In general, the dog is quite easy-going. During food time and when the bowl is full with food, it gets really aggressive, growling, ready to bite even the owner! And this happens every time (twice a day)! It's about a year old.

Several methods have been tried without any success, e.g. taking away the bowl for a while or even missing a meal. How can this situation be handled?


1 Answer 1


This is called resource guarding. Proceed with caution! You need to own the bowl, and the dog needs to understand that. Put the dog's dinner in another bowl, keeping that in a place that the dog cannot reach. Put a small quantity of food in the dog's normal bowl, ask for a sit or a down, and then give it to the dog. When the dog is finished, pick the bowl up while praising the dog, and repeat: small quantity, ask for a sit or down and feed. Occasionally, put something better, such as a small piece of meat, into the bowl while refilling it. Repeat the cycle until the meal is finished, and then give lots of praise.

If the dog growls or tries to get at the main bowl, put it out of sight completely and leave the area. Give them another chance after a few minutes the first time it happens. After that, wait for their next meal. I found that it helps to talk to the dog while they are eating to reinforce that your presence is there. Proceed slowly, but after several days or weeks (depending on how aggressively the dog was acting), you can add some light touching while the dog is eating. If that goes well, you can start to toss good things into the bowl while they are eating, eventually getting your hand closer. You are teaching the dog that good things happen when you are reaching for their bowl or taking it away.

But I cannot stress enough that you need to be careful. If the dog has a bite history where he has broken the skin, get a professional behaviorist to help before you try this!

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