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Old 09-01-2007, 08:21 PM
StillandSilent StillandSilent is offline
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Default What Causes Sudden Food Aggression?

Lilly shocked me a few days ago. She was chewing on a bone and I went to take it, like always. She actually growled and snapped at me over it. We went into some intensive work, and she is back to normal, although it was not a one time thing, she growled several times.
What could have caused this? It was never a problem in the past. She has had no major changes in the past few weeks, and seemed to accept being retrained fairly quickly.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:55 PM
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Could someone else have stolen her bone from her and teased her with it?

Some of my dogs have shown the same behavior after my brother or other ignorant friends teased them with their bones.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:08 AM
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skKi skKi is offline
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I don't have any insight as to why that happened, but I would like to know what you did to fix it?
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:27 PM
StillandSilent StillandSilent is offline
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She wasn't teased, we don't get many visitors and she only gets treats like the rawhide when supervised because her and Radar scrap over them.
skKi: First, I put her on lead, so she couldn't run away with it. I gave her a rawhide and barely let her taste it before she got the "leave it" command. As soon as she let it go, I gave her a hot dog piece, took the bone while she was eating the hot dog and praised her. Then I gave her the bone back. We repeated this over and over and over, with me gradually increasing the time I gave her the bone before I asked for it back. I also really tightened up on her NILIF, we had been getting slack because her behavior was so good. She really is a good dog, I just wish I knew what gets into her head sometimes.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:19 PM
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BoxMeIn21 BoxMeIn21 is offline
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You might want to work with her some more. Here's a good training article on the trading game.
I've got a pooper-scooper if you want to clean up your act.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:13 AM
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mrose_s mrose_s is offline
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had it been a long time since you'd taken her bone off of her last? If i don't go move the dogs food around or go near them while eating, on occasion i can see Harry and Sophie getting uneasy with me coming near. Now i just make sure I take close part in their meals every few weeks without any issue.

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:02 PM
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britishbandit britishbandit is offline
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Location: Windsor, Ontario
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I've never hear of food aggression happening suddenly. If anything, perhaps you alarmed her.

You also mention you did it "like always". Do you frequently take bones away from her? Sometimes that can cause food aggression, as what they're really doing is a result of them being worried that they won't get the item back. When you do this do you usually give it back to her?
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:15 PM
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heartdogs heartdogs is offline
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Some dogs will let you take kibble out of their mouths, but get aggressive if the item is a high value treat like a rawhide or a pig's ear. Do not take food or bones away from her at this point. You may get bitten, or make the aggression worse. There's a handy dandy book by Jean Donaldson called "Mine! A Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs". There's a complete protocol in that book that I usually suggest to people even as preventive training, but certainly for any dog that guards. Also, it's relatively easy to train your dog not to guard from you, but you would not want such a dog sitting around the Thanksgiving table and risk having the dog and some three year old reach for a dropped wishbone at the same time. The dog may not respect a child, or a stranger, as she does you. You can get the book at - good luck.
A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:10 PM
dakota41394 dakota41394 is offline
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I trained guard dogs for a number of years and I believe that taking away the bone is critical in the training process. Sometimes I give the bone back right away and sometimes I take it away for a few days. The dog never knows how long it will be. If the dog shows any aggression when I take the bone away, I immediately give a strong verbal warning, make the dog submissive by commanding a "down, stay" and then very slowly and deliberately begin giving and taking the bone away many times in a row. If no aggression is shown by the dog, I lengthen the time he/she is permitted to have the bone. Finally, when I am satisfied with the results, I take the bone away for the rest of the day. This lets he/she know that I control the bone. Always end the session on a good note and with you having won the battle. And remember, when the dog is displaying good behavior... lots of praise.
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