My Corgi is VERY food aggressive. HELP!

I was wondering if anyone else has a corgi that is food aggressive and if so, what do you do? When I first got Jakoby, he was showing signs of food aggression but he wasn't actually biting anyone. He would just scarf his food down REALLY fast if he thought we were going to take it...or if we would get close to him while he was eating he would pause...but still keep his mouth in the food bowl and he would just look up at me and kind of growl...as if to say BACK OFF! But recently he ate all of his food, and then wen't to eat my other dog yoshi's food as well. I went to go take it from him and he snapped at me and started to growl and show his teeth. So I called my husband and asked him to take the food and when he did Jakoby bit his hand to the point that it was bleeding. Its so bizzare to me because he shows no other signs of aggression except for when he is eating his food. I don't know what to do. My only solution to the problem is to put him in his crate while he eats and let him out when he is done and I just leave him alone. But here is my concern, I hear of dogs getting put down for that same reason ALL THE TIME. I have friends with kids who like to come over and play with him and yoshi and I don't want him to hurt one of the kids. I know that corgi's naturally are snippy dogs and like to nip at people's feet and nip when they play but this is full on BITING! Like attack mode type of biting! and in a few years my husband and I want to have kids of our own and we want them to be safe. For now putting him in the cage when he eats is working for us. We don't bother him, and he just eats and carries on about his day and we have no problems. But kids don't know any better. So My question is what can I do to break him of this? if anything?

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Comment by Alley Boris on September 22, 2011 at 6:41pm

I have never had a problem with a food aggressive dog :/ and I have owned all types. I have owned a pitt too and he was the sweetest thing .He was never aggressive. I have owned a rottie, a Pitt and a Timber wolf/Husky mix and all are known to be aggressive if you let them but none of mine ever were. So ITS NOT FUNNY, but in a way it kind of is that This short little stubby dog is the one giving me problems with aggression. Lol.

Comment by Ace and Jen on September 22, 2011 at 6:23pm
Ace was food agressive when i got him.. that came to an immidiate stop by my brothers friend.. him and my brother both raised pittbulls so any sign of agression those two put a stop to it...
Comment by Jane on September 22, 2011 at 9:25am
I would definitely be hand feeding him at this point. Any growls or snarls the hand closes. Nice polite behavior, yummy food.
Comment by amberlie and kirby on September 22, 2011 at 5:17am
we eventually let him eat out of his own bowl, but this puppy (couldn't have been more than 8 weeks old),he was on "the euthanize list" at the city shelter when the no-kill shelter i worked at rescued him in and rehabilitated him. he was a rambunctious little thing :)
Comment by Alley Boris on September 22, 2011 at 3:07am
Thank you everyone for the Advice :) I'm confident that he is still young enough that I can break him of this. The problem was not knowing how but I am going to take all of your advice. He is 4 months old so he is still growing.
Comment by Julia on September 22, 2011 at 2:34am

You're right about this becoming a serious problem It's one that we work on at the shelter in order to make a dog adoptable, in other words, to save his life. Here's the program from the ASPCA that we recommend to adopters : http://www.aspcabehavior.org/articles/70/Food-Guarding.aspx. There is a lot of useful advice on this site for dealing with training and behavior problems, and other advice.

How old is your pup now? Is he still growing? Or is he an adult developing new behavior?

Good luck!

Comment by amberlie and kirby on September 22, 2011 at 1:21am

i used to work at a shelter, and one thing we did with a food aggressive pup, is we hand fed him only. he basically learned we own the food, but we are benevolent enough to let them have some :)

Comment by Beth on September 21, 2011 at 10:37pm
Oh, I should add that after training, just put things in his bowl every now and then as a refresher, but of course most of the time he should be left to eat in peace.
Comment by Alley Boris on September 21, 2011 at 10:31pm
Thank you so much. THAT IS GREAT ADVICE!
Comment by Beth on September 21, 2011 at 8:58pm

Luckily food aggression is usually easy to cure, if that's the only time the dog is aggressive.  Having other dogs nearby when food is taken away ups the ante, though.   So one key is management:  the dogs MUST be kept separate while feeding.  Currently I feed mine one on each side of our kitchen peninsula and stand nearby til they are both done.  My husband is more lax and will put the bowls down near each other, but this did result in a big noisy argument once (no biting) when Maddie tried to nose into Jack's bowl while he is still eating.  So I recommend separating at feeding time.

 

Here's what you can do to eliminate his food aggression to people, probably in just a few days:   Get some yummy treats out (cheese, hot dogs, something high-value--- and the other dog should ideally be out of the house at the time).   Keep them visible.   Put down your Corgi's food bowl, and while he's eating drop little pieces of the treats on the ground.  If he doesn't react, then on day 2 drop the pieces in his bowl.   On day 3, ask him to sit while he's eating and drop a treat in his bowl and let him go eat.  On day 4, get him to sit while he's eating and hand-feed him the cheese or hot dogs then let him go back to eating.  By day 5, you can tell him to sit, pick up the bowl and put in the cheese or hot dog and put the bowl back down.  And there you have it, a dog who not just tolerates your picking up his dish, but gets happy and excited when you do so.  

 

You can do this same thing with toys, chews, etc.  Just make sure the treat you use is very high value to the dog.  It's called "Trading up."   

 

Your dog will learn that your approach to his food or toy means he'll get something even better AND get to keep what he already had as well.  Then when on rare occasion you need to remove something from him, he'll take it in stride because he already thinks it's a good thing. 

 

But keep in mind bets are off if another dog is hovering, so be very very careful about trying to remove something from one dog while the other is nearby;  they think the other dog will snatch it and can get aggressive, as it's normal for dogs to resource-guard with each other.

 

Good luck!

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