To rehome puppy?

(396 Posts)
MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 18:49:00

Our 6 month old puppy bit our friends 6 year old daughter today.

We were having a meal and gave him his food afterwards. She walked behind him while he was eating and he spun around and bit her, he didn't draw blood but her hand was red.

I am in total shock, he has never done anything like this before, should we rehome him straight away? I'm really confused.

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 18:51:16

This will not end well.

I would re-post this in the forum about animals ~(will post a link when I find it) as on here all you will get is slagged off for considering getting rid of an innocent animal as it is all your fault he bit her hmm

IMO if you have trained him and you feel that he isnt safe around young children then yes, rehome him.

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 18:52:06
foodtech Sun 07-Oct-12 18:52:22

She's just a puppy and still learning appropriate behaviour. As long as you checked her for it I wouldn't worry. Puppies nip and bite especially where food is concerned. Maybe ensure you do some food related training to try and stop pup being protective of food. FT

foodtech Sun 07-Oct-12 18:53:06

Sorry he. FT

TeddyBare Sun 07-Oct-12 18:53:30

I don't think you should re-home because he won't be likely to find a good home easily now.
Feed him away from your / other dc until you have a plan. Does he go to puppy training classes still? Speak to the teacher and see what they can suggest you could try in relation to training. Perhaps you could also contact an animal behaviourist and see what they suggest. It would be a shame to re-home him if this is a resolvable problem.

I agree with Smeghead, I would ask MNHQ to move this to The Doghouse. Threads like this rarely go well.

LimeLeafLizard Sun 07-Oct-12 18:54:03

I agree with Smeghead - this could all go very badly in AIBU.

Dog experts will give better advice.

Charliefox Sun 07-Oct-12 18:54:38

Out of interest, what breed is the pup?

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:04:32

He's a labrador. I've just reposted in the doghouse

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:04:35

You need to give more information, but it's reasonable to leave dogs to eat in peace. It's also reasonable to expect them not to bite, but no blood was drawn and it's a good thing that a bite occurred without that as it shows the dog has bite inhibition.

There are so many variables here. Is the dog used to children, used to children of that age, could it be unwell or in pain, had the child been bothering the dog, have you given the dog any reason to think it's food will be taken? Etc.

But no, I don't think you should rehome. There are ways of dealing with food aggression.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:07:01

We have 3 young DC and he has always been great with them, even when they go near his food, we did all the things suggested for food training by the vet.

foodtech Sun 07-Oct-12 19:18:14

Labradors are greedy dogs and slightly obsessed with food. I would speak to a trainer again and explain to children never to take food off the puppy (even if he steals food) also never remove or tease him with food. If you can ensure he is not in the room when eating this might be best.

What we did when our dogs were puppies and eating was to put food into his bowl when eating so he didn't see us as a threat to the food. Also once they are relaxed and not protective we petted them when eating but again never took bowl away or removed food from them. This may not be the recommended way I'm not sure and sorry if you have tried this. You will hopefully get better advice from others. Don't feel that reforming is the only way though or that you puppy will be aggressive in other ways.

LFCisTarkaDahl Sun 07-Oct-12 19:19:06

Well they can forget quick so you just do all the food training again.

He was probably surprised by her.

catgirl1976 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:24:07

Do not re-home

Train the 6 yo not to walk behind dogs when they are eating and take the puppy to some training classes too

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:27:49

Rehome it to someone knows what they are doing

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:29:21

McHappyPants2012 - Can you explain what do you mean?

^^ And it starts...

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:35:12

I don't mean it in a Nasty way, but at 6 months the puppy may be teething there could be a few reason why a pup may have bitten.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 07-Oct-12 19:36:15

I agree with the others - this thread needs moving!

FWIW, our dog (not a pup, rehomed to us at 3yo) can be nervous with visiting children. He's never shown aggression but is very circumspect with them. (Our own DC are 4 and 5.)

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:36:42

McHappyPants2012 - he bit her because he was guarding his food

Tailtwister Sun 07-Oct-12 19:37:23

Our old family dog used to really hate people coming up behind her when she was eating. She used to growl quite ferociously someone did, although we were taught as children to leave her in peace.

I would say that more training is needed here. Is there somewhere you can feed the dog (utility room) where you know she can be left alone to enjoy her food?

There are far more experienced people on here than me, but personally if this was an isolated incident and seeing it happened when she was eating, I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

WithoutCaution Sun 07-Oct-12 19:47:40

Are you sure that she didn't touch him/the bowl while he was eating?

Do you have the space to give him a temporary quite area where he can't be disturbed while eating - For when your have other children at your house?

Honestly I wouldn't rehome in that situation - He's a puppy and is still learning what is and isn't acceptable. It's very easy to teach a puppy that food guarding is not on. It is also very easy to teach children not to approach/disturb/mess with a dog or puppy while they are eating smile

If you do decide to rehome him try going though a breed rescue or via his breeders (any descent breeder will take back a puppy they bred at any age and find it a new home). Don't do a private rehome.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:53:14

I think she may have tried to push past him. I think he must have been a bit on edge with all the people around his food bowl and her brushing past him from behind was the trigger. I will call the vet and RSPCA tomorrow to get some advice.

I am just really shocked by the incident.

cory Sun 07-Oct-12 19:53:51

Puppies are like toddlers: they are still learning to behave. It doesn't say anything about what they will grow up into. You wouldn't expect a toddler who bashed a friend over the head with a toy, to grow up into a criminal would you? You would just accept that you had to take whatever steps were necessary to keep other children safe and train him not to do it again.

RobynRidingHood Sun 07-Oct-12 19:56:33

Snapping, giving a warning, is NOT biting. Don't confuse the two, if the dog wanted to bite, it would have

Paradisefound Sun 07-Oct-12 19:59:14

Puppy is still learning. Don't rehome, but be careful when kids about.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:05:28

Get a dog gate for your kitchen door and lock the puppy into the kitchen when eating. The puppy will be a great asset to the family once he/she is trained just stick at it smile

I am sorry, I was Ott on my 1st response

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:07:39

Don't you know anything about dogs at all?!

What the puppy did isn't cause for rehome! It's natural for them to want to be left alone with their food! It's ridiculous that the child was allowed to go near a dog whilst its eating.

It's no cause for alarm.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:08:35

McHappyPants2012 - no worries smile

Just spoken to friend to apologise again, I feel terrible, her DD is fine though.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:08:49

And it's not a case of 'puppy is learning' IMO. The child needs to learn not to go near an animal whilst its eating.

Education is both ways.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:11:38

cory posted a good analogy.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:12:13

GoldShip - Excuse me?! I think whether it's cause for rehome is a personal decision we have to make, it has nothing to do with how much we may or may not know about dogs.

Children should be able to go near a dog while it is eating without being bitten, can I ask how much you know about dogs? Dogs need to be trained in order to deal with food aggression, it is not acceptable behaviour.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:14:25

If its a personal decision you have to make then can I ask why the hell you've posted here then?

The child wasnt BITTEN it was given a warning snap. It's perfectly natural for an animal to tell another to back off away from its food.

How much do I know about dogs? A LOT. I've currently got 3 boxer dogs, have had numerous rescue dogs because of people not being able to handle a little blip in their owning of it.

topbannana Sun 07-Oct-12 20:14:31

I was bitten by my Aunts dog in identical circumstances to yours, except the dog was slightly older and my arm was bleeding a little.
My DM (who is not a dog lover) was unhappy but did not press the issue, the dog was never fed around people again (always in the garden with the door locked to prevent accidentally escaping children) and I, at one point, owned 5 dogs so no damage done.
There are more proactive things you can do (which my Aunt and Uncle never investigated, preferring to eliminate all risk) but it need not be the end of the world, more a warning to be more vigilant in future. smile

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:16:21

The dog will need to learn its not acceptable but obviously it wasnt the time! And you wanting to rehome it for that reason alone is poor dog keeping, so why are you talking about dealing with food aggression when you want to give up at the first hurdle?

Animals need to learn to respect people but people ESPECIALLY CHILDREN need to be taught that animals have boundaries too.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:27:11

GoldShip - yes, she was bitten, just because he didn't quite draw blood doesn't mean she wasn't bitten.

If this had happened to a child we didn't know the parents could well have reported it. With 3 young children of my own it's not something I am prepared to take lightly.

Yes it is something we will have to decide on, personally, that doesn't mean I can't get reasonable advice from other people.

And it's not a case of 'puppy is learning' IMO. The child needs to learn not to go near an animal whilst its eating.

The dog will need to learn its not acceptable but obviously it wasnt the time!

You are contradicting yourself.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:33:49

Sorry but who's being contradictory because the only person being that here is you.

I mean THIS isn't a case of the dog learning. The child shouldn't have been near the pup whilst its eating, full stop. And it's up to you to be vigilant.

This is partly why kids end up getting bitten and dogs get destroyed. It isn't fair and can be easily prevented but instead of looking at where themselves have gone wrong, people blame the dog

ToothbrushThief Sun 07-Oct-12 20:34:00

I've got an ear worm of a strident Victoria Stilwell being angry and self righteous now...

OP I agree we others that this is unfortunate but doesn't suggest a permanent flaw

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:37:21

OP, what exactly did the vet suggest regarding training the dog to accept people around food?

Although tbh, you say there were lots of people around the dog, the dog was on edge, the child pushed past him. I don't think a bite is unreasonable in those circumstances. It was potentially avoidable though. You made a mistake and you now need to take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again and that shouldn't involve rejoining the dog.

Neither a vet or the RSPCA are dog behaviour experts, although some vets may take an interest in dog behaviour. I have heard of vets giving behaviour advice that ranges from misguided through shocking to laughable. You can find a qualified and accredited dog behaviour expert through

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:39:00

ToothbrushThief - yes I hope now, I think it can likely be resolved, will speak to behaviourist at vets tomorrow and see what she says, I am guessing we will have to do more food aggression training, am just glad our friends have taken it so well and are being fairly understanding.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:40:19

'^ I don't think a bite is unreasonable in those circumstances. It was potentially avoidable though. You made a mistake and you now need to take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again and that shouldn't involve rejoining the dog^'

This sums it up in a much more polite way than I could have put it smile

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:41:40

midori1999 - it was the veterinary nurse, we were told to put our hand in his bowl while he was eating so he would get used to the idea that we weren't going to steal his food (DH and I) and all of us were meant to put other bits of food in his bowl while he was eating. When he was ok with that we were told to take the bowl away then give it back and praise him. It worked very well and he never guarded his food with any of us.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:42:30

guessing we will have to do more food aggression training

Maybe you should allow the dog to eat its food in peace? You can't train every single emotion out of a dog just because you're not willing to implement things that suit it instead of yourself.

rogersmellyonthetelly Sun 07-Oct-12 20:43:34

No I would not rehome because of this. Our family dog (a staff) was loving and wonderful in all other ways (except other dogs), but really didn't like being approached while eating. He lived with our Family for 14 happy years, with 2 toddlers in the house, and none of us were ever growled at because my mother had very strict rules about feeding him. He waited till we were done, then she put his bowl down, shut the kitchen door and we left him to it. It was very effective, no one ever bothered him while he was eating and we all stayed safe. We all knew the rules from being very young, and mum made sure we stuck to them.

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 20:45:08

Anyone else almost got a full house yet? wink

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:45:43

I put my dogs food down (in different corners) let them in the kitchen then leave them to it. When they're ready they'll give a little bark and ill let them out.
I wouldn't let anyone go anywhere near them whilst they were eating because its their meal time and they should be able to eat in peace without fear.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 20:46:16

smeg I suspect you might win at the bingo because of me.... blush I can't help myself

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 20:49:40

I didnt want to say it but, yep, mainly you Gold grin

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 20:52:08

Have to say no child should approach any dog whilst eating let alone a child the dog doesn't live with !

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 20:54:58

And no wouldn't rehome, this is down to the lack of adult coverage whilst a dog was eating ! My kids can take a bowl of food from my 4 yr old GSD at any time, but she and they have been trained in utterly irresponsible !

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 20:56:40

Top we dont have animals as a) i am allergic and b) i dont particularly like house pets. So I and my children wouldnt know not to approach an otherwise docile and friendly animal when it was eating. Not everyone knows about animals you know!

foodtech Sun 07-Oct-12 20:56:44

Your puppy is entering it's teen years and they forget ALL training you have previously done. You must now continue the training. What you are saying about putting hand in bowl and feeding is what I said up thread however I wouldn't take the bowl away.

Remember puppies are still babies until they are 2. Also the most common age to re-home is 6-18 months because this is when puppies regress and push boundaries. Training is even more important at this time. As someone else said, the error was on your part this time as your pup was clearly stressed and worried about food due to situation. I am not criticising but this is avoidable and can be fixed by training.

FlatCapAndAWhippet Sun 07-Oct-12 21:01:17

One of the major "rules" in the manual.....

Leave the dog in peace when its eating.

Your error on this occasion I'm afraid. Sorry, not being arsey. smile

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:05:05

Smeg would you like to be disturbed when eating. Would you disturb someone when eating.

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:06:57

MarsBars you let your puppy down today I'm afraid.

Surely that whole 'putting a hand in the bowl to show dog we are nice while he is eating' is outdated and incorrect advice nowadays?

When rescued whippy boy is eating I busy myself in the kitchen (stacking dishwasher, clearing up after our meal) but do not ever interfere with him and his bow. I occasionally find a bit of carrot etc whist clearing up and when he has finished with his bowl of food I call him to me and offer it to him. I would not dream of adding it to his bowl whilst he is eating...

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:08:18

smeg but its the OP's job to make sure others like yourself are aware of the fact. And to keep them away.


Bubblegum78 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:11:41

I have a year old labradoodle, she used to do the same, every time she did it she got a sharp smack, a loud no! and put in her bed, she soon stopped.
Apparently this behaviour is common in lab breeds because they are so hyper, my friend breeds them and she advised me when I was struggling.
IMO your dog does not need rehoming, just training.
Have you tried puppy training classes? x

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:13:10

Bubblegum you hit an animal shock

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:13:15

Bubblegum you hit your dog?

Bubblegum - your dog is asking you to stay away from his food and you hit him? Yikes!

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 21:15:01

OP, you have done nothing wrong, and nor did the child.

I think your vet nurse has given you excellent advice about making the dog comfortable with having humans around his food and reducing food aggression. Taking the bowl away and giving it back is also good training. It teaches the dog not be territorial around food.

What did you do when the dog bit the girl? Did you correct? I would say continue with the same training, and reinforce good dog manners. Let him know clearly and consistently what behaviour is acceptable and not. He will learn.

The stuff about giving the dog a private space to eat is not the solution. The problem is the dog is being territorial about food around humans and that should be nipped in the bud. Imagine a scenario that you are out in a public place with the dog and he finds a bone. A child ventures close... if the dog has learned not be territorial around food, it will be ok. If it has been fed in isolation in the kitchen and never had people/children around, the dog might snap at the child.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:18:37

Why is it that we train EVERYTHING out of a dog to suit ourselves when we can do a tiny simple thing to suit them for once?

