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Food guarding

melburymelbury Forumite
13.2K Posts
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Has anyone else had this issue with a puppy?

Have never experienced this before with any of our previous dogs, but this one is a real problem.

I thought we had completely resolved it as he has been so good for ages and then today out of the blue my OH went to pick up a bit of food that had come out of his bowl and he growled. So we thought back to square one and tonight I offered him a piece of meat while his bowl was on the floor and he growled and snapped at me.:( So tomorrow it is back to feeding a bit at a time and starting the whole learning curve again.

I can't understand why his first reaction to a lot of things is to snap. He has never been cruelly treated at all and we have had him since he was 9 weeks old - he is now 34 weeks!

He is the first one we have had on his own - in the past always had an older dog to show the ropes. Wonder if this is the problem.
Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:


  • sherambersheramber Forumite
    16.7K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Name Dropper
    I had one 12 week old puppy who growled when someone walked in the kitchen when he was eating.

    From that day he was hand fed. Once he was established on that I put some foOd in a dish for him. As he was eating it I used his name to get his attention and showed him the food in my hand. When he moved away from eating I put it in his dish. I repeated this until the food was used up.

    I repeated this at each feed.

    He is long deceased now but with subsequent dogs I always use their name and wait for them to lift their head away from the food before adding anything to their dish.

    I f i want to lift something off the floor near their dish again I speak to the dog first to alert him to me being there before doing so or leave it until they finish.

    I would not appreciate someone interfering with my food and I don't expect my dogs to have to accept that either.

    I can take any food off my dogs or handle a bone they are eating but I always speak to them first, even if it is so say' don't eat that, give it to me' as I approach them.
  • edited 3 December 2017 at 9:13PM
    Soph1988Soph1988 Forumite
    71 Posts
    edited 3 December 2017 at 9:13PM
    Growing up, we had a dog who had severe food guarding and aggression, to the point where you couldn't enter the same room if he was eating. Being a GSD, we worked incredibly hard at trying to rectify this. Poor thing had been starved as a puppy (rescue dog) and despite us getting to a point where we could be in the same room, you always had to be careful if he had a high value item like a bone or pigs ear.

    We did the hand feeding for just over 6 years of his 13 year life. When he got to the point where he would just eat quietly if you were in the room we stopped. If we had of had small children around I think we would have had to rehome him due to the risk - luckily we all new the rules and he lived a long and happily grumpy life.

    My dog now who is considerably smaller than a GSD has no food aggression whatsoever with his daily meals... I could sit in his food bowl and he'd just shrug. If he grabs a bone out of the bin he shouldn't have, it's like trying to wrestle the exorcist...! He has never been without food and really has no reason for it...!

    Could it be a dominance issue rather than a food aggression issue with your dog? He's heading towards a year old... I know my pup changed significantly between 12 months and 3 years, with the 2nd year being particularly challenging with him growling if you asked him to get off the sofa or drop food..?
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