resource guarding?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by ohmai, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. ohmai

    ohmai New Member

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    My 8wk pup seems to already be resource guarding. When I go to feed him his meal, I put the bowl down and he literally stuffs his face in it. I try to pick the bowl up to add some more food in it, but he won't lift his face out of the bowl, all the while he's growling at me. This surprised me, didn't think he'd do that just yet. Help please?

    Also, when I'm getting his food ready, he whines and cries alot! Do you think I should feed him more often? I feed him 3 times a day, at a time interval of about 6 hrs. he gets about a bowl full of food, (eukaneuba cup: 1/2 cup kibbles, with 3 pieces of canned meat).
     
  2. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    I dont really understand whats the problem?


    You have to show him that food is not his and yours. Take it away... Play with it while he's eating. Feed him from hands, etc.

    Take his bones, toys, so he's used to you taking his items.


    At 8wk's old he couldnt hurt you even if he tried to, which im sure he wouldnt. Never seen a pup that young bite anything bar playing/teething....


    Did you just get him from the breeder?
     
  3. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Growling at you at his age is not acceptable ! How long have you had him ??? What breed or size is he ? Give him his food and let him eat. The crying is normal . Why are you picking it up for more food ?? A dog has to taught that you can remove any bowl in front of him at any time, but I think you're confusing him. More info please.
     
  4. poeluvr

    poeluvr New Member

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    maybe that is not enough your feeding him so hes getting hungary and territorial, pups eat a lot :)
     
  5. ohmai

    ohmai New Member

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    He's a Labrador/Siberian Husky. I've had him for about a week, and yes, he DOES hurt me. His bites are very strong and his teeth and nails are sharp. I have a few bloody scratches on my arms and legs from him.
    I've read somewhere that if you show your dog that the food is controlled by you. So you can pick it up anytime you want by using a technique like that. You put bits of food in first, pick it up and slip in some treats or more food so the dog knows that no harm comes from you taking it away.

    And the growling thing, he constantly growls when he's playing, I think that's normal though. What I'm worried about is his resource guarding.
     
  6. candy722

    candy722 New Member

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    Your puppy is only 8 weeks old so your suppose to be feeding at least 6 times a day. You have to feed your dog until he doesn't want to eat. It is important for babies to get all the food they need as they get older you subtract the amount of food your dog gets. You also have to tell your dog to wait on food. I guess you can start training now because your dog loves to eat. hehe
     
  7. ohmai

    ohmai New Member

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    Really? I also go to another dog forum website, and asked the question "how many times should a 8wk puppy eat?". Most people have said around 3-4 meals a day. And I also got this quote from a website...

    "Like human babies, puppies have small tummies and need fed little and often - 3 or 4 meals per day up to six months old then 2 meals a day should be sufficient."

    Feeding him 6 times a day seems a lot.. and if I just keep giving him food like that, he's going to be huge! My puppy probably doesn't even know when to stop eating!
     
  8. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    4 times a day is plenty.....yes, you were right about the food take a way bit , but that should have been started by the breeder at 6 weeks. Again, they should have socialized him more.
     
  9. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    3 or 4 times a day is plenty. I agree with you that it's a resource guarding issue. I'm dead tired and I still have to pack and do dishes before I can go to bed, so here's how you fix it: :)

    Introduction
    In the wild, wolves and dogs form social packs of individuals who live, hunt, sleep, and eat together. Every individual’s success is dependant on the success of the pack as a whole. Social instincts and experience dictate how an individual will behave within the pack, and make it possible for a pack to maintain a structure in which each animal has its place. The most fit canines - the strongest, fastest, and most intelligent - may become leaders in the pack, affording them the opportunity to eat first and mate first and so pass on superior genes to another generation. In return for the special social privileges enjoyed by an alpha male, female, or mated pair, the alpha must demonstrate her/his fitness as a leader. She/he must act for the good of the pack as a whole, because the success of the pack rests on her/his decisions and abilities. An unfit alpha - one who is weak, selfish, or incompetent - will be removed from her/his status to ensure survival of the pack.

