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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I thought Nala would outgrow this, but she hasn't yet. Now, when I give Heaven and Koa treats, they very gently take it from my hand. If I felt brave, I could probably hold the treat in my mouth, and they would delicately take it without touching my face. NALA, on the other hand... acts like she's going to eat my hand off. I usually end up dropping or throwing the treat, because those little baby teeth are like razors and it hurts! She is not careful at all. She just won't calm down, she's so excited for that treat, she acts like she's starving to death!

Did you guys have to teach your dogs to be gentle, or should they "just know" like my other 2? Should I try teaching her a command like, "Wait" so that she sits nicely first? Or maybe she will just outgrow this? I've never had a dog that bites the hand that feeds it. LOL
 

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Chopper was like that when he was younger. I used to wrap the treat up in my hand and he would have to lick at my hand before I opened it for him to get the treat (flat handed). Eventually he realised that he had to not snatch the treat.
 

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Molly our Dalmation was like this and from time to time still does get like this.What I do when I get out the treats is they must sit first then I take out the treats and hold them up saying loudly "NICE" and as I go to give it to them I say it again in a loud firm voice and they will normally take it nice but at times Molly will still grab it from me I am guessing she thinks Buster is going to get it.When she takes it rough I yell NO and she gets no more treats.When they take it nice give lots of praise :)
 

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First, I would have him sit for the treat.
Then say "gentle" and "easy" in a calm soothing voice (say it the way you want him to take it).
Then offer it to him in a closed fist, with palm facing him, and slowly open it allowing his nose to enter your palm.
This should teach him how to take something gently because there are no fingers available for him to snatch.
 

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Koda was the exact same way as Nala. My husband finally got tired of it and started working with him to "wait", so now he sits back, and not necessarily patiently, he actually looks like he's doing a little dance & his tail is thumping like crazy! It's too cute, and it's no longer an issue with him. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah see I always thought dogs instinctively knew not to bite your hand. All the dogs I've had in my life were naturally very gentle. Not Nala, that little piranha! :lol:

Thanks for your suggestions, we'll give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, this has quickly changed to a bigger problem. Nala is becoming very food aggressive. Even toward ME. I gave each of the dogs a pig ear, they all went their separate ways to chew on them. Well Nala wasn't finished with hers of course, and she was hiding between my couch and loveseat, in a corner of the room. (She hides all her toys there too, it's "her" spot.) Anyway, Koa was just strolling through the livingroom, minding his own business... Nala bolts from out of the corner, BITES HIM ON THE FACE, then runs back to her pig ear. I guess to warn him not to come over there and try to take it? Koa just had this stunned look on his face like, "WTF was that?" And he walked away. She's lucky he walked away.

So since she was acting like a starving maniac (she just ate quite a bit about an hour ago, she couldn't be that hungry)... I decided to give them all some more food. So I'm opening a new bag of dog food (they are fed in separate rooms), and here she comes, acting like a starving lunatic again, and bites my hand while I'm opening the bag! She didn't bite me because she was trying to be mean, she just couldn't wait for me to open the bag. Then I fed her and she ate the entire bowl in seconds, just acting like she's never had food before, and growling when the other dogs walked by.

I don't know guys, this may be normal puppy behavior, but I'm telling you right now, if she ever snaps at my child, or deliberately tries to bite him while he's eating his own food, I will not keep her. If it was just me, I'd work through it, but I will not risk my son getting hurt. (He's at his dad's for the summer, but comes home on weekends.) Nala is the most sweetest, gentle dog, but apparently when food is involved, it's a different story.

Do you think this is normal, or am I right to be worried? I am fiercely protective of my child, I would not want to put him in harm's way. Can food aggression be safely worked with when you have children in the home?
 

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Sounds pretty normal, but there's ways you can get her to stop, but you may risk breaking her spirit this way LOL....

next time she does this, immediately grab her by the sides of her face and stare her in the eyes and yell at her very loud and sternly lol...be the alpha, and show her who's boss, show her you WILL NOT accept her behaviour. Do this every time she snaps or acts like this. I doubt you'll break her spirit, it takes lot to do that to a dog. I wouldn't be afraid of being real firm with her though. It's not going to hurt her, it will just put her in her place, even if it's just puppy behaviour - you have to put a stop to it before she gets used to it. I don't agree with the gentle approach to conditioning bully breeds...firm firm firm, but don't beat her LOL
 

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I had that problem and am working on it now. Rex only does it when treats are involved. I now allow the kids to give him treat from thier hands to let him know they are in charge on snacks and he will not get them unless they give it to them. He did growl at my ds last week but my son was acting like he was taking his food from him to get a reaction from him and I my ds that was not funny and he should not tease him. Its getting beter than before because he would normally snap if they walked by them. The last time he did I i grabbed his head and yelled in his face dont do that or I will kill you he cowered in his coner and and he has not done it since. He has one more time to do it and he is gone out of here. I will not take a chance when he is bigger to hurt my kids.
 

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hehe np, keep it up and he won't mess around lol..for extra effect, grab him tightly by the sides of his face and stare him straight in the eye when you do it. He'll get the hint. scream at him if you have to. They've got to learn to respect humans and their space. It's your home not theirs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh I did yell at her, and she was put outside until I was finished opening the bag and serving the other dogs. I'll work with her, but the first time she even comes close to biting my son, she'll be finding a home without children or other pets.
 

