Greedy, thieving dog, lazy dog, and puppy training

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by IcarusSomnio, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    Hello everyone!

    I've come for a bit of advice [​IMG]

    I currently have three dogs.
    Hazel, the main problem, who is 2 and some months old. She's a DanexBoxer, and I love her dearly. She's really a joy of a dog, loves to play and be with you, and (generally) listens well.
    Duke, my five year old Weim. Sweet as can be, spunky, but doesn't like to listen when he's got his mind set on something and is the laziest dog in the universe.
    And Kitty, the newest addition. About 10-11 weeks old now, he's a LabxWeim.

    First off....Hazel.

    Number one she's greedy as heck. If she's eating from her dish, she will growl at other dogs and at you. Duke knows to leave her be, but Kitty the pup is just that, a pup, and he likes to go over and see if she wants to play. She even growls at the kitten when she's eating.
    If she's chewing on a bone, she'll growl at you and growl and snap at other dogs. I go over and will rub her face, touch her bone, talk with her, etc. She will not snap, but she also should not growl.
    She steals food she thinks she can get away with, and steals treats from the others. I love her, but this is absolutely unacceptable. I am the head honcho here, not her.
    She also begs, which I CAN NOT stand. She just started this begging recently.
    My dad doesn't help in this aspect, as when he has say, a bone-in steak, he just tosses it to the dogs. I'm going to talk with him about this tonight. GIVING the bone is fine, TOSSING the bone is not helping the situation.

    Today, for instance. She's allowed to roam freely in the house.
    She not only snagged the last of my breakfast toast, but also ran off with the last bun in the package sitting on the table. She KNOWS this is NOT ALLOWED.

    When I was eating leftover pork steak for lunch, she sat next to me the entire time, put her head on my arm, et cetra. I scolded her for this and sent her off, only to have her come slinking back and do it again. I will get furious with my dogs, but unless they are REALLY being bad or I need to stop them suddenly, I won't go off and whack them. Hazel, in my opinion, is really asking for it. I tell you go away, you go away, you do not come back until I ask you to. She knows this very well, it isn't anything brand spanking new.
    Finally, she scoots off and pouts on the other side of the room.
    After I'm completely done eating, I ask her over, have her sit, and give her a bone to chew on. She doesn't chew, she just swallows and waits for more. I also find this unacceptable behavior. The other dogs do not try to take things from her, I don't take things from her, and she needs to learn to settle down otherwise she's going to choke and die. I send her away again, and offer a large bone to Kitty, who's snoring at my feet.
    Kitty chews a little on it, but isn't very interested. Hazel comes slinking over again, sticks her head under my desk, SNARLS and SNAPS at Kitty, and tries to take HIS BONE. I EXPLODE at her and banish her from the room. I don't hit her, but I become the Almighty Top Dog From Hell.
    Five minuets later, she comes slinking back. Kitty's gone back to sleep, bone ignored, and to make a point I have Duke come over (Hazel right on his heels, the begging practically pouring off her). \\I give the bone to Duke, who lays down and gnaws on it, and tell Hazel to go lay down. She honestly has the nerve to try and put her head under the desk again to see if Kitty still has a bone (he doesn't).

    She's GREAT dog otherwise and I really have no other complaints, just her bad manners. But she listens even when in the front yard, plays very well with Kitty, and doesn't do her business in front of the house or cars, but instead goes to the far end of the yard to do so. She's normally very calm and lovable in the house, just don't eat.

    She also gets unlimited access to food and water during the day when I'm gone. If I'm here, then it's a bit restricted but she eats more than enough. She also gets loads of attention and running/play time and IS spoiled. I'm talking probably in the range of 2-4 hours (weather depending) of running, jumping, playing, etc.

    I was thinking of doing the same as what I'm doing with Kitty, Schutzhund styled training. In just two days, Kitty essentially knows when begging is allowed (in Schutzhund, the dog stares at you, this is basically begging in the beginning) and when it is not. The number one difference between true Schutzhund and how Kitty is being trained, is that instead of Protection (trained to attack), he'll be taught how to flush birds and rabbits, track a wounded animal, and retrieve shot game.

    Is this the right way to go with Hazel? I love her to death, she's smart, fun, and (honestly) my favorite. But this behavior is just not OK in my books!

    His only problem is that he likes to chase deer and rabbits, doesn't listen while doing so, and that he's lazy and needs a diet. I'm just not sure how to safely diet him and really encourage him to get active without chasing the deer across the neighbor's pasture (which he can barely do anyways, as clumsy as he is).
    Duke - Ultimate Apartment Dog.

