Our frenchy/pug cross is a year old on Xmas eve, and we recently had a new member of our family Minnie join the family a few weeks ago (springer/kingcharles cross).
They get on really well, always playing and running around with each other - but Bella is slightly aggressive when it comes to feeding time. I wanted to get some advice incase it this spirals into something serious. Bella is never aggressive in any other situation. I know Pugs love their food, so I can see why feeding time might be the only time she tends to growl and snap. Bella will push and growl at Minnie as soon as I open the dog food cupboard, and hen I put Bella's food on the floor, she'll turn and go to bite Minnie, even if she's at the other side of the room. She eats so quick sometimes, it's as if she thinks Minnie will come in and steal all her food (this has never happened) and we have even tried feeding them in separate areas of the house. This morning, I put my hand down to pick up a few bits of food that she had spilled and she went for my hand!
How to I discipline Bella and/or stop this aggressive behaviour?
Minnie tends to be quite bossy and doesn't want to share when it comes to toys, so could this be why Bella thinks she might get her food pinched?
Bella shows no aggressive behaviour in any other situation. She's happy, loves visitors and loves playing with all my other family members dogs.
This is re-directed excitement/aggression. You can also see it when you have two dogs in a yard or at a window and something exciting like a person walking a dog, kid on bike, etc. goes by and they start to bark and then one will turn on the other. In the case of food it is much easier to manage. Simply ALWAYS and only feed them or give them treats in separate crates or rooms. Put them in their crate before you start to prepare their food. Don't let them out until both are done and the bowls, etc. are cleaned up.
Because he does this with food, watch for it in other areas as well, such as when YOU are eating and they are hovering, higher value chews like bones, toys or affection. If it begins to happen other than just feeding times enlist the help of a trainer.
Someday I will have to get a video of Sumo at feeding time. The sweetest most cuddly boy at all other times, at meal time he becomes Cujo to man or beast that dare even come near his kennel or look at him too long. You would think he had been starved and had to fight for every scrap of food in his previous life, but he was a spoiled only child from puppyhood until I got him.
I have been working with him for over a year now. When I feed him, I reach in and pet him, rub his ears and scratch his neck, reach into his bowl and take out food and feed it to him by hand, stand in front of his kennel and talk to him. He no longer bites or attempts to bite me, but he still snarls and barks and shows his teeth the whole time. Sometimes I wonder if he'll ever be "normal" at feeding time.