Food/toy guarding and cats - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Food/toy guarding and cats

How would you modify this with cats? Should I always sit by her while she eats, and if the cats come over I feed her the treats? If that is the case, how can I be sure she won't food guard the new treats? She does it with her toys too, should I take the same approach, sit there until cats approach? I am new to this food guarding behavior and need it to stop! She is fine with humans, just not with other dogs and cats. I think it has to do with her foster home she was in (several dogs and cats). Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 12:41 PM
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You have to persuade your dog that your cat is equal member of the pack. First of all, train your dog to eat in laying down position, it is good for her neck anyway for prevention of the osteosclerosis, and it also is good for training "Down" and remaning in the same position as long as required. It also would work as a break from old stereptype in order to build a new one. It is not difficult to train, your dog will eat as happily as before, normally 2-3 days - and she would be obedient just knowing what will happen next. It is better to keep your cat out of the room these three days.

The next time she eats in already learned down position call the cat (your call is important), don't let your dog to get up, she should continue eating. Crouch in front of the plate slightly aside (or place a low seat if crouching is not so comfortable) and start taking bits out of plate with your left hand, placing the bits into your right hand and feeding your cat with them. The didtance between your hands should serve as a distance between your cat and your dog. Do it for couple of days whenever it is convenient. The next time make this distance shorter, and after that start taling bits out of your dog''s plate and placing them on the floor for your cat right next to it. This way you would train not your dog only, but your cat as well, because your cat simply doesn't know how else to receive that what your dog eats. Most likely the cat ate out of one plate with other kittens when was young, that's why she is getting into your dog's meals so insistantly. Train first with something your cat doesn't like very much, the dog would gobble it anyway out of sheer greediness. Increase distraction with time, providing raw beef. Raw meat reminds natural kill deep down in your dog's subconsciousness. One day you will notice that your cat sits exactly in the "feeding" spot and cries, and your dog has lost negative reaction completely. Sometimes my dog doesn't have have much appetite - I have to call the cat in order to persuade her to start eating.

The procedure with the toy may appear rude to your dog, but that is the only way I know to stop the dog snapping another dog when that one tries to fetch it from under the nose of your dog. Only you noticed that it is just about to happen - tell your dog "Down!", hold her by her collar, remove the toy out of her mouth and throw it for that dog. You should work in cooperation with that dog's owner, ask him to take the toy from his dog and hold it in his hand, never to throw it to you. With your dog at your heel ( training better "Heel") come to him and take by hand. I'd suggest you to play ball away from the group. But, in any case, that is the dog park ethics - your dog should run only after the ball thrown by you, not any other person. Ask other owners to keep with this rule, would be less problems with biting. In one of dog parks Lucy and I visit, the handlers throw the toys in one direction, but dogs run only after their own toys. Younger dogs learn it by watching more experienced dogs.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 02:05 PM
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My cat shows a bit too much interest in my dog's food. She's a recovering carboholic that is on strictly canned, but remembers the good old days of crunchy kibble. I let my dog eat in peace in the kitchen and don't allow my cat to wander over. If it became an issue, then I would switch to feeding him in his crate so he doesn't have to worry about guarding it ... the crate will do it for him.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:22 AM
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I kind of agree with Galathiel that I'd be working on the cat a bit with this. I won't let my dogs eat my cat's food or vice versa.

I do NOT free feed my cats or my dogs. Since my cats eat slower, I feed them first and while they are eating, prepare the dogs food. That way the cats are full and don't bother the dogs. I usually put the cat bowls up high so the dogs can't reach them or use a baby gate when feeding the cats in the laundry room. Whatever works so ALL my pets aren't pestered when they eat.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:05 PM
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If she's already doing it with toys, you need to research resource guarding and start changing things in your home, before one of them gets hurt. There's lots of good info on this site about it.
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