Just like any other pet, dogs can be possessive, especially when it is about their food. The worry is when the dog shows aggression to protect their food, and in turn, becomes cautious about everything they possess. In such a situation, it is essential to learn how you can stop food aggression in dogs because if you have more than one dog, food sharing can become a serious issue. Many dogs start to bark and fight, not letting the other one come near to their food. Food aggression in dogs can be mild, which involves growling, and in severe situations, it can be dog bites.
Hence it is essential to recognize and manage food aggression in your canine. So if you are worried about how to stop food aggression in your dog towards other dogs this article will be of immense value to you.
Socialization with other dogs
Insecurity plays an important part in producing food aggression among dogs. When a dog is young, it is important to expose them to new situations and let them play with other dogs. This process is called puppy socialization, which helps them prepare for different ways of the world. Puppies should start socializing from three weeks of their age. Also, make sure that your dog socializes with other dogs of different sizes and breeds.
Conditioning of dog’s behavior
It is important to change the emotional reaction of the dog while the other dog is approaching their food. Firstly Dog ‘X’ should feel good, while Dog ‘Y’ is being fed so that Dog ‘X’ feels happy rather than feeling protective about his food. For this, manage the food timings of Dog X and Y. Keep the two dogs at a distance and immediately serve food one after another. Practiced this method regularly until Dog ‘Y’ happily waits for Dog ‘X’ to complete the food.
Separating the dogs while eating
As a pet parent, you should keep your dogs with utmost care so it does not feel the need to protect their food. In addition, you must ensure that each dog is well fed at all times to a fulfilling level. Secondly, you should serve your dogs in separate parts of the room. In the worst-case scenario, keep the dogs in separate parts of the house if they are unable to tolerate each other in the same area. Mostly, the case is that increasing distance between the dogs will help in defining the intensity of their behaviors.
In this way, the dogs won’t find the purpose of protecting their food and not going after someone else’s food. So, it is advisable not to remove the dog’s food bowl, even if they have finished it.
Altering the emotional reaction of dogs
In this case, it is important to change the emotional response of the dog towards other dogs. It is when the dog feels that the approach or the appearance of the other dog towards them can lead to a wonderful experience. The reaction of the dog shouldn’t be ‘Oh no, this dog will take my bone away’. The reaction should rather be ‘Oh yes, the other dog should be near to me so that I would be treated’. This conditioning will yield positive results from the other dogs.
Ending resource guarding in dogs
Sometimes resource guarding can become a serious issue in houses with multiple dogs. These types of dogs create situations that are dangerous to the surrounding others. However, you can handle the issue of resource guarding in a number of ways.
It is important that we write down the behavior of our dog with the other dogs around it. Also, to notice when and where is the dog exhibiting resource (food) guarding. This information will help you tackle the problem easily.
Firstly, keep the two dogs (Dog ‘X’ and Dog ‘Y’) in a single room. Bring Dog ‘X’ closer to Dog ‘Y’, and praise Dog ‘X’ before it starts to react aggressively. This will be useful as Dog ‘X will see that it is getting too much praise and food while Dog ‘Y’ approaches nearer to it. When Dog ‘X’ will see a positive response every time, then the owner of the dogs will start reducing the distance between dogs. Every positive reaction from the dogs will result in the difference between the two dogs to reduce.
Food aggression should be tackled because it is a serious issue. Changing the negative behavior of a dog requires a lot of dedication and patience. Puppy socialization is an integral stage. These early years will strengthen the behavior of the dog and later on in life, it will become less possessive of its dog food.