how to overcome food possessiveness
Possessiveness with food in dog training
Food is a dog’s primary priority, despite what we might think, consequently, the first step to successful training is to establish yourself as the leader.
This can be accomplished by showing him that he can only have his food at your discretion and order.
Give him his food, let him eat for a few seconds, and then take away his bowl.
Each time you do so, make an appropriate sound, such as “leave” or “stop,” and hold the bowl for a few seconds.
If he didn’t exhibit any aggression when you were removing the bowl, remind him how ‘good boy’ he was, hand it back to him and let him continue eating.
For a few days, repeat two or three times at each meal, then once or twice a week for a few weeks.
Some dogs are never possessive with their food, but if your dog came from a large litter, he may have found that the only way to get his part of the food was to threaten his siblings.
He may well attempt it with you if he finds that this activity yielded the desired outcome (more food).
If you don’t address this issue early on, your possessiveness will spread to other objects, such as bones, toys, furniture, and possibly even other family members.
Don’t feed him food if you don’t want him to be aggressive with it!
This means hand-feeding him for a few of weeks. P
repare his food as usual in the bowl, but don’t place it on the floor for him.
Feed him a handful of food at a time.
He automatically wants to guard the bowl of food on the floor, thus if he is not put in this situation of needing to guard, he will not bite!
If your dog is dominant in other areas, hand feeding is also beneficial.
It makes him entirely dependent on you for the most crucial aspect of his life, his food, and it strengthens your status as pack leader because he only eats from you and not from the bowl.
You can also take advantage of this moment of hand-feeding by having him carry out some tiny orders from you for some of the food.
Get him to sit before the first handful, or lie down before the second, and so on.
Don’t make him rush around looking for food because it can upset his stomach.
After a few weeks on this routine, you’ll notice a shift in his attitude toward possessions.
You can then try feeding him in a bowl again, and if no signs of hostility appear, you can continue to feed him regularly.
Do not provide bones or toys to food-obsessed dogs because they will guard them in the same way they guard their meals.
Once the food issue has been resolved, you can introduce a toy, but make sure the dog understands that it is his toy and that he is only permitted to play with it with you, and that when the game is over, you must take control of the toy.