This post is sponsored by WellPet but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
We have been pet owners our entire lives. I think it is so important to work with your pets, to love them, to make sure you are giving them the best food and treats you can find and that you are able to meet their needs. We want to share a bit about the dog food aggression training techniques we have used with our dogs and which treats we just love to use!
Meet our Girls
My dogs are my babies. I have always had a dog in my life and most of the time I have had them in pairs. We treat our dogs so incredibly well and definitely make sure that they are well taken care of physically and emotionally. I am for sure that pet owner that spoils her dogs and might go a bit overboard in their care.
We have 2 labrador retrievers. Our oldest is named Lily and she is almost 11. We had a bit of a scare with her health as she is just full of lipomas, but the vet has assured us that she just carries her weight in lumps and she is healthy (albeit a little arthritic) otherwise. She enjoys a soft place to lay, playing fetch and belly scratches.
Our puppy is named Brindle and she is 3 years old. We just celebrated her adoptiversary yesterday! She has a rare mutation and has both yellow and chocolate lab markings but she is indeed a chocolate lab. She LOVES people, and has ridiculous amounts of energy. Play, play all day, have a snack attack and then nap ON TOP of you are her goals in life. I welcome all the snuggles.
Although we are definitely pushovers when it comes to our dogs, we have absolutely worked hard at training them to listen to commands, to behave and at the top of the list has been making sure that they are not food guarding or showing food aggression.
Dog Food Aggression Training Techniques
As a dog owner with small children, we have always been diligent about making sure that our dogs were absolutely gentle with our kids and especially with food. Kids like to feed the pets and we wanted to make sure that our pets were gentle and would not be aggressive while they were eating. We spent countless hours and days on dog food aggression training techniques with certified trainers and have seen incredible success. Check out our tips below.
Tips for training your dogs to avoid food aggression
- Start When they are Puppies: The younger that you start the training the better. Although we have had to work with our older dogs as well to train them, we have found the process moves much quicker when they are a puppy. It is VERY important that you stay positive and do not punish your dog through this entire process.
- Feed Them In the Same Place: Make sure that you consistently feed your dog in the same area every day to start. Dogs need consistency, so same place and generally the same time will help them feel more comfortable during meal time.
- Stay Close, Stay Relaxed: As you begin training your dog, you want to make sure that you stay close to them. I am not talking face to face. You want to be a few feet away from where your dog is eating and just calmly be in their presence. You can talk to them in soft tones, but do not touch them just yet. This may take a few days to weeks, but do not leave your dog to eat alone and make eating a calm and relaxing space for them.
- Give Them Treats: After your dog becomes comfortable with you around them during feeding time, then begin to slowly move into their space and toss a treat in their bowl as you speak to them calmly, then step back. A few treats here and there, with a good boy or good girl. Do not touch them just yet.
- Sit down: When your dog becomes comfortable with you in their eating space, grab some treats and sit down by their bowl while speaking calmly and tossing a few treats in. When you have given them all the treats slowly and calmly, get up and move back. Again, do not touch the dog just yet.
- Hand Feed: If your dog does well with you near the bowl during feeding, then try to present a treat to the dog from your hand. You want your dog to stop eating to take the treat from you and do it gently. Speak to them calmly, tell them to be gentle and hold your palm flat with the treat on it. Start about a foot above the bowl and as you continue to give them treats overtime during feeding, then slowly move your hand with the treat down towards the bowl.
- Touch the bowl: As your dog becomes more and more comfortable with you around the bowl, you can then begin to touch the bowl as you offer treats and stay calm.
- Pick up the bowl: Once your dog is ok with you touching the bowl, try to pick it up a few inches and place a treat it in and then put it down. Do this consistently and move the bowl around, each time returning the bowl with a treat.
We have seen incredible success with this and now we can literally sat our own food down right in front of them and they will sit and let us eat without even budging or being aggressive. We can easily give them treats and we can remove their food from them at any point. The goal with training is trust and our dogs know that we will feed them, they can trust us and that they are safe. Keep that in mind as you go through the training process.
Old Mother Hubbard All-Natural Dog Snacks
My dogs love treats but we are also really good about making sure that they girls are getting treats that are not full of fillers, that have all natural ingredients and are slowly oven baked to preserve the natural flavors. We recently found Old Mother Hubbard All-Natural Dog Snacks at Walmart and they check all the boxes we have been looking for in a dog treat.
They have several different flavor options and even grain-free options. We decided to grab 2 different flavors, P-Nuttier and Original Assortment. P-Nuttier is made with peanut butter, apples, carrots & molasses and the Original Assortment has chicken, cheddar, and char tar. They have two sizes as well which is great for training and the dog treats are all-natural, never artificial and carefully crafted from wholesome ingredients.
Clearly our dogs love these Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats and we feel great about giving them these natural snacks that are better for them too! If you are interested in learning more about this company and the treats or are ready to grab some in-store or with Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup, just click here!