Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dog Training Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-02-2005, 02:52 AM
kelbel's Avatar
kelbel kelbel is offline
Big Dog
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 134
Default Resource Guarding

How do I stop it? My dog Lucy guards her food. If another dog comes near her crate (where I feed her) she growls and snaps at them. She also does this as soon as we get home from our walks. She growls and snaps at the other dogs so they wont go downstairs first and then runs to her crate to make sure they don't get her food (even when there's none there). She also covers her food with a blanket. This is only a problem with animals. A complete stranger could take away her food without getting bit. What should I do?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-02-2005, 05:14 AM
Athebeau Athebeau is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 663
Default

With myself, I would stop free feeding. I would feed each dog in a seperate area (not in the crate). Leave it down for about 10 minutes while standing with her. If she doesn't eat all her food take the dish up and put it in the fridge and put it down again later. Free feeding a food aggressive dog is just asking for problems. I would also impliment the NIFIL policy and have your dog sit as a default behavior and have good things happen when the other dogs are around. With my dogs (I have 5 which were all adults when I got them and 2 are rescues and I have 2 dogs that were resource guarders. I'll just give you examples of how I managed to have a peaceful group.

I make all my dogs sit before eating. When I had a crate downstairs without a door on it for my Rottweiler as soon as she started guarding her space, I took the crate out of the house. If I put them outside with raw bones, once I see Athena or Dilon showing signs of possession I take all the bones away from everyone. There are many ways to countercondition such a dog and perhaps one of the other experts on this forum can help give you some exercises. With all of my groups of dogs I have dealt with them mainly on instinct. If they are guarding a certain object, the object is taken away, if they are guarding a certain room or space, that space is denied them.

I've always managed to put down rules with all my multi dog households. With rules comes knowing the routine. Knowing the routine makes a dog feel more relaxed, with relaxation comes a dog that is not so apt to attack the other house dogs.

I still encounter situations where my male Dilon will be unknowingly guarding an area from the other dogs. For example my lunch cooler, if I don't put this away from his sight then he will lay in front of the area I put the cooler and sutly guard. I have grown quite intune with his silent guarding, and I physically go over and put the cooler away and make him lay else where. For Athena, when she used to try bullying the other dogs and run down stairs before they did, I made her sit at the top of the stairs while the other dogs were going down and I rewarded her for her fine behavior. I've had my share of upsets in my multi dog house hold, and I found using positive counter conditioning always made the situation 110% better. I have never treated the dog that is guarding as a dominant dog (most times dogs that guard objects don't have a high amount of confidence). I worked with all the dogs in obedience (all at the same time in my yard) this helped them work together and get treats together.

Once you stop leaving food in your dogs crate and perhaps take the crate away this may ease the tension a little bit. This is one of the biggest reasons I always pick up and throw out any raw bones I put my dogs out with. If my Rottweiler or Dilon ever had a chance to bury a bone for later, that area would be guarded big time. I don't give them that opportunity. Once my Rottweiler hid a peice of the bone I gave her in the compound....I didn't have a clue that she did this...what gave it away was the next day when I put them out she pushed all the dogs aside and ran for the area she had buried her bone and layed on top of it with head down and intensely watching the other dogs to be sure they didn't come near it. With your dog, don't allow her to bury her food in the crate under the blanket, this is just encouraging food guarding and space guarding. Take away the crate and if you must feed her in a seperate room from the other dogs...just don't leave the food down for her...pick it up and take it away after so many minutes. She will catch on to eat now or go hungry.

Anyhow, goodluck and if you want to get a good book to read up on this type of behavior I would suggest the book called "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson. Or, any books, videos by Dr. Ian Dunbar; they both give guidelines on positive training and counterconditioning and desensitization. You can go onto Amazon books and get the used copies at a very small price.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-02-2005, 05:54 AM
Gallien Jacks Gallien Jacks is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,586
Default

Do you free feed? I couldnt tell from your post if you do or not? like Athebeau said you need to stop it if you do, its sounds like she thinks she is top dog, i also prepare their food then we eat ours while they wait
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-02-2005, 01:38 PM
SiberianMaster's Avatar
SiberianMaster SiberianMaster is offline
Big Dog
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Portland
Posts: 187
Default

Here are some tips: I got it from this website:http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...=1&SourceID=47
Rehabilitation

If your dog already has a problem with food guarding, you will certainly need to continue the prevention exercises and management for the life of the dog. Initially, it may be too dangerous to walk up to the dog's dish at all while the dog is eating, and we certainly don't want you hurt. In such cases, enlist the help of a behavior specialist in person, to evaluate the dog and the situation and to add an extra measure of safety for the people involved.

