Family dogs should be safe and reliable around children. Aggressive dog behavior like guarding of food or bones must never be tolerated or excused. It’s important to take the time to teach children how to behave appropriately around puppies and dogs. It’s also important to teach your puppy from an early age to view the approach of a child as a positive thing, not as a threat to his resources.
Sometimes, in a misguided attempt to teach a dog to share, an owner will reach into the puppy’s food bowl and play with the food while the puppy is eating. This does not teach the puppy to share. Instead it teaches him to view the approach of a human as a negative thing. It’s an annoyance – an interruption to the puppy’s meal.
Instead, approach the puppy while he’s eating and add more kibble, and occasionally some yummy treats, to the bowl. This trains the puppy to regard the approach of a human as a positive thing. More tips on preventing resource guarding are covered in our Puppy GoodStart program, done in your home.
If your dog or puppy has already started growling, snapping or biting to guard his food or bones, then do not try the above method. Instead, a different approach must be taken. Those techniques are covered in our aggression intervention program and behavior modification program, done in your home.