Dog Aggression Over Toys And Food
Edward R. Forte
October 11, 2021
If you determine that this is the cause of your dog's aggression, you may be able to modify your pet's behavior.What Is Possession Aggression in Dogs?Canine possession aggression is also sometimes referred to as food aggression or resource guarding.If your dog has this problem, it may growl, snap, or bite to protect a resource, such as food, toys, beds, or other objects, from being taken away by another dog or person.Growling when a person or another animal approaches its food bowl.For instance, a dog may not care if people or other animals approach while it's playing with a toy.Why Do Some Dogs Display Possession Aggression?: A single dog in your household may never show signs of possession aggression.If the sign your dog exhibits is growling, be sure you are dealing with the growling properly.Instead of taking away your dog's treasured object, try introducing something your dog may find even more valuable, like a special treat or a new toy.If your dog is holding the item he is guarding, you can use the "drop it" cue to get your dog to give up the item.After your dog stops guarding and gets the other reward, you can let him have the item he was guarding back.Start behavioral modification exercises like those described above, with items that are guarded less heavily, then work your way up to the items that are more valuable to your dog. .
Possessive Aggression in Dogs
Although protecting possessions may be necessary if an animal needs to survive and thrive in the wild, it is unacceptable when directed toward people or other pets in a household.If a puppy is eating, calmly approaching and talking softly while perhaps petting and dropping delectable food treats into the bowl may help some puppies learn that your approach is nonthreatening.How can I treat my dog if he is possessive with objects and toys?It is important to prevent any possibility of injury when you begin treatment.Blocking off areas so that the dog does not have access to certain items might also be necessary.In fact, by giving these items exclusively in your pet’s confinement area, your dog may learn to be more comfortable resting and relaxing in this area since it is a place where chew toys are given and where the dog is left alone.Of course, if there are items that your dog might steal and then protect, you should keep them out of the dog’s reach by using sealed containers, or keeping them behind closed doors or high enough that the dog cannot reach.If your dog will not sit and stay, come, or allow approach when it has no object in its possession, then there is little chance of correcting a possessive problem.For some dogs, a diversion with something else they really want to do will result in them leaving an object. .
Some guard stolen items, such as food wrappers from the trash can or socks.Plenty of pet parents with food-guarding dogs simply take reasonable precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.If a breeder is not observant, this situation can deteriorate into one or two puppies monopolizing most of the food.A history of being rewarded for aggressive behavior can become firmly established in these puppies.Sit with your dog and give him his kibble one bite at a time.If he shows any discomfort or wariness, stop hand feeding him and see the exercises outlined below.Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate one of these experts in your area.You’ll also want to seek help from one of these professionals if you’re able to do the exercises below for a while but hit a point at which your dog does not progress further.For example, notice what your dog looks like when you and he are relaxing together on the couch or taking a leisurely walk.Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate one of these experts in your area.That way, if your dog moves toward you, he will be restrained by the leash.Continue to do this every few seconds until your dog finishes eating his kibble.Wait until he goes back to his bowl and starts eating again before tossing more tasty treats.Each day, take one step closer to your dog before tossing him the special treat.Stand next to your dog’s bowl and drop a special treat into it.Bend down slightly, holding the treat out just an inch or two in your dog’s direction.After he eats the treat from your hand, immediately turn around and walk away.When your dog eats relaxed for 10 meals in a row as you repeatedly approach to bend down and offer him a treat next to his bowl, you’re ready for the next stage.Continue to do this every few seconds until your dog has finished the food in his bowl.When your dog eats relaxed for 10 meals in a row, you can move to the next stage.Stand next to your dog, bend and pick up his bowl with one hand.Continue to do this every few seconds until your dog has finished all the food in his bowl.Repeat the sequence, but when you pick up your dog’s bowl, walk over to a table or counter with it.If you can’t feed your dog kibble for some reason, just make sure that the treats you offer by hand during exercises are more desirable to your dog than the food in his bowl.If he guards food from children in the family, DO NOT attempt these exercises with any child under 18 years of age.Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate one of these experts in your area. .
Resource Guarding: What To Do When Your Dog Steals And
Resource guarding occurs when dogs exhibit behaviors like growling, lunging, or biting over food or toys.This behavior is also known as “possessive aggression” and may occur in dogs of any breed.Training early and often can help discourage resource guarding before it becomes too problematic.Resource guarding, as it’s called, is a valuable instinct for feral dogs, because it allows them to survive on limited means in the wild.But it’s not such a great trait for domesticated animals.Bestselling author and animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., notes that resource guarding is also known as “possessive aggression.” From a dog’s point of view, possession, like in real estate, is nine-tenths of the law.It’s not specific to one breed,” Costanza says.“A dog who comes from a breeder could have resource guarding issues, but a dog from the shelter may not.Dogs who behave like this don’t distinguish between those who are going to take something away from them and those merely passing by.Of course, that’s not always possible, especially if you rescue an adult dog from a shelter or inherit one from a family member.Costanza says that you can work with dogs who resource guard food, for example, by slowly desensitizing them to your presence around high-value items. .
