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I have a 6months old Lab/Chow Mix and eveything was going fine with her until she starved for 2 days, and I was just giving her treats because the car wasnt working and it was pouring cats and dogs.

When everything was back to normal, I placed her in her crate to stay put because I was gonna do something, as she was eating her Pedigree BigBone my son (2yrs old) suddenly approached her in a playful manner and tried to touch her while she was busy tearing the chewibone and as soon as my son touched the crate door she growled, she never growled before so this was a shock to everyone. As I tried what my son did she suddenly growled at me too, so I had to get her treat and make her lick the chewibone from my hand after that she was fine with me prodding her while she enjoys her treat.

My concern is that shes gonna be food-aggressive from now on because of that food deprived 2 days. I know that dogs have this urge to protect something, but how do i show her my son is her boss?? and how to train my son to act properly around her? and to stop her from being food-aggressive dog?
 

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This is what the obedience class I attend teaches to prevent food possessiveness:

With a bone: While the dog is chewing on a bone put a couple of high value treats (meatball pieces, liver, cheese etc..) next to the bone and leave the dog alone. This teaches the dog that an approaching hand is a good thing. When you take a bone away from the dog trade him for some treats.

If your dog growls as you approach then toss some treats in his direction to show that your approach is a good thing.

With a bowl: Same idea. Put treats into his bowl while he is eating.

Your two year old is too young to treat the dog himself. You can try treating your dog when he is eating and your son is in the room at the same time.

Hope this helps.
 

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Resource guarding is a normal behaviour but can be extremely dangerous if not dealt with, especially since young children are involved. Your child must never be allowed to approach the dog when he has something or is in his crate. PERIOD. This means teaching your son and supervising your son. The dog needs to feel secure with his food and in the crate. Crate is off limits for small humans.

Your son is not to be seen as the boss, he CANNOT BE that and it is dangerously foolish to ever assume a dog would see a toddler as anything other than a young and impulsive puppy. Young and impulsive puppies get told off. A growl is a warning, respect the growl. If you take away the growl you will see an escalation to the next step of food protection. Children need to be taught to never approach a dog who is sleeping, is playing with a toy or has food. Since your son is so young, it is up to you to monitor and supervise all interactions to prevent issues. A dog who FEELS SAFE is a safe dog.

Then you should order the book 'MINE' by Jean Donaldson, it has a very clear behaviour modification plan for resource guarding in a safe and responsible manner. This way the training is set up so anyone approaching the dog while she has something is seen as a GOOD thing and never a threat, therefore reducing the need to guard. Guarding is not about dominance, it is about fear of loss, in the wild it is about survival. We must never forget that our dogs are animals who run mostly on instinct and who will defend their life from an instinctive place, not a thinking place.

Do not assume you can fix this without good behaviour modification. Please order the book and prevent this from getting worse or get yourself an educated and experienced behaviourist in to show you how.
 

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Hoo boy.. there is a lot here....

What your dog is doing is the beginning of Resource guarding and you want to stop it NOW. This means you need to feed the dog his food by hand. All of it. NEVER allow him to eat it on his own in his crate. You put the food in the bowl and hand him every piece.. and pet him while he is eating it. If you can also ask him to do something befoore every piece of food, then do that too. It has NOTHING to do with your son being boss or you being boss. It has to do with the dog placing high value on food and worrying about losing that food resource.

When you start feeding the dog by hand, do NOT have your son around. You do it at first by yourself. After a few days, feed the dog by hand with your son in the room but at a safe distance. If you keep at this the dog should realize no one is taking his food.. that he is going to get food.. but that humans control the resource, not dogs.

Another thing you can do is play the trade game. Use food to trade for a toy. Use great food to trade for not so great food. IOW's always trade up. If the dog has a chew toy, offer the dog a piece of hot dog and trade the hot dog for the chew toy.. giving the hot dog to the dog and taking the chew toy as he releases it to take the hot dog. Then give the chew toy BACK (immediately.. do NOT play 'keep away') and repeat the exercise. Every time he releases the thing he has for the thing you are trading, say the word "give." This teaches him that you will trade for what he has and it teaches him to give and it teaches him that if he gives you something you will give it back.

