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Discussion Starter #1
This is a post only indirectly related to food. I am asking because many of you have more experience that i do.

There is no doubt in my mind that the dog loves raw food, and she is healthy. that makes me happy.
What makes me unhappy and nervous is that recently she developed a new behaviour: if I pet the dog while she is eating a raw meaty bone, like a big chicken quarter, she will growl at me, nevermind if I try to take it away. She has never done that before. She never showed any aggressive behaviour other that this in her 11 months life.
Is the raw food that good that she feels that she has to guard it from me? I know it's a stupid question, but she never did that with other foods and i always was able to take it out from her mouth.
Any thouths?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I forgot to mention that the she has been in heat for the last two weeks.
I am thinking to not give her raw until she is done with it.
 

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No, stick with the raw while she's on it, just don't bug her while she's eating it and try petting her while she's eating when she's not in heat anymore and see if she does the same thing. If she does, I'm sure RFD will have really good suggestions for you. I've worked with my dogs on not being food aggressive since I've had them so I've never had this problem, but a lab I used to take care of did. He was the sweetest dog in the world, but as soon as he got a raw knuckle bone to chew on, he would growl and bare his teeth at you if you came too close while he was eating it. Not even petting him, just being too close to him!
 

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Are you planning on breeding your dog? If not, I would get her fixed ASAP. I've seen toooooo many dogs change behavior from being able to go into heat too many times before being fixed. I don't think it has anything to do with the raw food, its probably because shes in heat. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I am certainly planning to spay her when she reaches 13 to 14 months age.
I don't blame the raw food. I just thought that maybe indirectly, because she loves it so much... But, frankly I don't know what to think now. Today she doesn't want to play, she doesn't want to walk and refused her treats.
 

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One of the most effective ways to establish dominance in your pack is to control the food. Whether she's in heat or not, this is unacceptable behavior and if you don't put an end to it, you won't be able to control anything else.

I've been through this to one degree or another with almost every dog I've ever had so in the beginning the food is the first thing I take control of. If I get a growl, they get their food taken away, a stern "NO!", and if necessary to get their attention and break their fixation, a sharp whack on the side of their neck with my fingertips as I scold them. It only takes a few times before they get it. Food is a great motivator for most dogs.

I showed this technique to my neighbor who has a totally out of control, 160 lb. food-aggressive Rottweiler and after only a few times, he submitted to me (the dog, not the neighbor :biggrin:). He has no respect for her and will practically knock her over and take food right out of her hand. But when I give him food, he sits, I drop it on the ground in front of him, and he waits until I tell him to "eat". He knows who the boss is. It's essential to maintain order in the pack, even if the pack is only you and your animal.
 

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You could get the same results as Jay mentioned without using any kind of negative physical interaction with the dog. Being the pack leader doesn't mean being the bully. The only thing that you are gaining by "whacking" the dog on the neck, is fear from the dog. Respect does not equal fear when being the pack leader. A dog should respect you, but not fear you. The dog does not gain respect without fear by being physically punished for their actions.

I would simply take the food away without saying anything and walk away. If you feel its necessary, you can say "No" in a steady, but non aggressive voice. The dog will get the same picture by doing this as giving a stern "No!" and a whack on the neck, except the dog wont fear you.

What does the dog want? His food right? So if you take it away when he/she growls...they will soon get the picture that food is not coming if they show aggression.

I would also like to say that it very well might be that she is growling because she is in heat. But like Jay said, that is still no excuse. The behavior should be modified, but in a positive way without any negative physical reinforcement. Dogs learn faster this way, and gain respect without fear.

Also, try holding her food while she is eating it. If you are giving her a chicken quarter, hold it and don't let go until there is not enough to hold on to. This will also show her that you have control of her food, and has to get used to you being around her when eating.

ETA: Why are you waiting to spay her? There is zero benefits from waiting. The risk of cancer sky rockets after their first heat...
 

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Natalie is right. There are much better techniques to get a desired behavior from a dog than using intimidation. My belief is that if you have to intimidate your dog to get the behavior you desire, you are not a leader. A leader knows how to motivate the dog to get what he wants.

