Defending The Food Bowl

      Contributed by Susan Skolnick

      This document is copyrighted and publication in whole or part is prohibited except by permission of the author.

      Well folks, seems a lot of people have problems with having their dog defending their food bowl.

      First off let me start by saying that it is much easier to teach a young dog these manners then it is to retrain an already determined dachsie, but certainly not impossible.


      Sit on the floor beside your puppy while they are chowing down.

      Handle the food in the bowl while they are eating (hopefully you do have them on kibble).

      Offer them pieces placed on your hand while your hand is resting in the bowl.

      Pet them while eating.

      Pick the bowl up while there is still food remaining (you might have to be quick for this one), hold it up for a moment or two and then offer it back to the pup.

      Make sure there is lots of noise going on in the background during meal time.

      All of these procedures will help convince your pup that you are not going to steal their food or do anything horrid to them while they are eating.

      The Older Dog:

      The dog must be convinced that in order to eat he has to accept your close proximity. I would not allow this dog one morsel of food until he is willing to accept the fact that I am his end all and be all of eating.

      Place the kibble, one piece at a time, in the bowl and let the dog eat it. If the dog growls even once, get up and leave for a few minutes. Repeat the procedure. If the dog growls the second time, emit a quick "uhk" sound, get up, and that is the end of that meal. Sorry Bud, but when you are more accepting, I am more giving.

      Once the dog is to the point that they are accepting this procedure I would then start on all the things recommended for puppies. No dog should be defensive about his food, after all I am sure that there are better things for *you* to be eating. :-)
      Be persistent, be consistent, and make everything you do with your dog fun!

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