Food agression

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by andy., Oct 25, 2005.

  1. andy.

    andy. New Member

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    Hi, I'm new here, i'm just wondering if you have any tips on calming dogs down around food, when i'm giving them their food they start to growl at eachother when most of the time they get along really well, I generally feed them in different rooms but it would be great if they could feed together :)

    some pics to intoduce my doggies:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Your picture of your doggies is cute.

    This is not about training or calming down. This is pure instinct for dogs to guard their food from eachother. I have 3 dogs, had 4 until recently and I always feed seperately, even though they do not seem to have much of a guarding issue...none of them. It's precaution and I also need to monitor my little chubby boy, that he doesn't get into the others' food. I recommend seperating them for meals.
     
  3. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    I feed mine raw- talk about high value food, the raw diet definitely makes them more defensive about their dinner. The pug who is 40lbs smaller than any of them is the worst, if either of the big dogs are anywhere near them he will growl and not even eat because he's so intent on guarding his dinner. I feed them outside with about 20' between them and I monitor them until the last one is finished, no problems when it's done that way.
     
  4. andy.

    andy. New Member

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    yeah my little one is more assertive too, i've nicknamed them scrappy and scooby lol like on scooby-doo, they used to be the same with toys but gradually they can happily play with different ones and not always want the one that the other one has like they used to :), I thought I might be able to calm them down around food too, but i guess you never know when they will feel they have to protect their own food, its not too much of a problem just that i was wondering if there way a way to get over it i know my freinds with multiple dogs usually feed theirs together, but maybe they are taking a risk?
     
  5. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    I also feed my guys seperately.
    There is no need to have them eat together.
    Although Shiloh is the only one to ever growl at other dogs over food or a bone.
    They feel more secure having their own dining spot.
    And don't overeat or eat too fast just because "another dog could get it"

    I also figure if they start growling/fighting over food it might lead to other fights about other things.

    I really don't have a desire for them to eat together either.
    The food guarding instincts are just to natural to try to change (in my opinion of course)

    Now if it were food aggression towards people, then that would be dealt with differently. But have never had that problem with any of my dogs. My kids can take the food right out of their mouths, (not that they do, just an example LOL)
     
  6. yuckaduck

    yuckaduck Guest

    Yukon eats in his crate, Hope eats in her crate and Storm eats in his crate. Always has been that way. This weekend Storm will be leaving for his new home so the other two will continue the same routine. Only thing that will be different is the smaller crate will be folded and put away. THey can stick to the big crates for eating. It is the only time they use the crates. No problems at all.

    My guys are not food aggressive though they just run around checking out each others dishes if I do not seperate them.
     
  7. andy.

    andy. New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys, i thought it might be a good idea to eliminate food agression in the dogs so that they wouldnt be agressive with other people over their food aswell, or do trained dogs always see humans as superior.
     
  8. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    Adorable dogs!!

    My dogs have never really been too aggressive with their food, they allow me to stick their hand in the bowl while they're eating, take the food away, whatever I want to. I have three dogs, one eats in a crate, two eat out of the crates. Which dog eats in the crate (either my lab or my border/shepherd mix) depends on who gets inside faster LOL. They have to wait until I set the bowls down and tell them to eat their food.
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Dog to dog aggression is a completely different thing that dog to human aggression. Your dogs, if they see you as their leader and provider, should not worry about you taking their food. You're the one who brings it to them, after all. How to prevent that is by showing the dog from the beginning that you are no threat and that it is on account of you, that he gets to eat at all. Condition your dogs gradually to your being around their food, if you haven't already. Have them sit first before you set their bowl down and wait for your release word. Pick up the bowl and don't let them eat if they break the sit/wait. Just have them wait for a few seconds. You can toss in a yummy treat (tastier than their kibble) while they're eating. You can move their bowl over a few feet one time here and there just so they see that your touching their bowl or food doesn't mean that it's being taken from them. Put your hand in and drop a piece of cheese in there. (don't harrass them during their meal, but one time here and there will show them)

    You can also play games with toys to help. Give the dog a toy and trade him for a yummy treat. "Give" means he gives you the toy and then you give him a treat. Hand him back the toy again. Make it a fun game and advance to a retrieve game. Make it rewarding and fun, showing the dog that when you take something from him, it's no threat. He's going to get it back or get an even better treat. It's a game. He learns to trust you and will have no worries about you taking his stuff.
     
  10. andy.

    andy. New Member

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    thanks Doberluv they always have to sit for their food, they don't get anything for nothing, except water which they have constant access to otherwise they do a couple of comands for each thing :), they dont mind me moving their food either, i was just hoping they could be the same with eachother :)
     
  11. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    I think making them earn their food is important to reinforce you as the leader. Mine are so conditioned now, the GSD will run outside to the place where they get fed and is waiting in a down position by the time I walk over there.

    One thing I don't agree with is taking their food away after you give it too them. I think that confuses them and could lead to them being aggressive towards you if you start a pattern of "let me show them who's boss" by continually proving to them you control the food. They already know that. What I'll do is talk softly to them as they eat and pet them, but I never take it away, though I could with no problem. There are plenty of training opportunities for our dogs, and I don't like using their food as one of those times. I mean, if someone tried taking my dinner away from me I'd be a little aggressive too!
     
  12. yuckaduck

    yuckaduck Guest


    I did that with Yukon giving him his food and then picking it up again. That is how I trained him to stop his biting. Worked very well, also had the kids hand feed to help them establish their place above him. I do not do that with the food anymore because he knows I am higher up but still do it all the time with toys. Not just Yukon, we give and take toys with Hope, Storm and Yukon. I will do this throughtout Yukon and Hope's life to make sure I am always in the right family pack spot. Storm is being re homed so he is not an issue.
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    When I talk about picking up the bowl, I'm talking about teaching the dog to sit/wait until released to eat his food. I insist on good manners and no lunging forward to get into the bowl while I'm still lowering it to the floor. If the dog breaks the stay (or wait) command, the food is picked up....the payoff is removed for breaking the stay. I replace the dog in the sit/wait and try again to put the food bowl on the floor. The dog soon learns that he must wait for my release word if he wants his food. I do the same thing with a dog who is rushing the door. I ask the dog to sit/wait and I open the door. The dog is not to go flying out the door until I give the release word. If he breaks it, the door closes quickly. I do not say, "NO!" I do not scold. I don't forceably hold the dog by the collar. The dog has a choice...either sit/wait until released and get the reward or don't. This is good manners. Manners are important to me.

    When I say, scoot the bowl over a few feet while he's eating, (just once here and there) that is so he is conditioned to me handling his food and bowl. If I do need to pick up his food or take it from him for a medical reason or any other reason, I want to be assured that I can do so safely. I'm not talking about harassing the dog during his entire meal. That is why I stress here and there....a few times a week.

    When I talk about giving me something from his mouth, a toy, a bone, something that he's picked up that could be dangerous to him, this too is an important lesson and that is why I practice this game of give and take from a very early age. He is not giving me an item without getting a reward. He is not losing out. The reward he gets is better than the thing I'm taking from him.

    Good! I'm glad he's fine with people. Yep...the dog to dog things is another story. LOL.
     

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