In a previous article we talked about the study that showed how dogs are pro-social beings and how they share and give without return. In this article we will shed more light on the dogs who don’t share, more specifically dogs who don’t share food and how we can improve their behavior.
Dogs who don’t share food are known to have some kind of food aggression. In most cases food aggression happens due to dominance while in other rare cases it is due to fear and anxiety. Food aggression has three levels; mild, moderate and severe. Growling and showing teeth presents a mild level, snapping presents a moderate level and biting shows a severe level.
How to stop the food aggression?
- Be consistent
Food aggression as we said can be due to fear or anxiety that they won’t receive their next meal. Dogs have an internal clock so be consistent in the times that you serve their meals. Find out the importance of a daily routine in your dog’s life.
- Eat first and then serve
A golden rule that you must follow is that leaders do things first. So if you are eating at about the same time, make sure that your dog sees that you are eating before he/she is served. This way your dog will see you as a leader. Find out more ways to show your dog who’s boss.
- Hand feed your dog
A great way to make your dog feel that you are the source of his meal is by feeding him/her by your hand. Of course, don’t do this all the time, only on occassional basis.
- Treat distraction
After serving your dog his meal, approach him, if he starts to growl throw him a treat to take his focus from the meal. Your dog will learn by this that he won’t lose his meal if you approach him.
Food aggression can be a real problem especially if you have children around, so make sure that you treat the problem before it worsens.