Is Your Dog Aggressive at Meal Times?

Is Your Dog Aggressive at Meal Times?

Every dog parent knows the way to a puppy’s heart is through its stomach. But what if your dog gets too protective of his food?

The fact is, in the wild, most animals are very protective over their food. It’s necessary so that some other, bigger animal doesn’t come along and take it! Of course, the family dog doesn’t have to worry about this, because his food comes from the pet shop. But some dogs still have the instinct hard-wired, and they will go to great lengths to protect their food, even if in truth nobody else wants it!

It is a form of “resource guarding” and can develop into notably aggressive behavior. If you notice your dog showing signs of possessive aggression when food is around, you could have a potential problem on your hands, and it’s best to nip it in the bud if possible. Signs can include your dog licking their lips, yawning, showing the whites of their eyes, tucking their tail, pinning their ears back, and barking. All of these can signal much more aggressive behavior if you allow it to progress.

Animal Behaviourists suggest that one of the main triggers is the fear of scarce resources. Therefore, one solution is to make sure your dog knows that there is plenty of food and that it won’t run out by giving him more than he will eat. After doing this for a while, the dog should start to change behavior, meaning that he has realized there is nothing to be worried about.

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