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Food possession trouble

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Biggie_blue, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Biggie_blue

    Biggie_blue Puppy

    Hi everybody,
    I have a 1 yr old blue amstaff, Biggie. The last few months I’ve noticed his getting more possessive when feeding him. In general his pretty good. Sit, stay, drop, wait, stay his decent. (Just to give an idea where his obedience level is) He is totally fine when giving him snacks by hand. Howeveeeeeer, when it comes to feeding time, he becomes another dog. After he finishes then his back to the old good ball.
    I can take ownership of his food while his eating not much of a problem. He would growl but usually that’s about it. Just today tho he started growling and showing teeth which is not acceptable in my household and I really need to correct it.
    Symptoms are: He would be very tense, his pupils are big, ears back, tail tucked, starts shaking when I make him wait a few minutes in a drop position.
    The process feeding is: I command him to drop to wait for food, place his bowl of food in the dog bowl holder and when I’m happy I command OK to eat. Here is when the whole possessive behaviour starts. When his in drop position waiting if I pet him on the head he would growl under his breathe and if I pet his neck downwards he will growl more and his lips starts flinching. The hair on his back also stands up.

    I’ve tried adding food with my hands while his eating and petting him at the same time. He growls initially but when I keep ruffling the food, pet him and say ok he will eat and forget about growling.
    Ive also tried adding food and give him handfuls to eat from my hand while feeding.
    Seems like he Kind of respects that I own the food but is not happy of me doing so. And I feel that his abit confused of when he can eat coz when I put my hand in his bowl he would stop eating but doesn’t entirely possess his food like put his whole chin over the bowl.

    I am quite concerned at this moment after today’s experience of him growling and showing me teeth. My previous dude never ever showed me teeth. I’m also a little disappointed in myself as I am quite firm training wise as I believe the first 2 years is crucial. However I feel I failed in this criteria. Food possession is always priority for me, for all breeds I own. I’m concerned and it’s getting worse. So I must have done or doing something wrong. Also makes it abit harder when my parents are not knowledgeable in dog training and may not follow thru in some areas to help me train Biggie.

    I can go on but I think that’s an eyeful haha will be super appreciated if someone can give me some guidance and pointers on how to correct this behaviour.

    Ps. I have taken away his food and did not feed him after he showed teeth as punishment. He will have to wait for dinner time now. Let me know if this is a good way to make him understand or if I’m making things worse. Would be nice to know.

    Thanks for reading!
    Nat Ursula likes this.
  2. oldman

    oldman Little Dog

    Instead of taking his food away try giving him all he will eat and a little more.
    I always feed more than they will eat so they will have some left over to eat later.
    None of mine were ever worried about food. They would rather spend time with me than eating.
  3. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    I put my male in his crate and walk up to it and say, "sit," then I open the door and put the food bowl in and lock the door. It seems to put him at peace that nobody will take his food from him.

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