Food Aggression!

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Food Aggression!

This is a discussion on Food Aggression! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I currently own 2 lovely dogs, Shadow a 2yr old Black Lab and Missy a 12 week old Yorkie. Shadow has started to get aggressive ...

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Old 10-03-2009, 12:16 PM
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Food Aggression!

I currently own 2 lovely dogs, Shadow a 2yr old Black Lab and Missy a 12 week old Yorkie.

Shadow has started to get aggressive towards the puppy with food

Shadow has never ever been aggressive towards food before but the new puppy tests his patients and will go near him and she knows he will bite. Im sure she does it for attention just to say mummy he bit me or something silly.

Apart from this they are the best of friends. Its just Shadow loves his marrow bones and he gets one once a week so I dont want to stop giving him the bones because of the puppy. I got them one each 3 days ago Shadow had a whole shin part and Missy had just a tiny bit of the middle part, Shadow came along and took it off her had protected it, his hackles went up and everything with dribble going everywhere.

I was quite scared but I knew he wouldn't go for me so I went and got the puppies bone and gave it back to her and told Shadow off, I felt really bad as its his house and garden.

I know he is just protecting his food but alot of my other friends dogs eat next to each other and dont go for each other when they go near one another.

Is there anything that can be done to stop this apart from feeding them at different times of the day in separate rooms?
Any help really appreciated.

Thanks Marni
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:21 PM
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I don't think they need to eat at different times but they should be separated. I have a dog who does the same thing, takes any toys or bones away from the other dogs and guards them. We simply tell him "share" with the toys but we do not give food or bones to them unless it is something that is eaten quickly like a milkbone. I don't think its bad, some dogs just want their own space.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:18 PM
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This can be modified, but honestly its simply too easy to simply separate them.

If you are interested in modifying the behavior I suggest you pick up the book "MINE!" by Jean Donaldson...the process is to elaborate to go into here.



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Old 10-04-2009, 10:57 AM
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Thanks, I will try and get hold of that book, sounds quite good. Would be very handy to have around too.
I just dont want to change anything for Shadow like his bone which hes had every week since the age of 4 months for 2 years.
Im trying to not stress him out as much as possible as hes lost 3kg in weight since we got the puppy, the vet said he would of lost that much in a short space of time without a weight loss program due to stress.
If anybody has MINE! I would gladly buy it for a couple of pounds.
Thanks Marni, Shadow and Missy
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:24 AM
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I just want to share what we did. All the dogs we had growing up we had as pups-so we worked on 'possession aggression' early-touching them, hand feeding them, putting our hands over the bowl-putting our hands one their feet while eating etc.

We adopted Mikey at two but did the same thing-and luckily he was not possessive. However at the dog park, when I put down water and another dog came up to drink at the same time he would growl and snarl at them (not when drinking someone elses water-just the water I put down).

We simply corrected him with a sharp 'no' and a tap on the side like Ceasar does; At first he wouldn't respond and kept snarling so we pulled him off the water and put him down in a submissive position, and allowed the other dogs to drink first. He really responds to us being 'mad' or 'dissapointed' in him-so this worked well.

It would depend on how your dog is normally, and how he responds to correction;
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:25 AM
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I meant to add that this worked quickly-he now lets any dog drink 'his' water, and will drink at the same time out of the same bowl as him; Even if they come up after he's starting drinking the water and they come after-he's responded very well to it
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:34 AM
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Hes not human aggressive I can put my hand in the bowl while hes eating its just Missy any other dog hes fine with its just her.
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