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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2005, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions please....

As most of you know Biscuit is a complete pushover when it comes to her food. She lets Milko and Cindy eat it too. I never let Biscuit go hungry (I simply make extra now to accomodate all three of them). The way it seems to work in this house is that Cindy gets fed first (always has done..she has been trained with scheduled feeding, Biscuit gets fed of a night time but no set time, if she is going crazy when Cindy gets fed I'll feed her, to avoid problems).
Anyway a couple of weeks ago Biscuit was outside eating a bone (dinner) and Cindy was outside with her. I didn't see anything but I heard Biscuit growl a little. That was all that happened. I assumed that Biscuit was telling Cindy to back off (Cindy is the world's worst food stealer..if she turns her nose up at something I can say 'Biscuit will eat it' and cindy will take it and down it in two seconds flat!). Then the other night Cindy was waiting for Biscuit to finish what she wanted of her dinner so she could lick the bowl (and Biscuit does this with Cindy's food too). Well Biscuit growled at her again. She didn't look up from her food, or show teeth or anything like that. I gently grabbed Biscuit, pulled her head out of the bowl (gently), let Cindy in the bowl and told Biscuit to share..they both finished the food off together with no problems (there was a lot of food there and Biscuit is a much faster eater than Cindy too).
Last night we were giving them some left overs as a treat and they were sharing out of the same bowl just fine. Cindy lifted her head out (probably to get some air! haha) and when she went to put her head back in Biscuit did the same growl. No teeth showing, no looking up..just a low growl while she was still eating. Cindy stopped and went to walk away but I made Biscuit share again and she did with no problems.

What I want to know is do you guys think this is normal and Biscuit is just starting to protect her food more cause Cindy thinks all food is hers (Biscuit has never growled at Milko) or do you think it could lead into something more serious and that I could end up with a food aggressive dog on my hands. Also what's the best way to deal with it if it is food aggression? I mean Cindy will tell dogs to back off from her food (and Milko) but I wouldn't say she was food aggressive, cause it's only if they are getting too close and she thinks they are going to steal her food. She has never ever snapped, or done this to a human. We can take food out of her mouth, just like we can with Biscuit. So a simple case of Biscuit finally deciding to not be a pushover or something I need to worry about??? I guess my main concern is that in a few months time we're going to have a baby crawling around and I don't want to mix food aggression with a baby but I could just be being way too paranoid because of that!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2005, 11:41 PM
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I would suggest getting somewhat of a "trough" (like what horses drink out of). Just get a long plastic storage container from Walmart or somewhere like that, and put food in it, but spread it out. I'd say it would be best to get all three of them on the same feeding schedule, not only because it is easier overall, but once your baby is born, most of your energy will be going towards him/her. To get them on the same feeding schedule, don't give them anything to eat during the day, so that they're hungry when you do give them food. Put the container down, and get them to eat out of it all at once. This way, they will get more used to having the other two in close proximity when they eat, and will learn to share their food. I would probably give a little more than what they will eat the first few times, just to make sure that everyone gets enough.

