How to Break a Dog of Food Aggression

 

Food aggression is your dog’s way of protecting its food and toys and it will act aggressively if it thinks someone is about to steal its belongings. Thus, you need to train and condition your dog to understand that if you are coming near its food or when it is eating, it need not feel threatened. On the contrary, your presence might mean that more of its favorite food or toys are coming its way.

 

  • Begin by adding treats to its bowl when its eating so that it becomes comfortable with your presence.
  • Next, take away the bowl but let it watch while you add more food into it.
  • You could also present food toys and then help your dog get the food out.
  • Teach your dog to wait for food until the bowl is set down in front of it. You could command it to sit or lie down, take away the food and then bring it back with an added treat.
  • If your dog does not have a history of biting you, you could teach it to take food from your hand gently. This helps you create a bond with it since it views you as a source of food. Handling it and teaching obedience also becomes easier.
  • Feeding your dog by hand actually teaches it not to bite you because the hand becomes associated with a source of food and is thus friendly.
  • Another important lesson you need to teach your dog is to let of things. For instance, train it to “Drop!” things by holding a favorite treat next to its muzzle and offering to exchange the object it is holding with the treat. After some time, your dog will learn to let go of anything, including food when asked to “Drop!”
  • If you have guests coming over, ask them to feed your dog with its favorite treats so it does not feel threatened by their presence. But it is always advisable to keep your dog leashed if it is known to bite strangers.