|Barked: Sun Nov 11, '12 3:09pm PST |
|I don't know, I'm not inclined to jump straight to SSA with this. And I've never been of the opinion that SSA was common in GSDs, even in the females (though acknowledgment there that it is more common in females than males in this breed). Plus she's 10 months old, not yet sexually mature, so if it IS SSA... yikes. That's pretty bad, and going to get worse.
But again, that's not my thought. Resource guarding isn't uncommon, especially when it comes to dog-to-dog guarding.
Couple of questions- how old was she when you got her, and what was the litter size?
Ridley, just to give you an example, was from a very large litter (11 puppies) from a bitch who was accustomed to throwing more moderate litters (5 average). He actually left the breeder and arrived here at 9 weeks old.
When he got here, he was a big time RGer. Just over the food bowl, and granted I feed raw so that's a BIG resource to guard... but he would growl and hunch over and make a scene if ANYONE came near him while he was eating, including me. Putting it into perspective, he was from a litter where he did actually have to compete some for resources, even though his breeder was a very good one and made sure he got what he needed. He was also relatively young when he came to me- 9 weeks is older than is standard, but in the scheme of things still young and puppies generally do better with "social" issues like this when left with their littermates and dam longer.
My issue more or less resolved itself. I would hand-feed some of his meals, and toss extra scraps of meat into his bowl while he was eating, and that put a stop to any guarding behaviors with ME. Now with the other dogs I think it just took some time for him to figure out they weren't after his food... that said, I DO separate during meals (same room, opposite sides), because IF one of them tries to get in his bowl while he's eating, he WILL tear into them. Which, frankly, is fair... they don't need to be getting into his food, and I don't allow them to.
Now obviously your issue is a little more severe, as she isn't just guarding her bowl... and of course her over the top reaction is very undesirable as well. For starters I would do as you're already doing, making sure there are no high value treats left unattended while the two dogs are together. From there, I would suggest taking food out of the equation, and just working your puppy around your other dog. Doesn't have to be anything specific, just sits or downs or whatever it is you do, but make sure the other dog is present (crated if you feel it necessary) and try to avoid using food as a reward- use a ball or tug or whatever else she likes. Get her used to working and having to focus on you while the other dog is around. Once you have achieved that, then start adding food back in as a reward. Again, get her comfortable receiving the high value resource while the other dog is present, BUT do it in a structured working environment FIRST. GSDs of course like to work, and if she's working for you to gain her prized resource, she's not going to be focusing as much on your other dog. Getting that concept into her mind is a stepping stone to getting her more comfortable haveing the resources around period. After all, the way to a GSD's heart is through his head
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