I would be inclined to find a trainer who is experienced with this type of aggression. I dont know anything about your breed but to me this is not normal puppy behaviour. I have working bred cattle dogs, Border collie and kelpie and I work with them from a young age and honestly have never had to do the food swop thing although the way Nekhbet describes it makes sense, different to how I have heard other people talk about food swopping.
Only one of mine has ever shown resource guarding issues and I dealt with that pretty quickly without any violence. He never showed any inclination to actually bite me which is very different from what you are talking about. You could have a very scary dog on your hands if you dont deal with it immediately.
Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-09-2014 at 08:20 PM.
I agree with the others about it being something you practice all the time.
You might want to invest in some rigger gloves to start with - or just put up with being chomped a bit until your puppy works out they are not getting what's in your hand until they back off. ie you start out with the food, you're not trying to lure them into a trade to start with.
So games are
It's yer choice - learning to back off and take food gently instead of stealing.
Collar grab - so that grabbing the dog's collar or reaching hands out is a good thing (paired with treats)
and then maybe "thank you" (for let go of that or I'm going to pry it out of your mouth). Play this game on lead so puppy can't nick off. hand them the whatever "geddit" and then ask for it back "give" or "thank you". At this point I'd offer a small trade. But I'd try to make the game fun of itself without food. Incidentally my dog lives playing tug and chewing up rigging gloves so they're often the resource/toy not my hand protection.
If she does get hold of my hand - I do my best not to try to rip it out of her mouth - because that just invites a sort of shredding chomping action. If the dog doesn't spit me out immediately - I push very gently until she tries to spit me out and then hold that so she's a tiny bit uncomfortable for a little bit longer.
I find blood gets drawn if you try to rip your hand away and yes it bloody hurts - especially needle sharp puppy teeth or even older dog teeth if they mistake your fingers for chew toy or food. Hopefully by the time they're older they're as mortified about it as you are. Never play tug in the dusk/dark.
The thing is when any treat is in my hand, she is nice and polite. She would let it go when asked. but as soon as the treat is given to her, she would go to somewhere 'safe' to enjoy and be super cautious of ppl approaching her.
I did an experiment yesterday. I poured half of her kibbles in the bowl and put it down for her to eat. I approached, sat next to her, touched her bowl, pat her, added in more kibbles with no issues at all. she was happy, relaxed and looked at me for more food. Then i showed her a kong snack bone (edible, made from biscuits) and with the bone in my hand i offered her to chew it. Then i asked her to leave it/let go, she did, and I praised and rewarded her. I repeated the exercise and she behaved really well. Then i let her have the bone. I stood next to her 'safe' spot and did nothing just watched while she's eating. She was tense, hair on back stood up, did not growl, but literally gobbled it down in 3 min. normally it would take her at least 20 min to eat.
So she knows her main meals come from me, any food in my hands are mine and she has to be nice to have it. any treat given entirely to her is hers and she guards it. I did more research online yesterday, and found that this breed does have a marked sense of property and territory, and they make good watchdog. So the food guarding issue could be possibly just her natural instincts plus whatever other experience she encounters that reinforce this instinct. The main reason why i want to fix this is because I am worried if one day she picked something she is not ought to have, e.g. a piece of sharp chicken bone, i would need to be able to get it out of her mouth without her being aggressive and bit me.
the suggested exercises here all involve food in my hands, and she seems to get the idea pretty well that food in my hands is not hers and she needs to play nice. the food swap is the other only viable option if i ever need to ask her to give up her guarded treat, but there's always the situation that i dun have another high value treat with me. the swap also doesnt address the issue - i.e. the needs to guard.
Probably going a bit overboard with all the links below – but – the problem you are having with your pup is very serious and needs to be sorted ASAP.
‘Nekhbet’ has offered her assistance and I would suggest very strongly that you take up her offer. A lot of regular training places really do not know how to deal with this type of thing.
If you haven't had any experience with this sort of behaviour before – and added to it - a new/different breed of pup for you – you really need to get a professional in to help you.
Your pup has you bluffed. By growling, snarling, barking and then biting you causes you to back off – even slightly - then the pup has won.
So what you need to do is get this pup back under control. Training a pup is not about training just one thing at a time - you have to multi-task and teach the pup heaps of different things during a normal day.
It seems when you first get a pup – that you are on their case all the time. But that is what you have to do.
Every time the pup is doing something that you want – reward it. When it is doing something you don't like – distract/interrupt and then make it do something else so that you can then reward again. Don't ignore bad behaviour - just don't 'reward ' it !