There's no need for more training. Just let them have peace!

And bubblegum of course she bloody stopped she was scared of getting hit. That's terrible

I agree. We push and push and push dogs to behave exactly as we want, to the tiniest detail. We train for every eventuality regardless of whether there is a real need for it. And then, one day, the dog has had enough of being bullied, turns, growls and snaps. And gets labelled agressive and put to sleep. sad

A bit of respect goes both ways if we are to co-habit with these intelligent, gentle, loyal creatures.

Respect the dog's need for a bit of space and it will repay you.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:24:39

Brilliant post behind

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:24:55

In this case it is simple, just leave the dog to eat in piece.

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 21:28:00

Gold, food aggression is pretty serious stuff. This is one of the few areas where I have zero tolerance policy.

My dogs are never caged, free to roam around everywhere, taken off-leash to most places like cafes, restaurants etc. where they have a wander and say hello to all and sundry (this is France, where it is normal), get special doggy outings to go swimming in the river and forest walks to sniff at all the interesting smells and roll in deer poo.

But they will never, ever be allowed to be possessive with food around humans. It is a basic safety issue, and our responsibility towards children they might encounter during their doggie outings.

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:28:53

It's funny that often the same people who say we should 'treat dogs as dogs' also expect to train or alter every single natural doggy behaviour out of them and give them no actual leeway because they are dogs, but expect them to fit completely into our human world.

You don't train a dog not to be food aggressive by taking it's food bowl away, because all that teaches it is that you will take it away. You can train it that a human coming near it's food bowl or putting a hand near it's food bowl is a good thing by adding food to the bowl, but this should be a case of covering all bases, not because you expect the dog to not be able to eat in peace.

This really was an entirely preventable sitatution and one that can be easily avoided in the future, even without further training.

Babymamaroon Sun 07-Oct-12 21:31:49

In my honest opinion the little girl should not be approaching the puppy from behind when he's eating. It would at best startle the poor thing. He didn't draw blood fgs so why suddenly re-home? What a loving owner you appear to be. Remember it takes two to tango, treat animals with respect and you generaly receive that in return. I would be educating all the little people in my household about appropriate behaviour. Re-homing...hmm just in time for Christmas eh?

Agree with midori, goldship and behind.
Particularly sickening to hear about the dog being hit and recommended as a way of training.
These poor animals at the mercy of people like that.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:32:20

I'm aware food aggression is serious, but in this case it's clear there are factors that led to the puppy feeling uneasy. Strange people in its home, messing about whilst he's trying to eat. The OP said herself it doesn't happen with her children so its clear the dog hasn't got a massive problem with food aggression, the problem lies with the people around at the time not giving the animal the space it needs

It's a two way street. We can't expect our animals to accept everything

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:32:27

bubblegum it's lucky for both you and your dog that it is of a tolerant nature and decided to simply retire to her bed when told. Equally, she might have been less tolerant and decided you were to be feared and she neede dto defend herself.

Hitting a dog is abusing it, not training it. sad

But Flatbread - a child should not be allowed to wander up to a dog when it is eating, surely?
Especially in the scenario you describe below where the dog finds a bone whilst out and about (surely a responsible owner would not allow the dog to eat anyting it just finds on the street?) and then a child wanders up to say hello (surely a responsible parent would not let the child just walk up and surely a responsible dog owner would not let the child just walk up whilst the dog is eating) The onus is that (unlikely) scenario is on the parent / dog owner. Not the dog. It is an animal, not a machine. We need to think for it and protect it from attack / potential food pinching children. Not bully it into submission.

Food agression is a natural instinct, it is what has caused dogs to survive in the wild for generations. Some instincts take longer to disappear than others whilst the dog evolves into a domesticated animal.

What is so wrong with not allowing a child to bother the dog whilst eating? In the same way a child is not allowed to pull the dog's tail, poke it's eyes or bash it on the head??

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:34:43

Yes it would seem dogs should also be trained to put up with having their ears and tails pulled, because people can't be responsible for their children. It's a crying shame it really is.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:35:04

Why is it that we train EVERYTHING out of a dog to suit ourselves when we can do a tiny simple thing to suit them for once?

Errr, so that it doesn't bite children?!

My responsibility is to my DC and training my dog not to be aggressive/bite around food, training which is easily done if you have the patience.

Mars - the dog would not have bitten if you had not allowed the six year old near it whilst eating.

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 21:37:23

Midori, it is training the dog to be non possessive about food - this involves the whole range of actions, giving food, taking it away, feeding it by hand etc.

When you take food away, it is usually accompanied by a sit or wait command, and when the dog obeys, it gets the food as a reward. If it growls or bites, it does not get food and gets corrected. So the dog learns that sitting and waiting are good things to get food, but growling and biting at humans is bad.

When I have a dog, my responsibility is to make sure the dog is safe around other humans, especially children.

Babymamaroon Sun 07-Oct-12 21:37:24

Bubblegum you need to stop being a handy Andy immediately. Bully! By all means chastise and discipline naughty behaviour but smacking animals just breeds fear. Please don't smack again sad(((

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:37:30

Bollocks it's nothing to do with being trained to not bite, you want it to accept whatever comes its way no matter how much it doesn't like it because you're not willing to offer it safety and peace of mind in what's supposed to be its home.

Give the animal a bit of respect and let it eat in peace

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:39:35

Honestly I'm surprised dogs aren't being made to walk on two feet and make tea. hmm

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:39:49

Surely a part of your responsibility to your DC involves teaching them how to behave around dogs and that dogs should be left alone while eating? You can teach a dog to not be aggressive around food or while eating, but that doesn't mean they should have to put up with being disturbed or bothered while eating, they are two totally different things.

My dogs wouldn't be aggressive if my children trod on their tails, poked them in the eye or stuck something in their ears, but that doesn't mean they should have to put up with those things, just because they will.

4boysthatilove Sun 07-Oct-12 21:39:51

Just skimmed through the posts, nothing like a dog thread to get everyone heated under the collar!

Totally shocked that someone has hit their dog - definitel not on.

Qualified dog psychologist and behaviouralist here - feel free to pm for some advice.

FWIW I wouldn't rehome, not unless this behaviour escalates - shelters and pounds are overflowing, dogs are put to sleep daily, some which are given "loving new homes" via the likes of scumtree find themselves as dog fight bait. Don't give up your pup not for one misdemeanour, there needs to be training on both sides. A I said, very happy to offer some sensible advice if you want to pm me.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 21:40:28

Gold ship - so if a woman was raped, it would be her fault for going near a man?! How is that any different from someone saying that children shouldn't go near a dog while the dog is eating.

Victim blaming much? It is down to a poorly trained dog. You can't blame the child for going near a dog - what about if it was a child that is too young to understand? Or a child with SN's that means that they don't understand?

I believe (having been a dog owner and having plenty of young children in the house) that it is a dog training issue, and an issue of the dog owner not giving thought to how to prevent these incidents by feeding the dog somewhere peaceful away from unfamiliar DC's, and not food training them. Though a Lab at 6 months is unlikely to be fully good trained, therefore shouldn't be fed around unfamiliar children, who may have no contact with dogs and therefore have no idea how to behave around an eating dog.

It's the dog owners responsibility, not a child under 10's.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:41:10

GoldShip - are you actually for real? I am finding it really hard to take anything you type seriously.

It has everything to do with being trained not to bite, how is training a dog not to bite children not keeping the dog safe?! How is letting someone walk past an eating dog not keeping the dog safe?! The mind boggles!!!

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:42:29

My dd is for ever going up to dogs, I always put her on the thinking spot when she does. What gets my goat is when owners say oh it ok. I am trying to teach her that she should smooth strange dogs, then they undermined me

So I understand it is a 2 way street

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:42:42

Yes Flatbread, I forgot about your vast experience of dogs... hmm

Yet again, numerous behaviour experts (you know, the sort with university degrees and vast experience in this area) would disagree with you. That seems to often be the case in fact...

crashdoll Sun 07-Oct-12 21:43:34

If it was an older dog, I might think differently but puppies can and do nip.

What does 'get corrected' mean flatbread?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:44:26

Ffs where does rape come into this, I feel bile rising

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:44:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:45:32

Marsbar - if you don't see why an animal should be able to eat in peace without children bothering it then you shouldn't be a dog owner.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 21:45:57

But Midori - not everyone has dogs. It's not as easy to train children how to behave around dogs if they are not regularly around them.

When my older 3 DC's were little, I had a lab, and at 20mo my DS2 knew how to act around an eating dog. I no longer have that dog (she died three years ago), and DS3 has only ever encountered dogs on leads in the street, not eating. He would just have no CLUE how to behave around a dog that was eating.

Therefore it HAS to be the dog OWNER'S responsibility to train their dog or keep it away from guests DC's when it is eating, as they have no idea how much or little their guests DC's know about dogs.

You CAN'T put the responsibility for dog bites on a young child. The responsibility lies squarely with the dog owner for not taking all sensible precautions where unfamiliar DC's are around.

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:46:21

Honestly I'm surprised dogs aren't being made to walk on two feet and make tea

Ooh, now that would be useful. I wonder if I could get mine to do that.... smile

couthymow I don't think anyone has said the child is to blame her, but the OP has said there were many people around and the dog seemed on edge. The adults are at fault here, although as usual, no one wants to take responsibility, so it's the dogs fault... hmm

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:46:43

I'm actually bowing out because I feel sick that a rape analogy has even been brought up. That's actually the worst post I've ever read on this forum and that's saying something

Absolutely disgusting.

And I'll just add that people should have to be fucking tested before they get to own an animal.

crashdoll Sun 07-Oct-12 21:46:44

I agree with Goldship. It is always the dog owner's responsibility.

To use rape as an analogy is beyond vile and ridiculous.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:48:07

GoldShip - Your posts are hilarious & shocking at the same time, I really don't know whether to laugh or shake my head in disbelief, a bit of both maybe?!

4boysthatilove - thanks, will PM you

CouthyMowWearingOrange - totally agree

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:48:31

^Therefore it HAS to be the dog OWNER'S responsibility to train their dog or keep it away from guests DC's when it is eating, as they have no idea how much or little their guests DC's know about dogs.

You CAN'T put the responsibility for dog bites on a young child. The responsibility lies squarely with the dog owner for not taking all sensible precautions where unfamiliar DC's are around.^

Erm, I think you'll find this is what we have been saying. The dog owner is responsible, not the dog.

So maybe lower your blazing guns and read.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:48:43

Marsbar I will put this to you, if you went into a restaurant and someone was pissing you off you wouldn't react. Even if that meant walking out.

With a dog it is different because they do not know when the next meal is coming from, so instincts tell them to protect food

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 21:48:52

Why should a dog get stressed if people come home? Why should it be stressed if people are around when it is eating?

Part of the socialisation is to make dogs non-stressed about these things, and that is what OP is doing.

I actually have pulled my dogs tail and rewarded her each time she was calm about it. I have given her bear hugs and teased her and played with her rough-tumble games. Not because I really want to, but to get her used to all kinds of interactions. And the number of times it has paid off! Random kids in both UK and France have come to her multiple times and have given her bear hugs, played with her, fed her and she loves all these interactions!

What fun is it for a dog to always be on a leash, never get to sniff and eat precious bones and other crap in public places, or be locked up around little children, because it has never learned to be comfortable and at ease around unknown people?

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 21:49:38

Marbars - well I'm glad you find me funny, because what I find funny is that a lot of responsible dog owners on here are in agreement with me both on this thread and via PM.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:49:56

GoldShip - I thought you were bowing out?

monsterchild Sun 07-Oct-12 21:50:49

After reading this, Marsbar, I think you should rehome the dog. It's too much to ask you to continue being worried about how this dog will behave and if you don't trust it, it's better to move on.

crashdoll Sun 07-Oct-12 21:50:51

Ugh the rape analogy is just ignored and people are carrying on arguing. Honestly, it was just gross.

You deliberately pull your dogs tail?
When you said 'correct' your dog, did you mean give it a good old whack?

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:52:19

Marsbars, you dog has bitten a child and as you say, had you not known the parents of the child, they could have reacted very badly, even be calling for your 6 month old puppy to be put to sleep. This has happened due to your failings as an owner and it's only down to your dogs good nature that a child wasn't seriously hurt. Your immediate reaction after you made a mistake is to consider rehoming your dog. I'm not really sure you should be finding anything funny. hmm

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:52:22

monsterchild - I'm hoping it is something we can sort out with more training, I don't want to be in the position where my dog will potentially bite my children or any other children whenever he is eating

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:53:03

Toughasoldboots, Flatbread has said on other threads before she hits her dogs.

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 21:53:20

As a responsible dog owner, I would never allow a child of another family to approach my dog when she was eating, thats common sense.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:54:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

I suspected that's what she meant by 'correcting' behaviour. Bully.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:55:19

midori1999 - I find nothing about the situation today funny. I have done everything I can to try and train my dog not to aggressively guard food. FWIW I wasn't even in the room when he bit my friend's daughter.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:56:41

McHappyPants2012 - can you explain what you mean by immature?

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 21:56:59

I apologise for the analogy. I just saw red, having had my friend lose a child due to the irresponsible actions of a dog owner in similar circumstances, and the victim blaming rather than the acceptance that the dog owner is at fault made me angry.

And tbh, I DON'T see it as different. You blame a young child for getting bitten, rather than the dog that bit's owner, just as people get blamed (as I did) for being raped, rather than the rapist.

So in my book, the victim blaming is no different. Would you blame my friend's toddler for waving her biscuit around near the dog? Was other fault she got torn to pieces? LITERALLY.

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:57:24

God, it gets worse. You knew your dog was nervous or on edge around people in your home and you left it unsupervised or with people it wasn't comfortable around with a bowl of food.... definitely preventable then... Thank goodness nothing more serious happened!

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 21:57:31

You weren't in the room? was any adult?? that is totally unacceptable ! this is a puppy who is still learning ffs ! Who knows what the child may have done.

MigGril Sun 07-Oct-12 21:57:33

how old are your small children? my experience with big dogs and small children has not been great DD has now been hurt a couple of times, mainly with claws from my IL excitable Labradors.

Maybe part of the problem is they don't see us that often. but after a resent incident I'm thinking large dogs and small children just don't mix at all. No matter how careful you are.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:57:52

Well why wasn't you or her mum supervising the 6 year old.

For all we know the child could of done anything from hit, pull tail ect ect.

The point is you and this other mum was to busy gossiping over cups of tea to safeguard both the puppy and child

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:58:20

Please remember your dog is still a baby, also, he's barely a teen.

You don't even know for sure what happened and you are thinking about rehoming?
You don't really want the dog anyway do you?

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:58:41

Couthymow no single person on this thread has blamed the child. They have said the owner is at fault here.

