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Thread: Food aggression directed at cat

  1. #1

    Default Food aggression directed at cat

    I have a two year old female border collie who is such a friendly, easy going, happy girl. She does not show signs of aggression towards anything, but tonight she tried to attack my cat who was sniffing around my dogs bowl. There was some food in the bowl at the time. I freaked out and did something I definitely should not have done, and smacked her on the bum (only gently) and yelled at her, because I was afraid she would hurt my cat.

    I felt so terrible afterwards and decided I need to stop this aggressive behaviour, the proper way, because I know what I did was wrong. So I came here to this forum for help!!

    I have already looked up on Google for remedies to my problem, but I couldn't find any answers to my exact problem (all I could find was food-aggression towards people or other dogs). So I thought I might ask if anyone has had the same problem as me and what worked for them.

    Thanks for your help!!! I really need it!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I feed my dogs and pick up the bowls after they have eaten..at the most 10 minutes. i don't care if they have not finished. My pack of six is a great bunch, but dog food bowls is often where aggression may happen...solution, pick up the bowl, put it away, do not leave left over food hanging around in a bowl. i would not expect my dog to share their food. i prefer it if they do. But each dog is a little different.

    As to hitting the dog. If you do something instant when it is happening, i don't think that is so bad........Only if you do it a time after or get angry with the dog later is it a huge issue, the instant 1-4 sec is what happened to your cat. Dog saw cat near food and reacted...you same cat dog near cat and reacted. All will cope and hopefully learn
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    Welcome Silhouette90

    Naturally we would like you to post some pictures of your BC and your cat

    As for "resource guarding" I think the way you'd deal with it is the same as any kind of resource guarding. The dog needs to learn that it's not the end of the world if the cat checks out her bowl.

    I would never interfere with my dog eating - ok I lie - I do it all the time...

    We play lots of games around her dinner bowl - mostly because any "trick" I want her to learn like "stay" or "fetch" seems to stick best if the ultimate reward for a good performance is eating her dinner.

    I interrupt her dinner eating if she's started without permission - she has to hold a nice sit stay and we have a set routine - "mat" (sit on the mat), "ready, set" - then "on special" or "geddit" or "go" for permission to eat - which we do after she's done what ever tricks I want for that dinner.

    I also interrupt her occasionally with something I want her to clean up for me or just a treat... has to be something more exciting than dinner - tho I could probably interrupt and hand feed her kibble now... So I call her name and offer the better thing, and then I let her go back to eating... If I was working on resource guarding - I'd do that lots with all her dinner... so there would be her regular dinner and something really exotic like sardines for stopping eating when I call her... and we'd interrupt five to ten times during dinner...

    She has gotten a bit resource guarding with dogs she doesn't know down the park. She's fine with dogs she does know. If she sends off another dog about food - all the food goes away and she goes on lead until she calms down.

    With the cat... I think I would start with the interrupt dinner with something better game - without the cat. And when the dog has the idea that sharing dinner is ok or at least stopping and starting is ok... I would put the dog on lead, put something the cat would like in the bowl... and feed the dog sardines over here, while the cat had a bit of a look. If the dog went off - I'd move her further away... until the dog could be quiet and calm near the cat eating out of the bowl and not be upset.

    I might also play some sort of game in front of the tv - with about five dog treats and five cat treats and maybe five human treats - roast chicken might work all round (depends on the cat) and play "one for you, one for me, one for the cat..." dog would be on lead and only get a treat for holding a nice calm sit... cat would need to do the same... no rewarding trying to steal food...

    But until I was confident the dog was happy to share with the cat - I would be doing what Newfsie said - and putting the bowl away after the dog stops eating, so there was nothing to argue about.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 09-19-2014 at 09:18 PM. Reason: quite and clam - not what I meant

  4. #4
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    Hi we have a current posting about border collies changing as they head into their third year. More assertive (aggressive?) less sociable. Maybe your dog is asserting her place as an adult. Apart from that feeding separately is always a reasonable solution.
    Photos

  5. #5
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    I have also given my dog a tap on the bum for doing a similar thing the instant it happened and she has never done it again. It is not something I would usually do but there has been the rare occassion where I have.

    I think though picking bowls up is probably the most sensible thing to do. Leaving food around in bowls, not that there would be any food left in bowls at my place, always carries the possibility of sparking an incident.

    I dont know about the Border collies changing at 3, mine usually change for the better as they grow up, I guess it depends on the dog. Some Border collies can be a bit "whats mine is mine", "whats yours is also mine". My female BC resource guards her bones noisily from the other dogs although my matriarch can knock her off with no issue, and the other dogs dont mess with my boy BC when he is eating but there is never any actual teeth action.

  6. #6
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    Totally agree. Remove the source.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  7. #7
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    If a dog is guarding with people , I do treat that a little different. i just give boring food in the bowl and awesome food comes from the hand, which gets closer to the bowl. But i also believe dogs should be allowed some privacy when eating. Harry is our most recent Rescue and he was very aggressive around food. i initially fed him alone and did not bother him at all. After he gained confidence around us, after about three weeks i fed him the more boring food and sat near him with the awesome treats, tossing them to him. I came closer and closer and eventually I would swap the boring food bowl for a much better food bowl, but did not demand too much from him. I was also treating him during training and he was fed a lot from the hand...he now has no issue with people close to him whilst eating and now also handles it when everyone gets a bone (daily) I had to initially feed him behind a fence, but slowly he got used to knowing he would get one when everyone else got one. i did supervise closely the first time they were all in together and now I can just walk away. I always make sure all bones are about equal time eating for each dog. We also feed all together in the kitchen, with one of us there....Our dogs are never allowed near each others bowls, we do not allow that. Because some are slower eaters (Yussie) . So they know whilst we are there, there is only one bowl, theirs. After that it is pick-up and store the bowls.
    Pets are forever

  8. #8

    Default Thanks!!!

    Thank you all for your help and advice. My BC hasn't done it again since the other day but I will be doing some training with her anyway just to be safe. As requested, I have attached some pics of my baby girls!!!! Seras, my BC is 2. And Magic, my cat is almost 17!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    She is looking great and your pup is gorgeous.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the pix.

    I do find it much easier to train my dog to be nice to an old cat - because old cats don't run...

    We got followed (for the second time) by a big marmalade cat that was sunbaking an a driveway a few doors up from its home... and then it follows us down the street - until it gets level with it's home and then it has a good think about whether it really wants a pat from us.... Pretty sure it lives with a dog but sheesh. I don't think Frosty would be all that thrilled...

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