    Contrary to what we’ve been brought up to believe, our dogs are not ceaselessly seeking to overthrow our leadership. An individual canine in a well organized pack doesn’t attempt to usurp the alpha just for fun; even lower status individuals get enough to eat (and the occasional chance to mate). Life is good in a healthy pack. Periods of social change in a pack can be dangerous until each individual again understands his place, and so dogs have an innate desire to live in a stable pack and will seldom make waves if they understand the way their pack is organized and believe in the leadership they’re given.

    Traditional trainers, either through ignorance or apathy, will frequently misdiagnose a dog as “dominant” when in fact that dog is only confused about his place in the family pack. These trainers will go on to explain how you should go about establishing your rightful alpha position over your dog by performing any number of cruel and unnecessary attacks on the dog. An unfortunately large number of dog owners are familiar with techniques such as the “alpha roll” in which the dog is thrown to the ground and forcefully held there by the neck. Traditional trainers point to the behavior of wild dogs to justify this cruelty, and you can witness a similar move performed by one dog on another. What these trainers don’t understand, and what any behaviorist worth his salt can tell you, is that the “alpha roll” seen between two animals of a pack is not the wrestling maneuver they’re asking you to inflict upon your dog, but is typically a ritualistic behavior aimed at solidifying an established hierarchy between two individuals in which both are willing participants. Humans perform many ritualistic social behaviors such as slapping one another on the back and shaking hands. These are social gestures between individual humans, not forced abuses.

    Imagine a stranger strolling up to you and seizing your hand out of your pocket, then pumping it violently up and down in his own. You might pull back and yell at the stranger, or you may run away from him. The stranger may later explain (hopefully to the police) that in his understanding, shaking someone’s hand was a demonstration of camaraderie and trust. But because of the manner in which this behavior was performed, I would guess you would not be this stranger’s new best buddy. This is an allegory that may help us understand how our dogs experience our clumsy attempts at approximating their natural interspecies behavior. Humans can’t replicate with their dogs the social “conversations” that dogs have with one another. We tend to come across as complete maniacs in our dogs’ eyes when we try. As the more mentally flexible species in the human/dog relationship, it is our responsibility to learn to communicate socially with our dogs and to cultivate an environment in which they feel secure. To establish successful communication, we have to find a common language. And until I discover my pooch reading Moby Dick, we’ll have to learn to negotiate a social order in Dogese.

    The misunderstanding
    A social problem arises in a dog’s family pack when he fails to understand his place in the “pecking order” (see definitions). This misunderstanding develops from the dog’s innate comprehension of canine social behavior. A gesture that we as humans may perceive as “nice” or “generous” may come across to the dog as a gesture of reverence and servitude. A normal, healthy dog will not make waves in his family pack unless he either perceives devastating weakness in the members above him or receives signals that those members wish him to climb the social ladder. A large number of dog owners send their dogs the latter without ever meaning to. The dog nudges a hand when he wants petting, and he gets petting. The dog barks to be let out in the yard, and he is let out. The dog jumps for his dinner, and he is given dinner. It’s easy to see a trend.

    There’s an old joke about the difference between dogs and cats. The dog says, “These people feed me, house me, and play with me. They must be gods!” And the cat says, “These people feed me, house me, and play with me. I must be a god!” Even the best behaved dog can’t help but lean toward the cat’s idea when he’s given clear evidence, over and over, that his family will get him what he wants when he wants it. In his mind, his pack is demonstrating their willingness to submit to his leadership. And any dog who loves his family would lead them when asked to do so.

    Our dogs rely on us to keep them safe in a human world. If we let them be in charge, they would probably gleefully tear down our society in about a week. Dogs have to live in our world - not the other way around - so it is necessary and desirable to have them look to us for leadership. For their safety and our own, and for everyone’s happiness, we need to show our dogs that we are competent, confident leaders worthy of their respect.