Raw food is a MUCH more valuable resource than artificial foods. Dogs are more likely to guard it but it's not difficult to teach them not to. Get the book Mine! by Patridia McConnel (I think). It will help you with resource guarding.

I also agree with Natalie about spaying. It is useful to wait to neuter a male dog but there is no advantage to waiting to spay a female.
 

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I did clearly state that I only use physical touch "to get their attention and break their fixation" and only when they are so fixated on something that their obsession is preventing them from paying attention to my instruction. This physical touch is not hard or painful, just a quick, sharp stab with my fingertips to get their attention. It is not intimidating or painful to them and I am not bullying them. Some dogs have advanced OCD and this technique has helped me rehabilitate the worst offenders. That's all.
 

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I did clearly state that I only use physical touch "to get their attention and break their fixation" and only when they are so fixated on something that their obsession is preventing them from paying attention to my instruction. This physical touch is not hard or painful, just a quick, sharp stab with my fingertips to get their attention. It is not intimidating or painful to them and I am not bullying them. Some dogs have advanced OCD and this technique has helped me rehabilitate the worst offenders. That's all.
Don't think thats quite the way you wrote it. Here is what you said:
"If I get a growl, they get their food taken away, a stern "NO!", and if necessary to get their attention and break their fixation, a sharp whack on the side of their neck with my fingertips as I scold them. It only takes a few times before they get it. Food is a great motivator for most dogs."

That is not by any stretch of the imagination anything other than intimidating. It is NOT positive reinforcement. There are many good books on postive reinforcement in dog training. I suggest you get one and educate yourself. One good book is The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller.

People are amazed at the control I have over my dogs and I never speak to them in a harsh tone of voice. Nor have I ever threatened them nor physically hurt them in the slightest. I have not hit, slapped, jabbed, punched, or kicked them. It is possible and creates a MUCH stronger bond between you and your dog.
 

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I did clearly state that I only use physical touch "to get their attention and break their fixation" and only when they are so fixated on something that their obsession is preventing them from paying attention to my instruction. This physical touch is not hard or painful, just a quick, sharp stab with my fingertips to get their attention. It is not intimidating or painful to them and I am not bullying them. Some dogs have advanced OCD and this technique has helped me rehabilitate the worst offenders. That's all.
Simply taking the food and walking away is enough to break any dogs attention to it. If you remove the food, they have nothing to concentrate on anymore. So their concentration is put on "Where is she going with my food?" Soon enough the dog will put two and two together, that if they growl/snarl their food is taken away.

And this "jab" you are talking about doesn't have to be painful for it to have a negative impact on your dog. They will still see it as intimidating and fear you because of it. I would suggest removing this step 100% considering it does more harm than good.

I will add in that growling is a way for a dog to communicate that they do not like something. Granted I believe wholeheartedly that people should be the pack leader and require respect from their dogs. But I also believe that you should respect your dog. If they do not like to be bothered while eating, leave them alone. Simple as that.

I can imagine that some people might get scared that their dog might attack someone else that doesn't know any better, but I believe that it is the responsibility of the owner to inform any guests/kids/etc how to behave around the dog. If you know that your dog doesn't like to be bothered while eating, inform people of this and better yet, don't feed the dog when you have guests.

Our dogs growl at each other if they get too close while eating or chewing on a bone/toy. But I don't get upset about it. They are communicating to each other what is appropriate. If you train your dog that it is not ok to communicate in this way, what will your dog do instead? Bite or snap? Because that is the next step in communication with most dogs. Growl, then bite/snap. If you remove their ability to give a warning, I think they will feel more inclinded to bite/snap right off the cuff without a warning.

