“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”

1. Start with hand feeding your puppy.

You don’t have to feed the whole meal, just part of it. Use a calm voice and praise him for taking the food gently.

2. Put your hands in your puppy’s bowl while he’s eating.

 Food aggression can start as early as 8-week-olds so make sure YOU are comfortable with putting your hand in his food.

Break off bits of ‘premium food bite’ and sit next to the puppy and drop pieces in his food bowl while he eats. You can even use your hand to stir around.

3. Take bones and toys away in exchange for something better.

Use a reward system, provide a treat when you take the bone or toy away, replacing it with a highly desired food item. You can then give the item back.

4. Repeat all of the above with other family members.

All adults and older kids in your family should practice the above tips — feeding the dog, taking things away, touching the food bowl. You want the puppy to associate positive things with all people being near his food.

If you have a young child or a baby, have them hang out next to you while you drop extra goodies into your dog’s bowl. That way the puppy associates good things with your child.

5. Do all of the above with other pets around.

Practice all of the above with your other dog around or a cat. Reward all the animals for calm behavior. Calm equals reward:)

The earlier you can start the better. Have other pets involved from the very beginning if possible.

6. Always work on general obedience commands.

This is your obedience foundation. Practice these commands right away with your puppy — sit, stay, stand, come, heel, leave it, drop, watch me. All of these concepts will help with his overall self-control and ability to remain calm and focused, viewing you as the leader — someone he respects.