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Newfound food aggression - any advice?
  • Hi there! I hope this isn’t already a topic on the boards. I searched for aggression and found a few posts, but none were specifically related to food aggression, so I figured I’d start a new topic.

    Penny is a year and 4 months old. She’s been socialized since she was a baby, and for the most part she gets along pretty well with other dogs. Minor issues are that she likes to play rough, so she sometimes comes off as frightening/aggressive to smaller dogs, and that she isn’t the best at reading signals (ie, if she tries to initiate play with a dog who snarls/shows no interest, she often keeps trying). We aren’t too concerned with these habits, as we figure we can probably attribute a lot of it to the fact that she’s still young and VERY high-energy.

    However, one thing we have been concerned with recently is that Penny has started showing a new food aggression that she never had before. It never used to phase her if another dog went near her food, but for the last few months if another dog so much as looks at her or comes too close while she is eating, she will leave her food dish and go on the offensive. It’s not just a warning either, it’s a pissed-off “stay away from my food” attack. I understand dogs get defensive of their food, but this seems over the top. She also seems to hold grudges, which is strange to us too. For example, if she gets angry at a dog who gets too close while she is eating and we fix the situation (remove the dog), Penny will continue to go after the dog for a while after she finishes eating. It’s like she remembers that the dog tried to take her food and can’t quite get over it yet.

    We wouldn’t care as much if she was just being defensive of her meals, but the fact that she will leave her food and “attack” if she suspects that another dog is too close is what bothers us.

    Also, she isn’t this way with all her possessions. The same dog who got too close while she was eating also often drinks Penny’s water and naps in her bed, neither of which seem to bother Penny.

    Any thoughts/advice?

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 10:13:13
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8587
    @micheleelyse - I am not sure why your account was reset to New Member (unless you have recently changed your email address with the forum), but that is probably why none of the other dozen or so threads popped up when you searched. I corrected your account and changed the category of this thread.

    Since there are already several threads here about food aggression, I am going to go ahead and close this one. Feel free to continue this in one of the other threads, though.

    Also, the easiest advice I have for you is to stop feeding Penny when other dogs are around.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
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