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Discussion Starter #1
I did read through most of the puppy resource guarding threads but wanted a bit more insight.

Today, Lola who is now 13 weeks was eating a pig ear.
My 5 year old son bent down to pet her back as he was walking by her and she growled at him.

I really want to nip this in the bud.
From what I read, the proper thing to do is take her pig ear away and trade it up for a treat of equal value often so she knows that she doesn't need to resource guard.
My question is this.... should I allow my 2 kids ages 5 and 7 to do this while I supervise them closely or should I just do this?
 

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I had a puppy that started resource guarding at about 9 weeks. I started by tossing yummy tid bits to him as I walked by when he was eating. I got closer and closer to the point that I was putting treats directly in his bowl. I did this slow enough that I never got a reaction. Basically I just wanted him to learn that good things happen when I am around him while he is eating. I would have you kids do this too. From here you can work up to trading up, give her an okay treat and then trade for something better. I wouldn't start with just grabbing her pigs ear and then giving her something else. Go slowly, no need to rush the process. I had a pretty bad case of food aggression with my puppy and I would say that it took about 4 months before I could say he was "cured" of it. Never act wary of her when she is doing this, I always maintained the attitude of "silly puppy, you don't scare me" confidence goes a long ways dealing with these issues. I still often times feed in phases, I give him half his meal and then while he is eating I come add more food to his bowl. I don't take my dogs dinners away from them, I see no point in it. They have strong out/leave it commands in case they get something thy shouldn't have.

ETA: do the food tossing thing for when she is eating her dinner or chewing a bone etc.
 

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No, don't let your children do it. LOL, you'd think someone would have said that by now, after 62 views. At least, I don't think it's a good idea. Maybe someone else does? But I wouldn't - but I've never had children either, so what do I know.
 

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Having your kids drop food near her IMO is just going to teach her that them being around when she is eating/chewing is a good thing and I don't see why you shouldn't have them do that. But no I would not let them do any trading or try to take anything away from her. I dont have kids though, so take my opinion on it with that in mind.
 

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For safety, if you don't know how to handle resource guarding off the bat please please don't lt the kids pet the pup while it has something of value until it is a little bit older and there are some boundaries. A good thing to do IF you want to involve the kids is present your pup with empty food t, have the puppy sit or wait for the food. Allow (supervised) your kids to drop some kibble into the bowl. Keep doing it in bits at a time. Your pup won't see them as a threat or you. Always have to things of EQUAL value. Puppy has a pig ear.. you have a pig ear. Trade. Keep doing it every time. This goes for toys too.. if you have a ball, get another. Always always trade with puppy! Always be fair!

I'm lucky I never had a huge problem with my pups guarding. Although it's a normal behavior, and if you take something away once why shouldn't puppy believe you'll be a threat the next time around? Pup just has to understand where things come from and that's you or the kids :). Hype started RG when she was 13 weeks around her littermates. I let her. That's fine to me. However when I went to pet her I got growled at a little. I scruffed her and she never did it again.. I don't recommend doing this to your pup! I had the advantage of raising the litter from birth and they always alwayysss saw me as "okay, FOOD!!!"
 

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No, don't let your children do it. LOL, you'd think someone would have said that by now, after 62 views. At least, I don't think it's a good idea. Maybe someone else does? But I wouldn't - but I've never had children either, so what do I know.
I think it's a lot different when you have kids in the home or kids of your own. You as a parent will do your very best to have them co exist as peacefully and safely as possible. Easier to teach puppy what's appropriate than a young kid who will test the limits IMO. Why not let the children eventually do it?
 

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Eventually, I agree with. But 5 and 7 year olds? That's why I said "what do I know" because to me, children that age are unpredicatable and excitable, which IMO isn't a good mix with dealing with resource guarding. I agree that they should be seen as givers of good things too, but dropping the treats seems alot safer.
 

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Kaity - what do your kids do?

I would think that training the child to leave the dog alone while the dog is eating is one very important part of the equation. That was drilled into my head as a child, and the consequence I was concerned about was not what the dog would do, but that I would have to deal with my parents if I disobeyed - at any age - because I was 3 when I got my Beagle. This was one of those things that there was no wiggle room on. Absolute clarity.

Even my sister, who had 3 sons very close in age, who were allowed to run like little loons (they were monsters!), was able to have and enforce this rule. And good thing, because they kept an adult American Bulldog/Dalmatian mix that showed up on their doorstep, who was not a stable dog. I know they followed the rule, because they all still have their original faces.

So that would be the first thing I would consider (and I don't have kids - but have seen it work in a rocky setting).

The second part is linked in this post - be sure to read the article - and the part of the article quoted: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-our-puppy-basic/192130-proven-ways-end-food-aggression.html#post2600669

Finally, I would look for a trainer who would work with the family and incorporate the children into training at the appropriate level for their age.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone, I will take all advice into consideration.
We have absolutely been telling the kids not to bother the dog when she is eating/sleeping but my 4 year old can be pretty sneaky ( will keep working on that)

I did the trading with 2 equal treats today and there was no issue so I will keep doing it .
 
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