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Grrrr... I Am Eating My Bone Here!


Guest DragonflyDM
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Guest DragonflyDM

So there are times that Boomer will take a soup bone to bed and chew on it. I am OK with this, but if it is a new bone, and I want to get into bed myself to sleep-- he will growl. Now on the ground, I would just put my foot over the bone and he would relax, but you can do that up high on the bed....and I am NOT going to put my hand there. So what ends up happening is a very heated conversation.

 

"Boomer get down for a second so i can make the bed and go to sleep."

GRRRRRR

"Boomer, I am not going to tell you again... get off."

GRRRRRR

"Boomer I am daddy and you are the dog. Get off."

Grrrrrr RUFF RUFF

"Don't you growl at me mister... get off now."

 

This goes on for about two minutes before he gives up and gets off the bed for the one minute I need to make it and get in myself. Then all is OK.

 

So--- question--- what would you do? How do you debone a dog when you can't use your foot?

 

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no answer but, "debone a dog" made me giggle.

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First thought was not to let him have a bone at bedtime??

 

Second thought was to offer him an alternative. You want the bone? In your other hand have a real neat treat that he gets only when you're looking to switch out. Filet Mignon comes to mind. LOL

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Hmm - in your situation, maybe put his collar and leash on to get him off the bed. In our situation, hold the collar and take the bone.

 

We have one that grumbles when you want him off something, regardless of having a bone, though. We tap his butt and ask him a little more firmly and that's usually all it takes and he moves.

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Guest Giselle

First thought was not to let him have a bone at bedtime??

 

Second thought was to offer him an alternative. You want the bone? In your other hand have a real neat treat that he gets only when you're looking to switch out. Filet Mignon comes to mind. LOL

This is called "Trade Up", and we have maaaaany many many threads on GT about how to teach "Trade Up" and when/how to use it. I also recommend Trade Up. The dog is growling because he's worried you're going to take it away. If, instead, he knows that giving up the bone means EVEN BETTER reward (or playing the Trade Up game - which by itself is fun and rewarding), he'll be happy to give up the bone and do as you please.

 

Here:

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/284401-growling-and-bones/page__hl__trade#entry5197989

Edited by Giselle
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'Trading' has worked well for us.

And don't allow him on your bed with a bone.

My guys have to eat their bones on their own beds....they make such a mess and no way I want it on my bed!

 

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With your Australia friend coming to visit soon, I'd also vote no to giving Boomer a bone on your bed. If your friend is a vegetarian she might gag knowling that a dog bone has been chewed on your bed.

Remind Boomer that he must be well behaved during the visit from your friend. Practice removing him from the bed without having him react poorly, even if that means keeping the collar and leash on him so it will be easier to lead him off.

Edited by macoduck

 

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Guest snoopycomehome

What we do with ours is they have certain areas where they are allowed things. Raw chicken...in the grass. Marrow bones...only in a 4X4 foot area of the living room (easier to clean one area). Ice cream...on the patio. To teach them this, we had to (quite frequently) say 'no no' and pick up the food item and physically take it to the right place. It was annoying for a few months. But now they know exactly where to go...and stay...even if I hand them a marrow bone in the kitchen. We do not allow food or toys in the bed. In fact, no food/bones are allowed upstairs.

 

We do things with our dogs like we do with our kids. Structure...and consistency. So figure out what works for you but always do it the same way. Maybe allowing the bone on the floor by the bed, but not actually in the bed, would extinguish the behavior?

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I put an old blanket on Rocket's bed if he is getting a bone. He knows that he has to stay on his blanket with it, and does. Sometimes he tries to take the bone into the bedroom to "bury it" but he usually gets caught. All I have to say is "put that on your blanket" and he takes it back to the bed with the blanket on it.

 

Trading up is good, but in our house, there is no higher value treat than a bone - not sure what you would trade with. I would get him in the habit of only having his bone in a designated place that's not your bed.

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Guest DragonflyDM

I have been talking to Boomer about the Ozzie-guest coming and that he will have to go back to his bed.

 

When Bommer has a bone, i put a separate blanket out on the bed for him to lay down on. I have, on occasion, kicked him off the bed for growling and being noisy with a bone... but it is a challenge. He is never aggressive in his manner, just stubborn. And this is only an issue with a new bone.

