View Full Version : help! Food aggresive!

28th March 2008, 03:15 AM
well I gave Charlie my 6 month old puppy a chicken jerky treat. I was sitting next to him and petted him and he growled at me and tried to bite! I was so mad cause I really dont want a aggresive dog! So I read some tips on here and practiced saying " give!" and soon he'd drop it. But then I let him have one later and he growled again! Did any of you guys have this problem too!?!?? What did u guys do?!? Plz dont tell me I have the worlds ONLY aggresive cav! I dont know what to do!!!!! Helppppp!

28th March 2008, 03:48 AM
Ok, I'd use a double barrelled approach to this.

First up, you need Charlie to see you as the supreme being... the alpha. This does not mean being a big bully tyrant as that is very outdated. It does though mean that Charlie must see you as the leader & the fount of all food & comfort. If you aren't already doing obedience training I'd consider starting that now. Make Charlie earn all of his treats. Even at meal times, he should be made to sit & wait until you give the command for him to eat. Lots of things can be done in this area.

The other important phase is desensitisation. I actually start this process with my puppies from day 1. As Charlie is a bit older & already growling, you will need to be a bit careful as you don't want to get bitten. With our puppies, we pat them while they are eating, touch their faces, pick their dish up for a moment & then give it back, put our hands in their dinner dish while they are eating.

By doing this, the puppy gets to learn that you control all food, and that if you want it, as the alpha you are entitled to take it without challenge.

This does not mean to say we annoy the dogs all the time when they are eating. However maybe once a week or so I will interrupt them during their meal, take their dish, then say good dog, & give it straight back. I also make a point of occasionally patting and touching the face of the dogs while they are having their treats. Though none of mine have ever growled or challenged me when I do this, I still do it with care & am always reading the signals.

I do stress... be careful, because even a 6 month old Cavalier can inflict a painful injury.

It is very important that you get him out of this, as I am sure you are already aware. In the meantime, be especially careful of any children that come into your home. Make sure Charlie is not disturbed by them while he is eating.

28th March 2008, 11:15 AM

maybe another way to try with this is the swapping technique so when eating a meal - speak to the dog to get some attention and move the dish slightly but drop a piece of chicken or sausage into it. This way they get to know that they arent losing their dinner but getting a tasty treat to go with it. And perhaps when you give a treat start by having another in your hand - so give one and take the other. Maybe as well take the treat to the sofa yourself let the cav sit and be stroked and then give the treat so he is used to you stroking him before and during his treat time. I think at the moment he must be assuming it is going to be taken from him and be upset by that so the last thing I would do is make his fears come true - ie take away - I would rather swap for something even better so he realises there is nothing to fear.


28th March 2008, 11:15 AM
What good advice Caraline! I am having problems with Nora (a puppy mill rescue) and I wonder if this approach will work with her???? Nora will try to steal the snacks from the other dogs. She is very aggressive to get all the food for herself. No biting or growling though. I usually hold Nora's cookie/treat in my fingers and let her mouth it until the other 2 have eaten theirs. I will first try touching her as she eats and then putting my fingers in her bowl. Thanks!

28th March 2008, 11:17 AM
Maxine, Great ideas too!

28th March 2008, 05:13 PM
thank you all so much! Awsome advice! I dont know what I would do without this fourm....I would probly be making everything worse! I'm gunna try really hard to stop him from being aggresive with food. Thanks