Maybe she just woke up on the wrong side of the crate?*
It was probably the cat that caused her to react like that. It was obvious that the cat was making her more tense while eating. I notice that Ranger has started to eat more in a gobble fashion - so I have made more of an effort to get down there and touch his food while he eats, especially making my 10 yr old son do it as well (food agression would manifest itself more with him than with me, I think).
IMO, you handled it just as I would have - although you may have very differing viewpoints after this post.* :P
You did pretty much exactly what I would have done. Could've been the cat that triggered it, but still inappropriate. I might suggest taking one of her meals and feed it completely by hand for a while.
On a side note, please don't leave a choke chain on a dog when your not training (i.e. a leash is attached)...very dangerous and that pup is too cute to get hurt
if it were me, besides the hand feeding, i would start a training regiment where i teach/train my dog that my presence and my hands are not a threat and pose no danger to their hunger. human hands brings tasty treats, more food, or other goodies. human presence near the food bowl is wonderful! dog learns to welcome humans near the food bowl.
while dog is eating, walk by and toss hot dogs into the food bowl. once the dog is comfortable with the walk bys, walk directly towards the dog, and drop hot dogs into the food bowl. then, get to the point where the dog is comfortable and enjoying your hand near the food bowl, tossing hot dogs. eventually, get to the point where you can pick up the half finished food bowl, and put a spoonful of canned dog food, cottage cheese, or other tasty treat on top of the kibble, and put it back down. dog learns that it's great when humans take food bowl away!
dog becomes conditioned and trained to stop guarding food bowl, even when you have no hot dogs or other tasty treats, because they have learned that guarding is unneccessary.
punishing the dog for food/object guarding can sometime have the effect of validating the anxiety that caused them to guard the food in the first place.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
I agree with the hand feeding.
Personally, I wouldn't have handled the situation that way but that's just me. I would have called the pup away, taken its bowl and hand fed the rest of the contents. Food aggression is quickly thrown at any dog that displays possessive behavior. If you let the problem escalate into adult life it WILL become a problem but if you work with her now it will never be an issue.
Taking away high value treats (bones, kongs etc.) randomly and grabbing handfuls out of her bowl will only make her anxious and tense around meal times. If someone took away your food randomly while you were eating (being dogs, they don't know they are getting the food back), how would you react? I don't like messing with my dogs in that sense. If I give my dogs a bone, I am not going to allow them to chew it for 10 minutes but take it away soon after --I gave them the bone to eat, why should I take it away? INSTEAD, I make sure my dogs are 100% comfortable in my presence while they are eating through positive methods. I let them know I am no threat to their food. They know that if I am sitting down by them I am not going to take their food away. I can happily add scraps/treats to their bowls while they are eating (I make sure to put my hands in there at least once a day) and they will offer me whatever they are chewing on for something else.
Actually, you've gotten some really good advice, and I do agree with Nicole on the choker collar being on only for training.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
Don't mean to hijack but what about in case of things they steal?
<3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3
If one of my dogs steals something I'll just ask them to 'LEAVE IT'. You can swap the stolen item for one of the dogs toys if you like. This compromise works well with puppies who have yet to learn the 'LEAVE IT' command.Don't mean to hijack but what about in case of things they steal?