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Here are five exercises to do to help fix mild cases of food aggression in dogs. Food aggression is a lack of trust. The dog thinks that you are going to take away his/her food and guards it. It is best to deal with this problem in the beginning to prevent it from getting worse. You can use clicker training to build a positive association with you being around your dog’s food.
Here is a list of the 5 exercises demonstrated in the video:
1) Ask for tricks and behaviors
2) Hand feeding
3) Trade game
4) Dropping treat in bowl while passing by
5) Handling exercise
Note: Be cautious when practicing exercises 3 and 4. Putting your hands near a dog with food aggression can be dangerous. Use good judgement and don’t push the limits.
Caution: These exercises may not be safe to do with dogs who have more extreme cases of food aggression. Always be careful when working with a dog with food aggression. For more serious cases, contact a professional.
Never punish your dog for showing aggression in any way. Over time, punishing your dog can result in a dog who doesn’t show warning signs before biting creating a dog who is very dangerous to be around. It also creates fear and doesn’t actually solve the behavior.
I have a movie on my main YT channel, ClickerPets, that may also help with mild cases of food aggression. It is a fun, mentally stimulating puzzle game that involves the dog’s meal. It is called the Triple Cup Kibble Challenge. Here is the link:
When you don’t have time to work with your dog during his/her meal, you can use prevention so your dog doesn’t end up showing aggression and practicing this behavior. Here are some tips:
1) Feed your dog little amounts throughout the day
2) Give your dog a Kong with his/her food in it
3) If you have a young puppy, take away his/her food and give it back with something better, like cream cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese – this creates a positive response in the beginning, setting a good foundation and preventing food aggression
4) With very young puppies, dangle your hand in their food. Do not use this techinque for dogs who already have food aggression
5) Make a “Peanut Butter Cup” for your dog. Click the video link below to see how you can make one for your dog:
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.