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Old 08-20-2008, 07:10 PM
ahkelteke ahkelteke is offline
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Exclamation Food/Toy Aggression Towards Other Family Pets

I own a 3-mth-old Lab pup and my housemate owns a 7-mth-old Jack Russell. As of late, I have begun investing in interactive toys, toys that make my pup work for a reward (i.e. food). These toys -- Kongs, bones, etc. -- are causing big problems. Tha Jack Russell becomes protective and guards the toys with great ferocity, whether the Lab poses an actual threat or not. The scene often escalates to the point where we have had to seperate the two dogs, who are best friends otherwise, for great lengths of time. We have tried providing them each with their own toys, but the Jack Russell often claims the Lab's as well or still jumps the Lab when she so much as walks by. Is there any way to ammend this problem without completely stopping the use of these toys? It happens with pieces of wood, too. I can't keep all the toys up... I would have no furniture to sit on!
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:09 PM
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Sniperess Sniperess is offline
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I know in my own home I have no toys that dispense food, or treats of any kind or I end up with the same issues with my female springer, and my beagle. Both of whom are food guarders. So is Sniper to some degree.

Do they even do it with rope toys etc. or is it isolated to food motivated toys? I give no raw hides, bones etc. out in the wide open. They get them in their crates only and I make absolutely certain they understand I can, and will, and do, take them away from them at any time. The only one who will occassionally argue about that is the beagle.

When you have food driven dogs it's just not a good idea, in my opinion, to have those types of toys around for them to have whenever they want. I'm sure others though have different ways to handle it.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:43 AM
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ihartgonzo ihartgonzo is offline
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When Fozzie was a puppy, he would attempt to steal Gonzo's food and chewies... luckily, Gonzo does not guard food whatsoever, but I didn't want any spats to break out when Fozzie grew up.

So I supervised, diligently. When they were eating raw, I would be standing in between them. If Fozzie tried to sneak over to Gonzo, I would quickly and sternly tell him off (by "AH-AH"-ing). After a while, I could just sit nearby and supervise. Eventually, neither would bother the other while they were eating. If you cannot supervise, I would crate the puppies with their chewies, or put them in seperated areas with them. Seriously though, it's best to put the puppies in their crate or a secure area if you can't supervise, period. ; ) Lord knows they can get themselves into huge trouble in a nanosecond!

As far as food guarding goes, it isn't easy to remedy. It's more of a survival instinct than anything. You could work on desensitizing the JRT to the Lab walking by and such, by rewarding him for ignoring the Lab. But you cannot force him to share. Pretty much the most that can be done is teaching the JRT that YOU are the resource-provider, and the controller of resources, and that YOU are there to protect his goodies from other dogs, which should make him feel more at ease and more like he doesn't need to protect his treats. At 3 months old, the Lab puppy probably needs to learn some manners about leaving other dogs' food alone, anyway. By "jump", what do you mean? Does the JRT growl, snarl, or warn the puppy before he "jumps" her? Have there been any bites?

<3 Erica, Gonzo & Fozzie
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:58 PM
ahkelteke ahkelteke is offline
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Originally Posted by ihartgonzo View Post
By "jump", what do you mean? Does the JRT growl, snarl, or warn the puppy before he "jumps" her? Have there been any bites?
By "jump", I mean the JRT will literally pounce on the lab when she is merely walking by the couch. Most of the attacks are unprovocked and often involve non-food toys/objects like stuffed animals, ropes, and wood stakes.

The odd thing is, the JRT could care less about her dinner bowl. She'll let the lab nibble out of it (although we try very hard not to let this happen and supervise them very closely.during meals). It's just the toys she cares about!
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