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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start up and say that I have read through all the stickies and I'm looking into getting Mine!. This is more of a question of how much do you intervene.

Okay so Aayla is weird with her food. She has some weird habits, but I've started wonder about her tenseness with having others around her while she is eating. If Kota goes near her and tried to eat out of her bowl, she has very stiff body with hard stare and if he still approaches she barks at him. Typically we manage the situation and he stays away. I don't consider it a huge problem because if someone was trying to steal my food I would say 'back off' too.

She sometimes will give him a hard stare when he walks past while she is eating, but no lift lipping, growling or barking.

She is tense with people too. Me less than others. I realized this when my BF asked if he could pet her while she was eating, I said that she shouldn't be bothered while eating, but at the same time she shouldn't do anything about it. Well he did it anyways and she kind of crouched down over her food away from him, avoided eye contact but clearly was guarding. I went to give him a treat saying that he should drop it by her for a walk by, but he refused to help with that situation. -sigh-

When I approach she may initially tense up but she relaxes quickly, but I can pet her, reach my hands in her bowl and so on without any escalating tension. I have always done exercises like hand feeding (sometimes she seems like she enjoys having me hold the meat so it doesn't slide around ((raw fed))), feeding tiny amounts and adding more to the bowl, treating while passing, pet->drop treat->leave. All of this she seems to tolerate, but it still slightly bothers her.

She will back up away from her food, drop it if its already in her mouth and so on when asked 100% of the time. I also do these exercises only once to twice a week so she isn't always bothered at meal time, most of the time she is left alone.

I'm a little unsure if I should be concerned and work harder on it, or if there is a point that some dogs just don't like being bothered while eating. She has never lifted a lip, growled or snapped at a person. Could this be a young dog thing and as she gets older she will be more confident? I want to work on it, but sometimes I feel like I micromanage too much.
 

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I let my dogs mildly guard their food from each other. I have 3, and letting them tell the others to say away from their bowl has actually made feeding time easier. They each have their own bowl they use every meal, and they understand you don't intrude on anyone else eating. They'll give a little warning growl if another gets too close, and they'll quickly back off. In the beginning, I always monitored to make sure it never escalated(I still keep an eye out). I don't allow guarding over any toys or chews, or being over the top about their food.

What I would be nervous about is the tension with people when eating. That is not acceptable and while it's very mild now, it could get much worse quickly, especially seeing that your dog is still young. I would absolutely be working on that a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I've been a little more worried about it. I guess I'll step up the work on getting her to relax. Its been one of those things that I've always been working on, I guess just not to the level she needs. She has been even more on edge since her heat cycle started, which is why I started the post.

I had read a while ago about the thought that when it comes to food aggression that sometimes it can worsen the behavior by doing too much work when a dog is eating. I think it got into my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

I was going to show a video of an exercise and how she behaves around her food. But she actually was pretty relaxed.
 
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