One of the more serious issues a dog owner can experience is dog food aggression. When a canine is food aggressive, they will become aggressive towards any humans or other animals in the household that get near their food. This aggressiveness can, in some instances, lead to the animal attacking and biting those that violate it food space. As an owner, you will need to deal with this issue immediately, before it escalates.
What causes a dog to become food aggressive? In most cases, Rover feels that he is the Alpha Dog, or the leader of the pack. You are not only threatening his food, but also his status as the alpha. He naturally reacts to this by becoming aggressive. If you wish to coexist peacefully with your dog, you will need to take him down a notch or two in the household pecking order. Simply put: You will need to teach him who’s boss.
What can you do about dog food aggression?
Before we get into that, let’s look at the reasons your canine seems to have food aggression, and what is going through his head:
1. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in a dog’s life, and they are basically scavengers, so his instinct may be taking over and telling him that he may not get another meal. His instinct tells him to make sure that he gets all of this one. Alphas don’t share their meals.
2. He is confused about who the leader in the household is. As I stated above, he believes that he is the alpha, and he believes that the humans in the household are subordinate.
3. You’re the person who is always taking the “good stuff” away, and he may have stopped looking at you as the food provider.
What are the Dog Food Aggression Training techniques?
Before I list the training techniques for dog food aggression, please remember that if you feel physically threatened by your dog, you should call a professional trainer to help you with this.
Here is a list of training techniques which should help your dog overcome her food aggression problem. You can do these in any order, all of them, or only one or two of them. Your goal here is to recondition your dog. You only need to use what works for you and your dog.
1. find the distance from his bowl that your dog is comfortable with, then gradually reduce this distance. Toss a few treats near him as you slowly reduce the distance.
2. When your dog is eating, call him over, and when he gets to you reward him. Make it worth his while then let him go back to the food bowl.
3. Drop a few of your dog’s favorite treats into her bowl each time you walk past it. After a while of doing this she will welcome the sight of you approaching the bowl.
4. Hand feed your dog. Eventually you should even be able to stick your hands into your his bowl while he is eating without any sign of aggression.
5. Stroke and pet her while she is eating and at the same time talk to her in a calming tone. All you are doing at this point is showing your dog that it is a good thing for you to be around.
6. Put your dogs bowl down empty. After the initial shock, she will be begging for you to fill it.
Using some, or all of these techniques should cure any dog food aggression problem that your canine may have. As stated above, it is important to enlist the help of professional trainer if you feel physically threatened.