Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well i hate to do this, i just dont have time to read many threads under the search.

i am going to apologize if this is to long.

i have a 4 year old lab and a 11 month old golden.

I HAVE NEVER had a dog with food aggression.

we always stick our hands in the bowls, grab kibble, hand feed, pet their faces while they eat etc...call it wrong, i dont care it worked for my lab, he has no food aggression to anyone or any things.

now my puppy....he is the calmest, nicest golden you will meet, (isnt that why these breeds are the best) and he will let me do what i want to him when he eats, but when my lab comes over to see if he isnt finished (he just stands by him) the little sweet puppy turns into a freaking PIT BULL!

any tips to help this? these 2 dogs are best friends and are always together and thats the only problem..

i worry because of the cat walking by could get taken out by the golden.

sorry so long
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
Can you keep them separate for feeding? It's actually the Lab who is causing the problem by getting too close in puppy's space while he's eating. You've heard "it's a dog eat dog world". ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I anticipated having problems when we brought our golden puppy home when we already had a 9 year old golden. I feed them in the laundry room and Biscuit (9 year old) always sits nicely and waits for his food bowl. Bella (pupper) was always ready to dive right in to ANY food that was put down. I started feeding Bella in the crate and Biscuit right outside the crate (where he has always been). Now when I get the bowls ready, Biscuit sits like the good boy he is, and Bella automatically runs into her crate to wait for her bowl. I do not ever shut the door on the crate, but that is her "dining room". We have never had any problems, but then they both seem to finish at about the same time.

I don't know if this was much help, but just wanted to let you know what worked for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
pennys mom

i could feed them seperate. but its not the point, they are allready 10 feet apart when they eat.

i worry about this because even though he hasnt done this with humans yet, what if my neice was over and he did this? or just simply the cat walking by inicent enough.

ya know? just scared the crap out of me, i have never had any dog in my entire life with food aggression problems.

my last golden was the same way as my lab is...
 

·
Dr. Rainheart
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
Sometimes dogs are only protective of other dogs with their food. If you are worried about human-food aggression then start hand feeding your pup. I would feed them completely separate (in different rooms or one of them in a crate). That is what I have to do with mine when I am at my mom's house. Beamer eats out of his crate upstairs because he eats so fast while the two labs eat in the kitchen downstairs. Otherwise, he would run over and it could potentially cause a fight. Neither of the labs are what you would call food aggressive, but they just don't want another dog coming over and eating their food.
 

·
Dexter's Mom aka Kristin
Joined
·
625 Posts
I wouldn't call it "food aggression" as much as it's resource guarding. How long have you had the 11 month old? Since she was a puppy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
Do you have any reason to suspect he WOULD do this with humans? It's probably a good idea to teach your neice to not bother the dogs when they are eating. Children have to be VERY CAREFULLY supervised whenever they are around dogs, especially if she's quite young. And if you haven't had a problem with the dog/cat yet, why would it start? It's sounds like the problem is quite specific: he doesn't want the Lab standing by him when he's eating. Also, is he neutered?

pennys mom

i could feed them seperate. but its not the point, they are allready 10 feet apart when they eat.

i worry about this because even though he hasnt done this with humans yet, what if my neice was over and he did this? or just simply the cat walking by inicent enough.

ya know? just scared the crap out of me, i have never had any dog in my entire life with food aggression problems.

my last golden was the same way as my lab is...
 

·
Nancy
Joined
·
7,493 Posts
pennys mom

i could feed them seperate. but its not the point, they are allready 10 feet apart when they eat.

i worry about this because even though he hasnt done this with humans yet, what if my neice was over and he did this? or just simply the cat walking by inicent enough.

ya know? just scared the crap out of me, i have never had any dog in my entire life with food aggression problems.

my last golden was the same way as my lab is...
I would have a gate between them so your older dog can't mosey over for a look.

Just because your puppy shows this behavior towards your other dog doesn't mean he'll do that to people. But, with that said, I believe dogs should be able to eat in peace without kids bugging them. My now 6 y.o. granddaughter was taught that dogs (first with my senior Golden then Hank) are to be left alone while they eat. Your niece can do the same.

I also wouldn't worry about the cat, most can take care of themselves. Both my dogs learned early on to respect our cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
I think protecting their food is one of the highest instincts. I do believe your lab standing so close while your golden is trying to eat is very stressful. I don't think I would enjoy eating under so much stress.
To start I would not let the lab near your golden during eating. At this time it is just setting your golden up to be a resource guarder.

Jean Donaldson has a book out called "Mine" that has practical tips on setting a dog up for success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,107 Posts
Also, stop comparing your golden to your lab and your previous dog! It doesn't do anyone any good. (I know this from experience. :eek:)

My dog does not like it when other dogs get in her space while she's eating. When we lived with 2 other dogs I always made sure my bedroom door was closed while she was eating. But she has no problems with me rubbing her ears, petting her bottom, etc. while she's eating. I know a lot of people think goldens shouldn't have a "mean" bone in their body but I guess I kind of see it as reasonable for a dog to get snippy if another dog is nosing around in their food. It's instinct, no?
 

·
Apollo & Knightley's mum!
Joined
·
279 Posts
It's interesting that it is the other way around than it often is. Younger dogs have to learn to read the language 'dog' whereas you would expect an older dog to back off at the milder signals. This is because they quickly get what the younger one is telling them, instead of having to have a string of swear words shouted at him - or the dog equivalent. Has the lab not had a great amount of other dogs in its life, or is it possibly even going blind? (probably not, but you never know)

Anyway, as for practical suggestions...
- Of course feeding them apart is the obvious and safe one,
- Feeding them one in a crate one out but still close,
- Giving your lab one of those slow eat bowls if it's a fast eater (sounds like he could down slow anyway),
- You are the protector remember so YOU should be the one stepping in and telling the lab not to get close if he isn't getting it... try this on an object that doesn't mean much to him, you see him heading for something, and say something like a loud "ah-ah!". If he stops and looks at you, say "yes!" in a happy tone and give him a little treat. Do it many times before moving it to the after meal situation. You are the leader of the house, you should sort out these things AS LONG as you never feel physically in danger.
- If you are a reasonable trainer, have an imaginary line between them during mealtimes that both the lab and golden aren't allowed to cross until mealtime is over for both (I would do this will clicker training, or you can just say yes! instead of using the click of a clicker. If you are interested in this method but still have no time to research it, I can give you some rough directions, you'd have a word that would mean "no wandering around now" or have a mat the lab lies on until the golden is finished).

Whatever you do choose, I also recommend reading Mine! in case this turns into a serious resource guarding issue. If it does get worse, or if you are just finding it really worrying you, I'd be heading for your nearest certified animal behaviourist. Sorry for the essay in reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
I feed mine(all 6) side by side. However, I start by feeding the slowest eater first, then the next slowest,etc. The last 2 to eat are my nine year olds who would definitely annoy the slower eaters... and because the 2 nine year olds are waiting for food, they don't bother the others. I usually have my pups eating in the crate until they can "hold their own" with the others. In Basil's case, it was probably ok at 1 1/2 years for her to eat among the others.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LibertyME

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,524 Posts
Feeding together can certainly be done, but it requires discipline on the part of the owner. My friend Lori feeds her gang of up to 5 Goldens in a circle, although puppies eat in their crates until they are better trained.

None of her dogs are allowed to be so rude as to go and stand by another dog's bowl.

