“Whenever it’s feeding time He always hovers over his food. I was petting him while he ate but he growled at me and then bit me (I started to bleed a bit). I saw that if you put the food bowl on something that elevates it they will stop but he’s still aggressive towards me. Also, he has something in his mouth so I went to go get it and he snapped at me and growled. How do I stop his aggressive behavior? My cousins are coming over soon to visit and I really don’t want him to be aggressive towards them. Lastly, he keeps biting me playfully but it hurts really bad.”
It’s called food possessiveness. All dogs do this at a young age instinctually to protect what’s theirs. Here’s how to stop it:
Before feeding him, take him out for a walk. This is to show him that he has to work/earn the food and that, ultimately places you as the leader. Then get his bowl of food and keep it at chest level. He’ll start to jump up and try to eat from the bowl but just block him with your hand. Don’t push or take the bowl away. Once he realizes that you won’t give in, he’ll stop. Advance towards him so he sits. It’s very important that you stay calm and project leadership. Just act like a queen. Once he loses interest in the food, he’ll give you eye contact. Hold the contact for a few seconds and then put it down. You can even put the bowl between your feet as in the dog world, it’s a sign of ownership.
If you want, tell him to back away while advancing towards him. Then take the bowl away. This will be very helpful in the future if you want to remove something he has like a bone or toy. Remember if you’re hesitant or scared, he’ll easily pick up on it and take advantage by either growling again or barking at you to back away as a warning. If you still feel unsafe, purchase a fabric muzzle and continue the process.