Bone Aggresive - Zack
Hi! So today my mum gave Zack a tasty bone (not chicken...) and I was petting him when he was eating it, and he was growling at me! Few minutes later, when I tried to pet him, he bit me in the finger! Why is that? He doesn't growl when I pet him when he eats his normal food, could it be because it's the tasiest thing he ever got and he didn't want to lose it or what? How can I prevent it from happening in the future?
Yes. A bone is a high value treat. Zack should probably eat that in his crate and be left alone. I know there are different thoughts here. I always want to be able to take anything away from my dog - if it needs to be taken away. Usually, I would practice trading my dog, by offering him something better. You don't want to just take the bone away from Zack. He growled and bit because he "thought" you were going to take it away. If you actually take it, he will think he is right.
I would probably not allow him to have the bone. No bone. Nothing to get growly about. That's just me.
Not good. That is called resource guarding.
Not a good idea to pet an eating dog, though.
You do need to work with him trading, as suggested above, so that he does not feel threatened when you touch his food.
Also, try hand feeding his meals this week.
Do you have him sit and wait before you feed him?
PS-- no cooked bones, I hope
Imagine if I gave you $1 and then tried to take it away from you. How hard would you resist?
Now imagine I gave you $1,000? NOW how hard would you resist when I tried to take it from you?
That's the difference to Zach. The bone is MUCH more valuable and he wants to keep it.
I prefer to train my dogs to allow me to take ANYTHING they have instead of ignoring the issue - just in case one of them picks up something I don't want them to have.
Here's a link to my page on dealing with food aggression:
How to Deal with Food Guarding from the Raw Dog Ranch
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