Turns out Luna is increasingly becoming treat aggressive, when I pull out the really yummy stuff. Some kong stuffing (kibble mixture I make) fell onto the floor, Luna went for it, so did Nova one of my cats. There was a lot of noise but no contact as I grabbed Luna by the scruff and pretty much tossed her, Nova was unharmed and really not even that phased by it.
It scared the shit out of me.
Later I gave Luna her kong in her kennel, but didn’t shut the door like I usually do. Nova krept up and before I could shoo him with my foot Luna lunged out of her crate at him, hardly any warning, but thank god made no contact. She has never ever lunged out if her kennel, only growled and that was enough for Nova to turn around and leave. Luna now only gets her kongs and food in her enclosed kennel.
My question is am I making her more protective of her food by closing her in her kennel? Or is this just something she picked up from my moms food aggressive 14yr old chow mix, and maybe some from Rin? How do I go about training her if I even can, what should I be doing differently?
Obviously I don’t leave food out and everyone is already separated when fed meals. She doesn’t do this with her bones or toys, not really even her food so much as with the really high value stuff.
No, locking her in the kennel when she has the Kong is the safe thing to do. If the door is open, the chance of Nova reaching in can result in increased aggression; higher desire to protect the Kong to avoid losing it to her.
Despite the growls normally working for Luna, she feels that Nova will steal her goods and won’t give them back, so she’s learned to protect what she’s got by lunging.. and it works! The kennel makes it so that she can’t make contact.
There’s a great book called Mine! by Jean Donaldson that goes into this and gives step-by-step detailed instructions on how to work through guarding with your dog in a whole variety of scenarios.
My dog will act obnoxiously around one of my cats because she will actually go up and steal food out of his bowl and toys while he’s eating. Never lunged or bit, just growls or makes a small bark if she comes by. Been working on this by feeding them both food (far apart) while I fill the Kong toys.
Usually what he does now is he gets up and stands over her, forcibly smelling her back and bumping her with his nose. In these cases if he doesn’t let up, I fence one of them off… usually the cat because she’s pushy.