Possible food aggression?

Possible food aggression?


Okay last question, then I’m off to get her.

Last night, I noticed, while doing some tests that I know to judge a dog for adopting, that she had a slight food aggression issue. It wasn’t bad, but she devoured her treats. If she dropped a piece, and I covered it up with my hand, or reached for it, she would hastily attempt to grab it. Only once did she nip at my finger, but I think that was because she thought it was the treat.

She has been in a kennel with another pup, a very high strung puppy. He kept mounting her, he would bite her none stop, and jumped all over us, scratching one of the workers really badly. They said that he has been there since he was born.

The got feed from one bowl, once a day. 🙁 So sad. I don’t know this for sure, but by his demeanor, I would assume that he would try to hog the food.

She also ate her poo right after she ate it- something that my dog has never done. She left the other poo alone, so I’m assuming that was his.

I’m assuming the food aggression and eating poo could have been because she was hungry? Getting fed once a day, Iams, is not enough for a 5 month old puppy.



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7 Responses to “Possible food aggression?”

  1. Cookie The First One says:

    When you get her home feed her by hand at least half of her normal amount, then let her eat the rest by herself. This doesn’t sound like food aggression (normally accompanied by lifted lip curl and growling), but it does sound like she is trying to get what she can before the other dog eats it.
    It is never a good idea to feed more than one dog at a time from one bowl. Every dog should always have his/her own, although a water bowl can be shared without any problems.
    Eating poop is something many dogs do and although you will get lots of ways to fix it, most of them don’t work. It’s an actual condition called Coprophagia, and for more information about it do a google search. Many theories on why dogs do this are floating around the net, but no one really knows why, and it can be a learned behavior. To stop it, the only sure way is to beat them to it and get it picked up before they can get it.

  2. Judy Christofferson says:

    The minute you bring her home, start some hand feeding. Then gradually work with her with the bowl. As soon as she realizes what a full tummy is like. she will relax. You are right about only one feeding a day for a 5month old pup, she needs about three.Is she skinny? Is she bright and alert, is she pretty good natured about her food? Get her a good grade of puppy chow, and feed it to her regularly.

  3. Steve E says:

    I wouldn’t call it food aggression come on this is just a untrained pup that has had to compete for his food. Every pup I ever met would at least try and mug a person and try and get a yummy treat out of a hand until they learn a bit of self control.

    Take the pup home and hand feed every piece of his food for the next couple weeks and he will learn to take food nicely and probably never have an issue. As for the poo eating this can become a bad habit even dogs that are fed and are not hungry do it. Just keep the yard supper clean and don’t reward it try to also not mark it with a correction.

  4. Jennifer M~ Got the Giggles says:

    I’d say it is less food aggression and more….resource guarding I guess would be the right term. She isn’t being aggressive, but has had to fight for her food.

    Feed her 2 meals a day and try to slow her down. A ball in the food bowl or feeding spread out in a muffin tin or on a mat can slow the dog down. Some dogs get over it once they realize the food will show up 2x a day no matter what…and some dogs don’t.

    So, I would watch it carefully, but I think she will be fine.

  5. Rae says:

    This dog possibly has this food aggression because of the feeling it has toward food. Many dogs that have been starved feel this way. The feel that they may be starved again and have to fend for themselves everyday whether they have food or not. She wants to make sure she has enough food in her body everyday so incase the next day she will not be fed she will be prepared.

  6. Horse Lover says:

    Start obedience and training immediately. Set rules, boundaries and limitations right away.

  7. Voelven says:

    I think she just sounds hungry and greedy, and lots of puppies eat poop – it’s just a matter of training to get them to stop.

    From what you have described, I wouldn’t worry about food aggression. Once she’s had a few days to settle in, you can start with a bit training, though. Throw some extra yummy treats in her bowl while she’s eating, give her a large treat and hold it a bit while she chews before giving it completely to her, exchange low value items with high value items etc. – and never take anything away from her without a fair or better than fair swap, unless it is completely unavoidable.

    Don’t make a big deal of it, though, train just 2-3 times a week for 2-3 minutes. Many dog owners inadvertently cause food aggression because they are constantly messing with the dog’s food and treats – or because they keep taking things away from the dog to show it who is the boss, which of course teaches the dog very little except humans are annoying and not to be trusted.

    Also look up treat-based no-exercises, this will teach her the meaning of the word "no", self-control, not to just grab something and swallow it, and to take things nicely from your hand.