Springer Spaniel who shows possessive aggression over food

by Sam

I have a 7 month old English Springer Spaniel, who has very recently become possessive over his food, and other treats he gets (i.e. bones).

I only noticed the other day when my daughter came into the kitchen and said "good morning" to the dog and I thought I heard a growl, I approached the dog and he repeated to growl at me?

I am reallt concerned as we have never had any problems like this in the past, and we have always tried to show him that I am the pack leader followed by the rest of my family.

Please help?

From Anna@love-springer-spaniels.com

Hi Sam
I do understand how you are feeling, I have had teh same with my Springer Spaniel when the children come towards him and he has a toy or a bone.

I usually remove the beloved object whenever he behaves like that, but I also make sure he has somewhere to escape to away from the children so he can have some "springer time out" away from them.

Keep up the signs of dominance over him and be consistent with removing items he becomes possesive of.

Good luck

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Dec 29, 2010
worked for us
by: Anonymous

we have been taking our 18 week old ESS to puppy socialising classes that is run by a dog behaviour expert. To over come such problem he has recommended that before you give your dog his food put cling film over the bowl, put a biscuit on top of the cling film then stand and whilst holding the bowl eat the biscuit.
This tells the dog that you are the alpha' as you eat first and are therefore in charge. The dog will eventually just sit and wait for you to finish before you give him his food. Once at this stage after a few seconds then take the bowl off him and give him a treat, then give him the bowl back.

Hope it works.

Dec 10, 2010
Growling over the food bowl!
by: Andrew

This is not acceptable and you have to stop it..but if you scold the dog, then you underline that your presence at food is uncomfortable and maybe dangerous.
This is what we did.

As soon as Cooper started to become aggressively protective of his food, I started feeding him by hand. I feed him puppy food and sweet potato. SO, I cut the potato up into coin shaped pieces and had him do his tricks (sit, down, nose touch, etc) for each piece of potato. Then, I feed him his kibble in hand fulls also as rewards for doing his obedience. This reminded him of the origin of his food!! Not from the bowl but from me!

Second, I moderated this and only hand fed him the potato, putting the kibble in his bowl. BUT, while he was eating, I would put a delicious treat in the bowl (liverwurst)...and make sure that he saw my hand hovering with the treat. Thus, he thought...OH when the hand is near my food bowl, something good will happen.

Cooper stopped growling.

Good luck but this should work for you

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