    He stays in the yard, listens extremely well, and does play with Kitty a bit so long as there is no rabbits or deer afoot. He doesn't play fetch. Maybe if I put some peanut butter in a ball? Fetch the delicious ball? xD

    Last but not least, Kitty!
    Like I said before, I'm training Kitty in a Schutzhund based way. Right now we are on Step 1: Focus and Attention.
    He's doing very well, and picked up on it in just a couple short sessions. I try to look off into distance, or behind him, instead of straight on into his eyes. It makes rewarding "stare behavior" slightly difficult, but he's learning very well.

    I have also been encouraging:
    Always walking with his shoulder level with mine, on the left side. NOT a difficult thing, as he's not excitable, listens well, and doesn't pull on the leash. I just keep it short enough so I can gently correct him.
    Sitting when I am stopped, when going in or out of the house.
    The start of heeling well when called, meaning I call, he comes to the left side and either sits if I am stopped, or walks with me. He got a little confused and looked like a tiny Schutzhund champ today, followed my dads boss around (on the left!) while looking up at him. No idea why! [​IMG]

    I haven't been actively "Okay, we are going to learn how to walk on the left, on or off the leash". More passively training, over the last few days.

    Today I took him to the Friday Farm-and-Garden auction at the sale barn. Lots of people and kids, he wasn't overly touched or bothered, but it helped with his confidence a lot. He's quite unsure of new people, and usually skidders away at first. I got down with him and encouraged him to come forward for some pettings.
    He also picked up on the 'sit when I stop' thing well. I only had to gently remind him the first few times, then he either sat, or if I was taking to long, flopped down on the cool grass.
    It was quite sunny (he was offered water every 20 minuets or so) and he also displayed excellent behavior when I left him laying under a trailer (leash on) in the shade. I was just a few feet away, talking with some other people, but he didn't stray and came over if he felt nervous.

    Can't stand to see me walk off, or be out of sight yet. Left him with my dad to get some tea, and he cried the whole time. He has not been started on 'Stay' just yet, and doesn't quite understand that if I'm off elsewhere, it's still okay. Fine in the house, and is perfect outside in the yard (just lays under the porch or picnic table). But in the new and strange environment of the sale, he didn't like to see me go.

    Any training tips for him? I've been pretty well and going with that one website, but someone might have even better advice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2011
  2. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    so lets start with the growling hazel she sounds like the dominant dog of the house first dogs growl at each other with food no harm in it really its like if someone was taking food off your plate while you were trying to eat youd say somthing to them too wouldnt you? feed them seperatly as far as growling at you thats a big NONO try hand feeding from now on everything try to find a local behaviorlist in your area to help you with this as this can be dangerous to try copeing with alone.

    duke needs some focus training himself he also needs more excersize the more walking time he gets the less ampted he is to chase deer or other animals. try to get at least an hour a day my dog is a low energy dog and he still gets in a 2 hour walk every day without it he would have a single half hour burst of energy then imediatly pass out but it keeps this from happening becuase his energy is spent outdoors where it is apropriatein a healthy appropriate way instead of chaseing things.
    and rough houseing or leting him run rampent out in the yard is deff NOT the same as a walk becuase your encouraging him to go crazy
    i think hazel could also do with a daily walk.
    as far as the puppy no worries your doing well are you doing the same training with the other dogs? if not you should start it would help keep them busy throughout the day and keep them focusing there attention on you instead of what they are doing
  3. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    ok, Hazel and the growling. Honestly,you've created this problem and what you are doing is going to make it worse. NO COOKED BONES!! raw bones are ok and a great treat for dogs, cooked bones are a dead dog waiting to happen. Cooked bones splinter into sharp indigestible pieces. Giving the bone wouldn't be any different than tossing it. She (and the other dogs) know that if they hang around people that are eating, then food will be given to them. Easiest solution? Dogs aren't allowed near when you are eating. Teach them to "settle" which means go to your assigned spot and stay there. After you are finished eating (and have something appropriate to give them) put it in their bowl or call them into the other room and give it to them. Don't let them associate it with your plate. It might be hard to get dad on board with this, but you can at least teach them to settle and they won't bother you as much. If Dad absolutely refuses to get on board, keep the dogs away from him. If he is eating, crate the dogs or put them in another room.

    if I went over and started touching your face and messing with you while you were eating, wouldn't you tell me to leave you alone? That is what she is doing and you are just pushing her closer and closer to a bite. You want her to think that you/people coming up to her while she is eating is the best thing in the world. First step, feed her in her crate or a separate room so that the other dogs won't bother her. (Think back to being a kid and your little brother trying to steal the french fries off your plate. HE"S ANNOYING!!) So get some little pieces of hot dog, raw hamburger, something MAJORLY good that she never ever ever gets (or will again) and use that. When you walk past her bowl, just toss a piece in. She will very quickly get the idea that you approaching her while she is eating = major jackpot. My kids have known since they were 2 that you don't poke the dog while he is eating. Between times, you can also handfeed her. You don't have to do her whole meal, just a few pieces out of every meal. The idea is that all food belongs to you and she will get what you allow her to have. Then give her the bowl and let her eat in peace. If you are also using the treat method (they work well together) don't talk to her, just casually drop the treat in her bowl as you pass by. Otherwise, again leave her alone and make the other dogs leave her alone too.

