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Does your Shiba eat food/treats from Strangers?
  • wliu003wliu003
    Posts: 222
    Cause mine did today at the dog park. I was chatting with other fellow dog owners and I noticed that Kelly was taking treats from a stranger. I immediately went over to ask her what she was feeding him and she did "beneful"the dog food brand. I told her that she shouldn't feed other peoples dogs without the owners permission, I was visibly annoyed and she got a little scared and defensive but she was only around 10-14 years old. I just walked away from the situation. What made me even more agitated was that Kelly kept following her and ignoring my commands.

    When I first got kelly she actually wouldnt take treats from other people, not even my roommates. However, she has always been very motivated by food.

    I am thinking about punishing her when she takes treats from other people but overall I am still inconclusive. What does everyone think about this situation, any advice would be appreciated.
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    Jazz will take treats from some, not all. Sometimes, she'll look at me to find out if it's okay. Where this can be a bad thing is if your dog has major allergies or other health problems and truly can't handle some treats.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
  • obukobuk
    Posts: 144
    Mochi will take treats from strangers but sometimes on the maybe 3rd try. Sometimes he's more unsure, so I instruct the strangers to first drop the treat, see if Mochi takes it, then drop it closer to the stranger, and then finally from the hand, maybe 5-10 times (sometimes it takes even more treats) and then they are maybe allowed to pet him even... lol Other times he just walks up to people and lets them pet him. Some even get a tail wag which is very rare so I always let those people know they are special :)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    Mine will never take a treat from someone they have never met before. But if they have met before, and the treat is good enough, they will chomp away! I would definitely not punish your pup from taking treats from strangers. This could cause all sorts of problems. (say, Kelly somehow got loose and was wandering the streets, and you have enlisted help from people who she may not have met to find her... if she shys away from taking food from them, you may never get her back.) Just keep an eye on her while she is at the dog park. Unless she has a bad allergy, a few treats of questionable quality should not hurt her.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • You can't really punish a dog for taking treats considering that is how you initially shape a dogs behavior. Really you as an owner just have to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to other dog owners. Having a dog suspicious of people leads to far greater liabilities than an upset tummy. I certainly have stopped my fair share of folks from giving my dogs treats.I just this morning had to stop our houseguest from giving Piglet corn bread.
    I try not to get angry at people for trying to be nice to my dog. I just calmly explain that my dogs have food allergies and I would greatly appreciate that if, just as with ones children, they check with me prior to giving my dogs anything.
  • kojichankojichan
    Posts: 178
    I actually try to encourage Koji to take a treat from a stranger as part of his socialization, but that has been limited to my treats that I hand to the person, and where I assure Koji that it is OK, that he can trust the person. Even then, he's cautious. Outside of that situation, he's never shown any willingness to get that close to a stranger, treat or no treat. At most, he gets close enough to sniff their outstretched hand, or their leg if they are not facing him, but that's it.

    I think it's good that Kelly is trusting/comfortable enough with strangers to accept treats from them. Along the lines Jessica states, you just need to be more vigilant about other people actions, since many take their behavior toward others' dogs for granted. So just be ready to control situations you will encounter at places like dog parks.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Both my boys would probably eat anything anyone would give them, but when it is from someone I don't know who didn't ask, I can get really cross with the person. Too many people that I have known has had a cat or dog die from poisoned treats, even at the dog park. I keep a bag of my own treats with me when we take them somewhere, so if anyone wants to give them a treat, the person has to give them one of mine.

    There's a guy that goes to the dog park, my friend has nicknamed him the "dog park pedophile", who comes with pockets full of treats and hands them out by the handful. Any dog that realizes what he has will follow him around, including Tetsu. It frustrates me having to constantly pull Tetsu away because the guy won't listen when I tell him that my dog isn't allowed to have treats.

