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Yikes! Bully sticks not so great

1348 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  battyjac
Juliet has been chewing everything and I saw bully sticks mentioned here so I got a pack at Target today. It brings out bad things in both dogs. They were small so the boxer finished hers fast. She was staring at the chi so I gave her another. She finished that too then went for Juliet's! She has been food aggressive in the past but hasn't been with Juliet before. Juliet was growling at her the whole time. So I put Bindy (the boxer) outside while Juliet finished. My toddler went over to her. I didn't think much about it because she is awesome with him usually. He can put his hands in her mouth and she just licks him and is sweeter with him than anyone else. He is still nursing so I figure she knows he's my baby. They share my lap all the time, it's really very cute. I don't know if he reached for the stick or got too close but she snapped at him. It sounded horrible and it scared him but there isn't a mark on him. I told her no and took the bully stick away. I'm tempted to just throw them out now. They obviously love them but yikes!

I have some rawhide and they take turns with those no problem. I understand they are risky so I was looking for another option.

What should I do now? I don't want my son getting bit. I don't think she's a danger to him in general and I'm not taking her back or anything, I just need that to stop.
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I think you did the right thing by taking the bully stick away. She should not snap at anyone. She did it though cause she likes it so much. I had that problem with Cricket with her food. She would get the raw bones, and growl. So I would take it gently from her mouth, tell her no, and when she was calm again I gave it back.
The same thing has happened to me. We had a 12 year old miniature schnauzer that had never snapped at anyone his entire life, until we gave him a dried chicken strip. I put my foot a little too close to his treat and he snapped. He wasn't going to bite me, but he threatened. I'm sure it's totally natural for them to protect something extra yummy. Although your dog sounds really well balanced, you probably don't want to take the risk of practicing different techniques around your toddler. Maybe you could make sure that Juliet has her own space while she enjoys hers?

Our chihuahua Odie has exhibited the same behaviour, but it seems to have gotten better over time. In the beginning, we did correct her when she growled at us. Now we basically just ignore her and try to give her a little space. Sometimes she will take it to a more "remote" spot, but she hasn't been agressive in a long time.
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we've had one or two toys that can bring on this kind of guarding behavior from my dogs.
i think it is best just not to have anything around that they want badly enough to argue over...
Maybe she only gets to have it in a crate or in another room? I have too many dogs, I can't give them to them anymore. Most of my dogs are awesome, but I have a few that came to me from bad homes situations and I can't trust them to play nice.
One of my toy poodles swallowed the last couple inches of a bully stick and got very sick then finally threw it up (is why I knew what happened) so I dont give them at all anymore. Had one get totally 'stopped up' on rawhide and had to have 3 enemas. I still give rawhide once in a while. I prefer the sweet potato chews but they are way expensive, so I am going to try to make them myself in the oven. I give green beans and carrots as treats, and TOTW sprinkled on the floor as treats too.
I give dried chicken or duck jerky, you can break it off to small bits and it's good for both a treat and training.
I have dried chicken, but it's made in China so I am worried giving it to Timmy. Does anyone have any opinions on that?
You can make your own chicken, beef, or lamb jerky. Go to a local butcher and ask for a jerky cut. Mine needs a day or so to do it. Turn your oven, I use my toaster oven, to no higher then 240 degrees leave the door cracked and a fan by the door for cuirculation. Lay meat across the wire rack. Make sure you have something under to catch the drippings. Takes a few hours, but is great.
I worked with my Doberman with high value bones. Had her do a down, gave her treat, then walked off. Came back a few minutes later with some cheese or hot dog, something not normally given, and traded her. Had her do some tricks then gave the bone back. She still is reluctant to give up the bone, but she will with no growling.
I have dried chicken, but it's made in China so I am worried giving it to Timmy. Does anyone have any opinions on that?
My opinion is throw it out. There are multiple reports of dogs getting sick and/or dying from these treats made in China. It's not worth the risk. Especially in a tiny breed. I don't understand why stores still sell them! They are dangerous. Do NOT use them.

As for the bully sticks.... if you google resource guarding, that is a natural dog response to a high value item. No, of course we don't want our dogs acting like that. But it is a behavior that can be modified if you are willing to put in the time/effort.
I have dried chicken, but it's made in China so I am worried giving it to Timmy. Does anyone have any opinions on that?
YES, I have an opinion. Trash them!!
Here is an article where you can see the FDA warning on China made dog treats:
FDA Issues Dog Treats Warning
I get Canyon Creek Ranch Natural Duck Tenders from Walmart. My dogs will do anything for them. And they are made here is the US.
Thanks! I have been googling resource guarding. I'll work with her on it with my older kids. I can take stuff from her no problem but she obeys me well in general. I have her sit at my feet before she gets picked up or attention, she waits for me to cross doorways first, etc, but the two middle kids (9 and 5) she's more leery with. I was able to teach the 12yo to get her to get a similar response from her. It's harder with the others. The toddler I just try to teach to be nice at this point.

I'll save the bully sticks for when I have to leave her for a few hours in her crate. It should keep her happy and the boxer can't get it from her.
That's exactly what I would do. Crate=bully stick! She won't NEED to guard it from anybody. She'll get to know when you bring out a bully stick, she'll head to her crate! Guarding is such an issue, and alot of it is unneassary. Just use a crate to feed her in and alot of it disappears. My chi, Emmy, who has epilepsy and issues, gets fed in her crate. No growling, lip lifting. Good luck
Olive gets this way with any chew or toy she has, but ecpecially if it's a bully stick or beef tendon. She'll start growling if Lily gets too close (Lily always wants what Olive has even if she has one of her own) then Lily will start making talking, whining noises then will start to bark. Olive on a few occasions has lunged for lily, snapping and growling. She never growls or snaps at me if I take it from her.

Here's a short vid I took of them last night getting all bent out of shape over a beef tendon....
I love bully sticks BUT I love kids more! I am a pediatric RN and we see horrible bites way too often. The story is often " the dog never bit anyone!"
My advice would be to crate your boxer when giving treats so that everyone is safe!

Gilda raided the bully sticks once and threw up big pieces. She was sick for a week. We usually give them every other day while we are in the same room watching tv
The boxer is very much more submissive than the chi, she lets the toddler crawl all over her . It's the chi that's the issue. But I'll definitely crate her for treats she has to chew awhile.
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