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Thread: rescue pups and guarding issues

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  1. #1
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    Default rescue pups and guarding issues

    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?
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  2. #2
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    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

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    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

    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
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

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    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.


    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Karlin,

    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.. 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?
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  6. #6
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    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 )

    I hope this helps!!
    I love my Wesley, Cody, Zoey & Stewie

  7. #7
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    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.
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

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    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. 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.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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    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 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!

  10. #10
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    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.
    Sharon, proud Mom of Scout (tri) and Breeze (Newfie)

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