    The same method will work for teaching her to give you whatever she has. Start off giving her a treat that she doesn't care about (like chewing on a stick). Tell her "drop it" and offer the super-duper great treat. Believe me, sticks don't trump hot dogs! Then give her back her stick and leave her alone. After she is reliable on that, work on things that she likes better. After a while, you just phase out the treats and just praise her for giving you what you want.
    Honestly, though, no amount of training will help unless the entire family is on board. Don't want a dog to beg? Then NO ONE can reinforce that behavior. One time of Dad feeding her when she begs will undo the whole thing.

    I'll agree with Charity that Duke needs exercise, but walking isn't going to cut it. Weims are active sporting dogs and you could walk for 8 hours and not tire them out. A good "base line" is 8-10 miles of running; some dogs need more, some less. Running is good, fetch, swimming, etc etc will all work to tire out his body, but you need to tire out his mind too. Obedience, tracking, tricks, etc will all make him use his brain. Put his food in a "buster cube" or other toy so that he has to work for it. Leave a "kibble trail" in the yard so that he has to hunt for his food bowl. Work in the backyard on teaching him some tricks. Hide in the yard and call for him so that he will hunt for you. He's obviously not lazy; he just isn't exercising in a way that you like.

    NILIF is a good starting point as well. You can google "nothing in life is free" and get some great info. I would start with Kitty now as he is a mix of 2 working/hunting breeds and he will pick up any/all bad habits that the other dogs have.
  4. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2008
    SW IA
    " I love her, but this is absolutely unacceptable. I am the head honcho here, not her."

    No, your not. A food aggressive dog (toward you) is in charge. By giving her the bone (someone else already addessed the cooked bone issue, so I won't) after you eat, you are rewarding her for begging. She doesn't recognize the fact that you are 'finished'. No food off the table for any dog, at any time. If you have scraps for them add them to their food bowl when they are fed. Don't allow any of them in the room while you are eating. Give them all a bed or spot, teach them to go to it and stay (pup is too young to stay for very long, so a crate). While she is eating, take the bowl away, keep doing it until she doesn't growl when you approach, it will take a long time, and a lot of repetitions, as it sound like this is has been going on for a while.(I personally would be a lot harsher on this and handle it differently, but I also would never have allowed it to happen the first time.) You probably won't fix this where other dogs are involved, so feed them in crates or in separate rooms. With the pup, make sure when he is eating you take the bowl away, stand over him, and do this every now and then as he grows to avoid this problem, as off the top of my head I can't think of two greedier breeds [​IMG].

    The deer chaser. Don't know about where you live, but here they get shot in a hurry. Aversion training with an e collar is the best (imo the only) way to fix this. You can have a perfectly well behaved dog with a perfect recall, but in a dog with a lot of prey drive (and weims were not orginally bred as bird dogs, they were big game hunters) they aren't even hearing you once the chase has started. I break all of mine from chasing deer, and they still will blood track them when asked. (also they point and retrieve all game birds and retrieve all waterfowl and don't chase chickens in the yard). You will need professional help with this. If there are any coon hunters in your area, might be a place to start as they usually 'trash break' all of their dogs.

    sounds like you have a good start with the pup, just remember he is very young, so keep lessons short. Once you have lost their attention, about 5 mins in most dogs that age, you are wasting your time and theirs. 5 mins 5 x's a day is better then one 20 mins session.
  5. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Quote:This is a good method with dogs who don't have any food issues. But the dog already doesn't trust people around their food so taking it away is just going to prove to her that she is right - people near her food = a bad thing. Perhaps a 2 prong approach because you want her to associate you approaching her while she is eating as a GOOD thing.

