Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Zeus has been a really good pup so far then one day at abut 8 weeks old he got hold of a chicken wing I fed to the cat and when I went to get it off him he turned aggressive over it. I gave it back to the cat and shut him away from the dog and have not seen any food aggression again. I can put my hand in his bowl and can touch his face, I can take a bone off him and can pat him with his bone. In fact he likes to chew a bone near us if he can.
Then last night I fed him a raw chicken drumstick. I made him sit and he gently took it as with any other bone, but then it was like he was possessed he took it and ran off with it and me even approaching the area he was in was setting him off. I tried patting him and he was going to bite me so I used a nearby rubber shoe to stroke him and he attacked and bit it. I tried this a couple of times hopeing he would stop but had no hope. Then I tried calling him to me offering some cooked chicken meat he came over and took the meat but had what was left of the drumstick in his mouth the whole time. He finished it shortly after and after sniffing around to make sure it was all gone instantly became the well behaved pup again. He sat and waited till the command to eat and I could touch the food no problem, it was cooked chicken. The difference seems to be food in his bowl and being able to go off with it. Tonight I am going to leash him when I give it to him. I am not sure what else to do? Any suggestions? He is only 3 months old and a quick learner so I don't want this bad behavior to continue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,441 Posts
I can tell by your post that you really want to do things right for your dog and are trying, but unfortunately it sounds like you have made all the textbook mistakes in dealing with resource guarding.

for example, the first time with the cat-- a dog has little to no concept of "this is mine, this is the cats" and a puppy even less. A tasty high value treat was within reach, he got it and then you swooped in and stole it! without even paying him for it (look up the trading game)

Then you bother him while eating his normal food ( hand in his bowl) so he can't even trust that you won't steal it (I'm phrasing this from a dog's view, not from a human's knowledge that you are not gonna steal it)

Sometimes he is just eating normally and a giant rubber object starts rubbing him (petting with shoe) which is just disconcerting and maybe something he needs to be ready to defend against.

Search "resource guarding" here and look for threads using sources such as Patrica Mc connell, Ian Dunbar, Sophia Yin, and other behaviorists (cant easily search then copy and paste on my phone)
EDIT- Look up Jean Donaldson's "Mine!" book

Tonight though-- don't leash him or have him where any pets or humans are there to bother him. Feed in a crate or pen, set his food down and let him eat without interruption until food is totally gone. Then ask him to exit crate or pen or small room by calling him to you and offering a tiny treat like cheese bite, go with him to outside or another room and have someone else retrieve him food bowl (or put him in another area while you pick it up) out of his sight and right into washer or sink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really? Isolate him and let him eat?
I understand with the first time I should have traded. But at puppy school we were taught we should be able to put our hand in the bowl or be able to touch the dog while eating?
This is why I was doing this. He is ok with it with any other food except the raw chicken bones. Should I isolate him to eat those?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,441 Posts
Yes, let him eat in peace.

After trust has been fully established and the dog has a true history of knowing that his food won't disappear or be messed with, then and only then is it reasonable to expect him to allow you to take his food; something only done when absolutely needed. The higher value the food, the more the dog mus trust you.


Imagine say, a school lunch situation where your pup is a new student, the cat is another kid and you are the teacher. But you cannot communicate verbally at all. Just gestures.
Run this scenario with the training you have done thus far with the pup and picture the confusion and frustration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I see what you are saying. I will let him eat the chicken drumsticks without bothering him. There is no aggression while I have it before he gets it and will wait until he is commanded to eat to take it, (as we do with every meal) once he has it I will go by the rule it is then his.
And if he gets something he should not have in future I will trade for it, not that I am expecting that to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,816 Posts
I see what you are saying. I will let him eat the chicken drumsticks without bothering him. There is no aggression while I have it before he gets it and will wait until he is commanded to eat to take it, (as we do with every meal) once he has it I will go by the rule it is then his.
And if he gets something he should not have in future I will trade for it, not that I am expecting that to happen.
Excellent!
Back in the day (50 years.. and more.. ago) the rule was leave the dog alone when he is eating.

So we did.
And I still do to this day.

All that stuff of taking food away and giving it back and sticking your hands in the dish while the dog is eating (or the fake hand they use in shelters) is not necessary and (as you noted) could get you bitten. Leave the dog alone and let him eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,453 Posts
I see what you are saying. I will let him eat the chicken drumsticks without bothering him. There is no aggression while I have it before he gets it and will wait until he is commanded to eat to take it, (as we do with every meal) once he has it I will go by the rule it is then his.
And if he gets something he should not have in future I will trade for it
Yes, exactly!

I can never understand why anyone would think it's okay to bother a dog while it's eating. I find it even harder to understand someone would actually TEACH people to do this.:frusty: Imagine how frustrating it would be if you just sat down to eat your favourite meal after a long, hard day at work and someone kept coming by and sticking their hand in your face, and on your plate, touching your food, taking it away and bringing it back, etc. I know how I would react.

Food is survival for animals. They need to feel comfortable and confident that the food they get is theirs and will not be taken away by anyone else. Feed in a crate, in a separate room, whatever it takes so the dog is left alone to eat in peace.

My dogs have never been bothered while they eat and are perfectly okay with my walking around beside them and being around them while they eat. I'm confident I could take their food away if necessary, but I am always very aware that they are eating and should not be bothered. No stepping around or over them, no moving the food dish to the side because it's in the way. Nothing. Just leave them alone. They get fed in the back room of the house and I walk away and leave them to eat in peace. They are free to come out into the rest of the house whenever they're finished. I used to feed them (2 dogs) in separate rooms, but after having done that for a couple of years, I became comfortable with them eating in the same room, in opposite corners, facing away from each other. With some dogs even that wouldn't be doable though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
I like to let the dog eat.....don’t take it away....give him more.

Guess where the fork would be if you tried to take the New York sirloin away from me.LOL Give me a baked Idaho to go with the New York and I’d give you a hug.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Having a dog accept you interfering with eating is an advanced step in the game. Maybe when the dog is 2 - 3 years old you could start feeling it out but mostly as a test of how much the dog trusts you. Some dogs eventually stop worrying about food and won't be bothered if you interrupt a meal but others will always be upset. As long as the dog returns to "normal" after the food is gone there's nothing to worry about. Now, if you catch the dog eating out of the trash and he gets aggressive over being corrected, that would be a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess it took me by suprise as he has never shown any aggression with any other food before or since. When feeding him the raw chicken legs now
(the only thing he gets aggressive over) i just leave him be. He likes to go to his blanket and eat them there which I ignore. He sits on this blanket to watch me if i am in the kitchen, he can stay isolated with his bowl if he chooses. At first if I went by he would growl but now I get no reaction, the trust is forming.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top