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Food Aggression or Guarding How To Stop Your Dogs Behavior

Food Aggression or Guarding How To Stop It

I’ve mentioned before the disappointment, I have with certain types of canine behavior modification techniques, that are taught by not only your local animal training people. But by some of the most respected animal behaviorists in the dog training world that have written numerous books and /or scientific papers on the subject.

If you have a dog that gets nasty when you come around his food or things. You will most likely be taught by these highly respected “animal” professionals to, (1) use some kind of doggie Prozac, (2) Start teaching your dog “No free lunch” or some type of “Nothing in life is free” program, and you will probably be instructed to reduce your dogs protein levels while increasing the fiber content.

To the human mind this somehow all makes sense. But rest assured this makes absolutely no-sense to the animal that it’s suppose to make sense to, Your Dog.

A dogs thought process is extremely simple. If there was a way to comparatively test a dogs mind to a two year old child’s mind, you would find that the child’s intelligence would be like Einstein’s compared to the dogs Forrest Gump. This is not a bad thing, it’s just the way it is.

So we as animal trainers who specialize in the dogs mind, and more importantly modifying the less desirable inherited behaviors that all breeds of dog are capable of displaying. Should get back to a more fundamental understanding of how dogs think, so we can teach our clients in a more effective and simpler manner.

Most of us have heard that old adage K.I.S.S. , Keep It Simple Stupid. We have to stop making this ( dog training or behavior modification) harder than it has to be, just so we can sound important and smart.

There is no better way to show you how simple this stuff is, than by watching animals teach it themselves.

What you are going to see is a dog being food possessive with the goat. You will notice the dog gets away with the guarding behavior a couple of times, before the goat says, “what, are you fucking kidding me”. And teaches the dog a lesson in a way that animals instinctively understand.

If the dog was displaying that protective behavior with a person, and that person backs off because they are afraid. The dog would have learned immediately, that they can boss you around and get away with it.

The Spirit Dog




7 Responses

  1. This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

  2. Excellent site, keep up the good work

  3. […] Goat Trains Dog to Stop Food Aggression YES IT’S THIS SIMPLE […]

  4. Hello Kira

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment. I did get a kick out of that “swift alignment” thing. It sounds like your uncle, had a good alpha attitude thing going on.

    To our dog, it’s all about perception. Our ability to “act” like a boss.

    And yes, along with a little bit of attitude on our part, getting our dogs happy is really a prerequisite for modifying all “aggressive” behaviors our dogs can display.

    And Kira, there’s no chance of anybody extinguishing my flames. There are millions of dogs lives at stake here.

    Again, thank you for a very nice comment.


  5. Hi Alan

    You know I have been reading your blogs and they are so refreshing. It’s like they are jolting my old memories of life on a farm as a kid on vacation. My uncle had packs of dogs and if they got out of line he let them know in no uncertain terms. It was never abusive, just a swift alignment. Inbetween they worked and at night I remember him and his dogs just having fun, or all the dogs peacefully resting on his lap or at his feet. I don’t recall a single neurotic dog. Those were truly happy animals.

    It’s a shame I forgot this and got caught up in all the bs out there about dog training. It must be a disease of our society or something. I just know I have done all the obedience training and trying to condition and treating and clicking and god knows what. I have had advice from trainers and faithfully implemented it to the letter weeks on end, and still an unhappy, nervous dog.

    I read the blogs you recommended and then I carried on reading and the more I read the more entirely stoopid I felt! I think many of us who have dogs that have unwanted behaviours are so desperate to correct these behaviours we end up over focussing on that with the help of trainers who do exactly the same! I can’t point fingers because unfortunately I bought into it wholesale thinking I was doing the best for my dog. 😦

    Today I let it all go. Obedience training can take a rest – I think Ruwb’s has been amazing in her ability to understand and follow commands, but I realised that it has done very little for her ‘dog-being’. I took my girlie for a wonderful adventure walk, no ‘heel’ or need to be ‘a good girl’. No stress. I let her engage in the grass and the fields, chase birds and sniff at trees and we played catch like two crazies let loose. That tail of hers did not stop wagging, I swear she was smiling for the first time in an age too!
    She’s been off leash before of course, but this time I got over the need to intermittently ‘train her’ so she could be a good dog citizen . We got home and she was so relaxed. It sounds really odd but it’s like her muscles feel different, does that make any sense?! You have a few blogs about playing, so I thought we’d start there. I never realised just how important this is but it makes a lot of sense. She needs good endorphins to help flood that nervousness away. I think it’s over to me to help her experience this everyday so that her body hopefully starts to create feedback to her mind. I’m waking up to the idea that just shoving a whole lot of commands into a dogs brain must be really awful for them, particularly if they have a nervous temperament to start with. And yet all the ‘advice’ I have had starts with this. Like, make the dog ‘work’ for everything, nothing is for free etc. Maybe that works for other dogs, or maybe it’s just nonsense, or maybe it has it’s time and place. I don’t know. I need to think about it more, but I digress.

