If you have more than one dog, you may have come across the problem of one dog eating the other’s food. This can occur because one dog has less of an appetite than the other and leaves his food for your other dog to clean up, or one of your dogs may be dominant over the other and takes the more submissive dog's food. This results in one dog getting too much food and one dog not getting enough. Not only is this unfair, but it can have long-term health consequences, with one dog becoming overweight, while the other may not get all the nutrients he or she needs.
Dogs have hierarchical social structures, with some dogs being leaders and other followers. In a pack situation in the wild, lead dogs would eat first, followed by more subordinate dogs. This would be natural and would protect the integrity of the pack, which would need its leaders to be well fed to lead the pack. So if you have multiple dogs, it is not uncommon for a more dominant dog to exert that dominance by eating the other dog’s food. Another issue can occur when you have a dog that is particularly food motivated, and one that is not, and your food motivated dog gets the lion's share of the food due to the apathy or inattention on the part of the other. If this problem develops, you will need to intervene to teach your dogs to respect each other's food and only take the food that is portioned for them individually. This is not a pack of wolves, after all!
Hello, I have a two year old dog and another dog as well. My two year old (Scrappy) is a wonderful dog, but she has a fear of loud noises mostly when she is outside playing. Like sometimes in my people in my area might be fixing there roof or something and the noise makes her very scared She will start running all over trying to get back in the house. What could I do to help?
Hello Julie, Try gradually building up his tolerance of loud noises and pairing them with something positive. Also provide your dog with a secure location that he can go to to help him manage his own fears. Typically somewhere covered, enclosed, and den like. To build up his tolerance, one great method is to find recordings of the loud noises that your dog is typically afraid of. Play the noise quietly in the background while you give your dog treats and do very fun and exciting things with him. You want the recording to be quiet enough that your dog acts like he does not notice it and remains relaxed and excited about the treats and fun. Over several months, gradually increase the volume level of the recording while doing fun things with your dog. Again only increase the noise a bit at a time, so that your dog always remains relaxed and happy. You do not want to make the fear worse by going too fast. Overtime you can turn up the recording's volume level to the level that your dog was previously scared of, but only play it at that level when your dog is distracted by fun things and for short periods of time. This should help your dog manage other loud noises as well when they occur. When you are with your dog and he hears a loud noise, try to act up beat, confident, and excited about the noise yourself, and reward your dog for courage in the situation. You do not want to act sorry for him or nervous also, because he will be looking to you for direction and if he thinks you are worried about the noise or worried about him, that communicates to him that the noise really is something to be afraid of. Working with the recording should help your dog, but the truth is most fear of loud noises is best prevented while dogs are still puppies, and certain dogs are more naturally prone to noise sensitivity, so also be mindful that Scrappy may need you to continue to make noises positive for him even after he improves, in order to not regress again. Be patient with with and try to act confident and upbeat to encourage him to be brave. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have two dogs in our house. Piper belongs to me and Esmè belongs to my room mates. Piper is extremely food driven and dominant over Esmè. Piper will find food and eat t if it is available and will go to any length to get it. She also has a very sensitive stomach and will have diarrhea from eating just about anything. My room mates free feed their dog in her crate and leave the food there all day long. Piper knows this and tries to go upstairs and into their room multiple times a day because she is obviously rewarded with food every time she is successful. I’ve asked them many times to either close their room door as well as the kennel door when the dog isn’t in there and they often fail to do so. I also asked them to stop free feeding their dog and to teach her that food is only available twice a day. None of these things have worked and it creates a big problem. When this happens my dog wakes me up every hour in the night to poop. It has gotten so bad that there is now blood in her stool. They have lashed out at me and told me to train my dog better. Every time she walks up the stairs towards their room I tell her to come back down and leave it and she does. How do you train a food driven dog not to go eat food available when you’re not looking? I don’t think it’s too much to ask them to be responsible and shut the doors. My last resort is a baby gate at the top of the stairs. Please help.