I don't feel the puppy is at fault here, and I feel labelling it as aggression is a bit strong (unless the puppy has attacked and bitten the Lab). It sounds like he is giving all the warning signals he can think of but the Lab is being allowed to be very rude and somewhat intimidating to the puppy. Separate them at feeding time and if you want to feed them together work on teaching them to eat on command, and not to wander into each other's space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
Human aggression dealing with food is unacceptable. Dog aggression dealing with food, IMO, is not a huge deal. My 4 dogs can be petted, have the food taken away, get a hand stuck in their dish, etc...by a human. Have another dog come over while they're eating? You better watch out. Your dog doesn't want your other dog nosing in his dish while he's eating. Would you? You need to teach your lab to go away or sit until the golden is done eating, or simply feed them in separate rooms/one in a crate, etc. As far as the cat goes, none of mine bother the dogs while they're eating, but it takes my dogs about 1 minute to finish everything in their dish, and I stand there while they eat. If a cat comes by (or I have a foster cat/kitten who doesn't know the rules) I am there to head them off the other direction. Dog/dog aggression does not mean that they will be human aggressive in the same situation. If you are worried, have your niece sit and hand feed your golden. But also, children shouldn't have to be anywhere near or bothering the dogs while they are eating anyway, so it shouldn't be an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,071 Posts
Are they both males?? Probably you are going to have some aggression as the puppy matures- there will be an alpha dog decision made between the two.... and hopefully they will sort it out . I would feed them apart- no need for a dog fight..... most dogs probably like it better eating alone- they do not hurry so much - better for their health. I had two males- one dog was two and the other was a puppy- both males.... both nutered.. and as the puppy came closer to one year old,... they both wanted to be THE alpha dog--- and never sorted it out between them. In the house we ended up keeping them in seperate rooms- or they would fight to the end. Out in the yard they could get along. It was a long 12 years living this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Actually, until Cookie died in June, I fed 7 goldens side by side(2 spayed females, 3 intact females, and 2 neutered boys). Cookie was the dam/grandam to all involved. She was never in charge of anyone or anything... however, after she passed the feeding dynamic changed and I had to temporarily be more vigilant at feeding time. Things are back to normal, but clearly her presence meant something. My puppies are always fed in crates until they eat as fast as everyone else... I don't want them to feel threatened and then learn how to practice snarky behavior... I also don't give my dogs high value treats(rawhides,etc) because I don't want them to learn how to guard. In general, if I give them marrow bones(which in this house are not high value), I aways give an extra since they all like to switch it up and play musical bones...
 

·
Dog Lover for Life
Joined
·
220 Posts
When Cooper first came home he was very worried about Chewie/Bones, not so much about his kibble. I think it was because he was compeeting with his litter mates. Now he figurt out that if he had any Chewy that Bogart (my older Male) would respect that and not bother him. Cooper also had to learn the hard way that you don't steal Chewies from the older Male :--big_grin:. It was better Bogart tought him then a strange dog that will chew his head off. Now they lay Butt on Butt or right next to each other and they respect each others Bones.
My Bogart and Cooper after finishing their Foodbowls check each others empty bowls.
How is the young one with Chewies? Do you have to constantly worry that they'll get into it with eachother?
Other wise I would give all meals in a crate or seperate room. Protect both dogs.
 

·
Logan & Lacey in R hearts
Joined
·
1,814 Posts
Is this a new behavior? If so, understand your puppy is growing up, and starting to realize he does not have to put up with things he did as a puppy, and is still learning how to react properly. To repeat what has already been mentioned, the other dog does not need to be bothering the one who is still eating, even if they are just sitting close by. It's bad manners, and I equate it to my husband eating off my plate while I am still eating. Many times it is only dog-to-dog related. If you are worried about your niece, under careful supervision, you might have them go and drop some additional food into the bowl just to let the pup know they mean no harm and to possibly judge any reaction with you very close at hand to monitor. I don't mean for them to be down on the ground and really in their space, but walk by, drop the food, say good boy and walk away without touching the dog. This is just meant as a suggestion to try and understand exactly where your pup is coming from if you think it is now a problem if your niece were to walk by. YES, I know, I totally agree children should be not be attempting to pet the dog, bother the dog, etc. I am also just guessing your niece is old enough to do this and not a toddler. If she is really young, that's another story and just keep her away.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top