Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Linda, it often happens that if you got your pup from a shelter, pet shop, commercial breeder, that a pup will show this behaviour due to having to 'fight' for its food, so to speak.Also, remember that dogs are naturally scavengers and dont seem to know when they are full, unlike humans. On the other side she may well be hungry. The recommendations printed on the side of food bags are just that, suggested recommendations. They dont take into account if a dog is more active than other dogs or whether the dog is a couch potato. Check with your vet is she is the correct weight/size for her age and breed and that you are feeding a good quality food that is supplying her with everything she needs.
Next, start to feed her separately from the other dogs. That will allow both her and the other dogs to eat in peace. Imagine how it would be if you were eating and somebody was trying constantly to take the food off your own plate.
If you are only feeding once per day, change it to twice daily which is much better for dogs, helps with hunger and balances serotonin levels
Establish yourself higher in the combined human/pack hierarchy by feeding her her twice daily meal from your hand (throughout the day when you are home). Call her, ask for a sit, then give a few kibbles - repeat over and over. When she is sitting each and every time she comes to you, instead of giving the food immediately, start to ask her to wait. Initially just a few seconds, and gradually increase the period.
You can do the same with the other dogs and then when you have them in front of you, she must wait her turn while you offer the biscuits to other dogs. Dont always leave her to last - deciding who get what, when, is a wonderful way to raise you in the pack, as you are the food provider.
You can do the same when you do put food in her bowl - ask her to sit - wait - then give her permission to eat.
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