4 Prevention tips that helps food aggression in dogs

Help to curb your dog’s food aggression and gain back control with these four practical tips


If you’re a dog owner, once in a while you will need to remove food or something else out of their mouth. Dogs can be very impulsive and will eat almost anything! It’s imperative that you train them well enough so that they can respect you and allow you to do it, if not this could result in them getting sick from eating or chewing on rotten or inedible food. 

Dog food aggression can also result in your dog resource guarding, which is very innate to dogs and other animals. However, this type of behavior can create issues for you, other people and other animals. In this state your dog will most likely be in defensive mode with their food and this could be very mild or very aggressive.

If your dog or pup is showing signs of food aggression whether it be through visual cues like a stiffened body while eating, growling or snarling, snaps when interrupted... Here are four practical steps or commands to implement to help to minimize their food aggression, and take back some control.

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1:  The sit command

This is a very easy, but very powerful command to give your dog when trying to gain control, or assert your alpha position. When your dog is in a sitting position, they’re giving you their full attention, looking at you and listening to you very intently, and that is what you want. Reward them for this attention and for their obedience! This is their way to show they know you are in command. 


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2:  The stay command

This is basically creating a boundary for the dog and teaching him not to cross it. Make them wait and make them patient! If you do it right, they will wait as long as you tell them to, even if they’re exposed to the most delicious, alluring treat.

A good stay command will make sure your dog won’t eat even if it’s right in front of him. He will wait patiently until given the command to eat. 

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3:  The eat command

This is the green signal! You are giving them the permission to eat after learning how to be patient and respecting you as their leader.

A trained dog is easy to handle, but a puppy or a stray dog will always be a challenge. Don’t fool yourself: it can be very frustrating. But don’t give up. 

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4:  Be patient

This brings us to the last tip, you have to be patient and consistent to get results. You need to teach and practice with them every single day, with love. It will take a while, but it’s all about reaching common ground where you understand your dog and he understands you.

If you have a young pup there are a few preventative steps you can take while they are still young to help prevent food aggression. One common one is to pet them when they eat, this shows them they’re safe and no harm will come when you touch them while eating. If this is not done, their instincts may flare up and they can think of you as a threat.

Your dog should get used to being petted, you can rub their head, belly, paws, back, limbs, tail and ears, literally almost everywhere. This diminishes any fear of you being around their food and allows you to even take food out of their mouth! 

This is very useful when they get a hold of something that can do them harm. So if you’re trying to get rid of, or prevent your dog from developing food aggression, implement those four simple steps in your daily routine and you should see results with a bit of time and patience. 

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