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:confused:My puppy has been growling at me while she eats. From day 1 I have
feed her holding her bowl and when she is half way through I just pick the bowl up for a second and give it right back to her. I have put my hands in the food while she is eating also. It scares me because we had a very dominant and food aggressive shepherd years ago that we could not keep. He bite my mother and also myself. Since that dog we have had 2 other shepherds that were so nice and never let out a growl to any of us. I love this little dog and do not want to have any problems like we had before. She also growls when you walk by her when she is eating a certain bone which I no longer give to her. I think though you should be able to give her bones and she should be smart enough to know I have not taken away from her but always give to her. The saying don't bite the hand that feeds you. If anybody else has experienced this and found a good solution could you please enlighten me as to what I should do. I always hear that you should not smack a dog but in some cases I think that it is not wrong as long as you don't beat them. I mean look at what has happened to the kids today because parents are not allowed to lift a finger on them. I grew up the other way as did many of us and don't see where it hurt me any. I respected my mom and dad. Hope somebody can help me here.
 

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Don't stick your hands in the dog's food. That is annoying and it would probably make you mad if someone did that to you.
Give your dog space while eating, when you walk by,casually drop a really good treat in the bowl as a bonus, soon she will enjoy you walking by and think "more is coming" instead of "she's going to take it"

My puppy growled at me the first time I gave her a bone, so I grabbed a bigger one and sat on the floor by her and played with the better one. I said "can I have it?" and took her bone from her mouth, and then immediately gave her the big one. She never growls at me anymore. I also let her chew bones while I hold them, but I don't take them
 

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I have a 5 month old but he doesnt growl at me, but he does growl at my other dogs if they seem interested in his bone.

Also try switching the bones. When shes chewing a bone ask her to drop it and then offer her another bone to replace it with. I have also seen threads where people suggest dropping a treat or piece of meat into her bowl while shes eating so she can associate good things when you are next to her bowl.

I also dont bother my dogs while their eating from their food bowls, but I do hand feed them sometimes, maybe 4 times a week. I give them canned food. I have all 3 dogs sit in front of me and i take turns making them wait their turn while feeding them the canned food.
 

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:confused:My puppy has been growling at me while she eats. From day 1 I have
feed her holding her bowl and when she is half way through I just pick the bowl up for a second and give it right back to her. I have put my hands in the food while she is eating also.
Then stop that! I think it's fine to "possess" the bowl by holding onto it and hand feeding her from it, but once you give it to her it should be hers and she should be able to eat in peace. Putting your hands in her bowl while she eats can make her worried that you might take her food away, hence the growling. It's a warning that she's not comfortable with what you're doing because she doesn't trust you in such close proximity while she's eating. Unheeded warnings can escalate into a bite.

I understand that you're doing what you think is the right thing to prevent food aggression, but you're likely actually making it worse, or creating a problem where there might never have been one if you'd handled things differently from the very beginning. Don't feel bad - a lot of people do exactly what you're doing, and it might work with some dogs and everything is fine. But it's still not a great idea in general because you don't know in advance if your puppy is one who is going to be okay with it, or one who is not.

She also growls when you walk by her when she is eating a certain bone which I no longer give to her. I think though you should be able to give her bones and she should be smart enough to know I have not taken away from her but always give to her. The saying don't bite the hand that feeds you. If anybody else has experienced this and found a good solution could you please enlighten me as to what I should do.
It would be wonderful if 14 week old puppies were capable of a great leap of logic like that, but alas, they're not. Would you expect a toddler to be "smart enough" to know that? A toddler, who is the same species and speaks the same language as you? While I completely agree that it's not acceptable for her to growl at you when she's eating or has a bone, taking bones away from her and/or smacking her is not going to fix this situation.

I always hear that you should not smack a dog but in some cases I think that it is not wrong as long as you don't beat them. I mean look at what has happened to the kids today because parents are not allowed to lift a finger on them. I grew up the other way as did many of us and don't see where it hurt me any.
Well, not to be flip, but growing up you were not a dog. :) You can explain in words that a child can understand that there are consequences to their actions. Dogs don't understand our language, so smacking them may not have the same effect as it would on a disobedient child.

Consider that when you're attempting to train your dog, you have the benefit of ALWAYS knowing what it is you're trying to teach her. She doesn't. She has to figure it out based on your body language, tone of voice, and whatever associations she can make - and those associations are not always going to be what you want them to be! If you smack her for something, she may not understand that it was because of her behavior. She may become hand shy and fearful of your presence, especially around valued resources such as her food bowl and bones. She may stop trusting you, and begin to guard those resources. The situation then escalates.

So what to do? Build trust. Create positive associations. If she trusts you around valued resources she'll have no need to guard them from you. If your presence while she's eating or has a bone has positive associations, she'll have no need to guard them from you.

Here are some previous threads that may help - this puppy is a little older than yours and had already bit the owner: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/256770-i-am-breaking-down-right-now-tears-confused.html

In this thread I talked about the trading games I like to play with my puppies: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/feeding-our-puppy/147739-any-way-prevent-food-aggression.html#post1976710
 

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Good responses in this thread.

I also think dogs should be able to eat in peace. Bonds are much easier to form when the lines are not blurred between dog & human.
 
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