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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Putting this here since she's not a lab.

I need to nip this in the bud before it's too late, but I don't know how. Macy is a freak when it comes to food. After she's done eating her food, she bolts to Tuckers dish and gobbles his down like it's her last meal. I do have a training lead that I put on her and usually hold while she's eating, but God forbid if I step away for a sec....NOTE : I have regularly been putting my hand in her dish when she's eating and she is fine with that.

This morning she found a steak bone while Paul was walking her. She came into the house with it, acting like a lion that just snagged a gazelle. It was scary. We tried to get it from her but she is quicker than **** and turns away from us or goes under the table. I grabbed a handful of turkey from the fridge and said "trade" and put it in front of her face. She went after it like a crocodile, getting 2 of my fingers at the same time. She didn't break the skin or anything.......

Anyway, that's the jist of it. How do I correct this behavior? Oh, also when we're eating she'll be sitting or lying down but the first chance she gets she's on us like white on rice. HELP?
 

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She needs to learn "leave it", and how to stay in a down. Angus lays in the dining room while we eat & won't budge til we clear our plates. Then he's allowed to "hoover" under the table. His command is "clean up". He gets every grain of stray rice =)

They also make anti-bloat bowls for gobblers. Angus is a gobbler too, so I put an old coffee mug in the middle of his dish while he eats. It slows him down quite a bit.
 

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1) feed her in a crate, or tether her to something secure, or behind a baby gate.

2) daily, practice "trade" - start with giving her low-value items like an empty kong, give her a piece of cheese, take the kong, return the kong, etc. Build up to higher value items, but the key part is you are always giving the item back afterwards - then, when you need to remove something dangerous, you'll have built up such a history that she won't expect to lose it immediately. (If' she's very grabby when she's got something, toss the trading-treats on the ground rather than hand feeding her)
 

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I love the title of this thread: my Hannah is the same way.

You really have to stay on top of this dog at all times: case in point is picking crap up off the ground outside. Hannah has gotten better but I still have to watch her carefully when we're outside. (One time a public park put down poison for gophers & I think Hannah picked some up because she was throwing up for days & vet couldn't figure out what was wrong: I suspect she picked up a small piece of poison.)

I would feed this dog separately from any other pets & then remove her from the room when you feed the others. It isn't healthy for her to be gobbling down all kinds of food nor is it healthy for her to be overweight.

Eastcoastmom has some good ideas too. A lot of it is in training: to be able to control what she does so she won't be eating everything in sight.

You do want her away from the table when you eat. I love dogs but I can't stand a dog sitting staring at me while I eat or diving for any crumbs. That needs to be stopped too.

If gobbling down food doesn't stop (those anti-bloat bowls do work slick), you can feed her a little bit at a time to force her to eat slowly. Lots of ways to nip this in the bud but YOU need to be in control of what & how much she eats.
 

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I think you have two separate problems that need attention, and it is going to take time on your part and consistency. That said, it could also takes months or forever.
(1) Taking food out of you hand with too much enthusiasm. - Need to get this under control before the dog meets a kid with a hot dog in hand. Have the dog sit and wait as you slowly bring the food to the dog, not the dog leaping to get the food. Pull back the food at the first movement towards is. Repeat until the dog gets the idea that the food IS coming to him. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
(2) Feeding two dogs. This is what I have had to do. HK is a food whore also (will do anything for food including theft.) Son's dog is food possessive and the day HK came home, we had to take her to the evet and almost lost her because of what happened. Daughters dog eats sooooooo slowly, keeping HK away from the bowl was a chore. - Start by feeding them separately and keeping them separate until both are finished. Slowly start feeding them in the same room, but you have to stay between them and keep the more food aggressive one away from the others dish. Never let them eat from the other dish, would be good to have to very different dishes. Just keep at it, that will learn. I can feed HK, Newman, and Louie in the same room at the same time. I do have to be present, but they will not go after each others food now. Three very different bowls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She needs to learn "leave it", and how to stay in a down.
She knows "leave it", she knows "down", and she knows "stay". Food is too tempting for her, I think. She's like a freak!! I don't know how to enforce these commands. :confused:

2) daily, practice "trade" - start with giving her low-value items like an empty kong, give her a piece of cheese, take the kong, return the kong, etc. Build up to higher value items, but the key part is you are always giving the item back afterwards - then, when you need to remove something dangerous, you'll have built up such a history that she won't expect to lose it immediately. (If' she's very grabby when she's got something, toss the trading-treats on the ground rather than hand feeding her)
Kaytris, thank you! A ray of hope! We have been doing this and she's really starting to get it. I didn't know if that would really help though.....
 

