So our little Charlotte (15 weeks old) and her brother Stanley (2 years old) have been getting along great since we brought her home about 6 weeks ago.
However, both of them are typical food obsessed corgis. Stanley is great around other dogs and food. He isn't food aggressive in the least. We attribute that somewhat to how we would hand feed him as a puppy and practice NILF with him around meal time.
With Charlotte, when we first brought her home, she had very little appetite and also ate really really slowly (if at all). So feeding her at all, let alone hand feeding her, wasn't too successful. At first, we fed them separately. She would eat in the kitchen with a baby gate to keep Stanley out. The only time she seemed to take interest in her food was if he was nearby eying the kibble and smacking his lips. It seemed the possible threat of him eating her food stirred up her appetite. So we changed that routine up and started feeding her in her crate. That's worked out very well so far but I wanted to start feeding her outside of the crate (so that I could hand feed her and so that she could get used to Stanley being nearby while she ate). We finally got her on a really good food that she LOVES (Fromm Salmon a la veg) and now she happily gobbles her food down like a champ.
So this morning I hand fed her breakfast while Stanley ate on the other side of the room. When he finished eating (which takes about 60 seconds), he laid down near her and she kept eating. Then he got up and got a little closer but was still being respectful. He wasn't trying to butt in and get her food, he was just kinda observing. But she must've felt threatened because she aggressively lunged at him. There was a little snarling bickering for about 10 seconds but it broke up very quickly b/c I stood up and loudly said "Uh uh!!" I put Stanley in a sit stay and then proceeded to keep feeding her the rest of her food. I wasn't sure if continuing to feed her what the right thing to do? Should I have put her in a time out or something?
What's the best way to get her used to eating with Stanley (or any other dog) nearby? Food aggression is something I really do not want her to develop and will do whatever training I need to get her out of this. Sorry for the long post but I'd love to hear some advice from those of you who have dealt with this or have experience with multiple dog households.
Every dog trainer I've ever spoken to always recommends hand feeding for various beneficial reasons. And that's what we did with Stanley and he's turned out beautifully in regards to the respect he shows me during feeding time and the lack of possessiveness he demonstrates around his food. That's exactly what I want from Charlotte.
As she gets older, I won't be hand feeding her and I will feed them on opposite sides of the room. However, I know from our lifestyle there will be times when Charlotte & Stanley will have to eat in closer quarters (perhaps in a car on a road trip) or they will be around other dogs and food (ie picnics, meetups etc). I'd really rather not be worried about potential dog fights b/c she's too possessive over her food....