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Puppy food aggressive towards other dog and...

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Our 5 month old BC puppy is food aggressive towards our 15 month old male German Shepherd. If there's a piece of dog food or dog bone on the ground and our GSD comes near him, he will try to attack, bite, and growl. Our GSD is really relaxed and doesn't react in a bad way, other than backing off, but I'm worried if this keeps up it will eventually turn into a full blown dog fight. (He will also do this with toys in the yard and sticks.)



He also tries to herd our GSD when my Husband is playing with them. If the GSD is running (my Husband normally plays fetch with him) our BC puppy will run towards him on his way back, stalk him, and grab a hold of his scruff, growling, etc. We've been disciplining this behavior, but he keeps doing it (we've also put him on a leash while my Husband plays with the GSD). Right now he's a lot smaller than our GSD so I don't think it bothers him very much, but again, I think it will get worse if he keeps on doing it and gets bigger.


Any training advice and tips greatly appreciated!!! :-)

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You're right to be concerned, especially about the food spats. I have two dogs of different sizes but similar ages which fought over a bone when young and it did escalate to the point where they cannot be allowed access to each other. We have had to live like this for over 10 years and I did rehome one but it didn't work out.


You aren't at that point yet so just separate them if you give them bones or anything you know will trigger the behaviour. Reward him with something better for surrendering random items like sticks.


My young BC would chase and grab the other dogs if I let him but I have worked on his down and stay since we got him and I can get him to exercise sufficient self control if I predict that he is likely to do it. Your GSD may put up with it but others might not and thin skinned dogs like sight hounds can be seriously torn by just a nip if they are running.


At 5 months your pup doesn't know how to control his natural instincts so he needs to know what is and isn't acceptable. Not all BCs do it, my other one never has, but it's not that unusual.

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Agree with mum24dog.

Separate them when doing something that triggers the pup's behavior, and if he does go off when you don't expect it, I'd immediately remove him from the situation and put him away. Bad behavior = end of fun. Don't just scold him - end the fun, put him up. Your GSD sounds like a lovely soul, but as your pup matures, he's going to outgrow his "puppy pass" and you're right to worry that the GSD would get tired of him and one day strike back.

The pup needs time to grow up and learn to control himself, and you'd be helping him by putting the kibosh immediately on things you won't stand for. Best of luck!

~ Gloria

That's not "herding" he's doing, it's just hyper-reaction to movement and as you've noted, very bad dog-manners.

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