For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
Puppy Growling and Guarding
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    I've seen a few threads related to this topic, but they don't really address the same issue I'm having with my 3 month old pup, Sanji. I've trained him to wait to eat his food ("stay") until I tell him he can ("ok"). He does this very well and sometimes I ask him to give me his paw or lay down before I say "ok". I've read that this method helps the dog understand that the food is not his and that I am dominant and letting him have it. The problem comes when sometimes he starts to growl. I don't know what causes him to do this and it's happened about 10 times. I usually tell him to "stay" about half way through eating his bowl and he does this without any signs of aggression or discomfort. I've also fed him a treat from my hand half way through eating his food occasionally so he's comfortable with my hands being around the food dish and I pet him while he eats too.

    The first time it really got out of hand was this past weekend and then it happened again this morning. He's had food in between these two instances so, again, I don't know what's setting him off. He pretty much snapped and was snarling and showing me his teeth and so I took the food bowl out of his crate and he went for my hands. I grabbed his snout each time and held it closed and said "no" and after clawing and biting at me and giving me some decent cuts he finally calmed down.

    He doesn't guard anything else and the only other time he growled was around a really big dog. I don't know what's causing him to growl seemingly randomly but I don't think my method of discipline is working either. Any advice on this would be amazing because after those last two episodes, my hands could use a break. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with dominance?? I know he definitely sees himself above me at this point. Thanks in advance!


    This is Sanji's attitude face:
    image

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2017-03-23 12:17:52
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1047
    He is not trying to arrange you and him in a Peking order. That's an old fashioned view of dog training that has been debunked. It's true that simpler animals like chickens and bulls establish a hierarchy, but even wild wolves do not. They work as a cooperative family unit to provide for their young together. It's been well proven that more sophisticated animals do not try to bully those below them to assert dominance. It's also been proven that dogs don't see humans as their own kind and do not think of you as part of the "pack." There's a great article on Sophia Yin's site explaining some of this. Or you can literally read scholarly articles and read through the actual studies and their results.

    Anyway, how old is he?? He looks quite young. I would never interrupt my pup when he's eating. I don't want to teach him that he has to worry about me taking his food away. I am not interested in his food, it is his, and I don't want him to feel threatened by my presence. I want him to know that I have zero interest in his food. I don't want it. I have him stay until I finish his food too, and tell him "okay" when it's ready. Sometimes I used to hold the food for him and show him that just because I'm touching it doesn't mean I will ever move it away from him. I sometimes pet him while he's eating and keep it very casual. I give the food, I do not take it away. I can be nearby without him worrying that his food might be taken away.

    Punishing a dog for growling can cause them to no longer give warning signs. Growling is a form of communication. If you punish them for growling, they might learn to skip that step and go straight to the biting without warning. I would keep it simpler and just let him eat his food from your hand or with you nearby, without you taking the food or pushing him past his threshold. If he doesn't like you to be right next to him, stay close without making him uncomfortable. Toss treats so he knows you being near is a good thing, not something to be concerned about. Slowly work up to getting closer.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-03-22 18:45:03
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    First off, why are you grabbing your puppy by the muzzle? That's only going to aggravate him even more and make him less willing to trust you. For starters, don't do that unless you want to escalate the situation. Also, you shouldn't punish your dog for growling unless you want him to go straight to biting you without warning because you're technically teaching him that growling is a no no.

    Is there a particular reason why you're telling him to stay while he's halfway through eating his food?
    Hmmm maybe he's guarding the empty food bowl and you reaching in to actually touch it made it worse.

    Edit: oops was in the middle of typing this out when lilikoi wrote a response. But yeah, didn't want to sound like I was echoing the same advice as if the first post wasn't there for you to read!

    Oh and I also do the same as @lilikoi
    I don't bother my puppy whiles she's eating. Maybe a little bit of petting but never touch her bowl unless I'm adding food in there. Oh and I sometimes just sit there watching her because it's like the satisfaction a mom gets watching her child eating :x
    Post edited by Mochi920 at 2017-03-22 18:53:36
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Oh and you can look at the life thread @anjyil made for her puppy Coal. She also had issues with Coal and food and maybe it can kind of help you with yours if food guarding is what it is :)
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    That's reassuring to hear about the dominance thing @lilikoi I was worried after seeing him listen to my boyfriend. He never even tries to bite him. Sanji is 3 months old and I've had him for 5 weeks.

