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Thread: Possessive with chews!

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    Bully Bootie Duty mdn525's Avatar
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    Default Possessive with chews!

    Hi! Tuni is 3.5 months old and is teething. Since she was about 10 weeks old we would let her chew a bully stick while we hold it and once it got soft we would cut the end off, to prevent any choking hazards. Lately when I've let her chew her bully stick she gets very possessive and when chewing time is over she will start growling at me and won't give it up! This is totally new behavior for her..it really scares me because I don't want her to bite so hard she breaks a piece off.

    Has anyone gone through this with their puppy or have any tips for us?

  2. #2
    Bully Bootie Duty ajwhitt44's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    Quote Originally Posted by mdn525 View Post
    Hi! Tuni is 3.5 months old and is teething. Since she was about 10 weeks old we would let her chew a bully stick while we hold it and once it got soft we would cut the end off, to prevent any choking hazards. Lately when I've let her chew her bully stick she gets very possessive and when chewing time is over she will start growling at me and won't give it up! This is totally new behavior for her..it really scares me because I don't want her to bite so hard she breaks a piece off.

    Has anyone gone through this with their puppy or have any tips for us?
    Hey there!

    There is such an easy solution to this problem you won't believe it. But you have to work at it and do it ALL the time, not only will bully sticks, but also food, kongs, toys, anything your dog could be possessive of now or come to be possessive of later in life.

    It's called trading. Basically, when you want to take the 'bullystick' (which are not recommended for our dogs but it's good you monitor him so he doesn't swallow too big of a piece), find a treat that is as equally enticing as what he's chewing on. This could be a piece of cheese (usually ALWAYS works), stuffed kong, cooked meat, liver treat, etc. etc.

    Here's what to do (note you can substitute 'bully stick' for whatever the dog may be possessive of)

    • Start first by placing the treat next to him so he'll stop eating the bullystick and chew the treat. At this point you are not touching / grabbing the bully stick.

    • After you've done this a couple times, now introduce your hand to the equation by simply tapping the bully stick. So bring the treat to the dogs nose, and either place it on the ground for him to eat, or let him take it from your hand. When he goes to eat the treat, you can now touch the bully stick. This is letting the dog know, "hey I'm giving you something good, so I'm just going to go ahead and touch this while you're enjoying it".

    • After you're able to successfully touch for several rounds, NOW you're ready to take the stick away. Do as before, only now instead of tapping the bully stick, pick it up. Once the dog has consumed the treat (1 second or so), give the bully stick back. Repeat at least 5 - 10 times.

    DO THIS WITH EVERYTHING!
    Your dog has learned that when you take something from him, he doesn't get it back. In order to keep this from happening, he growls at you so you're not able to take it. Eventually this will translate to food and toy aggression, so you need to nip this in the bud NOW before it becomes a bigger problem.

    By trading with your dog, you are showing him that even if he loses something good, he's going to undoubtedly get something better in return. But you must practice this often and always, even at his feedings (I have other methods to use for feeding time, but basically you want to make it so you can have your hand in the bowl while he's eating and he won't even flinch). I can help you with your feedings by using a slightly different method if you'd like.

    I think this makes sense. Just imagine that every time you had your favorite treat (mine would be a reese's peanut butter cup), some bigger person would just walk up to you and take it right when you're about to eat the last (and BEST) bite, and they would never give it back. That would piss you off, right? Well, it pisses your dog off too!!

    You should never stop trading, even after you think your dog is no longer aggressive. I have been trading with my Brembo since he was 13 weeks (he's 6.5 months now) and I won't stop until he's a year and a half and I am positive he won't develop any type of food aggression.
    I am not saying you need to trade every single time he is eating or playing with something, but most times you should as it's not that big of an inconvenience.

    I hope this helps!! Trade away! Let us know when he gets better (he will).

  3. #3
    Bully Bootie Duty mdn525's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    Quote Originally Posted by ajwhitt44 View Post
    Hey there!

    There is such an easy solution to this problem you won't believe it. But you have to work at it and do it ALL the time, not only will bully sticks, but also food, kongs, toys, anything your dog could be possessive of now or come to be possessive of later in life.

    It's called trading. Basically, when you want to take the 'bullystick' (which are not recommended for our dogs but it's good you monitor him so he doesn't swallow too big of a piece), find a treat that is as equally enticing as what he's chewing on. This could be a piece of cheese (usually ALWAYS works), stuffed kong, cooked meat, liver treat, etc. etc.

    Here's what to do (note you can substitute 'bully stick' for whatever the dog may be possessive of)
    • Start first by placing the treat next to him so he'll stop eating the bullystick and chew the treat. At this point you are not touching / grabbing the bully stick.

