Hand Feeding - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Hand Feeding

Sadie went to her first basic obedience class Saturday, loved it! The trainer told us she wanted us to start hand feeding our dogs, no bowls allowed through the week. I thought this was a good idea and very interesting, I've never heard of it before. I was just wondering if any of you do this or have ever tried it. Did you see any difference? I have a 15 year old corgi, chihuahua mix that I have had since I was 10.. I used to feed him with a spoon by hand and heat up his food with milk, that's the only way he would eat, and ever since then he has followed me everywhere and never wandered off, he will go swim to me in water even tho he hates water, if I ask him too.. Do u think hand feeding had anything to do with it? I may continue to hand feed Sadie if I see a difference.

Monica

Sadie GSD 10/26/10
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 07:20 PM
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why does your trainer want you to hand feed your dog
for a week?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 07:26 PM
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Some people will hand feed a new puppy or foster for a little bit to help establish that food comes from the owner and that it is good that the owner touches their food. This is to help prevent resource guarding.

I don't make a habit of messing with my dogs or fosters food and it's never been an issue. Feeding her by hand for a week should be good as long as she will not expect you to hand feed her all the time like you described with your corgi. I don't think that the hand feeding is why he was so attached to you though.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
Some people will hand feed a new puppy or foster for a little bit to help establish that food comes from the owner and that it is good that the owner touches their food. This is to help prevent resource guarding.

I don't make a habit of messing with my dogs or fosters food and it's never been an issue. Feeding her by hand for a week should be good as long as she will not expect you to hand feed her all the time like you described with your corgi. I don't think that the hand feeding is why he was so attached to you though.
I agree with the bolded statement above. I don't hand feed Mutt and never have...even when I first rescued her she ate from her bowl. However she stays with me when we go to the barn or go camping (the only times we are away from home that she may have time off leash). She also hates water, but will swim to me. That one I think is a trust thing, which may or may come from hand feeding but obviously didn't in my situation. She knows that if the current gets too strong for her or she gets too tired I'll grab her and either keep her in my arms or put her on my shoulders (what I do if we're hiking and she can't handle a creek or something else we may need to cross). She also doesn't resource guard when people reach for her food. She will guard it from other animals which to a point I'm okay with. I don't let it get out of hand (I back the offending dog off), but I don't consider that a fault on her part because if someone bigger and stronger than me tried to steal my cheetos you better believe I'd put up a fight.

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If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 10:04 AM
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If you would like to move forward with what your trainer suggested, I would hand feed half the meal and feed the other half in the bowl. Since you are only establishing a relationship and not modifying a behavior such as resource guarding there is no need to eliminate the bowl completely at this point.
I agree with GSDRaven regarding the correlation with hand feeding and the bowl. A new dog in a new environment is at a vulnerable state and small inaccurate cues from you, such as eliminating the bowl, could possibly turn into unwanted behaviors.

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She will guard it from other animals which to a point I'm okay with. I don't let it get out of hand (I back the offending dog off), but I don't consider that a fault on her part because if someone bigger and stronger than me tried to steal my cheetos you better believe I'd put up a fight.
You may want to reconsider this as being normal behavior.
This is an example of how this type of behavior can go wrong......

My 6 month old female GSD (Roxy) came into rescue resource guarding at 12 weeks. She would guard the water bowl and toys only around other dogs. We have consistently worked her through in our home and with a few very well balanced dogs.
However, Saturday I turned my attention away and didn't realize there was a water bowl under a table. Roxy jumped on a Boxer-Pit mix (a dog she has worked extensively with on resource guarding) and started a fight, simply for just walking in the area of the bowl, They were both dragging leashes which allowed for a fast reaction time and luckily no wounds from either dog or people.

But you can see how dangerous this situation could have been.

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Roxy the Rockstar Kardashian - born 09/02/10

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
Some people will hand feed a new puppy or foster for a little bit to help establish that food comes from the owner and that it is good that the owner touches their food. This is to help prevent resource guarding.


I did this with Boaz and Balto. Puppies tend to resource guard, I believe because of the communal puppy feeding bowl.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
Some people will hand feed a new puppy or foster for a little bit to help establish that food comes from the owner and that it is good that the owner touches their food. This is to help prevent resource guarding.
I'll do it sometimes with new fosters for this reason. To show them good things come from me... Prevent resource guarding, make sure they don't eat too fast, etc.

Another reason I do this is to use mealtimes for training. For example with my current foster Chaos, I started out introducing him to the clicker at mealtime. I clicked before each handful of food so he knew the click meant good things. Then I started building up behaviors, such as you have to be quiet and calm for the food. Then you have to be quiet, calm, and wait for the food to come instead of leaning towards my hand. Step up to you have to be quiet, calm, wait, and sitting. Next was you have to be quiet, calm, wait, sitting, and look me in the eye.. And so forth.


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