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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently my boyfriend found an 8 month old male doberman who was locked in a crate in a barn and being starved. He was skin and bones but even with this terrible situation he was in he is a wonderful boy. We recently discovered that he has some food aggression with the other dogs and a little with people. I have read articles that say to feed him by hand instead of giving him a bowl so I have been doing that while feeding the other dogs at the same time that way so he realizes they are not going to get his food. Any other suggestions for possible solutions to this problem is greatly appreciated.
 

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I second the suggestion of contacting a professional who can come to your home and show you how to work with the dog and evaluate the situation. In the mean time I would not feed him at the same time as the others, or have them anywhere near him while he is eating. I would take it slow. If it were my dog I would feed him by hand for 2 weeks, every meal would come from me and not a bowl. No other dogs in sight at feeding time, I would want to build up his bond and trust with me, and then go from there.
 

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^^^^ +1

I to would hand feed alone...sitting on the living room floor (closer to dogs eye level and not towering over and bendiing down...more friendly).
Feed several pieces of kibble, and have a hugg/praise party...then several more pieces of food (making dobe feel fun and secure)

After 2 weeks, I would feed very small kibble batches out of a bowl...then tons of praise...before adding another small kibble quantity to the bowl.

When the dogs finally eat in the same room...trusted together more...stand between the dobe and others, to help guard his meal for him.
- obviously internet advise...not responsible for accidents
 

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^^^^ +1

I to would hand feed alone...sitting on the living room floor (closer to dogs eye level and not towering over and bendiing down...more friendly).
Feed several pieces of kibble, and have a hugg/praise party...then several more pieces of food (making dobe feel fun and secure)

After 2 weeks, I would feed very small kibble batches out of a bowl...then tons of praise...before adding another small kibble quantity to the bowl.

When the dogs finally eat in the same room...trusted together more...stand between the dobe and others, to help guard his meal for him.
- obviously internet advise...not responsible for accidents
I hand feed every foster and new dog in my home for 2 weeks regardless of issues or not and it really does make a difference!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have been hand feeding him and it does seem to help. We play catch with the kibble, he shakes, sits, and lays down. I try to help make feeding time friendly and fun for him while keeping the human socialization there as he was lacking lots of it. I have also made it a point to try to take him for walks daily.
 

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Have you tried him out with a flirt pole? It's a real easy way to tire your dog out, 15 minutes usually does mine in.
I love the flirt pole, but dogs do need a pretty solid "drop it" or "out" command to play safely.

Here's a good video from BadRap on flirt pole basics: Training Video: Flirt Pole Basics on Vimeo

Edited to add: I would NOT recommend a flirt pole for dogs that resource guard toys. It's a recipe for disaster.
 

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Feed several pieces of kibble, and have a hugg/praise party...then several more pieces of food (making dobe feel fun and secure)
Many dogs - if not most dogs - find being hugged a very aversive and unpleasant experience. Particularly if this dog has been recently acquired (which isn't clear in the original post), this is lousy and possibly dangerous advice.
 

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Have you tried him out with a flirt pole? It's a real easy way to tire your dog out, 15 minutes usually does mine in.
Without knowing whether or not this dog has recovered from starvation or is still in poor physical condition, this may be more exertion than is good.
 

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I would recommend finding a vet behaviorist who can evaluate the situation. Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB
There is only one individual listed in Michigan, and she is pretty far off the beaten path. I would use caution with finding someone who is advertized as a behaviorist in Michigan, and run away if anything makes little alarm bells ring in the back of one's head. Stay away from the "behaviorist" at Oakland Veterinary Referral Service!

Without knowing how long the dog has been in his present circumstances, this may be something that fixes itself with intelligent management and following some of the advice that's been given here.
 

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There is only one individual listed in Michigan, and she is pretty far off the beaten path. I would use caution with finding someone who is advertized as a behaviorist in Michigan, and run away if anything makes little alarm bells ring in the back of one's head. Stay away from the "behaviorist" at Oakland Veterinary Referral Service!
Just want to clarify that the list sam&macksmom provided is board certified behaviorists. They are veterinarians who have done additional residencies in behavioral medicine, much like dermatological vets or orthopedic vets. I always suggest a board certified behaviorist to avoid exactly what you mention, that many people call themselves "behaviorists" but don't have any real training or knowledge.

And, of course, people will "click" with different vets, just like they will with different trainers.
 
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Well, Ms. Houpt's credentials aint too shabby and would have me paying her a visit for further investigation, if I needed a behaviorist.

Katherine Houpt
VMD, PhD, DACVB, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (Animal Behavior Society)
Animal Behavior Consultants of Northern Michigan

Katherine Albro Houpt received her veterinary degree and also her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Dr Houpt specializes in the treatment of behavior problems of animals, primarily dogs, cats, and horses. She directed the Animal Behavior Clinic and taught at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. Dr Houpt is the author of many papers and a widely used textbook, Domestic Animal Behavior. She frequently lectures nationally and internationally.

source: http://abcofnm.com/about/
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mmctaq I have had him for about 3 weeks now and he has gained quite a bit of weight in this time. You can no longer see his hip bones or back bone sticking up. I have learned one of his favorite games is tug o war...which I might add he wins everytime lol. He enjoys playing with my heeler as well and barking with the beagle mix on occasion.
 

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Well, Ms. Houpt's credentials aint too shabby and would have me paying her a visit for further investigation, if I needed a behaviorist.
I have been on lists with Dr. Houpt, and I would probably be comfortable consulting her, as well. She is about as far north in the Lower Peninsula as one can get, and about four hours away from where much of the population of the state resides. This can be a factor for lots of folks.
 
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