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redbull said:
hehe np, keep it up and he won't mess around lol..for extra effect, grab him tightly by the sides of his face and stare him straight in the eye when you do it. He'll get the hint. scream at him if you have to. They've got to learn to respect humans and their space. It's your home not theirs.
Thanks I will def do that if needed! Hopefully I wont have to but you never know :)
 

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Well you have the same problem with Nala that I have with Clara, "Food Protective". What I have learned with Clara is that she will not break from this habit so you have to change things up. First, Clara does not get a treat outside of her crate. If she wants a treat she must go to her crate, sit and wait. Clara's feeding bowl is also in her crate and this is where she eats her food. I have taught her that the other food dishes are not hers and she is not allowed to go near them. I keep them in a seperate room, she will occassionly try to go into that room to check out their food, but she is quickly corrected. At one time she would not let them eat their food either. She even went so far as to pick up a dish and carry it to where she was laying down and put her head on top of it so they would not get it. THIS was when I knew I had a problem. What I have done is, not to try to teach her to be protective, but to teach her respect for the other dogs and their stuff. So now though she may not like them getting stuff she now knows that they are allowed to and she has to respect that because I said so. She has gotten alot better and there has not been a problem for several months. But I will never fully trust her not to protect her stuff from them because it is her nature to do so and I cannot change her nature only her desire to obey me which rates a 10.

As far as the grabbing food is concerned, my Springer does that. That comes from there being more than one dog and she is trying to grab it before the others. To correct this, I have them all sit and I put her treat into my fist. I tap her nose with my other hand which does two things, it momentarily deflects her thoughts from the treat hand and it reminds her to "BE EASY", which is what I say to her before I give her the treat. I then bring my fisted hand up to her face (she cannot grab the food because if is wrapped up in my fist). When she is ready to slow down and take it nicely I slowly release it to her, but only if she is softly mouthing for it. If she trys for a grab I refist the treat and start again saying EASY in a firm voice. She will be. They just forget because of the pack thinking "grab it first" before the others do.

One thing I do want to say about Clara, is that even when she fights for her stuff, she has never inflicted a puncture, she only mouths the dog she is fighting. She does not want to hurt them, she just wants to scare them off. I wish I could say the same for the others - they will and have punctured her. They never initiate a fight but they sure are not going to take any crap (sorry, ugly word) from Clara.
:wink:
 

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LuvaBULL said:
Ok, this has quickly changed to a bigger problem. Nala is becoming very food aggressive. Even toward ME. I gave each of the dogs a pig ear, they all went their separate ways to chew on them. Well Nala wasn't finished with hers of course, and she was hiding between my couch and loveseat, in a corner of the room. (She hides all her toys there too, it's "her" spot.) Anyway, Koa was just strolling through the livingroom, minding his own business... Nala bolts from out of the corner, BITES HIM ON THE FACE, then runs back to her pig ear. I guess to warn him not to come over there and try to take it? Koa just had this stunned look on his face like, "WTF was that?" And he walked away. She's lucky he walked away.

So since she was acting like a starving maniac (she just ate quite a bit about an hour ago, she couldn't be that hungry)... I decided to give them all some more food. So I'm opening a new bag of dog food (they are fed in separate rooms), and here she comes, acting like a starving lunatic again, and bites my hand while I'm opening the bag! She didn't bite me because she was trying to be mean, she just couldn't wait for me to open the bag. Then I fed her and she ate the entire bowl in seconds, just acting like she's never had food before, and growling when the other dogs walked by.

I don't know guys, this may be normal puppy behavior, but I'm telling you right now, if she ever snaps at my child, or deliberately tries to bite him while he's eating his own food, I will not keep her. If it was just me, I'd work through it, but I will not risk my son getting hurt. (He's at his dad's for the summer, but comes home on weekends.) Nala is the most sweetest, gentle dog, but apparently when food is involved, it's a different story.
Probably doesn't answer your question, but I would not give out food treats to all the dogs when they are together. This will probably cause fights in the future. Also, you say you feed them in different rooms, yet you said Nala growls when the other dogs walk by. You should feed them in different rooms with the doors shut, not just in different rooms. What happens when one dog finishes first and goes into the other room where there is still a half full bowl??
Just my 2 cents with feeding dogs and food treats with dogs!
 

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I agree with Mel 100%. You now own THREE pitbulls, it is time to start being SUPER careful. No food or toys should ever be lying around or being given with more then one dog at a time. Obviously Nala is possessive, probably over food and toys, its time to take them away unless its just you and her. No other dogs around.
 

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LSCKitty said:
Probably doesn't answer your question, but I would not give out food treats to all the dogs when they are together. This will probably cause fights in the future. Also, you say you feed them in different rooms, yet you said Nala growls when the other dogs walk by. You should feed them in different rooms with the doors shut, not just in different rooms. What happens when one dog finishes first and goes into the other room where there is still a half full bowl??
Just my 2 cents with feeding dogs and food treats with dogs!
Thats the trick...If they dont want each other around their food dont give them food when the others are around. Plus take control...If it was my dog she wouldnt get fed. Plain and simple...they dont get rewarded with food for misbehaving. Wait a few and try again...if she reacts the same put the bowl up...if shes hungry she'll get the point. Also the pig ear thing... I feed my dogs treats like that occasionally and they usually do fine with them. One goes to the couch the other goes to a corner...but the minute I hear a snarl or anything...the treat goes in the trash and they are done. No more bad dogs!!!

I would make sure you repremand Nala when she acts this way grab her up and tell her NOO and DONT give her the treat, she doesnt deserve it. Let her know that that is her punishment...she gets no treat. I would also reward the other dogs extra for their good behavior let them set an example for Nala...they get the loves for this and she doesnt. I hope it works out...she is just a pup and pups need to be tought...I wouldn't expect this behavior to last if you gain control.
 
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