I have a 7 year old Yorkie who "guards" (for lack of a better word) his food or just wants you to watch him eat. You don't need to be anywhere near his food, he will seek you out and start barking at you. If you start walking, he will bite at your feet. Basically, he attempts to get you to come to his dish so you can watch him eat. Once you are by his dish, you can touch him or his food... he no longer seems to care. If you try to walk away, he barks and bites at you to come back.

  • Has he always done this, or is this a behavior change? If the latter, can you correlate it with anything? May 21, 2014 at 0:16

2 Answers 2


If there is no other pet in the house that would steal from his food bowl, I would ignore him and leave the food there for him to eat it when he finally gets that you are not going to watch him eat every time.

As for the biting at your feet either ignore him the best you can or swipe him off with a firm hand (not to confuse with hitting or any other type of abuse) either by picking him up and placing him a small distance away from your legs or using the back of you hand to firmly move him away from your legs.

You may have to continually do this for a while and be very consistent with your actions. If he knows he can get you to watch him eat every time by being really annoying to you, he will continue to do it.


The fact that he lets you take his food without resistance shows that he is seeking reassurance, you follow him each time so he has learnt that this is a good way to get your attention. I was going to say this is a alpha thing and that leaders dont follow but this doesnt sound like it.

Ignore him trying to make you follow him, the power should not lie with him. Instead, try teach him tricks, he will get that rewarding feeling that way and after he can be allowed to eat as a reward.

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