Food aggression is often a difficult problem to spot in our dogs. The reason for this is that most people only have one dog. They normally put the food down in a far part of the room, another room, or even outside.
When their dog eats alone, there their dog doesn’t feel threatened and they aren’t watching their dog for any tell-tale signs. This “lack of negative occurrence” allows us to let our guards down and never even think about the possibility of food aggression with our dog.
Our problem is that “the real world” is not static. Sometimes we move the location where we feed our dog. We may get another dog or have a family member’s dog over for a play date or to stay for a few days. The kids may want to go over and give our dog a big hug while he is eating his food. These are all random or rare occurrences that may trigger the aggression. They are especially dangerous because we have not prepared or even considered that a “bad thing” would happen while our dog is eating.
Food aggression can be caused by things that are going on in our dog’s current life experiences. These are triggers that are easier for us to spot and address. Unfortunately, many food aggression issues are caused by prior life experiences. These negative life experiences may have taken place before we even got our dog.
We need to consider the fact that, even though we haven’t seen it to date, our dog may be food aggressive. We need to prepare and mitigate situations that may provide unwanted triggers. Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains all of this. Please take a look at our article titled “What Do I Do with a Food Aggressive Dog”.