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Old 04-17-2009, 09:34 AM
 
Location: California
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Suggestions please!
This is for my daughter, who has 7 mo old Repo.
She also has a house full of cats (including kittens) since she owns a cattery.
She or anyone else for that matter, can stick her hand in and around his food bowl and Repo is as mild as can be. But just lately, let a cat walk within 5 ft of the bowl and he begins to growl. This morning he actually snapped at a passing cat. She has tried holding him and letting him watch the cat smell and move around his food and that does nothing. Short of feeding him in his crate or outside away from cats...any suggestions?
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
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Yes, I suggest feeding him separate from the cats.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: California
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Thanks Woof...I tend to agree.
Just got this from my daughter: (the other names she mentions are cats)
After everybody calmed down, I put Repo's bowl in front of his kennel and threw in a bunch of those chicken treats the cats like. He had to sit and watch and Suri and Roo eating out of his bowl, which he did not like. He didn't growl or anything, but his whole body was shaking! Then I gave a few pieces out of the bowl to Suri right in front of the kennel door. Then I put Repo on a leash, put him on one side of me, Suri on the other and hand fed him out of the bowl and gave Suri more chicken out of the same bowl. Repo wasn't happy or relaxed, but didn't growl or make a movement towards her. His eyes were fixed on her though..... It seems to be a possessiveness over the bowl more than anything (& any resulting food). So maybe if he sees them eating from it first, he'll know his rank in the pecking order

LOL... her ans. to feeding him separately (re crate or outside) is:...That's not fixing the problem. Last resort...but not before I try other things. ( She is very stubborn...wonder where she got that from)
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:54 AM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 11,734,764 times
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Feed him in another closed off room. I feed most of my dogs in their own spaces. Never two together next to each other. Some eat fast and others eat slower, so I have a routine down as to who gets their bowl first and who gets it last.
For them it is "Chow Time" and they know the exact time! For me, with six bowls piled in my hand on top of one another, I call it more like..."Waitress Service".
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:56 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 33,206,973 times
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Absolutely separate them. You'll never likely found out what started this, but it's not worth experimenting. I do this all the time and it's not a major problem.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:51 AM
 
Location: California
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Thanks....I wholeheartedly agree! Maybe if she hears if from someone other than Mom....she'll listen!
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:33 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,414,116 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
It seems to be a possessiveness over the bowl more than anything (& any resulting food). So maybe if he sees them eating from it first, he'll know his rank in the pecking order
I think it's important for the age of the dog to be taken into account too.

In as much the dog must learn it is not appropriate (or tolerated) to snap at cats, the cats need to learn respect for areas where their noses just do not belong - like the dog's bowl.

If this is impractical due to volume of cats, or set-up or whatever it may be, then the dog needs to be fed separately so that the situation is avoided entirely until some of the underlying issues are sorted out.

Purposefully feeding a cat out of the dog's bowl in front of the dog could very easily backfire - it's just reinforcing to the dog what the dog objected to in the first place. Should she wish to persue the side-by-side eating, at a minimum, there should be distinct bowls so both sides learn. However, given the age of the dog, I'd suggest the dog should truly be allowed to have its own space while eating.

Growling is a warning and should be treated as such. Scolding for growling is very often counter-productive because the dog learns not to warn - then you have a real problem. The dog can be taught that "guarding" is not appropriate, but it should not be taught not to warn - it's our chance to intervene. In this case the dog is sending out clear signals that it is not at all pleased with the course of events, and, in all fairness - it is not unreasonable either.

Felines need to learn to respect the dog's space when the dog is eating and the canine needs to learn restraint and self-control so that it can deal with an errant cat.

One thing your daughter also could do is to use a selection of different bowls for the dog - so the dog does not identify any particular bowl as its own until this is sorted out.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 35,078,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
I think it's important for the age of the dog to be taken into account too.

In as much the dog must learn it is not appropriate (or tolerated) to snap at cats, the cats need to learn respect for areas where their noses just do not belong - like the dog's bowl.

If this is impractical due to volume of cats, or set-up or whatever it may be, then the dog needs to be fed separately so that the situation is avoided entirely until some of the underlying issues are sorted out.

Purposefully feeding a cat out of the dog's bowl in front of the dog could very easily backfire - it's just reinforcing to the dog what the dog objected to in the first place. Should she wish to persue the side-by-side eating, at a minimum, there should be distinct bowls so both sides learn. However, given the age of the dog, I'd suggest the dog should truly be allowed to have its own space while eating.

Growling is a warning and should be treated as such. Scolding for growling is very often counter-productive because the dog learns not to warn - then you have a real problem. The dog can be taught that "guarding" is not appropriate, but it should not be taught not to warn - it's our chance to intervene. In this case the dog is sending out clear signals that it is not at all pleased with the course of events, and, in all fairness - it is not unreasonable either.

Felines need to learn to respect the dog's space when the dog is eating and the canine needs to learn restraint and self-control so that it can deal with an errant cat.

One thing your daughter also could do is to use a selection of different bowls for the dog - so the dog does not identify any particular bowl as its own until this is sorted out.
She and I were just talking about the switching up of bowls!
I guess, from what I understand...1) Repo is not a gobbler of food...he snacks all day long...of which she is trying to break him of that habit...although she is grateful he just doesn't woof it all down.
2) The cats, at least the adults...pretty much leave the bowl alone. She said it has just been this last week, for some reason, he is growling when they even walk by the bowl. She said she leaves his bowl out on top of his crate, so the bowl is nothing new them and they could care less about it and whats in it.
I think you are right about the age....he is still a young pup and this just may be a stage. He just went thru a "fright" stage and I'm wondering if this could be connected? It is also the first time he has ever growled at anything! May be coming into his own...he was neutered about 2 weeks ago.
I have to laugh at her...She has experience in training and working with lions, tigers and bears!(Oh my!) But comes to Mom where the dog is concerned....not complaining mind you!
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,341 posts, read 51,930,146 times
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I don't think you can interfere in the pecking order. Animals will establish that themselves, all you can do is be sure humans are at the top! Definitely feed them separately. Food aggression is very hard to handle and Repo has some harsh situaitons in his early life that maybe you can't overcome.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:04 PM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 35,078,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
I don't think you can interfere in the pecking order. Animals will establish that themselves, all you can do is be sure humans are at the top! Definitely feed them separately. Food aggression is very hard to handle and Repo has some harsh situaitons in his early life that maybe you can't overcome.
You are so right there! When I first brought him home and before she took him to Utah, I would put a bowl of food down, and you would have thought he hadn't eaten in years! And even at 6-7 weeks, he would growl at me. I broke him of it within 2 weeks, the growling that is. I believe he soon realized he would be fed numerous times throughout the day and he learned to trust. It might be the reason he is now a "grazer" .
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