Is this a mental problem?



In Dogs

  So, 6 months ago I got my 9 year old retired guide dog harpo. Right before I got him guide dog school gave him a checkup and said he was fine...I don't think he is. First off, food, food, food FOOD. I know labs love food but I am telling you he can not look at you around food. If you try to train him you can't use food. He loves people, he is obedient, but not around food, not like a normal labs food obsession, like an addiction. Second, we will be doing something and he just falls down. he lays there for about 20 minutes then will get back up. I don't think it is physical because if I pull food out or mention a treat he gets up and wags his tail.He is also freaks out when I am not there unless he is in his crate. Any help?



In Dogs

Reply To: PheobieandHarpo

Sorry to hear about these problems; eating, randomly laying down, and security issues with being out of crate.  The one I can truly relate to is the food drive.  My lab is the same way, so I did a little research to try and correct the problem.  In my opion, it does have to do with being a little OCD, however their were some trainning techniques that I have found help with, so here they are and I hope they help.

1. Never use negative reinforcement to try and prevent your dog from eating food.  On the street, floor, etc.

2. Try and establishing a understanding that he can only eat when you say so.  Its a little old school, but it has helped.  For example, when you feed him, make him laydown and put the food on the floor.  Make sure he does not get up and just run over.  Keep him laying on the ground and only after you release him, let him have the food.

3. Try and eat before you feed your dog.  THis will help establish that he has to wait for his food, rather than just being able to react when he is hungry.

4. If your dog does lung for food, grab his attention with a come or lets go command.  Once you have his attnetion, let him know what a good boy he is.  This one takes a little time, and you have to be diligent to get his attention. 

In terms of the other problems, I dont really have any advice.  I do hope this has helped with at least part of your problem



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