Hello Sarah, Since you have no control over what your roommate does, then I suggest teaching Piper to avoid that room in general by creating a booby trap or by using a boundary type training device. Since your dog is so food motivated, she has been rewarded with food many times, she knows that the food is there, and it is causing her health problem, then you will probably need to use an electric training device to get truly consistent results. There are a couple of options for this, the first is something called a shock rock or pet barrier device, which is a rock/wire/or box type boundary item emits a signal that corresponds to your dog's electric collar. When your dog gets too close to the "rock" an signal is sent to your dog's collar and she is corrected with a stimulation, like an electric fence or a bark collar. The second option is to use a manual electric training collar and remote, where you control the stimuli level and when it is applied. Before you use either of these methods, spend time teaching your dog not to go through the door to that room. Walk through that door yourself with her following and as soon as she starts to follow you through, quickly turn 180 degrees and step in front of her. She will probably run into you and that is fine. Tell her "Out" or "Aha" in a firm but calm voice when you do this, and then practice this until she will not follow you into the room even when you run in. If she chooses to stay out of the room even in the presence of temptation, then toss treats into the hall for her as a reward. After you have taught her not to go into the room, then you can use a device to enforce the rules that she already knows. The pros to using an remote electric collar is that you can use a lower stimulation level and have more control. You can also typically communicate with her better during training with it to make the lesson clearer. The drawback is that you have to be there to enforce it, so when you are not around she might realize that things are not consistent and begin to go into the room again. To minimize the chance of this, you will need to either confine her when you are not there and hide while you are teaching her to stay out of the room so that she does not associate the correction with just you but also with the room itself. Go somewhere where she cannot see you while she is wearing the collar, and either watch her while you are hiding or set up a camera and spy on her. As soon as she crosses the threshold for the room, hit the stimulation button and then release it again as soon as she moves back out into the hallway, away from the room. If she does not move into the hallway, then immediately go to her and bring her out of the room rather than continuing to apply the stimulation. To find the proper level to use and to learn the proper and safe ways to use electric collars, look into Jamie Penrith from Taketheleaddogtraining and Jeff Gelman from Solidk9training. Both of which have youtube channels with detailed videos about electric collar usage. Do not simply go out and buy a collar without first doing a lot of research on their proper use, fitting, and stimulation levels. Only buy a high quality collar such as Dogtra, Garmin, e-collar technologies, or SportDog. A good quality collar has well over twenty levels of stimulation and is built to give consistent results. Cheap collars can cause terrible damage and inconsistency and should never be used. Be especially wary of collars that ship from China online. To use a shock rock or barrier device you will want to place the barrier rock right inside your roommates' door or by the crate with the food in it and adjust the range down so that your dog will only get corrected when he goes into the room or near the crate, and not when he is in the hallway or a room next door. PetSafe makes one device called Pawsaway that might work. Look into the range on the one you buy and make sure that the range can be small enough for just that small room on the one you buy. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I’ve just escaped form a violent relationship, my ex partner was on multiple occasions abusive and aggressive towards me and verbally towards the puppy :( e.g he was yelling at Simba when he barked etc. I left my partner but I’m concerned about the puppy every time he has a specific item in possession /his mouth (note there is no specific trend , it could be a bone , socks or a shoe ) I’ve noticed that if someone try to touch the dog while he chew something he start barking (very loud and aggressive , it’s takes only 3-5 sek and he stops ) he has done this to other people and twice towards me when he cut my finger (puppy teath are very sharp ). He is a lovely dog very well behaved , socialised with dogs and other peoples. From day one he was going for a elks and event with me to my office so he is generally super fiendly and nice . It was just a few incidents and I am just concerned what should I do .Last time when I came close and he barked I asked him “leave it” for his treat and kepp saying” no , no barking “ .I remain frozen waiting what he do still trying to keep my hand in a distance as he intended to bite if I be to close . After a few minutes and commands leave it . He dropped the treat and walk away. Then straight back became so happy trying to jump on sofa and seat next to me and play . I remained calm trying to not give him any attention and whenever he jumped on the sofa I said “down” after few attempts he got back to his bed and stayed calm . Then he get back to me slowly (not jumped on sofa , he stayed on the floor ) and he start leaking me this is when I have him attention and a treat as an award for staying calm .then i gave him the same treat (like a stick made from pork fat) and a few times asked him to leave it and I try to take the treat out of his mouth and he let me without barking . I don’t know if what I am trying to do it’s correct and if will teach my dog a good behaviour in a long term . Please share your thoughts, any advice or tips . Thank you , Kate
Hello Kate, Insisting that he give you the item until he drops it is correct. Once you tell him to give you something it is very important that he give you the item no matter how long it takes him to drop it. Neither biting nor running away should get him out of obeying your command. When you are practicing taking items from him teach him the "Drop" or "Drop It" command and practice telling him to drop the item. Start practicing this by giving him something long that you can hold onto while he chews it. Tell him to "Drop It" and show him an item that he likes even better. When he drops the item, then praise him and give him the other item. Once he understands what the command means, then hide the second item behind your back, give him a less rewarding long item, hold onto that item while he chews on it, and then tell him to "Drop It". If he drops it, then praise him and give him the better item from behind your back. If he will not drop it, then either gently remove the item while wearing thick gloves and pressing into the back of his mouth where his jaws come together to make him open his mouth without hurting him or make the item very boring by holding onto it tighter so that he cannot play with it, until he gets bored and lets it go. At first when he lets it go, reward him with the better item even though he needed your help in order to obey. This is to teach him to trust you with objects. After he can consistently let go of the item and is doing well, then trade him a great object if he gives you the item willingly, and a good or okay item if you have to take the item from him. Whenever you take a sock or unacceptable object from him, hand him one of his own toys instead. This is to teach him trust and also to teach him what is an acceptable item to chew. If he is running away from you with an item in his mouth, then attach a drag leash to him when you are with him, so that you can step on the leash and reel him in in order to get the item. Avoid backing away from him when he tries to bite or he will learn to bite more frequently in order to get what he wants. If that becomes an issue, then I would highly suggest hiring a local trainer to help you because aggression is best treated early or it can become a large issue. If he is generally giving you attitude, then also try implementing one or more of the methods from the article I have linked bellow in order to build his respect for you in a non-physical way. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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