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Discussion Starter #1
Bullit is 10 weeks old. He is very food aggressive already. I know that when pups first come from the litter, they have been competing for food from the other pups, and will scrabble about the food bowl to jockey for a space. I was ok with it, attributing it to his young age (we got him at 7 weeks, young I know.) I let him do this the first week we had him, but figured by the second week, he should have been settling down some at the food bowl. He will stomp his feet, spilling the bowl, and when I try to push him away, he will arch his body, and turn his head and snap at my hand, he does make contact.

I feed the pups out of seperate bowls in the morning, one in the patio, one outside in the grass, but hand feed them the second meal of the day. Bella is beautiful about waiting till I put the food bowl down, and begin to walk away before heading to it, but Bullit will try to get in the bowl even as I set it down. I make him wait before getting access to the bowl, to let him know that it is MINE first, and only by my wish does he get to eat. I have ALWAYS done this with my dogs, and have never had a dog not respond at all to food handling conditioning. Even with dogs that were food aggressive with other dogs, I have NEVER had an issue with a pup at any age being able to take a bowl of food away. It is not only with the food, but his water bowl as well. He does bite, he does growl.

When I hand feed them in the afternoon, he will become so frusterated waiting, he will growl, and charge the bowl, and fight me for it. I am amazed at his stubborness, and agressivness when it comes to the food. He is becoming aggressive with the toys with Bella, and I worry that he will soon become possive of our attention as well. He does not 'submit' like pups do, he does not respond to discipline, (loud NO, a poke on the neck, or a puppy alpha roll) and he will lower his head, and make direct eye contact. I am not 100% confident that I can get his agression under control, and the rest of my family will always be second to him, in his mind.

The breeder will replace him, she agrees that this is not typical puppy behavior.

Am I just crazy? I KNOW he is young, and I KNOW that he still has puppy food drive... but there is quite a bit more that has me worried, and I certainly don't want him to grow into a 55 lb monster protecting what's HIS. Especially having a toddler in the house.
 

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What do you do when he tries to bite you as you put the food down?

I personally would take the food away, until he's willing to act appropriately.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do pick up his food. I set it back down when he stands quietly, and say "good boy" As soon as the bowl is down, he's back in protective mode, I push him away if there is any aggression, I then reprimand him, and I pick it back up. It usually takes at least 15 min for him to eat his cup of food. I am really concerned that me trying to alleviate the problem, will make him even more desperate to get at the bowls, and inflate his aggression.
 

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CowBella said:
I do pick up his food. I set it back down when he stands quietly, and say "good boy" As soon as the bowl is down, he's back in protective mode, I push him away if there is any aggression, I then reprimand him, and I pick it back up. It usually takes at least 15 min for him to eat his cup of food. I am really concerned that me trying to alleviate the problem, will make him even more desperate to get at the bowls, and inflate his aggression.

When you push him away, do you use your arms or your legs?

Just curious, b/c our trainer said that when dealing with a dog, you're supposed to use your body/legs, b/c that's how the other dogs would do it. That way he starts to see you as an Alpha.
 

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JMO but taking away food after it's been put down and trying alpha rolls and poking is just overstimulating a stubborn dog. IMO you're just feeding the fire. Not knowing your dog from Adam I would say in this situation I would use the next feeding opportunity to teach instead of 'teasing' him and feeding his frustration. In the next feeding I would hand feed without the bowl all together and when he gets rough close my hand and the second he shows some subsidence open my hand again. All without emotion or energy.

JMO of course.
Paula
 

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PaulaEdwina said:
JMO but taking away food after it's been put down and trying alpha rolls and poking is just overstimulating a stubborn dog. IMO you're just feeding the fire. Not knowing your dog from Adam I would say in this situation I would use the next feeding opportunity to teach instead of 'teasing' him and feeding his frustration. In the next feeding I would hand feed without the bowl all together and when he gets rough close my hand and the second he shows some subsidence open my hand again. All without emotion or energy.

JMO of course.
Paula

Oooh, good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's the way the second feeding goes, when I hand feed him. He's a bit too small to use my legs to move him, I just my hands and forearm.


I was worried about over stimulating him a bit... but figured I can't let him think he won.....
 

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CowBella said:
That's the way the second feeding goes, when I hand feed him. He's a bit too small to use my legs to move him, I just my hands and forearm.
Can you try getting on the ground with him and using your body?
 

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CowBella said:
That's the way the second feeding goes, when I hand feed him. He's a bit too small to use my legs to move him, I just my hands and forearm.



I was worried about over stimulating him a bit... but figured I can't let him think he won.....
Considering the personality he seems to have I would be very concerned about overstimulating him - he doesn't seem to be the type who will back down. There are other ways of winning than alpha rolls and the like - being the source of all good things is a very good way of winning.

So I would say pause. Take a cleansing breath and try this without the emotion right? The idea of taking food away after it's been given because the dog is being food agressive or pushy often results in him being more food agressive and pushy.

Just a thought.
Paula
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know he is a BULLdog.. and being such, I expect him to be stubborn. I know that eventually I can win him over... but my real concern is for the rest of the family. I don't want him to perceive that he and I are the alphas, and the rest of the family are subordinants. Does that make sense? If I am having trouble getting him to relent, with me being his primary caregiver, then what chance does my toddler have? Or my clueless teenager?
 

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CowBella said:
I know he is a BULLdog.. and being such, I expect him to be stubborn. I know that eventually I can win him over... but my real concern is for the rest of the family. I don't want him to perceive that he and I are the alphas, and the rest of the family are subordinants. Does that make sense? If I am having trouble getting him to relent, with me being his primary caregiver, then what chance does my toddler have? Or my clueless teenager?
I understand your concern, but make the experiment valid. You know this breed is stubborn - stubborn doesn't come suddenly later. I'd say to give him a fair evaluation try this again without all the energy. I sense you're concerned about temperament - that's a reasonable concern, but don't borrow trouble. My youngish (6yrs) male Yoshi is pushy and stubborn but very much understands his position in the house. For instance, if he's somewhere I need to be he moves like someone set him on fire when I ask him to move. I can push him around by invading his space.

BTW what will the breeder do with the returned pup?

Paula
 

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Discussion Starter #15
She said she would work with him, evaluate him, and find an appropriate home for him. Without kids, single dog... whatever the case may be.

Edited to add... I can understand stubborn, I can't understand aggression though, and a dog can certainly be stubborn without showing teeth or biting. I will give it a go with less energy, and perhaps handfeeding both meals, and see how it goes.
 

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CowBella said:
She said she would work with him, evaluate him, and find an appropriate home for him. Without kids, single dog... whatever the case may be.
Thanks, I never knew how that worked.

Paula
 

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CowBella said:
I know he is a BULLdog.. and being such, I expect him to be stubborn. I know that eventually I can win him over... but my real concern is for the rest of the family. I don't want him to perceive that he and I are the alphas, and the rest of the family are subordinants. Does that make sense? If I am having trouble getting him to relent, with me being his primary caregiver, then what chance does my toddler have? Or my clueless teenager?
how is he when your family eats in front of him?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
He is kenneled, and is fed at different times than the family. We eat about 5:30, and he eats his last meal about 4:00.
 
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