Other dog's food aggression

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jpdobie's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-26

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We've been socializing our 10-week old puppy Kevin with my aunt's beagle and our friend's mutt (both adult dogs, 6-ish and 4-ish) because they're trusted, vaccinated dogs and we want him dog friendly.  Kevin is great with them.  He romps and barks but doesn't physically interact with them unless they invite him to in their doggy ways.

 

Today Kevin played with the 4-year-old mutt Maddox (he's a pointer mix-about 70 pounds) and everything was fine as usual.  He's more interested in balls than Kevin.  Our friend gave them some treats and Kevin walked over to Maddox and Maddox lifted his lips and growled.  I'm (maybe foolishly) okay with this because I feel Kevin should be put in his place, but our friend wasn't.  He said Maddox doesn't do that with any other dogs, but those other dogs are also adults.  So the friend put Maddox in "time out" and I told him I didn't want Kevin to get the treat because I didn't want to reward him either.  Anyway, the beagle does the same thing to Kevin - but he's always been food aggressive and there's nothing I can do about that and I'd ne er put food between them because of that.

 

Our friend was upset that his dog reacted that way to Kevin because he obviously wants his dog to have manners  But I also didn't want Kevin to just assume he can go up to a dog and take his food without being corrected by the dog.

 

So I guess my question is, should Maddox be corrected if he growls at Kevin?  If so, how? What can I do to pre-correct Kevin before he abandons his treat to get Maddox's?  I know all of this can be avoided by just not including food in their play time.  Easy solution.  And I know these two dogs may decide they don't like each other, which would be poopy but I'd understand.  Either way, any input would be great.

Dennis Miller's picture
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Maddox was probably putting Kevin in his place.  Probably one quick nip from Maddox and Kevin would not do that again.  (doggie world) However, watch your little guy and nix to the treats together. (my opinion)

IMO Jessica, neither dog should have been corrected. Maddox was protecting a resource from a strange dog. Although a puppy, still outside the pack so to speak. The big problem is that Maddox could hurt the puppy really fast if the puppy doesn't pick up on the warning soon enough. It is better to avoid such a situation because if Kevin were to be attacked, then that could make him dog aggressive out of fear. Your job is to make sure that doesn't happen. Kevin's just a baby.

There's no such thing as "pre-correct". Dogs live in the "now". They don't live ten seconds ago and they don't live ten seconds from now. With a young puppy I've never used corrections. I'll just redirect or not reward when the "bad behaviour" pops up. I don't use "corrections" until my dogs are 5 to 6 months old and I know, that they know, what I want them to do. 

Gunny

jpdobie's picture
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Thanks both of you.  I told my friend that I was fine with Maddox growling because I wanted Kevin put in his place, but it made my friend so uncomfortale and I don't want to tell someone how to raise/"discipline" their dog (who am I, right?)  

 

I agree with you Gunny, I bet Kevin is stil relatively strange to Maddox.  AND it was in HIS house.  But like you said, we wouldn't want anything negative to happen.  Maddox doesn't have a mean bone in his body, which is why I think my friend was so put-off by his growling, but everything could be easily avoided by just nixing (as Dennis said) food from play time.

 

Good news is he's been whooped from two hours of play time with Maddox so I've had time to do laundry and play on this forum.

 

Thanks again and if anyone has any other input, I'll take it.

tess's picture
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I also have a 10 week old puppy.  I also have three other four other dogs and my son has two other dogs that he comes into contact with on a daily basis. I have run into the same behavior with a couple of my dogs with my puppy, but its okay.  Its part of the "pack" mentality. No one has harmed my puppy and for the most part they all get along real well, but they are teaching him far more than I could on my own.  I used to watch Cesar Millan and he used to alway say its the power of the pack. Now if I could control my puppies unbelievable appetite then all will be well in my world.  Relax and enjoy Kevin.

 

Tess

jpdobie's picture
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Thanks Tess.  Now I just need my friend to understand that.

Good luck with Axel.  I know this is a different thread, but just to share how I feed Kevin, he gets 1 cup three times a day (3 cups of food total).  He's eating Purina Pro Plan which isn't great, so we're gradually switching him to Orijen.  We also feed Orijen to our cat (the cat kind of course) and he's got a beautiful coat and is healthy.  I'd take the advice someone gave you and look into switching.  The more fillers a food has, the less nutrients he gets, the more food he eats.

Kevin seems hungry often, but frankly I don't care because I don't want him to be a fat puppy.  I can feel his ribs and when I look down at his body he has an hour-glass-like shape.  He was almost 18 pounds at 9 weeks.  Don't know what he is now.  Is it possible that your other dogs are nabbing his food?  Sorry I should post this in your thread but I'm using my tablet and don't know how to cut and paste words on it.   I know there are so many helpful people on here.  I hope you find some answers.  Just make sure he doesn't get chubby!