View Full Version : rescue pups and guarding issues

12th February 2007, 04:16 PM
How are you supposed to deal with resource guarding?? Although I love Faith to death, my little black "problem child" seems to have issues with resource guarding.

At first when she came she ate like she'd never seen food before. I can understand - another dog was there and she probably felt threatened because of where she came from. She was fed alone with her foster mom. If Kosmo came near her bowl she would growl at him.. not nice. She got told no and I took it away for 5 minutes. She used to eat her food then run to kosmo's and try to eat his too. I've now let her know that her food is hers and his food is his and neither one is to touch the other's bowls. (Kos takes a long time to eat.) She's been great with that..

Then we have these chicken jerkey chewies from Costco. If she's eating one and Kosmo gets up on the couch she growls at him. Great.. I take it away from her but I have to be honest with you guys and tell you that I've gotten my hand bit quite a few times from this. I've managed to train her to eat treats pretty, but when it comes to chicken jerkeys there is no going back. Last time I gave her one I ripped it up into tiny pieces and made her work for it - sit - no biting.. if she bit my fingers she couldn't have it. It killed her as I think it's her favorite treat, but she worked through it and eventually got the entire thing. Not the best thing for my fingers, but I am hoping she learned a lesson. My other option is to take them away completely, but I would really like to work through these issues.

I took her to avi's daddy's house yesterday and to keep her busy I brought alone one of those Texas Toothpicks (cow tails.) She was laying in the middle of the rug and Avi wanted to her to be in the bed so she didn't get squished (you never know with seniors) and so he moved her and she growled at him for getting too close to the toothpick I am assuming. Not nice again.. We took it away for 5 minutes and then left it and then took it and then gave it back. As long as she didn't growl at me for taking it, I gave it right back.

When we got home Avi's sister was over. She was playing with Faith and Kosmo with the hide a squirrel toy. She would squeak it and throw it. She growled at Kosmo when he came too close a few times. Again, I took it away.

This behavior is not acceptable at my house and I don't know how else I am supposed to deal with it other than saying NO and removing the offending object. If I yell "AHH NO!" Avi says to me "she's not deaf - don't shout at her." I know she's not but I can't have a low mean puppy voice - it has to be loud and mean, right? I have her in training and her trainer recommended that I spray her when she growls - I don't want to make her not like water and I can guarantee you I won't have a water bottle for every time she growls so I don't think that method will work for me. I don't have kids (thank God) but I do have a niece and nephew that like the dogs and if she ever tried that on them I think I would have a heart attack.

First time I've been saying AHH AHH and NO and taking it away - if it happens again I take her and put her in time out for 5 minutes. I don't know what else to do - does that even sound like it will help?? I am happy we got through the kibble issue - she left some of her food for the last few days which is a good sign to me - I think she knows it's going to keep coming.

What else can I do?

12th February 2007, 04:30 PM
Food and treats are something that can turn a sweet cavalier into something resembling a rottie. At my house, they get fed separately-- we give treats separately. They HAVE learned to share me and the toys-lol, but that is all. sandy

12th February 2007, 04:47 PM
lol Sandy you're funny. It's so weird for me to go through this because Kosmo is the total opposite. He just goes with the flow for everything and would NEVER stick up for himself. I am hoping he will start because she likes to torture him but he usually just cries and runs away. She likes to bite his tail and hold on for dear life. That's another thing we're working on, lol :roll:

They get fed on opposite sides of the kitchen - they have their own bowls and stuff. Neither one ever wants to eat their own food - only each others. LOL She's worked through the kibble issues though. . . She doesn't growl if Kosmo gets near her anymore with food, it's just with chicken chews and stuff.

Regarding the treats I usually give her hers on the couch (with me) and Kosmo his on the ground. She'll eat hers then steal his too. I've already learned that so it's not if they are totally together they are just in the same room together. Kosmo didn't even jump up on the same side of the couch as she was - he jumped up on the other side of me to lay down and she growled - I took it away from her.

