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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I thought I was making progress with Tosca and that her food aggression was slowly going away, but that wasn't the case this morning.
I set down her food bowl, tried to pet her while she was eating (I do this with every dog/puppy I have because I don't want any of them to develop food aggression) and she immediately started growling.

Here's what I've been doing ever since we bought her(when the food aggression showed up)...and she's only 9 weeks old.

-Hand feeding her the food, but because she would bite my hand..sometimes drawing blood, I started grabbing a handful of food and making her sit and watch me before setting the food on the floor so she could eat it. That worked well, and I've been doing that for a few weeks now.
-I've also tried making it a fun game for her, and first I put some of her food on the floor for her to 'find', then I put her in a seperate room, hid the food, let her back in the kitchen and she would find half of her meal. The other half I would make her work for.(sitting and 'watch me')
-I taught her 'gentle' so she can only have a treat out of my hand if she doesn't put her teeth on the skin.
-And ever since she came home, I've been working on bite inhibition with her and now she doesn't bite/chew on me, except when food is involved. :(

So far I haven't been feeding her out of her food bowl, because that's the only time she becomes food aggressive. (but I tried feeding her out of her bowl this morning to see if she had made any progress, and she hasn't :()

She's not possessive with toys, water, etc. But whenever she sees food, she HAS to have it. (Example - If I forget to close the door to the cat room, she first eats all the cat food, then she goes over to the open bags of dog food and eats as much and as fast as she can before I find her and close the door) She eats very quickly, so I've tried putting her meal in a toy that despenses food (this is now her favorite toy lol).

I feed her 1 cup of 4Health Performance 3 times a day. I think 3 cups of food might be too much, but she always acts like she's starving.

I see how some of these "games" might help her, but I don't think they're fixing the real problem (guarding the food bowl). Though I might be wrong, that's why I'm asking!

I even went to talk to the breeder about it a week ago, and he explained to me "All puppies guard their food at this age", and that didn't sound right to me, but I didn't really push the issue and took her home.

I'm terrified that when she's older she'll bite someone that comes anywhere near her food bowl, so I really want to fix this as EARLY as possible.

Please help, I'm desperate. :help::help:
 

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Hand feeding her the food, but because she would bite my hand..sometimes drawing blood, I started grabbing a handful of food and making her sit and watch me before setting the food on the floor so she could eat it. That worked well, and I've been doing that for a few weeks now.
I would continue to feed her out of your hand. If she bites say no and pull up your hand. Make her sit and wait until she is calm and try it again. If she bites again say no and pull your hand back up.

Dont scream no at her just give a firm no and pull up your hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would continue to feed her out of your hand. If she bites say no and pull up your hand. Make her sit and wait until she is calm and try it again. If she bites again say no and pull your hand back up.

Dont scream no at her just give a firm no and pull up your hand.
Thank you! :)
 

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YIKES! SIX WEEKS? FIVE WEEKS? I think part of the problem is that she missed LOTS of socialization that happens. 8 weeks is the earliest I'd like to see a puppy weaned. 2 weeks is like a lifetime to a little puppy. She probably missed out on a lot of manners and how to behave properly.

She could be wormy and that's why she seems like she starving all the time.

I would just keep hand feeding her. You can also try "hand feeding" her out of the bowl. Put the food in the bowl, but pick it up one fistful at a time and have her eat out of it.
 

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Is food aggression common in GSD? I am considering adopting a 7month pup that was abandoned in a flood last week....the owner left her chained in the back yard and she managed to survive 4ft of water and then left to starve....grrrr.
 

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I've had her since she was 6 weeks old. Another puppy from the litter was sold at 5 weeks.
That's terrible! I'm sorry you got your dog from a backyard breeder. :(

I guess what's done is done though.

Along with what everyone else has said, I'd be feeding her a LOT more. At that age, until 6 months, my GSD was eating 6 cups a day.
 

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It is ok to up the food too. If your feeding her 3 cups maybe try 3 1/2 or 4 cups. I wouldn't feed 5 though. What kind of food are you feeding her?
 

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Is food aggression common in GSD? I am considering adopting a 7month pup that was abandoned in a flood last week....the owner left her chained in the back yard and she managed to survive 4ft of water and then left to starve....grrrr.

No food aggression is not common in GSD's any breed or mutt can have food aggression. That's why it is important to hand feed them when they are young.
 

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Is food aggression common in GSD? I am considering adopting a 7month pup that was abandoned in a flood last week....the owner left her chained in the back yard and she managed to survive 4ft of water and then left to starve....grrrr.
Every dog is different. Food aggression in german shepherds is probably just as common as it is with poodles, labs, spaniels, etc. It's a case by case basis.
 

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Right now both her and Kamahi are eating 4Health Puppy Formula

Not too familiar with that brand but I think you can up it to 4 cups. At what times are you feeding her? Are you feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner?

I would do 1 cup for breakfast, 2 cups for lunch and 1 cup for dinner.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
YIKES! SIX WEEKS? FIVE WEEKS? I think part of the problem is that she missed LOTS of socialization that happens. 8 weeks is the earliest I'd like to see a puppy weaned. 2 weeks is like a lifetime to a little puppy. She probably missed out on a lot of manners and how to behave properly.

She could be wormy and that's why she seems like she starving all the time.

I would just keep hand feeding her. You can also try "hand feeding" her out of the bowl. Put the food in the bowl, but pick it up one fistful at a time and have her eat out of it.
Sorry, I didn't see this post until now. I was actually considering letting her stay with the breeder for another week after reading about the critical early socialization, but all of the other puppies had left by then. :( They were probably 7-8 weeks old then.
She's been to the vet and had her dewormer shots already.

Also, if I set the food bowl down, she'll eat it so fast I won't be able to get the bowl back in time. :eek: I'm definitely going to try the hand feeding again though!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not too familiar with that brand but I think you can up it to 4 cups. At what times are you feeding her? Are you feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner?

I would do 1 cup for breakfast, 2 cups for lunch and 1 cup for dinner.
She eats at 6:30am, 1pm, and again at 6:30pm. Same as the other dogs but she gets an extra meal at lunch.
 

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She eats at 6:30am, 1pm, and again at 6:30pm. Same as the other dogs but she gets an extra meal at lunch.

I would give her 2 cups at lunch time instead of 1. That way she has a bigger lunch, it's right in the middle.

Good luck to you, let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
She was dewormed before I bought her, and she had her 2nd set of puppy shots at the end of April. On the same day she had a dewormer and a heartworm pill.
 
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