Your son, meanwhile, needs to be taught to stay away from the dog while she is eating (but it won't be a problem because you are now hand feeding her). He also needs to learn to be gentle and to leave the dog alone when she is sleeping on her bed or in her crate (those are HER spaces). A two year old can be cruel and not realize he is being cruel so you get to be the parent here.

I don't really want to get into the 2 days of food deprivation... I do not care if the second coming is coming.. you make sure you have food in the house for the child and the dog.. and you get more well ahead of 'running out.' This is either poor planning or, perhaps, insufficient resources to own a dog (or have a child!). Raining out is no excuse not to have food in the house.. rain is, after all, only water.. not hot lava. If food can be had by walking to get it, you walk and you get it. If all of this seems 'harsh' remember.. it was you who did not have dog food for two days and the dog went hungry except for treats.. and that is MUCH more harsh than anything I have said.

Cracker and I posted just about the same thing at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the great advice you guys, :) I am now trying to teach my SON to feed the dog. Im guiding my sons hand as he feed our dog every bit of her food to let the dog know that my son is the giver of the food. I try to let the dog see that my son eats first in front of her and when my sons finish then he could give the dog her food. and it seems to be working great :)
 

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I can't imagine asking my dog to go without food for two days, and that certainly could be the start of a problem. For resource guarding there is an excellent book by Jean Donaldson called "Mine" which is available through many library systems. I would definitely read through this book and start doing the protocols while it is a "new" issue.
And especially with a two year old in the house.

I have a 6months old Lab/Chow Mix and eveything was going fine with her until she starved for 2 days, and I was just giving her treats because the car wasnt working and it was pouring cats and dogs.

When everything was back to normal, I placed her in her crate to stay put because I was gonna do something, as she was eating her Pedigree BigBone my son (2yrs old) suddenly approached her in a playful manner and tried to touch her while she was busy tearing the chewibone and as soon as my son touched the crate door she growled, she never growled before so this was a shock to everyone. As I tried what my son did she suddenly growled at me too, so I had to get her treat and make her lick the chewibone from my hand after that she was fine with me prodding her while she enjoys her treat.

My concern is that shes gonna be food-aggressive from now on because of that food deprived 2 days. I know that dogs have this urge to protect something, but how do i show her my son is her boss?? and how to train my son to act properly around her? and to stop her from being food-aggressive dog?
Thanks for all the great advice you guys, :) I am now trying to teach my SON to feed the dog. Im guiding my sons hand as he feed our dog every bit of her food to let the dog know that my son is the giver of the food. I try to let the dog see that my son eats first in front of her and when my sons finish then he could give the dog her food. and it seems to be working great :)
Very bad idea. Train the dog. Do not use your child to train the dog. And keep the child away from the dog when she is eating.
 

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Thanks for all the great advice you guys, :) I am now trying to teach my SON to feed the dog. Im guiding my sons hand as he feed our dog every bit of her food to let the dog know that my son is the giver of the food. I try to let the dog see that my son eats first in front of her and when my sons finish then he could give the dog her food. and it seems to be working great :)
No. Please dont!
As everyone else has told you, keep your son out of this. He's too young. YOU handle the dog and never leave your son alone with him or allow him near the dog while its eating or has a treat. This goes for all dogs; not just yours.
 

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I guess i stated it the wrong way. Im teaching my son how to feed the dog. How to get the food, and how to give the dog the food properly by making the dog sit 2 ft back. Im always there, I just guide him so the dog will develop some food manners around my son. I dont leave the 2 of them out of my sight, i think thatll be just an irresponsible parenting for both.
 

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It depends on how old hte child is, if the dog is resource gaurding I WOULD NOT have a young child feeding it, that's how kids end up getting bitten and given the history of the household (with your husband punching the dog) it will make things worse.
 
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