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Declan aka CUJO

mummummum
November 10th, 2007, 09:27 PM
Where to start... when Declan came home at age 8 two years ago I decided he'd had enough of a bad life that I wasn't going to be over-demanding in the training department. He's done really well, which on his "home day" I will be bragging BIG about but...

He's meat possessive. Those of you who have followed along will know that he can't eat raw or homecooked for more than a few days before getting cannon butt:eek: I discovered he was possessive when I tried to take his first bone away. Nuh-uhh ~ I would have lost my arm. At that time he still had issues with touching his collar (which we've overcome) so I let it go. There are bigger battles with him than this after all.

Tonight I made some ground turkey. Normally he could care less if I put my hand in his food or took it away. Tonight I patted his head and was reminded of his meat freakiness ~ if there's meat involved.... snarl, snap, attempt to bite ~ it's all there.

I pullled him up by the collar and took the food away. I then gave him :censored:. After we had our moment, I then gave him the bowl and took it away ~ until it was gone.

Part of me ~ the dog training part ~ see's it as a big deal, the other part ~ Declan had a lousy life, he's older, so leave him alone already!

What do you think ? And is there anything else I should have done?

hazelrunpack
November 10th, 2007, 09:49 PM
The problem with just letting it be is that some day (if you're like hazel) you're gonna forget and reach for something at the wrong moment. :shrug:

Besides, even when it's training over something like food aggression as in Declan's case, it always seems to me that the dog in question likes the one-on-one attention of a training session. So although you can make the case for "he's older, so leave him alone already!", you can also make the case for "a little attention can stimulate the mind and keep him young!" (not to mention save you a finger or two :D) :thumbs up

How often do you work with him on this? We always have our fingers in the bowls...sometimes even taking the food bowls away briefly during dinner before returning them...to try to circumvent any food possessiveness. Keeps me busy--since they get two meals per day, that means I can get through just shy of two Pack rotations a week. :laughing:

russte
November 10th, 2007, 09:57 PM
:thumbs upSorry don't know what happened to my first post????:loser:I think you did the right thing, you should be able to take any food away anytime, anywhere. He has to know where he stands in "your pack", will will be much happier knowing where he stands, whether he is 8 months or 8 years.:Drusste

mummummum
November 10th, 2007, 09:59 PM
Dex gets a bone once a month and we have a "bacon n eggs" Sunday once a month. I rarely cook or feed them meat/fish anymore ~ which is why I'm not too sure how seriously to take thi. Cujo episode.

luckypenny
November 10th, 2007, 10:51 PM
I pullled him up by the collar and took the food away. I then gave him :censored:. After we had our moment, I then gave him the bowl and took it away ~ until it was gone.

You're more brave than I think I could be :o . How did he behave when you reacted?

I guess it's what you feel comfortable with MX3. We had a sweet little old fart as our first family dog who was also food aggressive but he only weighed about 20 lbs and was approx 14 when we brought him home. He never pulled a full Kujo but I was careful at feeding times, especially when my boys were nearby or guests were over. I figured that at his age, I ought to have just leave him be and warn everyone else instead :shrug: .

Frenchy
November 10th, 2007, 11:02 PM
I figured that at his age, I ought to have just leave him be and warn everyone else instead :shrug: .

I would do the same , if it was my dog. Because for one , I live alone. I know some people don't accept this situation , but IMO , we don't have any business putting our hands in their food. :shrug: Then again , I never had that problem.

rainbow
November 11th, 2007, 03:27 AM
All of the dogs I've had I got when they were little so I've never had a problem with this. I think I would have reacted the same way you did with Declan though. :o

SnowDancer
November 11th, 2007, 11:58 AM
Did you perhaps startle him when you patted his head while he was eating - or maybe did he think one of your other pups was about to swipe his food? Once El is eating I don't touch his food - other than perhaps to add a bit more (always welcome) - but you are braver than I am with the monthly bone - no way is he ever going to get another one - and then there is his new favourite - poultry toothpaste. When he picks up something he shouldn't have - say pine cones, bark etc, he clamps those jaws shut, pleads with his eyes and gives his mild "grr" but doesn't try to bite me and if my finger should be in his mouth as he is about to chew on the pine cone he won't do it - BUT when someone drops a piece of hamburger or other food item on the street, then no way is he going to cooperate. Sometimes I think dogs are like toddlers - their instinct takes over - and what is theirs is theirs. Think of the tantrums kids have. I would probably not be overly concerned since you know the problem and Dex probably doesn't even realize he did it. When I had the multiple Dachshunds they were very funny - my Alpha was always willing to allow the other dogs to share in licking our places (he had main position, but still shared) - but not one of the other dogs would dare touch his "dog" food. His bowl, his food.

