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Food/Treat Agression


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  #1  
February 2nd, 2008, 06:57 PM
JediRach's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Cooper has recently developed aggression and guarding when consuming a what we call cookie. He doesn't guard his bowl, is able to be pet while eating and doesn't protest if the bowl in taken away in the middle of a meal. He doesn't guard toys and is perfectly content to drop toys when asked. At this point we aren't sure what to do so we have eliminated treats from his life.

We have tried to established pack order by making him sit and wait to be released before receiving anything including getting his leash put on, or taken off, feedings, toys, and physical affection. When we eat meals at home we eat before he does. He is always the last one in and out of the door or the car. He seems to be complacent with his pack order and doesn't push it. He walks next to or behind us on walks.

We are going to talk to our veterinarian about it but does anyone here have any tips? We are worried that it may spread to other parts of his life if we don't do anything about it. Thanks
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  #2  
February 2nd, 2008, 09:47 PM
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Question, is he doing with it humans or animals or both? I would contact a local behaviourist or trainer in your area to see what they have to say (no offense, but vets don't train and most don't know much about it).
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  #3  
February 3rd, 2008, 12:40 AM
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^^Its toward pretty much anything that moves to be honest, including people. We are going to talk to the vet about a recommendation of a behaviorist.
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  #4  
February 3rd, 2008, 05:09 AM
Hart_N_Sole
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I'm sorry to hear Cooper has developed a form of aggression... I hope it can be curbed.

Try him... John Rubin Good luck!
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  #5  
February 3rd, 2008, 07:13 PM
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I'd talk to tha behaviorist. iNterenstingly enough, the Whole Dog journal had a good article this month in it about the false old wives tales to different things, and one of them was the dominace thing of eating before the dog, going through the door before the dog, etc.
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  #6  
February 3rd, 2008, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
I'd talk to tha behaviorist. iNterenstingly enough, the Whole Dog journal had a good article this month in it about the false old wives tales to different things, and one of them was the dominace thing of eating before the dog, going through the door before the dog, etc.[/b]
I don't subscribe to any magazine (don't have time to be honest), so I haven't read the article, but I know quite a few dog trainers that use both of those things in training so I am not sure it is an "old wives tale". It has a real basis, such as the back leader always eats first, always walks in front of the others, etc, so it has a real basis. Like I said I haven't read the article, so without know specifics I cannot comment, but I'd like to see more studies on the reasoning behind them thinking it's an "old wives tale".
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  #7  
February 4th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
I'd talk to tha behaviorist. iNterenstingly enough, the Whole Dog journal had a good article this month in it about the false old wives tales to different things, and one of them was the dominace thing of eating before the dog, going through the door before the dog, etc.[/b]
I don't subscribe to any magazine (don't have time to be honest), so I haven't read the article, but I know quite a few dog trainers that use both of those things in training so I am not sure it is an "old wives tale". It has a real basis, such as the back leader always eats first, always walks in front of the others, etc, so it has a real basis. Like I said I haven't read the article, so without know specifics I cannot comment, but I'd like to see more studies on the reasoning behind them thinking it's an "old wives tale".
[/b]
Well I'll try to sum it up as best I can. It's agianst the copyright rules to copy and paste any info out of the magazine, so if you want the artilce jsut go to www.whole-dog-journal.com and request the Feb 2008 issue. It's got good stuff in it, the dry dog food review is in that one, so lots of good info.

Basically it tells about the top 10 myths of dog training and explains why they shouldn't be used as the main reason for training and behavior fixing. It used three key ideas to think about and test the idea with, the scienftific test-odes it make sense scientifically?, the philosofical test-is it on key with your own philosophies?, and the acid test-even though it may sound scientific and feel ok philosofically, does it really work?.

The one myth is that is you let your pooch eat first/walk through a door first etc, it will become alpha. It says it fails all three tests, And bascially goes into explaining it being a lifestyle choice in relation to dogs being on the furniture. And explains that in the dogs eating first it's more of a deal of letting them get full so you don't feel so bad with them laying there starving while your filling your face. waiting to go through a door is sipmly considered polite behavior rather than an alpha reinforment. It suggests implementing a 'polite' attitude in your pooch such as teaching a sit, stay, behavior for things they want, such as treats, food, and such. And goes onto to suggest that if you do have a truly agressive dog, doing such things as in the myth may in fact escalate the conflict and the dogs agression. Basically it talks about achieving everythign you'd achieve by performing the alpha stuff but in a different way, generally without ruling with an iron fist.

A few other back issues it recommends reading are 'be a benevolent Leader WDJ Sug 2003, Buscuits, Not Rolls, WDJ Juld 2006.

And I'm sure it's not a die hard rule for every dog as you can't seem to form a dog to the rules only the rules and training around the indivdual dog. BUT it does make some good points and has some very good eye opening stuff in it. HOnestly to me I'd rather pay $20 a year to get this monthly mag than whatever the cost of a year sub to cosmo or other popular mag. It's def money well spent, they have a wealth of info on training, feeding, and natural healing things just to name a few.
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  #8  
February 4th, 2008, 02:42 PM
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thanks for posting the link ! Looks like there is some good info there, I may have to subscribe
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  #9  
February 12th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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The first thing to keep in mind is that this one behavior does not automatically qualify your dog as "aggressive", it doesn't even qualify as labeling him as dominant. This is a normal behavior for dogs and, as long as it is properly addressed, it can be changed.

I just want to commend you, however, for recognizing this in it's beginning stages so that you can take the necessary steps to address the behavior and work towards changing it. So many people take a complacent position when they notice such things, sometimes even encouraging it as funny or cute (especially in small dogs), without realizing the potential for the behavior to evolve into other, more serious, forms and acts of aggression.

The first thing to do, since this uncharacteristic behavior has manifested somewhat suddenly, is to have your vet do a check up to rule out a medical issue causing a sudden change in behavior.

Second, if your dog is not already been neutered, then schedule an appointment for surgery.

NILIF training, by all members of the family, so that Cooper knows that your family is the source of all things good. Do not correct Cooper by yelling or snatching away his treat, that will only reinforce his desire to protect it from you.
I would not suggest that you eliminate the treats either, since this too is only going to reinforce his perceived need to guard the resource the next time he gets it. Instead teach Cooper that he does not need to guard his resources by letting him know that you are not a threat to them. When Cooper has a treat get another, BETTER, treat and walk towards him (not close to the point that he begins growling, you don't want to reward that behavior) and toss or place the new and improved treat near him. Gradually, you should be able to get closer to Cooper until you are able to replace one treat with the new one. He needs to realize and understand that you, and your family, are not a threat to his resources but, instead, you are the providers of them.
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