Food Agressive Problem

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Tâmara Vaz, May 27, 2012.

  1. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    Hey guys,
    I'm having trouble with food agression here.:cry:
    She isn't aggressive with the daily meal in the bowl, BUT she is occasionally aggressive with "rare good food". And absolutely not agressive with treats!
    She already bit me two times:
    1. She runned to eat cat food, she isn't supposed to eat it. So I was going to take her out of the bowl then she bit my foot! I was surprised and was firm on my voice:"What do you think you're doing????"

    2.We were in farm and someone of my family put milk on her bowl. She was eating it when I closed to take her collar off then she bit my arm!!I was voice firm again...

    I know she bites, because she thinks I'm going to take the food away and on th first case it was true! On other situations she's soooo sweet!:)

    It's difficulty to cause this kind of situation to train purposes, but what can you suggest?:(
    MaryK and tigerlily46514 like this.

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    So actually she only bites you, when SHE thinks she is eating something, she's not supposed to...
    Gotta think about that one.

    By the way, this is why my cat eats ON the kitchentable:D My dogs will eat his food, so if I don't keep it out of reach, my cat won't get any food at all. And we're not using that table to eat at, anyway.
  3. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    I started working with the tips on the vid:
    I did it with milk and worked.

    BUT that's not a real situation she knows I'm training her...
  4. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Tamara --

    How are things going? Dogs are natural resource guarders, and really all family dogs should be worked with for this issue. If anyone reading this thinks their dog never guards, watch the body language -- does your dog eat faster when you approach? Stop eating and resume eating when you step away? Does your dog move around on the dog bed so her back is to you as she's chewing? These are all signs of resource guarding. Many dogs won't progress beyond this no matter what, but a good many dogs will increase their response (i.e. growl or further) when the resource is good enough. I remember my mom throwing a half shrimp to my childhood cat, and he ran under a chair in the corner and ate it while growling loudly :) He couldn't believe the good fortune of having a shrimp rain from the sky, and just *knew* everyone would be after it. My late dog growled at me over a marrow bone, about 6 months after I'd adopted him (knowing nothing about dogs) and my feelings were so hurt!

    To prevent resource guarding, you show your dog two related things:
    1- Your approach and proximity mean Good Things.
    2- If you take it, you give it back or give something even better.

    In your everyday life, you can do #1 just by approaching the dish and throwing in a spoonful of cat food, or a bit of bread, anything your dog loves. Don't do it repeatedly during a meal, as a concentrated exercise, but rather every other meal or so (vary it so it's not predictable). Other members of your household should take turns too. This is to show your dog that your approach is something to look forward to, not something she needs to be anxious about. The goal is to change how the dog feels i.e. anxiety over people being near food or coveted
    items, and that will change how the dog acts. You can do this if she is enjoying a treat/bone/Kong -- just drop a cat treat or something equivalent or better next to it as you pass by.

    For a careful explanation of the "exchange" idea (#2) see:

    For links to other resources:

    These pups are far along in their training programs for resource guarding, but
    you get the gist of the training:

    Jean Donaldson wrote a wonderful little book on this called "Mine!" . I don't know if it's available in your area? And watch out for some of the side links on the above youtube videos! Some very bad advice in those ...

    Your dog is only going to get bigger, stronger, and more confident, so I would work on this (with all family members) right away. If you get ANY sign of increasing aggression, back off both for safety and because it means you are going too fast. Remember, you are trying to change the way she feels, and if she feels more threatened, that's the opposite effect.

    Please let us know how it goes.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    great advice above.
    Tamara, so so so great that you are seeking a solution for your marvelous dog's issue there. Just curious, your dog doesn't get diarrhea, vomitting or gas from drinking cow or goat milk??
    Dogs don't really need milk, by the way. I'm not entirely convinced humans do, either, lol.
    MaryK, Dogster and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  6. sara Moderator

    I solved Boo's severe food aggression by doing almost everything in the first video, Tamara Vaz posted, exept the taking the bowl away and giving peanut butter. I NEVER take anything away from my dogs, so that if I ever HAVE to for safety reasons, it's not something they ever expect, and wont guard "just incase" I've only ever had to do it with Mouse... the little poop-head seems to be able to find a piece of kibble in a quarter section! I swear!
  7. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    Many thanks to you all!!
    Nothing bad has occured since I posted...

    Tigerlily: Nothing like that happens when she drinks milk, but it's really a rare occasion.;)
    Adriana & Calvin: Yes, she has some of this possesive behaviours with "good fortunes"...I'll sure do the exercises you advised, Thanks again!
    MaryK, Dogster and tigerlily46514 like this.
  8. Dogster Honored Member

    Yeah, I don't think dogs need milk. I don't like or drink milk myself (lactose intolerant)
    tigerlily46514 and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  9. GEORGE'SDAD Well-Known Member

    With all three dogs in my house, we work on food aggression every day. I walk up to each dog while eating and pet them, mess with their mouths, ears, face and food WHILE THEY ARE EATING!!! My brother takes it a step further with Kita, while she is eating, he will stop her by calling her over to him and pet her (she has a problem with eating too fast and vomiting). With George since he is so big, and we don't yet have an elevated food bowl for him, I actually hold his bowl while he eats. It actually worked out great that way because since he was a recent adoption, it helped him bond with me and learn to trust me!:p
    Tâmara Vaz, sara and Dogster like this.
  10. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    I had some situations where she would have showed "food aggression" behaviors, but she didn't. This problem has been solved thank you all!!!!!
    Dlilly and Dogster like this.
  11. Dlilly Honored Member

    I'm so happy for you!! :) I'm curious, which video helped you the most? I've discovered that Rory will guard bones/kong balls….
    Dogster and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  12. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    """"To prevent resource guarding, you show your dog two related things:
    1- Your approach and proximity mean Good Things.
    2- If you take it, you give it back or give something even better.""""""
    I think that's what most helped.
    Dogster likes this.
  13. Petlawn Member

    Its good to listen that your issue got solve but we need to be good with our pet... i was in this prob my pet was not having some avg food but whenever i was offering him a good food then he just aggressively having that but then i just behave with him in frankly nature and train him to take all kind of food..

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