Over the past few weeks, our blind puppy Breeze (now seven and a half months old) had developed a habit of growling when eating in her crate with the door closed as all her meals have been served.
Note: the only time the dogs are crated is when they are home alone and when crated, they get a Kong with either part of their meal or something yummy stuffed inside. I really don't think this is a crate issue, she goes in with no fuss at all.
Breeze has never been a fast eater and if the door to her crate is left open when she goes in with her kibble, she will wander out, tour the house and come back, nibble and repeat. This tends to drive the others a bit crazy since they know they can't have her kibbles. Keeping the crate door closed while she was eating seemed to make her agitated and she growled more so I tried leaving it open.
After a few days, even this wasn't making a difference. I tried saying, "Breeze. Quiet." and that would work briefly. Then when she growled, the kibble bowl would disappear. She would calmly sit and it would reappear. Then it got to the point where I'd be removing and replacing the bowl almost constantly due to the growling.
Now we're trying having her eat in the alcove off the kitchen next to the bathroom with a baby gate since I am thinking it's a confinement thing. She has room to wander around and eat with nobody able to bother her. So far, this seems to be working better. Better, but not yet solving the problem. The one thing that does seem to make a difference and keep her from growling is if I talk. Constantly. A running commentary about what I am doing. I wonder if that is the actual solution. A radio doesn't cut it, the television doesn't. I wonder, is me babbling away the answer to this? Will she out grow this as her confidence increases? Any thoughts, ideas and/or suggestions are appreciated, either in the comments or e-mail.
I know it's not fair to compare but neither blind Hiker or blind and partly deaf Brook had this problem. Breeze is a very happy and well behaved puppy who does the normal growling at others when they have something she wants and occasionally it erupts to a bit of a tussle, especially with Azule who is deaf. She is just a normal puppy except for the food growling.
On a lighter note...
This afternoon, the temperature warmed up, the slight accumulation of snow melted and the ground became a bit soft. I think the dirt probably smelled nice and fresh and somebody just couldn't resist!
|Me: Breeeezzzeee...were you digging?|