 

But I am working on it. The trade up idea is a good one.

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Guest Giselle

Trading up is good, but in our house, there is no higher value treat than a bone - not sure what you would trade with. I would get him in the habit of only having his bone in a designated place that's not your bed.

There is an interesting psychological phenomenon that happens with 'Trading Up'. It is similar to Premack's Principle. If you reward an unlikely behavior with a likely behavior, the improbable behavior actually increases in likelihood. In this case: Unlikely behavior = Giving up the bone. Likely behavior = Keeping and chewing on the bone

 

So, if we think about the Trade Up game, it usually goes like: 1) Ask dog to "Give" up the chew 2) Take the chew 3) Give a chew back to dog. So, the act of giving up a chew is NOT actually contingent on receiving any food reward or a higher value reward. Instead, the dog understands that the act of giving up a chew/bone/toy is rewarded by getting it back. So, it doesn't matter that a bone is the absolute highest value chew you have. If you play Trade Up, the dog will give up the bone because, based on past experience, he understands he'll get it back. In fact, with my dogs, I would always play the Trade Up game several times with whatever disgusting trash they picked up on the sidewalk before I took it and threw it away. This simple psychological principle has saved the dogs from ingesting discarded chicken bones, ribs, roadkill, etc.

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Trading up is good, but in our house, there is no higher value treat than a bone - not sure what you would trade with. I would get him in the habit of only having his bone in a designated place that's not your bed.

 

I start trading up with something like an old washcloth (couple sessions) and gradually move along to more desirable objects. If you're diligent and don't move up till the dog is ready, by the time you get to the really good stuff, dropping the item for you is an automatic behavior.

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Guest jaws4evr

Lots of posts about "trading up" which is good to work with.

 

Sounds also like you're doing some "negotiating" with the bone. Don't forget, he's a dog and doesn't know what a negotiation means... if you attempt to get him to leave his bone, and by his growling and posturing he gets to keep it for a couple of minutes, he's learning that growling and posturing against you lets him keep the bone.

 

For me I'd work on trading up (not with the bone, with small less awesome things for a few weeks so he knows what the trading game means.). I also especially like the "give" and "return" excise by the poster above!

 

I'd also hand-feed him a few meals to get him to start thinking of your hands near his food as great, not bad. ie, hold his meal in a container in your hands. Feed him handfulls of food, rewarding good calm behavior (no jumping, pawing, demanding), and good attention on you.

 

Lastly with bones if you want to continue giving him them, I'd keep him on a leash, and remove him from the bone calmly but firmly with the leash. Treat it like a leash-following-exercise, and pretend the bone isn't there. When he responds on leash and goes where you ask, tell him he's a good boy and "release" him back to his bone, so he learsn that just because you move him, doesn't mean it's the end of the bone time!

 

ADD: aslo a great idea to have designated bone eating places, just like you probably have a designated "dinner eating" place. Bones on the bed are a recipe for combining high-value space, with high-value treat... make it easy and separate the two things.

 

Lastly, just good displine to have the dog not sleep on the bed sometimes simply because you ask.

Edited by jaws4evr
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I have, on occasion, kicked him off the bed for growling...

 

Yep, I think this is probably in order. Remember, the bed is YOURS. It's a privilege. Mine know if they get snarky, they get kicked off. In the beginning, I had to take them by the collar and help them off. Now they respond to a verbal command. In the rare off chance it happens anymore, Truman will sometimes do a little "errrr" and then realizes he screwed up and gets off the bed himself. I just give him "the look" and he sulks away :lol

 

As for the bone issue, another vote here for trading up. I think every dog owner should practice trading up, because it's important to be able to take something away from your dog, especially if it's something that's dangerous or will make them sick... or (god forbid) it's someone's small fluffy!

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Guest DragonflyDM

So we I have learned-- and it is a bit of a clunky process-- that I can get him off the bed simply by going downstairs and calling him. He just assumes that something is really good downstairs (since that is where all the treats are). It is a short term fix until I practice some more trading up (great idea y'all).

 

Now I just need to teach him to stop stealing the covers if he gets to sleep on the bed.

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