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 Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs

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Rumflower
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Female Join date : 2015-06-16
Location : Kansas City

PostSubject: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:45 pm

Hi ya'll! If this has been done in another thread, please let me know. I searched "food aggression" and found several other threads, but nothing entirely on point as this one is only between the dogs; they're totally fine with me messing with the food.

I got a second dog, Meru, last weekend. She's a one-year old Australian Shepherd mix. Did not intend to get a second dog so soon, but she was severely neglected, so I convinced the owner to let me have her. Love her to death, though, so it's all good. She was never fed and simply left to wander in her previous life, so I suspect she had to hunt and fight for food, which I believe is likely the cause of the food aggression. I've been feeding her separately from Loki so far because she needs to be eating a lot of really high calorie food per the vet's orders, and I need to keep his fluffy butt out of it.

Incident today: gave them each a bone and went to another room to do some laundry. My mother was in the room with them, and stated that Meru was chewing on her bone and Loki walked by her. When he got too close, she snarled and snapped at him, and he responded poorly. I heard snarling, snapping and screaming and went running into the room. When they saw me, they disengaged and ran to me, tails wagging as though they had not just been in a fight. My mother said it was definitely not just rough-housing, though. I am inclined to agree, as the sounds he made definitely were not his usual play grumbles.

We've been living with my parents for awhile, and their dog, Meeka, and Loki will eat out of the same bowl at the same time and chew on the same bone as well, so I don't believe Loki has food aggression. That said, because of how him and Meeka always shared, he lacks boundaries.

While feeding Meru, I picked up the plate and moved it around. She looked up at me, wagged her tail a bit, and I petted her and set it down (don't do this at home, I have a tendency to be incredibly stupid, but extremely lucky ). I picked up some of the food and handed it to her. No problems there. It seems it's only other dogs that trigger the aggression.

Can't find any articles on dog-to-dog food aggression. Only dog/people aggression.

Help.
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Artic_Wind
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Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:45 pm

The only thing I can suggest, I do it myself, is to seperate them when giving "special" treats, like bones. Bones and things of that nature do seem to trigger a protective response in some dogs, Kohdi is one of them. It started after I got Mishka, it took awhile though, he shares EVERYTHING with her and I've even seen her take food right out of his mouth! Give him a bone though, and he will protect it. Nothing more than growling and lowering his head down over the bone but it's enough that I just keep them seperated when I give them a bone. The fact you can play around with Meru's food dish is a good sign! They are still *new* together and it may indeed get better, I do know Kohdi would never attack Mishka or anything like that, but I feel better to not even let him stress over it, so I seperate them.

Ok, I'm editing here because I may have misunderstood. It is titled food aggression afterall Wink I don't have experience with food aggression, although seperating them would still be a good idea, atleast for awhile. I think that's what I find strange in Kohdi's situation, in that he doesn't have food aggression, or even treat aggression, it's *only* bone "aggression. Kohdi is a slow eater and when he stops eating, Mishka will even rest her head on his dish to get him to keep going, lol, so there is no aggression as far as food and treats, just things like bones, and when I read your OP, I had read you gave them a bone so I jumped to conclusions and thought my situation was similar. Sorry about that Embarassed
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:31 am

And I'm not going to be a bit of help, but maybe a bit understanding.

I picked up Sasha almost literally off the streets of San Antonio so, like your Meru, she had a 'bit' of food aggression (you can read about it here, but to sum it up I got bit 4 times, the last one requiring some stitches) so you really don't have it that bad. Okay something like 4 years on, I still feed my two separately. Avalanche has learned to leave her alone when she's eating but she'll still get his food if she can.
Avalanche gets free fed on the front porch, Sasha gets fed twice a day.

From the way you describe it, I'd be much more inclined to call it a bout of possessiveness not a real fight over the bone. If there wasn't any blood, it was simply Meru telling Loki that she wasn't comfortable with Loki wandering around near her bone. While it may sound like someone's getting the *** beat out of them, if there was no blood, it really wasn't.

