female Rottie now showing signs of food aggression over a new dry food

by Diana

My Rottweiler Kiba is such a good, smart, and very friendly dog. She has never shown any signs of aggression toward anything. I had her on evo dry dog food, among other dry foods in the past, and she always let me near her bowl, but since it is hard to get in my neighborhood, I researched and decided to try Solid Gold Barking at the Moon dry food.

She is very obedient and will not touch her food until i say ok go eat. So i figured she understood that I control her food. She never snapped or growled at any food situation before.

I fed her the new food; BATM last night and i noticed my sisters new kitten went over to Kiba’s bowl, as the kitten tries to share water which my dog doesn’t mind, but i heard a growl. I went over and put my foot near her bowl (just in case she snapped, i wouldn’t get bit) and she stiffened up and let out a horrible growl. I immediately said no and told her to sit. I also made her do a few tricks in order to return to eating. Even with hand feeding, once she’s eating out of her bowl she stiffens and growls. I know dogs are very territorial and protective other certain things but I do not want this behavior to continue because there’s a new kitten in my house and because i have nieces and nephews who come over to see her.

Is this aggression occurring because she really likes Solid Gold BATM?

This is the only food where she acts like this. Thank You


Hi Diana
As this is the only time Kiba has ever acted this way with her food I would guess that she REALLY likes her new diet and is determined not to share it with anyone!

It’s good that she enjoys her food, but obviously it’s absolutely not allowed for her to growl or snap at anyone who comes near her bowls. It may be difficult to stop her getting irritated with the kitten, but all you can do is to consistently correct her the way you are doing, so that she realizes this behavior is not okay.

When it comes to growling at you that’s much worse, a kitten/cat/other dog etc. is understandable, especially if she feels as though this is her ‘treat’, but not humans. You are right to be concerned.

However you are already tackling this the right way by hand-feeding her, making her ‘earn’ her food and reinforcing that you are in charge. You will need to be very patient and consistent in doing this. My Dog Food Aggression page has lots of tips and advice to help you handle this.

Obviously Kiba is very well behaved and well trained and I think given time and frequent correction she will learn that she doesn’t need to be so protective of her bowl. Until then though I would make sure you don’t ‘free feed’ her (this isn’t something I recommend anyway) so that her bowl isn’t always around to be guarded, and only feed her when there are no children or kittens in the vicinity.

However, if you notice any other signs of behavior changes or aggression, it could possibly be that she’s sensitive to one, or more, of the ingredients in the food. Aggression, anxiety and other similar types of behavior can occasionally be a result of an intolerance to food ingredients.

I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck.

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Feb 02, 2012

Thank You NEW
by: Diana

Thank You very much for your help. It has been 2 full days and with the corrections and hand feeding as well as telling her to leave it so i can touch her bowl, she is no longer growling or tensing up. I will continue this just to make sure there aren’t any incidents in the future.
Thank You again. – Diana

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone