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Kallista

Growling and snapping when eating

15 posts in this topic

In the beginning Hunter would eat till he puked. Now thats over with and he has food down all the time, as well as water. Today i noticed some stuffing from his stuffed pheasant in his food bowl so i reached down to get it out of there so he wouldn't swallow it and he growls and jump with teeth for my hand, but didn't make contact.. I yelled at him asap and told him no. But i didn't know if i should have took his food away or let him eat the rest.. Should i sit there with his food with my hand in it giving him some from time to time as well so he eats out of my hand too? This is the first hes ever did this.. i have always [petted him for a few after i set his food down.. like ohh good boy and so on..

On the other note, Hunter has Mastered potty outside fully, sit, heel, come, drop it, hold or some use mark and now he Mastered Stay, I can put a treat down for 5 mins and he will sit there looking at it till i give it word ..

Hes growing fast, everyone who he meets, he greets with a wagging tail and all excited as well. I have met 2 yellow lab breeders who both have said Hunter is a perfect dog for breed , that i should be proud, i always say i am proud even if he wasnt..

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Uh-oh, looks like someone forgot who wears the pants at your place. Discipline, appropriate discipline is your top priority now - better get on top of that sort of aggression before it turns out nasty for any involved - man or beast. Make sure he knows you're the boss, and that that kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Good luck.

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Okay that is to stop asap! First I would deffinitly only put down as much food as he needs. My Goldens get 2 1/2 cups a day once a day in the evening.Of couse every dog is different this is the amount to keep them at the right weight. Second That dogs needs to realize untill he starts earning a living and starts paying the bills. He is still just the dog. I would have instantly grabbed him and put on its back. Along with taking the food away. My Dog has snapped at me once and only once. She was put on her back to show her who was the domininate dog in the pack. This works by submission. Hold them there for a minute or two so they know they are getting up on when the masters says so. Now if this happens again to you or to anyone else in the house this needs to be repeated over and over until the problem is gone. Not only does the dog need to know your boss. But also he is less dominate than every other human in the house.

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ekkk! ive never dealth with that situation. I think i would create a eating command. Make him sit, place his food down in front of him, and then wait a few minutes then release him to eat. Maybe if he pulled that stunt again i would grab him and push him back or pull him back make him sit and stay and take his food dish away. Wait a few minutes and try lettig him eat again. I would also see how he reacts with his toys. Makes sure he's not possessive.

I would do anything to show him your boss, only if he does it again.

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Quote:

ekkk! ive never dealth with that situation. I think i would create a eating command. Make him sit, place his food down in front of him, and then wait a few minutes then release him to eat. Maybe if he pulled that stunt again i would grab him and push him back or pull him back make him sit and stay and take his food dish away. Wait a few minutes and try lettig him eat again. I would also see how he reacts with his toys. Makes sure he's not possessive.

I would do anything to show him your boss, only if he does it again.


I agree with the general sentiment of this post. Your dog has dominance issues. No big deal, but it is up to you to handle it. I would feed twice a day and demand submission before allowing him to eat. One option might be to roll him over on his back and keep him there until he COMPLETELY stops fighting then love him up with petting and a rub down so long as he stays calm. After that - he can eat. Keep this up until submission before feeding becomes normal for him.

The Dog Whisperer's book is good for dominance issues. I have not seen the show but it might be helpful as well.

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I think in general you can tell when a puppy is "thinking their the boss." During these times I employ the roll over on the back and growl to the puppy. I don't think I would do it every time the puppy eats, but rather when you notice aggressive behavior. You know, its your dog - you can tell when it is play and when its a little more aggressive.

Look how other dogs do it to one another... your the leader.

Just my opinion, but Labs4me should chime in.

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I agree that your pup needs to know that you are the boss. I have had to put my dog on his back with my face right in his neck saying no, bad dog etc. a few times. When he was a pup I always had my hands in the food dish when I fed him to get him used to people messing with the food. I didn't want him to think it was "HIS" food. I had to correct my dog this summer after a long weekend with his brother. Both dogs are intact and the testoserone was flowing and he tried to be dominant with me when I fed him. I always took his food away when he did that and tried 15 minutes later. One night he went hungry. Good luck.

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My little guy would growl when I put my hands near his food bowl. Whenever he did the food was taken away and I immediatley put him on his back and let him know who was in charge. Only took a couple of times and no more problems. Now my daughter can reach down and take his food and he has no problem. Hope this helps. grin.gif

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No problem with toys or anything he might get into, i can just take it away...

He's never done this before, and yes it needs to stop right now. Thank you all for sound advice and keep it coming i would like to hear from others as well..

Will go back to 2 feedings a day morning and evening for now till he gets alittle older for one feeding and see what happens later tonight when i feed him..

Turn him on his back and look him in the face and let him know who's boss.. by saying bad boy, no .. then take away the food, and 15 mins or so try it again...right? will try that

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I faced the same problem early on with my pup. I told him NO, made him sit and I held the bowl. Occasionally I will get down near the bowl to see if he would get aggressive and he no longer does. He will start wolfing it down to make sure I don't take any, but he no longer growls.

That has happened with toys and chew bones. The hardest to break was the bones. He no longer growls at me with the bones, but occasionally I will hear him do it to my daughters and I treat it the same. There is discipline and I take the bone. After a break I let me daughter give him the bone. It shows ownership and dominance. Once they know their role, they will be better.

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Tonight for Hunter's feeding, i sat down on the floor with his bowl between my legs, i made him sit there, and i gave him a few pieces of food as i mixed the food around with my fingers. I set the bowl down still between my legs and let him eat, while i put my hand in the bowl and mixed the food.. he would stop and back away and look at me then he would go back to eating. I took the bowl away as well from time to time, saying it was my bowl... and then i put the bowl by my side and let him eat, petting him and putting my fingers into the bowl.. no growling or anything this time.. so i am going to do this everyday for a week teaching him the i am the boss. I wonder if he learned from this morning when he did that, and i yelled at him? It seems like he learns things after just one time teaching him. I want to thank all you responded, cause each breed is different, and i have to say labs are more stubborn then huskies lol..I was all ready to put him on his back too..

After he ate i made time to pet him up good and play with him lots telling him hes a good boy.

Did i do it right? the way i did it tonight?

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You want me to chime in eh???? crazy.gif

1st off, the advise given so far has been good. Definitley nip it in the bud and when it does happen, an instant correction is needed.

With that said, I will add these comments. In every post relating to dominance, it is generally said that you have to show you are 'Alpha' in a your 'pack'... I say this is all B.S. started by some doggie feel - good psychiatrist. There are definite dominance levels needed to be established within the dog - human bond, but for many reasons I do not even begin to buy into the 'pack' thinking or 'Alpha' thinking. An alpha dog is feared... I don't think we establish that with our dogs. a certain percentage of dogs will want to 'knock' the alpha off the top, I don't believe that happens too often either, At least I haven't heard of any buddies coming home and having to square off with their Golden or Lab to see who the king of the hill is. The females do most of the dominance training within the hierarchy of the pack... they are the ones allowing their young to eat and rolling them on their backs and biting them on their nose, not the alpha dog. If your family is a pack, how can you all be 'alpha'? There is only one 'alpha' in a pack... where does that leave everyone else. Does the dog get to work himself up in the pecking order? Blah blah blah... we can go on and on, why I don't buy all of it, but I will leave it with this: we are working with a domesticated dog, not a pack of 'yotes or wolves.

On to the correction. Rolling on the back is a good way to show dominance and getting them to be submissive. I literally get over the top of them and get in their face telling them "NO". While pinning their chin down onto their chest while they are on their back. Hold them in that position till you can tell they are going from an agressive posture to one where they are submitting. At that point I'd take the food away and I wouldn't be to quick to give it back to them. Maybe a good hour or so.

I also like to do a lot of my obedience drills before and during chow time. Sit, stay and O.k. are common place today for a drill prior to them beginning to eat. But take it a step further and begin to work in "here' and "heel" while they are eating. This is great recall training for the pup. The one thing in their life that they want more than anything else at this stage, is their food. Once you can get them to leave the dish on command and return to your side and wait for an O.K. command to begin eating again is great training to lay the foundation for steadiness and recall on fly away birds. It is a hurdle best cleared at a young age. If they can master this when they're young with food, it's not near the leap to master with birds later in life. It also goes along with the whole dominance thing. They are only allowed to eat when allowed to.

Continue with the hands in the bowl of food and all run them all over the dog. Lift him up and physically move him from his dish. Make him sit and obey until released. Put you face down by his dish. Command sit. Put your hand in his dish and make like you are eating it. Then 'release' him again if he has no adverse effects. Mix it up many different ways over the next few months. I find it a great way to enforce obedience and to make the dog not so protective of his food or birds or anything. (Kallista, Remember the tug of war question you brought up? I don't play tug of war for many reasons, some physical, some mental. One of them is I think it creates a possesive attitude that I'd rather not instill.) I could trust a toddler to put his head in my dogs dish and the only thing I would need to worry about is them getting slobber in their eye! The pups know from day one that is O.K. to have people by their food and running their hands over them and lifting them up when they don't want them to, etc. etc. They know they will get plenty to eat and they know under no circumstances can they show aggression.... ever!

Good Luck!

Ken

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It wounds like things went well. You did good! I really like what labs suggested in doing some basic work before dinner. Maybe even a walk so that food is a reward for behaving correctly.

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I really like what labs suggested in doing some basic work before dinner.


I found this to work very well. I started with "sit" and "OK" release (and still do it to this day two years later) and eventually added in "heal" right in the kitchen once his food was down. They tend to focus a little when they know they have to properly obey a command before getting to eat!! LOL

I never did here while eating...but something to remember for the new pup coming this spring.

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Good advice on how to stop this. Do not ever tolerate it. Ever. If I were you, I would set up the dog to try and make it happen again so you can fix it. I would do it over and over to train it out of him. This is one of those things, that if left unchecked, could lead to a very bad situation in the future. Me - I put them on thier back, hold the muzzle closed, and tell them NO. Once you get to the point where they don't growl, begin petting him while he eats. I actually do this (pet them) when they are very young. I will also hand feed them. It has worked for me so far. I also think it strengthens the bond between you and the dog. In fact, when I am traveling on hunting trips, it is the only way I can get my adult lab male to take in enough calories to keep him going.

The very first dog I ever owned (I was 14 years old) did this. I didn't know what to do. She was one of the meanest dogs ever and you couldn't trust her around kids or other dogs. Now, I would have stopped it right at the start. She never lost a fight with another dog though...

As suggested, there is a lot of benefit in training before, during, and after feeding time. Once a young dog hits the right age and maturity for serious training, it shouldn't do anything unless you tell it what to do.

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