    (continued...)
     
  10. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    Resource control
    I am constantly amazed at how demanding some folks’ dogs are when it comes to getting what they want. They can be like a petulant two-year-old, except with a mouth full of knives. Watch your dog for a day, and see how often he demands and how often you comply. Wait a minute! Who is the pet here?

    Dogs demand for the same reason as children: because sometimes it works! (Except most people think to teach their child to say “please” when they want something. I would venture to say there is an epidemic of impolite dogs in the world; dogs who have no idea how to say “please”.) When a child gets what he wants all the time, he can get spoiled rotten. The same principle applies to dogs. If your dog has come to expect compliance from you, you’ve got a problem. You will have much more and bigger problems if you don’t teach him some manners.

    One way to establish a desirable social order in your family pack is to demonstrate to your dog that all good things come to him through you. Until Rex gets a job and starts paying the grocery bill, he owes his happy lifestyle to you and the rest of the family pack. All of the privileges he enjoys, like walks, affection, treats, and play time are resources that you control. As of this moment, they are no longer his for the taking. Demonstrating your control of these resources will solidify your leadership in the family pack and allow your dog to find his place in the social order.

    Resource control is a simple exercise. It doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, but it does require the participation of the whole family. Make sure everyone understands what they’re doing and why before you start the exercise. Otherwise you will only confuse your dog and make the problem worse.

    Establish some rules. The dog gets dinner only when he’s sitting politely until the bowl is on the floor. He only gets to go for walks when he sits to have his leash hooked and again when you open the door. He only gets to play fetch if he drops the ball nicely in front of you then goes into a down. If he’s allowed on the bed, he only gets to come up after a nice “roll over”. This is like insisting he says “please” before you give him what he wants. You will need to vary your definition of a doggy “please” depending on your dog’s abilities and current understanding of basic obedience. But from now on, he gets nothing fun without asking politely first. Everything is going to be on your terms.

    Remember that your attention is a powerful reward. If your dog is doing something you don’t like, withdraw your attention. Don’t talk to him, yell at him, touch him, or look at him. If he does something you like, reward him with a brief pet or “good dog!” and then walk away. Leave him wanting more! He’ll start thinking of ways to be really good and get that pat on the head.

    Demands and extinction bursts
    Food and affection are usually excellent resources for you to control. If your dog is spinning and pawing you as you fill his bowl, turn around and ask him just once to “sit” (or your equivalent “please”). If he doesn’t do it, put the bowl in a cabinet and leave the kitchen. Come back and try again in five minutes. Most dogs will have that rear on the floor faster than you can ask for it if they honestly believe their dinner is at stake. If he is bumping your hand to get a pet on the head, get a “please”, give a brief pat, and go back to what you were doing. If he gets pushy, ignore him completely or walk away. Pretend there’s no dog there at all. You can feel free to demand attention from him any time you like. Just make certain it’s on your terms. Make sure he knows that although he is a loved and valued member of the family pack, he does not get to dictate the house rules.

    If a mother buys her child a candy bar every time he throws a fit at the store, he will throw a lot of fits. If mom suddenly wised up and didn’t buy the candy bar, the child might scream louder and louder to get his treat. If she continued to ignore him, he would eventually stop. But if, as he got louder, mom decided to get him the treat just to get him out of the store, he would learn that if he screams loud enough and long enough, he will eventually get what he wants.

    A dog who is used to having his demands met will be confused when they are not. He may make a real pill of himself pawing, barking, whining, or otherwise insisting on your compliance. This last attempt at getting what he wants is an extinction burst. After that, if it still doesn’t work, the dog will realize he’s wasting his energy and stop. But if you or a family member gives in to your dog’s demands during an extinction burst, you’ve just made your job ten times harder. Your dog will continue to demand because it just might work. So stick to your guns.

    In general, you should notice a positive difference in your dog’s behavior in one to two weeks. You can start slowly returning your dog’s privileges after four or five weeks, but keep asking for that puppy “please”.

