Yep! I'm all attitude!Brut’s food protectiveness started before he came home with us. The breeder told me that when he was weaning the puppies, they would all start growling and snarling when the food would get low.
I didn’t know this in the beginning.
Brut's food aggression was the first sign we had of any aggression. Never experiencing an aggressive dog before, I had no idea what it was, especially coming from a puppy. I just thought he was being dominant. The first thing we did was stop the free food buffet and began feeding on a schedule. Then I separated Brut from the other dogs when he ate and I would pick up his food after 10 minutes finished or not. (dominance theory) This is what I had read to do. .
Now since this aggressiveness was quite new to me, I had to swallow my fear, walk in the room calm and collective while Brut hung his head low to his bowl and take his food away. The instant I grabbed it, his entire demeanor would change back to that of a happy puppy.
I continued this scenario for some time, though, I quit timing him. He still guarded his food if he hadn't finsihed and I still took it, but some of the edge was taken off.
|Happy Feeding Frenzy|
My rigid dominant approach is gone. Brut is still separated, but when I walk in, if he isn’t finished, I ask him if he is done. He will let me know if he is still hungry. Sometimes he just wants company and I will sit and while he finishes his food. One of the viable undercurrents of our relationship is respect. I don’t like anyone touching my food and Brut has already proven to me that it is the same for him. Why would I become his biggest threat to what he values most when I already know this is his nature. So I began to work with it. It took some time and rebuilding of trust but food time is much more relaxed now. Brut doesn’t guard his food anymore when I walk in and he will signal when he is done, even if there is food left in the bowl he will walk away without any reservations.. And it works for us.