For the food-guarding dog, remove the dog dish from the floor between meals. Leaving the dish out gives the dog something to guard, and our goal is to lull the whole food-guarding instinct to sleep.

If this is a fairly moderate problem, start by putting the food dish on the floor at mealtime-with nothing in it! Walk several feet away, and have the dog's food with you. Also have some means of giving the food to the dog in small bits. For a dog who reacts to a hand reaching toward the dish, get the help of a behavior specialist. But one way to work it would be to use something long to put the food into the dish, rather than your hand. A reaching tool for people with disabilities may be an option, depending on the food you're using. These tools are not expensive.

When the dog realizes there is no food in the dish and looks at you, walk up to the dish and put a small amount of food in it before walking away again. When the dog finishes that bit and looks at you again, walk up and place another bit in the bowl and go back to your position several feet away from the dish.

You're conditioning the dog to accept having a person approaching the dish and putting a hand down to the dish. You don't want to just stand next to the dish dispensing food. You want to include an approach to the dish each time, in order to turn the approach of a person at mealtime into a positive event in the dog's mind. A good way to end the meal would be to give the dog an especially tasty treat as you pick the bowl up off the floor. This is to condition the dog that having the bowl removed is a good thing, too, and also to let the dog know the meal is finished.

If your dog is extra-touchy about the person's approach or some other aspect of the exercise, you can start by taking a step back from doing it as described above, or more than one step back. Here are some ideas for "back up steps":

1. For the dog who has become defensive about the dish itself, you could start with no dog dish, and feed the dog from your hand. In order to switch the dog to safely eating from a dish, you would gradually include the dish. After the dog gets used to eating from your hand, you could place the dish on a surface nearby and gradually move the hand with the food closer to the dish for successive bits of food.

Start holding the dish in your other hand, and gradually move the dish to the floor level. Eventually set the dog dish on the floor, and continue gradual steps until the dog is ready for you to start setting the empty dish on the floor and moving several steps away.

Take these steps slowly. You want to do the whole process over as long as period of time as it takes, as slowly as necessary, to avoid triggering the dog into a food-guarding or dish-guarding reaction. Such a reaction is a big setback to training. Slower is faster in this case, because taking the steps slowly will achieve the desired effects much more quickly than if you rush things.

2. You could hold the dog dish in your hand rather than setting it on the floor, and have the dog come to you for food rather than you walking up to the dog. You may want to move around, stepping away from the dog, having the dog come with you to a new spot for each bite.

A next step would be to teach the dog a simple "stay" and have the dog hold the "stay" while you walk up with the dish and still hold it for the dog to eat. Now you're introducing the approach, but the dog has nothing to guard as you approach, because you still have the dish and the food with you.

Gradually you would put the dish closer to the floor, and then eventually on the floor. When using a "stay" with training on food guarding, avoid creating a situation that rewards the dog at the release from the "stay." This can make a dog somewhat explosive, exactly what you do not want.

Always bring your dog out of a "stay" command calmly. Do the same whenever you bring a dog out of a crate or other confinement. Exploding dogs can be dangerous, and we sometimes unknowingly condition this reaction by making the release too rewarding. Give the dog something calm to do immediately on release from the "stay" or the confined area.

3. It could enhance an adult's safety to place the dish on a raised surface for early training, so that you're not bending down and putting your face near dog teeth, and so that you're less physically off balance when you deposit food into the dish. A raised dish and a reaching tool to add the food would be additional safety. Note that raising the dish could put it closer to a child's face, and therefore not be a good idea. You wouldn't be including the child in the conditioning process at the early stages anyway, though. The child should not be brought into the exercises until the dog is completely steady with adults.

4. You could tether the dog before putting down the dish, so that the dog cannot nail you with teeth as long as you stay out of reach. Again, if you feel this is necessary, get a behavior specialist to help you with the dog rather than going it alone.

5. For extra safety, you could use a head halter or muzzle that allows the dog to eat but prevents the dog from biting you. If you want to try this option, work with a behavior specialist-and have that person help you fit the mouth-controlling device so that you don't get a nasty surprise if it accidentally comes off at the worst possible moment.

