Guarding

Jenntle

New Member
So I've had my cocker for 7 months now. Hes 11 months old Male named harley. We also have a shih tzu mix breed dog sam hes 8 years old. Sam is fixed, harley is not but going to be soon. Every night we take them for walks and they get a treat afterwards. They've been getting these peanut butter chewie bones. Recently harley has been going after my other dog sam. It only happens around chewie time. Sam eats all of his and sometimes trys to take harleys and that's when it happens. We are afraid he is going to hurt sam. Usually when they fight like this harley just gets on top of sam and they growl and bark and bite but they're also waging their tails. Lately harley has been going after him more and this last time Harley would not get off of sam. We had to turn a vacume on to get his attention off of sam. Harley is not aggressive any other time, he has never bit anyone or been agressive in any way. It's only around chewie time. Is this food guarding? Should we call a behaviorist? I dont want either dog to get hurt and we are desperate at this point. We have been trying to separate them and it's working a bit but I'm asking for some advice
 

karenwalksthedogs

Moderator
Staff member
Owned by
2 cockers
Welcome Jenntle. I’m Karen and I have two cockers. My thought is that you shouldn’t let Sam try to take Harley’s treat. Can you crate one of them during treat time or maybe leash Sam until Harley is finished so he can’t go to get Harley’s treat? I’m sure that Harley is giving stay away from my treat signals to Sam and Sam isn’t listening. He might be used to being the big dog and doesn’t realize the Harley is now old enough to start telling him to stay away and mean it. Another option is to stop those treats and only give treats that can be eaten in one bite. That way they both finish at about the same time.

My two are the best of friends. If we give something like a Greenie one always finishes before the other. Inevitably the dog who has finished first will walk over to the other dog who is still chewing away just in case they don’t want it all. The dog with the treat will growl and the other dog will move away. Harley needs to learn how to signal to Sam to stay away and Sam needs to learn to listen.
 

Polly

Super Moderator
Staff member
Owned by
2 cockers
I agree with Karen, I would separate them. I have a baby gate between my kitchen and utility room. When I had more than one dog, and one was faster than the other, I would feed the slower one in my utility room.
 

Jenntle

New Member
Update: We have been seperating them and giving harley a smaller treat and no fighting. Harley seems to not have an attention span for the treat we give sam but besides everything has been great.
 
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