View Full Version : where can I learn more about food/toy aggression

02-02-2006, 03:25 AM
I swear, I think that Oscar is manic depressive sometimes.

Sunday night we were over my parents house and he was a little angel. Everyone was commenting about how calm he is becoming. But, everyone fed him table food and I was not happy. His stomach wasn't great on Monday, but no vomiting. On Monday and Tuesday he was simply WILD! When he gets into a certain mood, which is not all the time, he gets very protective of his Kong. My mom says to stop giving him the Kong. I don't think that will get rid of whatever the issue may be. I am afraid he will hurt someone who is just looking to play. I have The Dog Listener and we have been following the advice. What else can I read?

02-02-2006, 04:19 AM
Keri, I think you have lost your leadership in the home and Oscar thinks he's in charge, perhaps he needs a refresher course in obedience. What methods have you tried to correct this aggression, and have you thought about contacting a certified pet behaviorist?

02-02-2006, 06:11 AM
Keri, I think you have lost your leadership in the home and Oscar thinks he's in charge, perhaps he needs a refresher course in obedience. What methods have you tried to correct this aggression, and have you thought about contacting a certified pet behaviorist?

Oscar did very well at basic obedience last year. We planned to take him again to refresh with the same class this spring, same instructor. Now I'm considering either a different class or someone private. We've also begun some of the tips from the Fennell book. Things we do from the book: We "gesture eat" before Oscar can get food. We pay no attention to him when we first get home. And now he's gone from the big bed, which makes me sad. I wasn't the smartest about Oscar's most recent incident. I reached for his Kong to remove it temporarily. He gave a warning growl. I reached for it again and he went for my hand. He then trotted off, the victor, still growling, and he settled in to another spot with his Kong. My folks think that in addition to trying to take a dogs food, I went for him in his perceived safe spot in the house. Bottom line is that I know I did some things that are against the rules, but still, Oscar should not have come at me!! I have other books besides Fennell's and I may call the obedience teacher from last year. So, dogs go through adolescence, huh?

02-02-2006, 07:10 AM
Obedience class sounds great. And you have to work with him and whatever issue he has everyday for a couple of minutes. With Doxie's the hardest thing I have found is they ALWAYS know when you have another treat, but it does really work (I have to work with Pogo constantly).

Give Oscar his kong
Be close and have another treat and call him to you
give him the treat and quickly pull the kong away
hold the kong and praise him for not reacting
Give kong back quickly.

Do that for about a week

Then do the same thing but be really close to him
And use the command - GIVE
You offer the other treat, pick up the kong say good boy
Return the kong.

do that for a week...he will learn that when he gives up what he loves good things happen.

Then mix it up, take the kong, no treat, just pet him say good boy and return kong, then other times with treat and some time take the kong a walk away with it for a couple of minutes and then return the kong.

This will work, but it is a really slow process. Hopefully, others have some other advice for you.

02-02-2006, 07:49 AM
I have this book. It has a lot of helpful advice

02-02-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks Olga! I ordered a copy, as we have issues with guarding and agression if Tasha doesn't feel like chewing her chewey, as she also doesn't want to give it up.

02-02-2006, 12:48 PM
I fostered a resource guarder too -- Jackson. He would steal things and take them under the bed, then get nasty when we tried to reach in there (and yes we were kinda dumb for reaching in there I guess). I got a behaviorist's advice and I kept a harness and long lead (10ft) on him. I set him up so he would steal a big piece of meat and take it under the bed. She said to silently pull him out using the long lead and give him a treat when he came out. I did that once and needless to say Jackson was pretty damn surprised. He never went under the bed again when I "let" him steal the meat. Then I began trading him for the item he had as Lisa suggested. I would toss a treat so he would leave the meat (in your case, Kong) and go after the treat. I know there were more details than that in the process though and darn it if I cannot remember. But yes you need to stay calm and make sure he knows that if he has something and you want it, you need to get it. Trading is a good way to build this trust. it's something i try to do with all the dogs I get because I feed raw and need to be able to approach the dogs and take away something if they aren't going to be able to eat it. Napoleon is very good about trading me for a cookie even though he knows I am going to take his bone away. I think i might have to get that book too, though -- I am sure it will have good advice. good luck!

02-02-2006, 01:44 PM
Tasha is often "on" to the whole trade thing. If its a really good trade like cheese or hot dog, she might give it up. But I tried chicken jerkey the other night and got no reaction...

02-02-2006, 03:53 PM
Wonderful advice!! I was about to ask about how to deal with a sock stealing doxie who got aggressive and snapped at anyone who tried to take it away. I fought him for it for 20 minutes this past weekend when I went home, and even then the only way I got it away from him was to pry his mouth open (carefully).