    The first time Sanji growled I'd just given him his food and at that point I wasn't making him wait or interrupting him. That's when I first got the advice to start the current method I've been using.

    I'm not sure if it helps to mention that he was the only pup in his litter. I know this brings a different set of challenges on it's own, but could this behavior be related to it too?

    @Mochi920 I was instructed to do these things (perhaps wrongly so) but it seems like there are a million methods out there and I've been told to do this and that by all kinds of people. I'm realizing the current methods aren't working so I'm grateful for your suggestions. This is my first puppy and despite all my research before getting him, I was surprised when I couldn't find a pattern for his outbursts. He otherwise is so perfectly behaved, it's shocking.

    But you both think it's food guarding and not something else that I'm doing? Because like I said before, it's only happened a few times and I can't tell what triggers it.

    Thank you!!!!
  • BiohazardiaBiohazardia
    Posts: 91
    Ninu, my puppy is so young he hasn't had this issue yet. But my breeder told me to feed my pup primarily out of my hand or via Kong for the first entire month to avoid resource guarding and to teach him that I control the food, the food is coming from me. I think the stay idea is pretty good, but hand-feeding I think could help since you would be 100% controlling the food.

    I am also putting a few pieces of kibble in his bowl so he understands it, then sometimes taking it away and adding more kibble or adding something nice and fun (a little salmon oil, a bit of egg, etc) then setting it down. I agree with the other posts that petting while he eats is always good. He has been 100% fine with this so far, but again, my pup is so young he won't show guarding behavior yet.
    Post edited by Biohazardia at 2017-03-22 20:53:52
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Yes it gets quite confusing when there's so many different rights and wrongs that conflict with each other. Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach a shiba right from wrong and it is also the fastest way to strengthen the bond :)

    Does it happen during feeding time or whenever you walk by his food bowl?
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 332
    I do something similar with our dogs, in having them sit and wait while I put the food down. Laika has food guarding issues that we've mostly worked through but she still gets anxious at meal times. She doesn't care once her food is down but while it's being prepped she gets upset and guards it from Rhyz and the cat, so we've taught them both to sit at opposite ends of the kitchen (it's a small kitchen so this only gives them like 3 feet of separation but it's better than nothing). Once she's sure she's getting her bowl of food she really doesn't care about anyone elses, however I can touch and pet her while she's eating I typically just leave her be and let her eat. I'd never take her dish away, that'd just reinforce her fear that she won't get her food.

    Here's an example of them eating - the food was ready so there was no fuss to be made at this point, she just waited nicely, offered me a paw, and our rule is to wait for them to make and hold eye contact before letting them take the food. We push the boundary of how long we expect them to hold it for every week or so, we've definitely noticed a more relaxed feel / less intensely hurried eating, especially from Rhyz. Laika still inhales her food but she doesn't freak out until it's put down any more.

    Progress is progress. Sometimes it takes baby steps, but for you the biggest progress will probably come when you cease to think of your relationship with your dog as a power struggle. Dogs gonna be a dog no matter how in charge you need to feel. :)
    Post edited by spacedogs at 2017-03-22 23:25:46
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1047
    @Ninu21 - he's still very young. Ozzy (he's about 16 months old now) has never guarded his food, except once when he was very young and was eating a chicken neck. He just growled and ran away from me lol. So, I started holding his food regularly, and I still hand feed his kibble a lot of the time. Idk if I would even call that heavy "guarding" yet, but just expressing his discomfort with food being messed with, and letting us know that they don't want to share lol. So my aim isn't to teach him to be willing to share and be willing to let me take his food. My aim is to show him that I do not want to take his food from him, and he doesn't need to worry about me in his space during meal times.

    I think him being a singleton probably brings on a lot of additional challenges! Definitely be patient and be consistent. :)
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    Thank you for all of the tips! It's helpful hearing about your experiences too, as no one I know has this breed of dog.

    Last night and this morning I fed him from my hand with no issues. I'll continue this and see how he does.

