Any remedies for food agression? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
AnaleighK12k14's Avatar
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Any remedies for food agression?

So my almost two year old GSD is a very well behaved dog except....

We've noticed since we got the puppy that she is very protective of her food, and even his food if she thinks she wants it. She growls and snarls and even gives him some pretty harsh warning nips. I don't feed them together because of this.
She has been our only dog so she's never been exposed to having to share anything. She is not at all aggressive about her food with any person, just other dogs.

She also gets that way with toys some, but not as bad.

Any ideas on making this better, or should I plan many years of seperate a feedings?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 09:25 PM
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It is alot for your adult gsd to adjust to a puppy . I think you are on the right track with feeding them apart. I can't speak from experience, but others have told me that this stage passes as the puppy gets bigger.

Sting Chance von Gaard AKC GSD 2/8/2006
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 09:54 PM
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Yes by all means keep them from eating together but that might just be the start of problems so:

Two or More Dogs

And I always throw in this one now:
New Dog, Very Challenging
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 10:14 PM
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My sheltie started by "checking" the shepherd's food bowl, then watching him eat his last bites, then trying to run to get his food (leashed and distracted by me with training and treats for calmness), then all out hysteria with barks and lunging on the leash no matter what I offered, to eating in another room and attacking him when let out of the room. My sheltie is SO bad she eats in another room and I let the shepherd out to potty and THEN I release her. I feed her in a muffin tin to be a "slow bowl" so he has time to eat his larger meal before she is barking and hitting the door to get out. By the time she hits the yard where he is busy pottying the frenzy is over. He is over twice her weight, no matter. We are 7 months into having her and it has not gotten better. I compensate.

I hope it passes as you pup grows up. This is a permanent thing for me.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 10:17 PM
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"Right of ownership" interactions between dogs which are still vying for position occurs in many ways.....perhaps you are witnessing some of this temporary adjustment as status is being created between your two dogs.

The individual or dog ( if allowed ) in the lead position will ultimately determine the outcome and the nature of the coexistence.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AnaleighK12k14 View Post
We've noticed since we got the puppy that she is very protective of her food, and even his food if she thinks she wants it. She growls and snarls and even gives him some pretty harsh warning nips.
Crate her with her bowl. You don't want the pup to feel intimidated by her over food because then he's going to start doing the same. What happens when he's an adult and you've got a brawl over a chicken nugget box someone accidentally dropped?

Short version: I'm still dealing with the fallout from the behavior of one dog who died 9 years ago.

From the time Morgan came here as a 6 month old, Luther tried to steal her food. As she got older, he'd get in her food and she'd be jumping on his back biting his neck and he'd hunker down in the dish yelping but still eating her food. I had a door I could separate them with but Morgan was a fussy eater.

Luther passed away, we got Otto 3 YEARS later, Morgan obviously wasn't over what Luther used to do to her. She'd start walking towards Otto giving him a look like 'I could take that from you'.

Otto started grumbling at her about 7-8 months so I started crating him to eat. He never liked the crate so it worked well to give him something positive to associate with the crate. He'd growl at Morgan if she looked at him while he was eating in his crate, I'd tell him to knock it off, which he would for a while.

Morgan passed away, Otto was out of the crate for meals. Until he grumbled at my kids for walking into the room while he was eating - it's a small galley kitchen, 5 x 12 with a stove and a row of cabinets. Not much room for a dog and kids anyway. Back in the box if you want to grumble at little people while you're eating. Probably a good idea anyway - he's a deep chested dog, gets gassy if he runs around after he eats and I worry about bloat.

Enter Venus, who's not chicken but she's not about to start a fight other than goofing around. She's always dancing around the crate after I put Otto in to eat, he grumbles once in a while and I tell him to knock it off.

Venus has no problems with him around food, they'll eat treats together, lick a plate together. If I'm not in the room, I won't let them both be in the kitchen while the children are snacking. So far there have been no fights over food. There were fights over dropped food when it was Morgan and Otto. She tried to kill him over the aforementioned empty chicken nugget box...


Venus of Crooked Creek 1/26/13
Otto von Hena-C 05/23/08
Morgan Donnermond 08/04/01 to 9/28/12 Long Live the Queen!

I have duct tape and I am not afraid to use it.
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