Chihuahua People Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ahhhh my daughter left a bag of fruit loops under her bed. Ava my 4 month old puppy was eating it, my 8 year old went got the bag to pull away and ava took a bite and drew blood out of my daughter's hand. I had to get the dog bc my husband was LIVID, I am not happy either. I KNOW both the biting and cereal is bad. How do I keep this from happening. She has never done this before around any other foods when my daughter or any of us went towards food. She was just reaching for the bag and the pup got out of bag and took a hunk out. I'm in tears with my daughter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh there was food in the kitchen, so she has had food. I do not want to get rid of this puppy, my daughter is begging me for her to stay, but I can't have her biting or growling, or my husband will take her himself. I am calling the vet tomorrow for advice I was just wondering from other chi mommies any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I'm so sorry to hear this! I hope you don't have to rehome her! Some dogs do have food aggression where if they are eating something and it is taken away they will bite whatever is trying to take it away from them. The only thing I would know to do in this situation would be to work through it with her by disciplining her and letting her know that isn't acceptable behavior. I wonder if you could test the food aggression theory by having something she really likes to eat down let her start eating it and then trying to move the bowl away you may want to wear thick gloves or use a handle of something just to see if she shows her teeth, growls, or trys to bite at it. My hubby used to have a beagle that had this problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,306 Posts
I'm sorry to hear this happened. Please don't rush into rehoming her though... these things can be worked on. It sounds like resource guarding. Some dogs do that if you're trying to take something of value from them like food. Finding a bag of fruit loops must have been the best thing ever for her and she got upset that it was being taken away. You need to teach her that this is unacceptable.

Like April said above, you could practice by taking away a food she likes, maybe a chew treat. My Rocky was like that when we adopted him. He bit both me and my boyfriend. So after that we practiced taking a chew treat away. We praised him as we approached, but if he showed any signs of aggression, we told him NO and grabbed the chew (while wearing gloves in case he bit). We also locked him out of the room we were in for a couple of minutes. Then we let him back in, gave him the treat again and repeat. Now he's fine. I'm not an expert, but this worked for us.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
671 Posts
It's very common for dogs to guard food and many need to be taught that you are not a threat before they will be comfortable with it. Children should be taught *never* to try and take food from dogs, they should always get a grown up to do it. The good news is that you can teach your Puppy to be comfortable giving up food quite easily. I like the method below:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/food-guarding

Anything that uses force or punishment will just reinforce that your Puppy was right to feel threatened. Teach your daughter some boundaries with the Puppy and at the same time teach the Puppy to be more comfortable around food and you will have no need to rehome. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
TY, yes I do NOT want to re-home her. With her being so young I am hoping I can work on. My daughter was upset she said, "Mommy, this is all my fault, I should of not had food in my room, please don't make her go away" I had to explain to her that it wasn't her fault but she is right food should never be in the floor or in rooms. It is why I am asking for ways to help Ava to learn not to. We have always took food, she never growled but this is first, but lets face it, give me a bag of sugar I'd get mad too if you took it. I was wondering HOW to teach her not to feel threaten. I will work harder on this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,617 Posts
It's not about whether the dog had food in the kitchen or not. In your dogs mind, it's about someone taking something yummy away from her. What happened to your daughter is unfortunate, however is very common and fixable. First thing first is to keep food in out of reach places. You've had these dogs since only 6 weeks of age right? That's a very young age and she is still only a baby. Being that you're a wife, mom, and trying to raise pups it sounds like you've got quite the busy household and maybe the dog wasn't being supervised as it should have been. I would take the advice given by some of the others, and it wouldn't hurt to get your pups in some obedience classes, as well as teach your daughter some boundaries and to let the adult step in next time. It's for her safety and your dog. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
As a child I remember having a wiener dog with the same issue. I was taught to never make a sudden move for him while he was eating or if he had something he shouldn't have. My Mom made sure that he would allow adults to mess with his food while he was eating but would not allow me to do the same. The risk was just too high. So if I saw him with something he shouldn't have I would tell my Mom. If my Mom or Dad weren't there, I would say "treat?!" and he would follow me into the kitchen to get one and then I would later go get whatever he had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,358 Posts
Your daughter needs to be told not to ever approach a dog who is eating or has food, especially exciting food like cereal or another forbidden item.

If the dog does get hold of something it's your responsibility as the adult to handle taking it away from Ava, not your child's.

You can practice "trading" to help the dog learn it's ok for you to touch food. Offer an exciting thing (like a bully stick) then take it while simultaneously giving her a very stinky, yummy treat. Then return the original treat as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
Your daughter needs to be told not to ever approach a dog who is eating or has food, especially exciting food like cereal or another forbidden item.

