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Published: Oct 20, 2011

Anyone who has owned a dog knows that eating is something canines do enthusiastically, but if it acts aggressive by growling or barking when a person or other pet goes near its food, this can be a big problem. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, this behavior can occur even if an owner attempted to train the dog when it was a puppy. If a dog was recently adopted, or has forgotten its manners, VCA reports that steps can be taken to curb this unwanted aggression.

VCA recommends first removing any conflict or anxiety that may be associated with feeding. During times when a dog isn't eating, an owner should keep its dog bowl out of reach so it is not waiting for its next meal. Dogs with food aggression should always be fed during scheduled times. When making meals, owners should keep their dog out of the room or even outside so they don't build up too much excitement while waiting.

Although some owners may want to punish their dog by making it wait or perform a number of tasks before being given its dog food, this method may only increase its hunger which could in turn increase its aggression. VCA suggest that owners instead give their dogs their meals inside their crates and then remove the bowls as soon as they're done to avoid anger. recommends that owners take their dogs for a long walk before meal time as a way to release some of their pent-up energy, which could help them remain calm while eating.