Tips on dog to dog food aggression

on May 27, 2012
Here are some tips on solving dog to dog food aggression. Always remember to be wise and safe when dealing with aggression, with more serious cases, consult with a professional.
– Separate the dogs during feeding when you can’t train.
– Have both dogs on leash at a distance from each other. (If possible, have a harness on the aggressive dog because if she were to pull or lunge, the pressure on her neck would send stress hormones to the brain making training harder.) Set the food bowls down and give the aggressive dog treats for eating without growling or looking at the other dog without growling or showing other aggressive signs. If she can’t eat in the presence of the other dog without growling, try it with a closed door between the dogs. Have the aggressive dog in the hall and the other dog in the closed room. (If the aggressive dog were in the closed room, she might feel cornered when she comes out. If possible, in the beginning, have the aggressive dog leave the from outside the door before the other dog comes out.) As your aggressive dog builds confidence, open the door a crack, then a bit more. As she continues to succeed, start having the dogs on leash and at a distance from each other. Slowly decrease the distance until they are side by side – always keeping things safe and controlled.
– Sometimes aggression can be attached to the food bowl. If this is so with your dog, try feeding her in some other container or even just putting the kibble on the floor. Don’t leave her food bowl out for her to guard when the other dog is around.
– Here’s a link to one of my favorite dog trainer’s videos. This is specifically for teaching a dog his name, but the little exercise she does (saying one dog’s name, giving them a treat, saying the other dog’s name, giving them a treat) will teach your new dog to be patient and wait for food/treats. She’ll learn that she will get her treat eventually and doesn’t have to guard it. You could use your dog’s meals for this exercise, just feed by hand and don’t have the bowls nearby if your dog guards her bowl. She doesn’t even have to know it’s her meal.

Does your new dog have any food aggression towards you (even a minor case)? If so, solving that first might give you a little head start to solving her food aggression to other dogs. If her trust is already in you, she’ll probably have an easier time learning to trust the other dog.

Remember to keep calm if your dog growls or reacts. Yelling or getting excited will excite your dog too. The goal is to teach her dog that having the other dog around her food isn’t something to be worried about or afraid of and with clicker training, you can teach that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *