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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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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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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
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!
Yes that’s for sure . I have owned Yorkies for years and this is our first big breed . They are definitely super smart !

that’s a great idea I will also done that a try . The kids already help with basic training And they love it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Oh my children and pets.
What I think is important is teaching our human kids the basics rules of being around pets.
Young children tend to think they can interact with all dogs the same way they interact with their dogs at home.
That can cause a negative event if visiting someone elses dog.
So first good to teach the basics and follow the same rules ourselves.
Then later as we all become more established with our dogs habits we can bend those rules a bit.
But just like with our dog training our little humans must also be taught the basic foundation of pet manners.
Some dog training schools actually sponsor children classes which teaches the basics for pet ownership.
So many children get bitten each year by our pets.
There are many great videos for children in this area.
Ones that teach children of the warning signs are fantastic.
So many children stare at dogs having no idea what they are communicating to the dog.
Some call that staring …targeting. Enough to ruffle a strange dogs hackles.
Kids need to learn the basics signs that a dog is not happy with them….
My grandkids and I play a game where I ask the kids “What do you think he is thinking?“ Do you think he is happy ? Do you think he is dis-appointed? Every moment of each day provides an opportunity for teaching. So show your kids all the different responses and the best way to handle the situation.
kids learn so fast once they are shown things first hand. Plus its a fun game.
And then the little humans love to hug and kiss there dogs.
But maybe not a good idea until much later once the relationship is established.

Here is a decent read but there are many more out there that read the same:

https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/kids-and-dogs-how-kids-should-and-should-not-interact-with-dogs/
Thats a really great idea I will definitely rid this article and try to take it into practice ! I want my children to learn how to respect our pets ❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Please oversee when the toy is being used by your children if that in fact is what is occurring lest an opening up a possible 'Pandora's box' over resource/toy guarding especially if accompanied by a growl if the toy is inadvertently removed.

A growl can appear as a double edged sword in the sense that it cuts two ways — meaning the importance to differentiate between a playful growl during play where body language signals play versus a growl accompanied by rigid body posture over a resource/toy etc.

Without appearing to be an over reactive alarmist, the razor-sharp frontal incisor 'baby' teeth at the dispensing end of a 30 pound 13 1/2 week old Doberman pup can dispense a suture resulting wound in a heartbeat especially to the delicate hand of a child. Therefore I politely revert back to please oversee ALL activity during this tentative period where the children are engaged with the pup.

I echo the sentiments by the moderator and the consensus of opinion contained within those like-minded posts. Will the behavior surface again? If so then a behaviorist should be consulted. As always it is best to be proactive (as you are showing) at this formative stage of puppy behavioral development.
Mike
So far with toys he’s great he’s not possessive and he loves when the kids play with him . The reason I tell the kids to always to have a toy is because if he feels like he want to relieve some of his teething he will do so with his toys not the kids hands . He has come a long way and is understanding what no means. We train with him daily and make sure we also give him plenty exercise and mental stimulation
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Great to hear about the toys! The trade technique is excellent, and another to make sure he always wants to share his toys is to make it more fun with you than alone. Such as little tug, flip the toy around etc. etc. Also, word of caution is to ensure any of his toys don't resemble small breeds such as the Yorkie, so any fur-like stuffies should be removed.
yes we can ask forhis toys and he will share them. And yes I have 2 Yorkie and I make sure no toys resemble them . Thank you !
 
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