Tips n’ Tricks ~ Food Aggression

What is food aggression? Food aggression is when your dog shows signs of aggression while eating food, treats or even playing with toys (toys are like treats). These signs are growling, biting, and/or barking at anyone who comes near their food or treats. Also watch for body language. If you know your dog, then you should recognize the different body language when they are eating.

Does your dog have food aggression? This can be a serious issue and can be quite scary. Some dogs are worse than others and may need professional help. But there is hope!

First, I would like to give some tips on how to prevent food aggression and how to resolve minor food aggression issues (They are protective over their food but not necessarily showing signs of biting or aggression). In my personal experience, and from stories I’ve heard from others, you want to start making your puppy/dog comfortable with you being around their food and treats from the very beginning. You want them to trust you. To do this, I recommend starting a routine and teaching them sit, stay, and go. Have them sit before placing their food in front of them, stay while setting their bowl down and they cannot eat until you say “go”.  This will let them know that you are the one giving them their food and that you are the boss. Pet your puppy/dog while they are eating and give sweet talks. Rub their head, neck and legs. I also put my hand in their bowl and move it around and then pet them some more. Do this at every feeding even just for a second. Hand feeding is also a great idea, especially if they are already showing some signs of aggression. Just simply feed them one piece at a time and always hand feed your treats. This will let them know that you are their provider. With toys, I recommend always being involved in their play time. Let them know that you are fun and you aren’t going steal their precious friend.

As for those of you who might have some serious aggression problems, check out these websites I found. They give some great tips and can help you on your journey to resolve your doggo’s food aggression! Good luck to you!