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Topic Started: 28 Mar 2017, 10:27 AM (431 Views)
GSD Puppy
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Usually when Bud has something, Specially food, if you go near him he starts to show his teeth and growl
If we back off that that would be giving in to him and reinforcing that behaviour
So we have made a point of making a fuss of him as we give him his food and even while he is eating
He no longer growls when we touch him while he is eating
but he does when he has something like the chew he has in the pictures
But we still ignore him and touch him but reassure him we are not going to take his chew away from him
yesterday he kept bringing his chew to me while growling
each time I made a fuss of him and sent him off to eat his chew
but he kept coming back for more fuss growling all the time.
Today he brought his chew to me and let me take it from him
I made a big fuss off him told him how good he was then gave it back to him and sent him off to eat it
I guess this is a very positive step forward
Your thought or advice welcome
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"...it's a dog's life!"
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I've never had a problem with possession which is why I didn't post, maybe I should have so you wouldn't feel it had fallen on deaf ears. Sorry BP

Sounds like good advice given, might keep it myself for the future xx
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GSD Puppy
Don't give Buddy a reason to growl - give him space - and don't fuss him
let there be days when he eats in peace and other days when you hand feed him
You can hand feed him or hold the bowl while he eats - if he choses not to eat then be firm and take it away and let him miss his meal

The day Bud chooses not to eat will be the day hell freezes over - LOL
when he first arrived with us you couldn't even get near him while he was eating
and he would of eaten half his dinner before the bowl had been put down

We didn't want him to think that growling or showing his teeth will get him what he wants
We started by holding his bowl when it was meal time so he knew we were the provider
Then we moved on to putting his bowl down and leaving him to get on with it
The next step was to gradually got closer and closer until we could touch him
Its been a long slow process but We can now make a fuss* of him
while asking him if he is enjoying his dinner
and now while dinner is put down he will sit and wait till he is told to go get it.
If we did need to take it away he will leave it when told to
We feed Bud and Molly side by side and they both get told off for eating from the others bowl
now they are both very good at keeping to their own bowl even if the other is not eating
but eventually temptation gets the better of them
when that happens, they just need to be told NO "that's Bud's" or "that's Molly's"
and they will leave it.
With treats its much the same, we don't follow him to make a fuss of him
but if we need to go past him or of he comes back near us
we often make a quick fuss asking if he likes his treat
with treats he sometimes goes to find a quiet place to nibble and he is left alone
but sometimes and depending on what we gime him we hold on to it while he is eating it
such as an ice cream - we would hold on to it til it was finished so he doesn't eat the stick

We have made many attempts at getting Bud to play but he really has showed no interest
it was only after he had been with us for 4 months that he started to learn to play
Now he thinks it playing chase is hilarious with him tearing about like a furry missile
and me chasing him saying "gunna getcha"
He like to play chase when he is called in from outside so I need to chase him round the garden
but he does know when that game is over and that I am serious and that he should come inside.
While we occasionally do play tug-of-war with just one specific rope toy
we mostly avoid tug-of-war games so that he does not think we are taking anything from him
He does like to play fetch and he actually lets you know when he wants to play
he will bring toys to you but will not yet give them to you
getting the toys from him take a little time and patience
we do not pull the toys from him but hold on to them until he lets go of them
if he pulls back we let go, we dont want to take the toys from him we want him to give them to us
We considered not playing if he does not let go of the toys
but we do not want him to feel rejected since if he feels rejected that could be a step in the wrong direction
when he does let go of the toy and throw it he will tear after it and bring it back
then the process starts again.

Bringing his chew to you while growling tells me he is winning the leadership game - he is saying 'I have it and you are not having it'

Getting close to bud while he has had a chew has been a long gradual process
but when he started bringing it to us we saw it as a sign of trust
that he no longer felt so threatened by us but trusted us
and that he felt he could come to us without the worry that we would take it from him
When he gave me his chew I made a big fuss of him, gave him a hug, told him he was such a good boy
then gave it back to he telling him that I love him but its Bud's treat

bring these toys out when you are ready to play with him with them and put them away after

This is not something we had thought about, but it is a good idea
We do not want to take away all the toys as this may cause one or the other
(specially Molly) to find other things to play with, such as our toys
but we could try putting away the tug-of-war rope and favorite fetch toys.
the only concern then is that he then may not tell us when he wants to play
and we don't want him to play ONLY when we want to
we want him to know that we will play when he wants to too - (Hope that makes sense)
but we also want him to understand that whoever wants to play
when WE say play time is over, then play time is over

here is a video of him playing fetch

it's usually a little different but then I'm not usually trying to make a video showing what he does

*when I say make a fuss - I mean a quick stroke or a pat on the back
Edited by Big-Paws, 31 Mar 2017, 02:14 PM.
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Don't have time for a long reply, but I really wanted to say that growling is good and should never be discouraged. It's doggy language for "I'm uncomfortable, please give me space". The food guarding may not be the most ideal of behaviours, but the growling itself is not a bad thing at all, and not the behaviour you want to stop. Addressing the guarding will stop the growling, but stopping the growling will not address the guarding! Never, ever punish this natural expression of discomfort, because you end up creating a dog who is uncomfortable but does not warn you - and when they go over their threshold, the next step is a warning snap or a bite.

Food guarding is certainly a behaviour you can deal with, but you want to deal with it by teaching him that he doesn't need to guard, rather than just trying to stop the symptom of his discomfort.

Fab article here: https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/treatment_of_food_possessive_dogs_is_about_finesse_not_force/

And this is also a great book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
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GSD Puppy
Buds been playing great today
he found an old hair brush and got me chasing him round the garden like a wally
he thinks that's hilarious
my sore knees don't thinks its so funny though
So I decided to play fetch instead
he still growled while giving me his rotten old brush
but he is giving it rather than me taking it from him
and it was much easier today than it has been before
it seems to be slow but positive progress
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Would like to stay in bed like the other Pat does

Sounds like you did all the correct thing including fetch in stead of chase.
Dogs often talk by growling just knowing the difference.
Sounds like he is talking to you not being nasty
My daughters Cocker Spaniel does this.
I must say though I would not allow chews if kids are about
Bud looks a lovely dog and beautiful face
:thumbs up:
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