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Old 10-02-2012, 07:25 AM
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mrose_s mrose_s is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: QLD, Australia
Posts: 12,169
Default Resource guarding against other dogs

I know it seems like every post I write atm is a problem I'm having with Quinn. She's not that bad, she has her issues but overall I'm really happy with her, I just don't have much spare time so the only chance I really have to post is when I need advice.

Anywho, Quinn has always been a bit resource guardy with the other dogs, no issues with people whatsoever.
Not really any issues with toys, she can guard me or the bed sometimes but her main issue is with food. Most other thinsg she postures and snarks but she will fly off the handle over food.

We manage it, there are no bones left in the backyard anymore. She is always fed in her crate with a cover or a seperate room. I generally don't let other dogs approach us when training with food etc. I even give her an extra 5-10 minutes alone after a meal for "relisation time" when she seems to calm down, check to make sure there is no food around and then I always supervise when I let her back with the other dogs.
I guess I hadn't really relised its a fair bit of extra maintenance.

That said, she can share food if she hasn't had a chance to claim it as hers. Ie: Poppy and her raiding the cat food bowl. But then other times she looses it over so much as a singe piece of kibble. She just started Buster because he was sniffing the ground where she had lost a piece of kibble under a cabinet (I had got it out for her and given her 10 minutes to check out the area to see if she still had any reason to defend it)
She has improved a lot in that she is easier to stop verbally when she gets like that and Buster rarely wants to fight back.

I don't really know how to fix this though, I know its a natural behaviour but its a pain in the ass that her reactions can be so full on and so fast.
Buster used to be really guardy with food, to the point that he wouldn't eat a meal so that he could spend all evening stressing and guarding it. He just seemed to grow out of it in the last 4 years or so. Now he'll let anyone steal his food right out of the bowl he's eating out of.

I know its a bit complex but I'd just like an improvement and it's something I'm not sure on how to tackle without risking making matters worse.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:42 AM
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Tazwell Tazwell is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,083

It's been years since I've dealt with this issue in my own dogs, but I remember one exercise I performed quite a bit was to tether or leash the guardy dog in a safe manner, and have the other (preferrably reliable dog)in a stay ( or also leashed) a few feet away. Bring a food dish with guardy dog's dinner, and give a kibble to good dog, and instantly "yes!" and reward guardy dog with a handful of food. And repeat and repeat and repeat.

The idea is that guardy dog likes seeing other dog eat, and eventually they can move a little closer to each other. I also will put the empty bowl in front of guardy dog and for every kibble that good dog gets, guardy dog gets a handful in the bowl.

This definitely could help increase her tolerance of having buster around while she eats, but probably not so much with those situations where she's guarding the invisible nothings on the floor... I'm interested to see what others may have to say about that!

Fleetwood Mes Yeux Vigilant CGCA RE TDCH TDI and Shed Antler Dog!
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:12 AM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6,393

When I had a bad RGer with other pets, I did a couple of things. One, I managed the h*ll out of all food. There was never a scrap of food, pet food or human food, anywhere in the house that I didn't know about and control. Cats were fed behind closed doors. Dogs were physically separated to eat or for toys and chews. No food left out uncontrolled. She was not allowed to hang out under the table, etc. close enough to where food might drop from people when we were eating, although she was allowed in the same room.

Two, when people were eating and if one of the other pets wandered through, at the slightest hard stare, lip curl, growl, tense posture - the very earliest sign that I saw - she had to go to her place (bed) in another room and wait until the food was all completely gone. That actually seemed to help tremendously over the years to where she actually relaxed and wasn't vigilant when we were eating, she could hang out in the same room without any hard body language.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:52 AM
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Ratboy Ratboy is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Posts: 668

King didn't have any problem with this before he got Cushing's, but since then, even with it under control, he's pretty gung ho about watching his "stuff", and glaring at Molly if he even thinks she's going to take something he's claimed. They are free fed, and there is no problem there, they take turns eating and Molly always lets "the boss" in without any issue, but if I toss anything really "good", like a hunk of hamburger, or chicken, I have to make sure that I immediately toss a hunk to Molly. It has to be pretty far away from King, as if it's close, he will warn her off by a look, or if she ignores that, a snarl (His snarls and bark are very old sounding at this point, but it works). My real problem with him is how grabby he is. I give him carrots, Molly hates them, and he bites me hard enough that I have black spots on both my thumbnails from his chomping on them. I tell him "Easy!", but he seems to, uhh, forget, after about a minute, and if I forget too, he gets me. He's the worst catcher I have ever seen (My friends nearly blind dog catches better than he ever could), so I just hand them to him, and hope I don't get chomped on. At less than 3 months until their 14th birthday, I basically just leave him alone and if I get chomped, big deal.
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