Control Dog Aggression Over Toys
Do you see dog dog aggression over a toy in your household?Therefore, I highly recommend you find a certified dog trainer to safely help you. Having one-on-one help can be priceless to learn how to act and react to your pet.The idea is to make sure there is nothing around that will trigger your dog aggression over toys.6- If your dog shows dog - dog aggression over toys, eventually you will need to work on this too.Dog aggression over toys training STAGE 1:.Goal: to be able to walk towards ( FROM different directions and distances) your hound (while he has an object that does NOT trigger aggression) take it away for 1 second, give it back and walk away without your dog growling, barking, snapping, freezing or showing any signs of stress.What you will need: an item that does not trigger guarding in your pet (a toy he is not crazy about, a piece of paper, kitchen towel anything your dog doesn't feel he has to guard), regular kibble and the best dog treats you can get (that your dog will go nuts about).Set up: The idea is to create a situation similar to what triggers your dog aggression over a toy but that WILL NOT make your pet growl or bark at you.
Before you can advance to the next step, your dog should look relaxed and even happy.You are ready to move on to the next step if your dog is completely relaxed when you approached him with an item he is not guarding, take it away, give him a treat treat (kibble or nothing) and walk away.Dog aggression over toys training STAGE 2:.You should be able to walk to your canine friend, give him an object you know he won't guard, walk away and come back to take toy away (give a treat).As soon as he takes it, take it away, give him a treat and repeat repeat repeat!Then come back, take it away, give him a treat and so on.If your dog shows any aggression, then you need to move more slowly.You are ready to move on to the next step if your canine friend is completely relaxed when you approached him, give him an item/toy, walk away (to another room) and wait for 30 seconds, come back and take the object away.Dog aggression over toys training STAGE 3:.Repeat the steps in STAGE 2 but now add PATTING in the head or back too.If he is calm and happy, move on to the next step, if not keep repeating the same step or even step back a little.You will need LOTS of repetition in the beginning, so just be patient.Dog aggression over toys training STAGE 4:.Now you will actually repeat Training STAGES 1-3 but with an object your dog DOES guard (He will show some possessive signs, not full aggression) It has to be a low value object though.It is important that you have an idea of the value of each item and organize them in order because the next STAGES are all about repeating STAGES 1-3 but with increasingly valuable objects.If your dog is likely to bite please do all of the above steps with a muzzle and then do them ALL OVER AGAIN without it.For example, when you first started with Training STAGE 1 it might have taken you a week or two until you were able to move on to STAGE 2.Dog aggression over toys training STAGE 5:.If your dog shows dog dog aggression over a toy, then you need to work similarly with both hounds.Dog aggression over toys training STAGE 6:.All you need to do from now on is once in a while take his toy away, give him a treat a give him the toy back. .
5 Strategies for Handling a Highly Possessive Dog
Dogs who get anxious, growl, or even snap at other animals are showing “possessive aggression,” and it’s important to intervene.For example, my dog Radar gets possessive around chews like bully sticks, so I simply don’t keep them in the house.Some dogs guard their food bowl if another animal is around, but have no problem eating in a room alone.I use “drop it” when Radar refuses to let go of a tennis ball.If you have a hard time saying “no” to your dog when she begs for treats, but are disappointed when she growls at another pet over the food bowl, we totally get it.“Nothing in Life is Free” training, or NILIF, teaches your dog that all resources come from the human.A professional trainer or online guide will give you the details, but you can start small, by asking your dog to hold a “sit” for several minutes before releasing him to eat dinner.NILIF training is a positive, safe way to remind your dog that you control the resources, and it can greatly reduce possessive behavior.For dogs with severe possessive behavior (i.e., they growl or snap at humans), a longer course of training may be necessary.Desensitization and counter-conditioning training is a gradual, deliberate process of changing your dog’s behavior.It’s useful for dogs who guard their food bowl, or growl when you try to take away a toy.Over the course of many weeks, you can work with your possessive dog.The ASPCA has an excellent guide on using this type of training for food guarding. .
