks at you 100% of the time when you click your tongue, increase the value of the treat a little. After a week increase to a piece of cheese or chicken. When you are sure you can get his attention, switch rewards to praise and the treat from the previous week. The next week praise and offer a piece of kibble, when he looks at you for the tongue click. Finally, just use praise.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Basically (having this behavior or mindset) these are the kind of dogs that would be robbing garbage cans if running loose. These are true scavengers, which is one of the most basic of all canine instincts. I agree with the advice below, food will always have to be safeguarded, not left out or unattended. And maybe you can divide his mealtimes into smaller portions 3 times a day. You can try raw feeding too, which might be more satisfying, nutritionally speaking because he may be craving something. In retrospect, I think my dog may have had a low thyroid condition, which I should've had tested at the time.

    But I can speak to this frustrating situation from very personal experience. Unlike a Lab I have a breed that is known for being very picky. In a reply to someone else’s inquiry, I wrote how our (re-homed) 7mo. old puppy stole a pizza right off the dinning room table, meaning standing up on TOP of the table, while eating it right out of the box! And when he was verbally corrected and sent to a time-out (isolated from the family) he was actually annoyed, rather than contrite or apologetic. If he stole something, it was like death to remove it from his mouth.

    He actually had a routine, luring people out of the kitchen and to the backdoor (where he pretended that he needed to go outside) but then doubling back to the kitchen where nobody was watching the food out on the kitchen table. And then eating the sandwiches. We met one of his relatives once, and their dog did exactly the same behavior! Too funny!

    And from that attitude, he never changed a day in his life, including on his last day (due to old age). I call this kind of a behavior in a dog (being a survivalist). And because dogs don’t share in our human rationale, they (technically, or rather .... instinctively) have no idea where their next meal is coming from. It's possible they don't have that sense of a biological (internal) timing that reminds a dog to eat every 12hrs. or 24hrs. So they are obsessive in terms of their hunt for it.

    The family who didn’t want him anymore, may have crossed this “food obsession” issue as it was becoming just too problematic. Whether it was being food possessive, or a risk to kids as in stealing whatever it was they were eating, it sounds like they just couldn’t handle the problem anymore. I wonder if they had done “free feeding” with that dog from a young age, if they could’ve avoided the problem. But then, if the dog was gaining too much weight, they’d have to portion control the meals. I tried letting my dog eat as much as he wanted, and he did, until he couldn’t hold any more. Unfortunately so much food to be digested at once just gave him IBS.

    The only thing I can think to do is set a psychological trap. Put some food out that looks enticing, where he’d be likely to “steal” it. But stuff it with some noxious potion (of course, not harmful) just annoying, like Hot Mongolian Fire Oil. So he’d learn that “loose” food is troublesome, and trusted food only comes from you, at meal time.

    But if the dog does becomes dangerous about the behavior when it comes to your children, you may have to consider an e-collar or not keep the dog.
    Last edited by Pacificsun; 05-15-2019 at 11:13 PM.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    I knew somebody who left mousetraps out on the counter to deter her "counter-surfer."

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Except a "trade" is a reward to a smart dog. And a smart dog will work the system, meaning figuring out how to escalate the "trade." I know, I have dog that does that.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    I am appalled at your cruel suggestions Pacificsun.

    The best way to stop counter surfing and stealing food off of tables is to put the dog up during meal time and never ever ever leave food on the counter unless the dog is put up or you are there to prevent counter surfing and theft of food. Keep the counters clean of food and the dog is not self rewarded for surfing the counters.

    I have dogs that are not house pets and they will jump on the counter all four feet on those occasions where they are let into the house. They get no reward for doing this as there is simply nothing on the counter for them to be rewarded with (no food).

    Something Noxious in the food will only be unpleasant for the dog that has already self rewarded with food. Mousetraps will only hurt the dog who will return over once the traps are sprung and the food is still there.

