I know that it is hard to think of your nice new puppy having food aggression but it can easily happen. There are a few tips that you can do right now, from the beginning to prevent this.
Now that your puppy is home, they no longer have to share their food bowl with their 6 or 8 siblings. They might get over comfortable with THEIR food bowl.
We want your puppy to think of someone's hand in or by their bowl while they are eating as a very very positive experience. That way, when they are grown dog and a small child accidentally crawls too close to their bowl, they will not even react.
Not only will creating this atmosphere keep you and others safe, it will keep other animals safe too.
I know of someone who's female dog severely injured one of it's own puppies because they started eating out of her bowl while she was eating. This is an accident that no one could have predicted. But it is an example of setting your dog up for success and not to take any unnecessary risks.
Macey, Leighla and Willow have no food aggression at all yet, I never let them have a bone or play with a toy in the presence of their puppies. It is just a risk I am not willing to take. When the moms and puppies are together I put all toys, bones and food away. It removes any chance for an accident to happen.
Here is a photo of our dog Duke.
Duke is mastiff and lab mix.
Duke weighs about 115-120 pounds.
Duke is very protective and quite stubborn.
If Duke had a mouthful of food and I decided that I didnt want him to have it-- I can reach right into his mouth and take it out.
My 4 dogs eat together side by side out of their own bowls. Although they respect their fellow pack mates bowls, if one of them decided to start eating out of it, I know there wouldnt be any blood shed.
Use the following tips to give yourself that confidence.
Preventing Food Aggression Tips to
form Passive Eating and Food Habits
#1- Give your puppy his food serving divided into 2 bowls. This way when your hand comes in to change bowls, it's a good thing!
#2- Just put your hand in his dish while eating. Maybe scoop up a little kibble and hand feed them some.
#3- When your puppy is having time with their bone or toy, offer a high value treat as an exchange.
A high value treat can be anything from cooked chicken to a piece of hot dog or even a toy that they like better.
#4 - Have your children offer these high value treats and exchanges as well, as long as you know that it is safe and you can supervise them.
Every time we interact in a positive way with our canine friends, we offer them a chance to mature and improve their manners.
The reason we have these animals in our home is for comfort, fun, companionship, protection and overall good quality of life.
As the part of the pack with opposable thumbs, and access to the food source,
it's your job to help them be the best at their jobs as possible!!