Giving her food in her crate is really a last option for me. I would like her to be like Kosmo and accepting and happy with everything. I realize they are 2 different dogs with 2 different personalities but I would like her never to growl at him. If I can prevent it from happening I will take any measure I can. SHe is still so young (12 weeks) that I feel that I have a chance ~ I just don't know if I'm going about it right

12th February 2007, 05:37 PM
Sara, *she is only a puppy*. Puppies growl when they play. Even many adult dogs do with no aggression implied. Please don't assume this is resource guarding, a more serious problem, without having someone who is a trainer or behaviour expert assess the situation. It is more what most puppies do and now is the time to just train her but don;t just take things away -- you need to actually work to *train* away from this by offering her something else instead then returning her chew or whatever to her. Some of this sounds quite possibly like normal play where pups growl at each other if one has a toy the other wants, and same with adults. Not a big deal. Most of the behaviour you are talking about is typical puppy behaviour. There is only so much politeness you can expect from a puppy as well; it sounds like you are thinking she should be acting more like an adult but please remember she is like a toddler right now.

But Sandy's advice is spot on. Do NOT tempt fate and a serious fight by expecting dogs to get along sweetly when there are resources they both want. It is much wiser to feed in crates and/or keep dogs well separated (not just couch and floor) when you are playing with toys or offering treats, too. Let Kosmo do the disciplining as well -- he will let a puppy know when it has overstepped its mark and his role will help you end up with a more polite puppy.

Finally this is not a rescue issue with rescue dogs per se, and should not be treated as such. That includes the issue of whether to crate a rescue dog while feeding. Many rescues feel MORE secure in a crate than out in a room, as a matter of fact -- it is a mistake to view a crate only as a cage a dog should be freed from. In my experience most shy or upset rescues of ll types, puppy farm dogs to household pets, will by choice retreat to a plastic crate with a bed inside so that they can get away from too much outside activity that they find overhwelming. But Faith is only a puppy and will not have *any* negative associations with a crate or cage. She was handed in to rescue when very young and has really known nothing except care from her mother & then a quite normal life; she really does not have the experience of having been caged for years where being fed in a crate is going to be in any way stressful. Many breeders would have confined small pups to a crate -- Bruce does as you can see from his pictiures he has posted -- so this will have been a normal experience for most puppies from good breeders.

I'd recommend getting Ian Dunbar's book on puppies as it will explain a lot of these behaviour situations and you will be less worried by them.


12th February 2007, 06:03 PM

Sorry I didn't mean to stereotype all rescue pups. My thought was that she has possibly came from a situation where she's had many other different pups around her and I can't imagine the miller caring who got food and who didn't. As long as they were living, they were money in her eyes, right? I think a lot of mill dogs are food aggressive (the research I've done has also said this) because the miller doesn't care who eats the food and who doesn't. If I were a dog and I were in a cage with 8 other puppies, then I would probably fight for food too.

I feed her right outside of her crate. She can eat in there I have no problem with it but I don't think it's fair to have to put her in a crate if I want to give her a bully stick or something like that. I want to be able to give them each one to be able to eat whenever and wherever. I don't think crating is cruel ~ she has been crate trained and so is Kosmo. If I have to feed her in her cate I will, but I just would rather let her have her treats wherever instead of saying "do you want a treat? Go to your crate." I used to feed Kosmo in his crate when he was younger. I don't have a problem feeding inside the crate - food is not the issue with her anyways. It's high value treats and apparently selective toys.

I do realize that puppies growl and bite a lot and that's not the problem. I have had dogs my whole entire life and I know the difference between a play growl and a mad growl. This was definately a mad growl. I don't need a trainer to tell me that she was angry that Avi tried to take away her cow tail.

Kosmo is very growly/barky when we play. It's fun and I don't mind it. I actually growl and bark back at him sometimes just for fun. She is also very vocal when they play.

I've spoken to my trainer about this and we will work through the issue but like I said she suggested using a water bottle if she's growling. I am simply looking for other methods.

I am not expecting her to act like an adult. I know she's a puppy but if she's displaying even a growl I want to know how to fix it since it's early enough now that I can do it. I just wanted different suggestions on how to deal with the issue at hand.

Kosmo refuses to stick up for himself too. He'll have a toy and she'll come and take it. He'll just let her and go get another toy, lol. Then she drops that one and goes for his other one. He seems too polite to stick up for himself. She also likes to play with him and bite his tail hair and lock on for dear life.. :sl*p: Kosmo ends up crying and running away from her.. I let them do their thing when they play and don't interrupt them unless Kosmo is continuously griping. He's been banished from the living room when he wants to play with her too so when she starts that up I just put him over the gate.

