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    New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:01 pm

    Thanks for allowing us all to explain in detail, Kally.

    For the APO - average pet owner - it can be hard to figure out how to evaluate training methods for safety, effectiveness, respect for the dog, and long term effects on behavior.

    Anyone is quite welcome to PM or email me for further discussion or information.


    MissMolly

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    Location : Vernon

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  MissMolly on Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:41 pm

    Sorry for opening such a can of worms.

    I replied yesterday but some how it never made it.

    So here goes again.

    Thanks Timothea for understanding where I am coming from.

    Di
    Let me explain Molly and her eating behavior.

    We have had her for a year now. So she was 2 when we got her.

    When I first give her her food I hold on to the food, let her eat and then get her to "leave it". I do this at least 3 or 4 times which she will do. If she doesn't I put her into a sit until she drops her food and will put her in time out. I can stand beside her and what she does is hunker down towards her food. I don't think she has ever growled at me. She will come to me when I call her, but she does bring her food.

    Once she gets into her food it is next to impossible to get her to leave it. I can get her to "leave it" if I other her a scrap from her food.

    Yes she did come with other issues.

    She gets very upset when left alone. She is getting much better with this I must say. I do take her to doggy day care once a week so she can get used of being away from me. I can leave her for about 5 or 6 hours and she is ok. When I come back and then go again she will come unglued. If she has spent a day with me gone I generally don't leave her the next day as she will not do well at all. If she is left for shorter periods of time I can come and go more often without her getting upset. We tried crating her when we first got her. Over a period of 2 months we worked up to her being in her crate for 8 hours. She never got used to the crate and when we came home one day and she had ripped of several bars of her metal cage we decided it was not worth it so we do leave her in the house. She was also a counter sufer when we are not home. We are working on this and she pretty much stays off the counters now. We are having a heck of a time keeping her from scratching at the screen door to come back in rather then barking. Not sure how to get her to bark rather then scrating at the screen.

    I know it seems she have lots of "things" but truly she is the most social loving dog I have met. Much more social then Taz (cockapoo). She has never had a confortation with another dog, loves cats and people alike.

    I just want her to be the best she can be, so I need to be better.

    Thanks all for the different suggestions.

    Darla
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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:15 pm

    Darla, I don't know what to tell you - you seemingly are not open to other, more modern, scientific and humane methods and techniques of training - yet what you have been doing obviously isn't helping Molly.

    There are no magic pill or fairy godmother wand solutions to canine behavioral problems, just creative thinking, patience, TLC, understanding and plenty of hard work.

    I just want to add that by using aversive techniques and methods of punishment to 'correct' her out of her problem behaviors, you are adding to her anxiety and stress.

    Suppressed anxiety and chronic high adrenaline and cortisol levels can produce a broad spectrum of behavioral and health issues.
    http://www.neuroanatomy.wisc.edu/coursebook/neuro4(2).pdf

    Its like tossing stuff into a closet and shutting the door - every time you open the door to throw something else on the pile, it gets bigger and the stuff wants to tumble out. Eventually, you can't open the door without stuff cascading out willy-nilly, falling on you and you might never be able to get the door closed again without cleaning out the junk.
    "The 12 Pitfalls of Positive Punishment" Pat Miller

    I suggest at the very least that you just put Miss Molly in the bathtub with her meals and shut the door until she is done. This will reduce the anxiety that both of you experience at mealtime.

    Lets approach this another way - you feed raw, yes?

    What, exactly?
    Supps?
    Treats, snacks, ooopsies?
    medications? 'Script or otherwise?

    Does she have any physical issues?

    MissMolly

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  MissMolly on Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:36 pm

    Giselle,

    Molly has no physical issues at all. She is very healthy.

    I feed her raw meats only. I have been feeding her for 2 weeks this way. She has had chicken, beef, tongue and heart meat.

    I believe like so many things in life there is ot just one way of doing things.

    I am sorry that you are upset that you think I don't agree with your training 100%.
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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:02 pm

    Oh, no, Darla, not upset.

    Just patient.

    And persistent.

    Have you tried other ways?

    Just asking, 'cause I have.

