Tuesday night we had our 1st class. Chloe seemed to pick it right up, me I need to practice.

The instructor has us reward with food. She recommends hot dogs.

Chloe is not food agressive with us, but with other dogs around she can be quite competive and not nice to her classmates.

How do you get the dog to not be food agressive to other dogs??

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Comment by Sam Tsang on February 12, 2010 at 9:51am
Get a fanny pack, put plastic bag as a liner before the hot dogs. Practice at home, only treat when your dog is calm in a laydown position, never throw, you can also add "ok" as a command to eat. Practice "leave it", make sure his eyes are on you at all times. Your trainer must have other great suggestions, please share with the rest of us :)
Comment by Bev Levy on February 12, 2010 at 8:32am
Sparty is food aggressive with other dogs but has learned to be good if it is really clear whose food is whose. In class when we used to do them with him, I was careful to hand him his treats. Tossing them just creates problems. I also had to watch him closely if someone left a treat bag laying around and not let Sparty think he could check it out. Your Agility instructor may have some helpful ideas too. Beth is right the nature of the dogs, our dobe and Izzy would let the cats take their food! An Obedience instructor once advised cutting the hotdogs in small pieces, microwave them and they will be less messy. Have fun!
Comment by Beth on February 12, 2010 at 7:10am
Food aggression is partly the nature of the dog (some dogs never are, even if you never work with them; others never completely lose it). There are some things you can do, though. One is to make completely sure she is used to people approaching her when she eats. If you haven't already, you can start by dropping bits of cheese or hot dog into her food bowl as she eats, then from there move to telling her to "sit" and picking up her food bowl while she's eating, adding the cheese or hot dog and immediately putting the bowl back down. She then learns that someone taking her food leads to even better things.

Basic food manners help too. I frequently make mine "wait" while I put down their food and they can't eat til I say "ok!". I also make them take treats daintily instead of lunge for them (this is very hard for Maddie, who we did not raise from puppyhood and came from a houseful of dogs). If the dog snatches, you pull the treat away and try again til they get it right, or at least improve. This way they focus on you more when you are treating.

With multiple dogs, I also always make sure they get what I intended them to get. So if a treat that I am giving to Maddie hits the floor and Jack grabs it, then I give Maddie a new treat. If I am putting something in their bowls and Maddie (the sneak) manages to get in and grab from Jack's bowl, then I give a little more to Jack. This way if they miss something that fell, instead of lunging for the other dog they look up at me because they know they'll get more anyway, and I guess looking at me is a lot less work than fighting off the other dog!

If basic management like that fails, you'll need to enlist the help of someone else with a calm, well-trained dog and what you can do is start by giving your dog a treat while the other dog is far enough away for your dog not to react (other dog should be treated by its handler too, of course), and then gradually work closer and closer; you want Chloe to see that she won't lose out on her fair share just because another dog is around.

Some dogs will make the simple connection that if they growl at the other dog and you put all treats away and walk away, that means that growling at the other dog means elimination of treats. I would be careful though if they don't get the connection right away, because in my mind (maybe not the dog's, though) that might lead them to think they have to fight extra-hard to make sure they get the treats before they disappear; you could conceivably create a "food-shortage" mentality in their mind where they think "See, this is why I fight, because the other dog makes the food disappear." Not sure if it would work that way, but I've had success with the opposite approach of always making sure multiple dogs did not mean fewer goodies for anyone. If they think I control the food and I have a magic unlimited supply, then it does not really matter if the other dog grabs some of it or not.

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