I am truly sorry about your friend's DD, but it appears to be clouding your judgement. (unsuprisingly really)

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 21:58:57

Yup, I have pulled my dogs tail and ruffled her ears and I have given her a tap on her bum as well, on occasion, if she has ignored other warnings.

She must be so abused! But strangely, everyone who meets her is drawn to her because she is such a happy, engaging dog. She gets to go to restaurants off leash. I can trust her to play with unknown children, which she loves.

But hey-ho, the ones who allow their dogs to be food aggressive and nervous around others are somehow doing their dog a 'favour'...I think not!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 21:59:25

And FGS, OP, when you have unfamiliar DC's in the house, give your dog somewhere peaceful and away from the children to eat.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:00:06

McHappyPants2012 - Sorry, can you explain what you mean by immature?
And where do cups of tea come into this?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:00:17

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topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 22:00:21

Please rehome your puppy to me, he will be cared for and trained properly and not put into situations where he may be hurt, where no one is supervising him and small kids.

Yes I do think she is abused flatbread the sad thing is that dogs will take all manner of abuse and still want to be friends.
That's why it's easy to bully them. A 'tap' is a lovely euphemism for hitting isn't it? Sounds so much nicer.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 22:01:34

Midori - I have owned a dog since then. I have no axe to grind against dogs, and will own one again in the future, when I have enough space for one, and the time to properly train it.

What I have an issue with is owners that don't train their dogs, and don't employ common sense when their dog is around unfamiliar children. Both for the protection of those children AND their dog.

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 22:01:55

flatbread I have never hit my dog, not once and she is 4, she is trained through her love of her toys. Why would you have to hit a dog?

And you should be banned from giving out advice in the doghouse.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:02:29

midori1999 - there were 3 adults in the room, her parents and my DH. The dog was not near any of them. The child walked past the dog and it turned around and bit her.

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 22:03:54

toughas who??

Sorry topknob, flatbread should be banned from giving advice on here.

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 22:06:57

Oh I agree, pulling tails?? really??

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:07:16

McHappyPants2012 - why am I 5? That doesn't make sense.

Goldship advised me not to train my dog to stop being aggressive with food, I don't think that is good advice as it goes against what I have been told by both the veterinary nurse and behaviourist.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:11:29

I didn't advise you not to at all, but you seem to think that's the be all and end all instead of accepting that you yourself are at fault here and have a responsibility as a dog owner to provide your dog a place he feels safe to eat in.

And NEVER leave a child unattended with a dog, especially a child that doesn't know the dog well. That's idiotic and could end in tragedy.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:13:33

GoldShip - why do you think she was unattended? There were 3 adults in the room at the time, she walked past the dog.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:14:56

GoldShip - if you train your dog not to be aggressive with food he will feel safe eating around people, that is exactly why they advise to do it, you are teaching them they don't need to be afraid or 'guard' there food.

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 22:15:40

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midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:16:54

Do I Flatbread?! confused

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:17:02

Claps hand to goldship.

Don't you see that not all dogs are the same, and some dogs just want to be left alone while eating

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:17:47

That's all well and good if it works but you've said your dog has already had this training but despite it he still felt that unsafe he had to give a warning snap.

It's your duty to keep your dog safe and to keep others around it safe but you're failing by not giving that dog it's much needed space

I don't know how many times you need to be told, have some respect for this animal and give it what it needs.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:17:48

Flatbread - I agree with you and I really hope we can get over this hurdle with our puppy as of course we don't want to rehome him, we just don't want the risk of him biting our DC or anyone elses.

Why on earth are you sure that mine don't?
And what is funny? You hitting your dog.
I have managed to have an impeccably behaved dog by not hitting or pulling her tail.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:19:35

McHappyPants2012 - all dogs will aggressively guard food if not trained, it is a natural instinct, not a personality trait of a particular dog.

ToothbrushThief Sun 07-Oct-12 22:20:40

These threads are always the same OP. You probably won't get a lot of helpful advice from this thread now just a lot of insults

Competitive 'I'm an experienced dog owner' and outraged dog lovers will prevent useful discussion. I'm waiting for someone to suggest you train your children by biting them...or maybe bite yourself since you're so despicable a person to even consider yourself a dog owner

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:20:43

So how has my dogs never bitten anyone despite being being hunting dogs.

I work in a hospital and even patients get protected meal times.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:20:59

GoldShip - obviously I didn't expect this to happen, we have trained him not to do it and until today he never has.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:22:44

So what does that suggest to you then OP?

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:23:22

McHappyPants2012 -
So how has my dogs never bitten anyone despite being being hunting dogs.

What do you mean?

I work in a hospital and even patients get protected meal times.

What is a protected meal time?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:24:22

And don't say luck, because it is not.

Dogs eat in peace, no one is allowed to disturb them. They have work hard for their meal ( well in the few months it was hunting season) nobody goes hunting now as the law changed, but the same applys now

kid Sun 07-Oct-12 22:24:31

My puppy bit DS on the face, drew blood and we had to take him to hospital, but it never entered my head that we should get rid of puppy as he was still young and learning. Plus. DS had jumped off the settee on to the puppy while he was eating a chew.

Luckily DS was not scarred as the bite was inside his mouth. We made sure DS understood not to jump on the dog again and we also got DS to feed puppy. While puppy was eating, we would remove the food bowl, touch the contents and then return it to the puppy. We also got DS to do this under supervision and all was fine.
Puppy never bit DS or anyone else again and DS is not scared of dogs.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:26:21

GoldShip - it suggests that he needs more food aggression training and also needs a close eye kept on him at all times. He is never left alone with our youngest DC anyway as he is too young to understand how to behave around the dog.

What does it suggest to you Goldship?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:26:34

Protected meal times is when a patient is not disturbed at all when eating, no nurses, doctors, NA, cleaner, occupational therapist, physio, porters or any other HCW is allowed to disturb a patient while eating.

It is clear your PUPPY was very stressed by the situation it was in and reacted badly. A qualified behaviourist will be best placed to resolve the situation.

Such a young dog should not have been left to eat in a stressful situation - it really was asking for trouble; nor should this episode be the thing that defines the rest of its life.

We are not discussing a fully grown, adult dog but a 6 month old puppy which cannot possibly be fully equipped to deal with every situation life will throw at it. As an owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your puppy is not set up for a fall; that it is never in a situation it is not equipped to handle. The pups reaction is not desirable and it needs never to happen again BUT it was in many ways predictable and caused but the stress it felt.

Very few vets are equipped to offer good behavioural advice, and the
RSPCA would be hopeless/useless. Take advantage of the offers up thread and help your pup work through this problem.

One thing I am not clear on is has your puppy shown food possessive agression before you started fannying around with hands in his bowl? Has it happened before?

And you have no reason or excuse to rehome him. Not without demonstrating some committment and appreciation of the value of his life by trying to resolve the problem which was caused by poor judgement and lack of attention to the situation he was struggling in.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:27:43

Unless they need feeding

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 22:28:54


I think you are doing the right thing. Keep training the dog so it does not become possessive around food.

If you have good friends who can help you, I would suggest you get them to hold a piece of food to the puppy and say sit or stay and then give the puppy the food as a reward. Stay is a good one, as it teaches the dog to wait for the food, instead of grabbing it.

Let them touch the puppy, hold it, and if it is calm, another treat as a reward. Let the puppy meet as many new people, dogs and situations as you can, because when they are young, you can really socialise them well.

I have pulled my puppy's tail gently, and rewarded her for a calm response. I have picked her up when she is sleeping and caressed her, so she is easy-going about being disturbed when asleep.

And it is all so that when random children come to play with her, I have done what I can to make her comfortable in those interactions. She loves children and would be heartbroken if she didn't get to play.

And my little puppy (just a month older than yours) is great with children as well.

To me, it is part of my job as a responsible owner. But others who always leash their dog and never give it any freedom to engage with others, will tell you it is a terrible thing to do.

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:31:43

Flatbread -

He spends a lot of time with other dogs and we often have people in and out of the house. At first this made him nervous but now he loves it when we have visitors and is just a really happy dog which is why it came as such a shock to everyone!

You sound like a great dog owner fwiw grin

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:32:17

What has whether you use a lead got to do with this?! even more confused now...

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:33:00

Just to clarify he got nervous around new people when he was very young, 9-12 weeks kind of age, since then he loves being around people, seemingly the more the better!

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:33:07

Wrong answer OP. And I'm not going to bother explaining because you just aren't willing to accept that ultimately, you could have stopped this by giving your dog some respect and space

I find this really upsetting actually. Poor animals being 'trained' to suit humans every situation because people just aren't willing to change slightly. It's all take and no give.

A quiet room on its own is all this dog needs, yet you don't seem to think this.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:35:20

^ have pulled my puppy's tail gently, and rewarded her for a calm response. I have picked her up when she is sleeping and caressed her, so she is easy-going about being disturbed when asleep^

While I accept it must be lovely for you to have such a tolerant dog, why can't PEOPLE be taught that dogs have boundaries instead of what's supposed to be the lesser animal having to be the tolerant one?

MarsBars123 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:35:56

GoldShip - Well it's not the same answer as yours but I don't think that necessarily makes it wrong.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:38:58

Funny that mars, because I've had dogs and puppies all my life and not one has lashed out. None have had this 'food aggression training'
You've had a puppy and it has.

You came on here for advice that you aren't willing to take. What's the point.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:43:00

Goldship I have a brick wall feel free to bang your head against it

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:43:28

Can I take a run up? grin

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:45:01

Go for it pmsl

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 22:45:19

Because, Gold, I don't control the world. I can just teach my dog how to respond in a well-adjusted manner. And on the upside, because she knows how to interact, she gets to do all the things she enjoys - playing with children, getting caresses and attention from strangers in markets etc. Getting to go off-leash in restaurants and get delicious morsels under the table from us and other diners. Meet other dogs and have a good sniff and a tail wag. All the things she absolutely loves.

If she could talk human language, I am very sure this is what she would like -lots of freedom and interaction with humans and dogs. She doesn't want a private space, she could go to a quiet spot in the garden, she has four acres to hide in. She would cry if I locked her in the kitchen when guests come. She probably thinks they have come to play with her smile

SundaeGirl Sun 07-Oct-12 22:45:50

OP, god, ignore Goldship. Just ignore.

You, your children and your visitors should, IDEALLY, be able to put their hands in your dog's bowl while he's eating or take the bowl away or stroke his ears or whatever. He's at the bottom of the pecking order and he should give way to every single human. Definitely keep training in this regard and under no circumstance start giving him 'space' to eat - he mustn't become territorial over food or his bed, etc.

You sound a concerned responsible parent/pet owner, don't let crazy OTTness on here wind you up.

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 22:47:42

I think Mars is going about it the right way. This is probably just a sign that she needs to reinforce the training.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:48:01

Flatbread - mine do all those things but I don't need to pull their tails or do any of this other controlling and slightly sadistic training to ensure this.

And I've never once had to hit them.

They're hardly the easiest of dogs either, great big boxers

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 22:50:04

Got to love the dog owners who allow their dog to approach the ones on lead !

topknob Sun 07-Oct-12 22:51:23

and the ones that pull tails to get what they want from a dog ! No need for this treatment whatsoever.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:53:28

Sundae girl - 'under no circumstances give him space'


Oh deary me.

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 22:53:42

Gold, yup, but then mine don't get nervous around guests and and eating food around strangers. Yours obviously get stressed and need 'private space'. Code word for badly adjusted dogs who cannot be trusted around others.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:54:02

Same here never pulled a tail or inflicted pain on an animal to 'train'

It's people who need training not dogs. Yes the little darlings can do everything to a dog. Yet if the dog reacts rehome the fucker or put it to sleep.

midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:54:55

If the OP was going about things the right way, no child would have been bitten would they?! Hopefully this will be taken as a warning to something potentially more serious and something sensible will be done to prevent this happening again. As I said earlier in the thread, an APBC behaviourist would be a good start to get you on the right track.

I have a rescue dog here who at one point was at very high risk of biting people. Potentially, he could still bite someone given the wrong person/situation as he was treated so badly before I got him and the only thing he knew from humans was a kicking. sad He's never bitten anyone and I have DC in the house, including one with Downs Syndrome who just doesn't understand how to behave around animals. I can absolutely say he never will bite my DC or anyone else either. I didn't get to that point by hitting him either.... hmm

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 22:57:26

Flatbread - excuse me? They aren't nervous around people AT ALL. I just don't allow people to go in whilst they are eating because they should be able to eat in peace. There's no need for people to be wondering around whilst they're eating.

Don't you dare call mine 'badly adjusted' when yours are the way they are through abuse!

SundaeGirl Sun 07-Oct-12 22:58:06

McHP2012 - should we take it you don't have many six year old girls come to visit?

Really, the dog needs to be trained. In a nice gentle way, but yes, dogs need to be trained to deal with six year olds if they are going to be good family pets. If the dog is going to work for Securicor, then, OK, not so much.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 23:02:41

Lol my son is 6 and I hate bring SN in this thread but is asd.

The dogs are up my parents house ( but also come to my house)where we are all rota to take care of our pets, I do Monday and Friday. My mum has 7 children 13 grandchildren and has had 6-7 birthday party's a year for primary aged children, also Halloween, birthdays and my mum hoist her own Xmas for the grandchildren.

My dog have had more experience with children as you can

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 23:03:11

Oldest grandchild is 14 youngest is 18 months

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 23:03:57

Top, if your dog came to France on a leash, I am pretty sure my three would run up to yours off-leash.

No one puts their dog on leash in rural France, at least in my area. Dogs go to children and children come up to dogs all the time. It is normal.

Dogs here have as much of a free life as they possibly can. Far more than in UK. No owners hovering over their dogs and wringing their hands because a strange dog or child has walked over and started playing with the dog.

And IMO, it is the right way to bring up a dog. Let them be free and teach them to be easy-going around others, especially children.

Flatbread Sun 07-Oct-12 23:09:18

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Camusfearna Sun 07-Oct-12 23:19:36

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midori1999 Sun 07-Oct-12 23:27:06

Flatbread, when you are in your other home, in the UK, as you don't live in rural France all the time, do you? Do you put your dogs on a lead in public places then or allow them to approach dogs that are on their leads?

Odd really, you go on about your well trained, well adjusted dogs, but mine have never given me a reason to hit them... hmm

SundaeGirl Sun 07-Oct-12 23:37:08

Camus - of course, I'm a dog owner. Why else would I reply to this thread? confused

Pack order/pecking order is quite a well understood part of canine psychology. I haven't just invented it...

Camusfearna Sun 07-Oct-12 23:46:02

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SundaeGirl Sun 07-Oct-12 23:49:45

You should definitely be able to get into his basket and you should definitely not allow him to get territorial over his toys. I got that from the leaflet from the rehoming charity!

Camusfearna Sun 07-Oct-12 23:57:20

Well, good luck getting into a chihuahua's basket, Sundae.