interdog aggression, sibling rivalry between dogs
Dogs in the same household can become aggressive toward each other for a variety of different reasons.These dogs typically fight over owner attention and many times have problems when they try to greet the owner simultaneously.Up to 20% of interdog aggressive dogs also show aggression toward owners, indicating that owner conflict is often also a problem.Owner behavior that may inadvertently contribute to aggression includes: interference with normal social rituals, reinforcement of aggressive behavior, frequently scolds/yells/gets upset (increases dog’s tension and arousal), owners that respond inconsistently to dog’s behavior, and lack of training/control of dogs.The overall safety of the situation should also be evaluated.If severe bites have occurred to humans or dogs, aggression triggers are unpredictable, or the home situation is such that treatment would be difficult, then re-homing may be recommended.5) Medication, such as fluoxetine, to reduce anxiety and aggression.Resources may include food, treats, toys, preferred resting places, owner proximity or owner attention.In some cases, dogs must be completely separated then gradually reintroduced with desensitization and counter-conditioning training.Every interaction should be initiated and stopped by the owner, not the dog.By learning to sit or lay down in the presence of a resource, dogs learn to remain calm in a situation that may have previously triggered a fight.Another helpful approach is to select one dog to consistently receive first access to resources such as food, treats, favorite resting places, toys, having the leash put on first, access to door ways, and attention.If no improvement is seen after 6 weeks, try switching preference to the other dog.When used in combination with the Nothing in Life is Free program, dogs learn the order in which each will receive a resource, and the dog that receives the resource second must wait until the first dog has the opportunity to earn the resource.This program involves gradually exposing the dogs to each other in such a way that they learn positive experiences occur when the other dog is near.If the dogs are not aggressive on leash or during walks (most are not unless aggression is severe), walking the dogs together is a good way to help the pets bond and release some energy.The most common medication prescribed for aggression is fluoxetin.Fluoxetine should be used cautiously with Tramadol or in patients with a history of seizures.If aggressive behavior or fighting occurs, the trailing leashes can be grabbed easily and used to separate the dogs.Basket muzzles can be considered, but all dogs in the household must wear them.Traditional muzzles that close the mouth should not be used in this situation.If fighting is severe, dogs should be completely separated until conditioning and other treatment protocols can be put in place. .
Here's how to handle a dog who growls over his toy or food
If a dog has a bone or a toy, it is not likely that another dog will challenge that dog to gain possession of the item.While most dogs live by this rule, some dogs take it to a dangerous level and become aggressive when guarding their possessions.Some dogs exhibit guarding behavior over resting places (their dog bed, the sofa, the owner’s bed, etc.) and can become aggressive when someone comes near or tries to remove them from the location.To do this, we first determine at what distance away from the dog he starts to exhibit the resource guarding behavior and then, starting farther away from that point, we approach and toss a yummy treat to the dog.If the dog ever growls at you during this process, do not punish her – simply take note of how close you were and stay farther away next time. .
Resource Guarding in Dogs: What to Do (and What NOT to Do)
You go to grab a chew that your dog has whittled down to a tiny piece, so they don't swallow it — but are confronted with teeth-baring, growling, or even lunging and biting.What should you do if your dog is guarding their food bowl, chew toy, or space?Resource guarding does not always have to end with growling, lunging, biting, or fighting.This might be a certain resting place, food bowls, or high-value chews and toys.Fortunately, most dogs will gauge whether a particular resource is worth enough to fight over.There's no point in risking injury by fighting with another dog for something of lower value.In multi-dog households or environments, resource guarding becomes a problem if the dogs resort to fighting over their resources, and the environment is not managed to prevent these conflicts from escalating.There's no need to guard food, toys, or space if we teach them that our removing an item, such as their chew, results in something equal or better than what they had.Next, let's look at what NOT to do if your dog growls or shows other signs of resource guarding.If someone keeps stealing my fries after asking them to stop, the next time they reach across the table, I might smack their fingers away (or worse ... don't steal my fries).So many clients come to me for help with resource guarding and tell me, "We wanted to prevent resource guarding, so we'd always stick our hands in our dog's food bowl while they were eating, or randomly take away their chew.Without taking the necessary proactive and preventive steps (which I'll outline further below), sticking your hand in your dog's food bowl while they're eating, or just taking away their chew toy will backfire.Check out and share this video about how we often create resource guarding in our dogs by playing with their food:.Don't leave items lying around that your dog might find valuable enough to guard.Pick up their food bowls between meals after they've finished eating and have walked away.Don't give them certain toys or high-value edible chews that they've become protective over.This was the first time that my dog had shown resource guarding behavior towards me.Before diving into ways you can start to address any resource guarding with your dog, I want to stress that working one-on-one with a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, or veterinary behaviorist should be your first step.Not only will your certified trainer build a trainer-client relationship with you and your dog, but they'll also be able to help you through the steps that I'll briefly outline below.For things that you can't just remove from your dog's environment, think about managing the context.If your dog guards their food bowl, set up a separate area where they can eat in peace.This is imperative if you have young children or elderly parents in the home who might not understand that they can't pet your dog during mealtimes.If your dog guards things like a chew or long-lasting treat, give these to them in their safe space, crate, or other areas where they won't be bothered and let them enjoy it in peace.This step is the bread and butter of changing resource guarding behavior.Because it's easy for us to rush through the process, your dog trainer should be involved in every step.She's coming over here, and that means something awesome is about to happen!".Find a high-value treat that your dog loves more than the thing they are guarding.Usually moist and smelly works best, such as small pieces of chicken, or turkey hotdog.Some dogs don't get possessive of their item or food until you're a few feet away.Others get tense if you're even in the same room while they eat.If your dog gets tense or shows other signs of resource guarding, take the training back a step.Think about working in small "slices" when treating your dog's resource guarding.To see these steps in action, watch this video about resource guarding and food aggression from 4Paws University:.With practice and consistency, your dog will learn to anticipate good things when you approach them.Training a reliable recall with your dog is useful for preventing resource guarding behavior.Don't put your hand in their food or pet them while they're eating.Socialization is crucial for preventing a variety of dog behaviors, such as resource guarding, fear aggression, and separation anxiety.There are lots of training exercises you can do with puppies to prevent resource guarding.Here's one example by Kikopup showing how to prevent toy guarding in a puppy:.
