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Thread: Fighting Over Bones

  1. #1

    Default Fighting Over Bones

    ok so the other day i got a couple of pig trotters for harley and lily to chew on. i gave them 2 tonight about 1/2 an hour later i could hear them arguing (growling)
    i went out there and they were both wanting the same one

    i had a look around the yard and couldnt see the other one anywhere so i figure that someone just gulped it down in the hope that they could get both. (hopefully no bowel obstruction in the next few days)
    i picked up the other one and they didnt have a problem with that but as soon as i put it down they just started fighting - (growling visciously/jumping on each other and rolling around in a tangle/ biting at necks/ but no blood or yepling)

    i want these guys to have bones espicially when i start feeding raw (slowly introducing it )

    even though those two are out in the yard and tessa only has access to veranda and house during the day (small grass area for wee's and poo's) my worst fear is that tessa will walk out there with her and her attitude and steal a bone and cop that cos i no it wouldnt take much for them to seriously hurt or kill her. they have always been good with her but tessa does have a bad case of attitude and i have caught her hanging off the skin on harleys chin cos he annoyed her.

    in the end i put out the other 2 pig trotters so there was 3 and there would be too many to fight over, that seemed to do the trick they have finished them now and are now sleeping together in the kennel

    i have never seen them fight like that, they are always play fighting and growling but nothing so violent.
    im just glad there was no blood and that they have forgiven and forgotten
    there hair was standing up on end like a ridgeback but they both stopped when i yelled at them

  2. #2

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    I don't think you can really stop your dogs from arguing over bones. Dogs aren't very good at sharing things, let alone food, let alone good food like bones.

    The best advise is separation. My dogs all get separated when they eat. I can either crate everyone and feed in crates, or I put Chip outside, Winona in the laundry, and Clover in the kitchen. The dogs know their areas and go there when their bowls come out. Sometimes they are locked in their area for an hour if they have a big bone.

  3. #3
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    I know some dogs will share. And sometimes one dog will try to get all the bones or whatever for himself and the others get none.

    If they're fighting - you have to set limits or you run the risk of serious damage. I too would separate them all or at least put the one that starts trying to steal others bones in a crate or something (you would have to watch to see which dog is trying to take the other one's food).

    When we used to feed horses in the paddock we always put hay out in piles of double the number of horses + 1, and at least two horse lengths apart so no single horse could guard more than one pile at a time.

  4. #4
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    Because we get rescues in and we have plenty of room. We do the "horse thing" We put out extra bone and initially we hang around and oversee.
    Our Tessa is a bone thief and likes to hide them for later. But since we feed bones about every second day, she has got over that. And Katy just waits till she takes her bone and hides it and Katy just follows and gets it back.
    I think you have to know your dogs, ours are a peaceful lot now and know that I will not tolerate and disagreement over food. They all eat side by side, even the slow one. And no one is allowed in anyone else's dish. So I think it just flows on.
    If I had really aggressive dogs I would feed separately like suggested. Mind you I just would not like it. mine have to get on.
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
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    My three do usually happily share. I have had no problems with bones. I have had problems with those pressed bone chews that they have inside.

    When that happens I just pick the 3 bones up, tell them too bad and put them away for later.

    I would separate them for their real bones outside if I had to.

    I hate those pig trotters and smoked bones as they tend to break off into lethal sharp large shards with my lot.

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

  6. #6
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    I have some fairly significant food aggression issues with Flirtt. Villain is very laid back, but will fight back if Flirtt 'starts something' and because he has the weight advantage it can be hairy scary. Both of mine are fed separately in crates, or in separate areas of the yard with gates in between. It has progressed to the point where I (and only I) can have food present before separating them, but I have warned every other person who comes to my home never ever to have food around the dogs. Interestingly enough, when out on leash in public it is not an issue. Ie if someone walked up to me holding both dogs with a sausage in bread, neither dog would react apart from doing a nice sit in the hopes of a reward.

    I'd love to hear from others- Newfsie especially- if there are strategies I can try out to reduce the issue?

  7. #7
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    We initially taught ours the "leave it" with food. Sit and wait till I say OK. Each new dog I bring in i start them one on one with this. i then bring them into the kitchen with the others, but slightly to the side. So initially they have a reasonable distance between them, now it does not matter.
    I supervise. It only takes a short time and I verbally correct even a glance to another bowl. That really only is Tessa, our little guttersnipe, she is the smallest, but would like to eat the most. it doesn't help that the newfies eat really slow, especially Katy. If one of the dogs tries to get to another bowl we give them warning....If they proceed, they go to the bathroom for time out (they hate that)
    Hubby and I use the same rules. So we can both do this. If they go to the Kennel. I always ask them to separate Tessa.
    With bones it has been, put out extra ones and if any disruption happens. the dog who started it, usually Tessa. That dog goes into our run for about five to ten minutes. And is allowed out agin and I see how it goes. We feed RAW bones almost daily and we only have the issue, where Tessa takes Katy's bone and Katy just looks sad. But Annabelle will allow Katy to have her bone and just start on another. Katy has got smart though and now seems to know where Tessa hides the bones.
    The boys, Lukey now and Tobias before him, just seem to have fitted into "the program".
    We are quite strict with our dogs and I do not allow any posturing or bossiness/bullying. So they expect our rules. Having four large dogs, who can fight incredibly well, you have to have these rules.
    I know how well they can fight, because Annabelle initially used to fight Tessa, when she first arrived. That is why we are so particular with our food rules and why they have to be able to eat together. None of our dogs are food aggressive and at training they will happily share treats next to other dogs. Annabelle was food aggressive, I think that was because she was starving when we got her.
    Last edited by newfsie; 03-15-2011 at 11:26 AM.
    Pets are forever

  8. #8
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    Thanks Newfsie. Perhaps I will start by bringing the feed stations closer together, but still with a barrier in place to begin with. For safety!
    I know Villain defers to my leadership (Villi is an 'open book', lol), Flirtt might require a little more 'educating' though. As she has been with me a much shorter time, I'm still getting to know her...

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
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    I sometimes feed treats to a number of dogs at once when I'm out and about - with the owners permission...

    And if any single dog does anything like trying to steal a treat or boss the other dogs, I pack them up and nobody gets anything. Even the worst food guarder at the park understands this rule. And none of them get a treat every time they ask. I'm not a reliable payout.

  10. #10

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    i will do some extra training at feed times,
    i have never had a problem with their normal meals - harley eats really fast and will wait till lily leaves her bowl (always finished) before he goes snooping around it.
    they both sit and wait until i tell them to eat. and will usually drop food that they grab when i say uhh.
    they have marrow bones once a week and play fight and steal from each other as usual with no drama, but the pig trotters must have been extra tasty so they didnt want to share.
    i dont think i will give them to them anymore as im pretty sure one of them swallowed one whole and i dont wanna have to take one in for removal from intestines or anything.

    when i put 3 out there after their fight they ate happily without annoying each other (harley had 2)

    they are best friends again today so i think from now on if there is anything that will be extra delicious i will seporate them or give 3.

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