My point was that not allowing the dog to have some peaceful space to eat, sleep or play will foster the behaviour that you are trying to prevent. Check your leaflet - it should say that dogs need to have some quiet space of their own where they can feel safe and unthreatened. This is where I am disagreeing with your comment that they should under no circumstance have 'space' to eat. And expecting them to fit in with every human is totally unrealistic - if someone comes to visit with four children, the dog is supposed to be pushed and pulled about by these and just take it? Hmm hmm.

SundaeGirl Sun 07-Oct-12 23:58:13

Er, yes.

lovebunny Sun 07-Oct-12 23:58:15

rehome the dog.

xkittyx Mon 08-Oct-12 00:01:12

Actually the pack/pecking order thing is just one theory on canine psychology, and one a lot of people don't agree with.

midori1999 Mon 08-Oct-12 00:07:17


Pack theory is actually absolutely outdated and debunked now.

Some links here:

OP, you might find the Jean Donaldson book 'Mine!' which is about resource guarding helpful in understanding and dealing with your dog.

midori1999 Mon 08-Oct-12 00:11:15

and here:

You can see that supporting organisations include the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, APDT and APBC, amongst others.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 00:16:53

Midori, your dogs had dog aggression, from an older thread. Mine don't.

I have tapped my dogs on their bum when they have ignored other warnings or if they are hyper and I need to snap them back. If they are food aggressive (only happened once when they got their first bone), i have held them and taken the bone and given it back when they stopped growling. Nipped it in the bud and never had any issues around food or another resource guarding. My three dogs happily wait and play near their food bowls till their freshly cooked meat cools, without getting stressed about eating. They each gnaw on their bones without fights (although puppy prudently eats his very close to me). Food is just not an issue. Nor is meeting people, being cuddled by children or hanging out with new dogs. tbh, they are lovely, laid-back dogs, happy where ever they are.

My dogs would consider cages (or crates as they are euphemistically called), halter collars that give them pain when they pull, being left alone/locked up in a kitchen when guests are around as terrible punishments. Luckily they have never been subject to these things.

Regarding your question about the uk, of course I put my dogs on the lead if required, but also let them run off leash whenever possible. I have seen some neurotic middle age women and their nervous dogs on the leash, even in dog parks, transmitting their anxiety to the poor dog who looks miserable and off-balance. My dogs tend to avoid them (and so do I)

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 00:26:02

And btw, my dogs need very little, if any correction now. They are just really well-behaved dogs. Even the adorable seven-month old can be trusted to be behave well off-leash in a market, cafe or restaurant, with minimal supervision.

The ones who go on about private space for the dog, letting the dog control food and toys and other resources, ime, have stressed dogs. No wonder these dogs can't be trusted to roam free without cages and leashes and hyper-ventilating human mums protecting them from evil 6 yr olds wink

midori1999 Mon 08-Oct-12 00:32:16

I'm sorry Flatbread, you are wrong. My 'dogs' plural do not have dog aggression. One of my dogs is dog aggressive, he is a rescue dog and has all sorts of issues due to his dreadful start in life. However, there have been huge improvements in him in the time we have had him. He was also aggressive towards humans when we got him, he no longer is, but I doubt he will ever be totally comfortable around people he doesn't know. He is the very sad product of what hitting a dog as a punishment and not socialising them can do, as well as puppy farming. He can also be food aggressive with the other dogs, although not with me, again, as a result of his very poor start in life where he literally had to fight other dogs for his food in order to survive. sad Taking on a rescue dog with a lot of very serious issues is very different to bringing up a dog from a puppy or taking in an older but fairly well adjusted dog. If anyone were to ever hit him again, now he is rather large and rather strong, I doubt he would react well to it, and why should he, quite frankly?

However, none of my dogs have ever done anything to warrant a 'tap on the bum' (a smack, that's what it is, lets not beat about the bush!) and are well adjusted, well behaved dogs, even the rescue one is in most ways. He's certainly well trained!

However, anecdotal evidence of our own dogs aside, the OP clearly has a problem as her dog has felt the need to resort to a bite, one that could have been prevented, so something has gone wrong somewhere.

I have to say, having close relatives who live in rural France and having seen in your own words how dogs are treated there, their animal welfare standards are not something I aspire to.

midori1999 Mon 08-Oct-12 00:38:23

And as you can see, my dogs are horribly stressed and poorly socialised....

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 01:06:58

Midori, I am pretty sure I have seen threads where you have had problems with two of your bitches fighting and another/or same dog that is aggressive to other dogs and humans.

My girl dog is a rescue too. Brushing aside all the excuses, end result is you have a dog/dogs that are stressed around humans and dogs. I have happy well-adjusted dogs who socialise with children, strangers and other dogs without a second thought. (You can see my profile pictures too, and see our happy dog family.)

Like I said, the proof is in the pudding.

But getting back to the OP, her puppy had the opportunity to bite, because she actually is allowing her dog to get socialised, unlike some who lock theirs in cages or always have them on leash. Now OP knows to continue with her training in making the dog easy-going around food.

All those saying that their dog never has issues of resource guarding because they give it all the resources it wants, is analogous to parents boasting their child never throws a tantrum because the parents head it off by giving the child whatever it wants. Yup, give the dog whatever it wants, hide the stressed creature from the rest of the world, and there you go, complaining on mn about evil six yr olds and other nasty dogs who throw poor Fido off balance hmm

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 01:22:14

I do agree with you though, that there are many dogs in rural France who are treated very badly. Especially hunting dogs.

midori1999 Mon 08-Oct-12 02:09:10

Well, at least we agree on something.

The dog that is aggressive with other dogs and was aggressive towards humans, although has never bitten one, is my rescue dog. I wasn't aware you had a rescue dog, is that the one you bred from? I do vaguely remember you saying you had 'rescued' her from her breeder.

However, enough of the pissing contests, the fact is, the OP needs proper professional help before something worse happens. What she has been doing so far has clearly not been working, as the dog has bitten someone and regardless of yours, mine or the thoughts of anyone else on this thread, this is something the OP needs real life experienced help with.

OP, you can fine a good behaviourist through the APBC, as said earlier in the thread and your insurance should cover a behaviourist from this body if it covers behaviour problems.

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 08:09:30

Aww midori they're lovely.

And flatbread, please stop assuming. I haven't posted anything about my dogs behaviour have I? So how can you say they're aggressive? They've never once bit, nipped or growled at anyone. And that isn't due to over training or abuse, its from knowing how animals work and respecting it whilst raising them to be good dogs. Bit of give and take.

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 08:19:53

And no dog should have to be trained to be acceptant of being pushed and pulled an generally irritated. That shouldn't be happening in the first place.

We're supposed to love and protect our animals yet all some of you are doing are training them to become shadows of themselves, tolerant of anything you wish upon it. If you've got children that want to grab and maul, you teach them not to. Or don't get a dog in the first place.
Another clear example of where humanity won't change their own actions but force others to live with them instead

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 08:42:35

OP, this is not so complicated. Your puppy is resource guarding. It saw the unknown 6 yr old as a threat/competitor for the food and nipped.

On the positive side, you have taught the pup bite inhibition, and there was no real damage.

Going forward, you continue to reinforce the message that humans control food resources. Continue reinforcing the training from your vet:

*Make pup sit and wait for food and only once you say ok, does the pup get food
* Put you hand regularly in the food bowl, add things, remove things. The dog should be very relaxed around that
* take the bowl away, give a wait command and when the dog obeys, give it back and drop another goodie in. If the dog growls or is tense, do no give it back, continue sitting with the dog till it calms, and then give it back
* feed the dog by hand often, giving it commands between treats -simple stuff like sit and wait.
* give it meals in different spots in the house and in various bowls, so it does not get possessive over anything food related

Do all or some of this everyday. At 6 months pups often forget their training and also like to push boundaries. Keep doing it and the puppy will learn that humans control food resources and guarding food gets him nowhere. On the other hand, calm behaviour and good manners get rewarded with food. It will eventually get imprinted in his brain.

Also, make sure the pup has lots of exercise. At 6 months they are bursting with energy and it is easier to get them in a calm frame of mind around food, when they have had other physical and mental exercise.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 09:30:02

Visiting children are not allowed near my dogs when they are eating. Visiting children are not allowed anywhere near even my most tolerant dogs unless they are supervised very closely.

It's not that I don't trust my dogs. I don't trust other people's kids.

As pointed out earlier other people do not always train their children the correct way ton behave around dogs. I have known children to get right up in the face of whippy dog, something which most dogs would find threatening. The parents just smile and aww hmm.

Don't rehome your dog OP. Supervise it better. Give it space when eating. Add better things to it's bowl while it is eating. Stop taking the bowl away. I train to be able to take things away using toys and bones. I give a toy. I hold something of higher value. I show them what I have, they drop the toy, I give them higher value treat and then give them what they had back. Eventually this behaviour is paired with the command "give". All of my dogs will "give" up anything because they have learnt I am no threat to their toys or food.

Read up on up to date theories. Jean Donaldson "The Culture Clash" John Bradshaw "In Defence of Dogs" anything by Ian Dunbar. Contact an APDT behaviourist for further advise on the dog's behaviour on food.

Flatbread is a good dog owner isn't she? She is the fountain of all knowledge on anything canine related. She knows more than any published author or degree educated behaviourist. Unfortunately us mere mortals can only dream of understanding our dogs so well. She can communicate with them with her eyebrows shock

Midori makes a lot of sense and uses words to train her dogs. I'd echo everything she has said on this thread.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 09:40:51

It's not that I don't trust my dogs. I don't trust other people's kids

Codeword for I have not trained/socialised my dogs properly and cannot trust them in different situations.


D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 09:43:09

It's not a code for anything, love, it's English. It means I don't trust other people's children to behave appropriately around my dogs.

I take in rescue dogs. Some of whom have issues because of the way they have been treat in the past. Allowing untrained children unsupervised access to them would be silly and asking for trouble.

Are there still people who think in order for a dog to "know it's place in the pack" you have to stick your hands in their food and pull their tails?

I dont let any children, my own or any one else's go up behind any of my dogs when they are eating. The same way I wouldn't expect anyone to come up behind me and stick their hands in my food or pull my hair.

I can take my little dogs bowl away when he is eating because he knows that means he will get a high value treat in it. And they will sit and wait for their food.

But to let any child go up and disturb a dog, whilst he is eating is quite strange to me.

whogivesaduck1 Mon 08-Oct-12 10:00:01

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whogivesaduck1 Mon 08-Oct-12 10:02:17

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HiHowAreYou Mon 08-Oct-12 10:03:34

I feel awfully sorry for Flatbread's dog. I really do. Poor thing. I've never heard anybody sound proud of pulling a dog's tail before! Bizarre. sad

OP, it must have been a shock to see your dog snap, but really, it's still just a puppy, and to automatically think of rehoming is just cruel.
You need to keep thinking about the situations you put your dog into. Strange people in a busy room with children pushing past it while eating was probably not the best plan in hindsight.
Keep training, keep teaching.
Don't give up. The dog is practically still a baby!

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 10:05:04

When I was a child other children did pull my hair. Even now babies like to pull my hair and play with it.

And dh regularly comes from behind and takes popcorn off my bowl .

No, I don't bite in response wink

Anyway, the comparison with people is silly as dogs are not human.

No, and nor are they wolves that run in packs and have to be dominated in a ridiculous fashion in order for them to learn their place in the pack.

Floralnomad Mon 08-Oct-12 10:09:10

OMG I can't believe this thread is still going this morning - did you people carry on all night!

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 10:13:51

Hihow, yup, I am proud that I pull my dogs tail gently, ruffle her ears, check her gums, check her paws, examine and groom all of her body, and hug her and kiss her on her nose with her face pressed against mine. And you know what, she loves it. All of it. Because she has been taught that human contact and touch is a good thing.

And she is safe around any child. That is what every responsible dog owner needs to ensure. And you do it by making your dog comfortable in most situations, not hiding them away.

My dogs are safe around my children. Because my children know how to behave with them, they take the little dog to puppy classes and know how what to do.
Someone else's child, coming up behind any of my dogs and pulling their tails or taking their food is a different story.

LookBehindYou Mon 08-Oct-12 10:26:22

No you shouldn't rehome because of this, although it's ultimately your decision. There's a lot you can do to rectify.

It is not acceptable for a dog to be agressive over its food. If you have a poorly trained dog, sure, keep it well away when eating. But it shouldn't be necessary.

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 10:56:47

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D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 11:07:16

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And out of curiosity, when you say you need to start training the puppy, have you not been doing this already?

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:11:08

The advice Goldship gave me was to feed the dog away from people. In the short term this might work but it is not a long term solution. He needs to learn not to be scared/aggressive around food.

I thought we had trained him well enough but obviously not, the vet said lots of dogs regress when they hot adolescence and need to be re-trained.

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 11:11:42

glodship it really scares me that you own dogs, I'm not saying this to try and insult you, I genuinely believe you shouldn't.

Sorry but who's dog went for a child? Oh yeah, yours. So don't patronise me. I've owned dogs and rescue dogs all my life and know how to treat them with love and respect and to help them grow into pleasent safe animals. Instead of programmed robots.

And thankyou d0ing x

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 11:12:23

And thanks tantrums

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:13:13

TantrumsAndBalloons - Yes we have been training him, he's also been to classes and is a really lovely well behaved dog. He has never done this before which is why it was such a shock.

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:15:00

GoldShip - Just out of interest what would your dog do if a child went up behind them while they were eating or put their hand in their food bowl? I realise you would never let this happen of course, but why, what do you think the dog would do?

Well, obviously feed the dog away from strange people, especially strange children who the dog doesn't know.

I don't know what you want to happen, that any stranger can come and stick their hands in your dogs bowl whilst it is eating or come up behind it and pull its tail?

Is that what you want to train your puppy to do?

Is this part of the "know your place in the pack" nonsense?
Because you might want to read up on pack theory if it is. You might find out that leaving a dog to eat in peace, and god forbid letting it walk in the door before you does not actually turn your dog wild.
It doesn't start thinking its equal and better go and get a job and start buying its own food.

McHappyPants2012 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:17:46

What really annoys me is when people watch a film, like marley and me, then think it is a good idea to have a dog.

When having DC i didn't just ask HCP advice but also other parents. The experts don't know everything imo.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 11:18:31

I wouldn't let a child walk up behind any of my dogs while they were eating, nor would I allow them to put their hand in the bowl.

Dog1: He would growl, possibly snarl and then walk away
Dog2: Would happily give up her food
Dog3: Would simply snatch his food back

If it happened regularly all of them would learn they need to protect their food from children at all costs.

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:18:39

TantrumsAndBalloons - he knows the child quite well.

mars I know you didn't ask me, but I'll answer.

I'd never in a million years let a strange child go behind my dog whilst it's eating,put its hand in its bowl, pull its tail, any more than I'd let anyone follow the dog into its safe place under the stairs.

It would upset the dog, it's unnecessary and tbh both of my dogs would growl at the child who did this. And if it continued to do it, may snap.

