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Our 2 year old Rico is being food aggressive towards our old (13ish??) dog Stella. Aside from this they get along extremely well, Rico is very affectionate with her. To avoid fights we have separated the dogs during feeding, Stella gets her food first in a room with a door, and then I go back to feed Rico in the open space of our dining room. Before he gets his food he has to perform a command like Sit or Lay Down. Both bowls are put up before the dogs are together again.

Now it's gone one step further though, with Rico becoming aggressive over the area where he eats. When Stella enters the dining room he will growl or lunge at her.
 

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Sounds like Rico has become the Dominate one in the home. You need establish alpha over Rico and Stella...Alpha's will display this type of aggression to put other pack members in their place, to remind them who is in charge and who eats first...Both dogs need to understand that you are pack leader and the source of food...Alpha provides the food and the schedule..Look up Ceasar Millan for more information on being a pack leader. Good luck!
 

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Cesar Millan isn't a very good person to be influenced by. I've sent you a link Freedom!
Rico most likely has a resource guarding problem. http://www.dogforum.com/training-be...guarding-causes-prevention-modification-7511/
Do you make them wait before you feed them? How about hand feeding? Dogs sometimes think that the food magically appears in the bowl which is why he is guarding his food area. Try hand feeding to show it doesn't. The link I gave you has helped me a lot with my foster dogs. Good luck!
 

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Sounds like Rico has become the Dominate one in the home. You need establish alpha over Rico and Stella...Alpha's will display this type of aggression to put other pack members in their place, to remind them who is in charge and who eats first...Both dogs need to understand that you are pack leader and the source of food...Alpha provides the food and the schedule..Look up Ceasar Millan for more information on being a pack leader. Good luck!
This is completely wrong. I recommend that you read the sticky on dominance in dogs:
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

OP, please don't listen to that info. It won't help and you'll probably end up with more aggression.

Squee and Grabby gave good advice. In the meantime, continue to separate the dogs while they eat.
 

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This is more a question on my behalf... Would moving Rico's eating spot help? I was going to put that in my post but I wasn't sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Cesar and his outdated methods. The dogs usually watch me prepare their bowls. Rico is the one who waits, because first Stella follows me into a different room to get her bowl, then I come back to him, give him a command, then he gets his food. Thank you for the link. I'm going to look at it right now. Another thing I have to take into consideration is that Rico is not neutered. I should mention he has no aggression problems towards toys or anything else, only his food and where he eats.
 

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Oh yeah, I would recommend getting him neutered. If not for behavior, then for the sake of any unwanted puppies. If your not going to breed him then neuter. I've heard that shelters do it cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is more a question on my behalf... Would moving Rico's eating spot help? I was going to put that in my post but I wasn't sure.
I want to try having him eat in random spots, so he doesn't get possessive over one particular area. The reason we have him eating in the dining room currently is because when he was younger, he was very weird about being "watched" while he ate. There wasn't any aggressive display but if anyone was around him he would just stand there until you left and then he would eat. So we put him in the dining room where he has the privacy of our counters, blocking peoples view of him. He doesn't have any issue with being watched any more so I think it would be feasible to move his eating location.
 

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I was going to post on this same subject, thank you folks for the excellent links. I have a question. We have two new small dogs (25-30 pounds) which we got about 6 months ago. The (neutered) male is perhaps approaching 2 years old, the other was a puppy when we got her.

The male has been food aggressive towards the female since we brought them into our home. Often out of nowhere if she goes to close to him when he has a bone he'll bite her and the next thing we know she is screaming out. Most of the time it seems to be more bark than bite, she is never seriously hurt and often 2 minutes later she is going at him and they are playing. Of course nonetheless we don't like it and don't want him being aggressive towards her.

Even though he has always been food aggresive towards her, he was completely and totally docile towards us, I could walk up to him and take a bone out of his mouth and he would express 0 anxiety. Now I'm concerned because out of nowhere the last couple of days, he's started to show food aggression towards me.

Raising of the lip, and snapping in my direction. I then chastised him in a firm voice at which point he totally backs down, but in reading the links I see that may not be a good move. I should note we have bones and things they can chew on all over the house, as previously to implementing that they were being very destructive.

Anyhow, I intend to read everything in the thread that was linked to and perhaps buy the book as well. I've given all this background as a way of asking a rather simple question, which is, is it common that a dog would go from being completely non food-aggressive towards us, to starting it with us?

Otherwise this little fellow is extremely loving and strongly seeks approval from us.

Thanks
 

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If he were my dog, he'd be in his crate while the bowls were being prepared and would eat his meals in there. I'd pick up the bowls after the older dog had finished. I'd also have Rico's crate out of sight of the food preparation area and where the other dog can't approach while Rico is eating. His crate should be his safe place to eat and rest without anyone bothering him.

Resource guarding isn't unusual. It's normal for dogs to guard their food from other dogs. The problems occur when a dog takes things too far.
 

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Goodness, can we at least use the correct word for our incorrect concepts?
The word is "dominant" one not "dominate" one.


As others have said, the dominance paradigm is bogus.


The simple solution is to keep your dogs totally separate at feeding time. Dogs are not social eaters like humans. Let them eat by themselves.
 

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People would be guarding their food if random people came up and acted like they might steal their food. :) Our cultural norms make this type of behavior pretty unusual but among dogs, it's not that refined. lol
 

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Sounds like Rico has become the Dominate one in the home. You need establish alpha over Rico and Stella...Alpha's will display this type of aggression to put other pack members in their place, to remind them who is in charge and who eats first...Both dogs need to understand that you are pack leader and the source of food...Alpha provides the food and the schedule..Look up Ceasar Millan for more information on being a pack leader. Good luck!
Oh dear!

Freedom206, we invite you to hang out here on DF a bit to get update on dog behavior science.

Do a site search for "Cesar" and get an education. ;)
 

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I NEVER EVER EVER feed any of my dogs together,and have never thought that this was a good idea, and never felt the need to force them to eat together. It's a really easy problem to solve, feed your dog in a crate..
 
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