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Food Aggression and Kids - Help #5294405 09/08/14 03:06 PM
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I have a 5 year old GSP and a 6 year old mutt, that have always eaten out of the same bowl. There has never been a food aggression issue between the two of them. However, my GSP has always been protective of her food from other dogs (besides the mutt). The GSP has never had an issue with humans (adults) messing with her or her food while she ate.

I have a 7 month old son who is starting to crawl. Last night, I was on the floor with my son close to the food and water bowl and the GSP gave a half hearted growl when my son got close to the food bowl. I jumped up and grabbed the GSP by the scruff of her neck popped her pretty good a few times, and rolled her over to pop her a few more times to get my point across.

After making her sit and watch my son and I play with her food for a while, I finally put it back down. Before putting my son to bed (while the dogs were eating), I pushed them out of the way and put him in the food bowl to make sure they know he can be around their food just like I can. When I was trying to put my son in the food bowl, the GSP tried to get in between him and the food. No growling this time, so I pushed her further out of the way and made her sit while we again played with the food.

I haven't had to deal with this issue before. Can anyone give my some ideas or tips on how is the best way to correct this behavior?

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5294498 09/08/14 03:49 PM
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Feed the GSP on the patio or get rid of it. If it bites the baby, it will probably end up being a bad day all the way around. Don't set the dog up for failure. Isolate the dog when feeding it.

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5294504 09/08/14 03:52 PM
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You wouldn't like my answer

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5294872 09/08/14 06:35 PM
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You can train all you want, but the dog has shown aggression towards your child. There will always be the possibility of your child being injured.

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: NorthTXbirdhunter] #5294945 09/08/14 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: NorthTXbirdhunter
Feed the GSP on the patio or get rid of it. If it bites the baby, it will probably end up being a bad day all the way around. Don't set the dog up for failure. Isolate the dog when feeding it.


BINGO!


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: bill oxner] #5296071 09/09/14 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted By: bill oxner
Originally Posted By: NorthTXbirdhunter
Feed the GSP on the patio or get rid of it. If it bites the baby, it will probably end up being a bad day all the way around. Don't set the dog up for failure. Isolate the dog when feeding it.


BINGO!


×2
I will add, beating a dog teaches nothing more than you can beat a dog. The dog is doing what its DNA forces it to do and that is place itself somewhere in the pecking order. There a whole lot more better ways than beating them.


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Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5296162 09/09/14 12:28 PM
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I don't care how good a dog has been in the past, I don't mix feeding dogs with kids. Its a pretty easy fix, feed the dog in a crate, or outside.



Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.


Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: NorthTXbirdhunter] #5296221 09/09/14 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: NorthTXbirdhunter
Feed the GSP on the patio or get rid of it. If it bites the baby, it will probably end up being a bad day all the way around. Don't set the dog up for failure. Isolate the dog when feeding it.


X3, and good point... now that you are aware that this aggressive behavior exists, if your dog bites your kid, it is going to be YOUR fault... not the dog's or the kid's fault. Of all parties involved, you are the only one capable of preventing this because neither the dog or the kid know any better. Also, since the dog is showing food aggression, you need to be very careful when the kid is around the dog at ANY time since the dog obviously thinks she is ahead of the kid in the pack.



Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: First_Chance] #5296492 09/09/14 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: First_Chance
Originally Posted By: NorthTXbirdhunter
Feed the GSP on the patio or get rid of it. If it bites the baby, it will probably end up being a bad day all the way around. Don't set the dog up for failure. Isolate the dog when feeding it.


X3, and good point... now that you are aware that this aggressive behavior exists, if your dog bites your kid, it is going to be YOUR fault... not the dog's or the kid's fault. Of all parties involved, you are the only one capable of preventing this because neither the dog or the kid know any better. Also, since the dog is showing food aggression, you need to be very careful when the kid is around the dog at ANY time since the dog obviously thinks she is ahead of the kid in the pack.


^^^^Spot on


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Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: kindall] #5296510 09/09/14 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: kindall
I don't care how good a dog has been in the past, I don't mix feeding dogs with kids. Its a pretty easy fix, feed the dog in a crate, or outside.


That's not a fix. Don't keep a dog that shows aggression to kids... thats a fix

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5297166 09/09/14 09:43 PM
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There seems to be a lot of bravado in some of these responses. The fact is animals are just that, animals and we bring them into our lives trying to conform their instincts to what we think they should be. It seems that from what I gathered from the situation the child was on the ground around the dogs food and this is when the dog showed aggressive behavior. Like the other poster stated it would appear that the dog believes the child is lower in status in the pack. There are ways to try and correct this behavior and the easiest way of course is to feed the dog outside or in a separate area. I am sure this person doesn't want to get ride of a part of their family, and I am sure the comments like " you wouldn't like my answer" wont fix the problem. If the child burned its mouth on hot food would you through out the entire meal, most not, they would try and correct the issue. Since this is a hunting forum and this section of the forum is for hunters that use dogs or people looking for helpful information about gun dogs let's try and help them not discourage them.

