One year old great dane named Biscuit was adopted by the Scott family because the dog's previous owners are due to relocate. Two golden retrievers are to share their home with Biscuit at the Scott's house. At his previous owner, Cisco displayed no problems with any type of aggression; however, recent aggressive behavior involving food had been observed by the Scotts. All throughout the day, out of partiality to the owner, the dogs are fed on a no specific schedule. Biscuit habitually stands guard over the food saucers and declines to let the other dogs eat, although each dog has an individual saucer of food and munches the exact same diet.
With any treats that are given to every dog or over the their food saucer, Biscuit's behavior has progressed to comprise aggressiveness. The retrievers were bullied into giving their treats out of fear by the Dane. The other two dogs are quickly becoming scared of Cisco and are starting to acquire nervous habits. For the fear that the Dane might return and become aggressive, the dogs are now hesitant to eat even when Biscuit is separated from them. The Dane has not attacked the Golden Retrievers or its owner but at this point, the condition might escalate into an assault.
Disallowing access to the food throughout the day and accustomed special feedings had the Scotts control and stop aggressive dog behavior. The Scotts have isolated the dogs during these feeding times. In addition, several water dishes have been placed all throughout the house and the patio so that the single water dish cannot be guarded by Biscuit. Also, the Scotts have stopped giving their dogs treats except if they are separated from Biscuit to put a stop to the associated behavior. To get rid of the fear in the retrievers, these changes have done little to totally stop aggressive dog behavior.
After several failed changes, to seek help from the veterinary behaviorist would be the best option. This professional provided recommendation on stopping dog food aggression which started with the Scotts establishing themselves as the “alpha male” of the group. If Biscuit displays improper behavior the Scott family does not provide food for Biscuit during feeding time, until he acts appropriately. The Scotts biggest concern is to put a stop to Biscuit's aggression with food. In order to stop aggressive behavior with the other dogs regarding food, the behaviorist suggests the Millers use a physical barricade to prevent Cisco from getting the food.
It is more easily said than done to achieve physical barrier method because of Biscuit's bulky size. Normally, a smaller dog can be absolutely blocked from his saucer by the owner's body. But when Biscuit demonstrates aggression, the vet instructed usage of box to cover the saucer. When these unsuitable behaviors surfaced, the saucer should be covered until the dog ceases. Once the aggression stops, the dog should be given access and the saucer should be uncovered.
Cisco can now share feeding time with his companion dogs without signs of aggression. And without fear of being bitten or attacked, the family can now take treat or food saucer from the dog. Biscuit acquired exceptional development from his food aggression and is once again the cheerful, playful Great Dane he once was.
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