Our experience with food aggression and how we overcame it

After bringing home our pup at 8 weeks old, it only took a few days to notice that her “playful” growls were NOT playful. This tiny fluff ball was trying to intimate us when we got near her while she was eating…How Dare She! I just gave her food and she had the nerve to growl at the hand that fed her?? Well, due to a very BAD experience we had with a Bassett Hound our family once had, I got special training and knowledge to know what to look for, and how to nip food aggression in the bud; Quick, fast,and in a Hurry!

Our journey starts with our Bassett Hound, Kingston, we also brought him home at 8 weeks old. *Pups CAN go to their new homes at 8 weeks but honestly, the longer they stay with mom, the better behaved they will be. They get the “type” of training they need for being respectful to those above them and plain old manners. Anyhow, we had no idea food aggression was even a thing. We raised Kingston with our children and he never showed any type of odd behavior as far as what we knew to look for, (snapping at us or kids, low growling or barking). We had no idea of other signs at the time to look for. So, as we carried on through life with our adorable, sad eyed, Kingston, everything seemed fine. However, we must have just not been paying attention closely to how he truly interacted around our 3 kids when they fed him or came near his food as what would transpire 3 years later truly shocked us!

First let me say, we were always taught 1, to never disrupt a dog while they are eating and 2ndly, NEVER take a bone away from a dog, even if you are the “master”! We were never taught this was unacceptable behavior and if a dog snipped at you, it was met with, “Well, did you go by them when they had their bone? Or, were they eating?” If the answer was yes, well then, it was your fault because you were told not to go near them during those times! 🙄 Well, that was certainly the “Old School” mentality back then and it was an acceptable mentality! 😒 Thank goodness times had changed somewhat, time had a few more years to go before more information would come out for fog behaviors and what was acceptable and not acceptable.

We did find out for the 1st time about “Food Aggression” by way of a Non-Kill Rescue group. This group was somewhat difficult to find but we were so happy when we did. Why did we even need to find the group? Well, as parents keeping Kingston, whom we all LOVED so VERY MUCH!, was just not an option we felt we would be able to handle at that time. After all, our middle child, 6 years old at the time, had been bit in the Face by Kingston! We found out the story a day after the incident from our son. Apparently, Kingston had a bone in the backyard that he was having a hard time getting unstuck. Our 7 year old went to help Kingston and Kingston Aggressively bit him in the face. He ripped 1/2 of our sons bottom lip from the corner of his mouth to the middle. Our 7 year old son, came running into the house with a bloody mouth and hanging mushed mess of what we assumed was his lip, screaming and crying! We rushed him to the ER and was sent to a bigger ER 30 minutes from there because they delt more with children. I am so VERY THANKFUL for them sending us to the Bigger hospital as my sons lip, although a mushy, shredded mess (according to the very NEW nurse on duty who stitched him up at the Bigger hospital, Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee WI) because she, worked a MIRACLE! After healing, our son didn’t even have the slightest scar! She did AMAZING! Our son is 22 now and has beautiful, full lips ❤️. This all could have been so much worse! We got lucky with regard to where he was bit on his face and that they were able to save his lip. But, ALL this could have been avoided, if we had the right tools and resources to know what to look for all the years prior. The World Wide Web was on its way to making this change in how readily information would be for all of us but it was still a little to new for real help. By the way, Kingston ended up being rehomed with a retired Firefighter! He lived alone and had been looking for the perfect 4 legged companion. 3 days after contacting the No-Kill Rescue Group, Kingston was in his new home! We STILL miss Kingston so much! We REALLY loved him! Our middle son had the hardest time with rehoming Kingston. Despite the damage done to him, Kingston was his buddy 😔. We just didn’t know what to do at that time and made the best decision for our family at that time.

fast forward to 2 years later, we decided to try with a dog again. Crime was getting worse in our town and we really wanted to protect the family. Although we were VERY uneasy about going with a German Shepherd, we had decided to go with a puppy that we would be able to get into training very EARLY in life! And we would do everything to make SURE our pup would NOT end up with food aggression! We searched and searched for the perfect breeder and found one that had long time reputation of breeding family friendly German shepherds. They were BIG Shepherds too! They focused literally on breeding for mentality traits verses looks. These were not the slanted back shepherds but big, strong, sturdy and SMART Shepherds! So, we found our girl and true to our word, went through LOTS of training classes with ALL of us! We focused on the food aggression, what to look for and how to combat it if necessary! As a matter of fact, we didn’t even wait to see if there would be a reason to start training for food aggression. We trained her as if she already had that condition. Proudly, I will say, she NEVER, EVER, had any sign of it for ad long as we had her! She was a wonderful dog! I feel it had a lot to do with the breeder and our extensive training with her that continued even into her 5th year of life.

