Chance's Not So Nice Behavior….hmmmm

  • @Vanessa:

    I would never dare try to take food away from any of our dogs. We give them food but don't want them to think they are getting it taken from them…..That's why I got bit in the first place. I learned my lesson. Now if I need to take something away in case of an emergency...grab a different treat. They will drop whatever they currently have and want whats in my hand.
    Lesson learned.


  • @tanza:

    I agree… with any breed.. I would never "hit".. Exchange is the way to go...

    Your forgetting one thing…they have a tendency to hit us :p

  • There are very few times when I will do this to Indy and a swat means one finger with a tap on the nose I guess I should have specified. But there are some things that are not acceptable, and he needs to know that they will not be tolerated.

    Biting out of anger is one of those things that our house does not tolerate and is met with a swift response. Most other things are met with a distraction and a soft "no", an exchange, or a distraction. I have NEVER hurt him intensionally (I have accidentally steped on one of his paws like everyone here has).

    Sharon you do bring up a good point though, if he was a rescue the response would be different depending upon the dog's issues.

  • I have always trained my dogs to let me take their food out of their mouth. It definitely helps, especially when they have a dead bird they are mangling. None of my dogs have ever bitten me in anger. (there is always, ALWAYS, a first time and I would never be stupid enough to believe it can't happen) However, I've had these dogs from puppies. With a lot of rescue and older dogs, Sharon is right, hands do not equate with good things. The exchange program is better.

  • I use the exchange method at home but I also work hard to teach my dogs to have a soft mouth so if I have to stick my hands in there I am less likely to be seriously bitten.

    I lived in a college town when I first got Nicky and you would be amazed at the things that college students just toss off their balconies. I often had to take things out of Nicky's mouth and they were high value items like tri tip roasts.

  • Same here Arlene. There are times when bribes won't be affective or can't happen soon enough. So mine learn from the get go that I can give and take as I please. They have always been wonderful for me, even if they're getting a little cranky with another dog when they have a really special treat. Because of course you've all seen the round robin game. They each get their own bone, etc. but the grass is always greener on the other side so they have to go around stealing each other's a few times before finally settling in to actually eat. lol

    Mine also learn a good "leave it" command. It really helps keep them from snatching up little things that you wouldn't be able to pull from their mouth like a dropped pill. Also when we play with toys they learn the "drop it" so I can always take stuff from their mouth.

    Of course if you're starting out with an adult, rescue, or poor temperament, then you may have to go about things a different way.

  • @kiroja:

    Because of course you've all seen the round robin game. They each get their own bone, etc. but the grass is always greener on the other side so they have to go around stealing each other's a few times before finally settling in to actually eat. lol

    Ha, ha, ha…yes I've definitely seen that one. Brando ALWAYS wants what Ruby has, even if he doesn't like it (carrots, stingray tails are what come to mind that he doesn't like). He'll steal hers, and have his treat (usually a bully stick) and then he has everything. So of course, I have to intervene because he will tell her off if she attempts to get her treat back, even though he just wants to look at it :rolleyes: and not eat it.

    The trade up usually works, but so does off or drop it (mind you, he doesn't let it go the second I ask, but his grasp on it definitely lightens and then eventually he drops it), but it is an ongoing battle until he decides to just enjoy what he has. Worse comes to worse and a trade doesn't work, or if it is an emergency, I can put my hand in and remove something from his mouth (and the same with Ruby) without any fear of a bite or a growl. My biggest problem with Brando he is super strong, so until he gives up (even slightly), there isn't much I can do to physically open his jaw, so that is why the off or drop it are key.

  • @rnasto:

    Ohh….that would not fly in our house. Indy has only ever biten out of anger 2x once for dh and once for me. I do not generally do this but I gave him a good swat on the nose for that and then did exactly what you are doing. I call it "remedial" dog training. The next step is to reach into his mouth and take food out. This can be particularly important. Earlier this year Indy got some wire mesh and almost choked, I was able to reach in a get it before he did any dammage.

    O.O how do you get food out of their mouths? you're actually sticking your hand in their when they are pissed off??? i could never do that lol

  • To do it we took little steps. First we would hand feed him kibble. Then every once in a while (like two times a meal) we would get a high value treat and stick it out in our hands. Of course being the _not_greedy little basenji he is he would try to get the treat while chewing other food. While he was distracted with looking at the treat we would stick our fingers in take the food and immediately treat. Repeat until the dog does not seem phased by this at all.

    Then once he was comfortable with that, we moved on to the treat in one handwith the hand closed, we let him eat at the bowl and randomly (about 2x a meal) take his head while he is eating, stick our fingers in and take the food out. Then treat immediately. Repeat untill the dog does not seem phased by this at all.

    After he was trained like this we reduced the frequency of taking food. Now I just do it once in a while.

    To reiterate, I have had Indy since he was 10 weeks old. He is a very easy going guy. So if you have a rescue you might need to go slower, or ask someone else for help. But I can tell you this, especially if you live in an apt complex, people like to throw food on the ground. Mouldy hotdogs, cooked chicken bones, clam shells, stuff like that and Indy has gotten all of this stuff in his mouth, and given it up as soon as I stuck my hands in there. I probably saved him alot of pain and some heart ache and vet bills on my part.

    Another time he got a peice of chicken wire in his mouth and was choking, in his state of panick I was able to put my fingers all the way into his mouth, disliodge the wire, and take it out.

    I guess maybe he likes to "taste" things more than other dogs but I am not so worried about it since I know he will give it up at any time no matter his mood.

  • from the start, we have frequently taken bones and food away from our dog. it's not really HIS, it's MINE and he's darn lucky I let him have it. therefore, I may take it at ANY given time. I walk right up (very matter of fact like) and just take it. I hold it for a few min's, then give it right back with PRAISE for no attitude when it was taken. if there's a 'tude about it, it's confiscated. he learned there is no reason to fear me taking anything away, he will almost always get it right back.

    (If he had an issue w/ this, I'd likely try a drop it-leave it and/or a trade, so not to be sticking my hands in a grumpy dog's mouth)

    as for the sleepy grumbles… if he cops a 'tude, he gets booted to the floor. plain and simple. he must EARN and RESPECT the privledge of sharing our bed or couch, if he grumbles, he loses that.

  • I've always taught my dogs the give command. I usually teach it to them with a toy while playing, and then move on to taking bones from them, etc… When I teach the give command I usually have to use fingers to slightly open the mouth to get the toy out, which does desensitize them to that. I've definately had to use this to get pieces of plastic etc out of his mouth at times...

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