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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