Food Possessive Dog

How to Stop Your Dog From Being Food Possessive


When a dog shows aggression to protect his food, it can lead to serious issues. There is the danger of other dogs or humans in the house being bitten, and it can result in the dog displaying possessiveness over everything.


Signs
When a possessive dog is eating, his will stiffen body, and he may keep his head down. He is using body language to hover over and protect the meal. Other signs include rising hackles, seeing the whites of his eyes, lowering his tail, or holding his ears back. Severe symptoms include biting, lunging, or growling.

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Tips
Once you’ve determined the level of severity of food aggression, you’re can start correcting the behavior. Here are some approaches to try:

  1. Be consistent. If the root of your dog’s food aggression is anxiety or fear over when the next meal will come, feed your dog consistently at the same time every day.
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  2. Make him work for his food. Train your dog to stay after you set the food bowl down. Then stand close to the food as you release him from the stay and he begins eating. At this point, you can then move away.
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  3. Pack leaders eat first. Never feed your dog before or during your meals. You should eat first and when you're finished, feed your dog. This will reinforce your status as the pack leader.
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  4. Win the bowl. If you back away from the food bowl, you can worsen the food aggression. However, you can recondition your dog to learn that he wins the food when he lets you come near him while eating.

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There are many other techniques you can use to reduce food possessiveness. However, for severe cases of food aggression, begin by consulting a professional until you can get your dog's possessiveness down to a manageable level.
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