View Full Version : Growling over bone!!

10th February 2008, 07:57 PM
I am not quite sure how to deal with Ellie ( 14 months). I gave her a bone (the baked ones) and she loves it.....but when I went to take it off her she growled at me . I took it from her, but later gave it her back. When I tried to take it again, she growled again. I don't want to make a big issue of this, but i can't have her doing this, and was wondering how others would deal with it ??
I have owned dogs all my life and never had this happen.
Ellie is quite fiesty, and brushing her isnt easy, she will attempt to grab at my hands....She is quite a madam :confused:
Any ideas please on how best to deal with her?? I know she has to know who is the boss ( me) but I dont want a battle on my hands.

Cathy Moon
10th February 2008, 09:23 PM
I always offer my cavs a biscuit in exchange for their chews. This makes them very willing to relinquish their bully sticks, etc. When the day comes when I have to take something (like a dead bird) away from one of them, I think he/she will be more willing to allow it, knowing that I've always offered something of higher value.

Does Ellie have matts that are painful when brushed? Or is she trying to play?

Cathy T
10th February 2008, 09:48 PM
I always offer my cavs a biscuit in exchange for their chews

Same here. Both of mine know "wanna trade?", that means give me what you have and you'll get something even better. Now I can say "wanna trade?" and they will usually drop what they have.

10th February 2008, 11:42 PM
Yes Ellie does get matts in her fur, she has very long fur. I comb her every day ( so the matts don't get too bad) and I am as gentle as possable. But I think she is expecting it to hurt a bit, and so becomes afraid of being combed :(. I always give her a treat when I have finished. If I didn't comb her daily the matts would be really hard to get out....No she isn't trying to play, she does try to grab my hand....
It seems to be just 'the bone' that Ellie gets annoyed about .
I can touch any other food she is eating...( they always make a point at training classes), that from a very young age you should take a bit of food from your dogs dish from time to time. In fact Ellie sits and waits while I put her food down, and wont touch it until I give the OK command....
I think I will throw the bone away, rather than it be an issue ?
As I said she is fiesty, not your typical lap dog....but we love her :luv:

10th February 2008, 11:55 PM
If she's got matts, I'd get her clipped. Once all the matts are gone, you can 'start over' and train her to enjoy grooming more. As for the other, I like the 'wanna trade?' idea. I've already been doing something similar with Amber with her rawhide, but I think I'll work on making it more consistent. It'd be very useful to be able to get them both to drop on command, properly..

11th February 2008, 12:07 AM
I dont think clipping her would work......where would I begin?? the matts are mainly under her ears and behind her legs, I do have to cut some out....but as I say I comb her gently every day so they are only tiny matts.....she is in the garden a lot playing, and gets very wet and muddy :rolleyes:
She is forever finding stones in the garden and bringing them in, and she will trade them for a biscuit :)

11th February 2008, 12:10 AM
I find combs are the most useless tool at getting out matts (others have better luck than me!) and they often really hurt the dog -- all four of my dogs detest combs more than any other grooming item and I cannot imagine trying to comb them daily (maybe my bad technique!). Try getting a small pin slicker brush and use that to work out the matts -- tends to work much better. Also if you work some dry cornflour into the matt that helps make it easier to work out.

But please reconsider combing a dog daily that really dislikes this. I just had a dog through rescue that I nearly had to put down due to fear aggression towards people that came entirely from an owner who overgroomed. Having mentioned this dog to a few people I have found this is actually not a rare source of fear aggression. I'd recommend getting her to a groomer every 6 weeks or so for a wash and condition as they put in a conditioner that really helps prevent matts -- or else find a good similar conditioner yourself. This makes things a lot easier for you! And alkso means you really only need to do a light brushing every few days.

On taking bones (or anything desireable to the dog) off a dog -- this is very common guarding behaviour, generally it's best to start training a dog not to do this while a puppy but you can start any time. Taking the desired item away only reinforces the guarding behaviour (as the person taking the item proves to the dog that the item was indeed under threat and deserved to be guarded) -- that's why you train a dog by trading for a more desireable item and often then give back the original item so it never associates giving something up with losing it entirely (and thus needing to guard even more aggressively). That means eventually you can easily take an item off a dog. Here's how to train to stop this:


11th February 2008, 02:13 PM
My tri gets tons of mats as she has A LOT of feathers and picks up everything when outside. She, too, hates to be brushed. I bought a "matting rake" and it works amazingly well on the mats. It has a "V" shape and really long teeth. You grab the mat at the base, insert the rake, and gently work it through the mat. It breaks it up and removes the clump without pain. I highly suggest something like this. There's another type that has a serated edge at the tip that you can actually "saw" off the mat. But this one I have works great. Here's a link to a similar tool. Good luck!