    Learned the 'old fashioned' methods and techniques very well, have taught my own dogs and classes for many years - gradually included more and more positive reinforcement methods and techniques into my repertoire, until I couldn't deny that the 'new' ways were betterer.

    Well, Molly's very new to raw, I think that you could see some great changes in her appearance, some in temperament and even in behavior in the months to come. Raw isn't a miracle cure, but its marvelous what a species appropriate diet and lack of inappropriate foods and additives can do to help a dog's body to heal itself.

    What um, "flavor" of raw do you feed? BARF, Whole Prey Model, Lonsdale, one of the raw book authors?

    Do you give Molly any treats, snacks or ooopsies that aren't raw?
    Supplements?

    di

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  di on Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:17 pm

    Hey Miss Molly - thanks for the info. I'll send you a pm so I don't stir the pot. Smile
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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:18 pm

    Boy she's quick, I just sent you one too!
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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:47 pm

    MissMolly wrote:Giselle,

    Molly has no physical issues at all. She is very healthy.
    I feed her raw meats only. I have been feeding her for 2 weeks this way. She has had chicken, beef, tongue and heart meat.

    You won't forget to give her organs too right? Tongue and heart are muscle meat, you need to add in some liver, gizzards, tripe (wait, was it you that got that awesome deal on the tripe?) and other organs too to balance her meals. I know you get the 80/10/10 thing, but it's not too soon to start with the organ now too.
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:52 pm

    Tripe and gizzards are muscle too. Wink Kidney, spleen, pancreas, liver, lung, eyes, reproductive organs, are actual organs.


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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:28 pm

    I thought tripe was offal, not muscle, and I never really knew what gizzards were anyway, only that birds have 'em. What for, don't ask me...
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    Muse

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Muse on Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:40 pm

    It makes me cringe... CRINGE... seeing people hand out advice on animal aggression over the internet. You just can't know the full story until you see it. And working with aggression really requires you to know how to read your dog, it's body language. It's way too easy to get yourself bit. The 100% positive reinforcement training? Well my own personal opinion on it aside (no, I'm not against it), if it's done wrong, you seriously reinforce the negative behaviour.

    Aggression problems shouldn't be dealt with by someone who doesn't know how to deal with it. And I mean this generally, not just to the OP. Find a professional who will come help you! The more years pass by that I train dogs, and the more time I spend in university studying behaviour, the less desire I have to help people who's animals I can't meet.

    One thing I will say: I find the focus has been too narrow. Before you start trying to take valuable things away from a dog that doesn't want to share, the dog needs to understand what you're actually trying to do. Start with things that aren't valuable, like a toy. Teach "out" (to drop things out of the mouth - like releasing a ball so you can throw it), and "leave it" (like ignoring a delicious looking piece of garbage on the sidewalk). The commands can be whatever you want them to be, it doesn't matter, but it has to be consistent, it has to be frequent, and it has to be rewarded.

    So-so-so many of the dogs I've worked with (including my own), this alone has at least significantly reduced the problem. What method to use beyond that depends on a lot of things!
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:38 pm

    Timothea wrote:I thought tripe was offal, not muscle, and I never really knew what gizzards were anyway, only that birds have 'em. What for, don't ask me...

    I always considered tripe organ but several people on the RF list set me straight! And gizzards are like a second stomach that birds have to grind up food that they mix with swallowed grit or stones to digest it easier. The gizard can then pass the food back to the true stomach, but also the true stomach can send it back to the gizzard. Very fascinating!

    /OT

    Very Happy


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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:43 pm

    What's a crop?
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:04 am

    The crop is what holds food before it goes into the stomach. It's in the neck, vs the gizzard which is in the actual body cavity of the bird.

    I wish I would've taken a pic of the duck I just processed Thursday! It would've illustrated it perfectly. Even had a crop full of whole corn!


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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:20 am

    Birds don't have teeth, the crop has hard gristly tissue that grinds food, like grains, into bits before it goes into the stomach to be digested. For a lot of birds, they even need to swallow stones or grit and the crop uses that to grind the grain.

