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Old September 6th, 2009, 04:32 PM
rottie481 rottie481 is offline
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My dog attacked my other dog over food... PLEASE HELP!!!

The other day I was packing my dogs food in baggies to prepare for our weekend vacation. While measuring out the food, Molly (beagle/jack russel mix)came over to investigate and tried to get some food out of the food bin which is located on the bottom cabinet in the kitchen. She has always been a 'food hog' and will do anything for food. She has always been defensive around food. While she was trying to get in the food bin, our other dog Charlie (chihuahua) walked next to Molly to also see the food. This was the first time Charlie came this close to Molly when food was present. Molly turned around and literally attacked him. I freaked out and picked her up yelling "no molly". As I picked her up, she did not release and kept Charlie in her mouth. She had him by the neck. At his point, Charlie was now lifted off the floor crying very very loudly. My husband ran over and grabbed Charlie and tried to get him away from her. It took a few seconds before she released. I put her in the bathroom for 'time out' as we evaluated Charlie. He was extremly scared and cried when we tried to touch his neck. We realized that there was one puncture wound and he was bleeding. It was a little bit of blood but he had a small hole in his neck.
This was the first time she had done this and I didn't know what to do. She lunged at him 2 other times before when food was not present but we seperated them and no one got hurt. This was the first actual 'dog fight'. It's very confusing because they are such BEST friends.
I am 16 weeks pregnant and I'm very afraid about this happening with the baby or another incident with Charlie.
Overall, Molly is a kind dog but does sometimes show aggression to other dogs but she has never attacked - she only shows teeth.
I REALLY want to help her. I can't bear to get rid of her. I love her and Charlie so much. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Becky

p.s. About the pregnancy thing... I always thought she would be good with kids a few young children/babies have been over and she's been fine. But now I am very worried.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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mollywog mollywog is offline
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This is just my but I am sure other members will have some advice.

It is normal for dogs to have resource-guarding aggression. My Molly is one of those dogs. Here is what I do:

First let me start by saying she is never aggressive towards people about food, only other dogs and cats.
If/ when I ever have another dog or cat around Molly, I let their owner know right away that Molly can be a "piggy" and not to share food when she is around. So if it comes time for feeding, we separate the dogs and feed them in separate rooms. It has worked out well. It usually also means keeping food off the coffee table, where one of the dogs might end up thinking it is "theirs".

It's all about prevention- don't let this situation happen again! Scoop out the food in another room behind closed doors.
Don't be upset about it, this is something that can be worked with.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Originally Posted by mollywog View Post
So if it comes time for feeding, we separate the dogs and feed them in separate rooms.
This is exactly what you need to do rottie481 , to separate them when feeding time. I would also not allow your Beagle in the same room when you prepare the food.

I had to do this a few times with one of my own (Sam) , I was already feeding them in separate rooms but Sam would be near me as I was preparing the meals. Every time he would show teeth at another dog (only at newbie fosters) he would get sent to the dining room.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Do your dogs know any basic commands, rottie481? We have ours sit and stay while I'm preparing their meals. They all have their designated spots and are not allowed to venture over to another dog's space or bowl.

Management and supervision is key. There would be no need to fear having to give your pup up if you supervise and train. This is definitely a situation that can be worked with.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 10:43 PM
rottie481 rottie481 is offline
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Thank you for all the great advice. Lucky Penny - I actually did try that tonight. I had Molly and Charlie both wait at their 'feeding spots' while I prepared their food. Usually Charlie always waits by his area but Molly tends to stand by me and go crazy over the food.
Tonight I had her wait by her area as I continued to say 'stay'. I had to keep redirecting her to her specific area as I contined to say 'stay'. After about 6 times, it worked and she waited for her food at HER area. I was so excited!! I'm going to continue to try this technique. I want her to know that I am the 'alpha dog' when it comes to food. Hopefully this will work and won't cause anymore fights.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 10:51 PM
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That's great you were so successful . You can practice away from the food bowls as well so the commands can be easily transferred elsewhere to different situations and environments. Especially with objects and spaces they tend to guard.

Funny, just tonight as I was preparing supper, there was a squabble between two of our girls. They were all sitting respectfully in their spots until my son came into the kitchen and decided to play with them right by the food bowls on the counter. I think we need to work on training the kids to stay in their spots outside of the kitchen too at supper time .
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Old September 7th, 2009, 08:38 AM
SnowDancer SnowDancer is offline
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Did you take Charlie to the vet? The reason I ask is that this happened to us several years ago - and the larger dog shook our smaller dog by the neck, causing a puncture. We took our guy to the vet and she told us that it was the correct thing to do because he could have ended up with blood poisoning due to the size and location of the puncture.

Re the food - we used to have a Beagle so I know all about food issues. Then we had mini Dachshunds, who made the Beagle's food issues seem non-existent - but Dachshunds are also part of the Terrier Breed - so a Dachshund Terrorist. The Dachshunds were funny - we had more than one - plus the cats - and no one messed with the Alpha's (very benevolent Alpha otherwise) dog food - BUT - if given a plate of ours to lick he happily shared with his brothers.

