French Bulldog Food Aggression: What To Do About It

If your Frenchie has reached the level of aggression when he bites you during feeding, that is a serious condition, and you need to seek professional help.

Food Aggression And What To Do About It - TomKings Blog

What to do if your Frenchie has food agression?

If you haven’t reached this state yet, but your dog growls or shows his teeth when you approach him during feeding, is not acceptable behavior either.

There must be some distance between the owner and the dog in the family hierarchy. You, as the owner, must be on top of this hierarchy. You have to be the alpha dog. You and only you get to decide what is his and what is yours. You have the privilege to decide which area is yours and which belongs to your dog. But when your dog believes he gets to decide, that means he thinks he is above you on the hierarchy.

Turning this around is not an easy task, but also not impossible. You’ve got to be consistent and remain calm at all times. Do not tell him off when he is aggressive over food, and do not fight with him. You’ve got to make sure he understands that you are the boss and not him. Here’s what you can do to achieve this.

Food Aggression And What To Do About It - TomKings Blog

You have to behave similarly to him. Create situations in which your dog cannot participate. For example, he is not allowed to approach you or the family table while you are eating. When he approaches anyway, tell him off and chase him away. Another situation is when you are resting on your couch, and he is trying to approach you. Do not let him jump on the couch except when you give verbal permission to do it.

Feeding times:

Humans eat first at all times! Never feed the dog before you’d eat or while you are eating. Make him understand that the food is yours, and he only gets the leftovers. That will indicate to him that he is not the alpha dog, and he must wait for his turn.

Also, make him sit by the door while you prepare his food, and even when you put his bowl off the floor. Only let him approach the food when you give verbal permission to do it. If he is impatient, you can try growling back at him. I know it sounds funny, but you’ve got to make him understand that you are the alpha, you are the boss.

Make these rules unbreakable. Be consistent, and stay strong mentally. By the time he will get your point and will start to behave well. 


6 thoughts on “French Bulldog Food Aggression: What To Do About It”

  1. Vanessa Campos

    So my frenchie will be a year next month. He’s not aggressive with his food bowl or water bowl, but his bone? If he has a bone he doesn’t want anyone to get it or get near him. He doesn’t growl or show teeth. What can I do for that behavior??

    1. Thanks for you comment Vanessa. It may be a combination of showing dominance and resource guarding. Your Frenchie has to be aware that you are the leader of the pack and he can’t behave that way. Remind him of this in a stern voice if necessary and give him commands he must follow and show him you are the boos. Consistency is key.

  2. Hi our frenchie 3yrs old is food and toy aggressive to our 4mnth old frenchie. I use a water pistol to chase the 3 yr old of the pup yet the play fight and get on well otherwise

    1. Hi Nigel,

      In every case like that, you need to step in and say ‘No’ with a firm voice besides using water pistol and send him away. After that, don’t take notice of your pup (the lack of attention is the biggest punishment for a dog). Also, whenever you pup acts kind while playing or other times, always praise him/her so that your dog understands that it’s the right behavior towards the other. Also, regarding feeder, it might be good to feed them separately from each other to avoid frustration.

      I hope it helps a bit.

  3. Rose Bartholomew

    My 3 year old frenchie bit my husband today while he was preparing food for her and our other dog. She had never bit anyone ever and is very sweet but when it comes to food she tries to bite your toes first, more like a nipping occasionally. I think she smelt the food on his hand while I was holding her and when he went to pet her she didn’t growl or anything but licked his finger then bit him. Which did break the skin. Now he’s untrusted of her from this incident. What can we do to stop this behavior?

    1. Hi Rose,

      I’m not a veterinarian, but I can offer some general suggestions that might help you address your French Bulldog’s behavior. If the biting behavior continues or worsens, it’s important to consult a professional dog trainer or a veterinarian who specializes in behavior issues. That said, here are a few things you could try:

      Train with Positive Reinforcement: Teach your Frenchie that good things happen when she behaves appropriately around food. Use treats and praise to reward her for calm behavior around food-related situations. This can help her associate positive outcomes with not biting or nipping.

      Slow and Controlled Feeding: If your Frenchie gets overly excited around food, consider slowing down the feeding process. Use puzzle toys or slow-feed bowls to make mealtime more engaging and less frantic. This can reduce the association between your husband’s presence and immediate access to food.

      Manage Her Environment: During meal preparation, keep your Frenchie in a separate room or in a designated space where she can’t access the food. This reduces the chances of her being overly excited or tempted to nip around food.

      Desensitization: Gradually expose your Frenchie to situations involving food while maintaining control over her reactions. Start with small steps, like having your husband in the same room while you hold her. Gradually work up to having him interact with her without any immediate access to food.

      Obedience Training: Reinforce basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” These commands can help divert her attention from food-related stimuli and teach her impulse control.

      Counterconditioning: Help your Frenchie build positive associations with your husband’s presence around food. For instance, have your husband give her treats while she’s calm and well-behaved. This can gradually help her see him as a source of good things rather than a threat to her food.

      Consult a Professional: If the behavior persists or worsens, consider seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist. They can provide tailored advice based on observing your Frenchie’s behavior and help address the issue more effectively.

      I hope it helps a bit. All the best!

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