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Serious Food Aggression All of a Sudden

February 26th, 2009, 08:33 PM

We need some help. If anyone knows of a professional in Northern BC, we'd like to hear some names.
We have an 11 month old Kuvasz (large breed) who, out of the blue, attacked our 4 year old female over a bone he found in the ground. He drew blood on her and was very nasty. We had to break them apart.

Up until now we'd had no problem feeding him or removing food from him. Today at supper time, he snarled lunged and snapped at me..barking, etc, when I came to pick up his dish. He's never done that before.

I sent him into his kennel. He went instantly. Yet when I bent again to pick up his dish, he flew at the wall of the kennel, all vicious again. I can honestly say that I was scared of him at that moment. I put the food away. When I got back to the kennel he was all submissive and "sorry"...on his back, etc.

We have two small children who are used to being near and around all 3 dogs in all circumstances. Now I am afraid for their safety. Normally when this youngster misbehaves, I 'alpha him' and he responds. This time, he was having none of it. No matter how much of Cesar Milan's 'psst', posturing and calm assertive, I tried, this dog didn't care.

I've never seen him go off like that and I'm scared. I need help before this gets bad and one of our kids gets hurt. Since I am now fearful of our dog, I don't feel like I can fix this. Can someone suggest something?

I was feeding the dogs together without incident until recently. Should I start feeding them in isolation again? I need a trainer, I'm sure of it.:cry2:

February 26th, 2009, 08:52 PM
Here you go, you should be able to find a qualified behaviorist to help you understand and address this behavior. Click on "Find a Trainer" in the left-hand column and enter your location information.

In the meantime, please, do not force a confrontation with your dog (never mind Milan and the alpha theories for now, you could be making the situation worse). Feed them separately and make sure there is no food/snacks/bones laying around. Also, crate your dogs while your family eats. This includes the children's snack-time.

Also, don't feed your dog too much, there shouldn't be anything left in his bowl after a meal. Wait until he's crated, secured in another room, or outdoors before you pick up the bowl.

I know what you're going through :grouphug:. Don't allow this new behavior to paralyze you, pick up that phone and get help now.

ETA: Please make sure the trainer/behaviorist is well qualified and experienced with this sort of aggression (and doesn't use harsh corrective methods). Don't be afraid to ask for referrences.

February 26th, 2009, 11:06 PM
What do you mean by "I Alpha him" and he responds? What do you do to show him your "alpha"? LP is right nevermind the Cesar Milan stuff for now.

I would recommend that you do NILF. Nothing in Life is Free. Do a google on it. Basically, you Make him work for everything. He must sit before pets; sit before food; sit before treats. Everyone must make sure they do this with the dogs even the kids. This way he sees you (the humans) in control of everything that he wants. So you would be the pack leader.

I also agree feed the dogs seperately. You might even feed them in their crates. and yes Do not leave anything that could be considered food laying around. This means candy wrappers too or any type of food.

When he is around the house you might want to have him leashed on a small leash so he can drag it around the house. This way if anything happens again you can easily correct him with the leash.

Hang in there I know its awfully frustrating. I went thru a very similar incident with Han and the NILF worked beautifully. But always good to contact a professional as well.

February 26th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Considering you say this is sudden I would have a full check up at the vet, be sure he's medically sound first, then find a local trainer with experience with aggression and the breed. You didn't mention what area you are in but please research who you use so the problem doesn't worsen.

February 27th, 2009, 12:35 AM
Considering you say this is sudden I would have a full check up at the vet, be sure he's medically sound first, then find a local trainer with experience with aggression and the breed. You didn't mention what area you are in but please research who you use so the problem doesn't worsen.

Yes very good point. Not all trainers are equal. A vet check isn't a bad idea either there may be something bothering your dog.

February 27th, 2009, 11:48 AM
I agree with the others, full vet check.

My friends dog was the sweetest thing, and all of a sudden started snaping and attacking, and she found out her dog was going blind.
The dog eventually went blind, but becuase she was prepared and did her homework, her dog eventually adjusted no longer snapped or attacked. (at least not with them)

February 27th, 2009, 01:15 PM
What I find most disturbing is that the dog is fine one day and then reacts this way the next. Something more is going on than a simple behavioural issue.

A vet visit would be my first venture. If he is completely healthy then definately a behaviouralist is in order.

If you think back, was there any event that took place that you saw but perhaps dismissed because it was minor?

LP has given you some very good advice about removing the bowl if the dog is charging. Better safe than sorry.

I wish you luck and please keep us updated.

February 27th, 2009, 01:53 PM
Wow, that sounds really scary...hope the 4 yr old is ok.

I just googled that breed...they look like giant goldens :cloud9:

You have gotten some very good advice here and from people who know what they are talking about.

I would do it, NILF, and behaviorist. You can't put your children and other dogs in harms way.

He could have some adolescent rebellions sneaking up....yikes!!!!

Good luck and keep us posted...and pictures too please :fingerscr