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Duda and Summer's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, y'all. I am very excited to be part of this group, since I love Golden Retrievers. I have one that is 11 years old and is a sweetheart and we love her to death, but unfortunately lives with my sister. This past Sunday I brought home another Golden Retriever that is only 8 weeks old. She has been very energetic and curious like every puppy but has shown some signs that has made me very worried. She has growled twice at my mother when she was getting stuff she was not supposed to and was reprehended (nicely, of course - with a "no" and removing the things from her). She hasn't been eating dry dog food very much and we were advised to put some meat mixed with her dry food so she would eat (because she is kind of skinny.) We did that for the first time today, because we were waiting to see if she would eat the dog food without anything on it, but she didn't. She growled at me and barked at me while eating, because I got closer to her. Does that mean she is an aggressive dog or it's too early to know that? I'm hopeful she reacted that way just because she was too hungry and afraid I'd get her food, because my other Golden is a sweetheart and we never had any problems with her.... However, this one, Summer, has growled twice at my mom as well so it makes me wonder.

Could I have any tips on this subject? How to make her more comfortable and calm around people during meal times and when she's not allowed to do things? I know she is still young and every dog is different, but this meal thing really scared me, since my sister's baby is always in the house and touches everything. Help would be very appreciated.

Summer is a sweet dog other than that, curious and very cute, like every puppy. I just haven't had a puppy in 10 years and never a puppy that did that, so I seriously don't know what to do. Do you guys think that behavior might go away with time? Did anyone have this type of problem with their golden before?

Thank you in advance.
Summer and I appreciate the help already :wavey:
 

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Hi, it seems as though she's exhibiting resource guarding behavior. My puppy Gabbar did the same when he was her age and now we have a few issues with bones and pigs ears, but the food bowl is fine. I'm surprised she doesn't eat the dry food as Gabbar eats everything. what you need to do is to throw treats close to her as she's eatting, so she sees you coming up to her as rewarding. You do this till you work up to getting close to her. Also you need to instil some rules, she must sit and wait till you say okay for her to get to the food, if she doesn't sit or wait the bowl cones up. It's making them work for their meals. But as I only had this incident with the food bowlonce with Gabbar I fif these exercises and we now don't have these issues. You might face these issues with bones going forward, but with constant exercises this will get better. It won't go away on its own. But shes still young and you can fix this problem.
 

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Duda and Summer's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank u for all the help. I will try do
 

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Duda and Summer's Mom
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321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank u for all the help. I will try doing that with her. I was very very surprised with her behavior since, like mentioned, my other golden never gave us any problems. If it doesn't help, I'll call a trainer to see what she has to say about it. Will definitely try hand feeding her... Hopefully it will help in the long run. I've noticed though, that with the dry dog food she doesn't have any problems with people being close to her, so well see. I scheduled a vet appointment for her tomorrow so I can get tips on how to make he eat the dog food. Thanks :)
 

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Musician/Songwriter
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The puppy is only 8 weeks old and probably fed from a community bowl. I highly doubt it is aggression, and more the built in instinct to survive. There are plenty of posts about this on the forum. Breaking aggression is no different than teaching any other learned behaviour. Now is the time to start on breaking this while they are young. Like others have said, start hand feeding all meals for a couple of weeks. From there you can move to bowl feeding with your hand directly in the bowl, and then start on guarding of treats, toys, and high value items. Your puppy is doing exactly what nature has instructed the puppy to do IN THE CANINE WORLD. It's your job to teach the puppy how things work in the human world. You can break this behaviour completely if you start now and reinforce it through the dogs life. Once the puppy learns nothing is taken away then there is no reason to guard. This should also be practiced with ALL family members. Good luck.:)
 

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Kristy
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Welcome to the forum..... how about some photos :)

Don't worry too much just yet.... good advice, work on the hand feeding, use her kibble to teach her sit and down etc. (Have you signed up for puppy classes yet? If not, it's time to start finding a good place to train) I would also use the search feature at the top of the page and look up "trading" - Don't chase her down when she has a treasure like a tissue or some trash. Keep some really high value treats (a tiny piece of hot dog or cheese) handy and use it to 'trade' so she gets something better from you when she voluntarily gives up her goodie.
Nothing in Life is Free is a great guideline for life with a dog...
 

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Duda and Summer's Mom
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321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update: just hand fed her her dinner and she did good. When I gave her the bowl back she started growling and barking again but like the vet told me to do today I talked with her, touched her head, and body and she calmed down and let me be around. My mom did the same and she reacted fine, even if us touching her bowl & getting food from it to hand feed her. She only growled and barked twice and the rest of the time was fine. So far I'm happy with this and will be repeating the hand feeding every meal until she is comfortable with people around her and her bowl. I also put my hand right in front of her to put some treats on her bowl while she was eating and she reacted positively. She is a very smart dog and has learned to sit already in only two days so I'm confident she will learn to behave fine during meal time as well.

Now I really do think she didn't get to eat much like darbysdad said also, because she is very skinny and I think other dOgs didnt allow her to eat much, therefore why she had to "fight" to keep her food...
 

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Duda and Summer's Mom
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321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
oh, by the way... this is my little Summer... she loves to get into trouble and especially get in the dishwasher! God help me... lol :D

getting in trouble this morning.... hehehe



and just being cute :)





:p:
 
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3 goldens
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Ha Ha Ha, Summer and Darby are both such cute pups. Love the dishwasher pictures. Honey is close to 11 and she still tries to lick dishes when i am loading the diswahser.

i have alwasy hand fed pups at least one meal a day and even continued feeding them a few hand dipped bites when grown. I guess i hae been lucky becaue i hae never had one that was in the least food agressivne and inmost cases would even share bowls. When KayCee was on RD for losing weight I had to make sure she didn't share Hunter's food or him eat part of hers. Same when buck was on KD.

I have always petted and rubbed on them moved bowls a little etc and they just stand there wagging tails. so i think hand feeding at least one meal or part of all meals for a while is a good idea, plus, spend time talking and petting and let her know you are NOT going to take her food away.
 

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Good luck with that sweet little girl. My Finn had some initial resource guarding. Hand feeding and patience made the difference. He was from a litter of 7 males and I am positive he would have ranked as the babysitter in a dog pack!
 

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Golden Lover
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939 Posts
The answer is treats, treats, treats...

Buy her a bully bone, and give and take....along with kibble for good behavior....same with toys give and take.....

Even giving her pieces of her kibble for treats is great and it will prevent her from getting diarrhea....from different kinds of treats.


Poor little thing, it's a hard adjustment to realize, guess what?
The food is ALL yours!
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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It seems like everyone is giving you great advice to me.

Good luck with then new baby :)
 
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