Jump to content

Bone Aggression


Guest SuperiorItaly
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest SuperiorItaly

First off, let me say that Italy is the absolute most perfect dog that anyone can ever imagine. Anyone who meets her instantly falls in love with her and says how charming and sweet she is. She has no issues anymore with accidents, separation anxiety, etc. She's pefect. That said, she does have one little flaw that I'd like to correct. When I give her a bone from the butcher, she is really, really possessive of it. She has never growled unless she's playing, but if I try and take it from her, move it if she jumps onto the couch with it, etc., she is not having it. She growls and nips at me. If she's going at her bone and I even walk by and stop, she'll stop chewing and just hold it and be still waiting to see what I'm going to do. Whenever she growls I sternly say "NO" but I don't think that's helping much. Any suggestions on how to rid her of this?

 

Like I said, it's small issue and I don't want to make her seem like a monster because she's a snuggly teddy bear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a perfect world I want the word "aggression" to no longer exist. Alas

 

 

Anyway, what you saw was resource guarding, not uncommon. Do a search for trading up or resource guarding in this forum it will help.

Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no expert on the subject, but I believe this behavior is called "resource guarding" or "high value guarding". It's quite common. Don't be upset about it - but - it IS something that you should deal with now. You're absolutely right to recognize it as an issue, and want to deal with it.

 

I'll leave it to other GT'ers to give you the specifics on how to deal with it.

 

But in the meantime - I'll applaud you for seeing an issue - and choosing to deal with it, And - for asking for advice. IMHO - the BEST grey owner - is an INFORMED grey-owner. NEVER be afraid to ask for advice. :colgate

 

You'll get lots of good responses within the next few days to help you with this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SuperiorItaly

I'm no expert on the subject, but I believe this behavior is called "resource guarding" or "high value guarding". It's quite common. Don't be upset about it - but - it IS something that you should deal with now. You're absolutely right to recognize it as an issue, and want to deal with it.

 

I'll leave it to other GT'ers to give you the specifics on how to deal with it.

 

But in the meantime - I'll applaud you for seeing an issue - and choosing to deal with it, And - for asking for advice. IMHO - the BEST grey owner - is an INFORMED grey-owner. NEVER be afraid to ask for advice. :colgate

 

You'll get lots of good responses within the next few days to help you with this.

 

Thanks, guys. I only used "aggression" because I thought I'd seen it used here before to describe it. I'll look it up. Like I said, it's not a huge deal. I almost find it hard to take her seriously when she does it because she's such a sweetheart, but would rather nip it in the bud so she can be 100% perfect instead of just 99.99%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GreyFan09

Our dog Comet does this too. He's a totally sweet and mild mannered dog, but the first and only time I've herd him growl was when I gave him a raw bone. Just walking by him made him growl, which really shocked us when it happened. Gave him a sharp "NO" and haven't given him a bone since.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do a search on "trading up" in this forum. (I'd describe but I'm short on time this a.m.) The point of "trading up" isn't to cop out but rather to teach the dog to drop something when you ask *and* to teach the dog that hey, my mom/dad always gives my stuff -- or something even better! -- back to me, so this is a GOOD DEAL!!!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

It's resource guarding, and if you haven't done so already, start working ASAP on training her to "give" items. Give her an item, say give (over and over until she drops the item) and give her a treat or reward immediately. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Start with an object she's not possessive of and use a really yummy treat. As she catches on, you can increase the value of the item she's giving. IMNSHO, this is the most essential things to train besides recall because there are soooo many situations where knowing it and complying could save a dog's life or save a dog or human from injury.

 

You mentioned butcher bones. If you're talking about cow femur bones (or the weight bearing bones of large ungulates) I would find a different chew for her ASAP as well. The weight bearing bones (femurs, knees, etc.) of something like a cow are many,many, many times harder and more dense than canine teeth. They are widely responsible for everything from sheering off enamel from teeth (which then leaves the more sensitive layers of the tooth exposed and can be painful) to slab fractures, which are very painful, require extraction under anesthesia, and sometimes require a dental surgeon - painful, requires anesthesia, and can be very pricey. There are lots of better alternatives for chewing: bully sticks, beef trachea, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SuperiorItaly

 

 

You mentioned butcher bones. If you're talking about cow femur bones (or the weight bearing bones of large ungulates) I would find a different chew for her ASAP as well. The weight bearing bones (femurs, knees, etc.) of something like a cow are many,many, many times harder and more dense than canine teeth. They are widely responsible for everything from sheering off enamel from teeth (which then leaves the more sensitive layers of the tooth exposed and can be painful) to slab fractures, which are very painful, require extraction under anesthesia, and sometimes require a dental surgeon - painful, requires anesthesia, and can be very pricey. There are lots of better alternatives for chewing: bully sticks, beef trachea, etc.

 

Thanks. What I give her are raw knuckle bones and have been told that those are completely safe and good for their teeth. Now I'm concerned. Should I not be giving her those? She usually gets one every Saturday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gecko_foot

First off, let me say that Italy is the absolute most perfect dog that anyone can ever imagine. Anyone who meets her instantly falls in love with her and says how charming and sweet she is. She has no issues anymore with accidents, separation anxiety, etc. She's pefect. That said, she does have one little flaw that I'd like to correct. When I give her a bone from the butcher, she is really, really possessive of it. She has never growled unless she's playing, but if I try and take it from her, move it if she jumps onto the couch with it, etc., she is not having it. She growls and nips at me. If she's going at her bone and I even walk by and stop, she'll stop chewing and just hold it and be still waiting to see what I'm going to do. Whenever she growls I sternly say "NO" but I don't think that's helping much. Any suggestions on how to rid her of this?

 

Like I said, it's small issue and I don't want to make her seem like a monster because she's a snuggly teddy bear.

 

I'll probably get some flak from this statement, but... IMO, anything I give the dog is still mine - they just get to borrow it - and I can take it away if I want to. That being said, when I ask for the treat, toy, etc. I reward the dog for leaving the item (nicely) and ignoring it by immediately giving it back. I agree with what a previous poster said about teaching "give" or "leave it". This can be beneficial for both of you.

 

I'm not a dog trainer or an expert, but here's how I have retrieved items from my greyhound. He does not have any guarding issues (food or otherwise), but this has worked well for me.

 

(1) Put your dog on a leash before attempting to retrieve the item. This way she can't run away from you and "win" the treat.

(2) Don't try to take the treat directly from the dog's mouth - that's asking to get your hands bitten. If you can, put your foot on the treat and give the "leave it" or "give" command once or twice. Stand your ground until your dog backs off from the treat. Repeating it a thousand times just desensitizes the dog to the word. If you're really worried about being bitten, you could apply some bitter apple spray to your shoes.

 

(3) Once the dog leaves the item and ignores it, pick it up, have a praise party, and give the dog a high-value treat for leaving it. Keep the original item away from your dog for a good 5 minutes or so and then return it.

 

The big thing is not to get frustrated (if you can help it) or angry. Be prepared for a long haul if your grey is stubborn.

 

Good luck!

 

P.S. Here's how non-possessive Tumnus is :lol

 

IMG_3622.jpg

Edited by gecko_foot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

my aggression comment was not directed at you specifically, I apologize for coming off that way. I can see you are doing right by your pup. I just often see that word applied to many different behaviors, it was a general comment.

Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

Thanks. What I give her are raw knuckle bones and have been told that those are completely safe and good for their teeth. Now I'm concerned. Should I not be giving her those? She usually gets one every Saturday.

 

I really hope it was not a vet that told you they were completely safe. If it was,

I would strongly consider another vet for dental purposes. Any weight bearing part of a cow puts your hound's teeth at risk of fracture or damage. It's not a matter of whether or not, but rather when it will happen.

 

If you're giving the bones for teeth cleaning and jaw exercise, consider the following:

- bully sticks

- dried beef trachea

- raw chicken backs

- raw turkey necks

- pork shoulder (pork picnic) with most of the meat removed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've given my dogs raw bones for years and so far there have never been injuries to their teeth because of them. Yes the potential is always there though. I once cut my gum on a Dorito and it bled like heck but I still eat them now and then.

As far as taking bones from my dogs my key is to get the dogs attention focused on me. I call their name and when they are looking at me I say something like 'I'm taking it' and then I take it. So far that has always worked like a charm. However my dogs don't growl at me even when I'm doing something they don't like. I just get the heavy sigh and pathetic big eyes treatment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jackjack

We have three boys that have never raised their voices to DH or I, but they can get irritated with each other. In the 4+ years we've had them all, the only fight we've had in the house was over a bone. Brian Killcommons has a couple of good books. In one, he talks about aggression and mentions that bones can turn the sweetest dog nasty. His philosophy (as far as I can tell) is to not give a dog anything that they will not surrender willingly. I tend to agree. No more bones in our house. There are plenty of other things that you can use to entertain your dog, treat your dog, and keep their teeth clean.

 

I'm not comparing your situation to ours (dog/dog growling vs. dog/human growling), but my advice is the same. I'd say you have two viable options here: Teach your dog to trade up, or find something else to give her that will amuse her and keep her teeth sparkly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most greyhounds are given bones in the racing kennel. Mine regularly get bones and we've never had a problem with them.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first time I gave George a bone, and then tried to take it away, he almost took my arm off! Then I realized that the bone was a VERY big deal to him, and I had gotten complacent 'cause my last dog (a mix I got as a puppy from the shelter) would have walked through fire for me if I asked him too. George? Not so much! Instead of reacting, I went and got him a dog biscuit, held it out, and he took it and I took the bone!

 

Problem solved. Now I make sure I say to him, "Ok, that's enough now!" and hand him something else so I can take the bone.

 

Regarding the teeth and safety of bones; I give George a marrow bone every Saturday and Sunday. My vet thinks this is great, and he hasn't had to have a dental since I adopted him (he didn't do well with the anesthesia--my vet and I both feel that any possible chipped teeth are way less of a problem than the potential disaster general anesthesia COULD cause).

 

George's teeth are already all broken anyway from, I assume, chewing his kennel. His lower front teeth are to the gum line, all four canines are missing their tips, but the back teeth are nice and shiny and white!


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

Regarding the teeth and safety of bones; I give George a marrow bone every Saturday and Sunday. My vet thinks this is great, and he hasn't had to have a dental since I adopted him (he didn't do well with the anesthesia--my vet and I both feel that any possible chipped teeth are way less of a problem than the potential disaster general anesthesia COULD cause).

 

Increased risk of a bad reaction to anesthesia would probably make me even less likely to chance a slab fracture and the necessity of an involved procedure. If you haven't encountered a dog suffering from the pain of a slab fracture, it's hard to imagine, but to each his (or her) own!

 

I can't speak to dentals in general as my hounds haven't needed or had them in many years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SaddleWags

I went thru this with my first grey. I'd give him raw hide to chew on. If I needed to move it, or take it away, he'd growl.

 

I read a post where someone's pup had a similar reaction with raw hide and instead they substituted Bully Sticks. My pups love these things. And for what ever reason, they never growl or get possessive. They last longer, and don't make as much of a mess. I couldn't recommend them more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been having the same resource guarding issue with Trolley. It only happens with marrow bones. She has learned to "drop it" and does so immediately if she is told to. If she growls at me, she has to immediately drop the bone & it goes in the trash. She is learning that I give good things & I can take them away. :) We're still working on it-I think she'll eventually get it. :rolleyes:

Carol-Glendale, AZ

Trolley (Figsiza Trollyn)

Nevada 1992-2008...always in my heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...