    Thanks again for you help!
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    UPDATE
    So we've figured out it's not actually the food he's possessive of, it's the bowl. He eats from my hand fine but then when we give him food out of the bowl he starts to growl. Do you think just feeding him from my hand will eventually correct this?
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1047
    Maybe you could try putting a few pieces at a time into the bowl? Not taking the bowl away, but showing him that even when in the bowl, it's coming from you. Or hold the bowl with food in it and grab a few pieces at a time for hand feeding?
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-03-26 17:44:14
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    This book might help with this.
    Never had this issue with my shiba she only resource guarded from cat.
    https://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    So I've been trying a number of things and they work for a few days and then Sanji gets comfortable with the new routine and starts to growl again. My boyfriend is gone for work for several months, so the "alpha" has left and he's not listening even for other matters. So you can imagine that food time has escalated again and now he's growling and barking when I don't give him a treat when he wants it. He clearly doesn't even respect me.
    How do I discipline him for growling, showing his teeth, and biting me? He's not being playful, he's legit an angry puppy when he's doing this. Half the time I can't even set the bowl down before he starts growling. Kind of sick of bleeding every day from new cuts on my hands and arms. Please help. I'm not ok with my dog behaving like this.
    And I know some of you will mention that he's uncomfortable, but regardless, I need to convey to him that growling in any situation is not ok and lashing out and biting people is definitely not ok.
    I've tried simply doing time-out after he growls, I've tried not giving him the rest of his food, I've tried waiting 10 minutes and trying again, I've tried giving him a treat out of my hand while he's eating to show that me being there is a good thing, I've tried feeding him in the kitchen. Most articles talk about prevention and methods to avoid the situation all together, but I haven't seen anything that says specifically how to reprimand the dog when it growls. Do I take the food away and just say no? Do I try to calm him down? I feel like I've tried everything and the only thing that has seemed to have any effect is my boyfriend being there because he respects him.
  • imBLASIANimBLASIAN
    Posts: 412
    So you're back to feeding from a bowl instead of by hand?

    Also, are you sure you are feeding him enough?

    You shouldn't discipline (hit, yell, etc.) him for growling, showing his teeth, and biting. Speak gently, with a positive voice, even when telling him no. It sounds like you've already tried "resetting" whenever he starts to growl, lunge, bite, etc. 10 minutes may be too long for him to associate. Maybe try preparing the food, start to put it down. If he starts growling, lunging, etc. say your word for no, turn your back and count to 10, then turn around and try it again. Accept the little victories and work on increasing them.

    Also, may need to see a behaviorist.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    It sounds like you might be waaay over his threshold. If he is growling/lunging, you may be too close. I've started implementing the Mine! plan that was recommended by Saya, and for several times, I maintained a farther distance than was necessary and just kind of tossed the food to Coal. didn't always hit the bowl, but that is fine. Like your situation, I am able to do more than my husband. We are different levels, basically. I can go through the entire steps in the book with almost no issues, but my husband is a different story.

    That book "mine" is really good. I am not as sure that the treat level is as necessary, though, but it helps. You have to make sure the treats are top notch. Stand from several feet back and approach. If he growls/lunges, take a few steps backward. Find where his "comfort level" is. You have to recondition him from his habits that he has established by making sure he can not practice them anymore, which may mean keeping your distance for a bit.

    Growling is his way of warning you that he is uncomfortable. It is more than appropriate for him to do so, because it cues you in that he may escalate if the stressor is not removed or at least alleviated. Dogs bite. That is what they do. We need to teach them not to bite, true, but the only way to do that is to desensitize them to what is causing them issue.

    Unfortunately, food resource guarding is not affected by the amount you are feeding them, so giving them more may *seem* to help briefly, but it doesn't. I already tried that. Here is something my husband did, in case Coal escalated too fast: he put a hole through the plastic food bowl's bottom and has a string tied to it so he can yank it away if he needs to. So far, he hasn't needed to and we have seen great progress. But we are very very careful to avoid pushing him past his comfort zone.

    Some other things to consider: other stressors throughout the day can add up. It's kind of like the straw that broke the camel's back. Sadly, there is no magic cure and I can guarantee you that doing anything aversive--even just swatting his nose or posturing in anger---will at best do nothing and at worse make things escalate to a level you can't handle.