Remember, too, that conditioning might quickly seem complete with the mouth-controlling device on, and fall apart appallingly quickly when the device is removed. Don't try to take short cuts on the conditioning. If a dog has this big a problem with food-guarding, it's going to be a long process to make that dog safer.

6. Keep confrontation and punishment strictly out of this process. No matter how difficult the dog or how serious you might consider a particular transgression the dog has committed, human aggression toward the dog over food or toys is virtually guaranteed to make the problem worse. It is quite often what causes the problem in the first place.

.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-02-2005, 03:44 PM
kelbel's Avatar
kelbel kelbel is offline
Big Dog
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 134
Default

Thank you to everyone for your replies.

Yes I do free feed this dog but only because she is soooooo skinny and she doesn't eat right away. She just finished her breakfast and it's 3:34! I will stop that right away. I will also find a new place to feed her. I cannot take her crate away because I live in my parents house and she isn't allowed out when I'm not with her. It's a very frustrating situation but I'm doing the best I can. My parents like the dog and even walk her and take her to run at the ball field while I'm at work. They just have a brand new house and they don't want it destroyed. She's already peed inside three times. She gets along great with the other dogs as long as there isn't food involved. She has no problem with people taking her food. Just dogs. Today my dad suggested making the store room in the basement into a dog proof area so my dogs don't have to be crated so much. Hopefully I can start work on that soon.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-03-2005, 08:19 AM
Athebeau Athebeau is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 663
Default

Quote:
Yes I do free feed this dog but only because she is soooooo skinny and she doesn't eat right away.
What you could do is feed her a high quality calorie dense food such as Natura's EVO mixed with the Natura canned dog foods. That way you can offer her perhaps a 1/2 cup mixed with a tablespoon of canned. Put it down, if she walks away pick it up and put it into the fridge. Offer it again about 20 minutes later and leave for her for about 10 minutes. She will soon get the idea that it's eat now or the food is gone...and by golly it wasn't one of the other dogs that took it, it's dear sweet Mom who took it away.

My Rottweiler started a behavior similar to what you are going through, she would lay in front of her dish, let the other dogs gobble their food up. Then once they were finished she would take her good old time eating her food in front of them. She went as far as laying down and chewing on a peice of kibble that would have made a dog food commercial proud The other dogs would lay there and watch and drool, if one of them got too excited and tried to come over to Athena's dish she would nail them. I stopped that behavior right away...that only happened a few times until I started picking up her dish if she didn't eat right away.

Quote:
Today my dad suggested making the store room in the basement into a dog proof area so my dogs don't have to be crated so much. Hopefully I can start work on that soon
That's nice of your dad. I think that once you start taking away all items your dog normally guards then the tension between your dogs will improve. If she is in her crate and is aggressive with the other dogs when they pass...this is quite normal. There are thousands of wonderful dogs that are the sweetest dogs 99% of the time..but, put them in a fenced in area or crate etc. and they turn into a lunitic. In my line of work (operate a boarding kennel) I see this behavior all the time. Sweet dogs that turn into Kujo when in their runs...fence fighting with their neighbors, barking, snarling etc. Yet, these same dogs in the huge compound area where they are not cornered play well with the other dogs. The owners are usually shocked to find that their angel at home turns into a devil when behind bars
Also, impliment the NIFIL policy where all your dogs have to earn their meals by a default behavior such as sit. I found a huge difference with my dogs with the NIFIL policy in place. The sit and preparing the meals helps them find a default behavior instead of snarling at the other dogs. Also, what helped enormously in my mutli dog household...order of feeding. I feed Dilon my food guarding male first, then Tori my sweet little Newf, then my old girl Cassie, then Beau and last my "could have been Food aggressive" Rottweiler. The order never changes...unless of course one of the Newf's is away at a show..haha
Good luck, I'm sure you will be able to work this through. Once you see an improvement pat yourself on your back and tell yourself that your are the greatest...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-03-2005, 12:54 PM
Doberluv's Avatar
Doberluv Doberluv is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: western Wa
Posts: 21,914
Default

As long as she isn't guarding her food around you or other people, that's great... the guarding from the other dogs is very, very instinctual. I wouldn't bother trying to train that out of her nature where other dogs are concerned, but feed seperately and I agree with not free feeding. My dogs don't guard with eachother and I still feed seperately. Good luck with all.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:19 PM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site