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I Art Therefore I Am
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Nike has been attacking my older dog around food. Normally, they get along great and we *don't* feed them near one another.

Sometimes it's impossible to predict when she'll get guardy. Tonight, for example, I was making pizza and I gave my daughter a bit of the dough to play with.. Nike was sitting at her feet waiting for droppage. Luna walked nearby (not too close) and Nike went after her. My husband had to break them up.

There is never any damage done.. perhaps it looks worse than it is and I know dogs can have spats at times (esp bitches) but lately, it's happening alot and it's really upsetting me. Sometimes you can see it coming and it's easy to correct but sometimes (like tonight) It happens so fast.


I gotta say, it's difficult enough being a first time dobe owner.. we got one with issues. Great luck, we have.
 

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I have no words of advice, but my aunt had two female dogs that used to FIGHT in the back yard. I'm talking stiches and all, horrendous fights. It could be worse....

Sorry your first dobe ownership isn't ideal. I promise not all *bitches* are alike!! My favorite dobe growing up was Ginger(of course a red) who we adopted. She was abused and the sweetest girl you ever did see. I used to try to ride her-sat on her back. She just would lay down and wait for my bad a$$ to give up. So, not the breed, I promise.
 

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Are your girls spayed? My mom has a female shepard and for a short time my brother had moved back home with his female pit. They could not be trusted to even go outside at the same time as they would go after each for no reason. Neither have been spayed. I don't know how much of that contributed to it. My mom's dog gets along just fine with my sister's dog, Larry. It could also be an issue of who thinks they are the alpha. I'm sure that it must be very scary to witness.
 

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hmm I have never had to deal with food aggression when other dogs are around....so I have no advice :( Yeah its hard to have a dog that came with their issues...but with Coco I look at it this way-It is good that he is with us cause although he can be hard to deal with and alot of work atleast he has a home that can handle that responsibility and can atleast be genuinly happy :)
Keep up the hard work your doing and Im sure either something can be figured out or it will work itself out...
but just always supervise them :)
 

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Grab him by the scruff of the neck pick him up, shake him and tell him "No Fighting" in your scariest voice. Do not comfort him and tell him its ok to calm him down. Thats kind of like giving your approval. I do not mean hurt him or really get in his face about it, the grab lift and shake is more symbolic than anything. Tell him to go away and then completly ignore him for a while. He has to understand this is not acceptable behavior.
 

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Yes, both of Lyn's girls are spayed.

Lyn, food aggression is the one thing that Rah has, and it's not something you can necessarily train a dog out of. It is unnatural for some dogs to have to share their food. When I feed Rah and Tyler, they are always fed in separate rooms because Rah does guard his food when fed raw.

What I do correct is situations like what you had happen - Rah is NOT allowed to guard treats and other people's food. I make it clear that while he can eat his OWN food in safety and not have to worry that other animals are going to take it, he is NOT allowed to guard and protect the rest of the stuff. If he acts like that, he is verbally corrected and put away from the food (blocked off by baby gate, put outside, etc).
 
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I Art Therefore I Am
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, both of Lyn's girls are spayed.

Lyn, food aggression is the one thing that Rah has, and it's not something you can necessarily train a dog out of. It is unnatural for some dogs to have to share their food. When I feed Rah and Tyler, they are always fed in separate rooms because Rah does guard his food when fed raw.

What I do correct is situations like what you had happen - Rah is NOT allowed to guard treats and other people's food. I make it clear that while he can eat his OWN food in safety and not have to worry that other animals are going to take it, he is NOT allowed to guard and protect the rest of the stuff. If he acts like that, he is verbally corrected and put away from the food (blocked off by baby gate, put outside, etc).


We do make sure she has no 'competition' while eating *her* food. It's other stuff that is difficult to predict/prevent. And knowing that it is near impossible to train that instinctual behavior away, makes this situation frustrating.


My poor old girl. :(
 

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You may want to ban the dogs from the kitchen while people are cooking. We had to do that with our two male Weims. That was the only issue the two of them had was potential food dropping or people feeding them tidbits that could cause fighting. So both had to stay out of the kitchen while food was out. They could eat fine next to each other....each ate and paid attention to only their own food, but when food was up for grabs...watch out. Petey is not even remotely interested with any food we are preparing, unless it is his meal and he is hungry...so I'm not sure how he would do in that situation.

Carol
 

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I have always made sure that my dogs can eat together. I will hand feed them next to each other taking turns between each dog. If one dog "acts" out, I will put them down on their backs with my hand firmly around their neck. I will then proceed to give the other dog some food. When the bad dog is behaving I will start giving it food again. I'm showing both dogs that I control the food. I control which one eats first. I control when they eat it. There is no anger when I do this but I use a happy voice when they are behaving and a loud HEY! when one acts up. I have only had a problem with Molly on two occasions. Since I started doing this, she has stopped
 

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I Art Therefore I Am
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You may want to ban the dogs from the kitchen while people are cooking. We had to do that with our two male Weims. That was the only issue the two of them had was potential food dropping or people feeding them tidbits that could cause fighting. So both had to stay out of the kitchen while food was out. They could eat fine next to each other....each ate and paid attention to only their own food, but when food was up for grabs...watch out. Petey is not even remotely interested with any food we are preparing, unless it is his meal and he is hungry...so I'm not sure how he would do in that situation.

Carol


It's not just while I'm cooking.. it can happen when any of us are snacking (I have 2 kids that are constantly walking around with food). I'd be seperating them all day and night. lol.
 

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I have always made sure that my dogs can eat together. I will hand feed them next to each other taking turns between each dog. If one dog "acts" out, I will put them down on their backs with my hand firmly around their neck. I will then proceed to give the other dog some food. When the bad dog is behaving I will start giving it food again. I'm showing both dogs that I control the food. I control which one eats first. I control when they eat it. There is no anger when I do this but I use a happy voice when they are behaving and a loud HEY! when one acts up. I have only had a problem with Molly on two occasions. Since I started doing this, she has stopped
Is Rock your first doberman?
How big are your other dogs?

I do not ever recommend alpha rolling, and I would beg someone to try to alpha roll my 90 lb male doberman quickly, quietly, and safely and do so with only one hand around their neck.
 
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I agree with kim and the others- my dogs are not allowed to guard food. Of course if they're eating or chewing bones, I am sure to watch so that the other doesn't steal the other's food or bone. They also have to give up bones to me immediately if asked and with no issue. They aren't allowed in the kitchen when I'm cooking, and aren't allowed near us when we're eating. I'm lucky in that my girls can now eat bones next to each other without an issue, but it has also taken some work as Frankie (in her 50-lb glory) likes to prove to 90 lb Henneh that she has a higher status in the pack.

I also try to catch things as early on as I can if I notice an issue - so say if they have bones - if one dog is growling low at another dog who isn't even in their area, I correct that. (usually just verbally.) Not appropriate. If you can't chew your bones in peace, you get them taken away.

They need to know that you are in charge of food- you're the leader, and you always trump their "ownership".... Resource guarding can be difficult but I think you can make it better - don't give up! Since you know food is a trigger, maybe just start working on keeping them away when any food is around. So in this case, you're working on pizza dough, so they all have to be out of that room.... Just one place to start.
 

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OH - one more interesting tidbit... it's related, I promise. :)

My hubby and I went on a month-long trip this past winter. We had a friend stay at our house and watch the critters. He is a wonderful wonderful person and I am so grateful to have him- however he is not a very strong leader when it comes to the dogs. He is sweet but a softie. :) We have always been able to feed our dogs meals near each other- usually about 6 feet from one another. No issues. Well when we returned, Frankie (50 lbs) had a new habit. She would scarf her meal, and then push 90 lb Henneh aside and finish Henneh's meal. I caught this as I heard Henneh make a noise... looked outside and she was standing there watching F eat her meal! For a good week we had to watch them eat and correct Frankie a few times. (She once -and only once- did it right in front of me! The guts!) Has never happened since.... until.... We left again for 10 days last week and the same person watched them. He had to break up a fight between Frankie and his dog Daq because Frankie pushed into Daq's meal. I had to have a talk with my dear friend about future sitting and how to handle it so this doesn't become a pattern....

I thought this was fascinating - just one month of living with someone who was not a strong leader and strong-willed like-to-be-alpha-dog Frankie stepped up to what appeared an opening for pack leader.
 

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I Art Therefore I Am
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OH - one more interesting tidbit... it's related, I promise. :)

My hubby and I went on a month-long trip this past winter. We had a friend stay at our house and watch the critters. He is a wonderful wonderful person and I am so grateful to have him- however he is not a very strong leader when it comes to the dogs. He is sweet but a softie. :) We have always been able to feed our dogs meals near each other- usually about 6 feet from one another. No issues. Well when we returned, Frankie (50 lbs) had a new habit. She would scarf her meal, and then push 90 lb Henneh aside and finish Henneh's meal. I caught this as I heard Henneh make a noise... looked outside and she was standing there watching F eat her meal! For a good week we had to watch them eat and correct Frankie a few times. (She once -and only once- did it right in front of me! The guts!) Has never happened since.... until.... We left again for 10 days last week and the same person watched them. He had to break up a fight between Frankie and his dog Daq because Frankie pushed into Daq's meal. I had to have a talk with my dear friend about future sitting and how to handle it so this doesn't become a pattern....

