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Old 04-04-2013, 03:55 PM
 
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We have Karma, a GSD-lab mix who just turned one year old and weighs 53 pounds. Then we have Teddy, a GSD-Aussie mix, who is now 10 weeks old and weighs about 9 pounds. I think the two dogs get along great. My husband is worried that Karma is too aggressive and is bound to really hurt Teddy one of these days.

There have been a few instances when the little one gets too close to Karma's feeding area when I'm getting their meals ready, and she has really gone after him and made him scream. So she is a bit food-aggressive, and I want to train that out of her. She never goes after his food and hangs back until he's finished, and then they do the "bowl swap". Teddy eats asbout 20 feet away frokm where Karma eats, a safe distance, I think.

These two play for hours during the day, and Teddy gives as good as he gets, egging Karma on and hiding in small spaces to torment her. He grabs hold of her tail and she walks along dragging him. They play tug with toys. She brings him balls and rope toys to tug with. He walks behind her chewing on her legs, and she takes it in stride. And their tails wag like crazy when they see each other first thing in the morning.

Still, it does get pretty rough sometimes, and I am of a mind that as long as we supervise them, they will work out their own relationship. I am actually amazed at how bonded they have become in just the two weeks we've had Teddy. But my husband -- he is just worried. i figure if Karma really had it in for Teddy, she'd have eaten him by now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLpqEsQmps4
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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Awwww, cute pups. To me that play looks perfectly normal. But that's because I have huskies, and they tend to play rough. However, I would keep a close eye on the food aggression. Hopefully others will post on how to deal with that (and it should be dealt with)
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
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How sweet! It actually looks as if Teddy is giving Karma the what for, as in "Leave me alone, I'll do what I want!" In that video, though, it doesn't look like there's a lot of aggression going on, just play. As long as you keep an eye on them and don't let it get out of hand it should all work itself out.

I have read that you should always feed the "elder" or "prior" dog first. So instead of feeding them together, give Karma hers first, then give Teddy his. They can still eat at the same time, but always give Karma her dish first. And keeping them a good distance apart, as you're doing, seems like a really good idea.

Not sure if any of that is a "cure" for food aggression, but it can't hurt.

They're both adorable, and Teddy looks like a real character!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by puginabug View Post
How sweet! It actually looks as if Teddy is giving Karma the what for, as in "Leave me alone, I'll do what I want!" In that video, though, it doesn't look like there's a lot of aggression going on, just play. As long as you keep an eye on them and don't let it get out of hand it should all work itself out.

I have read that you should always feed the "elder" or "prior" dog first. So instead of feeding them together, give Karma hers first, then give Teddy his. They can still eat at the same time, but always give Karma her dish first. And keeping them a good distance apart, as you're doing, seems like a really good idea.

Not sure if any of that is a "cure" for food aggression, but it can't hurt.

They're both adorable, and Teddy looks like a real character!

Oh yes, Karma always gets her food first, and Teddy has learned not to try and go for it. But if he is near her bowl at any time during feeding, she kind of loses it. At the moment, Karma is flying around the house with the puppy crazies, zipping into Teddy's soft crate and growling at him and then running off again...and now they're both under my desk and out of breath.

I think maybe it's my husband who needs the training. When he takes the dogs out, he puts Karma on lead and lets Teddy toddle along. Karma's recall has been sporadic lately, so i have no trouble having her on a leash. But when Teddy is loose and Karma is confined to a 6-ft. lead, she gets frustrated and she lunges. Then Dear Husband yanks the leash back and she gets even more frustrated. I lectured him tonight about the "one dog on a leash and one dog off" problem. He hates being corrected, but hey, he isn't an expert on everything!!

I take the dogs out separately, both on leashes. Teddy needs to get used to being on a leash. But I am sick as a dog [pun intended] with a cold right now, and none of us are in very good humor.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:31 PM
 
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You can just see it the video - that little guy's got a big personality! Karma senses he's full of the dickens and is wise to get in all her bossing around now, while he's still small! If you ever see the pup's tail is tucked, he's trying to escape / retreat, and he is crouching / slinking low and Karma is being relentless on him, that would be the only time I'd casually intervene and tell Karma to take it easy. Certainly praise Karma any time she let's the pup have a turn being the boss, like if Karma ever rolls over for him or lays down while they're play biting.

That video looked like very normal, healthy big-sis / little-bro interaction, especially considering their ages.

When preparing their meals, I'd make it a point to body block the pup any time he goes near Karma's eating area. Just make it a rule that he is not allowed over there before meals are served. If he starts over toward her area, get in front of him, block his path, then come at him & point him off or otherwise herd him back out to neutral territory. If you do this several times he'll catch on that he's just not allowed over there before meal time. After they've both finished eating, it doesn't seem to be an issue so you could try allowing that after-meal bowl swap to continue.

Another idea is to train them each to Wait by their own dishes to be fed. And one last idea is to feed them little morsels as you prepare their food to keep them both away from their eating areas and near you instead.

Last edited by k9coach; 04-04-2013 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
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We recently (well around Christmas) adopted a second dog. For whatever reason, we've always fed our dogs outside on the deck. Right outside the sliding door. We tried feeding both dogs at the same time (giving Macie - the elder/prior dog her dish first). Neither dog is food aggressive but we found they'd eat too fast just being aware the other was right there. We ended up feeding them one after the other. It's worked out very well. They know the routine. Macie gets let out, sits and waits for the "all done" signal, then eats once we close the door. Molly (the younger, newer pup) waits until Macie finishes her routine (eats, then potties, then comes back to be let in) then Macie get let in, Molly goes outside and sits and waits for the "all done" command, we close the door etc etc. It really works well for them/us.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Ridley Park, PA
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Originally Posted by k9coach View Post
Another idea is to train them each to Wait by their own dishes to be fed.
This has always worked well for me when visiting family where we each have a dog. They know to wait until they're told to eat it, and each gobbles down its own food then goes running over to the other's dish (as if there's going to be anything left, hah!).

I agree that the video looks like good, safe play.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
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Yes, I agree with having them sit and wait for the food dishes to be set down. Just due to Tony (who bears a strong resemblance to Kharma), having had a canine tooth extracted, I feed him in the laundry room, door closed and Carly in the dining room.

Given the size difference (props for the video link ), I would monitor play closely as over stimulation could be the baby in a bad spot. Otherwise, carry on
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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The play looks normal to me too. I wish I had filmed Dazzle and Chaos when Chaos was a puppy as they played rough and it was not the puppy Chaos that I was worried about but rather my delicate girly boy Daz. Chaos reminded me of a tom boy and she let her big brother know she was a tough girl. Jazz, Dash and my parents large dog Henry use to play pretty rough too all 3 of them at once and they were always fine as when one of them felt it was too rough they would end the play.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cleosmom View Post
Yes, I agree with having them sit and wait for the food dishes to be set down. Just due to Tony (who bears a strong resemblance to Kharma), having had a canine tooth extracted, I feed him in the laundry room, door closed and Carly in the dining room.

Given the size difference (props for the video link ), I would monitor play closely as over stimulation could be the baby in a bad spot. Otherwise, carry on
Very good advice here, thanks! We taught Karma very early on to sit and wait for the OK before eating. She caught on very quickly, but then, she was 7 months old. I have taught Teddy to do a reliable sit, not bad for ten weeks old, and am now working on WAIT and STAY. It will be a little while before he can sit and wait for more than a few seconds. I am most proud of being able to train him to not come into the kitchen prep area at any time. The rule here is no dogs in the kitchen EVER. Too dangerous for them and for me. Now I just see him peeking around the corner, but he doesn't cross the line, and it is SO cute.
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