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Protein Sources Contribute To/affect Behavior?


Guest PiagetsMom
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Guest PiagetsMom

I'm posting this here, but it kind of crosses over to "Food and Dietary" as well.

 

I talked to a trainer today to get some information on help with Maya's leash reactivity. One of the the things that she asked me was what food I was feeding her. I told her, (I have her on the Fromm's Large Breed Adult Gold) and she proceeded to tell me that in dogs with high prey drives and reactivity issues, their protein source can be a contributing factor.

 

The "hot" proteins that should be avoided are venison, chicken, and lamb.

 

The "cool" proteins that are preferred are fish, rabbit, and duck.

 

Turkey and beef are "neutral" proteins.

 

I have to admit that this is new information to me. The formula I have her on now actually has chicken, lamb and duck as it's main proteins, so if this is true, it's obviously not an ideal formula for her. If it would help, I would absolutely change foods, but I'm just wondering if anyone else has been told this in relation to behavioral issues? Or, does anyone have any thoughts on it?

Edited by PiagetsMom
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Guest Giselle

What study was used to legitimize these claims?

 

It sounds like a whole lot of fuss over nothing. The last thing I worry about when training is the "hot" or "cool"-ness of their kibble. In my opinion, what matters most is trainer technique - or the trainer him/herself.

 

By the way, I was born and raised in an Eastern Asian family where this idea of "hot" and "cool" foods probably came from. Doesn't mean I believe in any of that nor did I ever experience any tangible, physical benefits from this food mentality! My parents still believe in it, but facts are facts to me. Science is science, and my experience with science did not provide legitimacy to the idea of "hot" and "cool" foods.

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Guest PiagetsMom

I don't know, Giselle.....it was very new information for me, and kind of caught me off-guard. I'm not sure I knew the right questions to ask about it. My food concerns have, to this point, been stomach/poop related. I will say this - Maya's reactivity has seemed to escalate recently, and I'm into the 2nd bag of a food change to the Fromm's, having switched from the TOTW Pacific Stream, which is fish based.

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Guest Giselle

I know, I'm being a skeptic poo-poo'ing everything, but I just can't buy it unless I know what specific study to which your trainer is referring. And then I'd have to check out who actually performed the study, if it was high quality, and who funded it. It's just the skeptic in me!

 

Part of why I'm so skeptic is because, like I mentioned, I was raised with Eastern medicine, so I'm intimately familiar with the idea of "hot" and "cool" foods. It's all great and nice because it's based off the idea that food is medicine. However, the problem with this is that it's heavily steeped in tradition and, really, has little basis in science. So, if it was wrong 1000 years ago but people kept the tradition, it will still be wrong now (except now it's a tradition, so people will continue to use it). For example, I experienced a myriad of illnesses when I was a child, and my wonderful mother would foist this "food therapy" on me with the best of intentions. Canker sores? Eat more "cooling" foods. Nose bleed? Drink some chrysanthemum to "cool" it. *sigh* Many times, my mother would eventually give in and resort to Western medicine, but it demonstrates when Eastern medicine/food therapy is and is not appropriate. In the case of reactivity and protein sources, I don't think it's appropriate, and I think one would be much more successful examining, instead: Are there new situations that are triggering the reactivity? Are there new sources of stress? Has one been diligent with training, or has one been slacking? Is the technique as polished as it should be? Sometimes, it's hard to ask these questions because they indicate a sort of lapse on our part. But there have been a lot of times where I've messed up, tried looking for other factors, and, in the end, knew it was probably human error that exacerbated my dog's issue. It's all part of the training process, and it never really ends :) So, I do hope you can arrive at a solution with which you're comfortable and I hope that Maya's reactivity settles quickly!

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It's nonsense.

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.

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I'd say be a scientist and try different meats! Can't hurt...

 

I'm with this approach. If the problems escalated after changing his diet and resolves after you change back to a "cool" protein you've got your answer for your dog, which ultimately is what matters to you. I really do not understand the need for millions of lab animals to suffer through experimentation and die to have things "proven" to me.