    I hate having to constantly tell the same people that the pups can't have treats. Even my boyfriends dad argues with me because he wants to give them people food, trying to give excuses as why pretzels (or whatever food he wants to give them) is good for dogs. Since most people don't understand the idea of "because I don't want them to have it", I've resorted to saying "because it gives them some really bad runs". Even giving a major medical reason, doesn't stop some people.
  • Calia, if someone disrespects my request of not giving my a dog a treat, I will get BEYOND CROSS, bones will break. That is beyond disrespectful. There used to be a crossing guard at a corner where I would walk Moto and Piglet, who tried to fight me about giving the dog treats. I finally had to say to her, "If you try to give either of my dogs treats again, I will make a point of not letting you near my dogs again." She loved them so much that that was threat enough.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Jessica, you are a very awesome dog mom. Agreed, if someone can't respect your request not to give your dog a forbidden treat especially because of medical reasons, that crosses the line. On the flip side, it doesn't stop Beebe from begging for treats from whom ever she sees (which I greatly prefer over her growling/barking/being spooky of strangers). Ike was finally comfortable enough to take some treats from the male judge at the fun match and I was very impressed that he was able to overcome his fear a little. It would be terrifying if he slipped his lead and was too frightened to be caught by anyone."Common sense isn't so common"
  • obukobuk
    Posts: 144
    ohh i just read you first post and agree, i don't care how old the person is, if they feed my dog without permission, i get annoyed and will let them know. If i see that Mochi is being given treats without having to work for them, i try to stop that person right away and letting him/her know that he has to at least work for his food. Usually i do ask what kind of treat it is but Mochi is not really allergic to anything so it's not that bad. honestly, i would probably just put my dog back on a leash and leave that dog park for the day and just take the dog for a nice walk instead.
  • wliu003wliu003
    Posts: 222
    perhaps the word "punish" was a bad choice of words, but I was thinking something along the lines of saying no or drop. When Kelly tries to eat Ace's (my roommates husky) food I can usually get her to stop by saying no, or drop if the food is in her mouth.

    hopefully kelly will exercise some more precaution because she is so motivated by food that if I am not there to stop her she will consume without question.
  • Still I would strongly encourage you to instead of discouraging your dog from taking treats from strange people (which can lead to an aversion or fear of strangers which will lead to potentially dangerous problems) and instead bring your own treats and ask people to instead give Kelly one of yours.

    Then practice "leave it" exercises at another time.

    You want your dog to be happy to meet people. If you teach your dog to be cautious of new people, that can grow into fear. Fear and aggression go hand in hand. Many of us have had to give strangers treats to give our dogs so that our dogs stop being cautious of new people.

    A simple leave it exercise is to place a treat on the ground, and hold another treat. Using the command "leave it" when it is left and you can get the dogs attention on you, reward the dog with the other treat.
  • There is an old lady in my neighborhood who used to have a dog that died years ago. She loves dogs and carries hard milk bone treats with her when she walks. Triton took them from her but I avoid her now because I would hate to hurt her feelings and I don't like him to take treats that I didn't provide. You never know what is in them and with his sensitive stomach, I try to limit the treats anyway. The people food thing is an interesting situation. T gets NO people food because I believe that it isn't good to give dogs people food as their bodies were not meant to digest what we eat. My mom's Shiba eats a lot of people food and so do a lot of dogs that I know, but I don't believe in it.
  • I feed my dogs "people food" all the time, it's just certain people food. I know people cook ("people food") for their dogs and every once in a while I will make some yummy sweet potato for my kids since they really enjoy it. Im actually looking into the whole "Cooking for your dog" thing, I think it would be so much better for them than just eating the dry kibble. Still in research phase though.
    Post edited by KFontaine04 at 2009-02-23 13:26:51
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    I agree with Kristin, I feed my pups 'people' food quite often. Just not from my plate or the table. They get baked sweet potatoes, frozen broccoli, frozen raspberries, carrots, pumpkin, peanut butter, and other fine goodies for special treats. To me, people food really just constitues junk food. Because, in the wild, dogs would dig up roots to eat, munch on grasses and other veggies (especially in the stomachs of their prey), and what not. In the wild, they would never eat gravy, potato chips, or other 'junk' food. So therefore, they get none of that (and neither do I!).
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • That makes complete sense. I guess I just don't like to see dogs fed from the table (meat, etc.) or fed gross food that they probably shouldn't have. I hate that whole thing of, "I didn't eat this, here, clean off my plate"! Or, "here is a turkey carcass that you can gnaw on".
  • asiaasia
    Posts: 875
    I am confused as to why people feel the need/want to give other people's animals food, unless they are good friends with the dog and owner. You never really know how they will react. Why can't they be happy watching or petting the dog? It baffles me. Growing up on a farm, we never had this issue - at least with the dogs. Visitors would want to feed the goats or the donkey or the geese or the horse... This was almost worse, since the possibility of something bad happening there was higher (they animals can get a little over-zealous and start nibbling fingers). Now, I only run into the problem when I have my sister's kids in tow. Apparently the compulsion happens with both animals and children.

    When I do get my nihon-ken, I am excited to try the "cooking for your dog" thing. Mostly, it's because I am always cooking for one - which means I don't really cook. If I can make something for someone else, it would be nice. And, if it's something we can both eat - like sweet potato, that's even better.
  • My shiba has no fear of people and enjoys being with humans. So taking food from anybody that offers it to him would be SOP for him. He doesn't beg, but he won't turn down a treat either. ;)=

    He's not a "snapper" so my friends actually like feeding my dog. He won't take the treat until commanded and doesn't bite down, but tries to hold it in his teeth before transferring it completely to his mouth. Two steps basically.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    My Shiba Quake is super friendly but he will not take any treats from a stranger even if it's high value treats. He will only take treats from people he knows and likes. I like that about him!!
  • MoxyFruvousMoxyFruvous
    Posts: 385
    The folks at pet stores have tried many times, but Moxy just won't take anything. Bet if it were cheese he would. But he likes to sit in a certain spot in the house to slowly eat his treats, so if we're away from home, he just won't take anything.

