Dog Bowl Guarding: A Bad Habit
Some dogs, like people, learn to live by the code that what’s theirs is theirs and what’s yours is theirs. Food guarding exists because it is, in great part, a behaviour that is learned. Most aggression is learned, while a dog may have a genetic predisposition to have a character. The person stopping often rewards a young dog who nips when someone tries to groom him, he cries and squirms.
This squirming and crying may advance to biting, air-snapping or growling as the dog matures. The dog has learned to act. If there is a behaviour unpredictable, it can be very tricky to modify. However, as a behaviour that is learned aggression cases have a pattern and may be altered. That’s often the case with food bowl guarding.
Blaming Litter Size
Some consider that pups who come from very large litters may have a stronger tendency towards learning aggression. This is because they have more pups to practice on, the female presumably has less time to school each pup. And the pups are often taken away from the dam earlier because of the strain on her. But, from my experience aggression cases are most predictable with puppies who are raised in homes where there’s a failure to practice good manners. As well as gently managing exercises every day.
They are usually not recognized as such, or are simply ignored as a point when the first signs of aggression are presented. The method of choice is in the vein of fighting fire with fire when the family eventually tries to remedy the situation. Reprimanding a dog with physical or verbal reprimands may blunt the behaviour. But, in most cases this essentially creates a sort of ticking time bomb in relation to the dog’s propensity.
It’s wise to work with an expert who can guide you and your dog on a path towards having a cooperative, trusting, and loving relationship without aggression on either 40, when dealing with any aggression issues. An overall ‘Learn to Earn’ program, in order to earn, where the puppy is requested to supply a behavior such as lying down, sitting, or targeting is a great first step. But you need to implement management to reduce further and harm practicing of this behavior. Maintaining the dog on leash when you are there to oversee, where he’s likely to practice aggression and keeping the dog away from situations and environments is an absolute must.
Tips to Deter this Behavior
In regards to food bowl guarding, some of the measures we suggest (supervised by a qualified coach) are as follows:
1. Dogs that are fed or fed on demand may be more likely to have food bowl aggression difficulties. So, plan 2-3 feeding times each day in regions of the house where aggression hasn’t happened.
2. Begin by having the dog’s feeding plate onto an elevated space (a top table or cupboard). Then offer one piece at a time from your hand.
3. After about a week, have the plate with food elevated where you could drop 1 piece at a time. And place another plate on the floor. This is a way to get a puppy to learn that a hand reaching for a feeding plate is there to provide food.
4. Set on the floor and say ‘thank you’ as you reach to pick it up and offer your dog a piece of his meals. For many dogs, tossing the treat to the floor somewhat away from the food plate is advisable.
5. When you and the coach you are working with feel that your dog is ready, you can advance before picking this up to coming the plate. When he’s done, say ‘thank you,’ reach offer another bit of food from your treat pouch and to take it away.
6. You may also work on exercises while you maintain an empty plate away from the 22, where the dog is called to you. Place one piece of food on the plate when he gets to you and tell the dog. Put before putting a little bit of food as you slowly progress.
7. Put a couple of pieces of food and an extra exercise is to place three plates on the floor. As he’s eating, move to a different plate a couple of feet away. Call your dog when he’s done and put a few more bits and then repeat with the plate.
8. Teach your puppy to hand target so you’ve got an effective and fun way to call him, is also advisable. Be sure that you mark (by saying yes or with a clicker) the minute your dog’s nose touches your hand. And follow this up with a little, but very high value reward.
Go Above and Beyond
In addition to these exercises, teaching your dog new behaviors to do on request (such as rollover, give paw, spin, etc.) will help continue to increase your dog’s comprehension about the cooperative and trusting bond that’s needed to the canine/human relationship.