Food Guarding – How to Stop It
When a dog has a food guarding issue, it needs to be addressed immediately or it can become a serious problem. Once you get your dog to realize that you will not remove his food while he is eating, this food guarding behavior will be under control.
To avoid a potentially dangerous situation from happening, there are steps you can take to control food guarding. If it continues, this behavior can strain the relationship between you and your dog. Someone could also get hurt.
When a dog displays this behavior, he is concerned you may take his food away. Dogs enjoy their food immensely and the thought of it being removed while they are eating can drive them to act this way. To remedy this situation, your dog needs to understand that you are in control of handing out his food and that you are the one in charge!
Steps to Eliminate Food Guarding
If you have a young dog, this problem will be much easier to remedy. Here are a few things you can do when your dog is eating:
- Make a point of being close by while he is eating
- Do not stay away to give him peace and quiet at this time
- When you approach him be sure it won’t be a bad experience for him
- Place a tasty treat in his bowl to make him realize having you around is a good thing
Here is what you can do if your dog has had food guarding issues for some time:
- Put the bowl away for 7 to 10 days and feed your pet by hand – a small handful each time
- Be sure he takes it in a gentle manner
- If this goes well, after a week place his empty bowl down
- Then slowly add small handfuls of kibble to the bowl, allowing him to eat after each handful (he will soon be happy you are near his bowl)
- If all is successful up to now, place a half-full food bowl on the counter or hold it out of reach – tell him to sit and wait – if he obeys, place the dish down
- Continue placing small handfuls of kibble in his bowl until he has had enough
- Finally allow him to have a full bowl, but only after he has sat down and waited for your command to go and eat – you can use a simple “Okay.”
So he doesn’t forget that you are the one in charge of the food, call him from his meal several times a week and give him a tasty reward for obeying you. If you find your dog is slipping back to his food guarding behavior, go back to the point at which he is obedient. Give this a few days and then continue once again.
Do not rush these steps as he should be totally reliable on each part before you move to the next one. He will soon feel comfortable when you are near his food and he will stop displaying this behavior.
Further Reading about Food Guarding
For more details about food guarding and other behavioral issues, you should take a look at an eBook called Secrets to Dog Training. This handbook is packed full of valuable dog training advice. It comes in a step-by-step format and has the best information you will find anywhere. Click on this link to get your copy today: Secrets to Dog Training