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Question
Posted by: Gillian | 2011/07/26

Stray Puppy

We picked up a puppy on a main road about 4 weeks ago. He was VERY thin and worm infested. We have taken him to the vet to have his innoculations and dewormed etc. The only thing that is driving me crazy is that he " attacks"  his food as if it will be the last meal he will ever get. I understand that he more than likely had to fight for food at some stage but surely he should have realised by now that we feed him 3 times a day and will not starve him. How do we get him out of this? The breed cannot identified  even by the vet.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Gillina, firstly that heavens for such kind and compassionate people like yourself - my hearfelt thanks and congratulation as a fellow dog lover!
Given the little guys circumstances I am not surprised at his behaviour and you need to also do a lot of food bowl exercises so that he does not become a Food Resource Guarder.
There are several things you can try:-
1. Divide the daily allowance up into 5/6 times per day.
2. Always make sure that meal times are regular.
3. Life the bowl a bit off the floor. this does not always help with a pup, but do try it.
4. My favourite thing to do with a pup like this, is for the next few weeks, he gets an absolute minimum of food from the bowl and rather receives it from your hands (and all other members of family, friends, children, men etc). Teach him to do a simple 'sit' and then request that he sits nicely and then offer the food slowly, saying 'gently' and initially make sure that you offer the food clasped in your hand with it facing towards you, not the pup or he will be inclined to snap. This will also assist with him not becoming a resource guarder.
Bring in the Bite Inhibition exercises as described in the question above 'Biting Dogs' and do yourself a favour and download the free AFTER Getting a Puppy book by the amazing behaviourist Dr. Ian Dunbar on my friendsofthedog website. This book will give you invaluable information. Hope this helps and again, my warmest thanks for giving this guy a much deserved loving home, Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/07/26

Hi Gillina, firstly that heavens for such kind and compassionate people like yourself - my hearfelt thanks and congratulation as a fellow dog lover!
Given the little guys circumstances I am not surprised at his behaviour and you need to also do a lot of food bowl exercises so that he does not become a Food Resource Guarder.
There are several things you can try:-
1. Divide the daily allowance up into 5/6 times per day.
2. Always make sure that meal times are regular.
3. Life the bowl a bit off the floor. this does not always help with a pup, but do try it.
4. My favourite thing to do with a pup like this, is for the next few weeks, he gets an absolute minimum of food from the bowl and rather receives it from your hands (and all other members of family, friends, children, men etc). Teach him to do a simple 'sit' and then request that he sits nicely and then offer the food slowly, saying 'gently' and initially make sure that you offer the food clasped in your hand with it facing towards you, not the pup or he will be inclined to snap. This will also assist with him not becoming a resource guarder.
Bring in the Bite Inhibition exercises as described in the question above 'Biting Dogs' and do yourself a favour and download the free AFTER Getting a Puppy book by the amazing behaviourist Dr. Ian Dunbar on my friendsofthedog website. This book will give you invaluable information. Hope this helps and again, my warmest thanks for giving this guy a much deserved loving home, Scotty

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