    PJ (Corgi) on the other hand is a walking garbage disposal and will eat ANYTHING that even kinda looks like food.
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    I give strangers (usually kiddos) some of Yuki's food to put flat in their hand to feed to him while in an effort to socialize him. If some random was feeding my dog that may be off-putting. haha! But he would definitely take it. When it comes to treats, Yuki does not discriminate.
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    I certainly wouldn't punish my Shiba, after all it may be a life savior, you never know, we don't have a crystal ball. I've taking in several lost dogs, including a Shiba, which is why I have a Shiba today. I can tell you every one of those dogs was starving for food and water. If they were taught not to take food from stranger they'd be eaten by the coyotes, looking for food in coyote hunting grounds, instead of being at my sanctuary. One shouldn't punish a dog for the instinct of survival - food and water.
    And by doing so, you may unwittingly instill a fear of strangers.
    Post edited by ddavid at 2014-04-08 21:11:46
  • HirokiHiroki
    Posts: 89
    Hiroki will eat anything, from anywhere. It's not ideal! He won't come back to me on a walk for a treat, but will go up to anyone else he thinks might have food for him! He's constantly trying to hoover up the pavements as we go, loves a bit of soggy duck bread from the lake... Nightmare!
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    @ddavid that.... is an awkward post. haha!!! No one is talking about a starving shiba needing food to avoid death. We are talking about whether they're naturally comfortable taking food from humans they don't know.
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94

    @ddavid that.... is an awkward post. haha!!! No one is talking about a starving shiba needing food to avoid death. We are talking about whether they're naturally comfortable taking food from humans they don't know.

    You just haven't been around dogs. When you teach a dog not to take food from a strangers, that sticks with him, even when he darts off and becomes lost. No different when a strangers mistreats a dog, that fear stays with him. You just have to have greater vision and think of all possibilities outside the box of your present experience. A dog is no different from a cat, when that dog or cat is lost and isn't accustomed to strangers they won't come up to you for food, nor can you even catch them, to foster while one is looking for the owner. That's why one sees scrawny cats and dogs because they'd rather go hungry and look thru trash cans, then come up to you. A dog and cat doesn't think - uhmm I'm lost, I'll be nice to strangers maybe they'll feed me. hahaha that'll be the day.

  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94

    @ddavid that.... is an awkward post. haha!!! No one is talking about a starving shiba needing food to avoid death. We are talking about whether they're naturally comfortable taking food from humans they don't know.

    I must presume you've skipped reading JessicaRabitt post: Which is correct, that punishing a dog will change the dogs behavior toward strangers.

    Quote: ".... instead of discouraging your dog from taking treats from strange people (which can lead to an aversion or fear of strangers which will lead to potentially dangerous problems) and instead bring your own treats and ask people to instead give Kelly one of yours."

    So when your Shiba gets lost, your assumption is that only people who he knows will find him, is quite presumptuous.

    Post edited by ddavid at 2014-04-09 13:19:27
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    ddavid said:

    A dog is no different from a cat, when that dog or cat is lost and isn't accustomed to strangers they won't come up to you for food, nor can you even catch them, to foster while one is looking for the owner.

    @ddavid - Stating that a dog is no different from a cat is a very naive thing to say. Cats and dogs are quite different in their behaviour and psychology.

    As for being socialized with strangers and taking food from them, it does not matter how much you socialize your dog regarding taking food from strangers, you have to remember that YOU are there with them, giving them comfort, security, and familiarity. When a dog (or even a cat) gets lost, you are no longer there. It is scary and most animals when in a stressful and fearful situation will refuse food, especially from unknown people. What would normally be a fun time (getting awesome treats and pets from random people) turns into a nightmare of fear, confusion, and stress.

    As for the original tone of this thread, the problem with dogs taking food from strangers stems from strangers feeding the dogs inappropriate things, such as junk food, crappy dog treats, or allergens. My oldest always looks to me for approval when people offer her things (granted she is a bit of a discriminatory eater). The youngest, on the other hand, would absolutely gobble it up if she was comfortable in the situation. This IS a problem because she has a lot of health issues and has food allergies. However, if someone really wants to give them a treat, I will give them an approved treat and let them do it that way.