I would say that a combination of doing the taking of the food to establish leadership, but also giving your dog their space while eating is a good place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Ok. Last night while i tried to take the food away, i couldn't because she was holing tight on the chicken.
But, at the end I was able to take the chicken away. I was using a tough Tone with her. at that point She did exactly what I was telling her to do, sit, stay. She did wait a few minutes and I gave her back the food.
As I said, iwas acting with impulse and I decided to check ger out again. Go back in the kitchen and pet her. Soon as I touched her she growled again and she showed me her theeth.
There I lost it a bit. I slapped her nose lightly, not to the point of hurting her. I did notice thou, that she was scared of me. And I regretted slapping her. In the same time I don't want to put up with such a behaviour. Normally she is very sociable and likes everybody. I just hope that this is not a sign of changing.
Took the food away once more.
Making the story short, I gave it to her back after five minutes.

I did my research about spaying. I evaluated the situation and I opted as i did.
I also asked opinions at the giant schnauzers club and apparently spaying too early creates more problems in the future.
 

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I also agree with Natalie about spaying. It is useful to wait to neuter a male dog but there is no advantage to waiting to spay a female.
I would like to clarify that there is also no benefit to waiting to neuter a male. But we can start another thread about that if you would like :biggrin:
 

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Ok. Last night while i tried to take the food away but i couldn't because she was holing tight on the chicken.
But, at the end I was able to take the chicken away. I was using a tough Tone with her. at that point She did exactly what I was telling her to do, sit, stay. She did wait a few minutes and I gave her back the food.
As I said, iwas acting with impulse and I decided to check ger out again. Go back in the kitchen and pet her. Soon as I touched her she growled again and she showed me her theeth.
There I lost it a bit. I slapped her nose lightly, not to the point of hurting her. I did notice thou, that she was scared of me. And I regretted slapping her. In the same time I don't want to put up with such a behaviour.
Took the food away once more.
Making the story short, I gave it to her back after five minutes.
I would not try and take the food away in the middle of a meal in this case, considering she has shown aggression. You need to start on square one:

Don't give it to her unless she takes it without any signs of aggression.

Keep ahold of it, while she eats, so she knows that you are in control of her food.

If she growls while eating it, have something of "higher quality" to focus on instead, and take her meal away. Higher quality just means something that she may want more than say a chicken quarter. That could be a treat, toy, different kind of meat, etc. Just something to get her to stop paying attention to her food. But don't give her a different whole meal all together, just something that will distract her momentarily from her food.

Like RFD and I have said, you want to be the leader and gain respect from your dog without intimidating her. I would refrain from using physical punishment in any way, shape or form, even though it is so first nature to do.

And also keep in mind that she is communicating with you, that she does not like to be bothered while eating....and maybe that this is not a battle you want to choose with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
HTML:
[QUOTE="danemama08, post: 16665, member: 69"]I would not try and take the food away in the middle of a meal in this case, considering she has shown aggression. You need to start on square one:
HTML:
Don't give it to her unless she takes it without any signs of aggression.
will do... after the challenge she was acting submissive, actually. i take that as a good sign

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Keep ahold of it, while she eats, so she knows that you are in control of her food.
i did that too a couple of nights ago. at first she would come close, then, little by little she approached the meal. i did hold it until i could-half piece.

HTML:
If she growls while eating it, have something of "higher quality" to focus on instead, and take her meal away. Higher quality just means something that she may want more than say a chicken quarter. That could be a treat, toy, different kind of meat, etc. Just something to get her to stop paying attention to her food. But don't give her a different whole meal all together, just something that will distract her momentarily from her food.

Like RFD and I have said, you want to be the leader and gain respect from your dog without intimidating her. I would refrain from using physical punishment in any way, shape or form, even though it is so first nature to do. 

And also keep in mind that she is communicating with you, that she does not like to be bothered while eating....and maybe that this is not a battle you want to choose with her.[/QUOTE]
I thought that by taking the food away for a second would show her leadership she can trust.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would like to clarify that there is also no benefit to waiting to neuter a male. But we can start another thread about that if you would like :biggrin:
we could start another thread if you like. meanwhile here is a link that caught my attention. HERE

thanks a lot to all for your help
 

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Well I don't know what you are visualizing while reading my words but under some circumstances I think this is completely appropriate. You seem to be associating my use of physical touch with pain or punishment. It is neither, it is just to get their attention kind of like, "Hey, (tap, tap) I'm talking to you". The bigger and more obsessed the dog, the stronger the tap. But it does not hurt them in any way.