    Later in the day we played tug of war and the old guy even had an uninterrupted run with his ball. She went for him once but I got on her case STRONGLY and she ignored him after that and happily continued tug with me. This is the first time the dogs have both been able to play alongside each other in months. Inside the house she heard him drinking from the water bowl and I thought she’d do the usual run at him, but her ears just twitched and she remained lying down. I was gobsmacked at these changes.

    So, I learned today that while Rome was not built in a day, a great start to happiness really can be. 🙂

    I’ve not broached the food bowl yet as I’m just going to encourage a bit more progress this way first & get my attitude regarding the bowl issue right ( I need to practise as I’m a pushover softie!) … but that will come and if we don’t make headway there with your other suggestions, I may yet be sending you a video for help!

    Thank you – for your kindness to take time out to help us all, I deeply appreciate it. Also for cutting all the mamby pamby stuff out on your blogs so that us who have been so brainwashed by the long bible of doggie ‘do’s and don’ts’ can start to keep it simple for the emotional health of our dogs.

    I’ll continue to read your blog. I’ll let you know how things are going from time to time.
    Thanks again & Best wishes. (And happy bounces from Ruwbs!) 🙂

    I’m sure there will be those that try to flame your efforts but the care and understanding you have for all dogs welfare is evident. I do laugh sometimes at the way you write – I think some of the dog trainers who have tried to help me with my 8month old would probably have a hissy fit. So be it – we who struggle with our dogs, need a voice that cuts through the all the infernal clicking and clucking and tells it as it is…so please never stop writing. 🙂

  6. Hi Kira

    Sadly much of today’s behavior advice on alleviating problematic behaviors our dogs display are unfortunately, not all that good. How anybody even came up with these seemingly logical ( to us anyway) methods of behavior modification, is truly a mystery to me.

    But more importantly it’s a mystery to the dogs who lets face it, are the one’s this stuff is suppose to make sense too.

    But that’s not what you want to hear right now, is it ? You want to know how to fix this problem, so your old guy can relax a little bit. and enjoy his golden years.

    OK, lets get this straight right away. I want you to forget about all that transfer nonsense, that obviously some dog expert put in your head.

    You mentioned, ” She’s quite an anxious dog, easily freaked by noises and strangers. She does lunging nips when she feels prevented from having her way. At the same time she wants to be boss”

    You point out that she is (easily freaked). That means she’s nervous.

    And when you say, “lunging nips when she feels prevented from having her way” . This tells me that you or someone is putting her in that nervous state, by whatever actions you are doing.

    Do not confuse that behavior as “alpha or boss dog behavior”. This is not the case.

    I want you to read the link articles I provide for you here. If this is something you NEED to get a handle on quickly, you will know which article addresses that.

    If you would like me to be absolutely positive as to what approach you should take. You are going to have to make a video of your dogs together, and post it on youtube or some other video platform. Then sent me the link.

    You have to understand you can have ten people try and explain the exact same behavior, and have ten different descriptions. So I am not positive on what approach you should take.

    I’ll leave that up to you. After you check those articles out, if you still need help, email me.




    Good Luck,

    Oh yea, the purpose of that goat video was to have a little bit of fun at the dog training communities expense. And to teach you how animals respond to things.

    Did the goat viciously abuse the dog ? No it did not. After the goat determined that the body language the dog was exhibiting was really no threat, the goat acted like an alpha. And you saw what the dogs response was.

    Anyway, if you need more help get back in touch.

  7. If I had horns I’d butt my dog too. My 8 month old bullterrier won’t let my 13 year old poodle eat in peace, she charges at him and lunges and snaps at me when I push her away from him. Odd thing is she’s fine with humans handling her bowl. She doesn’t mind being touched while she eats, I can put my hand in her bowl and she is fine, (I don’t do it often, just for the record) but put the 13 year old near her and all hell breaks loose. However if I give them a treat together she’s okay with that. She does go over to him afterwards and tries to dominate him by posturing a lot but she doesn’t attempt to attack him.
    Sometimes she won’t eat her food, just sits over her bowl all tense and miserable guarding it. The 13 year old would never touch her food anyway, so why she does this I don’t know. They spend time glaring at each other over their bowls if they can see each other so the ‘conditioning from a distance’ thing does not work. Nor does removing her bowl until she is calm and has sat. Nor does running her until my legs fall off before mealtimes have any effect. The 12 year old had no problems before this, in his lifetime he has eaten alongside other dogs peacefully. I’ve tried so much advice and nothing is working, mealtimes are stressful. I currently feed them apart to keep the peace but I feel the more I do this the more I am saying to her that she has my permission to behave like this. Recently she has claimed the communal water bowl too. The old boy is not allowed to have a drink either. He behavior is escalating.
    I don’t want to have her transfer her behaviour onto us humans and as yet things are fine, but I feel it’s just a matter of time until she does if I don’t work this out.
    She’s quite an anxious dog, easily freaked by noises and strangers. She does lunging nips when she feels prevented from having her way. At the same time she wants to be boss. I’ve been doing the calm assertive thing because I don’t want to increase her anxiety, but she’s not buying it. I need a goat.
    Seriously though, how would you deal with this behavior without a goat?

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