Why do dogs fight over food?

  • Andy,
  • March 13, 2022,
  • 7309

Establishing dominance is a way of survival for dogs. However, for the non-alpha dogs, this situation is stressful and anxiety provoking, which is why they will fight for their food. It is their only way to survive. Despite years of domestication, this instinct is what leads dogs to become aggressive over their dinner.

Why do my two dogs fight over food?

Since wolves had to fight to make sure they got their share of food, it is possible that food aggression is a natural behavior to which dogs are predisposed. In addition, some dogs are genetically predisposed to be more aggressive or anxious than others, which increases the chances of food aggression.

Is it normal for my dogs to fight over food?

Food aggression is a form of resource guarding in which a dog becomes very defensive when eating, using threats to force others away. It can be directed towards other animals, humans, or both. The behavior can also extend to treats.

Why do my dogs fight over me?

It's also common that both dogs have a very high arousal level. Often, these dogs behave excessively when arousal builds up; it spills out and ends up in a fight. So one important step when working with two dogs that are competing over an owner is lowering arousal when coming home.

How to stop dogs from fighting over food?

How to Deal with Food Aggression between Dogs

  1. One Dog per Bowl. Sharing a bowl fuels food aggression and makes meals a competition.
  2. Separate Eating Areas.
  3. Teach Table Manners.
  4. Hand Feed Them.
  5. Pick Bowls Up.
  6. Feed on a Schedule.
  7. People Eat First.
  8. Keep It Calm.

Will dogs fight over an owner?

Owners are high-value to dogs, so much so that two dogs will compete over an owner's attention more often than they would over a bone, resting spot, or toy. This can become quite an issue if the behavior is allowed.

Why do my dogs fight over the same toy?

Dogs fight over toys because they perceive toys as valuable and worthy of protecting from other dogs. Let face it: dogs aren't good in sharing. Dogs can have a variety of toys around them, but for some reason, dogs will always want the toy the other dogs has.

Should I let my dogs fight over food?

Simply having plenty for everyone to eat doesn't stop many dogs from feeling the need to go postal over noms – especially bones and chews. Just because it's a natural instinct, doesn't mean you should allow your dogs to practice canine-to-canine resource guarding and food aggression in your home.

Do cats and dogs fight over territory?

Cats and dogs both have an inherent animosity towards each other. They are not given an option to choose between love and hate. They will fight until one or the other succumbs or retreats. Cats and dogs living together under the same roof will compete for food, territorial dominance, and attention from its owner.

Why do dogs flap their food bowl over?

Flipping is an attempt to cover the food's odor so it won't be sensed and taken away. Dogs are often territorial of their meals because in the wild, food is scarce, and they have to hunt for it. They are often snuck up on and feel the need to protect themselves and their pack while eating so it doesn't get stolen.

Why do dogs fight?

Dogs fight for many reasons including resource guarding of territory, toys, or food. Or they might react out of fear. Some dogs go on the offensive when they feel threatened hoping to scare the other dog away.

Why is my dog so territorial over food?

Food aggression comprises a kind of resource guarding in which a dog becomes very defensive when confronted with others during a meal and resorts to threats to force others away. Food aggression can be directed towards other humans, animals, or both. The behavior is not just limited to feeding times but treats as well.

Why do dogs play fight?

Dog play fighting is a very natural way for canines to communicate, socialize, and get out some pent-up energy. Play fighting may seem intense, especially for new or relatively inexperienced dog owners, but it should be allowed.

Why do dogs and cats fight?

The main reason why cats and dogs fight is because the dog is a predator, and in the dog's mind, the cat is prey. You must observe their behavior. Those that chase with the intent to kill is the behavior you look for that may result in rehoming one of the animals.


Hi, I'm Andy. I currently own a full-service dog training facility and spend about half my time dealing with behavior issues for clients, helping them overcome common problems like fear of loud noises, fear of thunderstorms, separation anxiety and aggression toward other dogs or people. The rest of the time is spent teaching classes to the general public on topics like puppy obedience, problem-solving for adolescent dogs as well as basic exercise and feeding programs that can help families maintain a happy dog throughout your pet's lifetime

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