If that works, keep doing the same thing for a week or two (every night), or if you feed them twice a day, first thing in the morning and again at night (make sure it's the same time every night). Once they are all on the same schedule, try putting down three bowls, but in the same formation that they're used to. (So if Milko is on the left, Cindy is in the middle, and Biscuit is on the right, make sure they ALWAYS eat in the spot or order). Okay, well try that and see if it works! I recommended it to another family who has 3 food-aggressive dogs. Keep us updated!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your suggestions! unfortunately it won't work here. See Cindy gets fed commercial dog food, Biscuit is fed a BARF diet cause she is allergic to commercial dog food (so she can lick the bowl and that's ok but to actually eat commercial food all the time is not ok...Cindy on the other hand, cause of her age, can't tolerate the BARF diet so I can't switch her either) and Milko is a cat, not a dog! Milko will eat Biscuit's dinner, which is fine, it won't hurt him and thankfully he doesn't have the slightest bit of interest in Cindy's food.
I also don't want to feed Biscuit on a schedule (the dogs only get fed of a night time anyway). Because of what Biscuit gets to eat when she isn't getting a bone (which she eats outside so I either give Cindy something to eat outside or keep Cindy inside while Biscuit is eating at the moment) it's easier for me to make it when we're cooking, cause I use the same vegetables that we use, she just gets them raw and we blend them up with some meat. If I have to actually prepare a meal at the same time every day it's not going to work with a new born baby...at least Cindy only takes two seconds to get her food and I can do it with one hand if need be, but cutting up vegetables/ meat and blending it needs two hands and I think the blender would probably wake the baby up so it's going to be different every night, scheduled feeding just won't work there. I like the fact that Biscuit just knows she'll get fed every night, not dancing around me crying if I'm 5 minutes late, which is what Cindy does (she's almost 15 years old and we got her when she was 8 months old...she's very used to her schedule and there's no breaking it at her age! I tried!)
So sorry, not trying to be difficult and I appreciate the advice, it's just that applying that to this household won't work for the obvious reasons. Taking Biscuit away from the bowl and telling her to share has worked when I've done it, but I was just a bit concerned that I may be creating problems by doing that. I've been making sure I touch her and stuff when she's eating, and I'll take the bowl away from her etc. and she's fine with me doing that...unless you have any other ideas I think I'll just keep doing that...Cindy will show her teeth (no growling) if she thinks a dog is trying to steal her food (generally just a treat) but she has never snapped or had a problem with people..in fact she stops eating and waits for a pat if a person approaches her.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 02:38 AM
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what if you stick your fingers in and start playing with her food, a baby esspecially when they start getting curious might try and play with her food. same with toys. maybe use the doll and put its fingers in her food. just a suggestion.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Ariel I posted this in my first thread
Quote:
We can take food out of her mouth, just like we can with Biscuit.
I can take food out of Cindy and Biscuit's mouth and so can any body else that comes over. I have no problems there right now and we're not planning on stopping interfering with her with her food either!
Maybe my original post didn't make much sense or something but I was worried that Biscuit standing up to Cindy could lead to be a problem and was wondering what to do between the two dogs...or asking if I was just being paranoid (I mean a dog deserves to eat right? If someone was hanging around me while I was eating hoping to get some food I'd tell them to back off ) and Biscuit is just trying to eat in peace?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 03:52 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much. My puppy (not really, but he still acts like it) eats everything and acts like he's starved. He never has been, just thinks eating quicker will mean more. When I brought him home, my older dog, Miekea, would let him take anything from her. Now she will growl a little and let him take it anyway. It's sort of funny. But, she has never snapped at him, just growls to say, "This is mine, you ate yours." It's been like that for the past four months, no better, yet, no worse either. I do have a proposed idea though. When Miekea first started her growling it scared me to death because the only time I had ever heard her growl before was when she was protecting me. She is part German Shephard and part wolf according to the vet. Anyway, a trainer suggested that I switch food bowls. Feed Jack from Miekea's bowl and vice-versa. This way niether of them associated either bowl as strickly theirs. It didn't stop the growling at treat time, but nothing got worse. Maybe you could try that?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 02:09 PM
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Hey ya Carmen. You know your dog best, trust your gut instinct. My dogs all eat together and at one time or another they've all growled at each other over food, treat or toy. Nothing major, just a little "back off, it's mine". All of our dogs get along great, just like yours... but every once in awhile they have a *spat*. I guess you could call it sibling rivalry. lol I wouldn't be too worried but over the next month or two, be sure they have lots of interaction together to keep them socialized with each other and able to eat together. I'm sure they spend plenty of time together already but just to reinforce the *eating together is ok* issue!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 04:10 PM
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Sorry I didn't get the situation right away...but I have one idea that might make life a little more manageable. My family dog passed away last February at 18 years old. The last 3 years of his life, we fed him a diet much like you feed Biscuit, but we would cook up 5 or 10 lbs of ground beef at a time, put about half a pound in little baggies, freeze 6 lbs, and refrigerate the other 4 lbs. That way, when it came to meal time, all we had to do was warm it up and put it down. You could do the same things with the veggies...blend a few pounds of them up at night, and freeze it, or blend all of it up together and freeze it. Then, all you'd have to do is warm it up and give it to her. Am I a little closer to helping?

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input guys! Misfit there is only one food bowl and one water bowl for the two of them already! Thanks for the idea!
Blacksettingsun, I used to do that with my old dog too...the thing with the BARF diet though is that it is meant to be raw, by cooking the things you take away some of the nutrients they need. Now it's okay to do it for a little bit, and it might be something we do for the first couple of weeks with the new baby, but I can't continue it any longer than that, for Biscuit's health.
From reading what everyone has said I think I am doing all the right things, and like Jodi said, it's just like sibling rivalry. They share everything together, their toys, their beds, their food bowls etc. When we first took Cindy in (she was living with my p's for the last four years) she was not a cat fan but now Milko climbs all over her and will run up and bat her in the face and she just ignores him.
Thanks everyone! I think I'll just keep an eye on them and come back for more advice if it does get any worse.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2005, 02:21 PM
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Carmen, how is Biscuit doing?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2005, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Denise on Thursday night she got dinner late so she would have been really hungry (I had to go shopping and didn't get a chance to feed her before I went..I gave her a peanut butter kong to tide her over though) and Cindy wanted to get in on the action when it came to Biscuit's dinner. Biscuit moved over and they shared the whole thing with not one complaint!

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2005, 09:37 AM
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Carmen, that is good to hear. Biscuit is such a sweet girl, perhaps she was having a couple "off" days.
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