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Thread: Food aggression

  1. #11
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    Feeding him last is part of a pack mentality way of thinking. The lowest pack member eats last and gets what left.

    he will get worse if he gets away with it. I would try teaching him a 'trade' command where he swaps something nice with something else nice. He obviously feels he has something to worry about it.
    Ruby guards her chews with INTENT! Any rawhide, pigs ears or bones whe will fight me for and she really growls and gets angry BUT she has never ever bothered about her food. Its clearly not as high value to her to have to bother.

    Even if he is agressive with the other dogs he cant be with you. I would maybe try also having his food bowl in your hands and feeding him it bit by bit which gives you control over the bowl and doesnt let him take over it. If you then lower it down and he lunges for it then you have hold to be able to take it away.

    The nice way to do it is by teaching him to trade with you. Thats what is known as positive training and the other is more along the other way of thinking. If your not nice with it you wont have it.

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


  2. #12
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    Baxter has never been bothered with me and food before this morning.. im really shocked at why and how this has happened and escalated so quickly..

    positive & negative results at tonights feed..

    I seperated them both first but they were scratching & barking to get to each other so tried seperate ends of the room.. still no joy, when Thor had finished eating i allowed him into the room with baxter (under my supervision) and put poppy in the kitchen on her own, she wouldnt eat but Baxter did.. Baxter behaved perfectly, allowed me to hand feed & remove food from his bowl & put in not a murmur... Poppy on the other hand would not go near her bowl.. i seperated them and she wouldnt eat, i put them back together & she wouldnt eat.. i ended up with her bowl between my feet hand feeding her all of her tea! and not allowing Baxter to go near it.. which he did take notice of so whilst im pleased that Baxter will learn and this is positive... obviously a long way to go and he wont be getting high reward treats or food whilst with any of the others on his own.

    im worried at the effects this has had on poppy, she even wet herself when i went to pick her up and move her away from Baxter
    Sarah, Thor, Freya, Poppy & Baxter

    Izzy RIP sweetheart x

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahso View Post
    the little horror has done it again.. gave them both dentastix he wolfed his down and then attempted to get poppys off her i went to get it off him & he took a pop at me i removed from his mouth with him growling at me and then lifted his food bowl up with his breakfast in and again he was growling with intent!

    i just dont understand why he has suddenly got so much worse and is doing this, he started getting a bit iffy with Poppy and food, but this last two weeks he has been terrible.

    il certainly be seperating and trying the hand feed from tonight.

    it has been sugested to feed him last after all the other dogs - do you think this is a good idea?
    Feeding first or last is unlikely to help with this. This is resource guarding. Very severe resource guarding.

    Trying to play games with rank, like feeding last or "putting him in his place" is more likely to make it worse, either by escalating the immediate problem or suppressing the behavior until he finally explodes and seriously injures someone.

    A few people asked about health issues. Have you been to the vet since this got worse? I can't tell you how many times I have seen aggression issues increase or manifest because of an underlying issue with pain. Dogs mask pain, and then oftentimes get cranky.

    In the meantime, instead of feeding before after the other dog(s), think about "elsewhere."

    Resource guarding is a pretty serious type of aggression, and it is the #1 reason why children get bit. I can't cite a study but I believe that getting into between aggression between 2 dogs would be in the top 5 for how adults get bit. You tried to get in the middle and he redirected on to you - very common.

    I strongly recommend talking to a local trainer or behaviorist after the vet checkup.

  4. #14
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    thank you, im at the vets with one of the others tomorrow and had thought of taking him with me, i will definately do that to rule anything out medically.

    thank you
    Sarah, Thor, Freya, Poppy & Baxter

    Izzy RIP sweetheart x

  5. #15
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    Baxter had a check up today at the vets and nothing untoward was found.. he appears healthy happy and twice as lively!

    we have been advised to continue the way we are feeding him.. ie putting things in his bowl & taking out at each meal time, which is what i had been doing - no issues at all.

    it seems to be with high reward treats, and at his walk today he was fine waiting for him & poppy to have a treat etc.. im going to continue this way and monitor carefuly hopefuly we will over come this by watching and feeding carefuly at meal times, we have been told if there is no improvement in a month or so to go back with him and they will refer to a behaviourist.
    Sarah, Thor, Freya, Poppy & Baxter

    Izzy RIP sweetheart x

  6. #16
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    just a quick update..

    we have been working with Baxter.. and poppy with the feeding and things much better!

    he is fine now around her food and around his own, he doesnt go near her dish - obviously im in the room so wouldnt trust him if i wasnt! Poppy is now eating her own food, because Baxter was having a go she stopped eating unless i gave it to her, if she doesnt eat it now im removing it and trying her again later - she has soon realised that no one is going to bully her for it!

    Dentastix seem to be the cause mainly of setting him off, so they are getting half and then when baxter has eaten his im keeping his attention with little bits of his food which he has to work for ie. sit stay wait etc so positive progress
    Sarah, Thor, Freya, Poppy & Baxter

    Izzy RIP sweetheart x

  7. #17
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    That's good news. Keeping them working for their food is a good idea.
    Desrae, guardian of two tri-coloured cavaliers, Belle 3 years old and Bobby 1 year/8 months.

  8. #18
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    It isn't advisable to punish, scold etc for this kind of behaviour -- or ever to take away whatever is valued. All this does is tend to make the problem considerably worse -- it reinforces that he has every right to be protective because things get taken if he doesn't protect them.

    Dogs that do this are NOT trying to be 'the top dog'. They tend -- as in Dunbar notes -- to be anxious middle dogs. That is why the 'put the dog in it place' techniques are often catastrophic and accelerate this behaviour.

    It is common behaviour but it can quickly grow into a very serious problem (and may require a trainer's help if it keeps getting worse or if you are feeling overwhelmed about how to address it). In general, owners of a puppy should start training to swap items to prevent resource guarding from day one -- but that's obviously hard to do with older new arrivals and rescue dogs!b but you can start right away now, too.

    Here is Ian Dunbar on the issue and how to swap for another item:
    http://www.dogstardaily.com/training...valued-objects

    I'd recommend feeding Baxter inside a crate -- it isn't fair on Poppy to have to defend her food or be cornered and leaving him out risks a serious fight. Also a lot of dogs simply cannot be given treats while loose together -- trainers often recommend giving high value treats like chews in crates or only with you right there and the dogs well apart and out of eyesight of each other. I could never ever leave Jaspar and Leo together with any kind of a chew and have to watch them all the time. The girls are all fine and don't bicker at all.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahso View Post
    the little horror has done it again.. gave them both dentastix he wolfed his down and then attempted to get poppys off her i went to get it off him & he took a pop at me i removed from his mouth with him growling at me and then lifted his food bowl up with his breakfast in and again he was growling with intent!

    i just dont understand why he has suddenly got so much worse and is doing this, he started getting a bit iffy with Poppy and food, but this last two weeks he has been terrible.

    il certainly be seperating and trying the hand feed from tonight.

    it has been sugested to feed him last after all the other dogs - do you think this is a good idea?
    Never take their food or things away! That will only make him think he has to try harder next time to protect his food so it won't get taken away. Instead he needs his desire to protect his food to diminish, so making him feel safe and comfortable around his food is the idea.

    Feeding him in a different room and not giving high value treats in the same room as the other dogs are both definite good ideas. Also, while he is eating, practice dropping high value treat tidbits into his dish (like a piece of chicken) until he starts to anticipate and look forward to you coming near his food dish. You can also do this while he chews on high value treats. This may take days of practice, but the idea is that when you come close good thngs happen. I would just not let him have high value stuff around the other dogs...maybe unless they are all on leash or something, but I don't know how fair that would be :\

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