Growling Now???!!!

Chance has NEVER exhibited behavior like this before but now he seems to think that anytime I give him a treat or feed him he will growl and show teeth. He hasn't bitten me yet but I think he will very soon. What we can't seem to figure out is why he is acting like this now. I have always sat next to him while eating and would pet him. He used to not have a problem until now. Now I go near him and he makes these deep gggrrrr sounds and I see teeth. HELP! I don't know what to do. People have said to take his food away from him but then he goes hungry. 😕

That *is a wierd situation! So exactly when does the growling happen…when you walk toward him with the food in hand? or when you set it down and pull your hand back? When you are treating him does he growl, and then eat the treat and continue to growl?

Has anything...ANYTHING changed with his treating and eating routine?
Does he do this with anyone or just you?

Maybe he has a tooth problem.

The growling only happens during feeding time. After putting the food down and then touching him or going near his food bowl.
In regard to the treats, if I give him a treat and then walk away and return and go near him thats when growls and shows teeth.
Nothing has changed in my home. My boyfriend and I are the only ones in the home. No change in scenery. I just can't figure out why all of a sudden he decided to be nasty towards us.

@Vanessa626:

The growling only happens during feeding time. After putting the food down and then touching him or going near his food bowl.
In regard to the treats, if I give him a treat and then walk away and return and go near him thats when growls and shows teeth.
Nothing has changed in my home. My boyfriend and I are the only ones in the home. No change in scenery. I just can't figure out why all of a sudden he decided to be nasty towards us.

Please read the following…. if he has started with food, I believe that it will progress to other areas, if it has not already....

http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/welladjusted.html

Okay…so that is resource guarding. I recommend the book "Mine" by Jean Donaldson. The very first thing you can do is to hand feed him every one of his kibbles. And he will need to do something to get a kibble...sit, down, whatever.

And the reason why you haven't seen it before is probably because he is starting to be a grown up now...and this is usually when these things start.

Do you have an I-pod? Because I found an awesome pod cast about dealing with resource guarding.

@tanza:

Please read the following…. if he has started with food, I believe that it will progress to other areas, if it has not already....

http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/welladjusted.html

Wow Pat! That is a lot of information. Thank you. Looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me. :o One question though..Should I still continue to pet him while he eats and If he growls take his food away?

I don't tink provoking him is a good idea. I think the hand feeding treats is a better idea, not for his dinner. Do training with him make him work for the treats, under YOUR control.

Be sure to feed him last after everyone else eats.

@Vanessa626:

Wow Pat! That is a lot of information. Thank you. Looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me. :o One question though..Should I still continue to pet him while he eats and If he growls take his food away?

I would absolutely not do the above. He will most likely bite you. He is telling you that you are way over his threshold of comfort. It is not about you being in charge here…it is about you needing to change his opinion of what is about to happen when someone approaches his food. We don't want to let him practice the behavior of guarding/growling at all..he will only get better at it (and escalate it)

PLEASE read "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson, or "Culture Clash" has a section on resource guarding, also by Jean Donaldson. You can google "resource guarding" and find lots of info online too.

@Barklessdog:

I don't tink provoking him is a good idea. I think the hand feeding treats is a better idea, not for his dinner. Do training with him make him work for the treats, under YOUR control.

Be sure to feed him last after everyone else eats.

The typical first step for changing this behavior is absolutely hand feeding the dog dinner, every kibble…teaching him that all good things come from humans; and that he doesn't control the resources.

@Quercus:

The typical first step for changing this behavior is absolutely hand feeding the dog dinner, every kibble…teaching him that all good things come from humans; and that he doesn't control the resources.

I agree Andrea… hand feed the entire dinner..
And he is of that age when the "testing" starts... as you read and this is the same from most people... "I don't know when it started"... and that is because we as humans miss many of the signs....

@Quercus:

I would absolutely not do the above. He will most likely bite you. He is telling you that you are way over his threshold of comfort. It is not about you being in charge here…it is about you needing to change his opinion of what is about to happen when someone approaches his food. We don't want to let him practice the behavior of guarding/growling at all..he will only get better at it (and escalate it)

PLEASE read "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson, or "Culture Clash" has a section on resource guarding, also by Jean Donaldson. You can google "resource guarding" and find lots of info online too.

Well put Andrea… and you are correct the whole idea behind this is that you never want him to know that this behavior is getting the reaction he is looking for... or taking it to a level you can't compete..

My sweet Sahara is growling here also, when I get up to go to the bathroom. I try to close the door and she gets my shirt in her mouth and growls big time. This happens when I try to get in my car too, I know she is doing it b/c she doesn't want me to leave. My question is what to do about it, the growling is getting more intense. My clothes cost too much to have her put little teeth marks in them, some of my shirts I have had to throw away. What to do, help!!!!!!!

@youngandtired:

My sweet Sahara is growling here also, when I get up to go to the bathroom. I try to close the door and she gets my shirt in her mouth and growls big time. This happens when I try to get in my car too, I know she is doing it b/c she doesn't want me to leave. My question is what to do about it, the growling is getting more intense. My clothes cost too much to have her put little teeth marks in them, some of my shirts I have had to throw away. What to do, help!!!!!!!

Have you taught her the "leave it" command? Or sit/stay? Those are two things that you can do to prevent this behavior.

@youngandtired:

My sweet Sahara is growling here also, when I get up to go to the bathroom. I try to close the door and she gets my shirt in her mouth and growls big time. This happens when I try to get in my car too, I know she is doing it b/c she doesn't want me to leave. My question is what to do about it, the growling is getting more intense. My clothes cost too much to have her put little teeth marks in them, some of my shirts I have had to throw away. What to do, help!!!!!!!

It is hard to know without seeing the behavior if she is playing a game with you, or if she is seriously trying to control your behavior. Either way, as Pat said, a leave-it command, or wait command should help.

I ditto Andrea's instructions…TOPAZ had the same reaction to high value treats & her food bowl. We nipped this in the bud QUICKLY! First I made sure to mix her dinner with my hands (water & Kibble) so she could have my scent on it & I would then feed her the first few bites out of my hand. Any treat she had to work for it...sit stay or down stay. I would then remove it & put in another treat in its place. This was so she could learn to associate my taking away something...equals getting something better in its place.

She's better now but we still make them work for food & treats. Whie I prep dinner (I still mix the kibble with my hands) they MUST be in a sit stay position until I'm done (no crowding my feet or me) otherwise I turn around stop & make them sit again. They must also eat in their crates & before I set their bowls down they must sit & stay patiently. No jumping on me...no crowding me while I put the bowl down etc.

Vanessa…..
Any updates on Chance and what's been going on????

We have one that will grumble sometimes if you touch her when she's eating, but not all the time, depends on who it is and what she's eating. Funny part is, at times her tail is wagging the whole time she's growling. She's never lashed out or bit anyone over food, just gives a warning when she doesn't want touched or messed with. Sometimes she can do the same when someone messes with her when she's sleeping.

Let me guess…umm Cleo?

@jys1011:

Let me guess…umm Cleo?

Such vision J:D ….....yepper!:D At times, I think it's the only way she communicates.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.