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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Preventing Food Aggression
In Your Multi-Pet Household

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Waiting Permission
Perhaps you have heard the term Resource Guarding? It's related to Food Aggression in that both behaviors involve a dog vigorously protecting what he wants to retain for himself. While this may sound like a normal behavior, it actually can lead to more serious aggressions and should be prevented.

Here are a few tips that can be used with both puppies and adults throughout their lives. Continuing a program such as this will help your dog to understand that you are in charge of the food, while also knowing that you will always share it with them when they behave appropriately. Trusting you as a benevolent caretaker that always has the dog's  interest at heart will help to build a bond over time. Bonding with your dog is the ultimate way to increase the loyalty that each of you have to one another, making memories as the years roll on. 
Here's how we make sure that Tanner, Oliver and Jacque never try to steal food, treats or toys from one another. Further, it's important that housemates enjoy the give and take of sharing a toy in play. 

  • Start by introducing a toy or food by holding it yourself. Ask the dog to sit and wait until you are ready to offer the item to the dog. Wait until he's behaving as you have requested: sit, stay, down.
  • When your dog is enjoying the toy or food appropriately, without any tendancy to guard it from retrieval by you or a fellow housemate, praise vigorously! This is your goal and you must assure that the dog knows when he is behaving appropriately.
  • Practice sharing a toy among your dog housemates with supervision, praising each dog as they release the toy to another willingly.
  • Continue and you'll see more and more sharing.
  • To further prevent food aggression, feed each of your dogs together, waiting until they are calm. Release them to eat when you get the behavior you desire. Praise lavishly when your dogs behave accordingly.
  • Continuing these practices will help build a closer bond among you and your dogs.
  • Here's more!
Happy tails,

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All Things Dog Blog likes to share tips for a happy pet family. While today's post links to our primary advertiser, Castor and Pollux Pet, we want you to know that we feed their food because it is the best. 


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