Now, that said, I agree with Jimmy - if you're going to have anything like a treat or food around them, I'd make sure that they're separate ... there's no sense stressing Loki out over Meru's bad manners.

Will you ever be able to set their bowls down side by side? Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath on that. Five year on I can't feed my two in the same area ... Sasha's just that protective of her food. There's never been any blood, but Sasha will drive Avalanche into a corner ... he's yelping, she's growling and it sounds like someone's getting killed ... but when she's moved him far enough away, they'll both come out and behave normally.
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Rumflower
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PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:46 am

Thanks for the advice yall! Looks like I'll be keeping them separated for food and bones.

Sorry about Kodhi, Jimmy. It sounds like you've worked around it really well, though. It's interesting that they can be picky about what to share and what to horde.

Sorry about your hand, Al! That sounds very painful. x_x I was wondering if it was something she would chill out about once she got healthier. Sad to hear that likely won't be the case. It looks like a change in routine is in order for me.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:02 am

Danielle, I'm not sure Kohdi's situation is something in him, or something I created unintentionally. I'll give you an updated example, maybe even something you can use...when I give my two a bone, Kohdi is in my room with me, and I have a baby gate at the door so Mishka doesn't just walk in when she's done with hers. While Mishka is busy in another room with her bone, Kohdi is in my room, chewing a little, then leaving it alone, then goes back to chewing a little, and leaving it alone again, haha. Anyways, when Mishka is done with hers, she will come to my doorway and lay down by the baby gate...Kohdi will get up with his bone, and go lay by the baby gate too and THEN will start chewing on his bone, it's like he wants her company, but likes the idea she can't snag it from him, lol, and she really snags everything from him, so that maybe really how it all started, I really don't know, but anyways, maybe after a little while, you can just seperate them with something like a baby gate, where they can be near each other when eating, but aren't stressed that one will take the others food, and long term maybe that gate can be removed all together down the road, I'd really hate to think that this will always have to be this way for the rest of their lives, I think maybe down the road, after living together and bonding and such, it *could* work its way out. time will tell. I probably could do it with my Kohdi situation, but like, it works the way it is, they're both happy, I know they have a great bond so I'm ok with things the way they are.

Forgot to say it earlier, but congrats on your new fluffball! I love Australian shephards.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:51 am

Danielle, congrats on the new pup!! My situation is similar to Jimmy's. With treats in general Sofie takes hers to her crate, door is left open and they have their treat. If it is a bone, then same thing, but I close her crate. I personally believe I am the only animal who is allowed near Miya when eating a bone, my husband, Sofie and our old cat when she was alive, can not be near her. So we crate Sofie until they are done. If you do not use a crate for either one, then what Jimmy does would be the best way to handle it, and sadly, no I don't believe they will change, especially with an animal who has essentially been starved most of its life. Good luck, and can't wait to see pics!!
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Rumflower
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PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I do have a baby gate so that sounds like a solid plan.

That's something i had not thought about, Renee. No one else has messed with her food. I'm not sure how she would react to that. She likes other people, but is really attached to me.

Hehe thanks for congrats! I will definitely post pictures once she's healthier. Unfortunately, that likely will not be for awhile. Sad She's bug and parasite free now, but still underweight and is scheduled for hip surgery next week. Long road ahead.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Food Possessiveness Only With Other Dogs   Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:45 pm

Ah, I am glad you have her now, poor baby.....Miya has bit my husband, and has pinned my Sofie, and has chased the cat away from raw bones, and only raw bones. Miya has never bit me, but I am very firm with her, she grumbles at me to drop it, and she was never starved, lol. But they hold raw bones to another level than just plain old food, maybe if I fed raw daily it would be different. sofie on the other hand is very compliant top dropping her bone when i tell her to. Different personalities, but in your case and in Al's case it has much more to do with fighting for food daily, starvation plays a dramatic role, and makes a life long impression on these animals.
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