Monday, August 30, 2010

Ask the Trainer: Food Fight

Question:: I took home three 4mo old pups who seem very sweet, lab/hound mixes I would say. I put them in a crate to eat out of one big bowl and they got into a fight. Should I try and make them eat out of one bowl or avoid conflict by feeding them separately or how does one go about getting them over being food aggressive? They are skinny too.

Answer: I would just put them in a room with three bowls. Four months is considered adult by the adult pack members. They have their first rush of sex hormones around 17 weeks, so fights will start happening as they manuever themselves into position in the pack and figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Putting them all in the crate together made them fight for space, not food. If you put them in a room instead, they will play musical bowls and not fight. Most fights are actually over space, rank/status and manners (bad ones).

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