11 week old growling at feeding - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 11 week old growling at feeding

Kona is now starting to growl when she's eating whenever the kids get near her. I have always tried to make sure to pet her and touch her to help avoid this, I also have the kids join in sometimes. I have always made sure she understands that her food is not in danger of being taken away, there is no competition for her food, none. She has also started to gobble her food way too quickly like she is about to lose the bowl.
We are feeding her German Shepherd Puppy food from Royal Canin and feeding her 3 times a day

I haven't had this problem with any of my other dogs (dobermans) but this is our first GS

Any advice?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 02:36 PM
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My advice: Put her in her crate and leave her alone to eat. I do not bother my dogs when they are eating. How would you like someone petting you, bothering you, touching your food when you eat? She is feeling stressed thus the growling and her eating faster.

You could also start having her work for her food. Use the food for obedience. If you don't have time to make her work for her meals then crate her and leave her be.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 03:14 PM
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i would definitely try as many things as i could to stop resource guarding now because it can get worse. i've never had to deal with this so not sure how to correct it. lots of pages of info if you google resource guarding.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim n Kona View Post
Kona is now starting to growl when she's eating whenever the kids get near her. I have always tried to make sure to pet her and touch her to help avoid this, I also have the kids join in sometimes. I have always made sure she understands that her food is not in danger of being taken away, there is no competition for her food, none. She has also started to gobble her food way too quickly like she is about to lose the bowl.
We are feeding her German Shepherd Puppy food from Royal Canin and feeding her 3 times a day

I haven't had this problem with any of my other dogs (dobermans) but this is our first GS

Any advice?
You have inadvertently created this problem. Some dogs will never be resource guarders, no matter what. It sounds like your previous dogs were in that category. Breed has nothing to do with it. For other dogs, the 'touching the dog' technique will increase the risk of it becoming a resource guarder. What you have been doing is an old school technique. I know. I'm old and I used to do it too. lol!

Your pup is gobbling her food, because she thinks you are going to take it. Absolutely, leave her alone to eat. My hound mix was a terrible resource guarder, when I got him at 12 weeks. I hand fed him every meal and did obedience along with it. Your pup will see that you always give, never take his food. It will improve your bond and he will learn to trust you. Your pup needs to be desensitized, so she will not feel the need to guard her food. Do not enlist the help of your children to do this.

I completely agree with feeding her in her crate - especially because you have children. Put the food in the crate. Let your pup in the crate. Walk away.

Jan
Shelby 9-2-14
Natty Boh 6-27-12
Annie 1998 - 8-2-12 RIP
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
My advice: Put her in her crate and leave her alone to eat. I do not bother my dogs when they are eating. How would you like someone petting you, bothering you, touching your food when you eat? She is feeling stressed thus the growling and her eating faster.

You could also start having her work for her food. Use the food for obedience. If you don't have time to make her work for her meals then crate her and leave her be.
Thank you for the advice, this may be what I need to do.

I'm not disagreeing with you but in my prior experience with my dobies I used this technique with great success, my dogs would allow other people approach them without any aggression. This is important to me since I have two boys 6&9 in the house and want to not only ensure the safety and well being of my puppy but my boys as well. I can definitely see differences between the breeds and want to educate myself with these finer points of temperament and training. I'll be spending a lot of time on this site reading up on what you guys have to say.

Thank you
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, this is very informative.

So let me see if I have this...

Work her just before meal time then give her the food? And when I say work, I mean the simple commands we are using right now which we consider age appropriate (sit, down, stay, come, get, bring, etc)

or should I do the training then place her meal in the crate for her to eat?

I understand that either way, feed then leave
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim n Kona View Post
Thank you, this is very informative.

So let me see if I have this...

Work her just before meal time then give her the food? And when I say work, I mean the simple commands we are using right now which we consider age appropriate (sit, down, stay, come, get, bring, etc)

or should I do the training then place her meal in the crate for her to eat?

