Growling Lab mix

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Labraguese, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. Labraguese

    Labraguese New Member

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    My lab, Henry, is growling at me when I try to take his toys and food away. I feed him twice a day and he only gets 15 minutes to eat. Then, his food goes away. A trainer told me to do that. What can I do to stop his growling. He hasn't snapped yet.
     
  2. You can try several things.

    1) put the dog in a crate to eat his food and leave him alone. Food is one of the highest survival drives a dog has. I do not believe in antagonizing a dog while it is eating.

    2) if you want to desensitize the dog to having someone around his food, here is the way to do it.

    First, put away the bowl. No bowl for 7 days. Hand feed the dog his food, one handfull at a time. (All good things come from you.) Pick an area for feeding that has plenty of room for you to walk by on both sides of his bowl. The middle of your kitchen floor, for example. Let feeding time be a quiet time. Feed him his food one handfull at a time until it's gone. Do not mess with or try to pet the dog while he is chewing or eating his food. Just let him eat.

    when you have done this for 7 days, take the bowl back out, put it on the floor, and put one handfull at a time in the bowl for him to eat. Wait until he eats the handful you put in and looks up at you for more before you put in another handfull. Feed this way for 7 meals. At the end of each meal, give him a tasty treat as you pick up the bowl and put it away.

    After 7 meals fed one handful at a time in the bowl, put his food in the bowl, and put it on the floor. Have 5 really tasty treats ready to go. This needs to be something really special that he either has never seen or does not see often. Tiny pieces of steak. Grilled chicken. etc. Once he starts eating, call his name, walk up to the bowl, and put one of the really tasty goodies in his bowl. Walk on by. Do this 4 times while he is eating, each time putting a tasty treat in his bowl. When you get to this point the dog should also have to SIT before you put his bowl down each time.

    Are you getting the picture? Now you are not a threat to his food. You are GIVING him his food, and you are then coming back and putting treats in his bowl. Once again, when he's done, give him one more tasty treat as you pick up the bowl and put it away.

    For the toys, you do essentially the same thing. Play "trade" with another toy or treat. As you offer the other toy or treat to the dog, say OUT as he spits out whatever toy he has, and stuff the other goodie in his mouth. He will eventually learn that OUT means "spit that out, I have something better to give you".

    Good luck, and I would seek out a training class as soon as possible if I were you, along with neutering if you have not already had that done.
     
  3. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nothingfree.htm

    I'd do some of this stuff besides the well described desensatizing. I do believe in expecting a dog to be accepting of people around his food bowl. No....don't harrass him but get him to realize that you are not a threat to his food, that you're the one who gives it to him, for heaven's sake. But he needs to earn it by performing something (sit, wait, down...whatever) first. Same with anything he likes. Trade a toy for a treat and praise. Make the give and take a game...back and forth, so he gets to have his toy back again after you take it. Teach him to retrieve. That's a fun game and he needs to "give" you the ball (or whatever) Show him that it's fun and rewarding (treats) when he gives you something and that he gets to have it back again.

    Start making him earn a lot of what he wants. He wants to go out? Fine. Sit first. He wants to get a belly rub? Fine, sit, shake hands first. You are the leader. You act. The dog is the follower. He reacts. (not the other way around) Think this way in all things. Leaders act. Followers react.
     
  4. TheWonderPuppies

    TheWonderPuppies Pres. Of Gutter Club.....

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    i learned that you feed them there regular food but to get them used to going near or into the bowl you put small peices of somthing even tastier in his bowl a piece at a time with 5 seconds inbetween each new piece that way he sees you next to his bowl as a good thing(this may take some time though but should work ex. hotdog,turkey, chicken,treats
     
  5. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yes, that is a good way in the beginning when a dog is a pup and you want to show him that it's all good when someone comes near his bowl. And even when this dog gets a little more tolerant, but the trouble is....that he's growling when his owner comes near the bowl and you don't want to reward the growling by giving a treat. The dog needs to learn first who controls his resources and practicing NILIF is a good start. And hand feeding a handful at a time when the dog earns it by performing some skill is also a good way to show the dog that he isn't the one in charge of his food. Then when he gets a little more respectful and can eat out of a bowl without feeling threatened, then the owner could walk by and provided the dog is not nervous or concerned, pop a hunk of cheese or fresh meat into the bowl and go from there.

    (don't interupt the growl-bite sequence though. Never scold for growling) Control the dog's things he likes....that's how he gets to know that he is not in charge or that he has anything to worry about where his possessions are concerned.
     
  6. evenstar7139

    evenstar7139 New Member

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    Whenever I get a new puppy I do preventive training so they never become food dish guarders.

    I do a lot of hand feeding and rewarding them for letting me have my hands all around their face and bowl when they're eating. I also pick the food bowl up when they're still eating in it, put something yummier than kibbel in it, and put it back down.

    Needless to say, my dogs like having their bowls handled when they're eating :D
     
  7. LabMumSF

    LabMumSF New Member

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  8. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    How old is the pup ??? This should have been corrected by the breeder when first " dish " fed . There is no excuse for " aggression " in young pups.But, since I've never gone through it, I agree with the above posts. Get on his level and " share" a few meals with him.
     

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