    When a dog counter surfs or steals our food the blame is entirely ours, not the dog's. The dog is doing what dogs do. Keep food out of reach or, when food is present, crate the dog, gate the dog or kennel the dog. It is really very simple and leads to no conflict and no food stolen.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    I am "appalled" (just so you can be successful in some competition) that you keep your (so-called) "sporting" dogs in some outside kennel until they're too old, and then can come into your house! Give me a break. And read what's written. I DIDN'T put the mousetraps out, somebody else did. And guess what, it never hurt the dog, the dog is still alive. It has no psychological trauma. Because the dog couldn't actually touch the damn thing. It only SNAPPED, when the owner triggered it. She was supervising. Duhhh. It was the unpredictability and noise. For that matter, they sell mats that are deterrents too, when you need to keep a dog off furniture. They could be laid at the foot of a particular counter or around a table. Ever know anybody who uses an E-Collar? Maybe we should ban all those too. Oh wait, it's okay to let a dog run loose into trouble, right. Evaluate a situation on an individual basis, and how responsible is the owner is for affecting a solution. Yeah, yeah, my counters all "always" clean too. I have gates keeping my dog with me in specific rooms, not roaming the house. Have crates (including for dogs I take care of) and a very securely fenced yard that eliminates mischief. But my dogs have lots of fun, and consider their crates safety zones (dens).

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GSD4IPO View Post
    The best way to stop counter surfing and stealing food off of tables is to put the dog up during meal time and never ever ever leave food on the counter unless the dog is put up or you are there to prevent counter surfing and theft of food. Keep the counters clean of food and the dog is not self rewarded for surfing the counters.
    Just this. I know it's easier said than done, especially with a young kid (and a husband, lol) but before you can work on developing desired behaviors you have to remove the incentive to do undesired behaviors.

    My otherwise truly lovely Giant Schnauzer mix, who I adopted at 5 years old, fixates on food and also has resource guarding tendencies - so if these behaviors would be allowed to proceed unchecked, he could actually be hazardous to my other pup or even to people. After all the temptations were removed from his environment - I even put a baby lock on the pantry and took the handle off the fridge door - we started working on a new thing, which is that when food DID come out (including dog food at his own mealtimes, and treats, not just human food) he could only have some if he was waiting patiently on his bed or at his bowl. Now when he sees food he runs to those places rather than running to the food, because he knows that's the only way he'll get anything. I'm sure if I left food sitting unattended long he'd revert to old behaviors, but as long as I keep the environment pretty controlled, now I don't really have to worry anymore about him running to snatch at food and being a nuisance or even a danger.

    Oddly enough, he's only a jerk about food at home. At other locations he sometimes even turns his nose up at treats. Who knows?

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacificsun View Post
    I am "appalled" (just so you can be successful in some competition) that you keep your (so-called) "sporting" dogs in some outside kennel until they're too old, and then can come into your house! Give me a break. And read what's written. I DIDN'T put the mousetraps out, somebody else did. And guess what, it never hurt the dog, the dog is still alive. It has no psychological trauma. Because the dog couldn't actually touch the damn thing. It only SNAPPED, when the owner triggered it. She was supervising. Duhhh. It was the unpredictability and noise. For that matter, they sell mats that are deterrents too, when you need to keep a dog off furniture. They could be laid at the foot of a particular counter or around a table. Ever know anybody who uses an E-Collar? Maybe we should ban all those too. Oh wait, it's okay to let a dog run loose into trouble, right. Evaluate a situation on an individual basis, and how responsible is the owner is for affecting a solution. Yeah, yeah, my counters all "always" clean too. I have gates keeping my dog with me in specific rooms, not roaming the house. Have crates (including for dogs I take care of) and a very securely fenced yard that eliminates mischief. But my dogs have lots of fun, and consider their crates safety zones (dens).
    I crate and my dog is not in an outside kennel "until too old to work." He is outside in a large full size kennel or inside in a large full size kennel when I am not home because (gasp) I have a full time job. I also use crates. He sleeps next to my bed at night (as does my other dog who is also kenneled days when I am at work)The suggestions to stop counter surfing were punitive without recourse for the dog or any gainful training. They were just punitive.