I understand that either way, feed then leave
What I did was - Sit on a kitchen stool with his kibble. His meal was measured out in a bowl. (Not his bowl.) I would hold a few pieces of kibble in my hand. Give a command 'Sit' feed kibble. 'Down' feed kibble. It was very important that he learn to focus on me, so I would hold my handful of kibble near my nose, just below my eye. 'Watch' As soon as he made eye contact, he got kibble. My dog was very food motivated, so he also learned lots of tricks.

After a while, as in months later, I introduced his food bowl. The bowl sat on the floor by my feet. We would start with the commands and hand feeding. Then, after a command, I would drop the food into his bowl. Today, at 4 years old, I fill 'Natty Boh's' bowl, have him perform one command or trick. (Beg is his favorite, so that will work.) Then I sit his bowl down and he eats.

I have never fed Natty Boh in his crate, because I didn't have young kids. I do have a second dog now. She has no resource guarding issues whatsoever. But - I have a baby gate across my kitchen entryway. Natty Boh eats on one side and Shelby eats on the other. I no longer have a problem with Natty Boh growling over his food bowl, but I would still not bother him. I'm pretty sure he would revert right back to square one.

A rescue friend sent me at link that was very helpful, when I was working with the resource guarding issues. I will go find it for you.

Jan
Shelby 9-2-14
Natty Boh 6-27-12
Annie 1998 - 8-2-12 RIP
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:10 PM
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Here is the link to Mind Games. It worked wonders for us. You don't have to do all of the steps. I definitely recommend the hand feeding and the 30 minute down stay.

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong

Just wanted to add, Step 1 says if your dog dives into his food, pick up the bowl. That would be a 'NO!' for a resource guarder. Just skip to the hand feeding. No bowl to worry about.

Jan
Shelby 9-2-14
Natty Boh 6-27-12
Annie 1998 - 8-2-12 RIP
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Last edited by Stevenzachsmom; 01-16-2017 at 04:17 PM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:14 PM
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Your puppy needs to be able to eat in peace. You can use some of his kibble as rewards for obedience, but let him eat in his crate otherwise and no one bothers him there. Think of the crate as his room. If he goes into his crate no one bothers him. Do not allow the kids to bother him if he goes in his crate. That needs to be his safe zone. If you give him a bone, let him eat it in his crate, don't let the kids bother him when he has it. You can create a big problem if the children are always touching him, stressing him, when he has something that's his. How many times do you hear your kids yelling that his/her brother/sister is bothering him and make them go away? Do they ever push at the sibling to make them go away? Your puppy needs the same respect with being left alone with his things.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
What I did was - Sit on a kitchen stool with his kibble. His meal was measured out in a bowl. (Not his bowl.) I would hold a few pieces of kibble in my hand. Give a command 'Sit' feed kibble. 'Down' feed kibble. It was very important that he learn to focus on me, so I would hold my handful of kibble near my nose, just below my eye. 'Watch' As soon as he made eye contact, he got kibble. My dog was very food motivated, so he also learned lots of tricks.
Thank you, will absolutely try this. I actually love the idea

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Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
Here is the link to Mind Games. It worked wonders for us. You don't have to do all of the steps. I definitely recommend the hand feeding and the 30 minute down stay.
Love the link, great resource. Thank you

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Originally Posted by Deb View Post
Your puppy needs to be able to eat in peace. You can use some of his kibble as rewards for obedience, but let him eat in his crate otherwise and no one bothers him there. Think of the crate as his room. If he goes into his crate no one bothers him. Do not allow the kids to bother him if he goes in his crate.
Thanks, I have always crate trained my dogs and keeping it their safe space is a big must. I want them to think of their crate as their space, always safe and without distraction.


I'm loving the new ideas and leaving her be while eating is the approach I'm going to take. I'll also incorporate training, let her earn her meal. She already knows that what she earns she keeps.
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