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I hope this is the right place to ask for help/ advice.
I have a 5YO M catahoula mix (75lbs) and a 1.5YO F plott hound (63 lbs). The Plott hound is the alpha but has always been friendly to our Catahoula. She has always been protective of her sticks and other toys but never has gone crazy and attacked anyone/ our catahoula.
She has viciously attacked our catahoula 3 times in the past MONTH over food (or what she thinks is food) and I do not understand or know where this came from. We have to put her pinch collar on her & separate both dogs just to put food in her bowl. She will go across the ROOM to attack him if there is food (or what she thinks is food.. one time she attacked him over crumbled paper).
Our Catahoula had to get stitches on his neck and she ripped off the tip of his ear. She always goes for the ears. Our Catahoula screams like a human in pain, its horrible to witness. The Plott hound also ripped into my thumb when I was trying to undo her grip on his ear the last time she did this.
She is always friendly except when she feels like he COULD POSSIBLY get her food or even if an unopened bag of dog food is in the same room as them. and I don't know if this is normal, part of a puppy growing up, mental illness, or something else.
I want to get a soft muzzle that she could wear and still lick, eat and play But she can't chomp down on him and attack him. My husband doesn't like that idea. I don't want to give her away, so my husband and I need to find some sort of agreement. Please help. I need advice and ideas and experience if anyone else has experienced this.
 

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Food is apparently a big trigger so for a start, I'd shut both of them out while you prepare the food. It depends on the layout of your house but put the food down in two places, and let each dog in separately. Leave them both alone to eat so ther is no competition.

It's late here so if there are no better replies I will try to answer in more detail tomorrow.
 

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No, it isn’t a normal part of puppies growing up (as in it isn’t a puppy-specific behavior that everyone goes through), but it isn’t a mental health issue either. It is a normal behavior as far as some dogs feeling the need to protect their food or fight for it, but it really isn’t something most people expect to experience with their pets.

You need to completely remove food from every situation. No treats for the dogs unless they’re in separate rooms or crated, no dogs in the kitchen while you cook, and both dogs need to be crated or separated completely by a door while they eat their meals, then bowls are immediate picked up.

I would also strongly encourage you to teach both dogs a “leave it” command so if a mistake is made, you have a backup command to keep them from going for the food.
 

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You need to completely remove food from every situation. No treats for the dogs unless they’re in separate rooms or crated, no dogs in the kitchen while you cook, and both dogs need to be crated or separated completely by a door while they eat their meals, then bowls are immediate picked up.
Yes, Do it in 4 to 5 phases!
1. Feed Separately in Separate rooms, keep the doors closed.
2.Feed Separately in Separate rooms but keep the doors open, make sure you are standing on door to avoid any clash.
3. If you have a big room or yard feed separately having a good distance but can see each other.
4. Try reducing the distance of bowls day by day.
5. if clash happen increase distance more and reduce again by time.


I would also strongly encourage you to teach both dogs a “leave it” command so if a mistake is made, you have a backup command to keep them from going for the food.




After teaching this simply follow same thing when the aggressive one try to approach other dog offer him/her their favorite food.

One more thing you can try is that give both of them plenty of food at a time in separate bowls, much enough that they eat and left some. If it will be just food insecurity they will start avoiding it, thinking they have lots of food, don't take off bowls until they are full. if the fight is after one had finished food and other eating slow this can stop it.
 
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