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Old 09-25-2007, 11:28 PM
43,012 posts, read 92,049,546 times
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OMGoodness! You're making matters worse! You're doing everything you shouldn't be doing in this situation!

Originally Posted by NewellJP View Post
We also tried taking the food away (with a broom stick) and putting a treat in it, making him sit (as always) and put his food dish down. The idea was to get him to realize that we are going to give him his food back, not to mention with a reward. This also has received no progress.
Originally Posted by NewellJP
We started feeding him out of our hand again. We will pull our hand away, make him sit, then give him his food back. He acts perfectly fine when we do this, except one time I tried petting him to say 'good boy' and he growled and nearly bit me. It's like he doesn't want to be touched or bothered when eating. Sometimes getting within a few feet of him, he'll start growling.
I wish I had read this thread earlier! I would have warned you.

My labrador started behaving this way with his bones after my son took it away from him as a punishment. (The lab was probably 4 or 5 years old when it started.) Then anytime my son walked into the room, the lab would run over, snatch up his bone and growl at my son. I knew right away that this was a huge problem.

I called Animal Friends and an animal behavioralist came to our house for free. She visited with us and spoke to our son. Aside from the obvious problem (he needed to view our son as above him on the pecking order), she said that his food should NEVER be taken away from him. The way the dog learned that he was below our son in the pecking order was to have our son feed the dog his meals.

My son learning that he was never to take food, bones, treats away from the dog truly made a huge difference. It took some time for the dog to trust again that he wouldn't be teased with his food. Once the trust was established, our son has been safely able to reach into the bowl whenever he wants without incident. The dog has been fine ever since for many years.

Regarding the "adding a treat" advice, it's better to ADD the treat to the bowl while it's on the floor than to take the bowl away. You want your dog to know that you won't take his food. You want the dog to feel comfortable with your hands around his bowl and trust you won't take the bowl away. Unfortunately, you're way past being able to do that since your dog will likely bite you at this point.

I HIGHLY recommend you stop taking his food and treats away from him until you get a professional to give you proper guidance.

Originally Posted by NewellJP
Still likes to associate playing with biting on hands and feet, but I don't think that's abnormal for a puppy his age.
It may be normal for a puppy (my lab did that as a puppy), but you can't tollerate it or it will become a serious problem.

Originally Posted by NewellJP
What should we do!?
Call your local animal shelter and ask for a canine behavioralist. Most rescues want to help owners learn how to manage their dogs so the dogs don't end up being abandoned, abused or put into a shelter. If a behavioralist isn't available there for free, the shelter will recommend someone who will come to your home for a reasonable fee.

Please get in touch with a behavioralist. You'd be amazed how the smallest detail can be derailing the process of training your dog. A behavioralist will ask you the exact sequence----or have you show exactly how you're doing it. The behavioralist will quickly identify the problem and the best solution.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:41 PM
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Here's an article that explains very well how you should have handled the situation.

It says EACH step in the process should take 14 days. That means the entire process will take AT LEAST 8 weeks.

Originally Posted by http://www.doglogic.com/possess.htm
In most cases of CPA, the dog no longer views you as the provider of good things, but rather as the scoundrel who relieves him of hard-earned treasures such as meals, treats, chew toys or in some instances, forbidden objects such as shoes and gloves. To take away these items as punishment when he growls will only serve to convince him that his suspicions about you were right.

How often have you heard people say, "Leave the dog alone while he eats?" While it probably makes sense to keep toddlers looking for horseyback rides away from Shep at mealtime, a dog can get an inflated sense of himself if he is used to being left alone while he eats. He begins to believe that he is Lord Master of the Kitchen. After all, in a dog or wolf pack, the alpha or top dog would get to eat his fill first. Starting in puppyhood, family members should be present while the dog eats. From time to time, it is wise to approach the bowl and add a little something extra such as scrambled eggs, a broken-up biscuit, a piece of a turkey hotdog or some string cheese.

If you have an older dog who has already perfected his mealtime Cujo imitation, a different approach must be taken:

Step One is to do away with his food bowl for a week or two. Shep will be dining out of your hand, a few kibbles at a time.

