“Hi, Roman. My name is Kate and I'm part of the mastiff lovers page. I see so much great work you do with dogs. I'm having a food "aggression" issue with my daniff. I've rescued, rehabbed and worked with dogs literally my whole life but Larry is my first "giant" and has proven to be very different in many ways. Larry was rescued at 4 weeks and we adopted him at 6 weeks. Backyard breeder, poorly cared for situation.
At 6 weeks, he came VERY food aggressive. As I've dealt with this many times before, I immediately started feeding rituals. It took about a year but he made great progress. Over the summer we purchased a house. The closing got set back and we ended up homeless for about 2 weeks.
Because of this a friend of mine took Larry during that time. Well, his food aggression not only relapsed but has gotten way worse. Prior to the move, he had never actually touched another animal, it was all vocal and teeth and it was ONLY over his food dish, never had an issue with treats, marrow bones or people food. While at her house he actually attacked her cat.
Since being home (in the new house) while he hasn't actually hurt any of the other animals, he has began to touch them with his mouth. My instinct is to shout which logically I know is the wrong thing to do. I feel he would definitely bite me if I were to physically intervene. This is now over ALL food, including crumbs that my small children have left behind or even simply cooking food. He has NEVER shown any signs of targeting my 3 and 4 yr old but I'm worried it could get to that point. We are very careful as far where the other animals and kids are in relation to him and food.
So, with all that being said, what do you charge for on line/ over the phone sessions and how does that work? I'm not very computer/internet literate and only have my phone (no computer).” Kate
This was Kate’s first message. I knew it was a difficult situation because food aggression can have multiple roots, and there were many dogs and children involved.
The good thing, Kate had experience with dogs and she was open to listen to my suggestion.
Next day I got this message:
“Hi Roman! I just wanted to thank you for everything! Our talk last night both assured that some of my thoughts as to why this was happening were right as well as opened my eyes to some of my mistakes in handling it. I LOVE being a mom and wouldn't change that for the world but Larry's issues made me realize that when I became a mom to my human children, I put so much into them that I truly lost a piece of myself. Our chat has sparked something in me to find that again. And I have my dog Larry to thank for that. We started fresh today and not on lash out. I know I have a long road ahead of me but I'm excited to grow my relationship not only with Larry, but with myself. After all, if I can't trust myself, how can he (or anyone else) trust me? I've listened to the recording and will continue to refer back to it. After a long discussion with my husband, we unfortunately simply can not afford the package sessions at this time and will re-evaluate our budget after the holidays. In the mean time I truly appreciate you chatting with me last night and offering the er group beyond what words or money can say. I believe that god makes no mistakes and that Larry was placed with us for a reason-part of doing for me is doing for dogs, my first love, my passion. So again, thank you!!!!” Kate
That did not stop there.
I have tons of videos and documents that I’ve written over the years (book is coming soon, thanks to my wife Barbara who is putting them together and does the editing) also at that time I had online Workshop coming up so I invited them to join.
This is what I got next on my facebook reviews:
“Roman was able to open my eyes and look at things differently. I had successfully rehabbed many food aggressive dogs in the past, but Larry was different. A couple of things Roman explained and I did/do are:
1: I mid-day healthy snack
2: I stood there monitoring, and I make sure the other animals give him his space so that he doesn’t feel the need to defend himself
3: relationship building with Larry (basic obedience with positive reinforcement individually, then add one dog at a time)
We went from multiple daily incidences to Zero meal related incidences and a handful of other food (treats, crumbs the kids left behind, etc.) incidences in months.”
Kate Wento Saugerties, New York
Roman Gottfried is an internationally renowned Holistic Dog Training and Dog/Human Relationship Coach. He works with dog parents worldwide to help their dogs reach their full potential, by teaching them the holistic philosophy of creating a healthy relationship with their dog. He sees clients both online and in-person in Phoenix, Arizona.
Visit www.holisticdogtraining.org/onlinetraining for more information or to schedule an appointment.