    Your responsibilities
    As mentioned before, everyone in the house needs to understand and practice resource control or it won’t work. It’s your job to make sure someone in the house is not tossing the dog popcorn while you’re at work. You also need to be sure that your dog receives all the things he needs while you’re practicing resource control, including food, fresh water, shelter, health care, and companionship. These are things your dog has a right to receive.

    If you have more than one dog, it’s important to start resource control with all of them at the same time. If you don’t you could cause some major social strife within their group.

    Conclusion
    Yes, resource control can be difficult for the humans involved. I’ll be the first person to admit that I could spoil and snuggle a dog all day long. But it’s important to remember that it won’t hurt your dog’s feelings. This entire practice operates under rules that are innate to your dog. He will be much calmer and happier once he understands his place in the family, and you will be proud to have a polite dog that has better manners than most people’s children.
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    And DITCH the Eukanuba, please! Check out the food forum. You'll find out more about food and nutrition. You're spending a ton of money on a dog food that is sub-standard, to say the least, and you really don't want to think too hard about the cruel and torturous testing Eukanuba/Iams does on their research animals.

    There are lots of great, high quality feeds out there that are far and away superior in content to any Eukanuba product, and your hard-earned dollars won't be going to support a company that indulges in needless cruelty.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Creature Teacher is a great teacher. She just expained sooooo much about what goes on in a dog's head. That should really give you the whole foundation to build from.

    I'll just explain what I've done with my dogs and especially more consciously with my Doberman, as they can be particularily pushy and demanding. I'll just give you a few specific examples of dealing with certain situations.

    When I got him at 9 weeks of age, I right away started teaching him to sit and wait for my release word, "OK." I'd get his food bowl and ask him to sit before setting it down. As I set it down, if he got up, I'd stand back up, holding the bowl. Then I'd get him to sit again and do the same. Every time he broke out of the sit, he wouldn't get his food, but would see me holding it. After a few times, he figured out that he needed to sit and wait until I said, "OK."

    I did the same thing with opening the door for him to go out. The door would get closed quickly in his face if he bolted from a sit before I said, "OK." I didn't hold him by the collar or force him not to go out. He had to figure it out for himself.

    When he'd be eating, I'd toss in a piece of cheese or a hunk of meat....something even yummier than what he was eating. I'd squat down and put my hands in his bowl or move the bowl over a few feet, maybe hand him another piece of cheese. Of course, if your dog is already growling, you'll need to do this later after he knows who's whom in your family.

    Obedience practice ever day, a couple of short, 10 minute sessions helps, along with all through the day doing like CT said.....making him earn his good stuff by sitting or some other skill first.

    I wouldn't let him have furniture privelges yet, if in fact you were going to.

    This is the way I started out with my Doberman....just about anything, he had to earn. Now, I can be a little more lax because it is very well established that he is not the one in charge. But I can't go 180 degrees the other way, or he could start viewing himself as the one who makes the rules. I can't, every time he asks me for a pat, give him one for free. He is pushy. But lots of times, I do. But over all, he knows that I control his resources and make the rules.

    He has absolutely no resource guarding tendancies. I could take a juicy steak bone out of his mouth and he'd be fine. He knows that I'm no threat. And that's because I also practiced with lesser value items...some toys. I taught him to "give" and when he did, he got a treat and praise. Then I'd give it right back to him....Give, take, give, take. It was a game. Teach your dog to fetch and retrieve and give you the item. Reward. Later you can give him something of higher value and play the same game. But give it back. If he gets guarding over a toy, put it away. He doesn't get to have anything if he acts like that. Also, I would suggest not giving him all kinds of toys 24/7. Bring them out periodically through the day and then after a while, put them away. Make sure he sits or downs before you give them to him. Show him...again, that without you, he wouldn't have ANYTHING good.

    So, I guess I'm just saying basically what CT said, but I wanted to let you know how I did it with my dog/dogs and how my Doberman (most recent pup) is so sweet natured and gentlemanly...has not one objection to anything I do.

