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  1. #1

    Default Very Naughty Lab

    My friends dog is a 9month old lab, she has recently started growling when approached whilst eating her food which is very naughty. Every time she growls we take the food off her but now she has started growling whilst the food is taken off and after!! we have conforted her and she has put her hackles up and attempted to bite us. if we hand hold the bowl she is better, and we can hand feed her without any problems.
    we r really worried about this problem and wondered if any one has got any ideas???

  2. #2
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    you could try this.


    Handfeeding is a really useful tool in the dog tool box. I recommend it for several issues...
    It can be used to reduce fear of humans and increase acceptance of contact;
    To establish a bond between puppy and owner or newly adopted or brought into foster rescue dog;
    To restate the importance of listening to the owner for the dog. Some people may use the term respect.
    When a dog starts being unresponsive to training.
    A dog cannot misinterpret food either as a reward (which is why it can be a good training aid) or to restablish pack hierarchy (if you believe pack theory).

    Essentially simple, the negatives are that it is time consuming and potentially messy.

    You need the dogs dinner in one bowl (which is out of their reach ),
    another empty bowl;
    yourself (and whoever else is handfeeding);
    rubber gloves (if desired, you might be a vegetarian) and ...
    the dog!
    Clear away any distractions, especially other dogs. It is best done when things are quiet and you are calm.

    Grab a chair and the bowls, while sitting down, take a handful of their dinner and offer it to them from your hand which is placed over the empty bowl, to collect any spillages. Repeat until food bowl empty or dog full
    Thats it, job done.

    Remember that this method of feeding will take longer so allow time for it, say 10-15 minutes per meal. You can add verbal praise.. "good eating" when they are eating.

    You can also use the time that you are preparing for the feeding to install a sit or a downstay before they are invited to eat, which you can cue with a "go/come eat"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    Thank you I will try that, she is better with hand feeding hope it works! thanks

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    7,970

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    Sorry, I would advocate giving her a tap on the bum if she growls at you, to make it clear that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable. Dogs need parameters set for their behaviour, otherwise how do they know what is OK or not? Your friend is the 'pack leader' as far as her dog is concerned, so the pup just needs reminding of that (without being cruel obviously)

    And after thinking about it, why are you taking the food away? The pup is now getting even more protective over its food, as it sees the food disapearing when a human approaches! I would just give the light smack to show growling not acceptable, then leave pup in peace to eat its meal

  5. #5
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    could this not add to the problems, maybe making the dog hand shy also

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    7,970

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    It hasn't done with any pup I've ever know, granted not labs but a wide range of other breeds. Sure, if the pup is very nervous and spooky anyway you would have to be careful, but a 'normal' pup should be fine

  7. #7

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    [ QUOTE ]
    Sorry, I would advocate giving her a tap on the bum if she growls at you, to make it clear that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable. Dogs need parameters set for their behaviour, otherwise how do they know what is OK or not? Your friend is the 'pack leader' as far as her dog is concerned, so the pup just needs reminding of that (without being cruel obviously)

    And after thinking about it, why are you taking the food away? The pup is now getting even more protective over its food, as it sees the food disapearing when a human approaches! I would just give the light smack to show growling not acceptable, then leave pup in peace to eat its meal

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I disagree that this dog sees his owner as 'pack leader' as no dog of 9 months should be growling at its owner. so he needs to re-learn that his human controls when and how he eats and with Jackies method he won't see it as having food taken away, just that good behaviour means food and it's the owner that supplies the food....so be nice! I don't think a tap on the bum will teach him anything

  8. #8

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    [ QUOTE ]
    I would just give the light smack to show growling not acceptable, then leave pup in peace to eat its meal

    [/ QUOTE ]

    PS forgot to say, what happens when someone else tries to take the meal away, say a visiting child or a kennel hand, if he's not learned the lesson that humans are allowed to take his food away?

  9. #9
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    17,129

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    I have to say that a dog protecting their food is a pretty basic reaction - and taking the bowl away is only going to compound that fear. I have always been taught from a very early age (we had dogs when I was a child) that you don't interfer, pet or go near the dog when he is eating, and I still wouldn't even with the most mild mannered of dogs, as it isn't fair to them.

    By hand feeding you could be encouraging bad habits - we were advised to do this with one of ours when he was having difficulty keeping weight on, and it was a very difficult cycle to break, so I would avoid it where possible. I suggest you leave the dog to eat their food, in another room if need be, and work on strengthening the relationship in other ways - we have a great relationship with our lab, and should I want to (and I wouldn't ) take his food away, he would never think of biting me.
    Feel free to act innocent, I haven't got a clue.....

  10. #10
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    22,443

    Default Re: Very Naughty Lab

    It has to be said, as a child I was always taught to never annoy a dog eating food. In saying that, you should be able to take food of it without him reacting. My dog will let you take her bowl (allow trues to eat out of it at same time!) but would never ever be aggressive. Even when she is given a bone if you ask her, she will give it up.

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