Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Homeriver

Problems At Feeding Time

46 posts in this topic

There is no problem now. Just the first time the dog were fed together there was a bit of growling from the older dog. Pretty normal for sorting out their pecking order, but still not on. Bit of training (yes including taking her food for a little while) has helped to fix this and they are now getting on fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why should you not be able to take your dogs food? I believe they should be accepting of everything I throw at them (but they also need to be conditioned to this). If I am the "leader" and they trust me they should be calm and willing to follow my lead. I think that food guarding, while beginning with the belief that someone may take their food, is made worse if by getting upset or aggressive they are left alone. When the dog realises the only way to get their food is to stay calm and submit the guarding issues are dealt with not ignored.

I think it's ok to do this :shrug: I would add in an extra step to help safeguard against them learning the wrong lesson and would introduce a 'leave it' cue and reward with a few pieces of something more high value than whatever they are eating in the bowl when you take the bowl away and then return the bowl when they are calm.

Technically you aren't really teaching them that you're the boss but you are teaching them what behaviour they need to demonstrate in order to get what they want from you (which is obviously a good thing for them to learn :) )

Edited by Simply Grand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dogs have always eaten all together with no problems. Even dogs that have not been able to run together and visiting dogs all come to eat together at dinner time with up to 6 or 7 dogs at times. It is probably easier with my BCs than with food obsessed Labs but the same principles apply to teaching food manners. Mine have always eaten in exactly the same spots about a metre apart with their own bowls. They stay in those designated spots until they are finished, when they can walk away but not hassle any other dog. No one is allowed to guard food and no one is allowed to eat from any other bowl unless I give it to them to finish what one of the others has left. I always stand there while they eat and hold the edge of any plates that are sliding around, with my foot, so they get used to me being close to their food too. To start off it is important to hand food out to each individual dog in their designated places, so teaching a stay for reward. Then put the bowls down and add small amounts of food that they can eat straight away and not have anything to guard. Add food to the bowls in small amounts until it is all gone. Gradually increase the amounts you put in at one time until you can serve whole dinners with them staying in their designated spot. Adding food to bowls teaches them that you having a hand near their bowl is a good thing. Feeding the meal in parts stops anyone gulping a whole meal. Mine now get some mince with additives handed to them, then vege mix with added chicken, beef or fish for flavour in their bowls, followed by turkey necks, chicken pieces etc handed out to each dog. In the morning they get a little dry food in their bowls. So they never have a bowl full of food to worry about. Teaching them to eat this way also results in dogs who will split up to eat bones and not bother each other. I still supervise closely until I know I can trust everyone to mind their manners and it has always worked for me. The whole idea is to make them aware that you own the food and control who gets what and that no dog owns the food to be guarded from others. I don't take food off them as an exercise but do teach the word "leave", first with toys then with food other than their meals so if I do need to take something from them they will drop it for me to pick up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OSoSwift   

I see no issue with a leave it or interrupting their eating if you put a few pieces of a high value treat in their bowl for thei troubles. I am not taking their food but teaching them, me interrupring is a good thing. I rarely do it though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wuffles   

I think it depends on the dog. My dogs are gutses of the highest degree. Honestly, people say their dogs are food motivated but mine take it to a whole new level :) Anyway, I tried swapping food with one of my dogs and all she started doing was swallowing things whole if I came near her. Now I just do minor interruptions occasionally, putting extra food in their bowl or patting them gently and walking away. I've found this works much better with my dogs than taking food from them.

I teach "give" and "leave it" as separate commands trained using a mixture of food and toys if I need them to spit out or leave something gross. It's a different command for them though, their dinner in their bowl is different.

(BTW I've had to take their bowls away before and bones etc in emergencies or if I've given them the wrong thing by mistake and I have had no issues)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×