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Puppies & being food protective


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I have a 9 week old foster puppy in my possession, Tucker. I also have a 4 year old food protective neutered male, Riley.


Riley has been food protective against kids & animals for as long as I can remember. He is not food protective to adults (not sure what the cut-off age is). Not a big problem, he eats so fast it's easy to keep others out of the way while he eats. As long as my 2 year old daughter doesn't actually stick her hand in the bowl while he's eating, he just goes on eating. Sometimes I make Riley eat his entire dinner out of my 2-year olds hands.


Anyway, this really isn't about Riley, it's about puppies/Tucker. This morning he showed his first signs of food protectiion - he actually left his bowl and went after the cat, growling and trying to get her leg (she was on the other side of me, I was sitting in between the two of them so I easily stopped it and told him NO). Then when Riley was chowing down (separate room, separate time from when Tucker ate) he tried to nose into Riley's bowl (who growled) and Tucker growled in the process.


Does a puppy learn food protection from another dog? Riley didn't, as he was the only dog at the time. I would like to curb this if possible.



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I had/have a couple that are food protective. I am managing it by feeding in separate bowls (as a litter they shared a puppy bowl) and sometimes feeding them in crates. They clearly didn't learn it from another dog, though both their mother and grandmother are food protective (not to the point of snarling or going after another dog *while eating,* but while food is being prepared, no other dog better be in the vicinity or they will be gotten after--one the bowls are placed on the ground the behavior stops). So, I figure they come by it naturally and that it might even diminish now that they are eating separately and one is not allowed to steal from another.


If it doesn't change, I will start correcting them. FWIW, not one challenges me when I stick a hand in or remove a bowl, only each other. Since they are littermates, this situation might be a bit different from yours. At any rate, I would correct him every time he growls, and keep him absolutely away from Riley when Riley is eating. Punishment would be severe for going after the cat.



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My dogs are free fed. There is two bowls down with food available at all times. Jackson never showed food aggression, but I noticed Skip started to. I guess just coming from the litter he felt he needed to defend "his" food. What I did was, when he would do it, I would do the aack and remove him from the food. He soon learned that getting snarky got him NO food.

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My new pup, Auca, is food protective and showed agression against me and my other dog at the tender age of 10 weeks old too.


I controlled it first with her alone, puting my hand in her bowl. If she growled at me I took harshly the neck of the pup, growling myself and took the bowl. After 30 minutes I tried again and at the third try she let me remove the food and kept eating. She had never tryed again to bite me.


I did the same with my older dog, when the pup, (she has the problem, Chemukh is almost dummy)attaked Chemukh I did the same as I did when she attacked me and quickly Auca understood the message.


To me is very simple, it's MY food and I'm the boss. I decide who eat. If Auca, even being a pup is the dominant one, I will respect their hierarchy and feed her first, but I'm the only one who has the right to administer punishment.

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