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Growling.....

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by francesandjon, Jul 31, 2009.


  1. francesandjon

    francesandjon PetForums VIP

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    Recently Koda has been growling at us if we go near him when he has a bone. We have made a specific point of interacting with him while eating etc.

    Its not a nice growl, but his tail is wagging!

    He growled a min ago when he just had one of his toys, so we distracted him with a bone, removed the toy, then he growled when he had the bone!

    He sat behind the sofa for a few mins with it, then came out to be nearer us, and is now asleep at my OHs feet.

    Any ideas/suggestions about how we can stop this?? He hasn't shown any other type of aggression at all, and we don't want this to escalate.

    thanks
     
  2. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    What do you mean by "interacting with him while he is eating"?
     
  3. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    I use to take the object away and give a treat hold it back for a while and the give it back later. Also with his food dishes i use to add things and take it away just for a min. treat him and replace. It is just building it up so he feels its not being taken and he will get it back. Also if you have other people in the house get them to do it also even if you supervise as it lets the dog know that anyone can do it with out it being taken away and that he gets it back. I use to also do this with his toys but id follow up with a game but you have to say when the game starts and you end it dont let your dog decide it makes you the leader. .
     
  4. Louby

    Louby PetForums Junior

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  5. francesandjon

    francesandjon PetForums VIP

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    Thanks

    We often sit with him while he's eating, add food to his bowl, and talk to him. Never had any aggression with that.
     
  6. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

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    we have always used to drop it, leave it command and take it away from them make them sit and give it back

    I know lots of people think swaping for higher value food i never have, ive always taken food away, put my hand in his bowl taken it away and we have never ever had any problems with agression over anything

    zebs happy to drop and leave anything even if hes half eating it he'll drop it, and he also does it if the kids ask him!
     
  7. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    In a pack of wolves or wild dogs everyone, even the lowest in rank, has the right to defend whatever resources they have. That is why so many dogs guard their food against other dogs and humans. Of course, it's not something that you want the dog to do, but it's always good to know why the dog does something.

    The reason the dog growls is that he doesn't trust you not to steal his resources and when you distract him and then "steal" his toy or bone you only confirm that he was right not to trust you. That also makes the growling likely to happen more often in the future.

    Instead of distracting him and "steal" whatever he has, teach him to come to you and trade it in for something else. It is always better that the dog come to you, than you going to the dog to take things away. For example, give him a toy and then call him. When he comes with the toy give him a real good treat, for example a small piece of meat, cheese, pancake (for some reason many dogs are crazy about pancakes) or hot dog. When you have rewarded the dog, give the toy back to him. That way he doesn't feel that his losing it, it's simply you holding it for him while he's eating.

    It is advisable to start with a toy as the dog probably is less inclined to guard a toy than food or bones. But when he can come to you and trade his toy for a treat it's time to do the same thing with bones. Then especially it's important to have good treats. You could even have a second bone to reward the dog with when he comes with the first one.
     
    goodvic2 and Colliepoodle like this.
  8. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    I second all that.

    Never tell them off for growling - just see it as a sign he is uncomfortable with you being near his food and take steps to ensure he becomes more comfortable.

    Jean Donaldson has written a book concerned with resource guarding called "Mine!" and I hear nothing but good things about it. Might be worth a look. Thing with things like this is that you have to take it step by step and if you miss steps out, you can find the problem isn't fixed.
     
  9. francesandjon

    francesandjon PetForums VIP

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    Off to find a copy.....ebay here I come!

    Thanks
     
  10. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    While you're in the mood, order "The Culture Clash" by the same author as well. It should, IMVHO, be compulsory reading for all dog owners :D
     
  11. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    Hi how old is he? just wondering if its an age thing,trying to be in control of you.
     
  12. francesandjon

    francesandjon PetForums VIP

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    He's 5 months old
     
  13. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Great advice, I have repped you for this! x
     
  14. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    My first 2 rescue's were street dogs from Greece. These sort of dogs are far more likely to suffer from resourse guarding than most other types of dogs, for obvious reasons.

    I never did the "taking food" away from them. But what I did do was ensure I was always seen as the leader and I believe this has prevented me having problems. If I had started taking food off them in the early days, quite possibly I would have had a problem.

    In my opinion, if you always maintain your leadership status, then you should not be faced with too many problems.

    Good luck x
     
  15. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    You will find this helpful

    Resource Guarding | Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle | Dog and Puppy Tips from Seattle |

    Also agree on the Jean Donaldson book "Mine!"
     
  16. francesandjon

    francesandjon PetForums VIP

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    Thanks,

    Copies of 'Mine' and 'The Culture Clash' are winging their way towards my house as we speak!
     
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