Protein Levels = Aggression??

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by CharlieDog, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I keep hearing this from people (usually, average Joe) who when asking what I feed Knox (cause he looks so d@mn good I guess ;) :p ) And I tell them TOTW, they will usually (if I'm in the city) ask "Doesn't feeding him that much protein in his diet make him more aggressive and hyper??"

    I have no idea what to say to that, because the dog snoozing at my feet is CLEARLY aggressive and hyper all the time. (To be fair, he can be pretty aggressive and hyper :p )

    But I've just been hearing this a LOT lately, so I was wondering if someone is out there spreading misinformation, or is there an actual correlation between protein levels of food and actively/aggression levels???
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    LOL definitely never heard that one :p

    I have, however, been told that cats and ferrets need grains in their diet because "in the wild" they get the grains from the stomach of the mice/rabbit/whatever they catch and eat...
     
  3. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Welllll...if you ask a horse person, higher protein=hot/high energy horse. I think when I've researched it, generally carnivores metabolize animal protein differently.
     
  4. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    You know, I have heard that too. I've even read it in a dog trading book-never put much stock in it though....
     
  5. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    It makes sense in some ways.

    Protein is the main source of energy in the dog's diet, but we've been feeding them the opposite of that energy source...high sugar grains. When you eat a crap load of carbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...you generally feel like crap, especially if you aren't high energy and actually using those carbs. And we are omnivorousness. So you can imagine the effect it might have on dogs.

    Then they are suddenly eating healthy, feeling good...how do people generally see fresh-acting, spunky dogs with a lot of energy to burn? Possibly aggressive. Especially when their couch-lounging pets were previously oh-so simple and lazy.

    So, in that way it can make sense to me.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    To me that goes hand in hand with people who swear feeding raw will give a dog the taste for flesh noms.
     
  7. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Rofl. That was exactly where my mind went. Like, feeding him raw chicken is going to make him go out and mass murder all chickens he comes across. ???
     
  8. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    You owe me a new keyboard.
     
  9. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    I think the theory came from Nick Dodman, behaviorist at Tufts, originally. I hear it repeated from time to time, and I believe he still stands by it.

    Here's the first decent blog post on the subject that came up on google: Do Protein Levels in Dog Food Matter?

    I think this is one of those things where if I were having serious aggression issues with a dog, I might consider lowering the protein content of their food and seeing if it made any difference, but otherwise, it's not even something on my radar.
     
  10. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I've heard this a lot, and have a few friends who very strongly believe it. It was regularly touted as gospel at the training center I worked at out of college.

    After talking it over with countless people, some in the medical field, I basically believe what Lyzelle said. That it is less the protein causing aggression, and more the other "stuff" creating a sort of sedating effect. I think about how I feel after eating a big pancake breakfast for instance. It takes effort for me to bother getting up for a drink. I can't imagine what it would take to motivate me to get into a physical confrontation.

    Which, at the end of the day, makes be a bit sad that people are keeping their dogs from feeling their best intentionally.
     
  11. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I've actually heard the opposite, that feeding high carbs will contribute to behavior problems. That makes more sense to me...
     
  12. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Elsie and Zobby seem to behave better on higher protein food.
     
  13. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    Wow, that's interesting. He's pretty well respected.

    In any event, I completely agree with your last paragraph.
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I've heard that a few times before and always wondered about it. It's okay though, my dogs eat raw so they're just going to kill me in my sleep anyways.
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    ^All of this.

    To me it's a lot like the folks who support intentionally keeping their dog on the chubby side so he "isn't so wild!" Which in their case means they don't have to bother taking him for a walk because he'll just lay around the house anyway, and gets tired after a block or two.
     
  16. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    I do know of a couple very reactive dogs who did do better switching to lower protein food, but yes, I think it was the extra energy that the protein gives "pushing" them over the edge of what was already an issue, not that the protein itself caused the issue. These dogs were also being worked with using conditioning, training, etc as well.
     
  17. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    I had someone tell me to never feed my dog mutton if I wanted her to be a sheepdog, because then she'd identify the sheep as food.
     
  18. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    It only seems to increase it to noticeable levels if you mix it wirh gasoline and gunpowder. I do this to make my dogs more aggressive.
     
  19. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    We used to joke in the pit bull world that you were supposed to feed your dogs hornets and wasps to increase their game.
     
  20. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I have heard that about horses, but never dogs...
     

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