    As for resetting---sometimes it takes my pup ten to twenty minutes, depending on if he has had a bad day and if any stray kibbles are hidden nearby. We found this out during our trip--at first we weren't sure, but we have learned a lot in the last couple of weeks.

    So first up--find out what his comfort distance is. Start from there, and toss him the food or treat to the empty bowl. Wait until he finishes and looks to you, repeat. After a couple of tosses take a step. Toss again. Wait. You will be crawling to him, and you might not make it to be near him for many sessions. When you can stand near enough you can start dropping in small handfuls. I have a rule with Coal that if he is showing tension/sitting (he usually lays upon our approach) then he only gets a small amount and I walk away. If he is relaxed or doing well, I give bonuses. My husband throws in real liver or another stinky treat every now and then because he needs that bonus. anyway, watch him like a hawk. Make note of his body posture. I found out that, in an unusual twist, my pup lowers his tail when he is relaxed or accepting, but it shoots straight up and drapes over his back when he is uncomfortable and defensive. His eyes are rounder and have a bit of a wild hint to them, ears are forward during these defensive times as well.

    I can literally type out a detailed post of exactly what we do and how. We are still managing him and I have not done any cold trials outside of handfuls and some hand feeding because Coal's posture tells me he isn't ready. I hope that in another month or two, I can start giving him partially full bowls and maybe, eventually, go back to old patterns---but I also know that this is going to take a long time. He has had too long to practice and reinforce his behavior, and he still sometimes jumps up but calms down faster.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    As for just not listening...my husband always uses higher value treats than me (and it doesn't always work). Liver, cheese, etc. I use low value stuff because Coal has chosen me as the so-called leader. Do not contaminate what you have. Don't get angry, don't use aversives, and leave if you feel the need to. Once you do that, the damage is done and it will take even longer to attempt to rebuild trust with him. Again, speaking from experience (though my husband has only smack him once long ago and got too angry only once, it was enough to kind of damage the trust between the two of them. They are working on it).

    What I have found is that some days are just bad days for Coal, and he may not listen to me very much either. Other times, the cue is just not strongly trained yet. I always try to find something fun to train for my husband--hubby almost has Coal doing spin now!--but I usually introduce it first and then watch hubby a couple of times and reaffirm it before leaving it to hubby. I am fortunate in that whatever I teach or introduce him to, he is more likely to do for hubby. For some reason, Coal generalizes better than I keep reading about.

    And play. If you can get him to play, play. This is huge. It took forever before hubby could play with Coal. but now they are great play mates. I think that was a combo of me playing with the two of them and letting hubby take over in the middle and such. I think the big things that helped, also, were studying up on body language and animal behavior so I could piece things together. I can't get to a behaviorist because, well, there aren't many in Japan and none in our area, so I have to be my own behaviorist. If you can get to one, I highly recommend it. Self study in such a complex subject can be a real headache.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    Almost forgot. Tether your pup during feeding or wear some kind of protective gear if you aren't already. It will reduce his ability to get at you.
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    Thank you for the advice! I am back to feeding him from a bowl. I will give your method a try. Hopefully it's just a phase and he'll understand his growling during feeding time is not necessary. If it continues though, I'll definitely try to find a behaviorist.

    Anjyil, it sounds like you've had a lot of experience with this. I can definitely see how Sanji has good days and bad days. Like last night he ate his dinner with no issues. I did the same thing I always do and he was fine. I'm still going to look into the book you referenced. Your husband and I are in the same boat...Sanji is an angel for my boyfriend but when it's just me and him he tries to get away with everything!

    I am concerned about an incident that happened last night. Sanji was chewing on the leg of a wooden table and I said "no" and pulled him away from it and he started growling. I then simply picked him up and put him in time-out, but I'm concerned that his growling has the potential to spread to any situation where he wants something and I take it from him. He's done this once before where he went after a piece of fuzz on the stairs and I picked him up and said no and in the process he growled. This also happened the other day when he barked and I said no and then he growled. And when I say he growls, he's also showing his teeth and acting like he could bite me. Is this going to be his reaction every time I try to tell him something is not ok?
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    This is most likely resource guarding. Actually, I want to say most definitely. Some things I learned is that there is "classic" guarding, which is all the vids you see and happens every day to anyone---then there are the weirdos. That would be our pups haha. They guard sometimes--sporadically--and they aim at one specific person. Coal is the kind that doesn't give much warning---just rushes up to bite, though if you watch him closely, you can see it coming.

