So I adopted a 6 month old heeler mix puppy about 3 weeks ago. She had no prior training, but over the last weeks I have made serious headway in obedience training. She sits, lays down, rolls over so I can examine her belly, take things from me when I tell her to, stands up when I tell her to, comes when called as long as there are few distractions (getting better), walks well on a leash, and has gotten to the point where she will stay for upwards of thirty seconds even when Im not in the room (also getting longer). I have been working on "drop it" for a little while using toys. However, when she gets a peice of food such as the sandwich which she somehow got out of our protected compost pile, or a peice of cat poop while out on a walk, I can't make her drop it. If I try to get it from her she growls. I found yesterday that she has incredibly strong jaws, as I could not pry them apart using even the lips over teeth method. I use "oops" as a no word in minor situations. When this doesn't work I give a growl. I would only strike her if she gave a big bite, and even then, only enough to get the point across. I don't believe that my growling in this case is making things better, as her aggression seems to be fear based (Fear I will take her food away). It also seems to damage the trust between us and undermine my authority when I don't succeed in getting it from her. Should I be more forceful? Should I continue to work on take and drop with less charged items and gradually increase the value? Will she eventually obey me with this approach? What should I do? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
When he growls at you do you stop whatever you're doing to make him growl? If so, he's learned that when he growls you will stop. When I got Ace my grandma told me to pet him when he's eating..touch his head and mouth, and also to take away his food bowl while he's eating and then give it right back. Just so he learns I am the boss. I would begin by petting him while he's eating. Also, try taking away his food and giving it right back. If he growls, don't stop. Thats all I really know of, hope it helps some. I am sure others will have great advice to give to help you more.
you should probably get some books, or look for info on the net , regarding resource guarding. i had a dog who was the same way. agressive over everything. i cannot share how i cured him because , knowing what i know now, i would never handle it in the same way again. nor would i suggest it to anyone else. the idea about working up to valuable items is a good one. it is something that needs to be worked on for emergency cases like if he got into something that could be dangerous for him to ingest. maybe a reward system would work. offer him a treat everytime you take something away from him. kinda like a bribe.
i think that ace's advice is good. in a pack, the top dog always gets to eat first and has controll over the food, so by letting know you have controll over his food it should help establish you as alpha. you should make him sit and stay before you give him his meal and wait for you to say ok before he eats. you should also practice removing the bowl while he is mid-meal and he should not object in any way, as well as you should be able to pet him all over while he is eating. if he is still having trouble with him and food protectiveness, you can take his food dish, put it on the counter, put some human food in a clean bowl inside of it and eat infront of him, to him it will look like you are eating his food and that will again establish the pattern of you being top dog and getting to eat first. of course, when he settles you give him his bowl back with his dinner or a treat inside. also, work lots on the 'off' command with his toys etc. lol scout, now you have peaked my curiosity on what you did.
emma everything you said is good but if the dog is already growling at her now, if she goes to remove the bowl from him while he is eating she will most likely get bit. i know that one thing trainers do to rehab food aggressive dogs is to start hand feeding them only for a week or 2 then put a few kibbles in a bowl and take it away. gradually working up to a full food bowl. there are other methods and other things to incorporate but i don't know all of it. as far as my dog thunder goes, when i was training him, alpha rolls and physical force were the methods still in use. nobody that i was aware of was into the positive training methods and very few people knew how to handle food/possession aggressive dogs. after one incident of him crying and peeing on himself i realized this was totally not the way to go about training him. i was lucky with him. these methods could have easily turned him into a fear aggressive dog or worse. i know now how to prevent these problems from occurring. thunder is no longer food possesive or toy possessive. sometimes he will be with the other dog/cats but the simple word no, in a normal tone of voice, is all i need with him now. it was a mess but i am thankful he wasn't completely ruined by me.
sorry, i have no advice for you. when sandy was a puppy, i used to pet her while she was eating, and take her food, or things from her mouth so she would learn, and she did. she could have anything in her mouth now, and if i tell her to give it to me she will. i'm having the same problem you are when it comes to tiny my rottweiler, i cannot take anything from her, if i even stand close to her while shes eating she snaps at me. good luck though