Now what is that book called? :flwr:

12th February 2007, 07:20 PM
I believe you have an x-pen correct? Just fed her in the xpen instead of crating her. That way Poor little Kosmo can eat in peace. If not, feed one on either side of the baby gate.

Cody is very protective of his toys/food/treats and he and Wesley have "gotten into it" when he feels threatened. All Wesley has to do is look at him and he will growl if he has something of value. I have learned that keeping them apart during treat time lets them enjoy their treat without having to inhale it just so someone else won't steal it.

Our feeding arrangement in the evening is quite funny. I prepare all four bowls, put Cody and his in the garage (he is done in about 30 seconds so I just keep him in there until everyone else is through), Wesley goes in the kitchen with a baby gate, Zoey is in the dining room, and Stewie eats his in the spare bedroom. Everyone is seperated so they can eat at their own pace without having to worry about another pup stealing their meal. Of course when they are all done they run to each other's bowl and lick it clean, (like it wasn't clean already...but just in case :roll: )

I hope this helps!!

12th February 2007, 07:29 PM
LOL Monica you've got quite the arrangement figured out.

Feeding is not the issue. They are fine with kibble. For her it's stuff like chicken chewies and cow tails apparently. She used to growl about the food but we've since worked through it. She was eating so incredibly fast.. I made her sit and gave her a piece of kibble then kosmo one then her one and then kosmo one. I did that for about 2 days of meals and for some reason she was OK with food after that? We haven' had a kibble issue since. It's just more chewies and apparently selective toys. I could put her in her crate to eat the cow tail or whatever but instead of having to put her in there everytime I want to give her a chewy I would like to work with her on not growling regardless of who comes close to her chewy.

Cathy Moon
13th February 2007, 03:05 AM
Sara, it's normal to separate dogs when high value items are being given out. I always put Geordie in a crate when I give them bully sticks to prevent arguments between him and India. Dogs are not humans and they do not think like humans. :flwr: The dynamics of your household changed when you brought in a second dog, and you are adjusting as much as they are.

The most important thing is to manage multiple dogs in order to prevent any spats from occurring. Their normal behavior is to compete for resources, and I don't want to encourage competitive behavior - therefore I must manage their environment. No big deal, it becomes second nature after awhile.

Right now Faith is just a baby. She is too young for this type of training. She is just experimenting with behavior and needs to be allowed to do so. :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

13th February 2007, 04:21 AM
So much of it sound like Kodee now - she just blossomed this wk to the terrible 2's! By the way, what do you mean you dont have children thank god???? Anyone who cares for the dogs like you do with the thought you put behind it, is destined for motherhood - if your game, I'll place a bet, and win a fortune on this one!

Anyways doggies were the issue! Funny you posted this today, cause Kodee just barked - quite a few in a row at me today, and growled and I couldnt sit or stand with out being scratched or bitten. Rough day! It began with me finally using an xpen on the weekend, we put her in it while we had dinner - worked great. Then this morning I decided to put her in it so I could get dressed. I went in and out of the kitchen a few times before i went up. I leaned over the rail a few times and heard nothing. As I went back done about 20min later, I saw my daughters shoe fly by and then a white and black lightening bolt.

Well there is $50 done the drain - she jumped out - I didnt get my monies worth :sl*p: But after that - she was uncontrollable! Running, biting, growling (really she just scared herself cause she was able to go all over the downstairs and hadnt been in the living rm yet. Finally out of exasperation, I just picked her up and put her in her crate. I made tea and read a magazine - ok she whined but its a tough call who needed the time out most - me or her!

Now in terms of you, when I picture putting another dog into my day - well I think kodee would be just like her! I dont think it reflects anything on her personality so much as the age and the fact their is another dog. Why not give her, her treat in the xpen while Kosmo has his out. She will learn if every so often she gets hers out but put right back in if she starts up. I think its just a waiting game till more serious training takes place in a mth or so. As well till she is older, I'd feed them separately till she knows you mean business when you say No. Just give it a mth or so - if you had kids you'd know about the terrible 2's and that one thinks they will never survive it - but they do return to darlings when its over!

