I have posted here a few times and love the info I find here and just listening to you all and seeing all your lovely pets...I know I will probably have some 'not so nice' responses here, but I have to ask all of you about a situation that is starting to cause
conflict in the household...my large(about 60 lbs)terrier/hound mix Buddy is almost 2 years old, and Ihave a son that is almost 3 yrs old...my son hand feeds the dog his dog biscuits and sometimes his regular dog food...Buddy is a dog I've had since he was 5 weeks old...he grew up in the house with the baby...I also have 2 cats...Buddy is a very fast eater(inhales his food)...I've tried free feeding to remedy this, but it doesn't seem to work for me/Buddy...twice in the past he has snapped at the cats when they got too close while he was eating...he never made contact...and he sometimes will make a noise somewhere between a bark and a growl, but will never lift his head from the dish(like a warning, or something)...well twice in the last month, he has done this growl/bark thing to my son...again, never moves any part of his body, just makes a noise...my bf is about to throw Buddy out, says his son is more important then the dog, and I feel the same, but don't want anything to happen to either of them...I feel it can be remedied by feeding the dog in another room or while the baby is napping(which I have been doing for the past week)or that some other arrangements can be made...I don't feel that it is a 'put the dog out' situation...I just feel they need to be supervised at all times(which they are), and that other feeding arrangements have to be made...please any opinions or input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated...thanks...Until next time, Becky...
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In my opinion a dog should not be disturbed while eating. That is about the only time I find it acceptable for the dog to growl at a human. You as his mistress should naturally be able to take his bowl away from him, but he doesn't have to accept other people disturbing him while he eats. Even if pushed he might never even try to snap at your son, but it is best not to try it.
So teach your son that a sleeping and eating dog is tabu - never to be disturbed. Feed your dog so that you keep the child away from him, or in another room.
For your husband, just because a dog growls it doesn't have to be very serious. Some dogs are more vocal than others. A growl without the aggressive bodylanguage isn't half as bad as bared teeth without a sound - this is in my experience.
I dislike growling dogs, but I have lived with and been in a lot of contact with a couple of growlers. Neither one ever tried to bite me, even tho I confronted them when they growled. They would even go down and expose their bellies and still growl. So growling doesn't necessarily mean the dog is going to go for your throat.
It is best to always expect the worse and take no chances - so avoid situations where your dog might growl at your son. I would however not give up on him because of a few growls - his food is important to him, and he wants to enjoy it in peace. In my opinion he has the right to do so.

Rosa
I feel it can be remedied by feeding the dog in another room or while the baby is napping(which I ... and that other feeding arrangements have to be made...please any opinions or input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated...thanks...Until next time, Becky...

I agree with you. If Buddy starts snapping at the kid in other situations, then it's a different story. Otherwise, feed him away from the kid and everyone should be ok.
Charlie
You've got to be kidding.
You as his mistress should naturally be able to take his bowl away from him, but he doesn't have to accept other people disturbing him while he eats.

No petsitters getting near his food, no kennel workers at the boarding kennel? No child who chases his truck and trips and falls near the dog?
Even if pushed he might never even try to snap at your son, but it is best not to try it.

The dog needs to learn food manners. That doesn't mean that you just send a 3 year old (baby? no - toddler!) to do that.
So teach your son that a sleeping and eating dog is tabu - never to be

disturbed. Feed your dog so that you keep the child away from him, or in another room.

While that is a short term solution, the dog is going to be chewing/eating something, sanctioned or not, in the kid's presence, at SOME point. He needs to learn to stop food guarding, not just have this situation avoided altoghether.
For your husband, just because a dog growls it doesn't have to be very serious.

She's not married to the guy. Maybe he has a problem with commitment to dogs and people. Growls, taken in context, are serious.
Some dogs are more vocal than others. A growl without the aggressive bodylanguage isn't half as bad as bared teeth without a sound - this is in my experience.

A growl while eating is NOT appropriate for a pet dog, especialy in a household with a child and other pets.
I do agree that dogs deserve not to be bugged while eating, but that's a far cry from saying it's ok for them to growl. They don't get to make that decision.
Janet Boss
Best Friends Dog Obedience
"Nice Manners for the Family Pet"
Voted "Best of Baltimore 2001" - Baltimore Magazine www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
I second this. I have a dog and a four year old. The dog had (before the baby was born) had issues with food aggression that we visited a trainer for, and worked on meticulously, including hand feeding etc.

At four, DS is old enough to have taken on the chore of feeding the dog, and Guinness will happily (well, okay, he quivers, whines and drools) wait while the kibble is being prepared (usually on the toy stove).

