Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I think I've got an interesting situation. I've read a lot about food aggression, but I think my situation is a bit different.

My Irish Terrier, Simon, is about 7yo and is nearly blind. He's been developing cataracts for about 3-4 years. He can still see movement, but I would imagine that all he really see's are shadows at this point. (You can play with him, then stand still in the middle of the room, and he will display a "where'd you go?" type of behavior)

He has never really shown food aggressive behavior with HIS food. He's fed twice a day. I can literally go and take his bowl away mid feast and he'll be fine with it. But when he steals something by counter surfing, he gets extremely aggressive. When he was younger and able to see, this was not so much the case.

I have the feeling its because when we go to take the stolen item away, he really has no idea who is doing it and gets very aggressive.

The only way to get the item, short of thieving it back (easily done since he can't see) is to talk to him in a calm voice and gently pet him until he knows who it is. I'm afraid this is encouraging the behavior though and it may have made it worse over time...

Anyone have any idea how to deal with this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
The training for this is called object exchanges or trading up. You teach him to drop it or give it to you willingly on command. Basically, you teach him that he never has to guard it or hoard it as he will always get it back or will get something better in return.

You set the stage by first arming yourself with smelly, tasty treats (SPAM is really good for this). Get a very large raw bone or something he can't swallow in one gulp.

Let him 'discover' and 'steal' the bone. Intercept him calmly....wave the SPAM under his nose. Make what you're holding more interesting/desirable. When he drops the bone, give the SPAM and pick up the bone. Praise...lots of praise. You can put this on command (wave the SPAM and say Give or Drop It). It will take several practice sessions for him to learn the 'game' but, once he learns the Give command he will willingly drop it in your hand without aggression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well he is diabetic so we need to watch what we give him, but I get the idea. We use baby carrots for "cookies". I wonder if that's enough of an enticement to drop the stolen goods...


Thanks for the advice!
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top