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Categories: Puppy Training

Q. I’m getting a new puppy and I have a question about teaching the puppy that I own his food. Should I be able to take away food at anytime?
Hello Cindy.

In 3 months I'll be getting my 2nd Cane Corso (pup). Recently my 10 year old Cane Corso passed away. I stayed on top of his training from day one with the help of your DVD and online articles and the result was a dream of a dog and companion.

My question is about teaching a pup that YOU own the food. I have read you say that you leave your pup alone with their food and once it's down, you do not touch it.
So does it all have to do with age? I would have thought you'd want to be able to take anything away from your dog/pup at any age, which would set the tone early. Or is food different? (That's once it's down you should allow them to eat uninterrupted,)

Thank you very much for sharing so much valuable information.

A. I don't mess with food once I give it to my dogs or puppies, it's a sure fire way to create resource guarding and mistrust with a certain type of dog. I spend puppyhood developing a relationship and training system with my dogs and during this time I don't "test" them to see if I can take things. I set it up so I don't have to do this while creating a bond and developing a communication system. You TEACH them about dropping things and giving you items as they are growing up and don't just take things away because that only increases possession. I teach a trade very early on, keeping in mind that what you have to give the dog needs to be more valuable to them than what you are asking them to give up.

I'll add some of the resources I think will be helpful to you below. These are available as DVDs or streaming videos.

  Response:

Thank you very much for your reply.

My 10 yr old dog that recently passed away was always fine about me getting close to his food to add something (which rarely happened). However I tried to lift his bowl when he was as around 8.5 and I got a side eye and low growl. I ignored it. I later mentioned it in passing to my vet and he said I needed to correct this ASAP.
I left thinking “he’s a dream of a dog otherwise and mealtime really shouldn’t be interrupted, so I never addressed it with him, but corrected MYSELF, making sure I never set down an incomplete meal again.

So your advice will be the rule going forward when my new pup arrives in a few months.

Thank you and Leerburg for everything you offer.
  
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