    Good luck. You can get this dog to respect you. Just be consistant and make sure everyone in the family is the same, like CT said.
     
  13. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Good point about "give" Doberluv. Bimmer expects me to check anything I don't give him or he doesn't catch and he won't take food from anyone else as a result of me teaching him to show me anything before he eats it. It saved his life. Buffy never would learn that (foraging is deeply ingrained in the Fila's nature) and she ate the poisoned meat when it was offered to her. Bimmer wouldn't touch it.

    I make sure, though, that all of my dogs let me take ANYTHING out of their mouths. We start from day one, taking things and giving them back. It's pretty funny if someone sees me with my whole hand past my wrist in those big mouths, fishing around for something they've tried to hide in their jowls! It also gives me access to check teeth or look if they might be choking on something - not that the monsters ever have, lol!
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Renee, that is sooooo good how you taught your dog not to take anything from anyone. I don't know how you did it. That's really good. What creeps who would poison a dog, but I know that happens. And having a dog who is not the most popular breed or a breed that people fear, doesn't help. What good dogs you have. That is awful about Buffy. Did she die from that? I'm so sorry that happened. I don't know if I could teach Jose, my Chi mix that, as he has obsessive compulsive disorder where food is concerned. (lol) Lyric, on the other hand, is not that into food. What did you do to teach your dog not to take food from strangers or was it, unless you gave the OK? I'm impressed!
     
  15. ohmai

    ohmai New Member

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    Oh no, I don't feed my puppy Eukaneuba. We just use the Eukaneuba cup to scoop up his food. My puppy is now eating a brand called.. Puppy Smart..? or something along that line.
    [woops, it's Iams]


    Yeah, I do make my puppy sit for everything, and right now I'm trying to teach him to stay when I set his food bowl down. But he usually stays for.. about a second or two before he pounces on the food, but that's progress from where he was when I first got him.
    I did let my dog have access to his toys on his own sometimes.. I think I'll start putting them away, and only giving them to him when I want to. But when I'm sleeping, and he doesn't have a toy, he'd chew on chairs, tables and my bed in my room.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2005
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with giving him toys to keep him occupied. They need something to teeth on and entertain them. Just make sure he knows that you are way cool to give him his toys and he should be grateful. LOL.
     
  17. ohmai

    ohmai New Member

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    Definately =) But Eikon's favourite toy is still... me! When I'm not around him, all he does is sleep! And when I am around him, all he does is either follow me around calmly, or start pouncing on my shoes and pants ><
    I've come to realise, and accept that this is normal puppy behaviour. But when do they stop teething?
     
  18. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Most of the credit goes to Bimmer. He has an innate wolfy-wariness, and was sooo easy to 'teach' when he was a pup. All it took was calling him to me if he picked something up and telling him to let me have it. I'd look at it and if it was okay, let him have it, but more often than not, it wasn't (like when he'd pick up discarded chicken bones at the soccer field) and I'd tell him it wasn't good for him and would hurt him and I'd get rid of it. Since Buffy died (she was the love of his life and he's never fully gotten over her - neither have I for that matter), he won't even take food from my Mom, and he's known her and loved her since he was a pup. It freaks people out when they try to give him something and he gives it to me or drops it at my feet.

    LOL! I really DO teach my dogs by just talking to them . . . those little nose-to-snout talks make a big impression. I'd say it would probably work with Dobermans. German Shepherds are a dream with it, and Filas do well also.
     
  19. ohmai

    ohmai New Member

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    I fed my pup dinner today, and while I was placing pieces of chicken into his bowl, he lightly snapped at me, but he didn't even lift his face out of the bowl, he just kept on eating and kind of pushed the bowl when I placed my hand near it to put chicken bits in there. :confused:
     
  20. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Start picking his bowl up and filling it on the counter - not on the floor. Don't give it to him until he sits well for you. You might even want to start giving him the first few bites by hand feeding.
     

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