    For corrections to work the dog must first understand completely what is asked or required. When the dog willfully blows off the completely understood task a correction can be very effective. The cruelty was food with something noxious in it. While you might use something merely unpleasant, someone else can take that and run with it and use something very harmful and, in both cases the dog is made miserable and no training has occurred.

    Any training tool can be used and made abusive with the human body (hands and feet) often being the most abusive tool out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by parus View Post
    Just this. I know it's easier said than done, especially with a young kid (and a husband, lol) but before you can work on developing desired behaviors you have to remove the incentive to do undesired behaviors.

    My otherwise truly lovely Giant Schnauzer mix, who I adopted at 5 years old, fixates on food and also has resource guarding tendencies - so if these behaviors would be allowed to proceed unchecked, he could actually be hazardous to my other pup or even to people. After all the temptations were removed from his environment - I even put a baby lock on the pantry and took the handle off the fridge door - we started working on a new thing, which is that when food DID come out (including dog food at his own mealtimes, and treats, not just human food) he could only have some if he was waiting patiently on his bed or at his bowl. Now when he sees food he runs to those places rather than running to the food, because he knows that's the only way he'll get anything. I'm sure if I left food sitting unattended long he'd revert to old behaviors, but as long as I keep the environment pretty controlled, now I don't really have to worry anymore about him running to snatch at food and being a nuisance or even a danger.

    Oddly enough, he's only a jerk about food at home. At other locations he sometimes even turns his nose up at treats. Who knows?
    This is so true and perfect training of "you can have what you want (food) only after I get what I want (laying on your bed)!

    When the dog is eating HIS food, leave him alone. In a crate, in a room... where ever. Do NOT touch his food, pick up the bowl or any of those really stupid things you see on TV (like the fake hand reaching in the bowl.. NO NO NO!!). Let the dog eat his food. If the dog is resource guarding something else, change the conversation (throw a ball, give a command, diffuse the situation without threat and then prevent the situation from recurring in the future). When a resource guarding dog is challenged one thing will happen: The dog WILL escalate and the more you push the more the dog will push back. Don't back down.. don't reward the dog that way or with food.. just change the subject. Throw a ball, drop a book, call the dog to you, trade for a higher value item.

    Dogs are not much good at multitasking.

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Food obsessed

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacificsun View Post
    I am "appalled" (just so you can be successful in some competition) that you keep your (so-called) "sporting" dogs in some outside kennel until they're too old, and then can come into your house! Give me a break. And read what's written. I DIDN'T put the mousetraps out, somebody else did. And guess what, it never hurt the dog, the dog is still alive. It has no psychological trauma. Because the dog couldn't actually touch the damn thing. It only SNAPPED, when the owner triggered it. She was supervising. Duhhh. It was the unpredictability and noise. For that matter, they sell mats that are deterrents too, when you need to keep a dog off furniture. They could be laid at the foot of a particular counter or around a table. Ever know anybody who uses an E-Collar? Maybe we should ban all those too. Oh wait, it's okay to let a dog run loose into trouble, right. Evaluate a situation on an individual basis, and how responsible is the owner is for affecting a solution. Yeah, yeah, my counters all "always" clean too. I have gates keeping my dog with me in specific rooms, not roaming the house. Have crates (including for dogs I take care of) and a very securely fenced yard that eliminates mischief. But my dogs have lots of fun, and consider their crates safety zones (dens).
    It says a lot about your depth of knowledge that the only dichotomy you can come up with is "E-COLLAR" or "LET A DOG RUN LOOSE INTO TROUBLE." As if those against e-collars favor letting dogs get hit by cars.
    It says even more that you'd recommend the things that you do, without consideration of how well you know the poster, their training history, their timing and training mechanics, etc. Can you imagine something like... "This random person on the internet recommended a shock collar, and now our dog is afraid to enter the kitchen! What do I do?" Would you fly over there and fix that for them?
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    Re: Food obsessed

