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Food Guarding (Raw)

 

I don't allow outsiders to hand feed if it is a protection dog

 Excellent point here.  Most dog owners think it is cute when someone else feeds their dogs.  They even hand guests a treat to give the dog.  I think that is wrong if one expects the dog to have any chance of being a decent guardian.  Must be fed at the home by their owners.  While boarding - of course others will feed but the dog is not on its home "protected" turf.

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Replies (18)
    • Hello!!

      I've written a few newbie forums about my caucasian ovcharka puppy and he has grown into a handsome young adult. He turns one next month. He's been eating raw food essentially his entire life, but since he's become sexually mature he has been acting crazy. I know it's because it is so high value, because he does not bat an eye over giving toys and kibble. He will let me get close to him when he's eating, but if I actually reached for the food he snarls. I try to trade up with him, but as long as it's raw meat it's pretty much all of the same crazy value to him. His eyes are glazed over and he's not learning. I can get him to sit for different raw meat but his eyes still dart to what he was eating and he would still freak out if I tried to take it. He doesn't even seem to recognize me (he kind of does, because his reaction is MUCH worse to strangers. He starts snarling if they're withing 15 feet of him.) but he is definitely not himself and he's not listening. In the same vein, he freaks out when people are around while I'm preparing the food. If my family is in the living room while I'm preparing his meal, he will jump at them if they start walking around while his food is out. He's also on edge for a little while after he's done eating. If their COMPLETELY non-aggressive dog walks towards where he was eating after he's done, he will snap at her.

      It's gotten pretty serious, because my roommate took the wrappings from raw chicken from him and he snapped at her and scraped her leg. Obviously he could have done much worse, but that is totally unacceptable.

      Does anyone have any ideas?

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      • That kind of behavior usually starts about 3 months old and must be quickly dealt with.  Tell us when it started then we can go from there.

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        • He was always calm about kibble, but when I switched to raw (at about 13-15 weeks), he started growling a little. Then we worked on it with trading, and he totally stopped. It has started again much more seriously now that he's 9-11 months.

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          • I remember seeing that topic discussed on here before and will post more about it shortly. here are a few links that may help.. I said may help so read them with an open mind.

            https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/food-aggressive/food-aggression-and-what-to-do-about-it  This one by Caesar is probably the best of the three.  Now I go to search the forum on here where much have been written about this issue.

             

            http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com/dog-food-aggression.html

             

            http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/how-i-treat-food-related-aggression-dogs

             

             

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            • Not a dog behavior expert over here, but i kinda had the same issue with my dog... Only like gary said, at the age of 3 months.

              the way i dealth with it was. I was very firm ... I was very angry and got a bit physical, then i i immediatly put her away for a while ...

              she never ever tried anything like that ever again ... When i give her food and put it down she even takes a few steps back and only when i say so, she can eat

              i got a feeling that with these kind of dogs that you have to show them from puppyhood that you are the strongest physicaly. Untill they mature and it's all an illusion ;)

              now that he is almost 1 year ... I don't realy know if you should try the same approach ... I don't even know if my approach with my dog was a correct method, but it worked...

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              • We have raised 7 Caucasians and that is the method I use with all of them. Only have to do it once when they are about 3 months old and the behavior is corrected. After that we can hand feed them, put hands in the bowl and stir their food around and even take it away.  No aggression issues.

                @ Knoave Now that the dog is mature we will have to try something else.  I know that Jessica at Mastini Mayhem just went through this with a 160 pounds Neo.  I will invite her to post but I do have some ideas which I will share this evening after work.

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                • Hello!~Sorry for the delayed response.

                  There are ways to work through this, but I would highly suggest nipping this as soon as possible. As you do not want it to become a habit for the dog.

                  First and foremost you need to be working with a tired, hungry dog. Lots of exercise prior to ANY food behavior modification training. Reason being is the dog will be more clear headed and inturn easier to work with. 

                  First off, do you ever fast your dog? Also do you have any other dogs in house? Please explain to me your set up, as well as feeding rituals.

                   

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                  • Hello,

                    I do not fast him. He's too young(?), and if he goes more than a day without eating he will throw up stomach bile. He eats one big meal a day at night. He eats an entire chicken or an equal amount (roughly 4-5 pounds) of different things like organs and different meats. There is another dog in the house, but he never sees it. It lives in the basement, and we are two floors above it. He likes that dog a lot when he does see it (girl), and he will share his toys and anything else with her and very gently play with her. He would not do that with a male.

                     

                    He eats in his kennel. He knows "kennel," and he goes into it and sits down. He will wait until I say "okay" to start eating, too. He does badly if he's in the kitchen with me while I'm putting the meat together and my roommate's are around. He gets anxious and jumpy. Once, he got some wrappings from raw chicken out of the trash while I wasn't in the room and he snapped at my roommate when she took it. They have a good relationship and he really likes her, but he's not really on the level of having people take things from him with anyone except me, because it hasn't come up before. He will let my parents take things, but he kind of snaps at the air. He won't bite them, but he definitely shows irritation when they take things.

