View Full Version : Possesive

2nd October 2007, 08:58 PM
I have noticed lately that Barney is getting a bit possesive over his food bowls if the cats go near to them. We usually leave them for 30mins before taking them up. he dosent bark or growl at them, he just starts eating.

Also tonight we had him down my dads, he got a treat and when it was time to go home, he hadn't finished it, we said to Barney it was go home time and he ran under the chair with it, then when we moved the chair he went for the chair, my hubby got the treat off him, but I have never heard Barney be like that before.

What is the best way to sort this out please, before it gets out of hand?

2nd October 2007, 09:29 PM
On the first issue, give him just 15 minutes to eat and feed him in a crate so he can eat in peace. It isn't really fair to expect him to not be anxious about cats walking near him while he's eating -- and it is safer for the cats that he be confined. Also if you give him less leisure time to eat there will be less opportunity for him to start playing games with food. So keep him on 15 minutes and do NOT re-offer the food later or offer ANY treats until you have him successfully finishing his meal within that 15 minutes. That is loads of time to eat -- mine all eat within about 2 minutes! :lol:

As for running off with a treat -- on one hand, it is a little unfair to offer something nice then indicate he now has to have it taken away :lol:, so he is hiding because he suspects you are going to do exactly what you ended up doing -- you took away the treat and he didn't get it back, poor fellow! Unless you start to train him he will get worse about this because his worst fears will always be confirmed -- seen from his point of view, your approach means he needs to start guarding the item. You don't want this to accelerate.

You need to start working with him now to train him to give up items on the fair basis that you will almost always also give it back to him. Here is how you do it:


But in addition to this you also want to start teaching him the 'drop it' or 'give' command so he will happily hand over any item in his mouth to you.

All of this involves training through trust -- ie, you need to take the time to gradually show him that it is worth his while to be relaxed around his food and to surrender things he enjoys because often the trade-off is pretty good.

If you haven't put him into obedience, now is a good time to look for a positive-methods class. :thmbsup:

3rd October 2007, 05:12 PM
Thanks Karlin, he will sit and wait until we say he can have his meal, just dosent finish it straight away sometimes, so I will reduce the time it's left down. He is usually good at giving things back except for mice and this treat he had. :)

3rd October 2007, 06:06 PM
except for mice


Sounds like he just needs some fun reinforcement of the 'drop it' command. Lily always runs away when I try to get stuff from her too -- doesn;t worry me too much. It's if they start growling and trying to keep it from you that it gets to be a problem or worse. But bet he'll enjoy doing some of theose exercises where he gets to trade something for another much nicer item... :)