Ace is a wonderful dog, but he has always had a huge problem of guarding his raw dinner from other animals. At one point it had vanished, and he was able to share a meaty bone with the cats. He's never guarded from humans, and I am very thankful for that. I've hand-fed him from the start, and I think it has paid off - I can pick the food right out of his mouth and he won't say a thing.
But now, his guarding against other animals is back full force, and what's worse is that his behaviour terrifies Lady. Border Collies are a sensitive breed, not in a weak way, but they pick up noises quite acutely and are definitely not one for tussling. Ace has never drawn blood or nicked skin when he gets into a scuffle, but the frequency of his losing control is going up at a scary rate. Before he'd only guard after he'd smelled and licked his dinner. These days, though, he is guarding from the moment he sees me heading towards the freezer where I keep the meat and bones. Ace becomes extremely anxious and starts to pace, panting, tail erect, and eyes wide open. I know that it's uncomfortable for him, too, to live in a state of near-panic when it comes to his food.
So, despite the tremendous benefits (in my opinion) of his raw diet, I have decided I'll be going back to kibble. Ace has never guarded it, as it's fairly low-value as far as food goes, and I hope that this behaviour dissipates entirely. I plan on giving both him and Lady raw chicken necks bi-weekly for tooth cleaning purposes, but I guess I'll be saying goodbye to the microscopic, odourless poops and possibly his utter lack of shedding.
But it's for the best. I refuse to live in a house where my animals are rendered unhappy or anxious. And kibble has come a long way, and I have a great supplier for my favourite brand. It's just so unfortunate to have to give up raw, when I had so much fun planning meals and keeping track of his figure!