Anyway – the links:
Resource Guarding: Treatment and Prevention
What not to do to your best friend and why. - YouTube
How to stop unwanted behavior- the positive interrupter - clicker dog training - YouTube
How to train your puppy not to bite - YouTube
Train Your Dog To Take Food Nicely - YouTube
Also look at these links:
Stages your pup goes through at the different ages:
Also look at: TOT and NILIF
Steve Courtney Dog Training Knowledge Base - Steve Courtney Dog Training - Free Dog Training Tips
This behavior will take some time to get on top of and stop. Do some more homework/research on the breed that you have – and please get in contact with ‘Nekhbet’.
Good Luck ! smiley-eatdrink004.gif
P.S. It may be worthwhile sending a PM to a member called 'mitte' on this forum regarding your breed of pup.
The food swap is a short term beginning. It's not a permanent thing to do, but you need to start somewhere. Resource for resource in a dog such as yours. You gradually decrease the need for the other hand with food and make it give what she has on command then you give it back etc. Eventually there doesn't have to be a physical object to swap and the dog will do it happily from training and conditioning.the suggested exercises here all involve food in my hands, and she seems to get the idea pretty well that food in my hands is not hers and she needs to play nice. the food swap is the other only viable option if i ever need to ask her to give up her guarded treat, but there's always the situation that i dun have another high value treat with me. the swap also doesnt address the issue - i.e. the needs to guard.
The idea is how we start protection pups on the 'out'. So an adult dog will be told to out, release the decoy without fight and sit there waiting for another command from the handler.
Well a lot of breeds have a strong sense of property and territory - my dog who is a Doberman cross objects strongly to strangers entering his territory. But you should not be considered a threat to that at all. There is nothing I can't take off my dog and he doesn't resist me or resent me doing it - you need to understand that your dog's reaction is not the norm and/or an acceptable position - it's dangerous for you. She is obviously very nervous around you and this is a big problem. I agree with the other posters, you need to make sure that you speak to someone who has experience with dog behaviour more so than a dog trainer. There is a huge difference between being able to teach a dog to sit and being able to address this sort of behavioural issue.
In regards to your concerns the other day, she may have been shocked by your correction. I'm not an expert but I would say that from my experience, one of the most important aspects of dog training is consistency. I think dogs are smarter than what people typically give them credit for, but everything goes a lot smoother when it's black and white. What I mean by this is that the dog always knows what to expect. If you say no and she disobeys, you will stop her. Not hurt her, but stop her. If something was wrong yesterday, it also needs to be wrong today. I also learned that dogs don't respect emotion, they seem to view it as a weakness, ie you can't be 100% sure of yourself if you're angry or upset, that means you're not in control. Now I know that if I start to get upset or angry, I need to walk away because I'm not going to get good results with my dog. Dogs don't really like uncertainty and they can sense your emotions but we're human and it's often hard to separate ourselves from the matter so that can be one of the biggest advantages of bringing in a professional.
Your dog is still only young, so if I were in your position, I would act now. She is forming very bad habits and trust me when I tell you that anything she does as a puppy will only get worse as a teenager - you need to feel that you have an effective means to address the problems so that you can feel calm and assured of yourself.
I'm not going to agree with this advice at all. There's ways to prevent an owner being bitten in many ways, there's no need for an owner to tolerate being bitten particularly when the dog is at the level it's at. Don't fight fire with fire in a dog that has already learned to bite but you dont put up with pups biting either. Trial and error can sometimes not work in your favour at all which is why I don't advocate it with things like this.You might want to invest in some rigger gloves to start with - or just put up with being chomped a bit until your puppy works out they are not getting what's in your hand until they back off. ie you start out with the food, you're not trying to lure them into a trade to start with.
I agree with all of you that this is an unacceptable and dangerous behaviour and will definitely act now and ask for a professional to deal with the issue. I also sense that she is slowly trying to gain controls of the household by protesting (growling, nipping our hands) whenever she is interrupted. There is inconsistency in dealing with her bad behaviours, mainly between myself and my partner. I agree and follow the NILIF program, however, my partner is inconsistent. So whatever attention she doesnt get from me she will try to seek from my partner. I have also been emotional in front of her a few times.
she is our first puppy and hence we are inexperienced dog owners.
Thank u Riley for the links, i will def go through them.
and 99bottles i agree she was shocked at my actions. I have never done that to her before. Sunday was a really stressful day and i lost my temper. I need to control my emotions in front of her in future and practise rules consistently among myself n partner so she is not confused/insecure in the household.
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