    Its why gizzards come all cut open when you buy them - a gizzard is the chicken's crop - they have to be cleaned of the grit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gizzard

    Half-way down the page is a piccy of a full crop - this blog shows and tells how to dress out a chicken
    http://childreninthecorn.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-eviscerate-or-gutdress-chicken.html
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    Siam

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Siam on Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:03 pm

    I agree with the advice Giselle has given. A dog guards food because he fears you are going to steal it from him, by going and stealing it from him you are confirming every reason he guards and if anything his guarding should increase. Even if you give it back the time it was in your possession is time he could have had more food, dogs always do what works best. Keeping the food to himself gets him more food than giving it to you for a few seconds does, so he'll guard it. Plus taking something from a guarding dog is a good way to get bit. Domestic or not they have teeth and can bite, maim and kill people.

    So a much safer way to go about it is what Giselle said. Stop focusing on only the behavior but focus on the mind set. Teach the dog you have no intention of stealing his food. That if anything, your approach to the food is BETTER than when you are not there. When you walk into the room during dinner time he gets loads of special treats. At some point when he does not react negatively to you entering the room walk past him and drop treats over and over so when you walk past him at mealtime it's a positive thing, he no longer expects you to take his food he expects more to come. You are changing what he thinks about your approach.

    Much later kneel down and put treats in front of him (these need to be really good-better than what he is eating) so even your hands near him eating is a good thing for him. IF YOU THINK HE MIGHT BITE GET A PROFESSIONAL AND DON'T TAKE IT THIS FAR. Now much much later you can trade his regular food for something awesome (many dogs think green tripe is the greatest thing in the world) by taking his food and IMMEDIATELY putting down some of this awesome stuff and as he finishes giving his regular meal back. Again the dog is benefiting from you taking his food.

    Never ever do something the dog is uncomfortable with. You should not be getting close enough to the dog for him to start to guard or else you'd be making your approach a negative experience and setting your training back. I also agree that backing away from the growling dog is rewarding the dog (but if you have gone too far it might be the best thing to do, you do not want to risk your safety) so never get close enough for that. And don't even get close enough for him to freeze or give the stare.

    I also agree with on the side teaching a "drop it" command so that in emergencies you can get stuff back without getting bit. This should be started with something of low value (a less important toy that you give him) and not transferred to high value food until the dog is really and expert on lower valued stuff.

    I also would personally get a professional behaviorist to help you, must has a point that none of us have seen this dog and we would not want to put you in danger. make sure you get a trainer who will not punish the dog for his aggressive responses as this will only suppress the behavior, not change his mind about people approaching the bowl, he will still want to aggress but he will be held back by the fear that he will be punished. That is all that may be keeping your dog from biting. not something I put a lot of faith in. That plus the dog will be punished for warning us, he is warning us he is going to bite and we want to rid him of his warning. how safe is that? Now you have a dog who still feels threatened by your approach to his bowl AND he is too afraid to tell you he is almost ready to take off your hand. GREAT. if pushed past the point where he's been punished (say he's been punished for staring, growling and snapping but say you push him past the point of a snap. he's never tried to bite and has therefore never been punished for doing that so in his books that is still a safe thing to do, he does not think it will be punished for biting.) He WILL bite and you'll have no idea it was coming.

    In Jean Donaldson's book she outlines a dog's bite threshold well (she has pictures that make it even more clear). You might use punishment and get the dog to stop guarding. You can run up and grab his food and get no response. This is a dog who never tried to bite but had growled. Staring, freezing, puckering lips and growling were all punished. it appears that the owner can do nothing around his food to elicit a growl or any aggressive response. the owner of course thinks the dog is cured. Inside the dog sill wants to freeze, stare, pucker and growl but has been punished for it. he has no desire to snap or bite, his food aggression is not that severe.
    This dog happens to be uncomfortable with loud noises (he's not too bad, a little pacing), small children (he has been known to freeze around them before moving away) and sudden movements (he has been known to growl when startled by the other dogs.) So say you are having a 4th of July party, some fire works have gone off and continue to every once in a while, you have a bunch of kids at your house running around, playing with sparklers and having fun. Someone has dropped a piece of food on the floor which your dog has bent down to eat and as he's licking what's left of it off the floor one of the small children running by him trips and falls beside him. Your dog bites him hard. Any of those factors by themselves would not have triggered a bite. even if the dog was punished for growling at any trigger in the past and for freezing with any trigger he has never snapped or bitten. Having food brought him up to the growling threshold (which he did not show because growling was punished), same for the kid suddenly tripping (he would never just bite for that, he would growl, but growling was punished for that too, the owner thought she had fixed that problem.) He would never just randomly bite kids, he had frozen up before but that was punished so the owner though he was fine. So the dog never reacted to these things by themselves because the amount of stress they caused him, caused reactions as high as growling and everything up through growling was punished. So the owner thinks the dog is now fine with these things due to her "training". However when a trigger that pushes the dog into his growling threshold was paired with another trigger that was past his growling threshold and a trigger past his freezing threshold plus the mild stress caused by fireworks he was pushed WAY past his bite threshold (this will not be the case with every dog, some dogs have very high bite thresholds, you'd have to put every single thing your dog is uncomfortable with in a big package and release it on the dog to elicit a bite. OR some dogs have very low growl threshold and a moderate bite threshold so even when the dog is growling he is no where near biting. Most dogs are not quite so easy going. It's mainly an individual temperament thing and a breed thing.)

