Sunday, 20 January 2019 17:36

Stopping and Preventing Dog Food Aggression

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Stopping and Preventing Dog Food Aggression Stopping and Preventing Dog Food Aggression Stopping and Preventing Dog Food Aggression

What is dog food aggression? Well, people address this in various terms; some call it "resources guarding" some call it "canine possession aggression (CPA)". It's an aggressive behavior around their food, a domesticated dog often shows this behavior around their meal time. If you find your dog growling or snarling when someone get close to them during the meal time, then it is a food aggression.


But that's not always the case, in some lighter problem; the dog won't growl or snarl. They just raise the head up becoming cautiously freeze for sometime when she distracted. Some other signs they always try to eat their food as fast as possible, because she just afraid someone or something will "steal" her food.

The Reason
This behavior can occur in any dog, even with the well-behaved one. It is their natural instinct to guard their food, because that's the law in their wild life. The problem also often found on a dog that had some quite challenging "competition" during their puppy hood. The competition can come from their mum, or from other puppy.

How to Stop Dog Food Aggression
There are some ways to deal with this problem without getting your hand bitten. However if you want to test my method, you should have your dog trained to eat at scheduled time, the meal time schedule training is a part of my housebreaking training on "set up a routine" part. And here's a step by step tutorial on how I deal with dog food aggressions:

Bowl Placement
Bowl placement is important. Choose a quiet place where she didn't feel threatened. Such place will prevent stress and defensive behavior. If there is too much noise here, she'll assume like "someone is watching, they probably going to took my food away" this assumption or fear often lead into feast the food too fast or become overprotective with their food.

Introduce Yourself in Their Meal Time
This is another introduction for your puppy to accept human as a friend. The processes started by crating your dog few minutes before the meal time, then get the meal ready and put it in the selected place then bring your dog there with a leash.

But don't leave the room! Sit quietly close to her bowl. First she'll probably try to get closer to the food in cautious way. After she gets hungry, she'll eat it and let you sit close to her. Just don't stare at your dog's eye, just ignore her presence and wait. Don't try to make too much noise; a sound when you flip a news paper can get her nervous.

Touch Her
After a week or two she'll feel confident enough to let you touch her gently while eating. So give her a little touch, but don't surprise her. Just get closer and touch her like the way you usually did. This process would take a week or two.

Both introduction and touching is a part of training to make her thinks that human won't steal their food. So it's ok to let some human in her eating area.

Give Half Food but Feed Her Twice
Now after she trust human won't steal her food, it's time to make her thinks that there is plenty of food. This will break her fear of not getting enough food. Feed her with half amount of food, after she finishes it, let her see you fill the bowl again, and let her eat the other half. Do this training at least a week, depending on how confident you are regarding your dog's behavior, and you can choose to go to the next training stage later.

Feed Your Dog in Your Hand
This training require some guts from you, it'll be hard if you just too scare to do this. So if you already have previous "traumatic" event when you get closer to your dog while eating, this training will be hard. So be bold now!

Put a small amount of food in your hand and let her get it. Don't be afraid, she'll get cautious if you show the fear. If you treat your dogs right, then she'll love you, it's just her instinct to protect her food that often mislead her behavior. So put some trust to your dog, and do this!

She'll know that she didn't eat at the bowl, and eat on your hand. Her basic "love" instinct will guide her to eat the food a bit more careful not to let your hand bitten. So she won't do it too fast. Of course, your hand can't carry as much food as the bowl, so you need to this several times until she get her full portion.

Both giving half food twice and feeding with your hand will eliminate her fear of not getting enough food, and feeding with your hand has another extra effect to let her know how to slow down while eating.

Preventing the Food Aggression

Never Feed Your Dog in the Kitchen
It is very common that people feed their dog in the kitchen. They took the food from the cabinet, prepare it in the kitchen table with the bowl, and then just put the food right where they stand! It's not a good idea, kitchen or dinner room is a "noisy" place for a dog, they'll feel cautious and make them eat it as fast as they can to prevent someone steal the food.

Eat First, Then Feed Your Dog
Yes, you have to eat something first and let yo

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