How to Keep Your Dog from Food Guarding
Have you noticed that your dog is growling at you or at anyone who approaches its food? Is your dog possessive about its food or does it get angry when you go near while it’s holding a bone? If this is true, your dog may have issues with food that need to be addressed. If your dog is constantly food guarding, this can potentially lead to aggression. It is also called resource guarding.
The important thing to know is that this is common behavior for your pet and is something that can be changed. No matter how much we treat dogs as our family, they are still animals in nature. Nonetheless, it is important to treat food-guarding behavior before it leads to accidents relating to bites. What are some methods you can use to keep your dog from guarding their food? Consider the tips below.
One method you can use is giving your dog treats. Give your pet a treat when you take food away from it. You can also teach your dog the drop command as a safety precaution. In this command, you will be rewarding your dog with a treat or something special whenever it follows you. This way, your pet will expect that good thing will be coming when it follows you and it will slowly realize that food items don’t really need to be guarded.
Don’t Leave Food Available All the Time
Another way to control or prevent this behavior is by making sure that you don’t free-feed your dog. This means that you shouldn’t be leaving food accessible and available for your pet all day. When you do this, your dog will think that food is something that needs to be protected all the time. You can ask your veterinarian about the right type of diet for your dog. You should also practice taking away food that your dog hasn’t eaten.
Teach Your Dog How to Give
You can also teach your pet how to give or trade items. You can start with things or items that aren’t of much value to your pet, then gradually proceed with items that your dog cares about. Give your dog rewards and praise it if it allows you to take valuable items away and then return them afterward. This is so that your dog will know and understand that giving away items it cares about is good behavior. This will make your dog realize that such things don’t need to be guarded.
Prevent the Behavior
If your dog is still a puppy, you can teach in such a way that aggressive and food-guarding behavior can be prevented in the future. This way, there will also be a lesser chance of your dog developing these issues. Teach it while it’s still a puppy. Go near its food bowl and drop something good, such as a treat. This will condition your dog and help it associate that good things are going to happen when someone goes near him while he is eating or when he has food