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    Thread: Food Guarding

    1. #11
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      Melly's Avatar
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      I have asked our trainer if she knows of any behaviorists in the area as I'm coming up empty handed on finding one.

      EDIT
      My trainer has given me the name of a behaviorist who I will be contacting Monday!
      Last edited by Melly; 08-19-2017 at 08:44 AM.

    2. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Melly View Post
      I have asked our trainer if she knows of any behaviorists in the area as I'm coming up empty handed on finding one.

      EDIT
      My trainer has given me the name of a behaviorist who I will be contacting Monday!
      If that doesn't work, ask your vet for the name of one.

    3. #13
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      What advice did the breeder offer?
      Sorry this is happening.

      Do you have a picture of little Forest?

    4. #14
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      I have a zillion pictures of Forest but no idea how to load one on here. The behaviorist work with a local veterinarian clinic so I'm sure she is good. I'm so thankful to have the support of this forum!

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      SunDance (08-19-2017)

    6. #15
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      agree with all the others. the trainer sounds well
      versed in sports/obedience but not in behavioiral issues. glad you have the name of a behaviorost, so ask about education, crediential and experience.

      If this is a potential deal breaker only work woth a qualified professional. But let the breeder know about the issue and that you are working on it. if you do need to rehome, hopefully the breeder takes him back.

      good lyck. any actio you take should always be positive to the dog. i saw the link said to play with the bowl - do not do that. it just makes meal time more confrontational.

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      Melly (08-19-2017)

    8. #16
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      I agree now, that you need a qualified animal behaviorist to solve this problem asap. Resource guarding is a serious issue, but your puppy is only a year old, so he is hopefully, not too set in his ways, though we do not know if he exhibited any of this behavior with his first family. I have had one puppy returned, and it was because I was learning and made a poor placement, thank god she was returned to me, and got the home she needed, turned out the home needed her too. She eventually became a Hearing Dog for her owner, after classes showed she had a great aptitude for alerting her owner to noises and sounds, so they attended special classes and she goes everywhere with him now.

      Anyways I digress, my point being, is that the breeder should have had a hand in placement into a new family, I would be beyond pissed if one of my puppies was 're-homed' without my knowledge or assistance. Especially if there is a *possible* behavior issue, since we really don't know why the first family placed the puppy. Having a new baby isn't a good enough reason for re-homing a dog in my opinion, and I screen my families for how they feel about that.

      Please move forward with the animal behaviorist, but I wanted to show you this, I send a copy of this home in my puppy packets. It is straight forward and makes a lot of sense, for any age, human and dog. Gone is the dangerous old method of "messing with the dogs food while they are eating". The trick to this new method, is to up the ante on special treats to toss into the bowl.

      Metro SPCA Behavior & Training Department
      Food Bowl Exercises
      Standard Prevention Exercises for All Non-Guarding Dogs and Puppies
      Resource guarding is a natural behavior in dogs. Dogs in the wild go to a lot of trouble to find food, and it is no wonder that guarding is built into them. This behavior is hard wired into your dog, and we must do a few exercises to teach him that it’s OK for us to touch his dinner or possessions.
      A dog that guards his food or toys is not a dominant dog. One of the rules of dogdom is that possession is 9/10ths of the law. Any dog, regardless of rank, is entitled to an object until he is done with it…then it is up for grabs. This is the principle your dog will work on unless you teach him otherwise.
      Prevention:
      Approach your dog while he is eating, and add a bonus, (something that is better than his food), to the dish. Approach from all angles and at different points during the meal, and get others to do likewise. Hide the bonus and add from pocket, pouch or from behind your back, so it is not “previewed” if your dog is okay, lift his bowl to add the bonus, and then give the bowl back.


      Here is a simple program for teaching your dog that sharing is cool! This exercise is also a maintenance spot check for former guarders.
      Signs of Guarding
      • Accelerated eating
      • Cessation of eating/”freezing up”
      • Glassy or hard eyes
      • Growling
      • Lip lifting
      • Snapping
      • Biting
      (Notice "biting" is the last resort the dog has, by the time they are biting, you have missed all the warning signs.)
      Rehab Exercise 1
      1) At mealtime, put down empty food dish
      2) Approach dog and empty dish and add a few pieces of kibble
      3) Withdraw and repeat until entire meal fed in this manner
      4) If dog guards, end mealtime: “too bad”
      5) Feed 2-3 meals this way
      6) On 4th meal, gradually begin to reduce the time between approaches and increase the amount of kibble per installment so that overlap develops: dog is eating while you re-fill
      7) When you have reached the point that you are giving meal in 2-3 installments without any guarding, switch to bonus-addition, as per prevention instructions above (adding bonus while eating and removing bowl to add bonus)




      Rehab Exercise 2
      1) Approach dog while eating to “safety distance” (pre-guarding distance) and flip bonus at bowl (don’t worry about accuracy), repeating several times in a row
      2) Do this for 2-3 meals
      3) On 4th meal, decrease distance slightly after first flip
      4) If successful (no guarding), continue gradually decreasing distance until you can approach bowl and drop bonus in
      5) Switch to prevention exercises

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      Melly (08-19-2017)

    10. #17
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      Shelley Thank you so much for that information! What you posted correlates with everything I am reading about desensitization to resource guarding. We had my son toss small pieces of hamburger to Forest today on our morning walk and Forest responded quite favorably.

      I agree with you that having a baby is not a good reason to give up a dog. I've had two children and had dogs both times. The first family told me that shortly after buying Forest they became pregnant and the wife was extremely sick throughout the pregnancy, and the husband was working a lot so they didn't have time to do anything with Forest. Basically he ran in a yard for the first year, and while they fed him, noting else was done. He knew nothing when he came to us a month and 1/2 ago. He wasn't even potty trained!

      He has come so far in such a short amount of time, I really believe we can overcome this. He is a good, smart boy.

    11. #18
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      My only concern with "rehab" for dogs with these issues is that we are talking children here. Children can make mistakes or be forgetful and what happens if he has a friend over? What happens if the dog suddenly decides that it's not just his food bowl that he needs to guard, but a paper towel that fell on the ground that has a little bit of food on it from dinner and a child, not thinking about the correlation, goes to grab it from the dog?

      Not at all tying to dissuade you from calling the behaviorist and I am thrilled that you found one, just please be careful of someone suggesting they can "fix" the problem. I think that any rehab really needs to be combined with strict management, possibly for the life of the dog.

      I wish you the very best of luck!

    12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      Charlotte K. (08-21-2017), Melly (08-20-2017)

    13. #19
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      Labradorks> You have very valid concerns and this is something my husband and I have discussed. We don't know what the future holds and rehoming him is not off of the table. We do however want to try all avenues before we get to that point. These types of issues are initially why I wanted to buy a puppy but my husband refused to pay the prices that good, reputable breeders charge. *sigh* Anyway we love Forest and want to give him every chance, but your are right in that very strict management for the life of the dog may be necessary. We do realize that.

    14. #20
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      Maybe you could also contact his breeder and ask her about the problem you're having and ask for her recommendations. You did say she wasn't particularly happy he was rehomed, but I think she would be even more upset if he were rehomed again. Shelley, who is also a breeder, has a lot of good info. Forest's breeder may as well. Plus if you can't help Forest with this, she may be willing to take him back and work with him before finding him a different home.

    15. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Meeps83 For This Useful Post:

      Charlotte K. (08-21-2017), Labradorks (08-20-2017), Melly (08-20-2017)

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