Emma goes psycho over sharing food

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Clockman
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Emma goes psycho over sharing food

Postby Clockman » Sun May 03, 2009 4:15 pm

OK, I love Emma and she's been a great dog for the past two years, but now we have a major issue.

Picture this...for the past year and a half she's been ok with other dogs, but didn't see many unless we were walking or at an event. She's very good with all people (kids, adults, bicyclists, joggers, etc.) Well, my neighbor just got a new Lab puppy last winter. Molly, the lab, comes down every day to visit Emma. When I let her off the run, they chase each other and play rough. She'll do the "zoomies" as Molly chases her down, then she'll chase her. They'll play-fight over a stick, but Emma normally gives up as they're not as interesting as the potential of finding a rabbit or bird in the brush along forest. Eventually, they both wear out and collapse on the lawn near each other. If they're thirsty, they will both drink out of the same bowl at the same time with no issues.

Now here's the problem. I brought out Milkbones for both the other day. I gave Emma hers first and she laid down to daintily chew it while Molly sat down nearby to inhale hers. Without any provocation or transgression by Molly, Emma's psycho switch went off. She dropped the bits of her bone and began snarling and barking at Molly. She was ready to charge her and kick her butt over nothing. Molly never made a move on Emma's bone. I pinned her to the ground until she was calm, but she put up a hell of a fight.

I knew instantly I had a major problem. I demonstrated the exact same thing again to my neighbor and a friend, giving Emma her bone and then Molly hers. The minute Molly got one, Emma was insane and intent on getting it from Molly. I'm not scared of her; if she bites me, you better believe I'll bite right back!! :-x However, this has me puzzled and I want it to stop NOW. She has no issue with me taking her food (I rechecked again by giving her a big treat of ice cream today, and while she was working on it, I took it away and gave it back with no problem.)

Later in the evening, they were fine again, walking side by side, sniffing the same spots at the same time, play chasing, and generally normal.

If you'll not go on a rant about Cesar Milan, I'll tell you that she is not responsive to taps or pinning to snap her out of her fixation. Even on a walk, it takes a bit to regain her attention sometimes. Treats do not work on the walk to keep attention; she's a Chow afterall.

So, how the heck to I break this vicious behaviour?
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/48302922@N00/1967714019/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2073/1967714019_dbbf546cfc.jpg" width="500" height="111" alt="Emma" /></a>

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kingalls
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Re: Emma goes psycho over sharing food

Postby kingalls » Sun May 03, 2009 5:50 pm

Shiloh was about 9 months old when we got our Chowbaby Nahkohe at 9 weeks. They are 6 & 5 years old now. They are and have been best friends - EXCEPT when it comes to raw bones or squeaky toys. Nahkohe (male) is dominant. A couple of years or so ago, I witnessed them "going at it" over a raw bone. It turned out to be a lot of noise but at that point, I decided the raw bone wasn't worth them getting into any kind of rumble. I have not tried to give them any raw bones since the incident - not worth it!
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Re: Emma goes psycho over sharing food

Postby Coco Chow » Mon May 04, 2009 2:08 am

Because the lab puppy is not a puppy anymore, Emma might now need to clear out who is the boss between them (and it's her in her opinion!) and it might be why she reacts this way when there is food around.
Maybe if you don't intervene next time they have an argument, she can show she's the boss, if the lab shows her submission and that will stay at that?

If you don't want to risk a fight, I would stop giving them food when they are together though...
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clauds12
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Re: Emma goes psycho over sharing food

Postby clauds12 » Mon May 04, 2009 11:04 am

Boo Boo does the same with bones. Sam our Aussie mix could not care less who is around her when she is eating a bone. But Boo Boo is a different story, she'll even try to chase the cats (who she usually LOVES). Now what we do is put her in her kennel if bones are given (which is rarely). She calms down and is free to chew as slow as she wants, I think she figures the rest of them can't get the bone in the kennel. hope this helps.

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kiwani
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Re: Emma goes psycho over sharing food

Postby kiwani » Mon May 04, 2009 2:21 pm

Clockman wrote:...I brought out Milkbones for both the other day. I gave Emma hers first and she laid down to daintily chew it while Molly sat down nearby to inhale hers. Without any provocation or transgression by Molly, Emma's psycho switch went off.


I would say that Molly's speed of 'inhaling' her own treat was the trigger. In dog politics, speed eating is also seen as resource guarding. Rather than awarding trophy treats, you might consider awarding each only one morsel at a time, and use those as training treats.

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bama
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Re: Emma goes psycho over sharing food

Postby bama » Thu May 07, 2009 4:00 pm

I don't recommend holding her down.
I think you would do better actually training your pets, rather than simply responding negatively when something goes wrong?
I think reading the Bama Rama Training Method may help you understand what I'm talking about.

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