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    Thread: Food Guarding

    1. #1
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      Food Guarding

      So we have discovered a fun little fact about Forest. He food guards but only with my six year old son. In every other way he is wonderful with my son. He actually bit my son last Saturday on the face over a dog treat. It was pretty minor but did slightly break the skin. I contacted our trainer immediately, and she has told us to feed Forest all meals in his crate, and my son should scoop out the food and place it in his bowl. That worked for a few days but tonight he became growly toward my son and nipped at his face. Ugh. So now we are to crate him, have my son scoop out the food and then drop the kibble through the crate for Forest.

      Has anyone else been through this? How did you handle it? What was the outcome? This is going to have to get better soon or we will need to rehome Forest.

    2. #2
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      What are the trainers credentials? I feel their advice is escalating the issue. I'd go via the desensitizing process that didn't start with a child feeding the dog thru the crate.

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    4. #3
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      Our trainier told me she has been training for 10 years, has titles on 3 different dogs in trick, rally and obedience. She also is involved with Therapy Dog International and is working on evaluator certification. She is also an AKC approved CGC evaluator. Her training methods are science based toward positive reinforcement, and she takes classes from Fenzi Sport Dog Academy. She said she bases her classes on something called, "Control Unleashed". There is more but I would have to look back through our messages and I'm tired lol.

    5. #4
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      The classes at FDSA are not for behaviorists, they are for dog sports enthusiasts. There are some classes to deal with dogs with issues in dog sports, like over arousal and ring stress and they just started adding some classes for issues like separation anxiety, but I feel pretty strongly that they would not touch biting children and resource guarding with a ten foot pole. There is a big difference between a trainer and a behaviorist. I know my trainer, with many decades of experience and several OTCH dogs, would tell a person point blank that it is not her point of expertise and send them to a behaviorist.

      I would reach out to your vet to see if they have recommendations. Also, rescue groups typically keep behaviorists on-call and have a good list. Your local humane society probably has a list also. And, some colleges have certified veterinary behaviorists as well.

      Unfortunately, if your dog has bitten, you really are liable in the future, even if you give your dog away. Rescues typically won't touch dogs with a bite history, especially large dogs. Have you talked to your breeder?

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    7. #5
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      I didn't get Forest from a breeder, I purchased him a month and a half ago from a couple who just had a baby and no time for him. I do have the name and number of his breeder however. I am also in frequent contact with the couple I purchased him from and they were quite shocked as nothing like this ever happened with him before.
      I will look and see if there are any behaviorists around here. I'm really hoping we can manage this.

    8. #6
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      Food Guarding

      Forest is young right? And a rescue?

      The food thing should be positive and always about addition. I would worry about this now and in the future. How old is your son? I'm wondering if he views your son more as a litter mate and competition. Instead of having your son feed him and escalate that situation I'd have your son work on training commands. Sit, down, take it, give...etc. Have him feed small treats or his meal kibble and work on their bond that way.

      Some dogs just don't like to be bothered when they eat. That may be the case with Forest. Crating him while he eats may be the safest option if he is uncomfortable with commotion when he is eating.


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    9. #7
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      Yes Forest is young only a year old. He wasn't a rescue though. My son is 6 and does know how to get Forest to sit. And Forest will give up non food items to him. I was very surprised at this as the former owners mentioned nothing about resource guarding and Labs have the reputation of being very good with kids.

    10. #8
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      Your trainer does seem to have nice a nice training background for competitive dog work. I really like Control Unleashed but I don't remember anything about this issue in the book, or the DVDs. Did you ask her how many dogs with this food guarding issue she has worked with before?

      There is an internationally acclaimed site aimed at making safe dog/child interactions that might give you some help. YOu could ask your trainer if she endorses this and the US people at this site, or your trainer, might be able to help find someone one who works with these ideas.

      http://www.cappdt.ca/UserFiles/File/...%20parents.pdf

      Doggone Safe - hmmmm, this website looks completely different from the last time I posted it for someone. It's my understanding the authors of the first link were instrumental in establishing Doggone Safe in the first place.

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    12. #9
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      I'm going to go old school here. YOU feed the dog in the crate. Keep the kid away from the whole thing. You can supervise when it's treat time but that's it.

      The original owners shouldn't have sold you the dog, they should have returned it to the breeder. That is a hallmark of a good breeder. The fact that they did not give the dog back hints at either the breeder not being reputable or there being problems with the dog. Not ALL Labradors are good with kids. They are bred for a great temperament but not all breeders are doing things the right way. Which is why you also find a tons of sketchy labs in shelters.
      Jen & Tickle!
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    13. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to JenC For This Useful Post:

      Annette47 (08-19-2017), Charlotte K. (08-21-2017), Labradorks (08-20-2017), Melly (08-19-2017), SunDance (08-19-2017), Tanya (08-19-2017), windycanyon (08-19-2017)

    14. #10
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      The breeder would have taken him back but looking back on it I think they (original owners) wanted/needed the money. Breeder did contact me wanting to know where he was and I was very open with her and offered to provide pictures/updates if she wished. She seemed satisfied. Though not happy with original owners as it breeched the contract.

      Yes I or my husband or daughter ( Forest has no issues with her she is 14) will feed him in his crate for all meals. I don't even have my son give him treats at this point. I did find this article which seems to give some good advice.http://caymancare.ky/wp-content/uplo...e-guarding.pdf

      I really love this dog but I don't know how much more of this I can take. It is nerve racking and really scary! This morning's feeding did NOT go well. Forest became very aggressive in his crate hence only adults/teen in the house will be feeding him at this point.

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