When I feed my neighbor's Rottie when she is on vacation, it will have usually been awhile since I last saw him and he will be back to his old bad habits (she has no leadership role in his eyes whatsoever so it's her fault, not the dogs fault). When I walk into the house with anything he thinks might be food, he will immediately try to knock me down and take it. I am not his owner nor full-time trainer and I only have a few seconds to make an impression on him. I don't have the luxury of time with him to train him using positive reinforcement. His owner won't do it either so it is what it is. Nobody else in the neighborhood will even get near him. I'm his only option when she leaves but I don't have time to "train" him. That is her job so, basically, it ain't gonna' happen.

If he starts to charge me and doesn't immediately respond to my assertive posture, and a vocal "No!" and back off, and if he is just obsessing over whatever he thinks I have for him and not paying attention to my direction (it may only be a set of keys in my hand and not even food), I give him a little stab on the side of the neck. It's just enough to get his attention and make him look at me. It's more for shock value than anything, it doesn't hurt him. When he does something right you'd better believe I praise him. But when he gets obsessive, I will use touch to bring him back to center. FWIW, I'm the only person in the whole neighborhood who he listens to, including his owner, and the only person who can play with him and walk him without things getting out of hand. But I don't see him very often and it usually takes me two days or so to get him to understand that I don't play the game his owner plays and to remember how to behave with me. Two or three days is usually all I have at the most and those may come months apart.

I'm glad you have time to devote to your dogs using nothing more than positive reinforcement. Obviously that is the best option whenever it is practicable and it is the main technique I use on my own dogs because I have the time to devote to them. But it is not always an option when you are dealing with a dog you are not around all the time or one that is aggressive. I can't change my neighbor's relationship with her dog or convince her to train him properly. She's an idiot. She gives him LOTS of positive reinforcement, but always at the wrong time so he walks all over her and he's totally confused. I won't let him dominate me but I don't have time to work with him properly. He has to understand me immediately and if I don't get the response I want from him because he is distracted, I will use physical touch to get his attention. Granted, it should be a last resort, and I'm not implying to the OP that is should be used casually or without thought. It should only used on very troublesome dogs but I see nothing wrong with it in some of the situations I've faced. I don't think there is anything wrong with using different techniques for different circumstances and different dogs. Physical touch is just another tool to use in certain, difficult circumstances when you don't have the luxury of time, or the kind of relationship with a dog that permits a more gentle approach. As long as you aren't hurting them or intimidating them, I see no problem with it.
 

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Seems to me like she needs to reconsider owning this dog!

Maybe offer to take him off her hands LOL

And you are correct in saying that the "jabbing" method works with him in limited time. Because those methods usually do work faster, but leave an impression with the dog that lasts a lifetime. And as long as the owner is ok with you using negative reinforcement on her dog (which to me it sounds like she doesn't care one way or the other), then continue if that is what works in the short amount of time you have. I'm glad that you recognize that there is a better way that you can do things with this dog. Because positive reinforcement and time is all you need for training a dog.

I commented because I don't like using negative reinforcement with dogs, and therefore didn't think it was correct to suggest those ideas to the OP since it is her dog that is the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Don't think thats quite the way you wrote it. Here is what you said:
"If I get a growl, they get their food taken away, a stern "NO!", and if necessary to get their attention and break their fixation, a sharp whack on the side of their neck with my fingertips as I scold them. It only takes a few times before they get it. Food is a great motivator for most dogs."

That is not by any stretch of the imagination anything other than intimidating. It is NOT positive reinforcement. There are many good books on postive reinforcement in dog training. I suggest you get one and educate yourself. One good book is The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller.

People are amazed at the control I have over my dogs and I never speak to them in a harsh tone of voice. Nor have I ever threatened them nor physically hurt them in the slightest. I have not hit, slapped, jabbed, punched, or kicked them. It is possible and creates a MUCH stronger bond between you and your dog.
thank you.
I just placed an order on the two books that you suggested.
 
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