How to Manage Food Aggression?

March 11, 2020
• Updated 4 years ago
• 2 min read

What is food aggression?

Food aggression is a form of resource guarding. Some dogs have a stronger desire to protect their food as they regard it as key to their survival. Hence when a hooman sticks out a hand or approaches them, or a friendly dog walks towards them, the self protective furkid may get the impression that their food may be at risk. Thus these dogs may react angrily and bark (or worse, tries to bite!) to defend their bowl. It can be a headache for some pet owners, if their dog snaps at people when eating. 😣 Imagine not being able to clean the bowl surroundings when your dog is eating, or unable to add new food when it is in the midst of eating. 😥

Can I manage my dog's food aggression?

The good thing is you can try to train your dog to manage this behaviour better. There may not ever be a complete solution to this, but you can certainly try to tone it down.

However this takes quite a bit of time and patience. And it requires discipline from you, the owner.

Ways to manage your dog's food aggression

Here's some tips to try to manage your dog (if you already have a furkid with food aggression):

1) Use reward-based training.
Try tossing a treat into your dog's bowl when it is eating, as you are approaching. This is to associate people getting near as a positive.

2) Don't give your dog a reason to resource guard!
If your dog does not even have a reason to guard its food, why will it be aggressive? This means, keep feeding to a strict location, only make the food bowl accessible during meal times, and don't feed freely! No food, no angry! 😡🙅‍♀️

3) If there are more than 1 dog, don't share bowls, and keep each bowl exclusive.
This means keep feeding to a strict location, only make the food bowl accessible during meal times, and no disturbance during mealtime! This way, your dog will have no reason to get wary. And this may slowly become a way of life for your furkid.

4) Feed chews and treats safely and carefully.
Make sure treats and chews are given in a safe, gradual condition and don't let your dog feel threatened and must finish the food fast. Slow and steady. 🙌

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