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Guest PiagetsMom

In the case of reactivity and protein sources, I don't think it's appropriate, and I think one would be much more successful examining, instead: Are there new situations that are triggering the reactivity? Are there new sources of stress? Has one been diligent with training, or has one been slacking? Is the technique as polished as it should be? Sometimes, it's hard to ask these questions because they indicate a sort of lapse on our part. But there have been a lot of times where I've messed up, tried looking for other factors, and, in the end, knew it was probably human error that exacerbated my dog's issue. It's all part of the training process, and it never really ends :) So, I do hope you can arrive at a solution with which you're comfortable and I hope that Maya's reactivity settles quickly!

 

I should say that it wasn't being suggested by the trainer, nor was I insinuating, that Maya's diet was the sole source of her issues, or that a simple food change to a "cool" protein would be the only thing that needed to be considered or examined. I absolutely expect for at least part of the issue to be human error on my part, which is why I contacted the trainer - for advice and imput on my technique with the commonly recommended methods I've been using and working on tor the last 6 months. I realize that it's a process, I didn't expect a quick fix, but I also didn't expect to be moving backwards, either, and recently that's how it's been feeling. The protein source suggestion seemed to be an additional factor that was felt worthy of addressing by this trainer, in conjuction with the issues that Giselle mentioned above.

 

Batmom, my DH had the same opinion that you did. I guess I tend to feel that since my pups are great eaters and would probably eat anything, maybe it's one of those things that it wouldn't hurt to try. :dunno

Edited by PiagetsMom
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I agree w/ all most of the responses above except the need for changing to a "cool" vs "warm/hot" food. i too have been going to acupuncturist for years and it's wind heat(hot) or dampness(cool) that is used to describe what's going on within you. hot foods stimulate wind heat and visa versa.... i don't agree....but i do agree with the basic princible of moving energy and looking for the root of the problem

. as to your dog's reactions....giselle got the temperature right...it's consisitant training that's needed. if you want to see if food is irritating your dog, it could be gut/lower intenstines or a basic allergy that may not be manifesting (sp it's early for me) itself in something other than a skin reaction. maybe try a basic elimination diet. posted are all of the ingredients in the food which you were feeding your dog. way too many to point a finger at. i would start w/1 to 2 weeks of plain white rice(as much as your dog wants to eat, feed 3xs a day), then add one source of protien- beef, chicken, or turkey. keep your pup on it for 2 weeks and do work your dog(training wise) to modify the behavior. as you progress down the line you might see a "reaction" or "difference" with one of the ingredients. you might not. remember to treat your dog w/ what ever the protien source is that week- it cooked turkey breast, lamb chunks, strips of beef, chicken chunks, etc. no chewies, hoofs, antler, peanut butter or cookies...just rice and one source of protien.

 

fromm large breed adult gold kibble:

Main Ingredients

  • Fresh Duck – a source of high quality animal protein, duck is a red meat that offers higher levels of vitamin A and B vitamins than most other meats. It also provides an excellent source of natural animal fats.
  • Chicken Meal – is included to provide an extra boost of protein. With up to 300% more protein by weight than fresh chicken, high quality chicken meals make up an important part of a dog’s diet.
  • Fresh Chicken – the third ingredient on this list is also an animal protein, ensuring high levels of meat in comparison with other ingredients. Fromm states that they use only high quality chicken from USDA inspected facilities.
  • Oatmeal – a source of complex carbohydrates, oats are absorbed slowly, releasing sugar and energy gradually, rather than overwhelming the body as simple carbohydrates may. They are a valuable source of dietary fiber, iron, and other essential vitamins. Oats are especially high in B vitamins, which may aid in breaking down fats for the nervous system and help support muscle tone, skin, hair, and eye health. Also said to contain a blend of many of the essential amino acids.
  • Pearled Barley – created by removing the hull and bran from whole barley, revealing the inner kernel. The remaining grain is a great source of complex carbohydrates and rich nutrition including the B vitamins so needed for healthy living.