So, fast forward again to 6 years later. We decided to try a new breed. After our Shepherd, we thought we would try a breed I have always loved, the infamous Siberian HUSKY ❤️

Like the previous two, we also got our 1st husky when she was 8 weeks of age. As mentioned in the beginning of this blog, she started showing those tell-tale signs of food aggression. From our training and MINDFULNESS to keep an eye out for it, we quickly reconigzed what was going on and, although never having to actually deal with it at a time we needed too (remember, our german shepherd never showed any signs, we just trained her as if she would have it), we felt confident in what we learned and how to apply it. We knew this was not something that could be post-poned. We knew it wasn’t “cute” puppy behavior. So, here’s what we did. (I will put this down as directions for you all to follow).

Feed your pup with a spoon for every meal, for the WHOLE meal. Sometimes you will put the food in your hand and feed the pup that way as well. Have the food in the spoon, and make your pup WAIT until, YOU are ready to give it to him/her. Use commands as you do this and hand gestures. We suggest waving your hand back and forth in front of pups nose while saying, “Wait!” . Also, make the dog lay down while you are spoon/hand feeding them and while making them “wait” for it. You have to mix these techniques up a bit with your commands and Withrow you offer the food to them, via using spoon or hand. Once you and the pup have the spoon/hand training well understood, then you can move on to the next phase. Put the food in the dog bowl, and again, make the dog “WAIT” for you to put it down. Once it’s down, do NOT let your pup go to the bowl! They need to vontinue to hear and see the command “WAIT”, until You give the go ahead for them to approach the bowl. BUT, this is very important, Keep Your Hand In The Bowl while they are eating! While you have your hand in the bowl with them eating, you will push their face out of the bowl, pick the bowl up, pretend like you’re eating out of the bowl, put the bowl down, telling them to wait, pick the bowl up again before allowing them to eat, tell them to wait, pretend to eat from it again, tell them to wait, put the bowl down and repeat the 1st step in the “bowl phase” again. You are trying to show WHO is in Charge! Who is the alpha. Your pup should know and understand that they are the LOWEST link in the family chain, including the children!

For small children, this becomes imperative for the dog to understand its place in the family!

Training the pup WITH your children being involved is of utmost importance. For children that are mentally able to handle instructions, you are going to allow them to do all the steps above after YOU have established your place with the pup. After you have gained that respect from pup, you will now allow your children to do the same but in order from eldest to youngest. The difference will be that, in the 1st few times the child starts training the pup, you will need to stand behind the child so the pup can see you too. If the pup doesn’t listen to your child’s command, you will step in and firmly say the command. Then have your Child say the exact same command. Try to not interfere too much as we want the pup to know they have to obey the child when you aren’t around. Which leads to the next step. You will get to the point where you will leave the room and the child will be training the pup however, you will be listening, and if possible, watching the interaction. If you see things getting out of control, step in, if not, continue to monitor. After a successful training experience, be SURE you ALL praise the pup!

For these techniques to work, this training needs to be done for EVERY meal, for however many days it takes for the pup to get it! It shouldn’t take more than a week or two. Please prepare to follow through with this training. It is so beneficial for so many other times you and your fur baby will need it! Written by: Linae Garcia https://www.facebook.com/WinterDreamsSiberianHuskies/

please continue to read further with more advice from other sources.

5 Benefits of hand ✋ feeding your puppy 🐶 or dog 🐕. Hand feeding your dog can actually be a good thing. 1.Hand feeding your dog teaches him that when you reach toward him good things happen, like he gets to eat! It also teaches focus since your dog is getting fed when he pays attention to you.

2.Hand feeding can help a dog who is already a resource guarder and help prevent a dog from resource guarding. By only feeding your dog from your hand, you show her that you are the gateway to valuable things and when you reach into her space it means food.

  1. Self control. Close hand feeding is accomplished by simply keeping your hand closed until your dog stops mugging you for the food. As soon as your dog backs away, looks away, or just stops pawing/licking at your hand, open your hand and feed him some food. Soon he’ll realize the quicker he shows self-control, the quicker he gets to eat.

4.Feeding by hand will definitely help dogs who eat too fast. And it’s a bonus opportunity for you to get some training in at the same time. Practice some basic obedience skills between feeding your dog small handfuls of her meal.

  • Shy or Fearful Dogs who are nervous around people benefit greatly from hand feeding, especially if you get other members of the family, and eventually friends and neighbors to hand feed your nervous dog too. Don’t rush this process, Start wherever your dog is most comfortable and gradually work up to more contact. #dog #dogs #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #mothedogtrainer #food #handfeed #doglovers #training #train #puppiesofinstagram #puppylove #puppies #bff #clips #tiktok #bestfriends #furryfriend #breeds #dogfood #resource. Resource: Mo the Dog Trainer https://www.facebook.com/MoDdogtrainer/


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