Table of Contents
What are the causes of food aggression in dogs and what can we do to stop it from happening?
The very nature of the canine mind is to hunt and protect what they have hunted. In a pack, the dog who gets the most “wins”. They grow bigger and stronger.
It makes sense that your pet may show some sort of defensive posturing when he feels his food is in danger!
While it isn’t necessarily unusual, if left unchecked, food aggression can certainly lead to a serious issue.
Food Aggression in Dogs - The Basics
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we know what food aggression is.
If a dog becomes very defensive when eating and uses threats to force others away, you can safely bet you’re dealing with a case of food aggression.
Most people assume that a dog that is protective of his food is asserting dominance. This is true in some cases, but not all. Food aggression may also stem from a feeling of anxiety or fearfulness.
There are some physical signs to watch out for when your dog is eating:
So, now that we have identified what you’re dealing with, we can move on to what to do about it!
Fixing Food Aggression
If your dog seems stressed or refuses food at any point in these interventions, seek the help of a professional.
This also goes for any time in the process that your dog stops making progress.
It is also important that you never yell, hit, or physically restrain your pet when they display aggression-it will only make things worse!
If your dog is showing defensiveness around food, don’t allow children to participate in or be in the vicinity of the dog as you work through these training measures.
Be Patient and Be Consistent
With some patience and consistency, you can turn your dog’s defensive behavior around.
A dog who is allowed to guard his food can eventually turn into a dog who is aggressive about anything he sees as “his”!
This can extend beyond food and toys to even guarding his people.
Your dog can be your best friend-you want him to be as happy, healthy, and secure as he can be!
He’d do the same for you!