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Oskar's Human 03-15-2014 12:23 AM

Food Aggression
I plan on asking my trainer about this on Monday but was wondering if you folks might have some advice to go by until then.

Tonight when I got home from work my puppy was fed by me like normal. He still had his leash on and while he was eating when I went to unlatch him he growled at me. When my boyfriend tried the same thing he didn't growl at him.

In fact, my boyfriend picked up the bowl while the dog was eating it but when I moved my hand toward the bowl Oskar growled again.

This is weird and new and I don't like it. Honestly it hurts my feelings in a weird probably immature way.

Note: I feed him just as often as my boyfriend and do on average probably more training sessions. It might be important to add that usually I feed him lunch and sometimes breakfast during said training sessions. He takes his kibble from my hand no problem. Also he had a combined breakfast/lunch today (by hand during training) due to an early vet appointment (we cannot feed before because he gets carsick and will throw it all up even on a ten minute drive) and might've been/felt hungrier than normal (because it was out of the bowl? ...maybe?) but I don't think that is a solid excuse for this behavior by any means.

boomer11 03-15-2014 12:45 AM

You probably take more things away from him than your bf. If your bf keeps moving his bowl while eating it'll just be a matter of time before the pup growls at him too. Then when the growls aren't enough to keep you away he'll bite. Not a friendly mouthing bite but a real serious get away from my food bite..

It needs to be fixed immediately and testing the dog by messing with his food isn't helping. In the search bar above search for resource guarding

David Winners 03-15-2014 01:52 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Resource guarding is a natural behavior. Nothing to be freaked out about or feel bad about. Start offering high value treats while he is eating, adding them to the bowl, classically conditioning your presence means super tasty treats.

I also wouldn't mess with taking away his food until he is happy to have you near him while eating.

David Winners

Oskar's Human 03-15-2014 02:35 PM

Not sure about how one of us might snatch things out of his mouth more often since it seems to happen in excess :) But I will say that that is a good theory.

Also you folks are right we were probably testing him too much last night. We never have messed with his food before so the whole thing when I went to unleash him was a bit surprising. I called my boyfriend in the room and told him, he went to grab his food to see what I was talking about and that is how we figured out he only does it to me :( We will not be testing him in this situation again and I'll unleash him before I put the food down from now on. We so often have him on a leash while he is out and about so we can snatch him up quick if he is getting into it too much with the cats, and this has never been a problem before so I didn't realize this was something he apparently can't be trusted to handle right now.

Bottom line though, I don't want a dog who can't handle me handling him no matter what he is into. I wanna train this out of him immediately and any advice is good advice as far as I am concerned.

I will try the treat thing. Anything else as far as play etc to ensure he doesn't get aggressive about other things?

It just seems weird to me that he did that because a. he never has and b. more often than not I feed him by hand so I can capitalize meal time as training time.

He is always really gentle about getting the food from my hand. However, could this be why he didn't want me to take his food away, thinking if she gets my food she might make me do stuff to get it?

SunCzarina 03-15-2014 02:40 PM

I have one that will never growl at me near his food. Other dogs and the children, they can't be near him while he's eating or he starts growling. We all did the handfeeding (all his meals out of my hand) thing for a while, he still does it. Life is easier when Otto eats in his crate. He's also not allowed to be in the room with my children eating unless I'm there.

SAT-GSD 03-21-2014 01:16 PM

After reading a few comments I wonder if age plays a role in anyway? Jackson is 6months old and every since he was a 9weeks (when I got him) I've been having him sit and currently learning to stay before giving him the green light to eat. I also either pet him,pick the bowl up and have him sit again or call his name to grab his attention. I do this so he won't be protective over his food. So far so good not a growl or mean look out of him.......yet

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KaiserandStella 03-21-2014 01:55 PM

I'm going to add something different from previous posters.

Are there other areas where your boyfriend has greater success as well or just with the food? Maybe your puppy now feels he can get away with it with you but does not want to try it with your boyfriend. Perhaps he gets the impression that your boyfriend is more commanding?

I've touched my dogs food and taken stuff from him for five years without any reaction. Not even a growl. Didn't make him food aggressive doing that.

SunCzarina 03-21-2014 07:53 PM

I blame my last female for making Otto resource guard his food. They ate in the same room together until he was about 8-9 months and she started making moves like 'i could take that from you if I wanted to' He was her size at the time and hadn't stood up to her yet, she was a wicked stepmother.

cilset 03-21-2014 08:15 PM

I did same as SAT-GSD, my dog is almost 2 now and I can take the food from him whenever I want. It is my food and I am giving it to him :). He has to sit and wait for command to start to eat. Also long time ago maybe a year ago i gave him some high value treat like a fresh bone, I tried to take it from him, his instincts woke up and he started to growl, in the same time my instincts kicked in and I smacked him in a millisecond.Trust me after that I am able to take high value treats as well from him whenever i want. You have to remember you are owning him , not vice versa.

my boy diesel 03-21-2014 10:05 PM

do not smack your dog for this
because if you do this to the right dog (wrong dog) you will increase the aggression and get bitten and then guess what dog is on death row

trade up
works every time
dont start fiddling with the food and taking it
or dogs will guard it naturally

the op
had that been my dog and my situation i would have simply led him away from the food bowl and done some obedience with him
a few sits and then pet, then remove the leash and let him go eat

you lost a valuable training session with him
if the leash is on for control why didnt you simply control him with it?

either way dont get into a pissing match with your dog because you may lose and then the dog will ultimately lose
cesar milan has a nice vid of what happens when you get into a pissing match with a dog

op study on how to trade up and you will be fine and so will your dog

they didn't smack this dog around obviously
the key is teaching your dog that you mean good things when you approach the dish

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