• caramel

    April 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    hey mike,

    i was reading this post and found it informative, but i still am a little confused. this is my issue-i have a 3 month old Boerboel puppy from South Africa who is the calmest puppy. he is very intelligent and has learned sit, down,leave it, come, go to the crate, and his name. he is getting better with “stay.” Anyway, my problem is his food aggression. it started when my pet chicken tried to eat from his food bowl. totally understood why, but aggression is unacceptable in the house, period. so i removed the chicken and removed his bowl, which when i did, he growled and tried to bite me. Again, i understood why, but i was immediately pissed.

    so the puppy ran over to my great dane/pit mix (who no longer has food aggression) and tried to eat from his bowl in which the puppy got bitten and flung around a bit. The bite was hard and didn’t break the skin, but the puppy learned his lesson and respects the dog’s space now.

    i want the puppy to not feel threatened if i need to remove his food. he is good with being touched and having his feet touched when eating, as is my other dog. i remember that when my other dog had food aggression, he got over it because every time i would come over i would say his name in an upbeat tone and would chuck treats or fruit into his bowl. the dog associates me with food and petting and even comes when called while eating with tail wagging. i would like my puppy to behave the same way, but i know becoming angry when he exhibits aggression is not the way to do it because he picks up on it.

    i tried having the dog eat from my hand while in the bowl and he’s fine with that, but that’s not realistic. he is good with the “sit-stay” command before getting the “ok” to eat, but then he becomes possessive (which i understand since no one should bemessing with someone else’s food). this is a dog that will have a head tsize wice as big as mine and will have at least a 600lb per pressure bite strength. if i ever need to remove his bowl for a good reason, i want to be able to do it safely.

    i want to go about it in the right way. i know my attitude needs an adjustment. i’m a very assertive person, and part of my problem is that i get angry if my authority is challeneged and so have been working on exhibiting a calmer-stable energy to the pack. since he is a puppy, if i can fix the problem now, that would be wonderful. What do you suggest that i do?