The Food Aggressive Dog
I’ve already mentioned that Georgia is food aggressive and very possessive of food.
Store Food Out of Reach
We don’t keep any food items (or even things that can be misconstrued as food – like leather gloves, wool yard, etc.) where she can reach them. We’ve found out the hard way that she will eat anything remotely food like.
Separate the Dogs During Feeding
Anyway, while we keep the dogs separated at meal times, I have begun giving them treats at the same time. I keep an eye on them while they are eating them to make sure Georgia doesn’t go after Belle’s.
Training the Dog to Wait to Receive Treats
Georgia and I are still getting comfortable with one another, and when I started giving her treats, she was snapping at them to get them quickly. This made me nervous and I would often drop the treat in front of her to make sure she didn’t accidentally bite me.
One day I just decided that I was being silly, and I should control her behavior rather than vice versa.
Now when I give them treats, they are both sitting down. Because Georgia always nudges Belle out of the way, Georgia often gets hers first. But now, she is not allowed to have the treat until I let her. I even put the treat on top of her nose, but I make her wait until I say “OK” before she can have it.
When I first started this, I had to pull the treat back when she didn’t understand the command. I use “wait” to let her know she is supposed to wait until I release her. Then the verbal “AH” noise I use to let the dogs know they are doing something they aren’t supposed to. Then after she is calm and not trying to get the treat, I say “OK” and give it to her.
Not only does this make it easier for me to control the situation, it makes me more comfortable around Georgia.
I have started doing this with her dog food too. She is required to sit and wait while I put the bowl down and is not allowed to get it until I say “OK” It works really well, and with such a food-driven dog, we will be able to use treats to help train her easily.