Scouty girl
13th February 2007, 04:21 PM
OK, I'm sorry, but I do not allow growling of any type towards any animal or myself or guests at my house. To be totally honest with you, I'm not sure why she's growling or what it's called (resource guarding), but it would not be tolerated. Sara, it sounds as if you are taking all the right steps. She has to be taught that growling will not be tolerated. I know, by reading, that feeding time is no longer an issue. When I first brought Scout home at 10 weeks she was eating and one of the cats casually walked by, he wasn't looking at her food and she growled at him. I was sort of shocked. So I corrected her by picking up her food and telling her No. This stopped. All four of my animals eat right next to each other. Of course I am there to supervise. Scout finishes first then she goes over to Breeze, who ignores her, when she finished Scout jusmps up to her dish. She eats on an elevated dish. Then seeing there's nothing left (are you kidding!) she tries to get the cats food and I have to correct her.

As far as treats go, my two only get treats at night before they go to bed. I know it's a little different for me because my other do is a newf and much larger, but Scout will try and take the food from her mouth. I have also had to monitor this. Now at bedtime I feed them treats at the same time. Scout on the bed and Breeze on the floor. I do have to watch carefully. I think this would be the only time Breeze would be cross with Scout and possible give her the warning that she deserved.

Just like any other training consistency is the key. You are an experienced dog owner you know all about that I'm sure.

I've had a dog in my life since I was 5-6 years old. We never had a dog growl at us at anytime, for any reason.

13th February 2007, 04:27 PM
I've had a dog in my life since I was 5-6 years old. We never had a dog growl at us at anytime, for any reason.

Growling is not just a learned behavioural thing. Breeding has a lot to do with temperment. I'm not saying it cant be corrected and nipped in the bud. But I am saying it may be a bit more "work" for some puppies than others. Sara is very resoureful in seeking methods of correction - she will find the right one in time.

Scouty girl
13th February 2007, 11:51 PM
I agree, it sounds as if Sara is already on the right track.

14th February 2007, 02:43 AM
It is again, I repeat, NORMAL for puppies to play growl. It is fine to train them not to growl when you are handling food or they think they are defending it, absolutely, but it is DANGEROUS to teach dogs they are not allowed to growl. We have had comments here before from the certified trainers on this board, which you can find if you do a search, but a growl is the key way a dog indicates it isn't happy about something. If you teach a dog it isn't allowed to growl -- which 99% of the time, is simply a polite warning and way of saying I am getting really annoyed -- the dog will stop giving warnings and go straight to biting. A polite growl between my dogs is an immediate indication that one is doing something another doesn't like and as they generally get along well together it is then just a matter of a quick assessment of the situation and defusing it -- usually, taking a toy or treat away from one who has found one somewhere.

If an adult dog is growling AT YOU and it isn't in play (Jaspar growls and 'talks' all the time when playing and it is totally harmless) -- then the problem is NOT the growling, it is what is causing the growling and why s/he is doing it at you -- which shouldn't be the case unless you are threatening the dog. This then is a separate set of training and behaviour issues, potentially very serious ones, but again *growling is not the issue*. It is simply the warning that lets you know there IS an issue.

Please don't squirt water at a young puppy to break a habit. If you search the board there are several long threads on resource guarding and what to do that offer productive alternatives. Most basic training guides for dogs give suggestions on how to manage something like growling when you are handling food. In my experience many puppies growl when they are given food (so do most kittens when small). It is just instinct -- one to politely train away from but in a *positive* way. Just taking something away doesn't teach a dog a desireable alternative behaviour. Most puppies also just grow out of growling at feeding time anyway.

Again, I strongly recommend reading Ian Dunbar's main book on puppies and behaviour because a lot of the language and assumptions being made here are 1) a mix of things that may be true about adults but you are talking about a tiny puppy -- and 2) a mix of very old theories which trainers would not even learn on most accredited course any longer (whatever about the self-styled ones, and the Hollywood glamour trainers, all those theories about alpha rolls, scruff shakes and dominance are -- as canine experts will point out -- very long discredited. They weren't even true about wolves, yet have shaped a generation of training during which time we have seen problems with aggressive dogs rise and rise. I am sure there is a direct connection :( ).

For example, on dominance and alpha rolls and wolves/dogs:

World renowned ethologist and writer, Dr. Erich Klinghammer, Ph.D., director of Wolf Park, Indiana and President of North American Wildlife Federation:

"... the so-called alpha roll, over practiced by some, is nonsense. The context in which people do it with dogs does not coincide with the situation in which a wolf actively submits to a high-ranking wolf. We certainly do not use it with our hand-raised wolves. There is no way we can administer the intensity of a dominance attack on a wolf that they use with each other on very rare occasions. Establishing dominance is usually a drawn out series of encounters that eventually convinces a wolf to submit and run way a preferred strategy. If I were to go up to a hand-raised wolf that did not know me and attempt to dominate it physically, it would either run away or I would have one helluva fight on my hands - if the wolf could not get away. There is really a big difference between wolves and dogs. To simply extrapolate from wolves to dogs is at best problematical."