    Anyway, resource guarding is not really a phase. It is an innate, natural instinct that would be super useful if he was wild and that has not been bred out of dogs (or can't be). Sadly, the information is very limited because studies on domestic dogs, and this specific issue, are fairly recent. It can strike any type of dog at any time: amount of food doesn't matter, age doesn't matter, heck even star obedient dogs don't matter. And from what I have read so far, there is no indication that it goes away as a phase. You gotta chip away at it. Coal started out super mellow, and it has only gotten worse. well, it is getting better NOW but before we did anything proper it was getting worse.

    So far, Coal hasn't guarded anything but his bowl/puzzle ball and kibble, and only at meal times. Trade up with Sanji if you want to take something away from him---always. The only time you should yank something away is if it is very dangerous, but still lavish him with treats. If you just take stuff away, and then punish him with a time out, you merely reaffirm that you are dangerous and will only take things away.

    Redirection is also a really good idea. Basically "no!" and taking stuff away/punishing him are only reaffirming his fear of you. Yes, he will do things you don't like, and you do need to deal with it, but different situations call for different approaches. "No," then entice him with a toy of some kind are much better options---lure him away from it. If he refuses to go, you need something that is much more valuable and interesting. His favorite toy, his favorite treat. And I will be the first to tell you that Coal was not one to be distracted from something he found interesting! But my place in his heart gave me the ability to time him out and that was enough to get the point across. My husband can not do that yet. He has to pull out the big guns haha.

    Honestly, I don't use "no". I use a kind of marker sound. "Ah!" that is kind of throaty and not high pitched. I find that "No" is just used too often in common speech---even in Japan! Using something different can be sure that he doesn't think he is being punished for something randomly. Also, it sounds like your "no" has become a poisoned cue---one that he just ignores because he hears it so often.

    I am still studying ^_^ I think since I have gotten Coal, I have read a totally twelve to thirteen books and a bunch of online sites/youtube videos. I really kicked it into gear when Coal starting showing these guarding behaviors (almost three months ago is when it started to escalate) but didn't realize what it was. There are about 50 million other books I want to read, but hubby asked me to slow down on the book spending XD
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    and I will reiterate that his growling is not a bad thing. That is a warning. If you try to punish it out of him, then what you will get is a dog that lunges and bites with no warning steps. It will start to appear out of the blue when in reality, he feels he has no other option.
  • imBLASIANimBLASIAN
    Posts: 412
    @Ninu21 - For the table chewing, I suggest saying "no", but don't touch him, and get his attention on a fun toy or chew (bully stick, chicken foot, etc) for him instead.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1249
    I would also suggest to redirect him more and give time outs less. A lot of dogs dislike being picked up and it seems you do it when he is already upset, to scold him. So not very pleasant. That in itself may make it more difficult for you to handle him over time.
    He is only four months old, he's going to chew on plenty of things. His teeth itch and he wants to sample and taste the world. Just give him appropriate chew toys instead.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Piggybacking want juni said, Mochi will snap and growl and get into a fit if she's picked up when she's stressed or annoyed about something. If you keep picking him up to scold him, he's going to associate getting picked up with something negative and that can cause a lot more issues later on. You might want to try handling excercises too. Just pick him up at random places, times, and circumstances and reward him for letting you do so.

    Always trade something with him. Instead of picking Mochi up away from something, I just grab her attention with something else (most likely a toy or treat) and then take it away. I never pick her up. The only time I pick her up nowadays is to put her in and out of the car, besides handling excercises of course.

