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my puppy is driving me nuts, help!

Posted by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:38 AM
  • 12 Replies

I have a 13 week old alapaha blueblood bulldog, he is a great dog, already pretty much house trained. gets along great with the kids. Only problem I have is he is always snatching my kids food right out of their hands! This is my first dog so I am not very experienced with training dogs. How do I teach him to stop? 

by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:38 AM
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momto3B
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Go on YouTube and search whatever behavior you want to correct. You will not only get the explaination but, the visual. Addiionally, national kennel chains often have free puppy classes. The goal is to get you to pay for round 2 but you do not have to. 

Whatever method you choose, get your puppy trained now before a child gets bitten while he is trying to access food or he becomes territorial about food. 

Acid
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Have the puppy crated while everyone is eating...solves the problem.

DO NOT hit, scream, beat, smack, whack with a rolled up newspaper,  or punch the dog.

If you do not have a crate; First, never, ever leave children and dog alone together, that's just asking for trouble.  When the kids are eating and the puppy is with them...have the dog on a long leash.  If he even looks as if he's going to snatch the food pull upward ONCE on his collar and say NO.  Use a firm voice but not an overly loud voice.

Keep doing this as long as it takes him to register that he's not allowed to do that.

Mrs.Kubalabuku
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Hit the nail on the head.

You have to remember dogs are pack animals.  He is vying for position in the pack.  The children are smaller, and therefore he challenges them.  Every time he successfullly takes food from their hands, no matter the consequences, he is learning that he is above them in the pack.  In the wild. the dogs eat in order of rank.  Alphas and down.  He is saying "I'm above this dog, I should eat first."  Even if he is punished, the fact that he swallowed the food means he is higher on the chain.

So don't give him a remote chance of this behavior!  Stop it now, take away even the possibility.  With that breed of dog, after 2-3 years he won't even try, he'll know his place in the pack and feel secure.  The children will also be getting bigger.

Other tips:
Puppy training classes.  They give you valuable basic tools and help your puppy burn off energy.
If the dog is playing too rough with the kids, jumps on them, or is doing anything you don't like, PICK UP THE CHILD NOT THE DOG.  You lifting the child out of the dog's reach sends a powerful message to the dog that the child is higher on the pack chain and he is not to do that.  If you touch/pickup the dog first, you are telling the dog he is more important.
When he is old enough, get him fixed.  That will greatly reduce his push for dominance, as well and ward off potential aggression and protect him from cancers down the road.
When he eats, keep the kids away.  Until you see a professional trainer, don't try having the kids feed him to make them dominant.  That can backfire in a very bad way.  If he growls while eating, this is food aggression and you'd be best served with professional help.  But since he is so young, keep kids away from his food the same as you keep him from theirs.  You eat your meal, get the kids busy, THEN feed him.
Always eat your meals first.  The Alphas eat first, remember?  So don't give him a bowl of food and THEN give the kiddos theirs.  Everybody eats first, then dog.  If you don't normally eat at that time, I'd suggest incorporating a small snack for the message it sends.
Make sure he gets plenty of exercise!  A bored, wound up dog is a disaster waiting to happen.

Good luck! 

(BTW: Your best bet is to get a crate.  The leash you have to stay on top of things.  The crate is a solid, just keep kids away from the crate with food and nothing will go wrong.  Look up crate training methods and/or talk it over with a professional trainer.)

Quoting Acid:

Have the puppy crated while everyone is eating...solves the problem.

DO NOT hit, scream, beat, smack, whack with a rolled up newspaper,  or punch the dog.

If you do not have a crate; First, never, ever leave children and dog alone together, that's just asking for trouble.  When the kids are eating and the puppy is with them...have the dog on a long leash.  If he even looks as if he's going to snatch the food pull upward ONCE on his collar and say NO.  Use a firm voice but not an overly loud voice.

Keep doing this as long as it takes him to register that he's not allowed to do that.


sweettigeress
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Agreed

Quoting Acid:

Have the puppy crated while everyone is eating...solves the problem.

DO NOT hit, scream, beat, smack, whack with a rolled up newspaper,  or punch the dog.

If you do not have a crate; First, never, ever leave children and dog alone together, that's just asking for trouble.  When the kids are eating and the puppy is with them...have the dog on a long leash.  If he even looks as if he's going to snatch the food pull upward ONCE on his collar and say NO.  Use a firm voice but not an overly loud voice.

Keep doing this as long as it takes him to register that he's not allowed to do that.


in love       girl on a swing            toddler girl

  Wife to Josh  Mother to Saria        Mother to Kairi

EireLass
by Ruby Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Eating should always be in the kitchen, and the dog should be kept out of the kitchen during such times. Put a baby gate at the doorway. Unless you want to take the time to teach him verbal commands.

jerzeetomato
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this

Awesome advice, ladies, from experienced dog mommies.  The only other thing I can offer is to make sure you are feeding the puppy an adequate amount of food.  Most dogs are food driven, therefore, it is important to make sure that they understand early on that you will always supply enough food for them.  If you are not sure, check with your vet on how much your dog should be eating.  My vet says the general rule is 1 cup per every 10 lbs. of body weight for the first year. (So a 30 lb pup should eat about 3 cups of food per day).  

KRIZZ25
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM
Quoting sweettigeress:



I AGREE WTH EVERY ONE...
prdmomnarmywife
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM
We've always taught ours to go to "their room " (crate) or to their bed while someone is eating .
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she_walk_softly
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 4:24 PM
Put him on the leash when the kids have food.When he goes for it say no then check him.Then tell him sit, then good dog and treat.Until he gets it. then phase out treats, then phase out leash.
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knoxmomof2
by on Oct. 23, 2012 at 3:33 AM

We own two American Bullys... and are great friends with our breeder, so I can tell you now that you have a VERY stubborn breed on your hand :) Just start reading about "pack leadership" and "being the pack leader".. lots of interesting info. In the immediate future, crate the dog when you guys are eating. Do NOT allow the dog to pick anything up off the floor (meaning that if you give them anything edible, palm it and let him eat it out of your hand, don't throw it on the floor and let him get it, or he will learn that picking food or other items up is fine).. and I would not give him human food at all. Also, do not allow him on furniture (couches, beds, etc.). Those few are a start to differentiating him from the humans. You may not like this, it might seem mean, but he needs to know that he is just a dog. He is lowest on the totem pole.

If you don't present yourself as a leader, he will feel uneasy and feel obligated to become the leader, and then you've got a mess on your hands. I know, I started out as the nice one and Hubby put his foot down from day one (as our breeder suggested). Now, a year and a half down the road with our boy, Hubby has him pretty well in line and I'm 6 months into asserting myself.. and I'm finally seeing some cooperation. And remember, don't ever give him a command that you're not prepared to make him do. Just like with kids. If you tell him "come" and he doesn't "come"... you go and get him, or he'll see your commands as options. 

Good luck!! :) 


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