I thought this was fascinating - just one month of living with someone who was not a strong leader and strong-willed like-to-be-alpha-dog Frankie stepped up to what appeared an opening for pack leader.

That is an interesting observation. I will assume that you are not suggesting that I am a 'softie' about this matter. :) Trust me, I am not. My dog's food guarding, I suspect, stems from her insecure temperment. This is something that I doubt can be trained away completely. We manage it as best as we can but she will never be a "normal" dog and *that* is depressing.
 

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My parent's have a female pit-ridgeback mix that used to be very food agressive, at around 8 months she started to become really agressive to any human or dog that came around her when she ate. One day my Mom just pinned her down and wrestled her into submission and totally ended the problem from then on. It was probably a foolish move and could have ended in severe injury but it was really the only way to correct the problem, other than putting her to sleep. I'm a firm believer in asserting dominant behavior in these kind of situations, but obviously it's not something anyone can do and carries heavy risk. I doubt your problem has reached the severity of this case but I would try to consult a behaviorist before the problem compounds itself. In the mean time, try to make her work for her food; it should be a reward for good behavior rather than just a necessity.
 

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That is an interesting observation. I will assume that you are not suggesting that I am a 'softie' about this matter. :) Trust me, I am not. My dog's food guarding, I suspect, stems from her insecure temperment. This is something that I doubt can be trained away completely. We manage it as best as we can but she will never be a "normal" dog and *that* is depressing.
Normal is boring. I've never had a normal dog!
 
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Is Rock your first doberman?
How big are your other dogs?

I do not ever recommend alpha rolling, and I would beg someone to try to alpha roll my 90 lb male doberman quickly, quietly, and safely and do so with only one hand around their neck.
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kim somjen, dvm

I have had Rotties and St. Bernards and Labs. Rock is only 4 1/2 months old so it is quite easy. I have done this with all my dogs since they were puppies so they are accustomed to it. My bernards outweighed any Doberman I have known and have never had a problem. Sometimes it does take a little horsing around to get them down. It also helps that I'm 6'4 280lbs.
 

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This must be a difficult issue to have to deal with. The only suggestion that I can come up with is that you make a deal with the family that all food and snacks should be eaten in a designated area of the house and then make it clear to both dogs that they are not allowed in that area. So if you decide that when the kids or yourselves eat or have a snack it will be in the kitchen then the dogs are not allowed in there. I know that will probably be difficult if you have smalls kids and they want to eat snacks where they want to eat snacks. I hope whatever you decide to do is successful. :)
 

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My dog's food guarding, I suspect, stems from her insecure temperment. This is something that I doubt can be trained away completely. We manage it as best as we can but she will never be a "normal" dog and *that* is depressing.
You sound defeated. :( I don't know you or your dog or situation, but encourage you to reeeeally work with her and commit. She may never be perfect, heck, no dog ever really is... but you should be able to work out a lot of kinks. If you don't think she'll get better, she probably won't. Trust me, I had a hard time with our Henneh, and I thought she'd never get better with certain things. It took a LOT of time and I probably could have used some professional help to expedite things.... she has anxiety/insecurity too. But though it took a lot of work, time, and patience, (oh so much patience) I wasn't willing to accept that she could become at least somewhat better. She's FAR better than she was. Please don't give up! I don't know your situation well enough to know if you are, but those couple of sentences sound like you have.... She's here to teach you something. Henneh taught me so much in how to work with a difficult, anxious, high-strung dog. Frankie was always relatively "easy." Now, at 9, H is an entirely different dog and I'm grateful for what I've learned because of her.
I think anxiety/insecurity is one of the hardest things to work through with a dog, and I feel for ya. As a side note, have you ever considered agility? This was a great confidence builder for a friend's dog with insecurity issues...

Also wanted to add a footnote about my friend- his dog Daq is extremely "soft." He was rescued - abused as a puppy. He was incredibly hand-shy and still, after 5 years, has to know you to approach you. He's come a long way, but still- a correction for him could be just a look. Rodney is used to that and it's hard for him to adjust his style when he works with my dogs- Frankie with her half-husky self, always tries to push the limits and is a stubborn (yet oh so sweet) dog.
 
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