    I dealt with resource guarding too but Mochi stopped it. I'm not sure exactly what it was but I think the trading + handling excercise reaaalllyy helped her realize that if I take something away, it's not the end of the world lol she used to bite and growl whenever she would pick things up from the ground on walks and I had to take it out of her mouth. She even made a hole in my shoe one time from biting me because I was too scared to use my hands to take the thing away since she would always get so aggressive.
    Post edited by Mochi920 at 2017-05-03 12:27:51
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    @Mochi920 you are probably right about the handling exercises. Many places recommend doing those alongside other methods.
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    Thank you again for all of the advice! Sanji has been doing a lot better during feeding times! We've made it a few days with only one minor growling incident!
    But in other ways he's misbehaving now... He's growling when I say no and it really seems like he has started growling any time he wants something. This happened with a treat again recently where I asked him to sit and he wouldn't but got impatient and barked then growled.
    The big one though is that he has started humping his bed. He's not even 5 months old... is this normal? It just seems like his behaviors are getting worse every day in one way or another!
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1249
    Humping can be a stress release too, a way to get rid of pent up energy, hard to say without knowing the circumstances why he does it. He might just be an early bloomer too...
    He seems like a frustrated little guy, what's a normal day like for him? When and how much walks and play and rest does he get?
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Isn't growling and nipping normal behavior for puppies? It's like little kids throwing tantrums for not getting what they want. Not good behavior but normal (?). Mine sits first and stares at me but if that form of begging doesn't work she turns to growling and jumping which is a big no no and she gets time out time or I walk away into another room until she calms down.
    Yes, humping is normal (in both females and males) because it's not always a sexual behavior so they could still be young and start humping whatever lol
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    @Mochi920 like many things in the canine world, behaviors and signals can have multiple meanings depending on context and other signals that they are giving. Growling can mean anything from "don't touch this" to "let's play!" and nipping is much the same.
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 13
    I see what you're all saying about the multiple meanings for behaviors. It's just hard to figure out what he's really thinking.
    Sanji was a singleton and has never had any issues with nipping or biting until the last week or so. His growling is better at feeding time. I've been trying to keep him very calm and it seems to be helping.
    As far as the humping, I took him to the vet for a booster vaccination and asked about it. I guess he has double crypt-orchid so it can explain some of his behaviors and why he's humping without having any additional parts.
    It seems like Sanji is abnormal all around lol. I think that because he was the only pup in his litter he didn't learn a lot of the things he would have from litter mates like sharing food and nipping/playing with them. I took him to a dog park this weekend too and he didn't know how to play with the other dogs (even ones his own size and smaller). He never barks back at other dogs but he's very calm and ok being around them.
    Sanji gets quite a bit of exercise every day. I have to go to work but I come home on my break for an hour and play with him so he's only alone for about 4 hours at a time. Then we go for a walk...we've gone over 2 miles before and he still had enough energy to come back home and shiva 500 around the house lol. Other times he passes out right away.
    So really he just seems atypical and difficult to figure out.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 587
    I get what you mean ^_^ It doesn't help that research on the domestic dog has only begun in earnest since the beginning of the 2000s. Just get your hands on whatever books you can, keep track of his body language to see what he does when, and always have some great treats on hand for a pinch. It will work out ^_^

    Remember, walking is basically a kind of warm-up. It doesn't require the same energy burn as play. Sanji honestly doesn't seem too atypical. You are right that singleton pups don't get the same interactions as those born in large litters, but it can be managed by getting him as much experience with other dogs as you can. burning energy and getting him enough dog-dog experience is a big challenge for me as well, so I really understand ^_^
  • KiichigoKiichigo
    Posts: 26
    Kiichigo was timid, scared, and defensive while eating when we first brought her home for about 2-3 weeks. but we kept running the schedule: short walk, play, simple task, then food and she got into the groove. We never over stressed her with long walks or play sessions, it was always short ~20 minute walks or 10-15 min play sessions. I discovered that long play sessions or walks made our puppy stressed and upset, kinda like a toddler who just needs a nap. Our puppy, when tired from play, was not always a submissive to us but rather defensive.

    Kiichigo is about 4 months now and we usually lead short and fun play sessions and doing tricks into food, so she can hopefully connect fun with food. You can also try using a kong with some peanut butter in it or a snuffle mat to let your puppy search for his food.

    With Kiichigo, no matter what the delivery system is, I always want to make sure she's having fun and ensure we're not making her do too much work to get her food , she's just a pup after all. I make her sit while I prepare her food and then get her to do a simple sit and turn around or sit and paw or sit and laydown. I then praise her and offer her food upon completion of the simple task. At this time, she very comfortable eating around us and lets us pet her while she eats. Even lets us groom her with a brush or furminator while she eats.

    Post edited by Kiichigo at 2017-05-16 18:48:25

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (7)