Stop dog food aggression
Stop dog food aggression
If you put food to your dog and he growls or snaps at you, this is called food aggression or food guarding. This can have serious consequences for your relationship with the dog, as well as his relationship with you and your family.
Often this canned behavior must be trained by the animal or it will go on indefinitely. Dogs have an instinctive need to keep food there. In most cases, this does not manifest itself, because the dog trusts its master first of all. However, sometimes this instinct manifests itself in dogs and can be a danger to you and your family if left alone. What the dog needs to learn is that he should not be threatened by you when it’s time to eat.
If you are angry or aggressive in your training habits when you are teaching your dog food aggression, then he may have a tendency to become aggressive back, hindering the training process. Hitting or using a leash to pull the dog away from his food during these periods of aggression can make him even more agitated and can become dangerous for both of you.
Food aggression will not disappear overnight, but with continued patience and work with the animal, the problem can be resolved. Routine is the best solution to this problem. Using certain stimuli that tell the dog it’s time to eat and there’s no need to be anxious or nervous is the key. During this routine, make sure there are no distractions such as children or other animals in the room. Another passing animal or passing child can become an instant step back while you train for food aggression.
As you prepare to feed the dog, tell him to sit. Make him wait for you to put the food. He must learn that you are the master and he must wait for you. If you can get him to start eating with just a voice command, then that’s a great step, although it might be too much for some at first. If you are training a puppy, it will be a little easier because while he is eating, walk him, pet him and praise him. If he growls, pet him and tell him you won’t take his food. For a week or two, work only on these steps. For older dogs, try dropping him a treat or treat as a reward—treats that taste better than his dog food. By doing this, he will learn that people passing him is a good thing.
This is a good starting point. Other steps can be implemented along the way, but this foundation is what you want to build on. By progressing slowly, before long food aggression is no longer a problem.
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