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One response to “Stop your dog’s food aggression”

  1. Camilla

    Dear Karen , I will have to disagree with you on some of your word choices in the article.With your word choices in this article I feel you are encouraging the old “alpha leader” philosophy and myth, which has been debunked my scientist many years ago. When your dog growls at you, it has nothing to do with a lack of respect. It has to due with a lack of trust. And trust is something you have to earn!! He is simply telling you, that he is afraid of you taking his food away from him. According to even Karen Pryor “Making dogs go through doors or eat their dinners after you, not before, will not shape the dogs’ overall view of the relationship, but will only teach them what to expect in those situations”(see
    Yes, I can agree that you have to train your dog already as a puppy using positive reinforcement. And with the “Learn to Earn” program, where you hand feed your dog, but only when he is doing something for it, and with games like exchanging toys for treats, and by being a positive part their feeding experience ( as you described tossing treats in the food bowl), you can often nip this “food aggression” in the butt, so to speak. But please refer to not use the terminology as Alpha and subordinate, since I feel this is encouraging the type of handler behaviors, which positive dog trainers have been trying to get the handlers away from the last 10 years.
    Thank you