                    He usually is very tired and hungry when he eats, since it is at the end of the day.

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                    • Are you exercising him, outside of the yard? Also what commands does he know? Will he respond to your roommate? 

                      To work with a dog who is having issues with food aggression, you need the animal to be well exercised. *Very Tired. Not from just normal home life and/or going out in the yard. 

                      Next step is have a leash on your dog (prong or at minimal choke chain) and have either you or your roommate hold the leash, while dog is with both in kitchen. Set the dog up for failure, drop items on the floor. When dog goes after it, pop collar and say no. When the dog sits/lays and behaves properly you can give it a treat. Make the dog eat it from your hands.

                      All feeding should happen from your hands, no bowl. If the dog becomes stiff, growls or eye balls you. It doesn't eat. Walk away and put food up. Dogs can go days without eating, without it damaging organs or growth spurts.  I highly recommend feeding only from your hands, even meat until the dog eats properly from you without any signs of aggression. 

                      To do the above you have to be willing to walk away, let your dog be hungry. If not, then don't even consider doing it. Because it will not serve any purpose. 

                      The dog needs to believe that it will only eat from your hands, at first it will refuse to do so properly. But as hunger sets in, the dog will become humble and submit in order to eat. 

                      I can give you a few other steps, but above should be enough. Set your dog up for failure, train it accordingly and use equipment while doing so (leash/collar), don't feed in kennel at first. Slowly work your way to that point. Where you can sit inside and the dog politely eats with you.

                       

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                      • I take him hiking and jogging. He was stiff over his food tonight so I'm definitely going to try those things

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                        • He knows sit, down, stay, wait, paw, and heel. He waits to eat his food until I say okay, but I don't think he could hold it if someone went to pick the food up.

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                          • If you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to pm me as well.

                            -J

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                            • Hey,

                               

                              I have seen this.  It is resources guarding.  Of course you know it is fear based.  The dog is fearful that you or others will take its meat. One thing I've done  was to only feed the dog from my hands.  This is so the dogs associates that I'm there to give and not take. Basically I'm not a threat.  Also the other purpose is to let them know that the only way it will eat is to behave calmly. If the dog growls or show any signs of aggression I will ignore it and walk away.  It won't eat today. The dog learns that if it growls, etc it will be ignored and no food.  Soon the dog won't growl. Then it gets to eat.

                               

                              The other thing that I've done was use an e-collar. The dog has the leg quarters.  I come near or a family member comes near. It growls or looks funny. Then without saying a word  I push the  button until it stops. Dogs learn by association.  It begins to associate the low level stimulus with it's own actions.  It turns the collar off when it stops the behavior. 

                               

                              I hope this helps.  Let us know about the progress. Like others mentioned this behavior needs to be quickly dealt with or I can get worse. 

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                              • I almost forgot.  The other thing with feeding from your hand you can and should make it work for  the food.  Make the dog do a series of commands to earn is food.  It associates that the food is a reward for working. 

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                                • Hello,

                                  Everyone. I've been hand feeding and having him work for food with me and he's totally relaxed. He is much less stiff and alert, waiting for someone to swoop in and take it from us. However, he hasn't graduated to working with others and that will be his true test. My dad is very supportive and he's very stoic and calm. He's not intimidated and he's willing to help me out! I will keep everyone posted on that. Thank you all so much.

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                                  • Don't wait on having it take food from others in your home.  The dog has to learn that every one in the home is a resource and must be respected. I don't allow outsiders to hand feed if it is a protection dog. I don't want me  dogs to eat from strangers or to be poisoned. 

                                     

                                    Thanks for the update and please keep us informed. 

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

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                                    • Don't wait on having it take food from others in your home.  The dog has to learn that every one in the home is a resource and must be respected. I don't allow outsiders to hand feed if it is a protection dog. I don't want me  dogs to eat from strangers or to be poisoned. 

                                       

                                      Thanks for the update and please keep us informed. 

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

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                                      •  

                                        I don't allow outsiders to hand feed if it is a protection dog

                                         Excellent point here.  Most dog owners think it is cute when someone else feeds their dogs.  They even hand guests a treat to give the dog.  I think that is wrong if one expects the dog to have any chance of being a decent guardian.  Must be fed at the home by their owners.  While boarding - of course others will feed but the dog is not on its home "protected" turf.

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                                        Topic:
                                        Food Guarding (Raw)
                                        Text:

                                         

                                        I don't allow outsiders to hand feed if it is a protection dog

                                         Excellent point here.  Most dog owners think it is cute when someone else feeds their dogs.  They even hand guests a treat to give the dog.  I think that is wrong if one expects the dog to have any chance of being a decent guardian.  Must be fed at the home by their owners.  While boarding - of course others will feed but the dog is not on its home "protected" turf.

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