Charlie Bear came to us at 10 years old. He was a large blond golden retriever who was a show dog in his youth. Since he had spent the bulk of his youth preparing for competitions, I could only presume that he thought only about food for all his years. I am almost certain that Charlie Bear dreamt of food in any form, meal time, snacks (snacks of which I am sure were very seldom), etc. Charlie, though, had become overweight from hypothyroidism which could have come from being banished to the backyard, given inferior kibble and no exercise. Anyways, I digress. The point I am about to make is that Charlie came to us as a dog with Food Aggressive behavior. Yikes!
I was surprised and unprepared for this dog’s food aggressive behavior. He was such a sweet, gentle canine soul, but there were boundaries when it came to his dog food. Once mealtime rolled around and you filled his dish, he gave clear and fair warning to back away from his food. This warning came with a deep growl of which most understand its message. Okay, that’s fine, I get it – the dog loves his food!
My Trick for Food Aggressive Dogs
I researched Food Aggressive Dogs for anything I could find to stop this behavior. We had no children at home but why ignore food aggression? Maybe it is not hard coded into Charlie Bear’s brain (or the brain of any food aggressive dog) to react aggressively every time he was around food. My research led me to try an exercise that worked not only for Charlie Bear, but other dogs in my future, and “Paws Down”, it worked!
How Long to Change Food Aggressive Dog Behavior
It took me two weeks. Every single food item was presented from a hand in his food dish with praise. No exceptions.