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Jax, who is 6 months old, got his first raw marrow bone today. He LOVVVVED chewing on that thing!! My only concern is, and maybe it shouldn't be a concern, but when my husband went to take it from him, he growled. He didnt snap, nor did he raise his lip to show gums. Is this normal behavior for what I thought was the MUSHIEST...MOST LOVABLE dog on the planet? I never though I would hear my baby growl...it made me sort of sad.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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That's pretty common, especially for a first-timer :)

I would give him something in return for the bone, something of value.

I don't have small children at home to worry about so I'm a little lax. But what I do is kick the bone away from my dog and distract her somehow, then pick the bone up. Then it's not like I'm taking it away from her while she's still so focused on the chewing. I just break the moment, that seems to help. But she's had lots of marrow bones in her 9 years, I think the novelty has worn off a little. That will probably be the case with your Jax, as well.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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I had a similar experience with Max, (the other mushiest, most lovable dog on the planet). I've never let him have another. He was about 7 months old & I had given one to Max and one to our other dog. A few minutes later when she walked past him, he growled and lunged at her. It was the first and only time I've seen him do this when the lunge wasn't a playful gesture. It scared me and I figured it was just a too high-value treat for him. If he ever gets another, I'll have to do it when he's alone. :( It made me very sad.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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Trids, do you have a crate for Max? Crates can be an excellent place for dogs to spend time with high-value treats. I've always been of the mind that a few things just deserve a lot of respect ... dogs and bones is one of them :) Giving a dog the space they need to feel comfortable and relaxed with their bone is part of that.
 

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My puppy did that the first time I gave him a bully stick. I walked over to pet him and he growled. He continued chewing but you could tell he was nervous about me taking it from him. So I looked through threads on here and saw lots of advice about the high-value trade, and people also said not to just take the treat away because then you are proving to them that they are right to be worried that you will take their treats and therefore make them more possessive. I didn't like the idea of high-value trade though, just because I don't want to discipline him for this natural behavior, but I also don't want to reward him for it either. So, I just sat next to him and pet him near his rump for awhile, and then the next time I gave him one, I sat next to him and pet him on his neck and head, and then the next time I started out petting him on his head and was touching his nose/lips while he was chewing and he didn't make a peep. Now that he's not growling at me anymore when he has a treat, I give him his space and he'll usually take the treat to his bed to eat it and I let him be since I let his bed be his 'safe zone'. Noone is allowed to bug him there.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Hi Jo Ellen,

I do....I didn't do that originally because we had bedding in the bottom of the crate for him and I didn't want to ruin it. Now however, we've had to remove the bed, because he keeps trying to eat it. :) This is a great idea! Next time I see the marrow bones at the store, I'll try this. Thanks for the tip!
Mercy

Trids, do you have a crate for Max? Crates can be an excellent place for dogs to spend time with high-value treats. I've always been of the mind that a few things just deserve a lot of respect ... dogs and bones is one of them :) Giving a dog the space they need to feel comfortable and relaxed with their bone is part of that.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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Yay, Max gets another marrow bone :D

A few marrow bone tips...

Buy the larger longer ones. I once got a small flat one and it wrapped around her lower jaw and got stuck! Had to take her into the vet to have it taken off -- very expensive.

I throw them away after the first chew session. They tend to become brittle after awhile, not good for the teeth.
 

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Debbie
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Jax, who is 6 months old, got his first raw marrow bone today. He LOVVVVED chewing on that thing!! My only concern is, and maybe it shouldn't be a concern, but when my husband went to take it from him, he growled. He didnt snap, nor did he raise his lip to show gums. Is this normal behavior for what I thought was the MUSHIEST...MOST LOVABLE dog on the planet? I never though I would hear my baby growl...it made me sort of sad.
I agree with those who said to swap it with another high value treat. Both my dogs love frozen marrow bones. They last a little longer that way. I find them at the grocery store but they are always on the small side. The meat market seems to have bigger ones. I always keep a bagful in the freezer.
 

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our new pup Livy did this when we first got her. She had a lot of food agression from poor feeding habits in her previous life.
I just worked with her a great deal to let her know she has no reason to worry.
I wouldn't use the actual bone as a tool to teach him, but maybe see how he is when he eats and if he doesn't have any food agression during his meals I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Yeah, you got me. :wavey: The boy will get a second chance. Although, that is one mistake I made, I've only been able to find the small 1-1.5" inch ones. I asked for longer ones, but haven't found them yet. Guess I'll have to look at different stores. Thanks for the tips, you'll be making Max VERY happy!

Yay, Max gets another marrow bone :D

A few marrow bone tips...

Buy the larger longer ones. I once got a small flat one and it wrapped around her lower jaw and got stuck! Had to take her into the vet to have it taken off -- very expensive.

I throw them away after the first chew session. They tend to become brittle after awhile, not good for the teeth.
 

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A Deputy and his dog
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When Moose was young we would take his bone away from him often while he was playing with it. If he showed any kind of resistance with us taking it he was reprimanded. Now he will let us take it away from him at will. A little practice and he'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
usmcmueller....thats actually what my husband did. He took it from him a few times then gave it back, he didn't growl the last time, and we let him keep it for quite awhile after that. He has no food aggression at all, just this growling with the bone.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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Yeah, you got me. :wavey: The boy will get a second chance. Although, that is one mistake I made, I've only been able to find the small 1-1.5" inch ones. I asked for longer ones, but haven't found them yet. Guess I'll have to look at different stores. Thanks for the tips, you'll be making Max VERY happy!
I'm loving the thought of that :)

Sometimes I ask my grocery store butcher folks to chop them special for me, like 6 inches. Usually they will. Or I'm sure you can special order them ahead of time. But it only takes but a few minutes to do them and wrap them up. Fresh off the chopping block, yum :)
 

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My real name is Mercy
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I HAVE asked at my store, and they say THEY can't even get them that size anymore. (And they used to give them away!) I'm going to have to check some other places. Thanks Jo! I'll be sure to post a pic when Max gets his next marrow bone!

I'm loving the thought of that :)

Sometimes I ask my grocery store butcher folks to chop them special for me, like 6 inches. Usually they will. Or I'm sure you can special order them ahead of time. But it only takes but a few minutes to do them and wrap them up. Fresh off the chopping block, yum :)
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Max is a dream, seriously....well, in the food aggression department, anyway. This is the ONLY thing he's ever behaved this way with. I can take anything away from him, food, toys, treats, balls, sticks, rags, his little sister, ANYTHING. He'll try to hold onto it if we're actively playing, but otherwise, I have never had a problem - until that darned marrow bone! I'm not worried about me taking it away, I'm worried about our other, smaller dog, who he lashed out at. He could easily hurt her while protecting his 'prize', and she was only passing by him, not trying to taking it away!

When Moose was young we would take his bone away from him often while he was playing with it. If he showed any kind of resistance with us taking it he was reprimanded. Now he will let us take it away from him at will. A little practice and he'll be fine.
 

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My dog did that when we gave her rib bones for the first time. She soon learned that if we are taking something away from her it is not the end of the world. We then played you-can't-have-it-until-I-give-it-to-you. Now I can put a steak in front of her, not say a word, and walk away with faith that she won't touch it until I tell her to get it.
 
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