I don't think it's ever ok to put a child or a dog in that position.

That's why responsible dog owners supervise their dogs with children. So that it doesn't happen.

You didn't do that. You allowed a strange child to go up behind your puppy whilst it was eating. That makes the situation your fault

He knows the child well? Has the child ever done this before?

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:23:24

You know what, I don't think this is a constructive thread, I don't want my dog to show food aggression and don't think it's acceptable, neither does my vet.

Some of you obviously think it's a good thing and are happy with it.

We are not going to agree on this.

It is just going round and round in circles punctuated by random inane comments from McHappyPants2012.

I am going to go now, start re-training our puppy and I will speak to the behaviourist on Wednesday,

Thanks for all the advice, good and bad, it has bee interesting to say the least!

LookBehindYou Mon 08-Oct-12 11:24:12

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My dog doesn't like to be approached when he's eating. He doesn't respond aggressively, but he shys away from his food bowl, head down, tail appeasing wildly. He is anxious if he is surprised. I can approach him, from the front, and he'll eye me while trying to inhale the food, bum waggling enough to make him unstable (he often falls over). So we just don't deliberately approach him. Visiting children are told to leave the dog alone while he eats. It clearly makes him uncomfortable, and I tend to leave him be. I was always told to leave a dog alone when it was eating or sleeping.

Yes food aggression is a wonderful thing. That's exactly what this thread said.

You need to address your own behaviour as well as the dogs.

You don't allow children to go behind a dog whilst it's eating. A child that is not part of the family, you supervise. It's quite simple.

Food aggression isn't a good thing, imo, but I think you can train a dog to be comfortable and therefore not feel the need to guard. Doesn't food guarding come from fear of not having food? <might have invented that>

No I am not the oracle

I've been a rescue dog owner for 15 years, I also foster dogs who have been mistreated beyond belief. I also have 3 children, nieces, nephews, godchildren. And not one of the dogs in my home has ever bitten or snapped at any child.

But just ignore that, because my tone is irritating

Do you know what else is irritating? People not supervising their dogs and children and then getting rid of them when the dog growls because the owner thinks any child should be able to do whatever they like to a dog and it shouldn't react.

It's irritating to have to try and find homes for these dogs.
It's irritating that there are dogs PTS because of this.

But obviously my tone is the worst thing of all

whogivesaduck1 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:34:43

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LookBehindYou Mon 08-Oct-12 11:39:12

Do you guys think it's possible she called her vet?
You are nuts. Seriously, get some perspective.

whogivesaduck1 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:40:27

mars if a random child came up and pulled my dogs tail whilst he was eating then he would just ignore it! but that is just because he just doesnt give a shit.

Ephiny Mon 08-Oct-12 11:40:39

No, of course you shouldn't rehome your puppy FFS. If you feel unable to keep him for any reason, please contact the breeder you bought him from as your first port of call. A responsible breeder should take their puppies back.

However, puppies nip and mouth, it's what they do (unless they're taught not to) and you should be able to prevent a repeat incident with a combination of training your pup and supervising young children around him.

No I don't, given that they don't tend to do phone consultations.
Your constructive comments are great though, keep it coming.

WithoutCaution Mon 08-Oct-12 11:42:16

Mars - do you have space for a crate or a large dog bed? That could be used as a safe space for your dog. My boy has a crate (the door is never closed) and no one disturbs him if he goes in there. He'll take himself off to the crate if we have a lot of people over as he doesn't do crowds. We don't feed him there though - If we have guests with children around then he is fed in the utility room instead of the kitchen - Minimises the potential risks

I can put food into and take food out of his bowl.
I can move his bowl
I can tell him to leave it and he'll back away from the bowl or whatever he was trying to eat that I didn't want him to - random bone found in the street etc.
I can tell him to drop it and he'll drop whatever he has in his mouth
He won't eat food from the floor unless told that he can
He won't take food from your hands unless given permission - he also knows damn well not to think that young children waving food around is an invitation to come and eat it
I can stroke him all over both while he is eating and when he isn't - very important

I should add that usually he is left in peace to eat but I wanted to make sure that he was food safe especially after growing up with a very food aggressive dog. He has never been hit just has very firm boundaries and a set routine

BUT I would never let DS or any young child go near the food bowl while he is eating. Young children do not always understand that pushing past/pulling fur/generally being annoying can be very irritating to the dog. You do have to train both dog and child to ensure that everyone is happy and safe, anyone who tells you any different is an idiot - Do I also bother to tell you that the vast majority of problem dog behaviours stem from the owners lack of knowledge in - the dogs body language, behaviour, how the dog would see a situation, inconsistent to non existent training etc.

The dog never bothers us while we are eating so we generally try to avoid bothering him and shock horror I studied canine behaviour and nutrition as part of one of my degrees.

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MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 08-Oct-12 11:49:03

The dog never bothers us while we are eating so we generally try to avoid bothering him <-- That. And all the rest of that post.

Ephiny Mon 08-Oct-12 11:52:58

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Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 11:54:29

I would be more worried about your dog OP, in honesty. If you genuinely believe that Flatbread is the epitome of responsible dog ownership and that the poster who hits her dog is anything more than a bully and a coward then I fear you need far more help than any behaviorist can give you

Lol. I am a very good dog owner. I get compliments on my dogs so often when we are out. People come up and play with our dogs and just love their good nature and responsiveness to human touch. My vet has said if anything were to happen to us, she would be the first in line to get our dogs.

My neighbour's dog has decided to adopt us and come and live with us, and he refuses to go back. He has all the 'private space' he needs at my neighbour's home and no children to bug him. But still, he feels happier in our home. Why? Because he likes how we treat our dogs and he wants to enjoy the kind of life they lead.

Dogs respond to leadership and a tap on the bum is neither here nor there. If you don't want to do it, fine. But it is a non-issue. What is a problem is a nervous, aggressive dog who is stressed because its owners have not made adequate effort to socialise it and train it. And yours sound like that, Doing. Resource guarding is bad, and any moron who panders to it, is frankly bonkers as conkers, in my book.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 12:02:14

Mars, best of luck. I think you are doing the right thing.

I am appalled, but not surprised at some of the poster. Questioning whether OP is telling the truth is way out of line. Honestly, most of you should be ashamed of yourself.

And while you are at it, please wipe the froth from your mouths. It is most unappealing.

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:12:23

Flatbread - Thanks flatbread. The vet was great, we have two who work down there, one is also a behaviourist but she's not in until Wednesday so the other woman kindly took 5 minutes to speak to me. I think it will be fine, she says it's common for dogs to need re-training at this age. Thanks for your support and advice smile

Having read D0oins posts on here before it sounds as if you are way way off with your remarks about unsocialised dogs.
Maybe getting your facts first before assuming you know what you are talking about would be better?

You on the other hand are quite vocal about the fact that you are happy to disciple your dogs in such a manner.
Personally it would amaze me to think anyone believes this is ok but as you are not the one posting here to say your dogs have bitten someone, I have no earthly reason to assume your dogs are anything other than happy and well behaved.

I have just seen to many dog owners so utterly invested in this pack theory and dominating their dogs, and also seen the problems it has caused that I cannot agree with it.

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 08-Oct-12 12:31:49

Questioning whether OP is telling the truth is way out of line.

I think you're the only one who's behaved so badly as to have had a post deleted on this thread Flatbread.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 12:40:27

Of course there is a hierarchy in our household and a clear understanding of who controls resources. And nor is any aggressive resource guarding allowed.

This is not pack theory. It is common sense. But not that common amongst the frothing dog owners on this thread, apparently.

If you think you can control every interaction your dog has, the poor thing is leading a very limited existence. Most of the dogs I know are free to wander around, sniff up a good bone, gnaw it in a public place and not worry if a toddler or another child is in close vicinity. This is because they are not aggressive about food or any other resource.

I am surprised how under-socialised so many dogs seem to be, nervous and growling around food and owners pandering to it. Thinking the solution is to give the dog private space, rather than teach it to be comfortable and non-stressed around others. They are irresponsible owners, IMO.

But we aren't talking about wandering around outside and eating a bone (which my poor unsocialised dogs are not allowed to do as I would prefer they didn't eat bones they find outside which are generally cooked chicken bones and very dangerous.

We are talking about a puppy, eating in his own his own house,from his own bowl and a child unexpectedly comes up behind him and startles him. A child that does not live in his house.
He was startled.

And it is extremley irresponsible not to give your dog a safe place in its own home. Dogs get sick, tired, fed up of lots of people around them and need a safe place to go to where they know no one will follow them.

I'm surprised you don't agree with this, having such happy well adjusted dogs. I'm surprised you think it's ok for a dog, who wants a bit of quiet to be denied that and instead be followed around by any child who fancies pulling their tail.

But I've seen and fostered dogs that have been disciplined into submission and are not allowed to have any feelings, that are smacked of they growl because they are hurt or sick.

Yes, that's a much better life.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 12:55:29

My dogs aren't stressed so they don't need a hiding place. If a child pulls their tail and they don't like it, they have four acres of garden to go and hide in. But they never do, it is too much fun hanging around humans to go anywhere else.

If a dog is food aggressive at home, it will be food aggressive outside. It is simply common sense.

I will say this again, if your dog needs to protect its food from others, need to eat alone, it is stressed. It is not good for the dog or others around it.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 12:55:51

I am wondering what socialising your dog has to do with resource guarding?

Mine are all very happily socialised and will run around the beach happily with both children, adults and unknown dogs. I don't feed them a dish of kibble down there. I normally wait until we get home.

They will all let me approach them while they are eating. They will all let me get close enough to add to their bowl while they are eating. They will all ignore a child walking past them while they eating. They will all give, drop and leave on command. None of them snatch food.

I have not trained them to be happy about having a child sticking their hands in their bowl, no. Why would I? Children in my house are supervised around dogs and food. There is no need to train for something that will never happen.

My dogs are left in peace to eat. That does not mean I can't handle them while they are eating.

Ok so your dogs never need a safe place?

Well done, you have disciplined them into submission.

I'm sure they are never stressed, they wouldn't dare be.

LookBehindYou Mon 08-Oct-12 13:25:34

Anyway, OP. No harm was done and you got a good clear sign that your pup needs some intervention and maybe your home needs some rearranging. Hope you get the help you need from the behaviourist and enjoy your dog.

YoloOrTwice Mon 08-Oct-12 15:15:49

Wow after reading all of that I'm amazed!

OP you have had some very good advice on here goldship and mchappy but it seems if it ain't from flatbread you ain't listening.

And flatbread shame on you for hitting your dogs! No wonder they are so "well behaved" you have "tapped" out their personalities.

And just to add dogs are animals with a brain you cannot control them and if you think you can your a fool!


Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 15:35:48

Yolo, bet you have nervous, stressed dogs and that is just their 'personality. Lol

Mine are happy and engaging, not scared of human or animal interactions. We are just back from a long walk by the river, the dogs swam and chased sticks and bought them back at our feet, for the next throw. Very well behaved indeed. Some other walkers stopped by smiling to admire them and told us we have lovely dogs.

Had a picnic. Dogs ate their food calmly, no issues. They don't need to eat in a fixed spot with noone around like some other neurotic animals.

So all in all, a fun day for our dogs. Hope yours are enjoying their isolation and 'private space' to express their nervous and stressed personalities, eh?

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 15:55:36

Flatbread, everyone disagrees with most of what you post on most threads. Has it never occurred to you that maybe we are the ones who are right and you are wrong?

No d0oin, we know nothing. All the people all over the world that have well behaved dogs, who have rescue dogs that needed a lot of work,who actually think dogs should not be tormented by every child that feels like pulling its tail,who think dogs have just as much right to have their own safe place like everyone else, who don't have to smack their dogs in order to discipline them- we are all wrong.

Your dog bringing back a stick is not an indicator that you are a good dog owner or that your dogs are stress free.
However, being happy to admit you feel the need to smack your dogs, and let people pull on its tail or ears indicates that 1) your dogs are not as stress free, and happy as you like to think and 2) they probably wouldn't dare to be any other way in case you smack them.

I admit I don't know much about training dogs but there must be better ways than tormenting them by pulling their tails and waking them up when theyre sleeping

YoloOrTwice Mon 08-Oct-12 16:13:29

Yes flatbread my poor dogs, I'll just go and give back my handling ribbons oh and their good citizen awards. (silver so ya boo sucks to you)
My gosh my poor doggies I'll let them out of their horrid cages as they are so stressed while tucking into their tripe.


Ooh can I go completley off subject and say I am so proud of little dog who is now training for his bronze.

It's going to be a while before he actually gets it, but after a few dreadful months weeks, he has finally remembered all the good stuff sort of and I am very very happy.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 16:21:59

me: What do you do when a doggy is eating?
5yo: What do you mean? Eating hotdogs? Tell them to sit. Scruffy knows Meerkat. I like Meerkat. Have you got any hotdogs?
me: No, not treats. What do you if they are eating from their bowl?
5yo: confused You don't do noffing. You leave them alone.
me: And if you wanted to get past while they were eating?
5yo: You say "Excuse me" to Scruffy and he moves his bum bum out of your way. You shouldn't never push him or touch him while is eating. You shouldn't never push him ever.

I've just tested her "Excuse me" theory and he actually does move. I have no idea who taught him this. Dd2 claims to have taught him, maybe she did grin

I also asked her how you should teach your dog to allow someone to pull their tail. She replied "Why would you do that? You shouldn't never hurt the doggies. I am going to tell the police man of you if you hurt our doggy, mammy"

YoloOrTwice Mon 08-Oct-12 16:24:31

Yay tantrums good luck!!!

Thanks yolo

My dd will be ever so proud, she has worked so hard with him

Now, he's just got to carry on remembering.....we hope smile

monsterchild Mon 08-Oct-12 16:42:07

My dog certainly needs a safe place inside. She is very polite to everyone, extremely sweet and doesn't even growl at the cat if he comes sniffing around her bowl.
However, this time of year she turns into a lump of unpredictable quivering jelly because of the DEATH BALLOONS! Huge horrible hot air balloons fill the skies and threaten her with death rays and torture! I can actually hear two of them right now.
While these monstrous demons hover above, my dog will do anything to get inside and safe. Even if they are tiny in the sky, she will panic, scratch the door, leap tall building and chew her way out of the fence.

So during the balloon fiesta, she is treated with kid gloves and we all give her the space and safety she needs. Because I have no idea what she would do if she thought a balloon was going to actually make contact (or land in the yard, as has happened).

YoloOrTwice Mon 08-Oct-12 16:42:36

And OP I'm sure your faith in your puppy has been shaken by What has happened but it really is going to be ok. Look at this as an opportunity to reassess your training and a way to move forward.

Take on board peoples ideas and advice and find what works for you, your family and your puppy.

But please don't run back to the rehoming question everytime something isn't perfect. A dog is for life luv


Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 16:43:53

Lol, keep training for your awards. My dogs are happy having an active social life and hanging out with people.

