Food guarding from little 'sister' - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Food guarding from little 'sister'

So i've switched both our 5 month old (saxon) and 12 week old (kova) pups to the raw food diet.

Our 5 month old (Saxon) is going through a possessive stage. He rarely lets the young pup (Kova) have a toy or treat without him taking it from her. Now it's all harmless because there is no aggression he just loves throwing his weight around. My girlfriend always tries to 'make it fair' and make saxon 'share' but i try to refrain from intervening in arguments over pigs ears, toys and play fights as i don't want saxon to resent the new pup. Plus i figure he's just laying down the ground rules, i was here first, i'm bigger and more dominant so you fall in line behind me. As i said he's not agressive and we hadn't had any fights up until now. Some play fights got a bit rough but tails were wagging and as i expected it came to a natural end with no real agression or harm. I even caught him sharing a pigs ear with her but that lasted about 10 minutes until he decided he'd been generous enough and took it away from her.

Recently since the raw diet has come in saxon is guarding his bones and meat to the death. Absolutely no guarding from me as he will let me take it out his mouth but he is not letting kova within 5 metres of his bone. He's had a good go at her for coming close and i really don't know how to correct this. that's if i even should?

why will he let me take bleeding meat out his mouth but won't let kova anywhere near it? she's not even trying to get it, just walking past.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 01:46 AM
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Hey Stuey, I'm no pro but just wanted to share my 2 cents. Saxon is still quite young and sounds like he hasn't yet learned that his food "won't be taken away from him", so to speak. We always did exercises with our boy when he was younger (like you said, taking food from Saxon's mouth, etc.) to teach him that we provided it. Never in a cruel sense, but he soon became very comfortable around his food knowing that it was "safe" with him, and he never felt the need to guard it. But it took him a little while. He was quite "ravenous" as a puppy, and couldn't think of anything BUT the food infront of his face while he eating. I could be totally wrong here, but you could make a point to Saxon that you're in charge of Kova while he's eating. Show him that you keep her at a reasonably polite distance away from him, and it's not his job keep her away. Stand infront of her, block her, etc., so that she can't go near him. Over time slowly let her get closer, but always make a point of being that leader in change between them. If he does ever try to have a go at her while you're in that role, correct him. If you do something like that, it seems to me that over time he should learn that she's not a threat to his food whatsoever, and she'll learn to give him a polite amount of space while eating. We brought home a new puppy not too long ago, and she always wanted to get into our boy's dish when he was eating. We made a STRONG point of not letting that happen. Both so that our boy would see we were in charge of the situation and not feel the need to guard. And also to teach our little girl that we give her food, she doesn't take it from her brother or anyone else. It wasn't long before they were comfortable eating side by side. They even share a bone now and then. She still tends to be the hog, though is more polite about it now, lol.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 12:45 AM
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My 10 y.o. Cody and 7 y.o. Bitch Tonka, have a similar problem... Cody does not want all of his food? But he will growl and small bark if She comes to close..

Cody is slim, Tonka is heavy. I have to feed them at the same time, but chain them up separately. The competitive feeding does give Cody a boost, as he eats more, but it is all over red rover in about 15 minutes.

They will FIGHT over food: I gave them a chicken carcass, tossed off the balcony, and they happened to grab hold at the same time. They growled and did a tug of war, then Tonka came completely uglued and a fight blew up... You have to be careful, it is instictual to guard your food. I would for sure feed different bowls, and maybe even chained up just out of reach.

I have a 5 month old as well, and an 8 week old female puppy coming tomorrow. She will likely be bigger, WD type, mom was a 48 kg Police Dog.. Anyway, again, feed at the same time, but different bowls, and maybe again clip them off just out of reach of the other. You do not want to risk a grouchy moment and an accidental protective battle. You also do not want the fat (greedy) one to gobble theirs and see what more they can get. That has been the problem with Tonka. She would inhale hers, and go to steal a bit from the slower eating Cody.

Hence my conclusions: I say, differing bowls, good to feed at the same time, but restrained to just theirs... No only so there are no issues of food gaurding or insecurity or a real fight, but also so you can monitor how much each one really gets.. Right now, a picky eater, Cody is on the normal to slim side, and Tonka the hog-boat, is heavy to almost no waist...

I am restraining all, and giving appropriate amounts, and do let them off lead until I am picking up the food about 15-20 minutes later...

Kind regards, lone Ranger in Oz...
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