Dismiss Notice
Hello Guest!
We are glad you found us, if you find anything useful here please consider registering to see more content and get involved with our great community members, it takes less than a minute!

Food Aggression

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by hunterdobie, Aug 1, 2020 at 5:05 AM.

  1. hunterdobie

    hunterdobie Jr Member


    So for the last few weeks Hunter has been very food aggressive towards my family members (mostly my mum, probably because she's in the kitchen most). As soon as it comes to about 6pm-7pm he will hang around the kitchen waiting to be fed and if my mum walks past him he will nip at her or sometimes lunge at her. He also just eyes her wherever she is whilst I'm getting his bowl of food ready and finds it hard to concentrate if she's around when he is getting fed. When he does this we just give him a stern 'no' and have him lie on his bed and wait. He doesn't and has never shown any signs of food aggression towards me though.

    For the past week I've had my mum prepare his food, do some training with him and then hold the bowl whilst he eats and he's fine with that - no aggression whilst thats happening but then he will go back to aggressive the following day.

    Just wondering about ways to fix this? Should I continue having her feed him or do something different? Maybe start feeding him earlier, before everyone is around the kitchen?

    Thank you guys :)

  2. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Thats very strange to happen all of a sudden as he's come of age. He's a little over 1 correct? I would have the vet check him out. Especially for any thyroid issues. An animal behaviorist might be a good idea following that up. Its hard to say over the internet what is actually going on and it doesn't sound like a simple training issue.

    In the meantime, it might be best for your mother to make him "place" or "spot" on a nearby rug or bed away from the kitchen. He can still watch but he can't guard the entrance to the kitchen. I do this with my dogs anyways because I don't want begging or to trip or step on one of them!
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Ingrid H

    Ingrid H Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    That's a strange behavior and not one that comes to mind when someone says "food aggression". I hear "food aggression" and I picture a dog snarling over a bowl of food exhibiting resource guarding behavior, but this sounds so different. It sounds more like excitement in anticipation of a meal, but without video and familiarity with the dog it's impossible to say.
    I'd train him to sit and stay until the food has been put down and he is released to go eat. Then leave him in peace to eat.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Hot Topics Subscriber

    Yes, not what I normally think of as food aggression, but definitely food related. If Hunter never does this to you, but does with your mum then I would be wondering if he thinks she is further down the pecking order and worth harassing to see if he can profit by it. Is he normally obedient to her? If not, it might help to set them both some obedience exercises where he can learn that she is definitely higher on the pecking order.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  5. Maja Rocks

    Maja Rocks $ Forum Donor $

    When ever I read post like this I always wonder "if one of your children or other family member started ,bullying, threatening, and intimidating a weaker family member what would you do? Would you allow it? Would you put up with it until some gets hurt?
    Or would you put a stop to immediately and make it clear that this not ok and will not be tolerated ever again. If so then why are you allowing your family dog to it?

    Male doberman are large powerful working dogs capable of inflicting serious injury.
    Nobody wants or should have to live with a Doberman that nips at them or they feel threatens or intimates them.
    In my view living with a dog that you fear may hurt you at any time is a form of mental/emotion abuse.
    It is simply wrong everyone should feel their home is the one place they feel safe and protected.
    A well mannered properly trained doberman should add to the feeling of safety. Not take away from it.

    Sorry but there is no scenario in which your dog is threatening and intimidating your family that ends well for anyone involved including the dog unless this behavior stops.

    We as "family/pack leader and alphas" it is 100% our responsibility to maintain order, and insure everyone feels and is safe in our home at all times.
    Since Hunter looks to you and seems to respect your role as his leader it is your responsibility to make it perfectly clear and in no uncertain terms to Hunter that he just crossed the line. And teach him proper manors and his place in the family hirgachy.

    The goal is for Hunter to learn that you and other family members (especially mom) are in control of his food and feeding time. Not him. Any aggressive or unwanted behavior will not be tolerated and met with a prompt and appropriate correction.
    If he wants to eat he must earn it by following your commands and be well mannered at feeding time.

    1st thing I would do is stop having your mother hold his dish when he eats ....This puts your mom in a submissive role to him.
    Wrong message.

    Next the kitchen is now 100% off limits to Hunter.
    He has lost the privilege of being in the kitchen with other family members or when food is present or being prepared for the foreseeable future. I personally don't allow my dogs in the kitchen when food is being prepared or present.

    I would establish a place for him away from the kitchen for him to wait quietly while his food is prepared.
    He has to learn there will be no food until he is quite and calm in his designated place.

    Once he is quite and calm it is time to eat.
    But he must learn to sit and wait quietly while his food dish is set down.
    And then wait until you give him permission to eat. I use "Good girl... OK take it" with Maja"

    At 1st you will need to keep Hunter on a leash and under your control while your mother brings in his food dish and sets it down. Any show of aggression should be met a firm and strong verbal or if necessary leash correction.

    I would also start Hunter on a NILF training program and get all family members involved.
    There are several very good threads that explain the training technique.

    I hope this helps, best of luck and keep us informed on your progress.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Lots of great advice and information! NILIF works for us too. Nothing in Life is Free. We make the Dober Devil work for everything, even at 4 years old.
    • Agree Agree x 3

Share This Page