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Growling over food dish

Posted by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:32 PM
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I gave Oreo (our puppy) a bone tonight. He was chewing on it and eating the food in his bowl. My daughter, who is 3, came over to his bowl and started messing with him. I think she was just moving the bone away from him or moving his dish. I wasn't sure because I was in the other room with my oldest.

I heard the puppy growling and at first, I thought it was play because he growls when he wants the kids to play with him. But he kept doing it, so I went to investigate and saw my daughter laughing and by his dish and Oreo was growling at her. He didn't nip at her or anything though, but he was acting like he might.

I told my daughter this wasn't nice to mess with the puppy when he's trying to eat and to leave his food dish and his bone alone. I then went over to Oreo's dish and pulled his dish away from him and moved his bone. I did this several times to see if I could get him to growl or nip at me. He didn't.

So, I know this isn't good when the dog does this over his food. I don't know how to correct the behavior before he actually bites one of the kids or this becomes a bigger issue.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:32 PM
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marshsmom
by Group Owner on Feb. 6, 2013 at 10:13 AM
3 moms liked this

First make sure to teach your kids not to mess with him when he is eating (which I'm sure you are doing!).  I would work with Oreo and do some hand feeding, and allow your kids to hand feed as well with you.  Like, everyone sit in the floor and hand feed him. I would also make him sit before he could eat and have your kids give him the command to "sit" as well.  When feeding with the bowl make sure to have him sit before putting the bowl down and you can also allow your kids to place his bowl down too.  Hope this helps.  I'm sure some others will chime in with more advice.  Good luck!

ackerleynelson
by Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:42 AM

Problems between a pet and a kid often begin at the toddler stage. First of all try to teach your dog not to mess up with your pet when he is eating. You should start as soon as you put the bowl of food down. Sit near him while he eats his food and touch his food. If he growls, pick up the food and leave the place. After some time try again. You should be able to touch your dog and his food without issue. Do not let him get away with this. Start the next time you feed him. Wear heavy gloves if you think he may actually bite you.

marshsmom
by Group Owner on Feb. 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM
1 mom liked this


I disagree with this technique.  All dogs are different and this may work from some, but it seems unsafe and potentially ineffective.  First of all, the dog is growling because he is worried you are going to take away his food.  Taking it away by picking up the bowl could reinforce his desire to protect the bowl.  Secondly, unless your dog is used to thick leather gloves, the gloves alone could cause the dog to be fearful and potentially bite, especially when you couple this with the resource guarding of the food. The approach of hand feeding, IMO is safer and it gives the dog the resource he wants/needs without imposing anxiety or stress and you are still demonstrating who controls the resource.

Quoting ackerleynelson:


Problems between a pet and a kid often begin at the toddler stage. First of all try to teach your dog not to mess up with your pet when he is eating. You should start as soon as you put the bowl of food down. Sit near him while he eats his food and touch his food. If he growls, pick up the food and leave the place. After some time try again. You should be able to touch your dog and his food without issue. Do not let him get away with this. Start the next time you feed him. Wear heavy gloves if you think he may actually bite you.



hez3
by Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM
I would hand feed with your toddler sitting near you .
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