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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have joined this forum because I have concerns about my golden retriever pup, Chloe. We got her back in April and she is just over 4 months old now. The past couple weeks she has developed a food aggression; growing, showing teeth, tail in between the legs, hair raised on her back. My dad called the vet and they said to start hand feeding her which we have been doing for about 3 weeks.
She has always been a crazy eater since we first got her...eating very fast, not chewing her food, acting like she is starving when she eats (she isn't, she eats three times a day). We got her a new bowl the other day, the kind that has the bumps in the bottom so it slows down her eating.
Anyways, her food aggression has become worse the past couple days. This morning my dad was feeding her by putting food in her bowl little by little and she actually bit him so hard he bled (she has NEVER bit any of us before). She will also growl when you try to take a bone away. But the thing is after she is done eating she is SOOOO loving and playful, gives kisses, and loves to cuddle. She also plays well with other dogs. We have another dog, a cocker spaniel, they are always playing rough but its not vicious. they love each other and will always lay down and sleep together.

Another thing..sometimes Chloe will go in the laundry room, where her food is, and lay in there. we always though she was going in there to sleep alone but do you think she is guarding the food? should we switch the location of the food?
I guess my question is should we have seen results from the hand feeding by now or does correcting this behavior take more time? Is it even fixable or could it be a bad bloodline? Is there anything else we can do?
This is our first GR and we love her so much and we do not want to have to give her up. I am going to have my dad call the vet again tomorrow morning to see what they say. I just hope this is something fixable.
She is starting obedience classes in a few weeks and is also be spayed in 10 days. We do NOT hit her or yell at her when she is bad. we usually just put her in her crate for a time out. We don't have any small children but I am 21 years old and I am even afraid she will bite me. All the trust is lost now.
 

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Remy's Mom!
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If she is being as aggressive as you say, it will take time. Hand-feeding can work wonders, and I would stop giving her high-value items like bones.
 

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My pup was when we first got her, i hand fed her and at times walked by and put a treat in her bowl. So a person coming up was positive. I did this for weeks. Also she has to sit before she gets her food and leave it until i give her the command to eat so she knows I am in charge of the food. She is amazing ever since, she is 6 months and we have no issues. I feed her my daughter does, etc. Time and patience....it gets better! Good luck...

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My pup was when we first got her, i hand fed her and at times walked by and put a treat in her bowl. So a person coming up was positive. I did this for weeks. Also she has to sit before she gets her food and leave it until i give her the command to eat so she knows I am in charge of the food. She is amazing ever since, she is 6 months and we have no issues. I feed her my daughter does, etc. Time and patience....it gets better! Good luck...

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How do you get her to not eat until you say so? Did you have her on a leash at first?
 

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I think you should contact a trainer and have them come to your home and evaluate what is happening so they can give you instructions for how to deal with this problem. The vet is not the best resource for help with behavior issues.

If you tell us where you live I'm sure there are board members that can recommend good trainers in your area.
 

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I think you should contact a trainer and have them come to your home and evaluate what is happening so they can give you instructions for how to deal with this problem. The vet is not the best resource for help with behavior issues.

If you tell us where you live I'm sure there are board members that can recommend good trainers in your area.
This is what I would recommend as well.
 

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My female, Kelly, from back in the 90's would growl if you went near her dinner bowl. I scolded her, picked up the bowl and made her wait and sit before she got it back. From then on she followed me to put the bowl down but she had to sit and wait before she got it. I would occasionally remove the bowl while she ate until she realized she'd get it back. With a rawhide or bone is she gave any look or so much as made a sound the chew toy was removed and she didn't get it back until the next day. It all passed and she was a great gal!
 

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"My dad called the vet and they said to start hand feeding her which we have been doing for about 3 weeks.
This morning my dad was feeding her by putting food in her bowl little by little and she actually bit him so hard he bled (she has NEVER bit any of us before). "

I may be reading this wrong but if this is what your dad is doing then he has not been hand feeding.

I would suggest contacting a trainer it can really help to have someone actually see how the pup is interacting with your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"My dad called the vet and they said to start hand feeding her which we have been doing for about 3 weeks.
This morning my dad was feeding her by putting food in her bowl little by little and she actually bit him so hard he bled (she has NEVER bit any of us before). "

I may be reading this wrong but if this is what your dad is doing then he has not been hand feeding.

I would suggest contacting a trainer it can really help to have someone actually see how the pup is interacting with your family.
Since we didnt see a difference with the hand feeding (maybe we just havent given it enough time) we thought we would give the new bowl a try. sorry, should have clarified. But previous to the new bowl she was eating out of either mine or his hand during meals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My female, Kelly, from back in the 90's would growl if you went near her dinner bowl. I scolded her, picked up the bowl and made her wait and sit before she got it back. From then on she followed me to put the bowl down but she had to sit and wait before she got it. I would occasionally remove the bowl while she ate until she realized she'd get it back. With a rawhide or bone is she gave any look or so much as made a sound the chew toy was removed and she didn't get it back until the next day. It all passed and she was a great gal!
the only thing is that I am afraid she will bit me if i pick the bowl up.
 

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Hand feeding is to teach bite inhibition. Thanks for the clarification. It does take time for them to learn. Are you feeding the pup out of the palm of your hand? I would suggest doing a search on bite inhibition on the forum. There are explanations how to do it and also a video or two.
 

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She's resource-guarding.

Jean Donaldson's book 'Mine!' is all about this, explains it, and gives a step by step method to overcome it. There's a kindle version of the book too.

I've been using the methods and it definitely works :)
 

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This is the age when I have seen it start. Little balls of fluff become fierce defenders of their food--with teeth. Maddie never did it. Our previous golden, Amber, did.

Yep. I agree with the others: hand feed, get a trainer, make her sit before she eats. Lots of puppy obedience training.

If you nip it in the bud, you'll end up with a lovely pup, very, very soon.
 

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A couple suggestions:

1) get a trainer to come in, first and foremost
2) perhaps switch tactics by stop feeding her meals and make her work for her food. There are great toys at pet stores that are mind games. Food goes in the toy, you give her the toy, she has to figure out how to get the food. Suddenly, food has become a game and one she will enjoy doing with you. Perhaps the food in her bowl is a reason she feels the need to warn you away.
3) I taught my pup to sit and wait for the food since the day I brought him home. Teach her to sit first. The wait part will have to be put aside until you aren't afraid she will bite you. When you aren't afraid she will bit you tell her to "sit". Hold the bowl in your hand and put the food in. Tell her to "wait" and lower the bowl. If she gets out of her seated position you stand back up with the bowl and tell her to sit again. Repeat until she waits for you to lower the bowl completely. Now, choose a release word. My release word is "okay". The next step is for her to sit and wait until you say "okay". Keep picking the bowl up until she does it. Honestly, she will pick it up quickly. And then it will become an automatic thing for her to do. My pup sees me go for the food and he sits by his bowl, then watches me. He drools like you wouldn't believe, but he will not budge towards the food until I say "okay"


But seriously, if you are afraid she will bite you the. The situation has gone beyond your control. She can sense the fear. So hire a private trainer to come at meal time and see what he/she says. Good luck!


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