Last weekend we had people over with their family and dogs. Our dogs loved all the interaction. At the end of the meal, all the dogs, ours and the other three friend's dogs got the lamb fat and left over stew. Very desirable treats and not one of the six dogs being fed had resource guarding issues. Because they have been trained to be easy-going about food and eat around people, family, strangers etc

This weekend we are going to a friend's house. Same thing. Our dogs will come along. All the dogs and children will play create a nuisance and then we will eat and all the dogs will get to share the leftovers.

This type of ease around people and food has to be taught, through proper socialisation and training.

I know that if my dogs have a choice between being trained for 'good citizen awards' or hanging around playing with other dogs and children and getting yummy food in these parties....they would definitely choose the latter.

YoloOrTwice Mon 08-Oct-12 16:46:20

@ monsterchild aaawwwwwwwww poor baby! They are such funny things, one of mine is scared shitless of a gnome statue we see on one of our road walks!

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 16:50:02

I know that if my dogs have a choice between being trained for 'good citizen awards' or hanging around playing with other dogs and children and getting yummy food in these parties....they would definitely choose the latter. <- Mine are lucky enough to do all of these things. It's not an either, or.

You can have dogs in training who are given free time to play with other dogs. Part of my training with Whippy involves us stalking people with small, white dogs, that she can meet.

All three of mine were out running another 5 dogs only last night. This morning the one training for his brozne award did some clicker training, loose leash work and recall around distractions, he was not allowed to run off with the other dogs at the park. He was rewarded with his favourite game after training was done. Tomorrow he will be back with our 'pack' at the beach.

monsterchild Mon 08-Oct-12 16:59:18

Yolo that's worse then the balloons of death! Does pup get all anxious as you approach the gnomes den if terror yard?

every morning as the weather turns, my dog starts each day by going slowly outside and looking up for the balloons. If she doesn't see any, she'll got for a quick pee and run back in. If she sees any, she will only go out with a protective escort. She is also smart enough that by noon they are all gone, and she's perfectly happy to go out unescorted.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 17:00:44

Ah, Dooing, I though you mentioned earlier that one of your dogs would growl if a child came up to his food bowl? If that happened, the dog would be on my blacklist and not invited back to a lunch/ dinner get together. If it were a young puppy like OP's, yes, everyone would make some allowances. But for an older dog, no. They should have been trained and socialised by then.

My dogs are not performing seals. The have limited focus and I prefer spending the time teaching them skills that enable them to have a happy life. The rest of the time they sleep and lounge around. Having fun is exhausting, you know. smile

Inthepotty Mon 08-Oct-12 17:05:27

Flatbread you and your dogs seem to be living in a famous five novel.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 17:05:51

He would growl if a child put their hand in his food, given the choice between retreat or attack if the growling did not make the child understand he did not want to share his food, he would retreat.

I would not feed my dog at a party. I would have treats on me and toys to use as rewards/distractions if needed, but he wouldn't be fed a meal from his bowl around a lot of other dogs and people.

He is also very focused during training 1) because he has been taught to focus on me and only me when we are training and 2) he enjoys the interaction and attention from me 3) it gains him rewards of food, games or love.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 17:06:53

Monster, don't encourage the fear. Don't send an escort. Throw a stick or ball or bone even when the balloons are out, and let her run out alone to get the treat.

If you ignore the balloons, soon she will too. Same for fireworks or thunder. Ignore and dog will be easygoing about it. Reassure the dog, and it will think that there is indeed something to fear, and will become anxious.

Yes. That's it. They just spend their time training and never have fun.

FFS you seem to be going out of your way to twist every single word in your favour. Well good luck to you.

My big dog has gone from being terrified of everything and everyone because he was unsocialised, fed only his owners leftovers, smacked all the time and not trained in the slightest, not even sit, stay, wait.

It makes me sick that you would look down your nose on people who train their dogs, and take pride in them achieving something.
You have no idea how much hard work it took for him to be able to go out of the door. He kept waiting for one of us to hit him.

And the pup was in a cage 14 hours a day from 7 weeks. He was again completley untrained,and unsocialised.
So the very fact that after 4-5 months with us, he is ready to start working towards his bronze means a lot to me.

I've never hit, smacked, kicked or pulled any dogs tail or allowed anyone to do it. And even the most severely mistreated foster hasn't bitten anyone because I make sure they feel safe and I don't allow random children to torment them.

But yes, having left over stew clearly makes you the better owner and all my and my DDs hard work with little dog means shit.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 17:16:27

Seems like an alternative planet here, sometimes.

Once again, if your dog growls because a child came close to its food, it is resource guarding. For any normal person, that is not acceptable behaviour and the dog would be trained pronto to be easygoing around food.

As for your not feeding dogs at a party, that is frankly your dog's loss. I am sure he would prefer being trained to have good food manners and be invited to, and get play and treats at parties from the host and other guests. But instead he has to learn to focus on you, as his sole source of entertainment.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 08-Oct-12 17:21:32


Did you miss the bit where I said he spent yesterday evening running free on the local beach with 7 other dogs?

He will do the same again tomorrow night, only perhaps there will only 5 other dogs, perhaps there will be more. It depends on who, if anyone, we meet along our way.

Did you also miss the bit where I said I can handle my dog while he is eating? And add things to bowl and get him to give me his bone/toy/stolen items?

Like Tantrums just said, you are determined to twist things to make yourself look better.

Our puppy is with us because, like you, his owners thought he should be happy to put up with any treatment and was happy to, until the day he wasn't and he bit one of their children, that was when he came to live with us.

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

monsterchild Mon 08-Oct-12 17:39:09

Flatbread, I appreciate your input. I agree making a big deal or comforting her would reinforce the fear, so we don't make a big deal of this, but she won't leave the house if she can see a balloon. Even if it is only the size of your fingernail. And other than picking her up and physically removing her from the house, there's no other way to get her outside to pee. I have to go out and feed the horses anyway, so it's not a special trip or anything.

But I think she's a good dog and if she is scared shitless of hot air balloons, then so be it. It's a lot better than other fears. She gets to stay inside during the fiesta week, and everyone is happy. I don't want her hurting herself!

Just to put it into perspective, there are 900 balloons in the fiesta, and we live about 3 miles (as the balloon looms) from the launch site. So there are LOTS of balloons. Often the sky looks like this balloons!

But sometimes these fly over: special shapes rodeo

HiHowAreYou Mon 08-Oct-12 17:39:26

Sidenote: Don't vets always say they'd take your dogs because they're so beautiful / good / charming?

I thought it was just, you know, the vet sort of... flirting with your dog.

My grandparents dog was frightened of hot air balloons

monsterchild Mon 08-Oct-12 17:51:32

Moomins apparently they are horrible death machines designed to maim and terrify dogs!

that's what my dog thinks, anyway.
But at least I can now say with confidence that dogs can indeed, look up.

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 17:53:59
biff23 Mon 08-Oct-12 17:56:48

Yes you would be unreasonable. Pups bite all the time, they are teething until around 6 months old (don't quote me on exact age). All dogs should have an area they can go to and get peace, they should also be allowed peace and quiet to eat. This is basic care for a dog and something you should have done your homework on before getting.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 18:02:27

Ah, monster, didn't realise the balloons were a one-off thing. They look absolutely amazing. We saw 15 ballons in the air on 15th of July, but nothing like the link you sent!

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Oct-12 18:15:11


Inthepotty Mon 08-Oct-12 18:47:51

Do you honestly think dogs don't have fun training?! My dog, and 3 others I went training with today- had a bloody ball. Over jumps, scent work in muddy fields, being fed liver cake and playing games with their owners? I'm not sure I have a need to take my dog to parties tbh.

Bubblegum78 Mon 08-Oct-12 18:50:42

A smack on the bottom is NOT the same as "hitting" your pet?

This is what I was TOLD to do by a dog breeder/trainer. We tried useing a water sprayer first but it didn't work, the dog thought it was great!

And no I do not smack her to stay away from food? What an odd thing to say?

I smacked her if she nipped anyone. You are SUPPOSED to do this if puppy's nip.

As far as the food is concerned, you are not supposed to approach dogs from behind whilst they are eating, they are very terratorial.

Chickens are terrified of hot air balloons. There was a lady on the news a year or two ago who kept finding dead hens on her free range farm. Turned out that early on summer mornings hot air balloons would sail by and the birds would stress themselves to death. Mine hate helicopters and white washing blowing on the line <random factoid>

crashdoll Mon 08-Oct-12 18:54:23

I've tried to avoid this thread but I had to comment on "supposed to smack a puppy if they nip"! This is terrible, terrible advice and dangerous!

Inthepotty Mon 08-Oct-12 18:55:10

No bubblegum you're not SUPPOSED to do that.

So what if the puppy decides fuck that and bites you again

Bubblegum78 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:04:38

It is NOT terrible and it certainly is NOT dangerous.

Clearly you have no experience of dogs? This was based on PROFESSIONAL advice.

I had to do it less than half a dozen times, she got the message VERY quickly.

Better that than have her bite someone properly, cause physical damage to anyone (god forbid a small child) and end up having to rehome her, or being prosecuted and being made to have her destroyed because she bit someone elses child.

The dog is non the worse for it and is a delight.

I'm quite happy with it.

Bubblegum78 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:05:49

Smacking a puppy on the bottom with a rolled up magazine for biting is hardly pet abuse.

Monster she would refuse to go out if they were about, not sure what she thought they would do to her! She was scared of almost everything when they got her and had obviously been hit and mistreated. In the end the only thing she was afraid of was the balloons.

bubble my gp dog was terrified of rolled up news papers for that reason.

Bloody cruel I think, if you can't teach a dog without hitting it you shouldn't have one

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 19:23:59

Interesting how all your rescue dogs are so fearful and nervous.

Mine had been left in a garage, fed only bread crusts (she still loves the damn things). I got her when she was approximately four months old, on the way to the pound.

She is absolute fine, normal and well-adjusted now. Only remnant of her past life is her enduring love for bread crusts.

Perhaps some of you might have messed up your already messed up dogs with over solicitous care and helicopter dog-parenting? Most anxious dogs I have met, have needy owners. Fact.

WereTricksPotter Mon 08-Oct-12 19:33:49

'helicopter dog-parenting'

There's an occasional comedy gem in all the nonsense you spout about dogs, Flatbread grin

crashdoll Mon 08-Oct-12 19:40:28

I've never had to hit my dog and he's never bitten either.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 19:45:53


toboldlygo Mon 08-Oct-12 19:47:36

My nervous, fearful rescue dog has become one of the most fearless, tireless lead dogs I've ever encountered. Put him in harness and put some pressure on him and he revels in it. I'm only sorry I haven't got more time to compete him this year because he's becoming something very special.

I don't smack with newspapers, fanny about with their food while they're eating or let them off the lead (except in the fenced training facility or my own fenced land). I LOATHE off-lead dogs bothering dog #2 and will be one of those stompy dog owners shouting at you to call your dog away. I am overbearingly concerned with their training, health, welfare and am a self-confessed helicopter dog owner dog nerd. Yet I've managed to turn around two rescue dogs now and instil heaps of confidence in a quivering shrieking pancake of a dog who was three years old before I got hold of him.

My 'over solicitious' care is being repaid tenfold in my wonderful dogs. I am needy for needy dogs. I like to steadily set them right. smile

Nothing more to add to OP than has already been said. Lots of good advice and nonsense in equal measure on this thread.

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 19:47:59

Smacking a puppy on the bottom with a rolled up magazine for biting is hardly pet abuse

My stomach turned reading that. Do you parent your kids the same way?

You are hitting an animal. There'd be uproar if that animal decided to hurt you back, and it'd be put down.

Please don't continue to try to give advice because what you're doing is dangerous.

MarsBars123 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:49:33

Do some dog owners not let their dogs off the lead then? Why not confused ?

flat I'm scared of ladybirds, no idea why no one ever tortured me with one. I'm pretty sure my gp rescue dog wasn't tortured with a hot air balloon eather. Some people and animals just don't like certain things.

crashdoll Mon 08-Oct-12 19:58:34

Bubblegum You can try to justify abusing your dog all you like but stop giving shitty, dangerous advice. An inexperienced dog owner could get seriously hurt if they tried your 'tip'.

kilmuir Mon 08-Oct-12 20:00:37

Well said crashdoll

At what point did anyone say that their rescue dogs were fearful and nervous now

My first rescue was beaten and half starved. He was kept in the darkness for a year. Every time someone called his name he shook and cried.
He was kicked, hit with a chain and tormented.
He was unsocialised, untrained and petrified of dogs and people.
My second rescue bit the owners daughter. Because she used her as a toy horse for 3 months. Until the dog got an ear infection.
He growled at the daughter. The parent hit him with a shoe. The dog bit.
He hasn't bit again.

You are deliberately ignoring any of the good that proper training does. And you haven't answered any questions about the training of your dogs as they are so unfocused. Do they focus enough to understand instructions? Or is that why you hit them?
Do they have good recall? Or are they not focused enough and just run about and sit under the table waiting for you to give them your leftover food?

And bubblegum by hitting your dog for giving a warning nip, you are making the dog more likely to not give a warning nip because they are too scared. They will just go straight to biting

And that is also professional advice. From a professional who actually knows something, not from a tv "trainer" like CM

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 08-Oct-12 20:13:33

MarsBars123 mine never goes off the lead because he is an 40 kilo ex racer, adopted after track injury with an incredibly high prey drive and a top speed of 45mph. I wouldn't see him for dust. His breeding and training (until 3yo, when we adopted him) was to chase and to go as fast as he can, with no regard for recall.

He is allowed off in secure fields to run all he likes. I muzzle him then though as he could and would catch anything small and furry (cat, squirrel, whatever) and kill it. The muzzle doesn't bother him. He's worn one most days of his life since puppyhood. I am unconvinced that he wouldn't go for a small dog when he's on one either.

He's adapted well to home life, but given the very, very restricted nature of his early years, (run, eat, sleep, repeat) everything is new to him at 4 years old. His socialisation will happen gradually, not with a couple of classes.

The dogs I know that are always on lead have issues either because they've been attacked/mistreated, or due to illness. I don't think people choose to keep their dogs on lead for fun. As a matter of courtesy, I keep my boisterous spaniel away from dogs being walked on lead.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 20:42:19

Oh, sorry I didn't notice your question amongst all the frothing.

My dogs are focused when we go swimming. They are great at spotting the stick in the water and fetching it back.

They love under the table morsels. Oh, very focused then. On their best behaviour, sitting on their bums, although puppy loses the plot sometimes and falls asleep while waiting.

They are also good at recall as we live in cattle country and we need to keep them safe.

Other than that, nah, I don't give bombard them with clickers and instructions and other stuff to make them 'focus' on me. Not that needy.

Tap on the bum is after two ignored warnings. Last used it when in cafe over summer having morning coffee. Saw friend walking up in white linen trousers. Knew from pup's expression that he was getting ready to give her a full paw hug. He was off-leash, as always, but managed to reach him on the bum with the baguette. It was a delicate operation, keeping my breakfast and friend's whites intact.