Or as Ian Dunbar puts it:

Like wolves, domestic dogs are social animals (and hence should not be socially isolated) and they have an hierarchical social system. However, the hierarchy is neither created by, nor necessarily maintained by physical domination, nor is it strictly linear. If anything, the hierarchy is created and enforced by psychological control, and the peace of the pack is maintained by active appeasement rituals of lower ranking individuals. In fact, the famous Cambridge and Berkeley zoologist, Dr. Thelma Rowell has suggested that the status quo of social groups is better termed a subordinance hierarchy - a much more precise and descriptive term.

Yes, most groups of male dogs generally have a surprisingly stable linear hierarchy, but females tend to show significant day-to-day variation and male-female interactions can be extremely unpredictable, with rank-reversals being the norm rather than the exception. Indeed, bitches have virtually rewritten canine hierarchical law with the First Bitch Amendment which states, I have it and you don't. Moreover, individual members of a domestic dog pack have special friendships, alliances and bodyguards. And truly confident top dogs are more than willing to share and even allow underdogs and buddies prime access to bones and favored sleeping places. To say one alpha male rules the roost is an oversimplification to the point of ridicule. In fact, in most domestic canine social groups it is not a single male, but rather a group of females which decide what's what.

Like wolves, dogs do need a leader - but not a dictator who physical dominates, frightens and hurts. And certainly not a human fool who tries to imitate wolves. To allow myself a soup can of anthropomorphic license, most dogs are probably howling with laughter at the pathetic wolf-impersonations by their owners. (Perhaps that's why dogs howl?) It would indeed be laughable, if the consequences were not so sad and serious. Yes, dogs must be taught to show compliance to all family members, but to suggest novice owners physically manhandle and frighten their dogs is both inane and inhumane. And how exactly are children meant to gain respect from the dog? By physically pushing and pulling it around? The very thought is as potentially dangerous as it is stupid. For goodness sake, let's wake up and smell the coffee! Or, wake up and smell the urine, if you're still bordering on virtual Lycanthropy.

A puppy at 12 weeks is not an 'alpha' trying to dominate. It is just a puppy playing with an older dog and showing some totally normal puppy behaviours (you can see that many others have posted noting very similar behaviours). The reason Kosmo does nothing when she takes his toys is that *he doesn't care*. Adult dogs are completely tolerant most of the time of puppy behaviour just as you don't turn around and slap a toddler who comes up and pushes you in play. Adults dogs let most pups get away with just about anything -- and when they push things to hard they let the pup know **with a growl** and sometimes a polite nip if the pup is really pushing it. This is excellent behaviour training from an adult to a pup and helps the puppy to learn limits of its behaviour which helps socialise it in ways people cannot do (and makes your job a lot easier). Please let them interact normally and do not worry about these kinds of interactions. As long as Kosmo has somewhere to retreat if he is really bothered, don't worry about him, he can mind himself.

An alternative way to view all this:




14th February 2007, 04:07 AM
Oh my goodness Karlin,

I don’t think you’ve read or understood a thing I’ve written..

I said I don’t mind when she growls!! She growls all the time and so does Kosmo. That’s not the problem. They growl during play – I don’t mind that. I don’t think it’s acceptable for her to growl AT somebody when they are taking something from her or Kosmo when he walked by her food. I’ve made it through the feeding issue. I am happy about that. This morning they actually ate out of the same bowl. Instead of intervening, I WATCHED them to observe their communication with each other. They just played shove and each took a bite. I generally don’t let either one touch the other’s food but I wanted to see what would happen this morning and nothing did.

I haven’t taught her she’s not allowed to growl period, I just don’t want her growling at people or freaking out if Kosmo so much as walks by her food. What I meant by “if she’s even displaying a growl” is that if she’s mad when he walks by her food now I want to try to train her away from this reaction so that later on you don’t find me on here posting “if she’s even displaying a snap.” I am simply trying to keep things from escalating.

