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Post  Ria on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Food Aggression EmptyFood aggression
Food Aggression Empty siandavis82 Yesterday at 9:18 pm


(see https://rescue-dog-support.forumotion.com/t28-melody-crossbreed-bitch-1-year)

One of the problems I have been having with Melody recently is food aggression.

If I go near her when she is eating she will growl at me and scoff her food so fast she chokes.

I always make her wait for her food and she is very patient and will only take it when told.
She has however started to growl and snap if I walk towards her or her bowl whilst she is waiting to eat it. If she does, I make her wait until she has calmed down and then let her have it. This can take 20 mins if I stay near her.

As I now have a cat and do sometimes have kids around I want to get this sorted.

Any ideas?

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Food Aggression Empty Re: Food Aggression

Post  Ria on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:05 pm

The first thing that springs to mind is, "What has changed?" Are there new people or animals in the house? Has her bowl been moved to a more open place where there is more footfall? Is it private where she eats?

Something must have changed to make Melody guard her resources more. I think before we start offering advice, it would be useful to have an idea of how she is fed, i.e. is she fed on her own, or with other animals? Where is she fed? Are there others in the room when she is fed?

You mention a cat, so this could be a trigger for her even if the cat is not threatening to steal her food.

There is often a utopian ideal that people want to be able to take food out of a dog's bowl without any objection, or at least be able to approach the dog when it is eating. When children are involved, I would always advise that they are not anywhere near the dog at feeding time. You would just not put the dog in that situation, never mind the children.

Rescue dogs often have no background, so it's hard to identify what could trigger certain behaviour. However, there are lots of ways of dealing with food and toy aggression, but it can be a lengthy process, once you understand all the triggers.

Look forward to getting some more feedback, Sian

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Food Aggression Empty Re: Food Aggression

Post  Jackie on Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:07 am

There are lots of triggers for food aggression and it's quite a common problem, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise!

Have you switched her food over or given her a new treat that you haven't before? Some dogs cannot tolerate additives and it makes them hyper/aggressive - even what you would consider 'safe' treats like rawhide can have negative effects.

One thing i've heard about for dealing with food aggressive dogs is to hand feed them and to only put the dinner bowl down when it's feeding time. Another suggestion i've heard is to put an empty bowl down (whilst the dog is in the sit) and then call them over with you standing beside the bowl, and add a few bits of her food at a time. The idea is that she will associate you being near her when she's eating with positive thoughts and so will react in a positive, acceptable way. No idea if it works (sorry!) but the psychology sounds right.

Definitely do not allow kids or kitties to go anywhere near her when she's being fed.

The lack of background info on rescue dogs is one of the most frustrating things about them!! But we embrace their quirky little ways hehe Food Aggression 4288281172
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Food Aggression Empty Re: Food Aggression

Post  siandavis82 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:26 am

Hi Ladies.

Thanks for the advice.
I have moved her bowl into another room for a week so that she was not near the cat when she was eating and she calmed down. I've moved it back into the other room now and she seems fine, even with the cat around.

Having been on holiday for a week, Melody was at a friends and eating with another dog present. They told me she was great, apart from one time when she went to eat the older dogs dinner (he eats slowly) and my friend told her to leave it alone. Apparently she had a grumble then, but my friend sent her to bed and she was fine.

I might try taking her bowl away after her dinner is gone in future and maybe try hand feeding or the empty bowl feeding at a later date
if I notice her being funny again.

Thanks again.
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Food Aggression Empty Re: Food Aggression

Post  Jackie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:31 pm

I'm glad Melody's calmed down. Sometimes they can just have a funny five minutes where food is concerned!
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