If the dog does get hold of something it's your responsibility as the adult to handle taking it away from Ava, not your child's.

You can practice "trading" to help the dog learn it's ok for you to touch food. Offer an exciting thing (like a bully stick) then take it while simultaneously giving her a very stinky, yummy treat. Then return the original treat as well.
Perfect advice, in my opinion. I have seen this work!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,787 Posts
I don't have dog training experience, but I read this great tactic for this exact situation just last week. Since your daughter is 8 she's old enough to help with training. The trainer said to have child sit by food bowl while dog is eating and give a high value treat. (Heavy gloves might be a good idea at first.) Repeat working up to moving the bowl over a few days. I wish I remember where I read it. Might have been "Chihuahuas for Dummies".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks soooo much, it is why I turned to you all. I knew you'd have great ideas. Today we worked on sitting by the food bowl, we both did, Ava didn't growl or was aggressive. we took turns petting her "holding" the bowl (not moving the bowl just touching it) Ava wagged her tail and never was aggressive. I guess it was the sugary snacks. I also have baby gate set up where only the cat can get to the bedrooms. I worry they will eat something they shouldn't, etc. The gate was left open last night so Ava was in bliss. I am for sure working on this and explained to my daughter that she can't mess with the dogs when they eat to give them time to themselves. Brock lets my daughter so whatever, push her in doggy stroller, put clothes on, he is very timid, I explained how Ava has spirit and she has to handle her different but with love. I am busy yes, but I have the dogs on a routine for food (fed several times a day, along with treats), crate time, etc for house training which they are doing great on that part.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,617 Posts
So glad to hear things are improving. I think you guys will get things ironed out in no time. Just keep at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So glad to hear things are improving. I think you guys will get things ironed out in no time. Just keep at it.
Thanks I am trying....It is amazing the difference in the dog personalities. I am for sure going to be looking into obedience classes......I wonder if they can help my daughter too :p. My daughter is gentle with them normally, but she is still a child and I do need to remind her. Tomorrow is a new day! :toothy8:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,617 Posts
Thanks I am trying....It is amazing the difference in the dog personalities. I am for sure going to be looking into obedience classes......I wonder if they can help my daughter too :p. My daughter is gentle with them normally, but she is still a child and I do need to remind her. Tomorrow is a new day! :toothy8:

Don't feel bad lol. My Ava is a Demon!! Must be something about the Ava's lol. I'm exaggerating a bit, but she needs work in a few areas temperamentally. We are also looking into obedience classes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
671 Posts
TY, yes I do NOT want to re-home her. With her being so young I am hoping I can work on. My daughter was upset she said, "Mommy, this is all my fault, I should of not had food in my room, please don't make her go away" I had to explain to her that it wasn't her fault but she is right food should never be in the floor or in rooms. It is why I am asking for ways to help Ava to learn not to. We have always took food, she never growled but this is first, but lets face it, give me a bag of sugar I'd get mad too if you took it. I was wondering HOW to teach her not to feel threaten. I will work harder on this.

The link that I posted above provides step-by-step instructions on how to teach Ava to feel comfortable about people being near her food. I'll post it below again.

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/food-guarding

She was probably showing subtle signs that she was uncomfortable about this before but you weren't reading them and so she felt the need to be a bit more obvious. Don't stress, if you follow the above plan, it really doesn't take long to turn things around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
The best thing you can do for both your daughter and your dog is keep human food out of the dog's reach, and feed the dog behind a closed door. Make it very clear to your daughter not to touch anything that's in any dog's mouth, regardless of if the dog is friendly or not. After all, how would you react if someone started sticking their hands all over your food and tried to yank it away? It may be hard to do completely, but management works very well for resource guarding, until you have a trainer to work with you.
You definitely don't have to rehome your dog if you are willing to work with her. This could be an excellent time to teach your daughter to never give up on an animal. It'd definitely be a good idea to start searching for a knowledgeable dog behaviorist in your area, so that you can retrain this behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
The link that I posted above provides step-by-step instructions on how to teach Ava to feel comfortable about people being near her food. I'll post it below again.

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/food-guarding

She was probably showing subtle signs that she was uncomfortable about this before but you weren't reading them and so she felt the need to be a bit more obvious. Don't stress, if you follow the above plan, it really doesn't take long to turn things around.
Yes I read it last night, and it is helpful. I am working on it. I do not allow any human food for them, and I have them blocked where they can't go into bedroom to protect if there is food. I think (not an excuse) she was in sugar bliss.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top