Our adorable dogs carry out all kinds of quirky things, and one of the funniest is once a dog barks at their food or at their food bowl.

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We might never before fully comprehend why some dogs bark at their food dish. However before, we carry out have actually a couple of theories to describe this seemingly bizarre dog actions.


In this write-up, we will delve right into a few feasible theories to understand why particular dogs vocalize while they are eating.

Let’s gain started!

Note- If your dog is displaying extremely abnormal or worrisome behavior, please do not hesitate to call your vet ASAP. A sudden adjust in actions might be an indication of a medical difficulty.

Table of Contents

Reresource GuardingExcitementObsessive Compulsive/ Neurotic Behavior

Reresource Guarding

Food guarding (aka source guarding) is among the the majority of widespread theories regarding why some dogs vocalize while eating.

If you hear your dog barking, growling or grumbling into their dish while they are eating, you might be witnessing resource guarding actions.

Here are some other indications of reresource guarding:

Stiff bodyBody hunched over bowlTail not waggingWhites of the eyes are visibleLips pulled backWrinkled snoutPiloerection (hair standing up)Snapping

To provide you a far better principle of what to look for, right here is a video clip of a dog vocalizing while guarding its food bowl.

You will certainly notification that in the video the dog’s body is stiff, its head is down, and also it is barking and growling—particularly once civilization approach its food bowl.

Food guarding is a pretty widespread and also understandable actions. It is also something that have the right to be improved through positive habits modification.

Let’s take a look at exactly how to perform that!

Behavior Modification for Resource Guarding

It could sound counterintuitive, yet you should NOT scold or punish your dog for reresource guarding.

Doing so will certainly actually increase your dog’s indefense around food. Likewise, you must NOT attempt to show the dog that you are the boss by forcetotally taking his food or “messing through his food” while he eats. This will certainly make the behavior worse.

Instead, you want to readjust your dog’s emovements around a perchild coming near their bowl.

You want to adjust their reactivity from fear and stress and anxiety to excitement and also joy bereason they understand that something great is around to happen!

If your dog has severe food aggression, work-related with a experienced positive reinforcement trainer to modify this actions to make sure that everybody remains safe in the procedure.

If your dog’s resource guarding habits is fairly mild, below are some fun daily exercises that you can perform to readjust your dog’s habits when it involves guarding the food bowl.

Double Bowl Feeding

Place an empty food bowl on the ground.

Hold one more food bowl via your dog’s dinner in your hand.

Grab a handful of your dog’s dinner from the bowl in your hand and area it in the bowl on the ground.

When your dog finishes the initially bite, he will certainly more than likely look at you for more.

Reward him through one more handful. Continue until gone.

This teaches your dog that a hand coming towards his bowl is an excellent point, not a scary thing!

It likewise rewards your dog for looking at you in the time of mealtimes. Therefore, reinforcing the idea that having a person approximately throughout feeding time is awesome and also not a threat!

The Hot Dog Tossing Exercise

Fill your dog’s bowl through his boring dry kibble.

Place it on the ground and walk amethod.

Let your dog dig in for a couple of seconds.

Then walk by and also casually toss a chunk of something delicious in the direction of your dog’s bowl!

We recommfinish utilizing a little piece of warm dog, roast beef or chicken. It must be a very special treat that your dog never before gets under any type of various other circumstance.

Practice this exercise at leastern when per day. Make certain that everyone in the family members (and also also some guests if possible) take transforms tossing the treats.

Gradually, start obtaining closer to the bowl.

You will alert that your dog will certainly start to lift his head, wag his tail and acquire excited as soon as he sees you coming because he is discovering that world coming towards his food bowl is a great point.

At some point, you will certainly obtain to the suggest wbelow you have the right to place the goodie directly right into his food bowl!

What Not to Do

Some world think that you must “exert your dominance” over your dog and also punish him for guarding his food.

Do NOT do this. It is dangerous and also counterfertile.

It will rise your dog’s anxiety around having people about his food. The guarding habits will intensify, and also inevitably, someone might acquire bitten.

You might even encounter some trainers that tell you to “correct” your dog for guarding his food. Do not work with this trainer. Take your business to a positive reinforcement trainer rather.

If you would like to obtain even even more indevelopment about resource guarding, check out this write-up by Pat Miller in the Whole Dog Journal or this blog post by respected dog trainer, Patricia McConnell.


Another factor that a dog can bark at its food bowl is bereason of are afraid.

Some dogs have had poor experiences and may be fearful of certain objects.

For instance, some dogs might be scared of shiny, metallic objects (prefer metal food bowls).

Puppies might additionally be scared of food bowls the first time they enrespond to them. After all, they have never before watched them before! Puppies typically get over this fear pretty quickly when they realize that there is delicious food inside the bowl!

If you think fear might be the trouble, attempt feeding your dog through a various kind of bowl, such as a plastic or ceramic bowl.

You can even ditch the bowl entirely and also feed your dog from a food puzzle or enrichment toy prefer a Kong.

