Food aggression should NEVER be tolerated. Fact is, your dog does not respect you. Your puppy or dog, must respect ALL humans as Alpha. As such, humans ALWAYS have the right to give and take away food. If your puppy or dog growls or snaps at you while they are eating, he sees you as a subordinate, he is warning you to stay away from his food. This assertiveness may lead to aggression, if tolerated, or when excuses are made.
The best way to establish your leadership, is to get your puppy or dog, into a positive reinfocement, punishment-free obedience training. There YOU will learn how to become ALPHA! You will elevate yourself in your dog’s mind.
While your puppy is still young and impressionable, establish and reinforce your Alpha status by going near their food while they are eating. Mix their food by hand. By doing so, you are putting your scent on their food. You are showing you have provided the food. You are showing them as Alpha, you have the right to first pick. Pick up their bowl, put their bowl down, move their bowl around. As Alpha, that is your right. Make them “earn” their meal by following through on a command such as “SIT”, “DOWN”, “COME:, “STAY”, etc.
If your puppy or dog shows signs of aggression, nip it in the bud IMMEDIATELY!
- Feed the most aggressive dog last.
- Feed him AFTER you have eaten
- Make them “earn” their meals by following a command before putting the food down
- Mix their food by hand
- Feed them by hand, chunk by chunk – so he associates yours is the hand that feeds him – your scent on the food, will make him think you have eaten first.
- If they feed too aggressively…STOP!
- Make them wait for each mouthful, feed them slowly.
Once you are comfortable with your new ALPHA status and your dog’s obedience level; BEFORE you put the food down make your dog “SIT-STAY”.
If he doesn’t follow your command, put the food up. Walk away. Come back in a few minutes, give the command again…Repeat as necessary. PUT THE FOOD DOWN, ONLY AFTER YOUR DOG FOLLOWS YOUR COMMAND.
While your dog is eating, every now and then, pass by and drop a tasty morsel of something they REALLY like, into their bowl. Even when they are not eating, toss a treat into their bowl, so he makes the association, people near his bowl, is a good thing.
ALWAYS BE FAIR, BE FIRM, BE CONSISTENT!