What is food aggression?
Food aggression is a common form of resource defense in which dogs become extremely defensive when eating. Dogs often use browbeats such as growling to scare others from eating. This type of aggression occurs in 20% of the offspring and can be directed at other animals, humans or both. The term “aggression” can be misleading, because many people assume that this is due to domination. However, your dog is simply protecting what is important to her.

There are three different degrees of food aggression:

Gentle: your dog growls and may show teeth.
Moderate: Your dog rushes or rushes forward when you approach him.
Severe: Your dog bites anyone who approaches his food.

Hungry dog with sad eyes is waiting for feeding in home kitchen. Cute labrador retriever is holding dog bowl in his mouth.


Signs of aggression in dogs
While some dogs eat fast because they just like the food, others do it because they are afraid that someone will take food from them. When dogs suffering from food aggression eat, their body becomes very stiff and they can keep their heads down. It’s a way of using body language to “hover” over food and protect it.

Also watch for the visible white part of your dog’s eyes, the lowered tail or the raised fur on the back. Fido can also growl or bite if they are approached while eating.

How to stop food aggression in dogs
First of all, evaluate your dog’s behavior as a whole. Are they just storing their food? Or do they also protect toys, places of recreation or even your family members? If the behavior extends beyond food, there is a good chance that they demonstrate an overall protection of resources.

You also need to understand his personality type. If your dog is dominant in nature, you will have to declare yourself as a pack leader. If they are shy and submissive, you will have to carefully increase their confidence to turn the meal into a pleasant activity.

1. Be consistent
Sometimes food aggression occurs because your dog does not know when and where his next meal will come from. Feeding them at a specific time each day can partly relieve their anxiety.

2. The pack leaders eat first.
In the wild, alpha dogs are the first to eat after a big hunt. In your home, never feed a dog before or at the same time as people’s food. They still need to be fed after that.

3. Make them work for it.
Always feed your dog after a walk. This body activity corresponds to their foraging instinct, so that they will feel like they deserve their food when you return from a walk. You can also try asking your dog to sit down or stay away from the room while you prepare food for her, and ask her to wait until you turn the bowl down before leaving it next to the food. As with any other form of behavioral learning, rewarding your little one with treats works wonders.

A woman’s hand holds a bowl with dog food. American Cocker Spaniel is waiting for food.

How to curb food aggression towards other dogs
To prevent food aggression towards other dogs, you should always provide different bowls for different pets, especially when new pets appear in the house. It is also recommended to feed the dogs in different rooms of your house if they are experiencing food aggression. Make sure that your dogs are eating the best food for them and consider changing their food if you are worried that they are not getting the food they need.

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