In general, don't need to discipline much at all. Dogs are mostly well-behaved and listen. Puppy sometimes comes upstairs when he shouldn't, but if that is our biggest complaint, I guess we are all ok.

Camusfearna Mon 08-Oct-12 20:51:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

And so I go back to my point which is if your dog was focused and trained you wouldn't need to give 2 warnings and a smack.
If I see someone I don't want my dog to run up and jump on, I tell them to wait. One word. And they wait.

Personally I think if your dog is under the table waiting for you to feed it scraps of your plate, you've got an issue but clearly you are ok with that.

But basic training means you don't have to give warnings and smacks. Because the dog is unfocused it does what the hell it wants until you smack it.

I'm really struggling to see why you find it so abhorrent to teach the dog to do as you say, yet you seem to find hitting it ok?

It's basically getting the dog to listen to your command-which is what basic training is, but you choose to achieve this by giving 2 clearly ineffective "warnings" and then hitting it.

And you seem to think that makes your way better than people who actually bother to instill basic training commands and do t have to warn and hit.

And that makes your dog better behaved and less stressed.

Am I the only person that thinks that makes no sense at all?

Camusfearna Mon 08-Oct-12 20:55:05

*My first rescue was beaten and half starved. He was kept in the darkness for a year. Every time someone called his name he shook and cried.
He was kicked, hit with a chain and tormented.
He was unsocialised, untrained and petrified of dogs and people.
My second rescue bit the owners daughter. Because she used her as a toy horse for 3 months. Until the dog got an ear infection.
He growled at the daughter. The parent hit him with a shoe. The dog bit.
He hasn't bit again.*
Those are heartbreaking stories, Tantrums. I'm so glad they are safe now in a loving environment. thanks to you and all others who give these dogs a second chance at a happy life.

It's amazing some of the horror stories I hear from the rescues I foster for.

I always say its a good job I don't have a bigger house otherwise id have about 17 dogs by now!

But yes, they are an awful lot happier now. And I'm so proud that the little dog is actually starting to remember all the stuff we taught him which apparently flew out of his ears when he hit adolescence grin

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 21:05:12

It's lovely to know that there's people out there who take proper care of the animals that other people don't want.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 21:08:05

Like I said, my dogs are well behaved. Puppies learn by being kept free. I don't leash mine. Yup, he is a pup and he will test boundaries. That is perfectly ok.

I have no problems with them eating human food, which we give them. They don't steal food. I have left cheese and crackers on the coffee table umpteen times, and the dogs ignore it. They know food comes from us and are perfectly content to wait till they get it.

I love feeding them by hand, as they are so delicate about taking it carefully. And if I close in my palm, they just wait contently till I open my palm. No stress at all. They will have their food happily in any place, with any one, with any number of interruptions. Food is just not an issue.

My dogs are well adjusted and are relaxed around people, food and other animals (puppy sometimes gets overexcited, but that
is normal).

Like I said, I rarely need to correct them at all. They are just happy content dogs.

It's just such a shame there are so many dogs that are mistreated and dumped into rescues.
Once they get to be older dogs, especially ones that have bitten once or have serious issues, not many people want them.
It makes me sick tbh, people who get dogs without thinking it through.

But you just said you do need to correct them.
You said you gave them 2 warnings and then smack.

They aren't well behaved if they ignore you.
And being free might be great for you but what about other people and other dogs who have to deal with your unleashed, excitable, dogs that are unfocused and ignore you until you smack them?

Camusfearna Mon 08-Oct-12 21:11:56

Well done to you and little dog - definitely something to be proud of smile.

toboldlygo Mon 08-Oct-12 21:13:02

MarsBars, there's a great summary of why the breed I have cannot be let off the lead here - click on 'why can't Siberian huskies go safely offlead?'.

That is not to say they are walked only on a 6ft lead. They run free daily in securely fenced places, 50ft long lines for walks, training and play, they cover miles training for sled dog racing.

Greyhounds and some other breeds are similar and groups dedicated to these breeds often have playdates social groups where people get together to let them have zoomy time in safe places.

Dogs can also be on-lead because they are aggressive to other dogs, aggressive to humans, ditto fearful/nervous/flighty/reactive, they may be injured and on restricted exercise, they may be old, blind or deaf. It's not always the fault of the current owner and they are probably doing their best to rectify what they can. It's a simple courtesy to keep your off-lead dog away from ones on lead just in case.

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 21:28:49

I think they key with any dog training is to be normal and not ott around them. They don't need pity or a needy do-good owner, just normalcy.

We involve our dogs in our regular lives, whether it is picking chestnuts, going for a swim, meeting people for dinner or buying veggies in a farmer's market. They are part of all of it, and learn good behaviour and manners through normal human interactions with us and others.

Frantic clicker training, fake agility and pretentious puppy classes are no substitute for the real deal, I.e., leading a normal fulfilling life as a part of a family pack.

So you keep instructing your dogs to earn awards to make yourself feel good, while I'll focus on training my dogs so they get to lead a normal, happy life as a part of our circle of family and friends.

Kalisi Mon 08-Oct-12 21:30:50

Wow, there sure are a lot of mixed views on this thread! Here's my opinion as a dog owner/ non expert/average Joe.
OP, I'm can see you love and care for your puppy and your chosen course of action will probably work for you (although you should really atleast consider giving him more respect when he is eating as well as training him) You were however BVU to consider re-homing over this incident!
Bubblegum, you should not be a dog owner and the PROFESSIONAL (not sure if bold makes them more important) who gave you that nugget of gold about slapping puppies needs to read a book written in the last 20 years.
As for the other two titans grin flatbread and Goldship, call me crazy but I can actually see sense in both of your posts. I do think it's important to train a dog to be able to behave freely and without provisions around people but I also think it's important and just a matter of respect to stop people (especially children) from invading their personal space. But as I said I'm not an expert just someone who loves dogs =)

Oh and sorry to bring it up but the bloody rape analogy?! Really?! I actually found that really offensive to men with the implication that they are to be given the same sense of responsibility as an animal! Ridiculous comparison

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 21:38:25

Well I've never been called a titan before grin

And you dont need to be an expert, a love of dogs is a good a place to start as any. Mixed with a bit of the ol' common sense ;)

Absolutely heartbroke today as my dear Star's back legs gave in. She recovered straight away but its a bad sign, especially with her being a boxer sad

midori1999 Mon 08-Oct-12 21:38:41

So it is your rescue dog you bred from then Flatbread? hmm

Although, I am getting a bit of a fondness for Flatbread. She is reminding me of my Gran (who I love very dearly) a bit. She has all these tales to tell of how when she was a young girl she had a boyfriend waiting on every corner, how her (very much loved) rough collie did this and that and now of how there's this circle of friends with her neighbours, family members etc where she helps them all ou tand it's all soooo wonderful....

But why do the 2 have to be seperate?
My dogs go everywhere with us. They come to work with me every day. They go wherever we go.
But they also do as I ask. They don't jump all over people, they don't run away, they don't approach other dogs or people unless I say it's ok.

The trouble is you are not reading what I'm writing.

If you think the only reason I have taken the dogs to puppy classes and dog training is not to make myself look good.

I take them for 2 reasons. Firstly all the dogs I have had have been so unsocialised it's not true. Not one of them had ever been around other dogs. So training classes are a good way of introducing them to other dogs in a controlled environment. They get high quality treats, they feel safe and it helps.
And the second reason is because all the dogs have different behavioural problems. I'm not an expert. I am a person who loves dogs and will do just about anything to help the difficult to place dogs. But I don't presume to think I know everything or that I know all the correct training methods.
So it helps me and the dogs.

I'm proud beyond belief that my little dog is ready to train for his bronze. And do you know why?

When we first took him to puppy classes he was scared of everyone. No one could go near him. But myself, my dd and my trainer worked and worked to earn his trust and to make him understand we wasn't going to help him learn. And he did. He then decided at 6 months to ignore it all.

I won't have an out of control dog. It's not fair on anyone and it's irresponsible. So we went over it all again. And now he gets it.

So he has come along a huge amount in a small time.

But you won't take in any of what I'm saying will you?

WereTricksPotter Mon 08-Oct-12 21:45:58

So you keep instructing your dogs to earn awards to make yourself feel good

But that's what you are doing with the hand feeding. There's no difference, Flatbread.

Kalisi Mon 08-Oct-12 21:47:32

Oh I'm sorry to hear that Goldship that must be upsetting for you :-(

Flatbread Mon 08-Oct-12 21:50:33

I said they get a tap on their bum if they ignore two warnings. But they don't ignore, because they don't like it when I am not happy with them. Once in a while pup might get overexcited, but he is really a good boy most of the time.

It might be a new concept to you, but my dogs want to please me. I am not needy for their approval, they want mine. And so they listen and obey. No magic there, just that the dogs love and respect us.

All the dogs around here are off-leash, so not an issue at all. The dogs freely interact with each other and the humans around them. I have never seen a leashed dog in our cafe. We go there every weekend and our dogs love meeting the weekend regulars, and they get lots of cuddles in return, especially from children.

I know it seems such an alien concept as compared to the artificial and constrained lives so many poor dogs lead in UK. But if you keep the dog isolated under the guise of a 'private space', it is not going to learn much, is it?

YoloOrTwice Mon 08-Oct-12 21:51:18

Oh Goldship I'm so sorry to hear that...hugs to you and your pooch x

GoldShip Mon 08-Oct-12 21:52:09

It really is but I suppose we've just got to carry on and make sure she is as happy and as comfortable for as long as possible. She was fine right after, it was just a momentary thing but it rings alarm bells so vets in the morning.

I don't know what the other two would do with out her, one is her son. Shes a proper mother hen always fussing, but tells them off if she thinks they're getting too big for their boots!

Thankyou for your concern x

Oh goldship I'm so sorry to hear that.
I hope she will be ok. I'm sure the vet will put your mind at rest xx

charlearose Mon 08-Oct-12 22:00:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kalisi Mon 08-Oct-12 22:05:16

Although I agree with many of your points flatbread, I do grimace when you refer to smacking your dogs as "tapping on the bum". If it's a tap then they won't feel it and it's pointless, if it's a slap then don't sugarcoat it. Believe it or not ,I'm not here to critisise the slap itself ( totally unnecessary and not something I'd do but it works for you so fair enough) but we all know that a dog would respond no more to a slight tap on the bum then they would to a third, fourth and even a fifth warning.

Kalisi Mon 08-Oct-12 22:16:19

And for the record your dogs sound happy and I don't think you beat them.

flatbread your advice is as relevant as ever, thanks hmm

whogivesaduck1 Tue 09-Oct-12 00:04:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Flatbread Tue 09-Oct-12 00:42:09

Kali, I have no problems saying it as it is. It is a tap on the bum. It is a signalling mechanism that I am not happy. And when the pup is overexcited, talking to him just adds to the noise. A physical tap brings him back.

If I decided, say, to put my hand on his forehead to signal I am not pleased, it would have the same effect.

Dogs respond better to physical cues than words. But we project our own discomfort with physical contact and our need for 'private space' onto dogs.

I prefer to use physical contact more than words, and praise my dog through touch and caresses rather than words. If I lightly stroke my dogs ear, you can see her smile, as she knows i am happy with her. If I want the dog to sit, I prefer to put a finger on her back, and she responds by sitting. If we need to wait, e.g., before crossing a road, I just touch her on the shoulder. Obviously if she is further away, I need to use a verbal command.

My dogs are very responsive to touch and slight gestures are enough to get the message across.

The dog-house nutters love to whip themselves into a frenzy. Fanaticism rather than any understanding of dog behaviour is the norm. It can be quite entertaining and I get a good laugh smile

Morloth Tue 09-Oct-12 01:03:11

And to think, it is the cat ladies who get called crazy...

What is is about dog threads on Mumsnet? They almost always kick off.

Kalisi Tue 09-Oct-12 07:22:50

That's an interesting way of doing things and sounds more civil than Bubblegums rolled up newspaper I suppose. What would be the purpose of the first two warnings in that case?

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 08:10:48

Where do you get your 'understanding' of dog behaviour from Flatbread?

I think I can honestly say that my 9 year old DS has more understanding of dog behaviour flatbread

It's all well and good saying "they respond to touch" or hitting in your case.
What about when they are not within smacking distance? Dont you then have to use basic vocal commands?

Ah yes that's right. You do.....and they ignore you. Then you smack them.

You are indeed a walking talking advertisement for puppy/dog training classes. I hope any new dog owner reading this can see that and do the exact opposite of any advice you give.

midori1999 Tue 09-Oct-12 10:16:26

Is that the 'Dog House Nutters' who include a qualified behaviourist who has told you by your description of your dogs body language they are beind submissive and are not happy at all Flatbread?

I'm a bit confused though, you did say you could show your displeasure to your dogs by a mere raised eyebrow, so I am not sure of the need for hitting or 'tapping'?

I can see why dog lovers may find your posts bizarre at best (disagreeing with actual qualified behaviourists, based on your experience of owning two dogs, one a puppy and an extra one 'borrowed' from your neighbours) upsetting at worst (putting your rescue bitch at risk by allowing her to have a litter because you didn't take proper care of her in order to prevent her becoming pregnant and then having to rehome the puppies via dogs trust) hmm

I was always told that positive reinforcement kicks negative reinforcement's arse. Making a fuss at positive behaviour teaches the dog what behaviour you want. Punishment just teaches the dog what behaviour you don't want, but doesn't teach it an appropriate behaviour. Dogs are (mostly) smart, they really do want to please you on the whole, so lots of fuss, happy excited voices, a game or a treat, are great learning tools ime. I have never hit my dog, but have shouted in frustration. All that happens is the dog looks confused, fetches me toys to appease me, gets anxious etc. I don't imagine that my dog is unique in this by a long shot.

Slumberparty Tue 09-Oct-12 10:31:56

Do as much training now to nip it in the bud quick (no pun intended).
Our family dog was aggressive for most of his life, and it started with food-agression. We didn't handle it properly, it escalated and he was a little unpredictable his whole life..not so bad that we couldn't live with it though.
If he shows aggression like this again I would react immediately by putting him on his back into a submissive position and keep him there until he gives up, not before!

Could you just explain what you mean by putting the dog in a submissive position until it gives up?

LookBehindYou Tue 09-Oct-12 10:41:54

Do you suggest I put my rottie on his back to get him submissive when he's being agressive? (he isn't, he's a huge softie)

This is a bad idea. Really, really bad. Please don't read this and think it's the way to go.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 10:42:09

I've fallen out with reinforcement training after having to try and understand the science-y side of it with all it positive punishment and negative reinforcement.

But negative is not always bad, in terms of dog training it simply means taking something away to either reinforce a behavior e.g taking away a potential threat to reinforce calm behavior as used in BAT (which would be negative reinforcement) or to extinguish a behavior e.g taking away attention when dog is being boisterous, which would be negative punishment.