otter
November 11th, 2007, 03:21 PM
I often debate the same with Molly (older, ?? past life, etc.)... though with her it's not food aggression but Toy possessiveness. I'm often thinking "does it really matter?"
Basically, I try and work with her when things are working, when she has her stubborn "it's mine" look I just walk away and don't bother. I warn anyone who plays with her about the situation, nobody has given me any trouble about it, if they don't like the rules, they just don't play with her.
I work at it, just much more slowly and gently than I would with a younger dog that I knew the history of. I figure, we're both better off if she gets over this, just no one needs to get frazzled in the mean time.

Slow and simple is my philosophy :2cents:

:DI gave Molly a big raw beef marrow bone today... she LICKED it! then wandered off and got her ball :confused: I threw the bone and she chased it like a ball, when I wouldn't throw it again, she went back to her ball... what a GOOF BALL! :lovestruck: Definitely no food motivation with her!

mummummum
November 11th, 2007, 06:01 PM
You're more brave than I think I could be :o . How did he behave when you reacted?

He was genuinely surprized.

Thanks folks ! I think I'm going to follow my heart on this one. He's an old guy. I don't feed meat very often. And importantly, this doesn't effect my position as Da Boss.:rolleyes:

Hogansma
November 11th, 2007, 06:07 PM
Have you tried mucking his food with your hands before giving it to him? I learned this from the SPCA. It gets your scent on his food so he knows the food is really yours but you're sharing it with him. I think I would slowly work on this issue with him because you don't want a big surprise one day if he snaps at you or someone else.

ancientgirl
November 11th, 2007, 06:23 PM
Well you know I don't have dogs, but if I had one, I'd try never to touch his bowl while he was eating.

Trained or not, I don't ever think its a good idea to do that to a dog.

I say let him have his food in peace and try to stay out of his way. If that's his biggest issue, then its something you can just avoid, no?

hazelrunpack
November 11th, 2007, 09:06 PM
Well you know I don't have dogs, but if I had one, I'd try never to touch his bowl while he was eating.

Trained or not, I don't ever think its a good idea to do that to a dog.

I say let him have his food in peace and try to stay out of his way. If that's his biggest issue, then its something you can just avoid, no?

We're in the opposite camp. :o We're always gettin' in their bowls. It's one of the first things we train pups to put up with, and it's the first thing we evaluate them for if they're older. We've only had one dog that was food possessive--and we inherited her when she was 5. After a few weeks of us messin' in her bowl, she was used to it and much better behaved. :dog:

The reason we're such big fans of the 'mess with their food' club is that we've had dogs that are prone to picking up things they shouldn't be getting into on a walk. If you don't see the item first and you have to dive in to retrieve it, (so to speak :laughing:) you don't want the dog reacting poorly while you're in its mouth. :D If you know what I mean...he he :o

It's probably not a necessity, and if we ever got an older dog that was a diehard food viking, we'd likely not push it. :o But if we can make things easier for ourselves, so much the better! :thumbs up

ancientgirl
November 12th, 2007, 08:52 AM
The reason we're such big fans of the 'mess with their food' club is that we've had dogs that are prone to picking up things they shouldn't be getting into on a walk. If you don't see the item first and you have to dive in to retrieve it, (so to speak :laughing:) you don't want the dog reacting poorly while you're in its mouth. :D If you know what I mean...he he :o




That's a good point, I never thought of it that way.

Winston
November 12th, 2007, 09:06 AM
Mum3 ! Your DaBoss! and thats what matters...I am very happy that I dont have this problem....We trained Winston from a puppy. They taught us this as part of his obediance class...so glad we did! I am so proud of my boy! he automatically waits for the command to eat from his dish. He knows the difference between just getting dinner or getting a treat or something in it...he will look at you! (the good ole look at me from training class!) and he will actually follow you around the room wih his head...doing the look at me thing waiting for the okay to go ahead and eat! It is awesome!!

We can take his dish away and he sits down and looks at you...We have put treats on his paws while lying down and he always waits for the command and the 2 cats sometimes investigate his dish while he is there and he doesnt seem to care too much!

The only bad thing I can say is he can be water bowl possessive in the yard with another dog..not fighting but he will drink the whole bowl...!!