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how to stop food aggression in dogs

    Like all pets, Dogs are territorial, especially regarding meals.

    Dogs afflicted by food aggression show signs of concern about their food. This could be an issue due to a variety of reasons. People living with the dog may risk getting bit, which can cause your dog to become obsessed with other aspects of their lives.

    There are ways to manage dog aggression with food by adequately training the dog and controlling your dog’s behavior. It is also possible to take steps to stop it completely. Find out more.

    What is Food Aggression?

    The concept of food aggression can be described as a type of resource protection in which dogs become territorial over their food. Dogs may exhibit aggression towards food or become agitated over food items for various reasons, including displaying dominance or anxiety about animals or humans eating their food.

    Whatever the cause, food aggression can cause your dog to devour their food or even bite out to guard their food. The urges may stem from the instincts of dogs, and all dogs can show the same behavior, according to the professional Animal trainer and TV Show Joseph Silverman, the host of Joel Silverman.

    “I’ve seen it with just about every breed,” Silverman declares. “Dogs who are more reactive or have a high prey drive are more likely to exhibit indicators of guarding their resources. But, it could occur with all dogs.”

    One of the most effective ways to stop these behaviors is to avoid causing trouble for your dog during meals. But there are times that you’ll need to take care to address the possibility of reactive behavior or aggression issues. We’ll discuss how to spot these types of behavior and how you can take action to address the issue.

    What’s Going On?

    When you’re able to rehabilitate a food-aggressive dog, two aspects take place. One is that you’re desensitizing your dog so that she doesn’t be opposed to anyone approaching her when she’s eating. In addition, you’re counter-conditioning your dog by training her to associate anyone who comes near her bowl with good things.

    There are a variety of other strategies you can use to decrease food aggression or prevent it from occurring. As with all things, the most important thing is always to remain confident, calm, and persistent.

    The phrase “food aggression” can be false because many assume it is a sign of dominance, and it’s better to view it as resource security. Humans have to establish our role as the Pack leaders and show our dogs that there is no reason for them to protect their food items from us.

    What Causes Food Aggression in Dogs?

    Your dog may show signs of aggression towards food for different reasons. It could be because your dog was competing with their food at an animal shelter or another household with the resources to do so. In this kind of situation, food-related aggression is an acquired behavior, possibly starting as early as the time your dog was a puppy if your dog was a product of an animal shelter where they were likely to contend with some food.

    Sometimes, dogs are initially content with their food but become aggressive later. This can be due to a challenging event like being abandoned, losing their person, being abused, or even being involved in the course of a dog fight.

    What is resource protection?

    The practice of protecting resources that were passed down through evolution from the wolves that ruled the world’s ancestors. When predators had a rate of about 5 percent, each piece of scrap was valued. So, they evolved to safeguard each food and the “resource” they gathered.

    The most important aspect of the term “resource guarding” is that it defines the defensive or protective nature of anything they consider worth their weight in gold and not only food items!

    As dogs typically guard items they believe to be “valuable,” the items may vary.

    How To Stop Food Aggression in Dogs

    If they discover that your method is suitable, they’ll be delighted to have you on their radar.

    Follow These Steps:

    Begin by walking alongside your dog’s food bowl and throw a treat in their mouth without stopping. Please make this a minimum of one to two times throughout a meal, and do not do it each time your dog eats. Doing too much can cause a dog to become angry similar to how you experience in a restaurant when the waiter refills your glass after each sip.

    If your dog starts to gaze up in anticipation when you come to close the dog, they’re ready to take the next step, which is to move towards the dog, then stop, throw the treat, and leave.

    The next step is to go to the bowl and throw in the treat before stepping away.

    The final step is to take the bowl, place some extra treats, and then hand it to your dog before you walk away. It can take anywhere from some days to a few weeks to go through each step.

    How to Stop Food Aggression in Dogs: How Long Does It Take?

    It’s all dependent upon the animal’s age. A puppy is taught quickly that there is no need to be a food narcissist. It usually only lasts one or two days.

    A more recent one is a different story. If their mistake wasn’t rectified, correcting it requires considerable time. The weeks or months could pass through here.

    Important: it is essential to train your dog by going to their bowl, refilling it, or by adding treats. Be sure that you make it as regular as you can.


    The tendency of puppies to guard their food is normal behavior, but it’s not desirable! It is crucial to prevent the puppy from displaying food-related guards before it becomes an issue. If you’re having trouble with this, your vet can refer you to a behavioralist. Do not be afraid to ask for help. It’s crucial to address the issue quickly before the problem can get worse.

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