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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.

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.

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 07-Oct-12 21:08:14

Surely that whole 'putting a hand in the bowl to show dog we are nice while he is eating' is outdated and incorrect advice nowadays?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

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 07-Oct-12 21:10:31


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?

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 07-Oct-12 21:14:57

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

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 07-Oct-12 21:21:50

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?

Toughasoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 21:31:54

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

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 07-Oct-12 21:33:17

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??

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