    I agree. Dogs should have 2 things that things they can absolutely count on, with no fun & games or challenge involved. A feeding routine and bedding. If it's a crate they've been trained to, that is their security zone. (It's not a prison!) When I traveled w/2 dogs (to a house full of breeder's dogs) in the evening, my two were crated side by side, and fed inside the crate. They counted on my oversight. All other times, including a large yard, grooming shed, wherever, they mingled happily together, inside and outside the house. Never any skirmishes

    But, .... a dog's personality plays into it. The breeder's dogs (including my pup) were raised together as a group. And free-fed together, with PM meals set out in metal quart bowls, enough bowls for each dog to eat, all in the kitchen. Together. I never saw a fight break out. They "sampled" one another's dishes. Never saw them counter-surfing, or resource guarding. But that breeder was a VERY strong presence among them! She was definitely in charge. Never put a hand on them. But her tone of voice scared the wits out them. And these were confident, energetic, fun personality dogs. But she never put up with nonsense. And that "energy" was communicated to them.

    I've learned (through that association and exposure) that dogs will test you. And my older (food obsessive, survivalist dog) had gotten the best of me, early on. He was a tough cookie. But his blessing was that he trained instantly to food reward. And like it has been suggested in the 2nd paragraph quoted above, wasn't allowed near the food bag, or to overwhelm me while setting down the dish. As I've trained my 2nd dog (obtained at 9 wks) to wait, until the command is given to eat! He also knows "leave it." My older dog, was submissive to other people (especially the breeder's with confidence). But would try to get his way with me. We spent years and years doing family obedience, because training is ALWAYS a work in progress.

    Curious thing about that dog (in terms of getting inside his head) was that he was a natural born performer (coming from Show stock). He loved doing the right thing. Loved group training. Passed his Good Citizenship twice (although I kept a bit of liver under my fingernails to keep him focused). Because he could be incentivized in positive ways towards good behavior. Had I come down too hard on him, (harsh words, physical hands on) would've shut him down, increased his natural anxiety (and ultimately his fear). And then the battle royal would've never ended. But, that "trading for a treat" system, he made work for himself. Purposefully stealing things, bringing them to us, but never letting go, until the treat was given. That's what I mean in terms of a particular dog's "personality." You've got to understand the kind of dog you have. We always said he worked for "payment." He was on salary.

    Btw: If you read through my comments, you will never see an instance of punitive treatment, negative training, much less anything dangerous or risky.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Oftentimes, there is a connection between dogs who seem like "picky eaters" and dogs who've been subjected to harsh punishment in regards to people food / refraining from eating people food. "Psychological trauma", as the poster puts it, can and does occur. The picky eating is merely one of the many ways it can manifest.

    Also. FWIW I'm unaware of any breed, as a whole, which is truly known to be picky eaters. A case of public perception and mislabeling, perhaps. But not in actuality. All breeds must possess a significant and sufficient food drive so-to-speak, otherwise I'm inclined to believe that breed would eventually cease to exist over the greater course of time. Individual dogs living in a high-stress environment and/ or with genuine health issues are an entirely different matter, as are breeds with a naturally voracious appetite such as Labs, Beagles, and Dachshunds etc. who carry their own distinct set of concerns.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Oh great gad, the pitfalls of "internet" communication. This is a forum meant to share experiences. And suggestions that have worked for themselves or what they've witnessed. People making inquiries here can take what they will from it. How many times does it have to be said, that whatever is going on ... depends upon BOTH the dog's personality and the owner's capability. And the context of the situation. There are people out there who won't take the time for incremental training. Those are ALSO the kind of people who shouldn't be using an E-Collar. I've done about 20 years of family obedience training (including with a so-called "fluffy" breed) who drew blood from me on too many occasions. But I understood his mindset, and that he was probably messed up before I got him at 7 mos. I would NO MORE PUT AN E-COLLAR on that dog, than myself!!! How many times have I written about "shaping behavior" is the goal ... not yanking and cranking a dog into submission. You want that behavior "offered" out of free will, and then establish it. You folks just don't read stuff clearly.

