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Thread: Food aggression

  1. #1
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    sweetpeasmom2008's Avatar
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    Default Food aggression

    So at lunch and at dinner Lola showed aggression with Lucy! I have a iris white pen I put Lucy in while she eats and I feed them at the same time. The problem is that I use measuring cups as scoops to get out the food and I measure it out. At lunch today I had one of those scoops in my hand and I bent over to bed lucy on the way to the food and Lola tried biting her head. I corrected that issue then tonight for dinner i was in the pantry scooping out food and next thing I know Lola is biting Lucy and she is crying and running to hide. I have never seen this between them and they get along perfectly and play all day its only when it has to do with food. Is this normal and how to I stop it?

  2. #2
    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    Yes, it is normal especially with bulldogs. They tend to be food aggressive. My 2 bullys didn't really give me problems. They did the food aggression but it was easy for me to correct. They used to steal from the other's bowl if they get done first which causes the other dog to snap at the other. They eat side by side on the kitchen floor. I sit on the floor with them until they're done eating (my dogs eat lickity split!) so I'm always there to stop the stealing. What I've always done is to make the dogs sit on their "spot" on the floor while I prepare the food and give them the Stay command. They don't get their food unless they are sitting. And they don't get their food until I call their name and put the food infront of them. And I put the food down by heirarchy (Gizmo the 13 lb bichon gets his first because he has been with me longest, then Bullie gets hers and then Angus because Angus is happy to be the omega dog). Then after they're done, they would sit again hoping I'd give them more (pigs!) and when nothing is happening, they'd try to inch to the next dog and this is when I give the Stay command again so they'd stay put. After all the dogs have eaten, they all go out (I moved the water bowl outside because my laminate flooring started to buckle from the water spills) and go potty while I wash up.

    It's a routine that everybody is used to and they know what to expect.

    The first few times I would feed a dog (when we get a new addition to the pack), I don't let go of the bowl, so he has to eat the food while I'm holding the bowl. This is the same for the treats. A dog usually tries to grab treats from your hand the first few times, so I would hold on to the treat and they would try to grab it and realize they won't get the treat that way, so they try to slowly pull the treat out of my hand instead until they just get used to doing this all the time.

    The trick to all this is to be always in control of the dog. They need to learn to listen to you at all times. If they try to do something you don't want them to do a simple correction command should grab the dog's attention - For example, my NO command is always enough to get the dogs to stop and look at me. I have to admit though, I don't train the dogs to listen to me. My husband does the initial training and I just do the day to day stuff after they're already "established" in the pack.

    Not sure if this is going to help with Lola and Lucy but it's worth a shot.

    I got Bullied and loving it!
    Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011

  3. #3
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    Good stuff @anatess !

    When Bo was a pup, he would often try to get into Bea's bowl - which pissed her off, of course, and created mayhem. I've always fed them at the same time, but at first, their bowls were farther apart. I wanted them to be able to see each other eat while staying "in their area" with their own food. Anyone moving out of their area to go check out the other's bowl, got that behavior disagreed with - quietly. (Ack! and a touch, if necessary) Food time is exciting enough without a lot of yacky yack while they're eating and/or learning how I want them to eat.

    Today, Bea and Bo eat right next to each other on the same big huge red tray. Their bowls are about two feet apart. There is no excitement at meal time. Everyone is sitting and calm and waiting for me to put the bowls down. Bo can only check out Bea's dish after she's walked away from it. Same with Bea - but she always finishes last because Bo's a gulper.

    Remember, like us, dogs learn by making mistakes. We must set them up for success, of course - but after that, just disagree with what you don't like and calmly praise what you do during meal times. Never feed an excited dog. Make feeding time a leadership ritual and benefit in a number of ways!

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    Default Re: Food aggression

    Our dogs were food motivated, so I crated them during their meals. The only competition was to see who could get into their crate the fastest!




    "Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and
    filling an emptiness we didn't even know we had."




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    The Ultimate Sourmug Sherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    I feed mine all at the same time also. I serve by eldest. Jack, I say his name and put his bowl down. Dolly, say her name and put her bowl down. Pupper's I say that and put 3 more bowls down. Dolly and Jack eat at opposite ends of the kitchen while the pupper's eat side by side. I have never had an issue with food. I say their names especially when handing out treats or anything they know who it's for and sit waiting patiently. It just never became a big nervous deal when food is being handed out. Only a time of enjoyment for them.
    Life is like a box of chocolate covered

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    sweetpeasmom2008's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    I will just have to watch them then. Lola is very easy to correct once it starts I can give her a verbal warning and she will stop. She tried it again this morning and I gave her a warning and picked up her bowl. I put her in a sit position then I put down the bowl again and she had to wait tell I said eat. Hopefully she will connect that if she acts like that the bowl gets picked up and she has to stop eating. Hopefully they will learn to eat side by side.

  7. #7
    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    You may want to consider feeding one at a time while the other waits their turn.... this is what we always did with Banks since she was a pup. Nitschke at first while she waited and when Cheli came in after Nitschke passed.... Banks eats first waits till she is 'released (they sit across the room)' and then she is sent back to sit and Cheli is released to eat... if either of them move before 'released' the bowl is picked up and started over.
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    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    You may want to consider feeding one at a time while the other waits their turn.... this is what we always did with Banks since she was a pup. Nitschke at first while she waited and when Cheli came in after Nitschke passed.... Banks eats first waits till she is 'released (they sit across the room)' and then she is sent back to sit and Cheli is released to eat... if either of them move before 'released' the bowl is picked up and started over.
    Fabulous!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Food aggression

    You've been given great advice already. Food aggression can be common in bullies, but it is more from lack of training than anything else. So nip this little problem in the bud as soon as you can, before it escalates!!

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