    So yes, you can punish a dog for his guarding behavior and have him stop guarding but in his head that trigger (you approaching his food)still brings him into his freezing and staring threshold even though he does not exhibit the behavior. If you do what Giselle and heather have said you actually change the dog's mind. You approaching his food is NO LONGER a trigger at all, in his head he has no desire to guard his food from you, you approaching his food does not bring him past his freeze threshold anymore. if the dog in the above situation had been trained with mind changing and not punishment all those other triggers might not have added up to a bite, maybe a snap or even something lower, like a growl (which he would not have exhibited due to the prior punishment).

    That's my stance on it anyway. I recommend Jean Donaldson's book "mine!" a guide to resource guarding. I saw the bite threshold explained in her other book "The Culture Clash" but I believe she explains it in "Mine!" as well.
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:14 pm

    Birds don't have teeth, the crop has hard gristly tissue that grinds food, like grains, into bits before it goes into the stomach to be digested. For a lot of birds, they even need to swallow stones or grit and the crop uses that to grind the grain.

    Its why gizzards come all cut open when you buy them - a gizzard is the chicken's crop - they have to be cleaned of the grit.

    "Birds swallow food and store it in their crop if necessary. Then the food passes into their glandular stomach, also called the proventriculus, which is also sometimes referred to as the true stomach. This is the secretory part of the stomach. Then the food passes into the ventriculus (also known as the muscular stomach or gizzard)."

    The crop is just for food storage (like a hamster's cheek pouches hehe). The gizzard is what grinds up the food. Three different parts of digestion- crop, glandular stomach and gizzard. The roadkill duck I got had a full crop (which is located in the neck) of whole corn. When the skin is removed it looks just like a clear membrane type sac about 3" long. I knew I shoulda took pics! Gah! I didn't know what it was so I emailed Casey. LOL


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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:27 pm

    Gaaah, the insides of chickens!!





    Yes, I can see the progression now.

    Thanks, Heather.
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:15 pm

    LOL, Giselle! We're all getting an anatomy lesson here!


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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:23 pm

    hahaha, I was only asking because my son had a picture like that one, and I couldn't tell him what a gizzard or a crop were exactly, only that birds had em, we don't, lol!

    Heather, I love your pictures of the lamb (goat?) you butchered in your yard. Please take pictures next time you do that, even if it's just a bird!

    I never thought of the gizzards being cut open, tried to figure out what they were cut OFF of, but didn't think of them as being cut open....

    *smacks hand in center of forehead!*
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:17 pm

    T, I will definitely be taking pics the next time I butcher sheep atleast, but I hope to move onto goats, chickens and hogs when I get brave! I had after pics of the rabbits I did with them all bagged up. Alotta good that did but I was working at such a fast pace I didn't have time to take pics. I think I'll take pics of the next squirrel and duck I do which should be soon. I have 3 large male mallards in the freezer from last hunting season and I think 4 squirrels- 3 fox and 1 grey that I picked up off the road (2 recently actually). I can take my time with those because for one they're small and 2 it takes me awhile to skin squirrels anyway. Might as well do a how-to blog entry!


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