How to Handle a Food Aggressive Corgi: Step-By-Step Process

As the proud owner of a rescue corgi for the last three years, I know how much this breed loves their feed!

I also know that, like any dog breed, some corgis can get a little protective over their food.

Food aggression in corgis isn’t common, but it must be addressed as soon as possible to prevent any harm to other animals or humans.

Fortunately, it’s possible to handle a food aggressive corgi with a simple 7-step training plan, lots of patience and consistency.

Before we take a closer look at the training, first let’s find out why your corgi is food aggressive and some of the signs to watch out for.

Understand why your corgi is food aggressive

If your corgi growls, snaps or bites you (or anyone else) when you go near them during mealtime, these are signs of food aggression.

There are a number of reasons why your corgi may be food aggressive, including:

  • Learned behavior in puppyhood (by accident or by needing to compete over resources in a rescue center)
  • Trauma (neglect, physical abuse or a stressful experience)
  • Poor socialization
  • Underlying health issues

Food aggression doesn’t mean that your corgi is an inherently aggressive or dominant dog. In fact, they may never show any other signs of aggression except while eating. What it does mean is that your corgi is trying to protect their resources.

To prevent this from happening and ensure the safety of everyone around your corgi, let’s first identify the signs of food aggression.

Identify signs of food aggression

These are the signs to look out for if you suspect that your corgi is food aggressive:

  • Growling or snarling when approached while eating
  • Biting when someone tries to take away their food
  • Stiff body posture while eating
  • Guarding their food bowl
  • Eating quickly and aggressively
  • Showing signs of stress or anxiety around food
  • Attempting to steal food from other dogs or humans
  • Showing aggression to other animals or humans while eating

Ignoring food aggression can lead to more serious problems or physical harm to humans or other animals.

So, if your corgi displays any of these behaviors, it’s important to take action before it escalates.

How to handle a food aggressive corgi

How to stop your corgi’s food aggression: 7 steps

Here are some tips I recommend for any corgi owner trying to handle a food aggressive corgi:

1. Set a feeding schedule

Establish a regular feeding schedule for your corgi.

This will help your corgi know when to expect food and reduce anxiety around mealtime.

2. Get your corgi used to your presence

For at least the next 10 meal times, stand a few feet away from your corgi while they eat from their bowl.

You want them to feel completely relaxed eating near you before you move onto the next step.

3. Add a treat and step back

Once your corgi is comfortable eating in your presence, now add a tasty treat (like a piece of chicken or a homemade peanut biscuit) to their bowl and step back.

Again, do this at least ten times before moving onto the next step.

4. Try hand feeding

Start chatting conversationally to your corgi while they’re eating.

Ask them what they’re eating, whether they’re enjoying it and tell them about your day while they munch.

While you’re talking, offer your corgi a treat from your hand and once they’ve taken it, walk away to show them that you’re not interested in their food.

Repeat this process multiple times, getting your hand closer and closer to their bowl each time.

How to handle a food aggressive corgi

5. Touch their bowl (but don’t take food from it)

At this stage, you’re going to repeat Step 4 (give the treat beside their bowl), but this time you’re not going to walk away afterwards.

Instead, you’re going to offer the treat with one hand and with the other, you’re going to touch their bowl (but not take any food from it).

This will get your corgi used to your close presence during mealtimes.

6. Life their bowl off the ground to give them their treat

This is a big step in the process and a serious trust-building exercise.

In a calm tone, while your corgi is eating, pick up their bowl and hold it 6-12 inches from the ground.

Then add a treat and place it back down.

Each day, you’ll have a goal of lifting the bowl higher and higher until you can place it on a table to add the treat.

Repeat this step until you can walk a short distance away, add the treat, and place the bowl back down in the same place from which you picked it up.

7. Repeat this process with other family members

During this final stage, you want to repeat steps 1 through 6 with other family members to make sure that your corgi is 100% comfortable with other people during mealtimes.

As your corgi begins to trust everyone in the household around their food, their food aggression should stop altogether.

Don’t forget! The more patient and consistent you can be with your training, the easier it will be for your corgi to pick up new behavior.

Seek professional help

If you tried the steps above and your corgi is still displaying signs of food aggression, it might be time to seek professional help.

Your vet will be able to recommend a behavioral specialist who can work with you to develop a plan to address the issue and prevent any potential harm to your pets or family members.

Read me next:

Are Corgis Born With Tails? Here’s The Shocking Truth

How To Help A Corgi Lose Weight

The Best Wet Food For Corgis: 7 Options Your Corgi Will Love

Bella is the founder of Doggy & Pooch. She rehomed Winston the corgi in Jan 2020 and now shares her best tips and interesting facts with corgi lovers globally.

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