    Of course your dog shouldn't growl at you, but in reality a growl is just the dogs' way of saying "hey I'm uncomfortable" Is there a reason that you want to mess with her while she eats? If you have small children, of course you want them to be safe. At the same time, is it really fair to expect your dog to have to endure endless poking and prodding while she is trying to eat, just to prove that you outrank her? For me, it's a simple trade-off. Yes they should respect me and I should be able to walk by them, take something away from them in an emergency, etc. For my part, I don't mess with him for no reason. As I said, wouldn't you be upset if your husband kept poking you, touching you, taking away your food while you were just trying to eat
  6. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Disagree completely with taking away the bowl and using dominance based methods on a resource guarding dog. Agree whole heartedly with hand feeding, and feeding treats while the dog is eating, and confining the dog in a safe place away from other dogs, such as a crate, while eating. Yes you can stop the growling by force, but you will only be removing the GROWL (which is the warning) not the problem.
  7. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I have a food aggressive dog too. She is fine with people, and I can stick my whole face in her bowl and she won't do a thing. However, She growls and snaps at any other animal that gets near her. She also is very nasty when it comes to bones and toys. I saw you said that you leave food out all day, and our vet told us this was an absolute no-no. It encourages them to protect the area even more, and it allows them to eat more. I would suggest feeding at certain times, for only a certain amount of time. This will also help Duke on his diet. Our dogs are given food at 7am and 7pm for 15 min only. If they do not eat it, it gets taken away. You could also make her sit and hand feed her like someone else suggested. Eventually, make her sit and wait for the food and then your command to eat it. This will help her know that you control it.

    Regarding feeding time, we also separate our dogs. We put Emma (the aggressive one) on the other side of the refrigerator where she cannot see our other dog. They are in the same room, and I stand in there with them for the 15min that they can have their food. If she sows signs of aggression, I will correct her, and it also allows me to watch and make sure the cats don't start sniffing around her.

    Our dogs became so protective over bones and treats that we just stopped giving them to them. It is easier just to take them away, than to let the behavior continue with the possibility of an injury. After a few weeks of nothing, we gave each of our dogs their own toy, both the same thing, and if there is growling,or even if they freeze when an animal gets near, we take it away.

    Simple way to solve the food stealing issues, don't leave food out. both of ours will "counter surf" and get anything they can reach. They will steal anything off a plate if it is left unattended or even if your not watching it like a hawk. We learned to keep any extra food in the microwave. Its not like the oven, you have to open it before you can turn it on. The bread is in a box on the counter, but shoved all the way back behind the toaster. If we are eating (we don't sit at the table) and we get up for a minute, the food is given to someone else to watch, or it is put in the microwave. You really should not give them the food right from your plate. If you want to give them some scraps, get up and put it in their bowl. They will learn that this is where they get "special things" if they behave while you are eating.

    Neither of our dogs were ever trained formally past sit, stay, and come. They know what they can and can't do, just because we corrected them when they did it. We never pulled time away from our daily activities to actually train them. They learned through experience, and they are really well behaved dogs.
  8. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    Sorry for the wait guys-spring cleaning extravaganza. The house looks like a herd of highly excitable children went tearing through!

    Hazel only growls when you actively go over and pat her on the head. I often give her a friendly rump pat if passing, never a peep. I was pretty dang mad at her that day though, I also worry that some child (magically appearing?) will want to pet the puppy when she's eating and the parent will have a royal FIT that she growled at her kid.

    The dogs take turns eating, Kitty, then Duke, then Hazel (sometimes slightly different). Same with the waterdish, if Duke is drinking, Hazel and Kitty wait, and vice versa. Water is left out pretty much all day, unless I'm really busy and cannot watch Kitty proper.
    I didn't actively teach them this, they just seem to understand what respecting each others space when eating or drinking is. Kitty didn't understand this at first, but has really picked up on it the last few days. They get fed morning, after I get up and they go potty outside, afternoon around lunch, then early evening. If I'm out and Duke and Kitty are kenneled, then Hazel can eat to her hearts content.

    I did talk with my dad and Hazel's begging has gone down to pretty well and nill. Right now, she's laying beside me, but absolutely no 'Gimmie Food Plz'. She will lay her head on my arm, but this is a "Hey, I REALLY gotta go outside" sign instead of ""

    Nothing new on Duke. We did see a deer and I told him, "Duke, no. Stay." and he did stare wistfully, but stayed.

    Kitty's on probation. He's like a little raccoon, managed to get a plate off the back of the stove and broke it pulling it down this morning. Was going after the tiny bit of melted butter on it, I suppose.
    I was there in a flash (the noises of him snagging it woke me) and scolded him. He only steals if he's hungry, but after last meal (they do get as much as they can eat, except Duke now) no more food, period. He's most certainly not starving! Otherwise he potties in the laundry room (at least it's not carpet!) in the night. I, unfortunately, sleep like a corpse.
    So he has a week to kennel train otherwise he's going to be an outside dog. He's doing very well in the kennel, no screaming, just haven't done an overnight stay yet.

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