What do you do when your dog barks at food? Here’s What to Expect

6 Common Reasons Why A Dog Barks at His Food

The most common reason for dogs to bark at their food is that they are just so excited that they can’t contain it. Happy barking can be annoying for us humans, but they just want to communicate with you! Other signs that your dog is excited and not stressed are jumping around, wagging tails, and generally open body language.

Tips for Training

Luckily, it’s possible to train excited barking out of your feeding routine. With happy and excited dogs, the best way to train them is to wait to fill their bowl until they are calm. You can also pick up the bowl while they are barking. When they calm down, praise them and give them the food bowl. You can also train them using commands like “speak” and “quiet” to help control barking more generally.

The Dog Is Excited to Eat

If you have a rambunctious pup, they may be excited about many things, and one of those things is eating! Barking or howling as you’re giving them their bowl may just be their way of expressing how happy they are to have their food. This behavior may be accompanied by jumping, tail wagging, and pawing at their dish. If your dog is feeling especially hungry, they will be even more excited to eat.

What to Do

If your pup is just excited and you don’t mind the vocalness, there is nothing that needs to be done. Some dog owners find it endearing that their dog is so happy to eat their food. If you’d prefer this behavior to stop, though, you can train your dog to be calm at mealtimes. Wait for them to calm down before you give them their bowl. They will soon learn that subdued behavior is a quick way to get what they want.

Whether you pinpoint the source of your dogs food barking or not, you can try to get the habit to go by following the universal, never-failing trick – by not encouraging it. Your canine companion might just be trying to get your attention or complaining about his dry food. Instead of hovering and trying to be accommodative, ignore the barking and walk away. Remember that your behavior is setting the rules at all times and that you are responsible for reinforcing the proper behavior of your pup. The same goes for discouraging bad behavior or actions you don’t approve of. Don’t give in because what you might consider as “giving your dog a break” today can be much more harmful in the long run, as it can get him used to certain behavior, create patterns, and confuse him. Just as you would ignore your dog when it’s barking at you to receive food, you should ignore him if he’s barking after he has received it. That is a clear signal for your dog that you are standing your ground and will not be manipulated or pressured into complying with his demands – hence making your dog adjust to you instead of the other way around.

It is also possible that a change in his diet could be behind his barking. Does he eat the food with enthusiasm and a wagging tail? The barking could be a sign of appreciation, it is, after all, how dogs communicate. However, if his ears are pinned down or his tail is tucked in between his legs – it could mean your dog is anxious. This could be instinctual because other dogs are around or even possibly because he views his food as prey that needs to be dominated. This is especially a possibility if his food consists of something like a raw chicken leg, which due to the meat odor and boniness can be found threatening by some dogs. Experiment with different food to see if there’s a correlation, or if you recently changed things up, do the opposite and bring back the old kibble to see if it will resolve the situation. Although the barking can be annoying unless your dog is not eating or exhibiting any other symptoms it is no cause for alarm. Even though there might not be published studies on this yet, there are hundreds of forum posts with pet owners describing this behavior as just their puppy being quirky.

If you’ve tried the above suggestions and the behavior still occurs, you have only two options left. If you are concerned, see a professional about it. For example, a dog trainer or a veterinary professional, to see if they have a deeper insight into your dog’s behavior. Alternatively, if your dog does always end up eating the food after his barking sessions, and he does not seem to be in any pain or distress, and his barks do not seem to be doing any excessive harm to your ears…you can always just try to see it as your dog simply saying grace before his meal.

The key in figuring out why your dog might be barking at his food lies in observation and identifying the triggers, switching things up to see if the situation improves or if the behavior is new or recent, retracing your steps and changing things back to what they used to be. At the end of the day, your dog might just be yearning for some love, care, and attention – just make sure to give it to him during the non-barking window.

Considering the fact that it a pretty unusual thing for dogs to do, little research has been made in finding the psychological root of this behavior. In other words, you’re on your own. However, don’t be discouraged, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t find the cause or the cure. Dog behavior as a whole can be a very individual thing and another dogs habit can be caused by an entirely different thing than yours.

How to Stop Dog Barking! (Cesar911 Shorts)

Does your dog bark non-stop anytime you have a meal? It’s most likely a bad behavior that has built up over time. Here are some things you can try if you want to have a meal in peace.

1. Stop Giving Your Dog Human Food Chances are, you or someone else in the household has already given the dog food every time she barks. Dogs are smart animals. Over time, the dogs will start to understand that they’ll be rewarded with food every time they bark. They might give you the puppy eyes but you have to stop this right now.

The food we eat can also be very dangerous to dogs. For example, dogs can’t eat food like chocolate, grapes, and onions. Don’t put your dog’s health at risk by offering them a bit of your meal.

2. Keep the Dogs Busy Give them something interesting to do while you eat. For example, some owners have had success keeping their dog quiet by giving them a treat-filled toy. Unless the dog is a major genius, the toy should keep them busy until you are done eating.

Also, don’t just give them treats on a plate or food bowl. They’ll gobble the treat up in a matter of seconds and start barking again for more.

3. Reinforce Calmness You want to reward your dog when she stays calm, not when she barks. You might often see this being referred to as the ‘capturing calmness’ training. The first step of this training is to ignore your dog when she starts begging for your food. Any sort of interaction can reinforce your dog’s behavior.

The next step is to reward your dog with a treat any time she remains quiet while you are eating. The dog will eventually learn that staying calm is a positive thing. Be patient as it can take some time for dogs to get the message, especially if they are stubborn.

A concept called extinction burst may also come into play when you try a ‘capturing calmness’ training. This means your dog’s barking behavior will initially get worse, but at a certain point, the dog will finally realize her bad behavior will always get ignored so she’ll gradually stop the bad behavior.

4. Go on a Walk with Your Dog Plan the dog walk or exercise session so it happens just before mealtime. The goal of this is to tire out your dog to the point where she’s too tired to beg for food.

Please note that this could sometimes backfire, especially if the dog gets really hungry after a long walk. In that case, you might want to also schedule your dog’s meal straight after she’s given plenty of exercise.

5. Introduce Crate Training Crates can be of great value for people who are trying to train their puppies. The purpose of crate training is to make the crate a safe spot for your dog. Your dog should be willing to go inside with or without your intervention. If done correctly, you can leave the dog in the crate while you have your meal.