I never said I was going to squirt her with water – I said “I don't want to make her not like water and I can guarantee you I won't have a water bottle for every time she growls so I don't think that method will work for me.”

I don’t remember saying that she is an alpha and trying to dominate. I said I don’t want her growling for small reasons so much as kosmo walking by her and definitely I don’t want her growling at humans for taking her food, ever. I don’t care if she is 12 weeks or 12 years she is not allowed to growl at humans unless we’re having play time.

I don’t intervene in anything other than things that have to do with food. I did take the squirrel toy away because it was obviously causing conflict and avi’s sister was watching them, not me. I believe I said “Kosmo refuses to stick up for himself too. He'll have a toy and she'll come and take it. He'll just let her and go get another toy, lol. Then she drops that one and goes for his other one. He seems too polite to stick up for himself. She also likes to play with him and bite his tail hair and lock on for dear life.. Kosmo ends up crying and running away from her.. I let them do their thing when they play and don't interrupt them unless Kosmo is continuously griping. He's been banished from the living room when he wants to play with her too so when she starts that up I just put him over the gate.” That implies that I let them do their own thing while they’re playing.

I had a better experience with the cow tail tonight. I gave her one and we played “can I take it?” “good girl” about 50 times during the life of that treat. I think things are going well.

Now as for disciplining I have never used any sort of methods on my dogs such as alpha rolls, water bottles, scruff shakes, or can shaking. The only way my dogs have been disciplined is by “AHH AHH” “No (fill in the blank)”, putting in an area when I just can’t take it anymore (which has only rarely happened) and for some reason it seems like if I say “Kosmo watch me” “quiet!” and he locks eye contact with me he’ll stop. I don’t use any other methods on them ~ I’ve never needed to. They’ve always been responsive to NO and AHH AHH. I was looking for reassurance that I was doing the right thing and new suggestions. I am always open to new ideas. Doesn't mean I will partake in all of them, but knowledge is power.

As for the article you posted – I have already read it – that’s why I posted on it. I will check on the book.

The point of this post was simply to get opinions and ideas ~ I am offended over some of the responses I have received. I am HUMAN. I am not perfect .. That’s why I post these kinds of things. I feel as if maybe next time I shouldn’t even bother. It's unfair that I've had to spend the last hour writing up a response to try to defend myself. I try the best I can with my dogs and although I can’t really speak for Faith as she’s too young I know I would trust Kosmo with my entire life. He’s my first dog and I’m proud of the way he’s turned out ~ he’s wonderful. I am now hoping I can do the same with Faith.

I wish to end on the note that I hope you don’t have the impression that I think Faith is a bad "puppy." She's a puppy and she does what puppies do best. She's a good puppy, really. She plays nice, she loves, gives puppy kisses, and is generally a pleasure to be with. I love her to death. There are just a few issues that arise every now and then which is to be expected with any dog. Kosmo's issue was that he was so scared of every other dog that he hid under my chair for the first 8 weeks of class.. that's right ~ EIGHT straight weeks he hid under my chair in class. I know she's going to bite me and play and this and that and I expect that. I am working with her on no biting but I understand it will keep happening as long as she continues to teeth. I have taught her to eat treats pretty while sitting down (woohoo!) and she doesn't bite me at all when I feed her little liver treats no matter how small they are now. Progress is happening - she's doing well. I realize that she has no manners right now and that I have to work to get them. That's just a puppy thing. I just don't want her growling at Kosmo for coming too close to her chewies or toys.. and most importantly I don't want her to EVER think about growling at me or any other human for that matter ~ unless we're playing of course..

Cathy T
14th February 2007, 03:57 PM
Sara - I would hate to see you, or anyone else, stop asking questions. The thing to remember is that there are hundreds of people reading your questions and you're going to answers from one end of the spectrum to the other. It's up to you to sort it out and decide what works for you in your situation.

I personally don't know that I could go through puppyhood again. Okay, okay...if forced I suppose I could :D It's easy to forget how much work goes into those first few months. And how frustrating it can get!! Jake literally had me in tears after two weeks. I thought I had made a huge mistake. And then everything gelled. And then came Shelby. My biggest fear was protecting Jake and making sure she didn't alter his personality. That little whippersnapper's personality was set in stone...and no little 5 lb girl was gonna change it ;)

It's natural that you would have questions when bringing a second one in. That's a huge change. Something lots of us have done, but all in varying ways. Shoot....4 years later and I'm still asking questions and looking for advice.

The thing to keep in mind about Faith is that she did not have the benefit of 10 weeks with her momma and siblings to learn how to behave. It's up to you, Avi and Kosmo to teach her. How do you teach her? Heck...I don't know...I'm not a mommy dog. That's why you ask questions.

Hang in there Sara. Once you relax and realize that Kosmo really will learn to defend himself and put her back in her place you'll forget the frustration. And heck...look at that picture of the two of them curled up together. You've only enriched their lives.

I tend to be protective of Shelby only because in human-thinking she's a girl and smaller than Jake. Not necessary :D If someone pesters her too much she'll whip around, stick out her chest, give a little growl and put them in their place. Dogs being dogs...they all get the message and let her be the bossy girl she is.

Barbara Nixon
14th February 2007, 07:58 PM
Same here. I crate feed Teddy and usually Joly. Monty and Izzy are left fre, yet, just an hour ago, Izzy snapped at monty, who dared sniff his bowl (he should know better and this is very unusual).

We have had near battles over chews (Jumbones and Dentastix), so they are treated like food , with at least one crated and another watched over very closely. The only thing they get when loose is munch sticks, as they tend to move away to enjoy these. (excepting for Teddy, who stays by me incase I have one left and drop it) The problem only seems to be with foods which take more than a couple of minutes to eat. biscuits can be given with all free.

Food and treats are something that can turn a sweet cavalier into something resembling a rottie. At my house, they get fed separately-- we give treats separately. They HAVE learned to share me and the toys-lol, but that is all. sandy

17th February 2007, 02:46 AM
Aha -- finally found this article for any type of guarding or growling behaviour to train dogs in a positive way to give up something they have by rewarding them with something else:


17th February 2007, 03:19 AM
Thanks for that article Karlin. It was very informative to me - I never thought of it that way. It's good to have different perspectives and points of view on these sorts of issues.


22nd February 2007, 02:47 AM
It sounds like you have a spunky girl there!! I've had similar issues with both of my dogs -but especially Holly- being possessive with specific toys/treats. Since neither are possessive with those things with me (Holly will growl and try to play tug of war, but that's 'cos that's how we taught her to play in the first place!) I let them sort it out- and by now they've sorted things out for themselves.

If Amber has it, Holly barks. If Holly has it, woe betide Amber if she should pass within a metre of Holly. This is because Amber used to be a typical pup and stole everything from Holly. Holly was not particularly tolerant of this, and Amber was accordingly disciplined (by Holly). Now if Holly has something she doesn't want Amber to get, Amber will simply sit and wait for a while. Watching. She knows better than to dive for it, but I'm not worried that Holly has Amber intimidated. Amber knows better now than to hassle Holly when Holly's busy with something, but they play together very happily now. But it took time- first there was the 'What the heck did that little blighter just steal my xyz?' phase when Holly behaved like Kos it now. Then it was the 'You look at me wrong while I'm busy with this and I'll give you whatfor' phase when Amber was being taught to be polite. Now Holly will ignore Amber about 80% of the time when she has something, and Amber has learnt to back off. There are still growls and occassional snaps from Holly, but they're becoming rarer all the time.

Faith is very young, and she has personality. It's a shock getting a second puppy when you have adapted to life with a near-angelic older dog, because the pup is so different, and, as others say, the dynamics are different. You just need to give it time. I know it's worrying to see Faith growl at Kos for no apparent reason, but I bet you once Kos gets over his shock at having a baby sister inflicted on him he'll start to put Faith in her place when he thinks it's necessary.

I don't know if that helps at all...

22nd February 2007, 03:21 AM
I thought of something sort of related. When I had my first daughter I developed little routines that worked. You know, one mom says do this and the next says do that. In the end each mom finds what works. But the problem was when I had my second daughter, the way I held the first, routine at bedtime for first, tricks to get in the bath etc.. did not work for the second. Eventually I clued in.. the girl was an individual and I felt like a first time mom again - had to figure out what worked for HER not what worked for her sister at that age. Try to remember, not all the little commands or tricks used to teach Kosmo will necessarily work on Faith i.e. I have read a few ways to get a dog to learn lie down. So what I am saying is the method used for Kosmo may not be the best way to teach Faith. (Boy why didnt I just start with that line and get to the point! :sl*p: )