    In another context a friend has a large dog, that is professionally run a great distance couple times a week, in a semi-rural area by an experienced dog sitter. There is a lagoon, wild critters, snakes, other dogs, a million enticing scents, and who knows what else. The dog is very high strung, basically good natured, resourceful, and independent to his own will. Yeah, he's been through "training" too. Kiss that off. So the caretaker NEEDS for the dog to come on recall. Like from a significant distance. And waiting for that dog to make up his mind is not an option. All they had to do was use the E-Collar a couple of times. And now when he wears the collar he, knows the consequence before it ever has to be used again. Exactly the same thing with my neighbor's large dog, when they go camping. He's been bitten by snakes, cut on branches and brush. They just put the collar on now, and instant obedience. Dogs are smarter than you think. And LOT smarter than most people. They just want to know who's in charge. Not just some sweet person's happiest intentions. That's not instinct or the real world.

    Dogs are decision makers per incentive. You can spend all day long doing it the way you want to. The truth is, a simple E-collar that's only ASSUMED to be (read that again!) a so-called "solution" will indeed cut into the "training business." Meaning that it takes more time to do incentivized training, and time is money earned! Yet owners should take responsibility for long term training, because it is always a continuing work in progress. No matter what, personally I don't want to see any dog put at risk. And depending on a no-fail recall (through an E-collar) is still preferable to your dog getting bitten by a dangerous off leash dog. Or being hit by a car while running after a cat. So obviously - you have to take into account the nature of the dog and the capability of the owner and the context (read that again!) of the situation.

    So everybody else reading out there? Nobody here is giving you a "one-size-fits-all" answer. Don't take anything at face-value. Factor into what you're reading - does it make sense for you and your dog? The goal is ALWAYS to avoid harm to your dog!! Prioritize your solutions accordingly!!!

    Clear enough? Nuff said.
    Last edited by Pacificsun; 05-23-2019 at 12:33 PM.

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    Re: Food obsessed

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacificsun View Post

    Btw: If you read through my comments, you will never see an instance of punitive treatment, negative training, much less anything dangerous or risky.
    Whaaaat ??? I guess suggesting e-collars, mousetraps, fire sauce and the like to others doesn't count ???

  21. #19
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    Re: Food obsessed

    I don't use e-collars, I don't own one. Am I not permitted to "report" the experience of other people? The mousetrap didn't hurt the dog, it was a supervised exercise. I wasn't involved and it wasn't my idea. Training had not worked. Fire sauce is a deterrent, a similar idea to what Vets use to discourage repetitive licking (which can make sores worse). I believe deterrents are also used to discourage dogs from eating poop. Wow, what kind of an Alice in Wonderland type of world DO you live.

    You sound like the "professional trainer" type who always makes these textbook recommendations and pronounces theories that just don't work on the personality of your own dog. In the meantime the off-site training course has been paid for, and the blame usually ends up on the pet owner.
    Last edited by Pacificsun; 05-23-2019 at 02:45 PM.

  22. #20
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    Re: Food obsessed

    Quote Originally Posted by petpeeve View Post
    Whaaaat ??? I guess suggesting e-collars, mousetraps, fire sauce and the like to others doesn't count ???
    I DO use e-collar in training, but NOT like as was suggested. Nope. Current dog I have not used it in training for two reasons. First is that he is enthusiastically compliant. The second is that we have been using his drive and drive satisfaction to get the results we want. When the protection phase training becomes more serious and he is more advanced and his drives are extremely high, an e collar may be the right answer.

    It is NOT the right answer to use as an aversion to do something that people can simply manage.

    Mousetraps and fire sauce is just cruel. Much like the e collar, in this situation it is punishment alone with no training being accomplished. Use of an aversive in this situation is almost an "anger reaction" by the person.. and anger teaches nothing but fear.

    That pack of dogs that Pacificsun describes from a breeder.. I do wonder what breed.. and no breeder I know would have the "pack" eating next to each other eating all at once and the "tone" of the breeder "scared the wits out of them" does not sound like confident or mature dogs to me. I know many dogs that would have not responded to that tone.. would have fought.. and when the breeder used the "tone" to break up the fight would have brought that person into it.

    Most arguments with dogs can be easily diffused by management or changing the subject.

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