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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today for the first time my 13 week old puppy growled while he ate because my daughter and son pet him . They have always pet him since he came home . What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen gain or to prevent food aggression. TIA !
Dog Comfort Carnivore Mammal Dog breed
 

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Frankly, set some rules for your kids.

Don't let you kids get too close to him while he is eating. It is true that you don't want a dog to develop food aggression, but it's unfair to be in his face pushing the issue while he is trying to eat and then to expect exemplary behavior from him.

At his age, give him some peace while he is eating. There are some things you can do in the future if he starts protecting his food too much, but let him feel secure while he's eating for right now.

No petting, hugging or getting in his space while he is eating his meals.

Above all, don't reprimand him really harshly for growling--that is his warning that he is uncomfortable. If he learns it's not OK to growl as a warning, he may just go straight to the bite stage when he's feeling threatened.

Of course, we work with our puppies to behave well and want them to allow us near their food or toys without them overreacting, but kids need to be worked with too, to teach them how to behave around puppies.
 

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I would advise to keep your kids away from him while he is eating or has a treat, like a bone or chew. Additionally, be sure they are not inadvertently teasing him when they have something fun like their food or something he thinks may be a toy. They should always be calm and keep things out of his face (which I am sure they are).

Additionally, it may help to feed him in his crate as that is a safe space for him. And finally, PLUS ONE for everything @melbrod wrote.
Good luck!
 

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Big Lil pup
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IMO...A puppy should be allowed to eat in peace, undisturbed by kids and other pets.

What does help, in my experience, is to have your kids prepare and serve your pup his meals. My 5 yo grandson has always helped feed his Dobes, including their puppy. He has helped feed my Doberman since he was about 2 and just got his 2 1/2 yo brother get used to feeding him.

John L.
Portland OR
 

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Third or fourth on the keeping kids away at least for now, and start from scratch. This one seems he may have some natural resource guarding, there is some good training puppy videos about touch & reward with the goal of knowing being touched anywhere as a positive/good thing.

Melbrod nailed it quite well, then go to the puppy having to sit / stay until given the okay to start eating. Even have the kids do that for him.

This was one of the very critical things I personally had to focus on as we take in fosters including small breeds so even a correction could be fatal. Mine even offers his raw bones to everyone now, so it can be done but varying success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Frankly, set some rules for your kids.

Don't let you kids get too close to him while he is eating. It is true that you don't want a dog to develop food aggression, but it's unfair to be in his face pushing the issue while he is trying to eat and then to expect exemplary behavior from him.

At his age, give him some peace while he is eating. There are some things you can do in the future if he starts protecting his food too much, but let him feel secure while he's eating for right now.

No petting, hugging or getting in his space while he is eating his meals.

Above all, don't reprimand him really harshly for growling--that is his warning that he is uncomfortable. If he learns it's not OK to growl as a warning, he may just go straight to the bite stage when he's feeling threatened.

Of course, we work with our puppies to behave well and want them to allow us near their food or toys without them overreacting, but kids need to be worked with too, to teach them how to behave around puppies.
Oh wow I thought that letting them pet him was okay while he was eating . I guess I had it all wrong . I will definitely change that and tell my kids to let him be while he’s eating from now on . Thank you so much for your feedback !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, and he's about the age where his bitey behavior may get worse--dobe puppies are rough when they play and they sometimes treat you (and especially your kids) like you are littermates. Now would be a good time to check out this thread

(4) Help! My puppy is biting me. | Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums (dobermantalk.com)

and start setting some rules up (for both the people and the puppy) so you can get a handle on the bitey-ness when it shows up.
I will check it out for sure . Yes this puppy loves to bite that’s why we all try and keep a toy in hand lol . Thank you !
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would advise to keep your kids away from him while he is eating or has a treat, like a bone or chew. Additionally, be sure they are not inadvertently teasing him when they have something fun like their food or something he thinks may be a toy. They should always be calm and keep things out of his face (which I am sure they are).

Additionally, it may help to feed him in his crate as that is a safe space for him. And finally, PLUS ONE for everything @melbrod wrote.
Good luck!
thank you so much I knew you al would be so helpful !! It’s our first Doberman so this is all new ! I will definitely make sure he has his space and eats in peace !
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
IMO...A puppy should be allowed to eat in peace, undisturbed by kids and other pets.

What does help, in my experience, is to have your kids prepare and serve your pup his meals. My 5 yo grandson has always helped feed his Dobes, including their puppy. He has helped feed my Doberman since he was about 2 and just got his 2 1/2 yo brother get used to feeding him.

John L.
Portland OR
yes my kids already help me feed him . We have trained him not to eat until we say okay . With the kids he triea to be sneaky but we will keep at it. Thank you !
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Third or fourth on the keeping kids away at least for now, and start from scratch. This one seems he may have some natural resource guarding, there is some good training puppy videos about touch & reward with the goal of knowing being touched anywhere as a positive/good thing.

Melbrod nailed it quite well, then go to the puppy having to sit / stay until given the okay to start eating. Even have the kids do that for him.

This was one of the very critical things I personally had to focus on as we take in fosters including small breeds so even a correction could be fatal. Mine even offers his raw bones to everyone now, so it can be done but varying success.
Yes I will instruct my kids to let him be for now and I love the idea of touch and give a treat to create a positive thing for him . Oh wow I can’t imagine having to train so many dogs ! You must be amazing at it ! Thank you so much for your advice !
 

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Yes I will instruct my kids to let him be for now and I love the idea of touch and give a treat to create a positive thing for him . Oh wow I can’t imagine having to train so many dogs ! You must be amazing at it ! Thank you so much for your advice !
Haha let's just say I am ;). I can certainly say different breeds means different training methods.

Had another one to put in with your training is a self calming/controling exercise. This one will actually help the puppy learn to self calm and as well as not be so food aggressive. You have him lay down and just out of reach is a small pile of his kibble or whatever motivates him for treats. Then with him staying in place take a couple and place between his front legs within range to eat, if he gets up going for the jackpot just cover with your hand and put him back into place. He'll soon get if he just stays in place he will get them all eventually and you as positive when eating!

In some time, just like regular feedings have the kids also do that. Piles more out there to help, but something to keep in mind is literally everything your doing with this puppy or even around this puppy is training!
 

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Big Lil pup
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Wow I have always messed with my dogs when their eating. Cover dish with a hand pet, poked cover dish move it with my foot. So much as a little growl food is gone for the day
I have to ask....

Why would you attempt to provoke a growl in a dog just to punish them by depriving them of their food? That is simply asking for trouble when it doesn't exist.

BTW.... Dogs growl for a very good reason. To deprive a dog of its innate "early warning system" is also asking for trouble. A dog that is not allowed to growl is the dog that may bite with no advance indication.

JMO

John L.
Portland OR
 

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@js4fnn why would you deliberately mess with your dog's bowl, then punish the resulting communication? Punishing the communication can mean a bite happens with little obvious warning.

Leave your dog alone when they're eating.
 

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I have to ask....

Why would you attempt to provoke a growl in a dog just to punish them by depriving them of their food? That is simply asking for trouble when it doesn't exist.

BTW.... Dogs growl for a very good reason. To deprive a dog of its innate "early warning system" is also asking for trouble. A dog that is not allowed to growl is the dog that may bite with no advance indication.

JMO

John L.
Portland OR
It’s the start of control. If you cant stop your dog in mid eating. Sit stay till released you have zero control puppy will not take your hand off

I can give a dog a bone take it away. Or just drop it and give it back to them

Growling at a human is NOT allowed in this house period learnt in puppy stage is a must. Way before 6 months

I’ve been owner of other peoples rejects all my life. They all have been my best dog till the next one comes along
 

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I'm absolutely NOT a fan of messing with dogs while they eat, or the idea that you need to "control" their eating. That's the easiest way to disrupt your relationship with your puppy and teach them that you aren't trustworthy. My dogs will absolutely drop things (high value raw bones, etc), don't growl at me, or anything like that, and I never stopped them in the middle of a meal. Instead, I use this method: Stop messing with your dog while he eats!

Adding high value things to their bowls while eating, dropping treats near them while eating...not taking things AWAY is the way to create meal times that are not a place of "guarding". You also work on teaching dogs to "drop it" and "leave it" separate from meal time.
 

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It’s the start of control. If you cant stop your dog in mid eating. Sit stay till released you have zero control puppy will not take your hand off

I can give a dog a bone take it away. Or just drop it and give it back to them

Growling at a human is NOT allowed in this house period learnt in puppy stage is a must. Way before 6 months

I’ve been owner of other peoples rejects all my life. They all have been my best dog till the next one comes along
I can do all that and as mentioned mine even offers to share his food/bone with anyone.

One thing I should say, dogs that show no warning and snap are more likely to be put down before we can even have a chance to rescue them. They are much harder to work with as you don't know until the dog reacts. A growl shouldn't be taken as a negative or even a bad thing, it is simply communication "Hey, I am not feeling happy/comfortable/safe in this situation".
 

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I can do all that and as mentioned mine even offers to share his food/bone with anyone.

One thing I should say, dogs that show no warning and snap are more likely to be put down before we can even have a chance to rescue them. They are much harder to work with as you don't know until the dog reacts. A growl shouldn't be taken as a negative or even a bad thing, it is simply communication "Hey, I am not feeling happy/comfortable/safe in this situation".
Well yes but you know the different growls.
Dinner time bulllet proof. Other dogs get done their faster it’s ok to stand watch the others no touch no growls from the one eating life is good
Cutting nails ok I understand your scared we’ll take it slowly but it’s going to happen

Accidentally bite while play fetch with a pup happen. Gentle slow it down drop it no re-grabs my game my rules

And yes someone else’s growling barking dog I’m not scared of. The one walking around quite I show respect watching signs signs galore can be seen in a dog in a big dog little dogs bah their like a cat
 

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Big Lil pup
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"Other dogs get done their faster it’s ok to stand watch the others no touch no growls from the one eating life is good"

I have always found it prudent to feed my dogs separately. This is especially true with 2 male Dobermans. It simply goes back to my belief that a dog should be allowed to eat in peace. In the wild, canids will fight for their share of available food. There is no reason to encourage that innate instinct in a domestic pet.

BTW... Put your hand in my plate of food and you might end up with a fork stuck in it. Though,I would probably growl first, just to let you know that it would not be a good idea.

John L
Portland OR
 
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