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Food Aggression

jtomlinson
February 29th, 2008, 03:36 PM
I need some help with my 7 month old puppy. He growls when i pet him when he is eating. I've tried a couple different recommended approaches and none seem to be working. I tried being the alpha and taking the food away when he growled but that seemed to only make it worst as he wanted to gaurd it more. Then i thought i would try to make me being near his food a good experience so he would want me around, so i have his treats when i came to his bowl. he is better as long as i don't touch him. But obviously i don't want this behavour. any thoughts or suggestion would be much appreciated!!

hazelrunpack
February 29th, 2008, 03:48 PM
Hi, jtomlinson. Welcome to the board.

Have you tried hand-feeding him? That way you have control of the food and he has to be respectful or he doesn't get it. Maybe put a hand on his head and present the food with the other? Any growling and the food disappears until later.

luckypenny
February 29th, 2008, 03:53 PM
For the third time today :o, here's a link to an article you may find helpful...

http://www.sfspca.org/behavior/dog_library/FoodGuarding.pdf

Scroll down to Rehab Exercise 1 & 2. Consistency is the key. Once you're able to get through all the steps with no problems at all, start practicing with other members of your household, then other friends and guests.

Please don't go all alpha on your dog. In some cases, this only leads to confrontation, as you've already mentioned doesn't work in your case. It can just escalate the situation.

Is this the only behavioral problem you're having with your dog? Does he also growl at you in other situations?

MIA
February 29th, 2008, 08:20 PM
May I ask if you can take away toys or treats and if this is just a food thing?

jtomlinson
March 3rd, 2008, 08:19 AM
Thank you. I hand feed for the first 2 months and i can do that still it only when i touch him. i have no started to sit with him and put the dish on my lap and leave my hands in the dish, so far no growling. When he gets a new bone he will growl when you touch him as well but after he's had it for a while he wont.