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Hi, Roger -

I know that your expertise is mostly on nutrition but I was wondering what your take would be on a dog being aggressive with a bully stick that I had given her.  I am not sure if you remember me.  I have asked you many questions about my boxer, Trixie.

The other night..I had given her a bully stick and she ran to her bed with it.  She is the most sweetest dog you would ever want to meet but when I went over to take the bully stick from her, she began to growl and not want to give it up.  I did take it away from her after she calmed down and haven't tried to give it to her again.  This behavior was very concerning to me because she has never growled at me like that.

How would you suggest I introduce this treat to her again without her being so possessed over it?  Maybe take it outside and use it as a playing tactic and just stay away from where her bed is placed??


Hi Lisa,

Sure I remember you guys. Hope all is going well with the diet.

The bully stick aggression is a common one. We have that problem at times around our house. We still have the five dogs so everyone gets a bully stick or more often a raw bone to chew on. They each go their separate ways. But try to take it away from them and look out.

It can take a little finesse but it must be done each time. Some no problem but there's a couple that we have to grab by the back of the neck and subdue them and take it away.

You never want to try and use any affection to coax the treat from them. This just re-enforces what they are doing.

So we use our dominating presence when we have to do this. I don't know if I mentioned Cesar Millan to you before but if you can, watch his shows on TV (The National Geographic channes) and look on his website for very helpful training tips and articles. I think you can even email some questions in to him or his staff.

He trains the natural way and that's what we try to follow.

Food and treat aggression is a natural instinct and it will just come out. But as Cesar always promotes that you must be the dominant one and instill that in each pet. They must have boundaries and limitations.

Not always easy to do with our four-legged kids but we try to instill dominance when we feel it's needed. We don't back down and finalize discipline when needed.

Visit his website and watch his shows if you can. I think you will come away with another feeling about how to handle your situation.

If it were me, I would practice at giving it to her and taking it away when YOU want to. Maybe keep her on a leash so she don't run away from you. If she starts the growling again, I would grab her by the shoulder or back of the neck (kind of their natural way) and pin her down and take it.

If she freely gives it up, then you can show affection for that behavior. It usually takes some practice and training but if you keep at it, she will know its OK to give it up to you.

Always start when she is in a very calm state of mind.

Hope this helps, good luck with Trizie. As always, let me know if you have any other questions.



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

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