My 5 year old rottweiler is still very food aggressive even after multiple attempts to train her.
I’ve just stopped hanging out near her bowl while she is eating. I just put her food down and walk away to avoid confrontation.
What should I do to end this food aggression for good?
Food guarding or food aggression in a 5 year old dog is probably well ingrained and habitual by now, and you will need to devote a lot of time and patience to retraining her in this area.
If you haven’t already followed these steps then I’d suggest that you start now, and take it slowly and carefully. You want to avoid confrontation and be sure you don’t get hurt.
First of all, start hand-feeding her all her meals. That means either letting her eat her food from a handful held in your palm, or even feeding her a few pieces at a time in your fingers. The idea is to get her familiar with the fact that food comes from YOU, that you control it, and that your hand near her food is okay.
I’d recommend doing this for at least two weeks before moving on to this……
Get some of her favorite treats, store bought, home made or just fresh liver, ground meat, hot dogs – whatever she loves. Then when she’s eating drop a piece or two into her bowl very carefully. Do this every mealtime for another two weeks, so that she comes to realize that your hand near her bowl means that she’s going to get a tasty morsel.
Then once she’s okay with that, start picking up her bowl to put the treat in it, and then giving it back to her.
Even once she’s got to this stage, you’ll need to do it regularly so she doesn’t ‘forget’ that it’s okay. Also, make sure that you don’t allow her to be dominant in any other areas. Aggression or assertiveness in one area can easily extend to others if allowed.
If you are unable to do any of the above with her, or have tried this unsuccessfully then I can only suggest that you talk to a professional dog trainer or behavioral specialist and get some hands-on help. This sort of behavior can’t be allowed as it could lead to someone getting bitten, so do whatever it takes to treat it now.
I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck with your dog.