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Tips for food aggression in your dog

Aggression around food and other possessions can be a major problem in dogs. These dogs are extremely possessive about their food bowl or toys and they will desperately protect them. Read all about how to combat such behaviour here.

When are you dealing with aggression around food or other possessions?

When your dog is aggressively protecting its food bowl, toys or basket, you are dealing with aggression around food or other possessions. When you try to approach its food bowl or toys, it will growl, snap or even bite. As a dog owner, you need to be mindful of this behaviour and try to prevent or correct it as early as possible.

How to prevent food aggression?

The problem often arises at a young age. That is why it is wise to be mindful of this when the dog is still a pup. Make sure it understands that people are not a threat to its food source, but actually are the ones providing it. Do this by adding something extra tasty to the food bowl sometimes while the dog is already eating. Another option is to feed the dog kibble by hand before putting it in the bowl. This will teach the dog that your hand is not a threat.

How to solve food aggression?

When adopting an older dog, you may find that the problem has already manifested itself. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of aggression around food or other possessions. Put your dog in front of an empty food bowl, fill it with some food and encourage the dog to eat it with a sweet, positive voice. Keep repeating this step to show your dog that your hand is not a threat, but rather the supplier of the good stuff.

Eliminating aggression around possessions

When your dog is protective about its toys or basket, it is smart to teach it the ‘let go’ command, so it learns to let go of its toys. Teaching it how to fetch can also prove a solution to this problem.

General tips:

If you can’t fix the problem on your own, hire a dog trainer. Puppy training will also teach you how to handle unwanted behaviour. The most important this is to keep rewarding positive behaviour and ignoring negative behaviour. Patience is the key to success!

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