I would do as suggested and separate the dogs at food time etc. And remember, the Chi can be a little devil as well. It is very scary though - and we had the issue again when a Beta want-to-be Alpha decided to take on the real Alpha - not good. Particuarlly when the true Alpha did not want to strike back. We now have only one dog - an American Eskimo who is afraid he is never going to be fed - he was considered the runt of the litter and was often pushed away - something stuck in his brain. He is as frantic for food as a hound - but at least the hounds always knew they would be fed.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
I think we need to work on training the kids to stay in their spots outside of the kitchen too at supper time .
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Old September 7th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Marcha Marcha is offline
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
I think we need to work on training the kids to stay in their spots outside of the kitchen too at supper time .
Let me know when you find something that works. My boys are having a hard time with the concept too.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 10:12 AM
brecker brecker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rottie481 View Post
I am 16 weeks pregnant and I'm very afraid about this happening with the baby or another incident with Charlie.
Overall, Molly is a kind dog but does sometimes show aggression to other dogs but she has never attacked - she only shows teeth.
I REALLY want to help her. I can't bear to get rid of her. I love her and Charlie so much. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Becky

p.s. About the pregnancy thing... I always thought she would be good with kids a few young children/babies have been over and she's been fine. But now I am very worried.
Hmm Beagle/Terrier and Chihuawa......

This part has me worried... Maybe some "pre-child I want to make sure my dogs respect all people training is in order" ? the LAST thing you want is your baby to go near the dog when it's eating anything unless this is corrected before hand. Has there been ANY "people issues" in the past? If not, you shouldn't have problems. May be a short lived dominance struggle when the new baby shows up. If that happens, you will need to end that very quickly.

There is dog aggression as well here, but I'm unsure if it's a dominance or a fear thing... ?

Last edited by brecker; September 8th, 2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 09:23 PM
rottie481 rottie481 is offline
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I think Molly does have some aggression issues with certain dogs. I have actually been very firm with her lately. She now has to wait by her dog bowl while I am preparing her food. I am trying to become the true 'alpha' dog in the house. Several people told me read Cesar Millan's book about being the pack leader. I am going to pick up a copy this weekend.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 08:22 AM
brecker brecker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rottie481 View Post
I think Molly does have some aggression issues with certain dogs. I have actually been very firm with her lately. She now has to wait by her dog bowl while I am preparing her food. I am trying to become the true 'alpha' dog in the house. Several people told me read Cesar Millan's book about being the pack leader. I am going to pick up a copy this weekend.
I'm impressed! People absolutely need to establish the "lead" with their dog(s).

Youtube his videos, or get the National Geographic channel and watch his shows!
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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:12 AM
brecker brecker is offline
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Hold Charlie and Molly beside each other (making sure Molly is at her food) just close enough to cause Molly to become a little "uncomfortable" or slightly aggressive and just wait until Molly calms down. This might take a while

When she does calm down, say good girl and stop the exercise and separate them. Do this every day, or even every feeding.

Does she get aggressive with people near her food? If yes, substitute Charlie with a person. forget the "No's and time out's"
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Old September 10th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecker View Post
Hold Charlie and Molly beside each other (making sure Molly is at her food) just close enough to cause Molly to become a little "uncomfortable" or slightly aggressive and just wait until Molly calms down. This might take a while

When she does calm down, say good girl and stop the exercise and separate them. Do this every day, or even every feeding.

Does she get aggressive with people near her food? If yes, substitute Charlie with a person. forget the "No's and time out's"
Brecker, could you please explain this theory a bit more? I'm at a loss as to see how this could possibly help the situation, but maybe I just don't understand what you're saying.

It SOUNDS like you're suggesting that a person sit near her food bowl, or the owner put the other dog close to it while Molly is eating.

If this is what you're saying, and if you aren't please correct me, I'm not sure I see how this can help rehabilitate her - especially without a behaviorist who knows what to watch for in both dogs - available to assess the situation.

For one thing, it will no doubt cause Molly to eat her food more quickly, possibly even INCREASE her desire to protect the food. Having someone sit by the food, dog or person, is not going to rehabilitate her out of this situation IMO.
When you say "calm" - can you garauntee that she won't become 'calm' after the food has been eaten? Or is the OP supposed to put the food in front of Molly, keep her from eating it so that it can continue to be used as the 'bait', while managing to hold Charlie at the same time?
No one has *seen* these dogs in person to calculate how food aggressive/possessive Molly is, the reaction may only be when Charlie sticks his nose in the bowl, or if Charlie were to physically touch Molly either with his body or his nose. So how 'close' is too 'close' for your scenario to work?
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Last edited by Bailey_; September 10th, 2009 at 12:05 PM.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 12:21 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Hi -

From what you posted there seems to be more issues than just the food. Most of the dogs that I get were starved and food aggression is a common factor however there are other deep rooted problems which led to the aggression which vary depending on the dog and the situation that they came from. I have had alot of success with dogs that have this type of aggression but again the techniques vary from dog to dog. I would love to address this thread but first I would like to ask you a few questions which may help understand the dog's behaviour as a whole.

Firstly, is there any aggression towards people?
Do you walk your dogs together and if so, how do they interact with each other on the leash?
When the dogs are out for walks and Molly 'shows her teeth' - what are the circumstances and how do you correct this behaviour? How does the little chi react as well?
How well does she take correction? Does she listen to basic commands such as sit, stay etc.
Has she ever snapped at a human?
Has she ever attacked another dog other than your chi?
When you feed the dogs where are they fed and who do you feed first?
Is there something that you do before you put the food down on the floor for feeding.

I realize you are going to wonder why I am asking these questions as it does not fix your issue at hand. It is important to know what triggers certain behaviours and all the above is relevant. Let me know, and I will be more than pleased to assist you in this.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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Great questions BM...I'd also like to add:

Do you feed your dogs human food?
Do you allow them to beg at the table, or do they beg at all?

Looking forward to the replies!
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