You deserve to aid your dog get rid of his fear of a things with desensitization and also counterconditioning.

Start through the object at a safe distance and reward your dog with treats for simply being in the vicinity of the scary object.

Gradually, encourage your dog to gain closer and also closer. Gradually, your dog will certainly realize that the scary object is not a danger, in reality it is a resource of treats!

Never pressure your dog to obtain over his fears by chasing him through the object or making him interact through the scary object prior to he is all set.

Counterconditioning takes time and also patience.


Anvarious other feasible explacountry for why dogs bark at their food is that some dogs are ssuggest so excited about food! They expush their excitement by barking or howling.

This is particularly widespread in breeds that are well-known for being vocal breeds.

Some examples of especially vocal breeds include:


You will most likely have the ability to tell that your dog is excited because he will screen various other excited habits such as:

Jumping aroundPlay bowingWagging tailOpen MouthLolling tongue

If you execute not mind a little little bit of excited yapping at mealtimes, you can sindicate neglect this actions. Some dogs are simply naturally happy, bouncy and full of life! It deserve to actually be pretty endearing to have a dog that is complete of so much joy and also takes such pleacertain in the little things.

However before, if it really bothers you, you can encourage your dog to be calm at mealtimes with a little little bit of training and also actions change.

Follow this training plan to minimize barking at mealtimes

This training plan needs patience so you could want to have actually a book or a magazine available close to the feeding terminal.

Scoop your dog’s food into his bowl and also hold it in your hand or place it on a counter out of his reach.

At this allude, your dog will probably begin barking and going crazy for his food!

Ignore your dog completely while he is barking. Read your magazine and also pay no attention to the yapping dog at your feet.

Do not yell at your dog or tell him to “be quiet,” this will certainly probably simply gain him more amped up.

Sindicate disregard his antics.

The moment he stops barking, calmly say “excellent boy,” and also area the bowl on the ground.

Repeat this process at eincredibly meal.

With time, your dog will certainly learn that only calm, quiet behavior gets him his dinner. Barking gets him the oppowebsite of what he desires.

Note- It is very necessary that all members of the household be regular via this training arrangement. It will certainly not work-related if one person sticks to the training setup, however an additional perboy offers in and also provides the dog food when he barks.

Teach your dog an different behavior

Another choice is to teach your dog to offer a different actions to gain what he desires.

Here is what that would look prefer.

Scoop your dog’s food right into his bowl and host it in your hand.

Your dog will most likely start barking and hopping roughly in anticipation!

Calmly ask your dog to carry out something else such as sit or lie down.

The dog will certainly most most likely stop barking to follow the command.

If he does, say “good boy” and area his food on the ground.

If he does not, say “as well bad” and revolve your earlier and walk amethod for a few seconds. Then come earlier and attempt again. Repeat until your dog gets the hang of it.

You can use this very same training plan if your dog gets overly excited around various other things as well—like going for a walk or going for a automobile ride.

Obsessive Compulsive/ Neurotic Behavior

Some dogs might bark at their food bereason of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or neurotic behavior.

Thankcompletely, this is not also common, however it can occur, especially in particular breeds that are vulnerable to neurotic tendencies. A few of these breeds include:

Welsh CorgiSpringer SpanielGerguy Shepherd

If you have actually a dog with OCD or neurotic tendencies, you could check out some various other examples of neurotic actions in addition to barking at food.

Other examples of the many widespread canine OCD/ neurotic behaviors include:

Barking at shadows or chasing shadowsBarking at ceiling fansSpinning or pacingTail chasingAir biting/ fly bitingPica (eating incorrect objects)Flank-sucking

Managing Neurotic Behavior

If your dog has actually a mild instance of among these behaviors, try increasing his exercise and psychological stimulation.

Also attempt to reinforce calm, settled behavior via treats and also praise.

Give him other activities to keep him distracted, such as food puzzles, frozen Kongs or various other brain game toys.

If your dog has actually a major instance of OCD, you are going to have to consult via a professional.

Work with a skilled positive reinforcement trainer to come up through a setup to modify your dog’s actions.

Also talk through your vet to check out if an anti-tension medication or another kind of pharmaceutical can be valuable for your dog’s problem.

Health Issue

Finally, your dog could be barking at his food due to some type of medical concern.

For example, if your dog is experiencing from painful dental disease, he might be vocalizing at mealtimes bereason he is confused and also upset.

He more than likely wants to eat his food, yet the act of eating is bring about him pain. Because of this, he feels conflicted, and also he demonstprices his uncertainty by barking.

If your dog is displaying any kind of new abnormal actions, we highly recommend making an appointment with your veterinarian to dominance out underlying clinical worries.

If feasible, attempt to obtain a video clip of your dog demonstrating the odd behavior. This will aid your veterinarian reach a diagnosis.

We hope that this post has actually shed some light on a couple of of the factors why dogs can bark at their food.

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However before, if you have actually any lingering questions, please consult with your veterinarian or a experienced positive reinforcement dog trainer.