We are dog sitting the golden receiver. She is about 15-18 months old. She does not stay still long enough for a real good look. The last time she stayed with us she went after Jack and Tina while everyone was waiting for their food, and she growled while she ate even though no one was within six feet of her and no one was looking in her direction. She is fed last. Her bowl is on the opposite side of the kitchen a good seven feet away. The others do not come near her while she is eating.
This morning she waited well when I set her food down and released her from her stay to come eat butshe growled at me and attempted to bite me twice on her way to the food. I verbally corrected her grabbed a broom to ward her off and picked her food bowl up. She sat down when I corrected her and did not move until I told her she could. Waited about five minutes and set the food back down, released her from her stay and she started to eat but growled continually while she ate. No one was within six feet of her.
She and Jack play real well together and other than food guarding she is fine.
We are going to contact her human, but until she gets back I am afraid this behavior may escalate.
What should I do to correct the behavior or at least keep it from escalating? I believe I have to do something to correct it otherwise it becomes OK to growl or bite. I just don't know exactly what to do.
Thanks for any advice.
Yikes. Food aggression is a horrible thing to have to deal with. Did her owners give you any indication that she had food aggression issues before they left?
How is she with taking food out of your hand? if she is ok with it, I would remove the bowl from the equation completely and hand feed her away from your other dogs. Make sure that the bowl is out of sight because along with the food itself, the bowl is also a trigger for the aggression.
I like Tricksters' suggestion. If you are comfortable, and remember that the dog can detect your tension, I would also hand feed to let her know who the food is coming from. It could just be that you are new to the food supply and the dog isn't sure.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
and I would imagine when Trixter says, "hand feed her away from your other dogs."
that means in another room, away from any other dog, just you and her, with the door closed.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." author Will Rogers
Auggie 12/29/95 ~ 01/15/09
I like Trixters idea. If you don't feel comfortable with that I would feed her in a crate and crate her while the others are eating (or if she's not crate trained in a seperate room altogether). This should keep it from escilating with your dogs at least and let the owners know they have to work on this.
She grumbled the last time she was here twice.
Monday night no issues.
She is very good about taking treats from the hand both last night and today. No issues with the other dogs being right by her.
She obeys well but this morning it did get a wee scary for a moment after I put the food down and she was all teeth. Luckily yelling worked and she sat down.
Lexie did that when she was a puppy for awhile. It took months to get that behavior completely corrected. It was really scary at the time, and she was mine, and only 4 months old. Trying to train it out of someone elses pet, and keeping yourself and your dogs safe in the meantime, mmm. I liked the idea of hand-feeding if you and the golden are comfortable with it. That should get you through until the owner returns since you say there is less of a gaurd issue without the bowl present. The owner definately needs to address this issue when they return though. BOL!
I'd hand feed her or crate her while she is fed. Sorry Andy, that is scarey stuff to deal with.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
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Scary stuff.. One thing I always wonder about is correcting the growl, as it is a warning, and can create a silent biter. Sorry you are dealing with this. I think I feed in a room separate from your gang and watch for any high value treats and toys between your's and her, so that doesn't escalate
sounds like she has an anxiety about the food bowl. typcially, a resource guarder is one that is worried about having the resource taken away, because that's what has happened in the past, perhaps with frequency.
i'd not take punitive measures to stop this behavior, as it can make the aggression worse. resource guarding is not the kind of thing that can quickly be trained away. it takes time, patience, and understanding from both human and dog. so if you don't have much time with her, and her owners are not going to change their ways either, i'd just feed her in isolation for the safety of all.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford