Are Corgis Food Aggressive? Tips to Stop Resource Hoarding Dogs

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Written By Dane Michael

MyFavCorgi is a community of corgi fans and owners with advice to buy, raise and care for your corgi.

Having a cute and lovable corgi in your life is rewarding. These small herding dogs are charming—but come with a big appetite. And this can manifest as being food aggressive or through hoarding resources.

If you’re a new dog owner, I know this can be concerning. It’s not nice to see that change in your dog. But there are things you can do.

In this article, I’ll delve into corgi behaviour and discuss their tendency to hoard resources. You’ll also get useful tips on how to deal with and overcome food aggression.

What is food aggression in corgis?

Food aggression, or resource guarding, is a behaviour seen in corgis where they become aggressive when it comes to their food.

This behaviour has its roots in their natural instincts as herding dogs, whose ancestors needed to protect their food to survive in challenging environments.

​Food aggression in dogs happens when a dog becomes very protective and defensive while eating, and they use threats to keep others away.

This can be directed at other animals or humans, and it can even include treats and food not meant for them.

Dealing with food aggression is important because it can be dangerous for everyone in the home. 

What are the signs of food aggression?

To manage food aggression in corgis, recognise signs like growling, stiff body language, protective stance, lunging or snapping, and freezing during mealtimes.

It’s important to recognize the signs of food aggression early on so you can deal with the problem right away. Signs that your corgi might show food aggression are:

  1. Growling or snarling: Your dog may growl, snarl, or show its teeth when someone comes near its food bowl.
  2. Stiff body language: Dogs with food aggression may look tense and rigid, showing that they feel uncomfortable and defensive.
  3. Protective stance: Your dog might stand over its food bowl, guarding it closely and not letting anyone get close.
  4. Lunging, biting, or snapping: In severe cases, dogs may even try to bite or snap at people who try to take their food.
  5. Freezing: Some dogs may freeze when approached during mealtime, showing that they are very alert and may become aggressive.

Knowing these signs can help you better handle food aggression in your corgi.

What causes food aggression?

To manage food aggression in corgis, understand common triggers such as scarcity, competition in multi-pet households, past trauma, and feelings of insecurity, which will help ensure your corgi’s well-being and safety.

To help manage food aggression in corgis, it’s important to know what things might make them act that way. Some common reasons are:

  1. Not enough food in the past: Corgis who didn’t have enough food before might want to protect what they have now.
  2. Competition with other pets: If there are other animals around, corgis might feel like they need to guard their food from them.
  3. Bad experiences in the past: If they had bad things happen to them while eating before, they might get aggressive about it now.
  4. Feeling insecure: Corgis might start guarding their food if they feel scared or not safe in their surroundings.

​Understanding these reasons will help you take better care of your corgi, and make sure they stay happy, healthy, and safe.

How to stop my corgi being food aggressive? 5 steps to try today

You can manage food aggression in corgis by providing a safe, quiet feeding environment, establishing a regular feeding schedule, and gradually exposing them to mealtime distractions while rewarding calm behaviour

Dealing with food aggression in corgis can be managed with patience and consistency, using positive methods to encourage good behaviour. Here are some effective ways to handle this:

  1. Safe feeding environment: Choose a calm and secure place for your corgi to eat, away from distractions and other pets.
  2. Regular feeding schedule: Establish a predictable feeding routine to make your corgi feel more at ease and less anxious.
  3. Gradual exposure: Slowly introduce your corgi to having people and other pets around during mealtime, rewarding them for staying calm.
  4. No punishment: Avoid scolding or punishing your corgi for being aggressive about food, as it may worsen the problem.
  5. Professional help: If the issue persists or becomes worse, seek assistance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who knows how to handle food aggression. 

By following these steps, you can help reduce food aggression in your corgi and create a safer and happier environment for them.

Real Life Case Studies: Success Stories in Overcoming Food Aggression

​In this section, I’ll explore real-life success stories of dog owners I’ve interviewed who have effectively tackled food aggression in their canine companions.

These case studies demonstrate the power of positive reinforcement training and the transformative impact it can have on a dog’s behaviour:

Case Study 1: Max the Corgi – The Resource Guarder

Max, a two-year-old corgi, showed severe food aggression towards his owners and other dogs in the household. He would growl and snap when anyone approached his food bowl, making mealtimes a stressful and unsafe experience for everyone involved.

Max’s owners sought the help of a professional dog trainer with experience in behaviour modification. The trainer recommended a gradual desensitization and counterconditioning approach combined with positive reinforcement techniques.

Training Process:

  1. Designated feeding area: The trainer started by feeding Max in a designated area away from the other dogs to reduce competition and stress.
  2. Positive associations: During mealtimes, the trainer would drop high-value treats into Max’s food bowl without any direct interaction, creating positive associations with approaching people during meals.
  3. Gradual progression: Over several weeks, the trainer gradually decreased the distance between Max and the approaching person while continuing to drop treats into his bowl.
  4. Owner involvement: Max’s owners were also involved in the training, and they were instructed to avoid punishment or any negative interactions during mealtimes. 

Results for Max

With consistent training and patience, Max’s food aggression significantly improved. He became more relaxed and receptive to people being near his food bowl.
The positive reinforcement training not only addressed his food aggression but also improved his overall obedience and trust in his owners.
Through this process, Max and his owners were able to create a safer and more harmonious environment during mealtimes, strengthening their bond and ensuring a happier life together.

Case Study 2: Bella The Corgi – The Anxious Guarder

Bella, a five-year-old corgi, had a history of anxiety and resource guarding behaviour. She would freeze and growl when approached during mealtimes, making it challenging for her owners to safely interact with her during meals. 

Bella’s owners decided to work with a veterinary behaviourist to address her food aggression. The behaviorist recommended a combination of behaviour modification, anti-anxiety medication, and environmental changes.

Training Process:

  1. Change of feeding area: Bella’s feeding area was moved to a quiet, secluded room to minimize distractions and stress.
  2. Anti-anxiety medication: She was prescribed anti-anxiety medication to reduce her overall anxiety levels and facilitate training progress.
  3. Desensitisation and counterconditioning: Bella’s owners practiced desensitisation and counterconditioning techniques, rewarding calm behaviour during mealtimes with treats and praise.
  4. Interactive toys and puzzle feeders: The behaviorist introduced interactive toys and puzzle feeders to keep Bella mentally stimulated and engaged during meals.

Results for Bella

With the holistic approach and ongoing training, Bella’s food aggression showed significant improvement.
She became more relaxed and less guarded during meals, allowing her owners to approach her without triggering anxious responses.

​The combined efforts of behaviour modification and medication helped Bella lead a more balanced and peaceful life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on corgi aggression

Q1: Can food aggression be prevented in puppies? 

Yes, it is possible to prevent food aggression in puppies through early and steady training.
You can begin by feeding your puppy with your hand and giving them treats during meals. This way, they learn to connect good experiences with humans around food, which can lower the chances of them becoming food aggressive as they get older.

Q2: Is it safe to approach a dog displaying food aggression?

Never approach a dog while it’s eating, and avoid trying to take away its food during meals.
Safety should always be the top concern when dealing with a dog displaying food aggression.

​If you need to address food aggression, it’s crucial to seek help from a professional trainer or behaviourist. They can teach you safe methods like desensitisation and counter-conditioning to address the issue properly.

Q3: What should I do if my dog shows food aggression towards other animals in the house?

If your dog shows food aggression towards other animals, it’s important to feed them separately to prevent conflicts.
Make sure each pet has a safe and calm space during meals, keeping them far enough apart to avoid aggressive behaviours.
With time and professional guidance, you can slowly reintroduce positive interactions between the animals while they eat. This helps to create a more peaceful and harmonious environment for everyone.

​Q4: Can neutering or spaying help reduce food aggression?

Getting your dog neutered or spayed might have some effect, such as reducing territorial and dominance-related behaviours.
However, it won’t necessarily solve food aggression issues entirely. The best approach is to concentrate on training and behaviour modification techniques to address the underlying causes of the aggression. 

​These methods can be more effective in managing and improving your dog around food.

Q5: My dog was not food aggressive before, but it developed this behaviour suddenly. Why?

If your normally friendly dog suddenly becomes aggressive around food, it might be a sign that something is wrong with their health or that they had a bad experience with food recently.
It’s important to take them to the vet to make sure they are okay and to think about any recent changes at home that might have caused this.

​Q6: Can I use a muzzle to manage food aggression in my dog?

Even though a muzzle can stop your dog from biting, it won’t solve the real problem of food aggression.

Just putting a muzzle on your dog without dealing with the behavior through training and behavior changes might make your dog more stressed and anxious.

​It’s better to get help from a professional and use positive reinforcement methods to effectively handle food aggression.

​Q7: Can I use punishment to stop my dog’s food aggression?

Using punishment to deal with food aggression in dogs is not a good idea.

Punitive methods can make the dog more afraid and anxious, which could actually make the aggression worse and harm the trust between you and your dog.

​Instead, it’s better to use positive reinforcement and reward-based training to change the behavior in a more effective and kind way.

Q8: My dog only shows food aggression towards specific people. Why?

Dogs might show food aggression towards specific people if they feel those individuals are a threat or have had bad experiences with them before.
This behaviour could also be due to a lack of trust or not being familiar with those people. In such situations, it’s important for those individuals to stay away from direct interaction during the dog’s mealtime.
As an alternative, they can work on creating positive associations by gradually being around the dog and using positive reinforcement to build trust and a better relationship.

​Q9: Can I use medication to treat my dog’s food aggression?

Medication is not the first choice for treating food aggression in dogs.
However, if there are underlying medical issues causing the behaviour or if the aggression is severe, a veterinarian might prescribe medication to help with anxiety and assist in behaviour modification.
It is crucial to follow the guidance of a veterinary professional when using medication for this purpose.

Q10: Are there any specific breeds more prone to food aggression?

While certain breeds, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pit Bull Terriers, and Dobermanns​, may have higher tendencies for resource guarding, food aggression can occur in any breed or mix.
It’s important to keep in mind that every dog is unique, and their temperament and behavior can differ significantly even among dogs of the same breed.
Each dog has its own personality, experiences, and reactions to different situations, so it’s crucial to approach them with an open mind and consider their individual characteristics when training and interacting with them.

Q11: Will my dog outgrow food aggression with time?

Food aggression is not a behaviour that dogs usually outgrow without help. In fact, if left untreated, it can get worse over time.
It’s essential to take action early by using training and behaviour modification techniques to address food aggression.
This approach will ensure a safe and peaceful home for both your dog and your family. By working proactively, you can help your dog overcome this issue.

Q12: Can I use a shock collar or prong collar to manage food aggression?

Using shock collars or prong collars to deal with food aggression is not recommended.

These devices can harm your dog physically and emotionally, and the fear and pain they cause may actually make the aggressive behaviour worse.

It’s better to use positive reinforcement methods, which are safer and more humane, to modify your dog’s behaviour and address food aggression.

These methods focus on rewarding positive behaviours rather than punishing negative ones, creating a better learning experience for your dog and promoting a trusting and loving relationship.

Final thoughts on corgi food aggresion

Handling food aggression in dogs can be managed well by using positive reinforcement training and tailoring the approach to what each dog requires.

Getting assistance from a professional and being patient with consistent training methods can make mealtimes safe and calm for your furry friend.

With your dedication and commitment, your dog can lead a happy and well-adjusted life as a cherished member of your family.

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