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puppy suddenly has food aggression

October 12th, 2005, 07:01 PM
I have an almost 4month old alaskan malamute. I have had problems with him in the past of him being aggressive and biting when he A. can't have his way or B. is frightened. I have be seeing a trainer for the past 4weeks and his behavior was improving immensly. He still mouths to show he's not happy but no biting in 2weeks now. Then last night he growled at my 10yr old when he went to take his food dish because he miscounted how much food he had given him. Tonight we tested him again and sure enough he went to bite my son i gave him a correction and he growled at me as well. This is a new behavior and i thought we had his alphaness undercontrol. I'm going to discuss it with the trainer on sat but should i be concerned or is this just a new way he is testing us? :(

October 12th, 2005, 07:05 PM
It is always something to worry about when a puppy/dog uses aggression to solve their problems. Has your son been working on changing where he is placed in the household in comparrison to the dog.

October 12th, 2005, 07:40 PM
yes. We have had our son do alot of the obdience training in the past 2weeks. (We started out with me doing all of it just so someone in the house other than my hubby was above him.) Goku(thats the dog) sits for him and walks at heal for him realativly well. He won't stay for him like he does for me. I still don't trust the dog to be with my son without me around(the dog wieghs in at 40lbs) so i'm not sure if he'll listen to him if i'm not there. We are having to remind our son constantly not to talk to the dog in a "baby" voice. He also is always seeking the dogs attention which we keep reminding him to not go so over the top in that dept. Goku has NEVER in the past,however cared what anyone did with his food.

October 12th, 2005, 08:43 PM
I would call the trainer before Saturday and let her know what is happening. I would think she knows the dog and the family form having worked with you and may be able to give you some advice until you see her again. I know that many trainers tell their clients to call if a major problems occurs prior to the next lession. This is more than a major problem.

October 12th, 2005, 09:06 PM
I still don't trust the dog to be with my son without me around(the dog wieghs in at 40lbs) so i'm not sure if he'll listen to him if i'm not there.
You are very right to never trust your dog around your son. He is a pup, he will constantly challenge his hierarchy in the home and your son is the best target for him. Mals are strongwilled, proud dogs but with perseverance, patience and consistency he will make your family a wonderful dog. Just keep his behaviour in check at all times. You're doing a great job of it so far! :thumbs up

October 13th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Goku has NEVER in the past,however cared what anyone did with his food.
He does now because of his age and simply it's something he wants to try and control. Also it's one of many tests to come. Like BMD said, keep it in check and keep at it. 4 months, a wonderful age and the start of several challenges. No baby talk is right yoda900_ca, your son needs to show that he's higher up in the pack. It's hard for kids not to do all the cuddling and giving so much attention (over the top as you put it), but it sure seems like you are doing all the right things and understand the issues. Best of luck!

October 13th, 2005, 10:29 AM
I have had many kids bring their dogs through classes while the parents watch. Kids seem to listen more to strangers and when they are the ones in charge of the training they take it more seriously.

October 13th, 2005, 06:41 PM
I am not sure if I missed it but is your son responsible for feeding? When one of my rescues started showing aggression to my then 13 year old son I made him become her source for food. He would make her sit and wait and then he would say "go" and give her permission to eat. It worked and she never challenged him again.
I would suggest you contact your trainer as soon as possible. You want to nip this behavior in the bud.

October 13th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Thanks all for your imput. I was getting a little nervous that i might not be able to keep this guy in check aslong as this is just another test i can handle it. Have to say my last malamute really didn't have any of these aggression issues. He bit/nipped me once when he was a "teenager" he got a good leash correction anda time out that was that. It killed him if we ignored him. This little bugger is of a very different mind set. I 'll keep plugging away and hopeful he turns out to be as great as my last guy. thanks again

October 18th, 2005, 11:43 AM
hi, I am new and found this board googling puppy food agression because I have an 8 week old puppy - a friend found her as a stray and put up signs and no one would claim her - anyway, she is small - 5 lbs, and will probably be a med. size dog
I will post more pics when I get them loaded. Anyway, I called a local dog trainer because she is showing some food agression and the trainer gave me some good tips. I don't know how well they will apply with your dog because she is bigger, but the trainer told me to hand feed my puppy or else put my hand in the bowl and if she shows agression to turn her on her back and hold her that way gently to show her that I am the boss. I tried this in the last feeding and it seemed to work well for her. I am hoping to nip this in the bud now because I will not keep her if she is going to be agressive because I have 3 children. Anyway, there is other info. about food agression online to that might help you more with your dog.

October 19th, 2005, 08:15 AM
thanks for the imput toymon. My dogs food aggression is gone already. I gave him a couple leash corrections and praised the heck out of him when we touched his bowl and he didn't do anything. It took 2 days to solve the problem. I think part of it was he was just testing to see what he could get away with. My guy has some strong alpha issues.
If you found your pup as a stray it probable has food aggression for just that reason. For the poor little girl to survive she had to defend every scrap she found. I had a Malamute that was a rescue dog who was badly abused and starved. (35lbs under wieght when i got him) He had some of food aggression(little growls) and trust issues. I took me a couple of weeks to turn his attitude around. Your on the right track. Be patient this poor little girl has probable never had a safe home or assured meal. Don't let the kids near her when she's eating at this point till she starts to trust u all more. The turning the back thing may or may not work w/her. My rescue dog at first could have cared less because no one ever really loved him before and he didn't really care if he was ignored he was used to that. (Boy did that change within a month or 2)
I would try (if you don't see an improvement) with this meathod(this is what worked for him) Filling the food dish, Putting it somewhere where she see it, and take small hand fulls out and and let her eat from your hand. Praise the heck out of her as she's eating her whole meal from you hand. After a few days feed her most of the meal from hand and the last bit from the bowl. At this point put your hand on the bowl she may or may not react. if she's good praise the heck out of her. If she's bad u can either leash correction or a firm no. Work your way up to the whole meal in the bowl. This worked great for my guy. Tenderfoot usually has great suggestions 2. Don't give up on her. Keep reading up on the sight there are tons of helpful tips on how to deal w/ your doggy problems :)

October 21st, 2005, 10:49 AM
Probably not the professional method but... Bite and growl at him back! Your the alpha not him...