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Hatch] #5297222 09/09/14 10:07 PM
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Hatch,
Let me be quite clear on something so that there will be no misunderstandings. I have a kennel full of the finest bird dogs that I really enjoy. They are a part of me. But if even one of them decides to bite my 3 month old granddaughter.........He Gone! and not down the road. I think the OP needs to be trained as much as the dog as to when and where to feed his dog and to not let children trespass into a "feeding zone". The GSP is already competing against an older mutt that has probably whipped her her entire life. Now the GSP thinks there is more competition for its' food. Just isolate the dog until meal time is over. Dogs are possessive creatures and attention to others and jealousy are hard for them to deal with, even with kids.

Last edited by NorthTXbirdhunter; 09/09/14 10:08 PM.
Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5297996 09/10/14 03:09 AM
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NorthTXbirdhunter,

I don't think there was a misunderstanding. First of let me make note that in Easttexag09 post, he stated that the GSP showed no aggressive behavior to his "mutt". He goes further to say that "However, my GSP has always been protective of her food from other dogs (besides the mutt)" Second he never said that the GSP bit his child only growled, and not to down grade the intensity of that action one of the points I was making is lets not turn this issue into more than it is. Fact is the dog DIDN'T bite the child so there is no need for these "macho", I will take the dog to the back 40 BS. Last and final note, it does not matter whether you have bird dogs that are serving the Royal Family, the point I was trying to make and in fact was in agreeance with your own words, was to isolate the dog while feeding.

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5298179 09/10/14 11:12 AM
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I agree. I can't abide with a dog paying for a human mistake with his life. I don't understand that mentality. I grew up amongst people that would do that. I learned how to train dogs. I learned their behavior, what can and cannot be changed.

An old dog trainer gave me the best advice. It was short advice. I got frustrated with a dog because of course he was stupid. I told the dog out loud he was stupid. The old man said "Son sit down here".

The old man gave me this brilliant information. First he told me i was an idiot. Then he proceeded to tell me why and show me. A dog's ability is merely a reflection of our abilities as trainers. If the dog is doing something wrong, in 100% of the cases it js your fault.

I cant claim I know what every dog is thinking or why it is not doing what I need it to do. At all of my clinics I have a problem arise. If I dont know why, I just stop, think it through and remember those words that old man told me. To be a dog trainer, progress is your responsibility, not the dog's.

To talk about killing a dog because of a clear human mistake, makes me sick to even think about it. If you arent smart enough to understand that, then you should not even own a dog.

Last edited by wal1809; 09/10/14 02:13 PM.

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Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Hatch] #5298332 09/10/14 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: Hatch
There seems to be a lot of bravado in some of these responses. The fact is animals are just that, animals and we bring them into our lives trying to conform their instincts to what we think they should be. It seems that from what I gathered from the situation the child was on the ground around the dogs food and this is when the dog showed aggressive behavior. Like the other poster stated it would appear that the dog believes the child is lower in status in the pack. There are ways to try and correct this behavior and the easiest way of course is to feed the dog outside or in a separate area. I am sure this person doesn't want to get ride of a part of their family, and I am sure the comments like " you wouldn't like my answer" wont fix the problem. If the child burned its mouth on hot food would you through out the entire meal, most not, they would try and correct the issue. Since this is a hunting forum and this section of the forum is for hunters that use dogs or people looking for helpful information about gun dogs let's try and help them not discourage them.


Oh the problem would be solved because the dog would be in the ground... good luck with your theory though im just not going to take that chance especially around a kid. Anyone ever think treating a dog like "part of their family" might be the problem... why would he not think he could bite that kid if your treating him as an equal...

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Navasot] #5298335 09/10/14 01:26 PM
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bite.... growled... aggression... take your pick all the same to me

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5298673 09/10/14 04:02 PM
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great question...and I was wondering the same thing.

My situation is a little different... My 8 yr old pointer spent her 1st four years living in a barrel...one of maybe 20 dogs in a kennel of hunting dogs...so I have no idea how she developed her disdain for any dog that growls at her...and distrust of anything smaller than her...especially around food or treats.

She is an awesome hunting dog...and she is a house dog now with the wife and I. However, I have to be extremely careful when she is around small children and small dogs. I can NOT trust her...but I do not plan to put her down or even put her back in hunting kennel environment ...unless I fail in keeping her a safe distance from the grandkids...(3 yr and 6mo)...and even if I was able to train her (or have her trained) to be safe around children...I could never completely trust her.

In the original post, eastTXaggie attempted to explain how he 'trained" the dog to the best of his ability...and he asked for advice...so far I have not seen any comments that would lead me to believe anyone has trained their dog to be completely trusted when feeding.

My opinion leans toward taking great care when feeding any dog when there is a baby or young child around...no matter what the history of good behavior. We also stake our dogs out when hunting... and try to keep all dogs from wandering around getting in to other dog's business while not hunting.


Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5300025 09/11/14 02:53 AM
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For "dog people" these answers are crazy. Isolating the dog is a temp solution but there still needs to be training. While the child is currently to young to feed the dog himself that's a habit that I have with my kids. They make the dogs wait on the food, sit and be submissive before they let them eat. I have always Taken food away from my dogs starting when they are young.
Even the best dog will give a rumble when something is wrong, kid laying or missing with them. As far as food and the age of the child currently the best thing is to watch the kid while they eat.

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5300618 09/11/14 01:40 PM
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Can't believe i'm reading these kind of ridiculously over the top responses on a Bird Dog forum. It sounds to me like there's a bunch of lazy dog owners out there.

From the looks of the OP, this is the first time the dog and child have been in this situation and there was a slightly adverse reaction, 'a half hearted growl'. It's a dog. If the kid was older, i'd say have them feed the dog treats, and eventually be in control of the bowl with your supervision. Dogs learn pretty quick and controlling the food will give the kid status. It's a GSP as well, they certainly more willing to learn than other breeds.

Until the kid is old enough (standing), I'd just feed in a separate area and obviously never leave your kid unsupervised around the dog, which you shouldn't do anyway.

As far as popping/beating the dog goes, the other posters are right. Dogs don't really learn from that, in fact, you're more likely to create a fearful dog that could lash out at the sight of a human hand coming towards their face (not good). I have a GSP and a Weimaraner and believe me, i've given my Weim a smack on the butt before for stealing things. But more of a 'get away' smack than a 'im going to teach you a lesson' smack . You will always get better results out of being calm & assertive with good body posture.

I hope you get it figured out.


Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: greygooser] #5300873 09/11/14 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: greygooser
Can't believe i'm reading these kind of ridiculously over the top responses on a Bird Dog forum. It sounds to me like there's a bunch of lazy dog owners out there.



thanks for the response brother...however it would help to be more specific...which post(s) are ridiculously over the top?

BTW - Still looking for training advice from the folks that have successfully solved a situation like this...


Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: nativeTXshooter] #5301002 09/11/14 05:01 PM
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I believe the key aspect, that unfortunately many lose sight of and it gets many people into trouble, is that you are dealing with an “animal”. They will always be an animal and you will never be able to tell exactly how they will react. Dogs don’t think and they don’t reason… they associate. As smart and well trained as they may appear to be, there is and will always be a lost link of communication between us with them. An example would be a dog that has a thorn or a hidden injury or anxiety condition that is causing it to be distressed. A kid comes up and tries to hug it or pick it up, result is a dog bite. The dog is reacting the only way it knows how. Dogs communicate with their mouths. they bark, they lick, they whine, they growl, show teeth and they BITE.

I believe, like another poster said that success in an area such as this (OP), lies in not setting the dog (or kid for that matter) up for failure. Every situation is different and there are times when you might want to set a dog up for failure on purpose to see how they react in a training situation, but in the example given where a kid is involved… there is NO room for error. None.

I train all of my own dogs. I don’t beat, kick, shoot or kill dogs, never have never will and my dogs are hard charging one command field dogs that are house dogs as well. They eat and drink out of the same bowls, and I have broken up plenty of dog fights, but I have never let my kids anywhere near them at feeding time until the kids got old enough to take care of themselves and know better and understand what certain behavior around a dog might signify to the dog.

Triple7 has a good suggestion on how to proceed, but until that kid is old enough to understand everything about what is going on, I would suggest keeping them away from each other at feeding time and not letting them be alone otherwise unless properly supervised. As a parent, it’s just the smart thing to do… no matter how good of a dog trainer you think you might be.



Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5303243 09/12/14 08:03 PM
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Golden reponse ^^^^^


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Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: First_Chance] #5303313 09/12/14 08:42 PM
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First_Chance has the best posted response toward this matter here.

Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: wal1809] #5303608 09/12/14 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: wal1809
Originally Posted By: bill oxner
Originally Posted By: NorthTXbirdhunter
Feed the GSP on the patio or get rid of it. If it bites the baby, it will probably end up being a bad day all the way around. Don't set the dog up for failure. Isolate the dog when feeding it.


BINGO!


×2
I will add, beating a dog teaches nothing more than you can beat a dog. The dog is doing what its DNA forces it to do and that is place itself somewhere in the pecking order. There a whole lot more better ways than beating them.
beating dog, horse's ect, is what people do when they don't know how to handle the situation


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Re: Food Aggression and Kids - Help [Re: Easttexag09] #5307053 09/15/14 03:57 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

This was the first time anything like this has happened, and I needed some outside opinions/advice. I moved the food and water bowl to the laundry room, where the kennel is located. My son has no reason to be in there, at least not yet. I do trust the dog, she has always been hyper and plays rough but you can see an obvious change in behavior when a child is around. She calms down, no jumping, less running. She lets my son pet her, and pull on her ears, mouth, and paws. Even this afternoon she laid down next to him while he was on the floor.

I generally try not to punish her by physically hitting her, but given the situation, it being the first time she has growled at a person, I over reacted and I know that. I'm not planning on giving her away nor putting her down. If nothing else I think this is a good wake up call for my wife and I. I will keep the idea of having him feed her when he is a little older.

Thanks.

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