    • After you've done this a couple times, now introduce your hand to the equation by simply tapping the bully stick. So bring the treat to the dogs nose, and either place it on the ground for him to eat, or let him take it from your hand. When he goes to eat the treat, you can now touch the bully stick. This is letting the dog know, "hey I'm giving you something good, so I'm just going to go ahead and touch this while you're enjoying it".

    • After you're able to successfully touch for several rounds, NOW you're ready to take the stick away. Do as before, only now instead of tapping the bully stick, pick it up. Once the dog has consumed the treat (1 second or so), give the bully stick back. Repeat at least 5 - 10 times.

    DO THIS WITH EVERYTHING!
    Your dog has learned that when you take something from him, he doesn't get it back. In order to keep this from happening, he growls at you so you're not able to take it. Eventually this will translate to food and toy aggression, so you need to nip this in the bud NOW before it becomes a bigger problem.

    By trading with your dog, you are showing him that even if he loses something good, he's going to undoubtedly get something better in return. But you must practice this often and always, even at his feedings (I have other methods to use for feeding time, but basically you want to make it so you can have your hand in the bowl while he's eating and he won't even flinch). I can help you with your feedings by using a slightly different method if you'd like.

    I think this makes sense. Just imagine that every time you had your favorite treat (mine would be a reese's peanut butter cup), some bigger person would just walk up to you and take it right when you're about to eat the last (and BEST) bite, and they would never give it back. That would piss you off, right? Well, it pisses your dog off too!!

    You should never stop trading, even after you think your dog is no longer aggressive. I have been trading with my Brembo since he was 13 weeks (he's 6.5 months now) and I won't stop until he's a year and a half and I am positive he won't develop any type of food aggression.
    I am not saying you need to trade every single time he is eating or playing with something, but most times you should as it's not that big of an inconvenience.

    I hope this helps!! Trade away! Let us know when he gets better (he will).
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! So awesome of you to take the time to write all that out for me, I truly appreciate it!

    I'm going to try this as soon as I get home. She has been showing a little more aggressiveness with us lately, I signed her up for puppy classes for socialization. I would love your other tips on feeding methods, I want to start now before she gets too big for me to control (it's already starting!!!!) Oh, and my favorite treat would be a reese's peanut butter cup too. I have a mini pumpkin one in my purse for an afternoon snack :-X LOL!!!

  4. #4
    Bully Bootie Duty ajwhitt44's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    Quote Originally Posted by mdn525 View Post
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! So awesome of you to take the time to write all that out for me, I truly appreciate it!

    I'm going to try this as soon as I get home. She has been showing a little more aggressiveness with us lately, I signed her up for puppy classes for socialization. I would love your other tips on feeding methods, I want to start now before she gets too big for me to control (it's already starting!!!!) Oh, and my favorite treat would be a reese's peanut butter cup too. I have a mini pumpkin one in my purse for an afternoon snack :-X LOL!!!
    Mmmm that sounds GOOD! Signing up for puppy classes was the best thing you could have done! it's the first thing I learned and something we practiced weekley.

    And now we've just had our 1st Good Manners 1 class, and guess what the very first thing we did was again? Yes, trading! I'll send some food bowl tips when I have some more free time at work, no problem!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    Bacon does something very similar with me but he is playing not being aggressive. If my wife goes to take something away from him there is no growling at all, but since I play tug-a-war with him all the time he just assumes if I'm going to take something from him that it is play time. I'm not sure how to fix that so he would know when there is a difference between play time and time to fork over something he isn't supposed to have. We have been using GIVE and MINE when he has something he is not supposed to and it seems to be catching on slowly more so when instructed by my wife vs me.

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    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    A pack member HAS TO surrender anything he/she has at ANYTIME to the pack leader. Period. No discussion, no compromise. It takes practice -- and the dog has to genuinely believe you're the pack leader -- and doing it without sound -- just using energy / body language -- is probably one of the most gratifying things in the world because you really are "speaking their language".

  7. #7
    Bully Bootie Duty ajwhitt44's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    Quote Originally Posted by mdn525 View Post
    Hi! Tuni is 3.5 months old and is teething. Since she was about 10 weeks old we would let her chew a bully stick while we hold it and once it got soft we would cut the end off, to prevent any choking hazards. Lately when I've let her chew her bully stick she gets very possessive and when chewing time is over she will start growling at me and won't give it up! This is totally new behavior for her..it really scares me because I don't want her to bite so hard she breaks a piece off.

    Has anyone gone through this with their puppy or have any tips for us?
    Is it getting any better?

  8. #8
    Bully Bootie Duty mdn525's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possessive with chews!

    Quote Originally Posted by ajwhitt44 View Post
    Is it getting any better?
    Yes!!! The tips you told me totally worked Now we just have to work on the biting and attacking. Oh my...! She has more energy then any puppy I've met.

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