Negative = taking something away
Reinforcement = to increase a behavior
Punishment = to decrease a behavior

I had to write that down to prove to myself I understood it, it didn't work. I am still confused grin

But in simple terms, yes, positive, reward based training has been proven again and again to be more effective than training based mainly on punishment and to have less negative side effects than punishment based training.

Also dogs are more visual than they are tactile, they respond best to body language and visual cues, as they would use between their own species, than they do to touch. If Flatbread's dog sits when she touches it's back to with no previous training to connect the touch with the behaviour, then sadly, I think it is sitting because it expects to be hit and is attempting to appease Flatbread and/or to move away from the threat (Flatbread) sad

LookBehindYou Tue 09-Oct-12 10:44:20

I don't agree dooin. Sometimes I touch my dogs shoulder, especially if something else has caught his attention, and he sits. I've never ever smacked him.

Pressure can be calming, maybe? I will stroke my dog or lay my hand on his neck if he's agitated when we're out. It often makes him sit against me and relax. My dog adores being touched, but then he has never been hit.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 10:55:10

Yes pressure can be calming. I touch certain pressure points on my terrier when he is in the car with other dogs (he gets very stressed being in such close proximity to dogs dogs who are not in his immediate 'pack' with no escape route)

Flatbread didn't say she used pressure, though, she said a "light touch", although it's perfectly possible that the dog has learnt sitting brings something positive, if a touch on the back could also mean pain might be coming I would assume the dog is reacting more to fear than comfort.

LBY you have confused me even more now and there I was trying to be all clever grin. Although I would say your dog has learnt your touch brings something good because you have never hit him, so he is sitting to gain reward, you've refocused him onto you, with the touch. My dogs all sit when we are starting training because that is how we always start a session. I don't need a cue for it, they can tell by my body language that we are about to start a game or training session.

I'm going to give up trying to be all clever and educated now and wander off to read some more grin

My big dog used to lie on his back if anyone lifted up their hand in his direction. But that was because he thought he was going to be hit. That's what he associated with anyone lifting a hand towards him

I suspect this "alpha roll" nonsense was also used on him, which is why he used to roll on his back if anyone went near him.

That may be why I have such an aversion to the submissive position thing, it took 5 months before he stopped doing it with us, and longer than that for him to stop doing it whenever another person came round.

I can't believe the way some people treat their dogs, I really thought that this was all left behind in the 70s/80s.

fortoday Tue 09-Oct-12 10:58:57

i havent been able to read whole thread but just wanted to add that i have a 6 month old jack russell puppy- they are known for being snappy- but I have been to training with her and as i have two dds under 5 it was important I managed the dogs expectations on where she came in the pecking order. Protectiveness over food can be overcome by getting your children to feed the dog, so she knows she comes below them in the food chain and dogs tend not to bite the hand that feeds them, I have quite a bit of literature on dog training from my trainer as i never wanted my little one snapping at the kids... good luck I can send them to you if you message me x

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 10:59:40

It seems to be making a comeback Tough, a certain TV personality has a lot to answer for.

I wish it was.

It makes me so angry sometimes, especially when people are advocating these methods to someone looking for advice.

I wish people would do their research, speak to a behaviourist, anything other than pick up on submissive positions and hitting your dog being a good idea.

GoldShip Tue 09-Oct-12 11:03:00

Submissive position and stay there?!

Please do sod off with archaic nonsense.

GoldShip Tue 09-Oct-12 11:03:50

And how does one 'put' an animal on its back and make sure it stays there? confused

Ephiny Tue 09-Oct-12 11:05:58

BearDog (rottie) will roll onto his back if he thinks there's the slightest chance of getting a belly-rub smile

Seriously though I would never hit or 'alpha roll' one of my dogs. There's just no need for it, and I tend to think that if you find yourself needing to use brute force or fear/pain to control a dog, you're probably doing something wrong.

I'd like to put that flipping so called trainer CM into the submissive position. And then hit him with his big stick.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 11:07:18

By putting their hand way too close to their jaws ime. Especially when you are dealing with a large, powerful breed like a Lab. Very dangerous advise for a novice.

When I have seen it used the owner has always had one hand towards the dogs rear and one on it's neck behind the do's ear, very close to the dog's teeth, a momentary lapse in concentration and you may find yourself short of a few fingers.

LookBehindYou Tue 09-Oct-12 11:08:51

Apart from it being foolish it's potentially very dangerous. I would hate anyone reading this thread to think it's a good strategy.

GoldShip Tue 09-Oct-12 11:10:18

tantrums I'd help you!

People have no idea how much they're damaging these animals. Another reason why people should have to have a license to own an animal.

There should be puppy owner lessons, not just puppy lessons!

Just trying to imagen my exfil putting his 16 stone 6 foot rottie on it's back, luckily he never had to as it was well trained and as soft as shit. Doubt it would have worked.

I used to help my dog roll over (very gently and calmly) when I was teaching 'roll over'. If I were to roll him now, he'd be looking for sausage grin

digerd Tue 09-Oct-12 12:10:21

All dogs are different, and my experience is that at 6 weeks old their personalities already show. Some are very easy going to passive when you can lie them on their backs in your arms and they do not struggle, just lie there happily and content and others struggle /wriggle agitatedly. Some older dogs roll over onto their backs inviting a tummy tickle, showing no fear of being previously hit. But the signs of fear , being very nervous and timid are quite clear to see, and with some dogs they have not been maltreated, they are just made that way - very sensitive. Fortunately, these are rare. The food aggression, is not uncommon, and some are naturally not that way. But the saying " let sleeping dogs lie" is wise, and feeding your puppy/dog infront of a stranger - not a member of his home pack, should always be avoided. But your puppy should have been be aware that his behaviour was unacceptable with suitable voice control from an adult.

digerd Tue 09-Oct-12 12:26:02

ps. My experience has been with small dogs, mainly Westies, but the most aggressive was a Dachshund female, she loved and respected my husband, who did once twang her with an apple tree twig, which certainly worked, but I couldn't do that and was too soft with her and she deliberately played me up and even once irritated that I couldn't get her ball from the back of the sofa on which she was standing and pointing with her long nose to where it was, I stupidly kissed her from behind on her head and she swung round and bit me hard on the nose !!!! She had not intended to do that, just snap to show her impatience, and reacted herself in shock and regret. Yes, I had to go to Drs to have a tetanus jab and my nose swelled up- how my husband laughed - he never kissed my" baby", of course !!!

digerd Tue 09-Oct-12 12:43:07

In the wild, dogs show submission to the alpha male by lying on the backs, but they know that the alpha male can kill them, but that is not so with the human alpha. A neighbour of ours did upset me when he hit his adult female Golden Retriever for jumping over the gate to greet me and my husband as we walked by. But male neighbour said it was necessary and it did work. Also, years ago, my husband and I were walking his fathers St Bernard in the woods in Germany, and the dog suddenly ran off into a field. I was horrified that my husband hit him with the lead, but he said the dog could have been shot by a farmer and he had to learn. I said keep him on the lead then. he was a gorgeous but enormous dog

Flatbread Tue 09-Oct-12 12:45:33

Is that the 'Dog House Nutters' who include a qualified behaviourist who has told you by your description of your dogs body language they are beind submissive and are not happy at all Flatbread?

oh yes,the nutter on the forum whose solution to everything was to appease the dog, beg him to like you. Didn't she advise a poster to throw sausages to her food aggressive dog, to get him to release the butter? yup, very credible advice indeed. Dog growls at you, give him more food? Yeah, that kind of advice that was lapped up by the dog forum nutters.

The fact that my dogs listen and don't steal food, was a sign that they are submissive. The fact that they like to lie by my feet was a huge indicator that they are cowed hmm This stuff would be funny, if sounds like out of a comedy, except that some of the regulars in the dog-house seem to lap up this stuff.

And I have no clue why you keep going on about my pups. I am blessed to have our darling pup and he is one of the best thing in our lives. We are in touch with other families who were lucky to get our beautiful pups, and they are so happy to have them. i can understand why you are pissed though, you would rather have people buying from breeders like you.

Which person are you addressing that to?

Tbh you are IMHO a very irresponsible owner from what I have read on this thread. You are very quick to jump all over good advice and instead advocate people hitting dogs and feeding them food from your table. I hope that no new dog owners take any notice of you.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 12:53:58

In the wild dogs do not have an alpha, that is wolves, although more modern wolfologists (is that even a word?) prefer to use the term breeding male. They live in family groups, not heirachial packs.

Dogs do lay down to show appeasement and avoid fighting but they don't roll each other as a show of dominance.

Flatbread Tue 09-Oct-12 12:55:36

...and if I remember correctly, the dog ate the sausages while keeping hold of the butter and ate that as well and continued growling at the OP.

Yup, great way to deal with food aggression and a resource-guarding dog, just give him all the goodies he wants. The doghouse 'experts' at their best. grin

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 09-Oct-12 13:05:01

How would you have delt with it Flatbread?

Oh yes please share your expert solution to that.

midori1999 Tue 09-Oct-12 13:08:00

Did you lie about homing your pups through the dogs trust then? confused it's not their policy to allow people who surrender dogs to them to know who the new owners are, let alone 'stay in touch' with them. Or did they make an exception just for you, as you're such a special owner?!

I'm not interested in where people buy puppies, except for welfare reasons. I haven't had my own litter for four years now and won't for the forseeable future, so back yard breeders are hardly 'taking my customers' are they?

And yes, that 'crazy' advice about the sausages is valid advice, that qualified behaviourists often hand out. What makes you think you know better than countless people with university degrees in dog bejaviour who work daily with dogs? You said you Alpha rolled your puppy on that thread too actually. hmm

Flatbread Tue 09-Oct-12 13:12:04

Kali, the first two warnings are the command. If not obeyed, a deeper version. If ignored, then the tap on bum.

So if pup is far away off leash, then it might be 'sit' followed by a 'sit' in a deeper voice and then if he is still zoned out, I walk over to him and a tap.

Don't need to do it with older girl at all now, she is very attuned. Tbh, I rarely need to give her any command at all, she pretty much is well-behaved and I see no point in giving her instructions just for the heck of it.

But then, it is easier here - not much is expected of pet dogs except that they have appropriate people and food manners. As long as she greets people and dogs nicely, is calm about food and stays away from cows during our walks, we let her be. When she is off-leash, she always comes back frequently and checks that everything is ok, anyway, so I don't even need to call her to me.

But you didn't answer how you would have dealt with the butter situation?
Given you are so convinced the behavioral experts are wrong?

TrinityRhino Tue 09-Oct-12 13:20:33

My little baby puppy loves paddling in our sea, chasing her tail, sleeping on my chest(even though she's getting big now)

<sprinkles happy dust all over thread>

Op, don't rehome, your puppy is still learning. Allow her to eat without strange kids possibly pushing past behind her smile

Flatbread Tue 09-Oct-12 13:24:23

...and the funny thing is pup is usually very good at sitting. He is naturally lazy plus he knows he only gets food when he sits, so sitting is quite a pleasurable thing for him.

But when we go out, he gets excited at people cooing over him, and he puts his paws on them and they are like 'oh, that is ok' and continue caressing him. He is growing out of it though, as the weather has changed and nobody wants muddy paws, so he is getting a pretty consistent message.

fortoday Tue 09-Oct-12 14:32:47

For god sake they are babies, just like a toddler, you reinforce good behaviour you do not hit them.

You are teaching aggression- why have a dog if you are going to hit it! For god sake people!

And then people want to know why dogs bite.

fuzzypicklehead Tue 09-Oct-12 14:40:56

" I see no point in giving her instructions just for the heck of it."

Of course I can only speak from my own experience, but I all the dogs I've owned have enjoyed instruction and training sessions. A bit of clicker training provides rewarding mental exercise, especially for clever breeds. Without it, some dog's methods of "self-employment" are less than desireable...

Flatbread Tue 09-Oct-12 22:35:53

Fortoday, yawn, here we go again. Puppies need lots of love and physical affection (i.e., not just sweets), positive reinforcement and clear boundaries.

I really do think sometimes that hysterical owners like you lead to nervous dogs because they baby them, instead of applying common sense in training them.

Like I said before, needy owners lead to nervous dogs.

Fuzzy, agree that if dogs do not get enough mental, social and physical stimulation in their normal daily activities, then special training and instruction sessions help.

fortoday Wed 10-Oct-12 10:01:50

FWIW flatbread my puppy has been in training since she was 8 weeks old, she is a delightful confident dog but has been trained through positive reinforcement instead of smacking, much like my children who are confident and well behaved due to me not using physical violence.

Anyway you sound like one of those competitive mothrs in the bloody playground, I would hate to meet you in the park!

atacareercrossroads Wed 10-Oct-12 10:56:37

Jesus, hitting dogs, pulling tails, pack theory etc confused Lots of shite being spouted by people who are giving the impression they know what they are talking about

Do you know, I got the spanish inquisition (unexpected of course) when I went to buy a goldfish. Shame the same level of torture questioning isnt aimed at people who want to own a dog that clearly should just get some Sea Monkeys instead.

catgirl1976 Wed 10-Oct-12 14:54:52

I spank my Sea Monkeys

Unruly little feckers

MarsBars123 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:32:45

The vet/behaviourist called today. She said that dogs growl and nip around food because they are worried and frightened and we need to reinforce the food training we've been doing already, i.e. putting tasty things into his bowl while he is eating. She said we shouldn't try to take his bowl away as that could worry him but that basically we need to teach him not to fear for his food as while he does there will always be a risk he will bite.

Flatbread Thu 11-Oct-12 19:29:26

Good advice. I find hand-feeding a great way to bond with the dog, as well. A dog that is comfortable and secure should be relaxed about you taking the bowl and giving it back, especially if you reward calm behaviour with added food in the bowl. But good to do it in baby steps.

I would think a bit about why your pup might be unsure about his food, given that he has been regularly fed while he has been living with you for so long. Perhaps it is time to reinforce training in all areas...?

Think you are doing a great job, and sure you will be rewarded with a lovely, gentle dog, once he is over the adolescence phase

Flatbread Thu 11-Oct-12 19:36:16

I found NILIF (nothing in life is free) a good way to reinforce basic manners, and it makes the dogs really calm. I don't buy the whole philosophy, but have incorporated the basic notion that the dog earns his rewards and that he consistently shows basic manners such as waiting before going out of the door, sitting and waiting for ok before meals, sitting nicely for walks etc.

I find it calms the dogs and helps with any potential problem areas. Great during adolescence when good manners are somewhat forgotten smile

I've just started NILIF, and it does seem to be helping my adolescent arsehole spaniel to focus <swigs gin>

LookBehindYou Thu 11-Oct-12 21:02:59

I love spaniels - the way they put their ears down and pretend not to hear while their incandescent owner yells at them to come back.

I didn't know it was called NILF but that's what I've been doing forever. Makes sense to me.

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