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What to Do When Dogs Show Food Aggression to Other Dogs

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Food aggression is a type of resource-guarding behavior when dogs become very defensive while they are eating. They can be defensive against the owner or other pets in the house. It’s important that you remedy this behavior as soon as possible as it can lead to other unwanted behaviors down the road. Here are some tips when dogs show food aggression to other dogs.

Leash the Dogs During Meal Time

One step you can take is to leash the dogs during their mealtime. Before feeding, leash each dog and separate them apart by around five to seven feet. Make sure the dog’s aren’t able to reach one another. Once set up, give the non-aggressive dog his food plate first, while giving the aggressive dog the sit command.

Once the first dog is about done, you can give the second dog his meal. But before you put the plate down, have the dog sit and lay down first. If the dog doesn’t calm down then take the plate away until he becomes calm again. The purpose of this is teach your dog that you are in charge of the food.

Check if Your Dog is Getting Enough Food

Have you changed your dog’s meal lately? Or changed the frequency in which he is given his meal? Food aggression can sometimes occur if your dog is not given enough food. For example, you may have switched to a new dog food brand that looks exactly the same as the old one but offers less calories. A hungry dog is more likely to guard his precious food.

Temporarily Separate the New Dog

What if it’s the new dog that’s causing the food aggression problem? You already have other dogs that have been getting along just fine during mealtime, but the new dog is causing a lot of resource-guarding issues. We suggest to feed the new dog in a separate room for the time being.

The new dog could be still going through an adjustment period and getting stressed from being in an unknown environment. He is more likely to display food aggression behaviors due to being uncomfortable. You need to give the new dog some time to adjust before allowing him to have his meal with the other dogs.

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