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Remy's this way too so what I've done is prepare both dog's bowls of food at the same time. I put Brooklyn's bowl down in the mud room and then lure Remy into the kitchen with his and put him in a down and make him wait til I release him to eat his food. This way Brooklyn is mostly done. Then I follow him when he goes after her food (we started by keeping a collar on him so I could pull him away) and I would block him and put him in a sit treat him with kibble til Brooklyn finished. He no longer goes after her food.

Resource guarding with the steak bone? Who can blame her. Trading for something else is the best way to start working on that. See if you can find some high value treats for her and work on Leave It. Sometimes let her have the high value treat, sometimes don't and give her a substitute. Also work with bigger treats that you can give and take away (a peanut butter stuffed bone perhaps?) so she will get used to giving up what she has.

Remy has a hard mouth and can bite pretty hard when he takes food from your hand too. We're trying the "Zen" method (I didn't name it) but what you do is have a treat in yard hand (start with a low value treat and work your way up) and put Macy in a sit. Start bringing the food towards her mouth and if she moves toward it at all - pull it back and don't give it to her. Eventually she'll get it that she needs to let you bring the treat to her. An alternate method is to put a treat in your fist and let her sniff and mouth your fist...then she should retreat...then you can start opening your hand, but again...any time she goes for the food - close your fist. Eventually you want to be able to have your open hand under her muzzle and give the "ok" to take the food.

Good luck and I feel your pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We're trying the "Zen" method (I didn't name it) but what you do is have a treat in yard hand (start with a low value treat and work your way up) and put Macy in a sit. Start bringing the food towards her mouth and if she moves toward it at all - pull it back and don't give it to her. Eventually she'll get it that she needs to let you bring the treat to her. An alternate method is to put a treat in your fist and let her sniff and mouth your fist...then she should retreat...then you can start opening your hand, but again...any time she goes for the food - close your fist. Eventually you want to be able to have your open hand under her muzzle and give the "ok" to take the food.
Great idea!!!! :)

Need to get this under control before the dog meets a kid with a hot dog in hand.
I can see this happening. :(

Keep the ideas coming! I'm going to print this out before I leave today. Thank you!!!
 

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Remy has a hard mouth and can bite pretty hard when he takes food from your hand too. We're trying the "Zen" method (I didn't name it) but what you do is have a treat in yard hand (start with a low value treat and work your way up) and put Macy in a sit. Start bringing the food towards her mouth and if she moves toward it at all - pull it back and don't give it to her. Eventually she'll get it that she needs to let you bring the treat to her. An alternate method is to put a treat in your fist and let her sniff and mouth your fist...then she should retreat...then you can start opening your hand, but again...any time she goes for the food - close your fist. Eventually you want to be able to have your open hand under her muzzle and give the "ok" to take the food.
This is very useful for a dog to know. It would be very beneficial to your fingers if you can work on this. :D She needs to learn that she gets food when you say so and never beforehand. Making her wait for all things food related until you give the ok is really important. I think you have a battle on your hands but I think it's definitely something you can win. I really feel for you! Good Luck.
 

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I'm sure she knows down, stay & leave it, but if she ignores your commands, you have an issue. She is deciding to not listen to you. Problem. If I walk Angus and he sees something tempting, no matter HOW tempting, he listens to a strong "LEAVE IT", and he's the biggest food whore there is. Can you sign up for obedience? That was how we learned.
 

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I'm sure she knows down, stay & leave it, but if she ignores your commands, you have an issue. She is deciding to not listen to you. Problem. If I walk Angus and he sees something tempting, no matter HOW tempting, he listens to a strong "LEAVE IT", and he's the biggest food whore there is. Can you sign up for obedience? That was how we learned.
When we first taught Leave It it was our TONE of voice that got Milly's attention. A VERY stern Leave It gets a response everytime.....

For example: the weekend gone at DP. There is a nasty/aggressive dog being a pain. Milly goes to run toward the dog .. I said Leave It... she pauses... but keeps walking. LEAVE IT Milly... sternly... she looks at me "ok Mum" and redirects to another dog.

Getting Milly to successfully "leave it" at a dog park to me is a real hurdle. Getting Milly to OBEY anything at the DP is usually wishful thinking.

I think Mace needs to be responding to your "give/trade" & "leave it" commands 100% of the time for you to be successful with transforming her from a food-whore. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm sure she knows down, stay & leave it, but if she ignores your commands, you have an issue. She is deciding to not listen to you. Problem. If I walk Angus and he sees something tempting, no matter HOW tempting, he listens to a strong "LEAVE IT", and he's the biggest food whore there is.
Well that's why I said I don't know how to enforce it so she listens consistantly. :)
Obedience class? I thought about that. I want to do that. But I'm afraid of how she'll behave in a group environment like that. :eek:

As far as her eating her own food in her own dish, she's fine. I have a bone in her bowl and she eats around that, and, as I said, I put my hand in there when she's eating and she's fine. That's not the issue. The issue is her with other food, eating fast like it's her last meal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know how to enforce these commands.

Shout ! Words never hurt !
Colin, I mean, what do I need to do to make her consistant with the commands?

I'm getting some great advice - thank you everyone!!!
 

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Well that's why I said I don't know how to enforce it so she listens consistantly. :)
Obedience class? I thought about that. I want to do that. But I'm afraid of how she'll behave in a group environment like that. :eek:

As far as her eating her own food in her own dish, she's fine. I have a bone in her bowl and she eats around that, and, as I said, I put my hand in there when she's eating and she's fine. That's not the issue. The issue is her with other food, eating fast like it's her last meal.

Does she respond well to praise? Or only food? Obviously, to her food is higher value than your praise? You need to train it consistently, use whatever motivates her as reward. If it is food.. she doesn't get the food she is told to leave. She should get a treat from another source instead. And a different treat perhaps?

As for you guys eating and her being all over you. We stopped that with Milly early on. She was crated to begin with and then she was made stay put on a mat the entire time we ate. She still is made stay on her mat while we eat... if she disobeys she is put outside until we are finished. Milly always stays on said mat because outside she can't see us finish our food! ha.. go figure.
 

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How does she respond to negative tones? Is she very sensitive? When Milly grabbed our fingers when taking food a stern "uuggghh Milly no!" or something along those lines stopped her. You need to use tones that easily translate to Mace --- especially when you want to enforce that something is not acceptable ... and equally when she has done something VERY well.
 

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Colin, I mean, what do I need to do to make her consistant with the commands?

I'm getting some great advice - thank you everyone!!!
No one likes this answer, but here it is.

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over ....

Eventually we get through the thick skulls and anchored in solid ground.
 

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We took Angus to puppy K & basic obed when he was just a pup. That's where I learned some helpful things. he acted goofy there, but eventually they settle once it becomes routine. We should do more with him at home, but we are kind of lax. That said, he is a TOTAL food whore, yet I just tossed a potato chip on the floor near him & said "LEAVE IT"., turned to look at the computer, turned back & there ha sat...staring at it. How do i reinforce? i say "OK" which is his ok to tave it release word, then he gets the chip plus another from my hand with "Good boy". Message? Leaving it is good. We also make him sit-stay for his meals, every meal, all the time. He gets to eat when we say 'OK", plus he get scritches & verbal praise. Randomly, while he is eating his kibble, I will say "Leave it!", and he'll stop eating. At that point, I will place a hunk of cheese, a dollop of PB or something he loves in the bowl with the remaining kibble. He gets to commence eating on "ok". Again, reinforcing that "leave it" is good.
 

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No one likes this answer, but here it is.

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over ....

Eventually we get through the thick skulls and anchored in solid ground.
Yup couldnt agree more. We have noticed a few things over the past month that Milly isn't doing as well as she used to due to us being lazy in the constant training and reinforcing. You have to stay ontop of them at all times.. especially if it's a behavourial problem that you are trying to rectify.
 
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