Step Two is to bring back the food bowl. It should remain empty until you pass by and drop a few pieces of kibble in it. After those are eaten up, you should drop small handfuls of kibble in at two-minute intervals until the entire meal has been eaten. By now your dog should be practically begging you to approach his bowl.

Step Three is to put a semi-filled bowl on the floor and as you pass by, drop in a few better-than-kibble tidbits. Then add the remaining kibble in your next pass.

Step Four is to put a full food bowl on the floor as your dog holds a sit-stay. Release him with a cheery "okay." Then once or twice a week, call your dog away from his bowl and reward him for coming over to you with a tasty tidbit. Please use your "sit-stay," "wait," and "take it" commands with the dog so it is absolutely clear to Shep who owns the kitchen and the tasty morsels in it.

Each of these steps should be undertaken for 10 to 14 days for both breakfast and dinner. While you are grappling with a food-guarding problem, your dog should wear a leash at mealtimes as a safety measure. Don't use it to correct him unless you are in jeopardy of being hurt.
Read the entire article. It has lots of other important information. Possession Aggression (http://www.doglogic.com/possess.htm - broken link)

Let me know if you can't see how you're doing things differently from how the article describes.

You're punishing with food, not rewarding. I know you feel that you are rewarding, but that's not how the dog views the way you are doing it.

Last edited by Hopes; 09-25-2007 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:56 PM
43,012 posts, read 92,049,546 times
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Originally Posted by NewellJP View Post
I have tried to let him know that I am dominant... that I am the boss. I have grabbed his neck fur and held him up until he calms down... I get in his face and he looks away.
If you're doing this when food is involved, you're making matters worse.

You need to regain your dog's trust since you've handled the problem inappropriately.

He's still young. This doesn't mean that he's a dangerous dog. He's truly responding naturally to what is happening to him.

Once you start handling the problem appropriately, he'll trust you again.

In essence, you really need to train YOURSELF to understand your dog.

Once you learn to understand him, I'm sure he'll end up being a wonderful dog.

I'm sorry you're going through this, but I have complete faith that you will be able to turn this around.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by NewellJP View Post
I have tried to let him know that I am dominant... that I am the boss. I have grabbed his neck fur and held him up until he calms down... I get in his face and he looks away. Infact, after he calms down, which doesn't take that long, he won't make eye contact with me. I'm assuming that means he realizes I'm the dominant one, but maybe it's the other way around, lol.
I wanted to touch on this question for you since you were unsure if it was a sign of aggression or submission. Your dog looking away and not making eye contact with you is a sign of submission. You need to be consistent and fair with your training. If you're unfair, inconsistent and physically violent, your dog will either become aggressive OR too submissive and NEVER look you in the eye again. What you describe is a completely normal submissive response from your dog. I only wanted to warn you that you can overdo it and your dog might quit looking you in the eye entirely. That's no fun because you want to enjoy and love your dog too. You need to start training the basics again from square one. A dog obedience class would be a great place for you to learn how to train your dog. These classes are usually very affordable.

Originally Posted by NewellJP
He acts perfectly fine when we do this, except one time I tried petting him to say 'good boy' and he growled and nearly bit me.
He views your putting your hand on the top of his head as aggressive (most likely because you've grabbed his neck in the past). Always reach out to him below his chin level, never over his head, until he learns to trust you. You can scratch under his chin or pet the side of his face, and then move your hand up along his head to rub the top and back of his head. He needs to see your hands when you're reaching out so he can trust you're not going to hurt him. Most importantly, teach your children the proper way to pet a dog.
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:05 AM
Location: Florida
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try hand feeding him for a while ...that way all good things come from you
like sit on the floor w/ the bowl of food in your lap and hand him each piece of kibble.
I bet it will be fine after a week if you do.
our guy wasn't sure about us touching his food so i use to let him eat and then take some of the food and hand feed it. ...make sure he knows all comes from me.

hope it helps!