At two, we kept DS away from the food bowl, just to avoid unpleasant surprises. We might supervise the feeding of a treat, but feeding was our job, and it was also our job to make sure Guinness was able to eat relatively uninterrupted. I say relatively, because we continued our own practice of interrupting his eating to put something really yummy in his bowl occasionally, so that he wouldn't see a human approaching his bowl as a threat. But again, that was the adult chore!
I also agree that if Buddy is not showing growly behavior in other instances, you probably don't have much to worry about.

-Shannon
I have posted here a few times and love the info I find here and just listening to you all ... 60 lbs)terrier/hound mix Buddy is almost 2 years old, and I have a son that is almost 3 yrs old...

Hi, Becky...
Here's my advice:
1.) Get a crate for the dog and feed him in it, or continue theout-of-the-room feeding while your son is napping.
2.) Teach your son that when the dog growls, he's saying BACK OFF inbig, red letters.

3.) Hire a private trainer that will work with the whole family and thedog - that includes your bf, who obviously has some fear issues himself (albeit justified), and your son, who may not listen to you but may listen to a stranger.

4.) Make sure to keep high food-value treats and chewies (like pig ears)well out of your son's reach

5.) Print out this page:http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/alpha.htm . Memorize it. Put it in effect, and teach your son to make the dog sit before giving the dog his treats. It will empower your son and teach the dog to respect him. Have bf join in the fun, too.
Food guarding is an issue that can usually be corrected. Maybe bf has to hear that from a professional, and see that you're working with him and that the dog's behavior is improving.
Is your dog neutered? If not, get that taken care of, too. Just my 2 cents...

Regards,
Tracy
Simply don't put the dog or child in a situation that is not fair on both of them.
Dogs as well as people need respect.
The thing with the cats..I always feed my cats before the dogs.. that way they are not going near the dogs food.
So while the cats are eating I get the dogs food ready. I think you have an easy thing there to sort...just needs thought. So teach the child respect for the dog .
A dogs only defence is their teeth.
Pat.
You've got to be kidding.

You as his mistress should naturally be able to take ... have to accept other people disturbing him while he eats.

No petsitters getting near his food, no kennel workers at the boardingkennel? No child who chases his truck and trips and falls near the dog?

I think that a kid that trips over an eating dog and gets nipped has only itself or its parents to blame. Kids should respect dogs and give them their space. A petsitter should be someone the dog respects enough that there isn't a problem with food. Kennel workers should know how to take care of a dog and don't bug it while it is eating.

Chewing something near the baby is not the same thing as the baby/toddler/kid bugging the dog while it is eating it's dinner. If the dog is chewing on a treat it can pick up the treat and move (unless it is cornered). A food bowl is stationary.
For your husband, just because a dog growls it doesn't have to be very serious.

She's not married to the guy. Maybe he has a problem with commitment todogs and people. Growls, taken in context, are serious.

Well they have a kid together that is almost 3 years old - I would see that as commitment, and honestly, I don't see that it matters if they are married or not.
Some dogs are more vocal than others. A growl without ... bared teeth without asound - this is in my experience.

A growl while eating is NOT appropriate for a pet dog, especialy in ahousehold with a child and other pets. ... Boss Best Friends Dog Obedience "Nice Manners for the Family Pet" Voted "Best of Baltimore 2001" - Baltimore Magazine www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com

The humans have to make that decision, and with my dogs I make the decision that it is ok. They may not growl at me, but they may growl at each other. If someone else would bug them while they were eating and they growled - I really wouldn't hold it against them.
Rosa
I think that a kid that trips over an eating dog and gets nipped has only itself or its parents ... food. Kennel workers should know how to take care of a dog and don't bug it while it is eating.

What happens when the dog decides to guard the empty dish the helper needs to remove/wash/replace? Gosh - glad you aren't clumsy! Not every home has such a large space that people aren't around when the dog is eating.
Chewing something near the baby is not the same thing as the baby/toddler/kid bugging the dog while it is eating ... on a treat it can pick up the treat and move (unless it is cornered). A food bowl is stationary.

A food guarder rarely moves though. They tend to stay put and get nasty.
Well they have a kid together that is almost 3 years old - I would see that as commitment, and honestly, I don't see that it matters if they are married or not.

I was only commenting on his desire to get rid of the dog - things aren't to be committed to apparently.
The humans have to make that decision, and with my dogs I make the decision that it is ok. They ... someone else would bug them while they were eating and they growled - I really wouldn't hold it against them.

What's bugging? Walking within 2 feet? 3 feet? 4? For dogs who guard that can change. Hope you never feed your dogs around guests!
Janet Boss
Best Friends Dog Obedience
"Nice Manners for the Family Pet"
Voted "Best of Baltimore 2001" - Baltimore Magazine www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
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