02-02-2006, 05:29 PM
That book looks great. If nothing else, the cover is cute! When Oscar picks things up in the street, I can usually pry them out of his mouth. But the other day with the Kong was scary!!!!

Laurie' s Dachshunds
02-02-2006, 05:44 PM
The trade thing does work! My pups grab things & run into their grates.
I have to trade with them to get them to "Give"

To get over possessiveness, you need to feed him, then put your hand near him eating, then actually take away his dish, then hand feed him, and give the dish back, always put your hand on him & his food at the same time.
Same with toys or Kong or anything else he acts aggressive with.
Talk softly the whole time & work with him at each meal, everyday.
He' s gotta learn he' s not the boss!

I did this with the a Dachshund that belong to my BF's mom who acted aggressive over toys, food, his dish, chew bones, and during Holidays when alot of people were around.

02-02-2006, 05:56 PM
Good advice, Lisa! I'm going to have to remember that if I run into a food/toy aggressive foster.

02-02-2006, 08:02 PM
Of course everyone has an opinion, and you should not give more weight to mine than anyone elseís. That said, I repeat the content of my earlier post. It appears to me the dominant leadership roll in your relationship with Oscar has shifted to him. Dogs do not experience mood swings like human beings and thatís part of the problem here. You appear to be interpreting Oscarís behavior in human terms rather than from a pack oriented animalís point of view. Any method of correction carries the risk of being bitten and only you can assess Oscarís biting potential. With that in mind, you might try the following tactic that Iíve see successfully used by a professional on a dog with a similar problem:

Place a treat filled Kong in the middle of the floor in a room where there is space enough to move about. Allow Oscar to begin eating, then walk over and place a foot on either side of it without saying a word. Obviously he will challenge you, but with a calm and positive attitude, you should prevail. By doing that, you are asserting your position as ďpack leaderĒ and claiming the Kong for yourself. Then a moment or two after Oscarís challenges end pick up the Kong. You can either repeat the training, or simply put it away until another time. In order for this to be successful however, you must stand erect, avoid eye contact and present an air of relaxed authority. Remember, no dominant dog would ever allow a subservient animal to dictate to them, and thatís the position of leadership you are attempting to achieve here.

In addition to the above, I strongly recommend you seek professional guidance. Good luck in whatever you choose to do. .

02-02-2006, 11:33 PM
I'm no longer sure that this is just related to food and toys but I agree that Oscar now believes that he is head of the pack. Today when I left for work, I wanted to put Oscar into the kitchen, where he normally stays. He's begun to make a game of hide and seek out of my calling him to the kitchen. When I call him, he teases me, runs right past me and hides in a corner. I find him and he darts away to another corner. Normally when he plays this game, he has the Kong or a toy. I thought he was playing keep away with the toy. Today he had no toy but he still played the game the same way. I do think that some of the exercises in The Dog Listener are working. What I mean by that is that I think that the issues I am telling you about would be so much worse and more frequent if we weren't doing any of these things. I do believe that I have a good understanding of the problem and I can identifiy similarities between Oscar and the dogs that behaviorists write about. But that does not mean that I can solve it in a day!! One reason I am saying that he has mood swings is that his behavior is worse when he has a tummyache, unless he is too weak to be bad. Some of you may recall that he gave me a very good scare a few months ago when I woke him from a deep sleep and he growled. There is no excuse for his behavior but I also have to learn what I should and should not do. It sounds very logical to say that you should not wake a sleeping dog, but I was half asleep myself and wasn't thinking. And when I tried to take his Kong away, he warned me that he wasn't playing that time but I figured that it's just little Oscar and he's harmless. We both need to learn some things and I'll have to figure out where and how we will learn (private training, class, etc.) I think that most of you agree that our pups are works in progress!!!

Just to add some humor to this: Oscar's been kicked out of the big bed as one way to re-establish roles (that's not to funny part). I told my mom that he apologized for snapping at me but that I refuse to believe his apology because boys will say anything to get into bed with a girl!!!!

02-07-2006, 12:45 AM
mini-update--He has been a good boy for about 6 days now. We are still going to take this seriously and seek expert help. I think that some of the little things we are trying are helping.

We stopped letting him up on the big bed. Then, last night I put his ramp up so he could get to the big bed if he wanted, just for one night. Well, he slept on the floor on his own for most of the night, even with access to the big bed. He came and cuddled in the morning. I miss having him in the bed sometimes!

02-07-2006, 12:48 PM
That is good to hear! Maybe with training and progress he can get back on the bed someday. I know I cannot sleep without Po! Good luck!! :bigrayz: :bigrayz: