Teaching a Black Lab It Doesn’t Need to Guard His Food

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 27, 2019

For this Omaha dog training session we shared tips to stop 2 year-old Black Lab Ruger (Pictured here on the right with his roomie, 15 year-old Lab Taya) from guarding his food from the family’s young daughter.

Ruger had nipped the family’s young child when she was trying to feed the dogs. I think in that case the dog was confused and the child may have been attempting to move Ruger out of the feeding area away from her parents. While I was in the home, I saw zero signs of aggression from either dog.

Its natural for a dog to growl when someone approaches while they are eating. You can condition a dog to not do this as a puppy, but even if they do, often the growl is not a sign of aggression; rather its a communication the dog isnt comfortable with your proximity. You never want to correct or punish a dog for growling. This often results in a dog who skips warning and instead goes straight for the bite!

I shared a number of general dog behavior tips and suggested an increase in exercise as well as how to reward desired actions and behavior via petting with a purpose and passive training. Being a younger dog, Ruger is still finding his place and due to an unfortunate situation with a guardian breaking a limb, he missed out on some important puppy development.

To stop a dog from protecting food, I usually use the same approach I do for dogs with a resource guarding problem. You can lean how to teach a dog that it doesn’t need to guard its food in the free dog training video below.

If the family practices this approaching technique for each meal for a few weeks, they should teach the dog that humans approaching while eating is nothing to worry about. I have used this approach to teach hundreds of dogs to stop acting protectively aggressive while eating.

Best of all, you don’t have to be a professional Black Lab trainer to use this positive dog training approach. It just takes, time, practice and lots of tasty treats.

To help the guardians remember all the other dog behavior suggestions I made in this in home dog training session, we filmed a wrap up video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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