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Poppy is 15 weeks now and has just started to growl when my youngest son, Angus, goes near her when she is eating or chewing one of her chews. She doesn't do it with my husband or I and the eldest son hasn't noticed it. I've read up a little about it and wondered if you could help me with a few questions? :D

I gather the thing to do is build trust between them - is that right? I have started to try and get Angus to add some food to Poppy's bowl while she is eating.. Is that right?

What do I do about the chew situation? I tried to get Angus to give her a couple of treats while she was chewing but all she wanted was to get on with her chew. I'm quite happy to tell Angus to leave her to enjoy her chew but it was the fact that she growled when he was just walking past and not even looking at her.

Angus plays with her a lot and I wonder if he has overdone it? Is Poppy worried that he will take her food or chew away? Or is it more in depth than that?

Generally, Poppy is fabulous. She is leaping around most of the time and has her biting and snapping times and we are fairly well covered in bites and scratches but I gather that's fairly normal!!!?

I'd be really grateful for some advice as to how best to handle this.

Thank you

:D :D :D
 

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How old is your son? could she be thinking(?) he is another puppy?

Coz my kids are all grown up we have not had little ones around whilst they were pups!

Marianne
 

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She is at an age where she is still discovering what the boundaries are, and possibly pushing them a bit occasionally too. How old is Angus? If he is still very young himself then it is possible that Poppy views him a bit like she would another puppy. That might explain why she is singling him out for this behaviour, rather than to your eldest.

Most dogs regard food as such a precious resource, and guarding it is not uncommon.

I think it is OK for you to let Angus put the occasional bit of additional food into Poppy's bowl whilst she is eating, though obviously with supervision. I would hope that this would show her that he is not there to take things away, or as competition for her around the food bowl.

After he has done that though, I would make him leave her in peace to eat her meal. Just think about yourself eating your dinner. You have an unspoken area around you into which others are not generally welcome, so that you can eat in peace. You would not welcome someone towering closely over your shoulder as you eat, and may well tell them to back off. Dogs too have that "critical space" around them when eating. They too like to keep it that way if possible, and some are more vociferous about it than others.

I don't think I would bother giving her extra treats whilst she is having a chew. Can she have her chews in her crate (if you use one) or own den area? I think I would just encourage Angus to leave her alone if she has been given one. As he grows then I guess her perception of him will change and she should get over it. She is still very young, and I am guessing he is too??? Sorry if I have that bit wrong though. :oops:
 

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I think it is still perfectly possible at 6 years old, though maybe edging towards borderline.

I guess Poppy can see you and/or your OH as in charge in the house, followed by your eldest child and then Angus. If you actually catch her growling at him them tell her a firm NO, because it isn't really acceptable behaviour, and she needs to understand that Angus must be respected too!

Charlie is five now. Whilst he has never growled at the children (youngest is now 7), he certainly still remains prone to ignoring any commands they give him. :twisted: I find myself having to step in to reinforce their command so that he doesn't learn he can just get away with it! Sometimes it just takes a more authoritarian voice. :wink: :D
 
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