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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)
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    Default Food aggresion toward other dog!?

    Hi all,
    I have been the owner of 2 pyr pups for about 4 weeks. The puppies are no 12 weeks old. One male, Kona, and one female, Ella. They have been great so far, and fairly easy to train. The past week I have been experiencing a problem from Kona. I have always just fed them together in a pile, because that's how they were fed at the breeder. Now Kona won't let Ella come close to the food without growling and barking at her. They get along really well all other times, besides the usual play fighting. Now Ella is scared to even get close to the food. I have been trying to feed them separately and Ella is eating, but Kona goes and tries to get her food when he is done eating his. He is a good bit bigger than she is and definitely has a bigger appetite. I am just wondering if anyone has had experience with this, or has any thoughts on the issue. I don't want it to develop into something more serious. He has never showed aggression towards me when taking the food away from him? Please Help! Thanks

  2. #2

    Flock Guardian (Moderator)


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    If you don't want to do any training, then just feed them separately, in different rooms or in crates period. The aggression may escalate to food on countertops, lying around, toys, and even possession of people.
    Why do you have two puppies? Do you have a farm?

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)
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    No I don't live on a farm, just wanted 2 dogs. Its not that I don't want to do any training, just not sure what I can do to fix the problem?

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)
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    hi, there--you may not want to do any training, but you're probably going to have to. did you see the episode of 'dog whisperer' last night about food agression? i've had this problem with my pyr joy, she's 18 months now but it started about 4 months of age. it scared the crap out of me; i talked to some good folks on this forum, did some more reaearch, and learned that this food agression thing will escalate into other kinds of agression if not taken care of. i had a trainer come to my house one time, he was highly recommended, specialized in agression, cost $75.00. he observed joy and then us together and saw her in action with the food when i left her food bowl on the counter. after showing me some stuff, he did tell me that what he saw was not true agression but obnoxious adolescent behavior. she was testing me and getting away with it. well, i'm happy to report that this hasn't happened anymore, if she goes after something on the counter i am very vocal with her 'no' and i don't back down, so then she has to. i've never gotten bit, never intend to, so my point is you might not want to let this continueor it may find itself out of your control. good luck, peace.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)
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    Thanks for that. The thing is that he is not ever aggressive towards me with his food, I can take it away and give it back as much as I want without any problems, he just wags his tail. But as soon as she, ella, comes close to him while eating he barks and growls at her? so it's just toward other dogs? is that normal?

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) TexasKat's Avatar
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    Something you may want to consider. Rather than simply feeding them in 2 different places (which will temporarily treat the symptom but not cure the problem) have you considered directly interacting with him when he is finished eating.

    For instance, when he is finished but she is not, pick up him AND his food bowl up (put the food bowl away) but don't take him out of the room. Play with him while your little girl finishes eating. If he starts to growl or bark at her, you can correct it immediately, and if he tolerates her eating without barking, you can praise and pet him. So long as he is behaving well.

    Another thing to consider is portions. If he is much larger than she, he may need substantially more to eat. Is he just still hungry?

    Also decide if you want to leave a little food available for mid-day snacks. That's called 'free feeding' though since mine get 'meals' as well, I'd probably call it 'free snacking'. There are good and bad points about the idea, but I've decided that for us, it's an optimal solution. It never really interfered with their potty training, since Scout joined our family first (potty trained in a couple of weeks) then when Gypsy joined us, he trained her.

    I generally keep a bowl (single bowl--they share it) with dry, large-puppy food in it out all the time. Though they occasionally graze on it a bit, one bowl will last all day and overnight.

    The most aggressive thing my 2 do is knock me over giving hugs and kisses -- the old saying "You can't pet just one"? Well, petting one is a sure fire way to bring the other running.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar
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    From what I've heard from various pyr owners, food aggression toward other dogs is not uncommon, but should not be allowed to continue. The puppies being still so young at this point the best bet is to feed separately and not let Kona have any access to Ella until she's finished. It may mean both pups need to be fed in their crates until both are done. Topper's mom has had to deal with topper's food aggression, I am sure she'll chime in later. We've maintained two dogs in the household for the last 10 years we've always fed the dogs separately precisely to avoid any food aggression issues.

    Don't know if you've had a lot of experience raising dogs, in case you haven't, I would strongly suggest training classes for them. While Kona may not have shown any resource guarding towards you, there is a chance he may if he's not properly handled. A bratty pup the size of a pyr is definitely not fun!

    Pictures??

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)
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    scared the hell outta me as well. i didnt find this forum yet at that time. THis is wat I did and it worked immediately. u must be the big bear and stop this unacceptable behaviour right now. U kinda have to harden ur heart (like riding bully horses!) and just growl at him when he wants to move to the other's bowl. I say "No, eat ur own bowl" Separate their eating bowls wit safe distance (depends on the nervous one) mine is about 5-6 feet and i stand in between to stop any nonsense also calm the nervous one. I did tat always very near until they finish eating and remove their bowls. After eating they like to check out each other's bowl (as pups on farm they ate from same bowl) i did allow tat but depends on the situation.

  9. #9

    Flock Guardian (Moderator)


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    how would you 'correct' a pyr puppy for growling? If you make suggestions make sure you are thorough. If by correct you mean pin, DON"T DO IT.

    I said to separate them because most people can't be bothered to fully train their dogs so I wasn't sure what she wanted to do and given the fact she has two pupies, NO RESPONSIBLE BREEDER WILL SELL YOU TWO PUPPIES AT ONCE!!!!! If you are out in the country, that's different, that's why I asked.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Topper's Avatar
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    I don't see anything wrong with having two puppies. We got topper because our puppy malamute was in need of a freind, At that time we have two malumute at the age of 10 year and knew they would be leave us and teddy would be alone. SO teddy and topper are about 4 v months apart. Well if we had done that at this time teddy would be alone. I think you did a good thing on getting two. If you have never been around pyr. you have your work cut out for you. So far from what I have seen the main problem pyr have is food aggression. Our topper started his aggression problem about your dog age but we did even give a thought about food aggression, for the female malamute was very mean to him. Now we know it was topper. We feed the dogs in different areas. They can not see each other. After your boy gets done eatting he must learn to sit and wait until the female is done. You will find when it come to treat they same thing will happen. We put them in there kennal for this. I don;t know if you see a change how he looks before he growls. Our topper also don't like movement going on when he is eating. I can move around but others cant. I don't think the food aggression will ever go away. It might but I would not count on it. If you have not taken them to class for sit, stay, ect. I would do that it will be a great help in the future.
    This site will give you a lot of help as your puppies grow.
    I am glad to see you got a male and female. I sure you are going to get them fixed.

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