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Oki will take anything from anyone. However crappy the treat. At training I bring out the most delicious of all treats that he loves, but if the trainer has even nothing but pretends to have something, Oki is more interested. I've stopped taking offence to that now; it's just his curiousity. Once he figures out the person is tricking him or it's a crappy treat, he'll be back to seeing what I have lol. Loyal dog lol...but we knew that kind of behaviour was likely in this breed :) He's still at he stage where anything a stranger offers or does or says is very exciting. I wonder what he'll be like as an adult!
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    You missed the whole point. It's naive to go into how a dog and cat normally behaves without taking into consideration the very reason of this tread to begin with. We are not talking about a "normal" behavior, but the behavior "after" a dog is punished for taking food from a stranger.
    READ AGAIN: "I am thinking about punishing her when she takes treats from other people but overall I am still inconclusive. What does everyone think about this situation, any advice would be appreciated."
    So it's your feeling that dogs behavior remains the same after punishment, I see.
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    I guess I’ve just never seen strangers offer a dog food, so it's hard to grasp the concept of teaching my dog not to eat random stranger's treats.

    I disagree with the statement that feeding is similar to animal maltreatment. Fear behaviors connected to maltreatment are survival coping skills. A dog taking food if he is starving is also a survival coping skill; if he’s hungry, he will eat he’s wouldn’t die just to avoid taking food from some random.
    Post edited by devonmlewis at 2014-04-11 18:45:56
  • FuyutsukiFuyutsuki
    Posts: 62
    I've had a few people try to feed Fuyu before. I've been meaning to pick up a lickity stick to put on his leash. It's actually quite frustrating to have other people pull out treats, I don't even like it at pet supply stored.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    I personally don't have a problem with strangers feeding Kobe a long as I'm in control of the situation. I need to know exactly what the person is offering, and if it's something I don't approve of, I always carry treats in my pocket and will let them give him one of his own treats. This goes for both strangers and family/friends alike.

    As far as punishing him for taking an unapproved treat, I'd never do it. It would be my fault. Wasn't paying close enough attention to the situation. However, I would have a word for whoever fed him the unapproved treat. Personally, I don't offer friends/family dogs treats unless I know it's ok...much less a strangers dog.

    As far as him becoming lost, I really don't think it would matter if he was allowed or not(food from strangers). I think the stress of being lost would be enough to regress him into fear mode. Hopefully, at some point, survival instinct will kick in.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    I've never really paid much attention to this, but as I think about it now, it is sort of situational with my dog. If we're at home we'll take food from anyone; out in public, like maybe a dog park or dog social event, he takes the treat but a lot of the time spits it out. It's almost like he takes it not to be rude, but then just spits it out... haha It probably also has something to do with the amount of distractions when we're outside of our home environment.

    Odd, I've never even thought about it much until reading this thread.

    Anyway, to the original question. I don't think people should feed other people's dogs without permission, however, to punish your food motivated dog for taking treats from strangers might be counter productive. It could possible get to the point where she's reluctant to take treats from you and that may make training more difficult on you down the road. Also, I don't know enough about how dog brains work, but would a dog be able to decipher who YOU deem to be a stranger? We see a lot of the same people at the dog parks, and some of them pet my dog (but don't feed), however, I would still consider some of them strangers even though we've seen them at least a couple dozen times.
  • Banjo loves certain people on walks.. i.e. the ones who give him cookies. In fact, when he smells food on people he will go apeshit. and then sit and politely take a treat from them. I ask people not to feed him, but some people in the neighborhood see him and immediately come up to say hi. I don't want to be rude so we chat, and then inevitably he gets a cookie. The next time we see them, he ignores the dog and runs up to the people.

    Is it possible to "feed away" hunger motivation? He is on a raw diet now and gets 2.85%-3% of his body weight per day usually split evenly into two meals. Its a little embarrassing as it makes me look like I don't feed him enough when he just runs up and demands cookies!

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Oh god yeah, Sagan is a fatty. He'll accept food from anyone. I'm generally fine with people giving him treats as long as they ask.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • So am I, although I am sure many people are less diligent about what their dog is fed than me, I simply don't mind. Again, it just makes me feel embarrassed. Like I have to tell people I SWEAR I do feed him and he isn't starving.

  • I can't say I've ever had a problem with random people given my dogs treats without my permission.

    They do get them at the pet shop but I don't mind, I consider it a positive learning experience. I've taken them to pet shops to socialise them around people and dogs since they were puppies. They get to meet new people and dogs and the treats help reinforce that. They don't always eat them if the're to excited but they do most of the time and I get the person giving it to them to at least make them sit and do a couple of tricks. They are the favourite customers for all the staff at my local shop.

    The bigger problem I find is with family, they always want to feed from their plates and it's rarely dog friendly. I really put my foot down with my dogs and I don't have as many problems as I had with my last dog.

  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Kira will Shiba Mind Control anyone with food, she is usually 90% successful.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

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