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Dog Food Aggression

How To Stop It


Dog food aggression is when your dog gets aggressive any time you take his food away from him, go near his food, or even go near him while he's eating. He may just stiffen up, curl his lip, growl, snarl, snap at you or actually bite you depending on how aggressive he is about his food. What he's doing is guarding his food, not unlike what he would do in the wild to keep from starving, if other animals tried to take his food away from him. He's also showing dominance since he believes that he is the alpha and that you don't have the right to take his food away, even though you were the one who gave it to him. To help cure his dominant behavior, make sure that you and your family eat first. Don't let him have anything from the table while you're eating. Dog food aggression is a behavior that must be corrected before someone gets bitten, especially if there are children in the household.


The best way to correct dog food aggression is to prevent it from developing in the first place.  This is done by taking his food away from him, giving him praise for letting you do it, then giving his food back to him with an extra treat in it. This gives your dog the idea that your taking his food away is a good thing, because he gets praise and a treat. You can also go by his bowl while he's eating and drop a treat in it so that he knows some thing good is going to happen if you go by is bowl. Start doing this once every few days and slowly increase the interval to once a week. If your dog accepts your taking his food away from him you only have to do it once in a while to remind him.


If your dog is already aggressive when you try to take his food away, you have to start much more slowly. It will take some work on your part and a lot of patience, but it can be done. If you don't want to do it yourself, you can go to an animal behaviorist or a good dog trainer. But it's dangerous if you don't get the behavior corrected.


Here's how to correct dog food aggression by yourself.

If you feed your dog dry kibble, start by feeding him a handful of kibble at a time from your hand. Tell him he's a good boy for eating from your hand. After the first handful, wait a few seconds before you give him the second one. Then give him the third one, one handful at a time until he has eaten the normal amount that he usually gets. You can put a treat in with the last few handfuls. His food bowl should be out of his sight. What you're doing is showing him that his food comes from you and you are in control of it, not him.  Feed your dog that way for about a week. Keep giving him praise for eating out of your hand.


After he gets used to eating from your hand, put a handful of kibble into his bowl, but you hold it while he eats it. Then, put more in his bowl and hold it while he eats it. After a few days of that, or until he gets used to that, take the bowl away from him before he finishes what's in it. If he stays calm when you do this, give him praise and then give his bowl back to him with a treat in it. This gives him the idea that your taking the bowl away from him is a good thing. If he still shows some aggressiveness when you take his bowl away wait until he calms down. Then give him some praise and his bowl back with a treat. This teaches him that you have control over his food and that aggression on his part doesn't work. He only gets his food when he doesn't show aggression.


The next step is for you to put his empty bowl down and drop some kibble in it while you're standing next to his bowl. Let him eat what you put in his bowl, then give him some praise, and drop some more kibble in his bowl.  When he finishes eating that, drop the rest of his normal ration into his bowl. Before he finishes it, take his bowl away from him and hold it. If he stays calm, give him more praise and give him back his bowl with a treat in it. Continue to feed him this way until you can take his food away from him without any problem. You don't have to give him a treat every time you give him back his food, but you do have to praise him every time he lets you take his food away without a problem.


For dog food aggression or any other aggression problem, it is very important that you establish yourself as the alpha of the pack. The pack consists of you, your dog, and any member of your family. Your dog must be made to realize that he's lowest in the pack hierarchy. To learn how to do that, go to http://trainyourfirstdog.com/alpha-dog-training.html






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