Resource Guarding in Dogs: How to Stop Attacks & Food
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.But just because a behavior is normal doesn’t mean you have to accept it.If your dog is aggressively protecting resources from you or another person, please read this article.Resource guarding dogs who have been integrated into family life are often insecure and unable to cope well in social situations.If your dogs show no signs of resource guarding, the best thing you can do to keep it that way is to feed them together, encouraging politeness with lots of praise.Periodically have your dogs sit together as you dole out treats to each one.This teaches your dog that good things will come if he waits quietly.It also teaches them that other dogs are not a threat to their resources.There May Be an Easy Solution to Your Dog’s Resource Guarding.If your dog has recently started resource guarding, it may not be a behavioral issue at all.Dogs who are constantly hungry will be a lot more protective of their nutritional resources.If you feed your dogs together, make sure to watch them as they eat.Dogs who are constantly hungry will be a lot more protective of their nutritional resources.If you feed your dogs together, make sure to watch them as they eat.Rule out any medical issues, especially if your dog starts acting different without much warning.Rule out any medical issues, especially if your dog starts acting different without much warning.Dogs need to exercise their brains and their bodies to thrive, and dogs who don’t get enough stimulation will start acting out in all kinds of negative ways.Dogs need to exercise their brains and their bodies to thrive, and dogs who don’t get enough stimulation will start acting out in all kinds of negative ways.That’s right — sometimes puppies will try out behaviors with people and other dogs to see what kind of response they get.Just keep in mind that your puppy is still learning the difference between right and wrong.Before we talk about steps you can take to solve aggressive resource guarding, you should realize that this is a potentially serious issue that could be dangerous if not handled properly.In this situation, your best course of action is to work with a professional.The secret, especially when working with Labradors, is to use high-value treats that will elicit a quick response from your dog.This is the process of gradually exposing your dog to controlled and modified situations where they would normally guard resources.This technique goes hand-in-hand with desensitization and will focus on changing the dog’s emotional response to stimuli.Correcting resource guarding behavior will take a lot of patience and practice.The tricky difference between correcting behavior directed at dogs as opposed to humans, is that you will be dealing with two unpredictable variables.The secret is to catch dog #1 before he responds aggressively and praise him lavishly with high value treats.Dog #2 can also be praised and treated by his handler as needed.Who needs dog food when you’re getting so much attention, love, and treats?It may take days or weeks to get to this point, and you should still have someone helping out so that both dogs can be managed if the situation escalates.Ideally, you should work on this every single day until both dogs think of it as a really rewarding game.When you aren’t actively working with your dog, be sure to continue managing the negative behavior by keeping resources out of sight.When you aren’t actively working with your dog, be sure to continue managing the negative behavior by keeping resources out of sight.As your dog’s behavior improves, you can use coveted resources to practice the skills they have learned.Try hiding a ball or toy in the house, and praising your pups when they bring it to you.As your dog’s behavior improves, you can use coveted resources to practice the skills they have learned.Try hiding a ball or toy in the house, and praising your pups when they bring it to you. Crate your dog if you can’t monitor a situation.If there is a possibility that your dog will guard resources while you aren’t watching, the best thing to do is to crate them until you can keep on eye on them.You will not, however, be able to manage every single encounter your dog has with other animals, and all it takes is one aggressive outburst for a dog or person to potentially get hurt.You will not, however, be able to manage every single encounter your dog has with other animals, and all it takes is one aggressive outburst for a dog or person to potentially get hurt.Animal Behavior Specialists are trained to deal with issues like resource guarding.Dogs who live in a family pack must live by the rules you set, and eliminating resource guarding will keep your dogs and your family safe.All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only.