Other Ingredients

 

  • Brown Rice
  • White Rice
  • Dried Tomato Pomace
  • Whole Egg
  • Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Fresh Lamb
  • Fresh Russet Potatoes
  • Chicken Fat
  • Fresh Wisconsin Cheese
  • Salmon Oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Brewers Dried Yeast
  • Alfalfa Meal
  • Fresh Carrots
  • Fresh Lettuce
  • Fresh Celery
  • Chicken Cartilage
  • Monocalcium Phosphate
  • Salt
  • Potassium Chloride
  • DL-Methionine
  • Taurine
  • Chicory Root Extract
  • Yucca Schidigera Extract
  • Sodium Selenite
  • Vitamins: vitamin A acetate, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, choline bitartrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin
  • Minerals: zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, copper sulfate, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, sorbic acid (preservative), ferrous proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, magnesium proteinate, cobalt proteinate
  • Probiotics: dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried enterococcous faecium fermentation product

AAFCO Statement

 

Fromm Gold states that this formula is suitable for dogs of all life stages according to recommendations in the AAFCO dog food nutritional profiles.

Product Overview

 

This is a unique formula boasting an amazing lineup of nutritional content. Variety is at the heart of the ingredient list, true to the Gold line of holistic feeding principles. Varied ingredients help to ensure a broad spectrum of the nutrients your dog needs to thrive and maintain an active lifestyle.

Varied proteins – Fromm has included a variety of protein sources in this formula to ensure it is not only a food your dog will enjoy eating, but also a complete balance of amino acids which may be vital to build and maintain muscle tissue in dogs. Duck, chicken, egg, fish meal, and lamb all offer unique variations of proteins, essential fatty acids, and essential minerals.

Varied carbohydrates – Rather than the usual corn and wheat grain inclusions, Fromm avoids those completely and offers a different kind of grain-based carbohydrate: a blend of oatmeal, barley, and white and brown rice. This provides a balance of B vitamins, as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber and other minerals.

This formula may not be appropriate for dog owners who seek to limit how much variety of ingredients they feed their furry pet, but for the rest of the crowd, this is an excellent source of USA made nutrition.

Edited by cleptogrey
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I didn't expect a quick fix, but I also didn't expect to be moving backwards, either, and recently that's how it's been feeling.

 

In terms of training, this happened with Zema a lot over the years. I was always having to think of something new to keep her on the straight and not-so-narrow :lol . If I ever have another like her I will probably try to teach carrying a stuffy or a newspaper on walks, outings to new places, etc. ..... Not suggesting that technique in particular will work for your pup. Just that sometimes you have to think outside the box, and sometimes being consistent is a more general matter (give the dog something *else* to do) than a specific one (always heel). If that makes any sense.

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.

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Guest PiagetsMom

Just that sometimes you have to think outside the box, and sometimes being consistent is a more general matter (give the dog something *else* to do) than a specific one (always heel). If that makes any sense.

 

It does, and you bring up a good point. Consistancy is not my problem - I am consistant with what I'm doing, but your suggestion to give Maya something else to do instead of a single specific one, which for us is a "look at me", may be something I need to consider. :)

 

I'm going to get in touch with a couple of other trainers on Monday, and go from there.

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Guest Giselle

What situations are most concerning right now?

 

I'm not sure what techniques your trainers have been suggesting, but my greatest influence has been Dr. Sophia Yin so I've adopted a lot of her techniques. In her practice, the goal is to always be more interesting, more fun, more rewarding than anything else in the environment. Scary dog across the street? No problem! We'll play nose touch games, heeling games, fun obedience games, walk, run, suddenly stop, etc. etc. Some dogs can maintain a solid eye contact for several minutes and that is sufficient to keep them happy around strange situations. But these dogs are rare. For most normal reactive dogs, you'll have to work with them at rapid-fire around unfamiliar environments until they are so focused on you that everything else doesn't matter. Even now, I still have to play a lot of games to keep Ivy's full attention on me in high-distraction environments. I don't have to reward as much, but she's definitely not the type of dog that can be okay with just sustained eye contact or a long down-stay. Many reactive dogs aren't. So, what is your general approach and how have things been going with Maya?

 

Also, here's an introductory video from Dr. Yin where you can see how fast she switches exercises to keep the dog's attention. I always start at this speed with new dogs and slowly decrease how fast I move/how many times I need to switch up exercises only if the dog is improving:

http://drsophiayin.com/resources/video_full/dog-training-secrets

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Guest PiagetsMom

Thanks for the video links, Giselle. Most concerning right now is her leash reactivity to other leashed dogs we see when walking. I read Patricia McConnell's "Feisty Fido", and I've been using her recommended techniques. I'm relying mostly on a "look at me" with liverworst treats, but I'm looking foward to a trainer evaluating my technique and giving me some constructive criticism to improve it. Maya gets the "look at me" on the sight of another dog, but keeping her attention is where we're faultering. Sometimes we're more successful than others. When it's obvious that a "look at me" is not going to be successful (the more encounters we have, the more quickly Maya reacts and the less willing she is to look at me, especially if one of those encounters has been a cat sighting, which is extremely agitating to her), we do a quick turn around with a "this way" and go the other way.

 

As Dr. Yin said in the video, I'm pretty sure that I'm sending signals to Maya that I'm not aware that I am, and I'm hoping a trainer will point those out to me.

Edited by PiagetsMom
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your intentions sound excellent, but do see if your trainer holds group classes as well. it's difficult to work w/ a reactive dog in a group setting, you really need someone experienced and an experienced assistant as well, but you will get the most bang for your bucks in that type of situation. it's a real life situation and a good 45 minutes of non-stop practice, it's intense. i have trained 4 of my dogs at a local school who does take reactive dogs and lots of rescue dogs w/ unkown past(the other local school is totally hands off w/ dogs w/ problems, they occassionally have a seminar- with out the dog- for the owners!). it's hard work for the owner- sometimes 5xs the work or more depending upon enrollment, but it seems to have worked from what i have observed.

i even reconditioned my welsh terrier when he became reactive at 9 years of age...i called it reform school- but it worked!(he was attacked by another dog and then started going ballistic everytime he saw another dog).

best of luck and keep all of us posted. do make sure you are using the right weight leather leash and type of collar needed to provide control and send the right message to your dog. it's essential that you have the right tools. a good trainer will check all of that when working w/ you.

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Guest Giselle

You've definitely got the right ideas! You're right, too :) Most of a trainer/behaviorist's job is to train the human rather than the dog, so it sounds like you will learn very quickly and Maya should improve easily. Please do let us know how your experiences with your trainer go. I'd love to hear about your progress and would be more than happy to share my own tips, too. Also, if you ever find someone to help videotape, a video of a typical event would help us see what is working and what can be improved!

 

Also, if you ever need "practice" (i.e. strange dogs to use as triggers), I love using neighbors' dogs when they're allowed to roam in the front yard and bark at the fence. I also use dog parks and stand outside the perimeter, like this:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v474/LSophie/Videos/?action=view&current=DisruptFocus.mp4

Note: don't pay too much attention to what we're doing in the video. This is just an example of how to use the dog park to your advantage when working with reactivity, rather than an example of how or what to train. Also, it's not the same as approaching strange dogs on walks, but it makes for a lot of practice with minimum effort. With Maya, you could start from afar, do fun heeling exercises and nose touch games, and then slowly move closer. Eventually, you can play these fun heeling and nose touch games right along the fence, with other dogs running up to Maya (but still separated by the fence). The idea is to keep her complete focus on you, even when there are strange dogs right next to her. Then, when you're on the street and a strange dog approaches, it won't be such a big stressor anymore. Hope that gives you a little something to practice with until your next training session!

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Guest PiagetsMom

I appreciate the input. When Mirage came home he had some leash reactivity, and the basics that I mentioned above worked well to make his walks manageable. I was hoping that I would get the same results with Maya, but I'm beginning to feel that the basics may not be enough to address her issues. I've been doing what I know to do, but recognize that I really need some additional help.

 

I've found a couple of trainers here who both are CPDT-KA, one who trained at the Triple Crown Academy for Dog Trainers in Austin, and the other who trained in the UK, and obtained her Advanced Diploma in Canine Behavior Management and specializes in Clicker Training. I will be contacting them today.

 

There is also a local trainer, who is mostly self-taught, has worked with our GPA and is recommended by them, and is well known in our area. All provide an option for private in-home sessions, as well as group sessions. Unfortunately, this gentleman can't even begin to work with me until the end of September, as he is booked until then. I really hate to wait that long to get started.

 

For what it's worth, I did decided to make a food change. Their poops have been just "ok" on the Fromm's, so we're transitioning over to a fish based, grain free food. Both really like it, and their poops are already better, so even if the "hot/cold" theory is nonsense in regards to training/behavior, I figure it can't hurt. As christinepi said above, I'll be a scientist! :rolleyes:

Edited by PiagetsMom
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Guest PiagetsMom

8/1 - Just a quick update:

 

I did contact the trainers I mentioned above, and was referred to a Lore I. Haug, DVM, MS, DACVB. Dr. Haug is also the recommended behaviorist on my GPA website. I've been thinking "trainer" instead of behaviorist, so I'll hope I'm on the right track. We spoke, and made an appointment for Sept 3 for an evaluation and examination here at the house. She advised me to limit Maya's walking and exposure to triggers as much as possible until she saw her, so that's what I'll be doing. I'm really glad that the cost is not a determining factor for us, but I can see why some may hesitate to get help, or not consider this a do-able option. I'm a little nervous about it, but looking forward to her input.

Edited by PiagetsMom
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I'd say be a scientist and try different meats! Can't hurt...

 

I'm with this approach. If the problems escalated after changing his diet and resolves after you change back to a "cool" protein you've got your answer for your dog, which ultimately is what matters to you. I really do not understand the need for millions of lab animals to suffer through experimentation and die to have things "proven" to me.

The problem I see is if you blame it on food, you may not focus on, and subsequently miss, behavioural triggers. Or, vice versa, you may be changing a behaviour which results in behavioural improvements, and attribute the success to the food which would then be just a placebo effect.

 

 

Edited by greytpups

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Guest PiagetsMom

 

The problem I see is if you blame it on food, you may not focus on, and subsequently miss, behavioural triggers. Or, vice versa, you may be changing a behaviour which results in behavioural improvements, and attribute the success to the food which would then be just a placebo effect.

 

 

The food is kind of a non-issue for me in the big picture, although at this point I'm glad I made a change because I'm getting better poops than either of them have had in a really long time, so it was a good move for me, regardless. I filled out a ton of paperwork for the behaviorist to review, and there was more than a passing interest in Maya's food and treats, so I'll actually be interested to see what she may have to say about it.

 

I have no doubt that Maya's inssues are being exacerbated by something that I am not doing correctly, or emotions that she's picking up from me, so I would never contribute any success we may have completely to a food change. That being said, you hear all the time in regards to humans that "You are what you eat", so I tend to think it's not out of the realm of possiblity that it could be an influence on some dogs' behavioral issues.

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I'd say be a scientist and try different meats! Can't hurt...

 

I'm with this approach. If the problems escalated after changing his diet and resolves after you change back to a "cool" protein you've got your answer for your dog, which ultimately is what matters to you. I really do not understand the need for millions of lab animals to suffer through experimentation and die to have things "proven" to me.

The problem I see is if you blame it on food, you may not focus on, and subsequently miss, behavioural triggers. Or, vice versa, you may be changing a behaviour which results in behavioural improvements, and attribute the success to the food which would then be just a placebo effect.

 

But wouldn't you want to know if food does play a role in their behavior? I know many studies have linked hyperactivity and ADHD in children to diet. If this is the case with certain foods affecting dogs in a negative way aren't you almost setting them up to fail or at the very least not allowing them to reach their full potential by not eliminating what could be exacerbating the problem. I certainly don't think it should stop there though so I would also look at how I could improve my training technique AFTER (not yelling :), just wanted to put the stress on after) I saw if a change in diet made a difference.

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Guest budsmom

A behaviorist that I used with Bud (for something else) who is also a nutritionist did tell me that high protien foods contribute to aggressiveness. There was no hot or cold protien, just high protien in general, so there might be something to it.

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Guest LindsaySF
Maya gets the "look at me" on the sight of another dog, but keeping her attention is where we're faultering. Sometimes we're more successful than others. When it's obvious that a "look at me" is not going to be successful (the more encounters we have, the more quickly Maya reacts and the less willing she is to look at me, especially if one of those encounters has been a cat sighting, which is extremely agitating to her), we do a quick turn around with a "this way" and go the other way.

It sounds like you're exceeding her threshold level if she's losing focus, either because the other dog is present too long, is too close, or because she's already amped up by several exciting encounters. Nothing to do with her food. :)

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