Agression with tendon chew

Let me start by saying Hudson is 4 months old and is fairly submissive other than regular puppy nipping/jumping. I practice things to avoid food aggression such as taking his food while he is eating for a minute, touching the food in his bowl, taking his antler while he is chewing etc. He has been biting and chewing more than usual, so I bought him a bison tendon today for a new chew. He had a beef tendon before, but we left it at a friends place and its gone now. We gave him the chew, I reached down and took it back, made him wait, then gave it back to him. About 10 minutes later DH reached down to do the same and Hudson growled and lunged at him and he bit him on the hand. I didn't see it happen, but I definately heard it! DH took it away and held him down for a second and he seemed fine as soon as the tendon was out of sight. He hasn't shown signs of aggression before, but I would describe him as fearful..

...so I guess I'm wondering if I should be really worried? I want to know what I should do to prevent this, beyond what I am already practicing, and what would be the right reaction? I have a trainer hired, but she doesn't come until Oct 16. Thanks in advance.

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Replies

  • Thank you all so much. I plan on practicing some of these techniques with high value treats (tendon). I will also e-mail my trainer and see what suggestions she has!

    Off to do some reading on DK about other cases of resource guarding; thank goodness for all of you!
  • Candy, between your actions and common sense, Carla & Lynn's advice and your trainer coming in a week, I think you're doing great. Just be consistent. My preferred method in dealing with this when they're babies is "trading," but it's just what works best for your little guy. If you keep doing what you're doing, correcting it now, consistently, it will be come a non-problem. :-)
    BTW Hudson is totally adorable! :-)
  • Good morning, Candy!

    First of all, it sounds like you have really made Hudson a very respected member of the family! Kudos to you for that! You are really thinking about and acting upon his training which is great and very responsible.

    It's great that you have a trainer hired to come on Oct 16th. If I were you, I might call her to discuss the event that happened last night and ask her for things that you should do in advance of Oct 16th. Then she will know exactly what you are doing before she gets there and it will make sense with her training. So many trainers have different philosophies about how things should be done. I believe the most important thing is consistency. So, if you chat with her in advance, you will be able to be consistent with whatever training path she wants to take once she starts working with you.

    We had a trainer for Nugget's first year and he was great about phone calls and emails on days that he wasn't with us. So, hopefully your trainer will be as accommodating.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Susan
  • Carla gave good advice, and it's pretty normal- puppies do it with other puppies and it's really more of a threat than any intent to harm. A nice game you can play that discourages resource guarding is 'trading' you have two identical bones, or socks or whatever puppy likes and as he chews on one you offer the other; you then take the one he has and give him the one you are holding. Once they get used to the game, they seem to learn that your taking something from him doesn't mean that he will lose it forever, and occasionally he might get something even better than what he surrenders
  • I wouldn't be worried but make sure you get this in control. It's called Resource Guarding and can get bad if it's not dealt with now. Hudson has something he really really wants and doesn't want to give it away. Lucca did this at about the same age. He did that to me at puppy class and the trainer observed it happening. For awhile I was really scared to take anything away from him. We had a one on one training the next day. Lucca had a bone and when we tried to take it away he snarled. I would sit next to him and pet his head while he chomped. When I touched him he immediately tensed but I kept petting him. Once he relaxed I took the bone from him. Then gave it back. He needs to know you are not a threat or part of the pack. He also grew out of it at around a year old. Now he'll have a sock in his mouth and will make a growl sound (just to say this is mine) but I can take it with no problem. I can open his mouth with no fear.
    It will be ok and your trainer can help. There is also quite a bit on this site regarding Resource Guarding (now that you know what it's called:)) Good luck and take a deep breath...it'll be ok
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