And if your dog isn't looking at you, you need to take softer steps in training. He's scared of you.
if there is agression in eating still have a time out and once doggie shows agression send him to his crate and then let him out once he's calm. If he's a quick learner, like you say ...he will learn quick that certain behaviors put him in time out and other behaviors cause him to be locked up

Also, while you feed him ...pet him!!!
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:57 AM
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I have the same problem with my Shiba Inu who is now 13 months old... so I truly sympathize with the original poster! We still can't fix this issue. Just yesterday I tried feeding him from my hands. Initially, it seemed like everything was going well, I kept adding kibble food to my palm and while he was eating I was telling him what a good boy he is and even pet him gently a few times. I noticed that he stopped eating every time I pet him (but he didn't growl) and then resumed eating as soon as I would stop petting. He ate for a while until he got satiated, at which point he rejected whatever kibble was left in my palm even after I offered it to him a few times. He then walked away from me, showing me that he is done eating. So I got up to put away the remaining kibble in my hand and all of a sudden he ran after me from the other end of the room and viciously attacked me. I was completely taken aback as he was acting very aggressively right after we finished a seemingly good eating session. He kept biting and biting and I couldn't stop him! I burst into tears and hid in the bathroom because he was truly determined to shred my hands into pieces Even as I stood in the bathroom, I heard him scratching the bathroom door with all his might, trying to get in. I don't understand what's happening. He is generally a very friendly dog (especially with strangers). But he has his moments when he gets very playful and super mouthy and destructive and there is simply no stopping him. We tried ignoring his behavior, but he continues in his mission to destroy everything. Bitter apple spray doesn't work. We tried trading him with his favorite treats or desirable toys and also can't get him to take his mind off of his mission. Lastly, if we try to catch him and put him in his crate for "time out", it's literally impossible to chase him down. He is too fast and not even the two of us can corner him. If we do catch him, he gets vicious just like he did after our food exercise, so we can't put him in his crate because while we're holding on to him, he bites until our hands are bleeding all over. We tried a trainer (one-on-one) which didn't do a thing. I simply don't know what else to do. I'm devastated. It seems like we have exhausted all methods of training. Could he have mental problems (maybe bipolar disorder)? Is medication the only answer in this case? Please help!
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:09 AM
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I live with dogs around all the time and I think they have the right to have their own personality. Some of my dog hates to be pad on the head and I respect that i.e. not try to make him accept it. Ok, the aggressiveness on food may be something that should not be tolerated, but before we try to "tame" him, give it a little thought. Even for human kid, they protest if they think we are taking away their toy or food.
Shiba temperament is very different from normal pet dog. May be you can contact professional on how to solve this. I am sure most Shiba farm would give out advise for free (for the love of the breed)
Anna-Lee Forsberg |Gundaroo, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0402 050 848 | Email : [email]norvaan@bigpond.com[/email] or
Icewind Farm | 908-797-8200 and 908-797-8930 | 79 Castners Road, Phillipsburg NJ 08865 | Email:info@icewindfarm.com

I wish you good luck and hope you three can sort this out smoothly.

PS : I agree with the approach to be soft than to be boss. Keep in mind though, Shiba is known to be royal, smart, independent and most importantly has personality. I would be pround to own one!
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:53 PM
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I feed my shiba in a room at the same time everyday and just close the door and give him his space. It's worked wonders for my his emotional well being...and more importantly...my own!!
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:12 PM
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,181,483 times
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Originally Posted by whchesney View Post
I feed my shiba in a room at the same time everyday and just close the door and give him his space. It's worked wonders for my his emotional well being...and more importantly...my own!!
I totally support feeding two dogs separately when one shows food aggression to the other. But dodging the issue when a dog is food aggressive with humans leaves you open to a lot of possibilities that aren't good. What if he finds something dangerous to eat on a walk and you have to take it away, for example. Here is a really good post about dealing with food aggression. Shibas can definitely be difficult to manage, and giving up and letting them handle things their own way isn't a good habit to get into.

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Old 12-16-2014, 10:40 AM
Location: Over yonder a piece
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Originally Posted by Turtle View Post
One of my dogs is a food guarder around other dogs, but if a person reaches in, he knows he loses and we can do whatever we want with his food.
This is the case with one of our dogs. I can reach in and grab the kibble while he's eating and he doesn't do a thing, but the minute our other dog (that was a new addition this summer) comes within 3-4 feet of him he starts growling to let the new dog know to stay away. After a minor tussle between the two dogs this summer the new dog knows to keep his distance and does a good job.
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