Taking Food From Your Dog

Today's example is taking food from your dog, when they are eating. Many believe that this asserts your dominance over the dog and lets them know you are in control. But, for me, this really is a myth, that should be debunked.

1. you are already dominant and in control. Where does the dog think his food has come from? You are providing it to him. He wouldn't have that food without you. He understands this.

2. dogs in the wild do not do this to each other. Dog packs consist of cooperative families, in which the parents provide food for their offspring without the threat of taking it from them. There is no value in causing unnecessary stress in the wild to your family. Generally, in captivity such as zoos; if dogs fight over food, it is the subordinates who do this, and these individuals are often highly stressed and at the bottom of the pack. They are not trying to be dominant, they are trying to control what little resources they have access to, for survival.

3. evidence shows that dogs who have their food taken from them, are MORE likely to develop aggressive and controlling behaviours towards resources later on. I write about all this in my book "THE RESCUE DOG", and clarify the research as well as this ridiculous myth.

If you want to get your dog to work for their food, that's a great idea. Provide them their daily intake via engaging and cooperative training exercises and treat dispensers. Once you give them their food however...leave them alone.

We have spent recent years in dog training confusing dogs in what we want from them. Let's not add more confusion. Give your dog a break and let them eat in peace.

For more information on THE RESCUE DOG, head to


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© 2019 by Laura Vissaritis Dognitive Therapy