Imagine your partner puts the dog's food down, but you realize the dog wasn't supposed to eat. Perhaps the dog is due for minor surgery at the vet clinic and is supposed to fast. You've already booked the day off work and so it's even more important to go ahead today. Without thinking, you swoop down with the intention of removing the food bowl... only to have the dog growl and lunge at you.
Shocked, it now occurs to you the dog has been getting defensive over his meals of late. Then a horrible thought pops into your mind. What if the kids get between the dog and his dinner?
This concern is totally valid, because dog food aggression can pose a significant risk to the unwary owner.
Such behavior isn't the dog being dominant, and it is a mistake to view it as such. Down this path lies the potential for an ill-informed owner to challenge the dog and forcibly remove the food in order to prove who is boss. This is likely to end with the owner being bitten and the dog erroneously labeled as aggressive.
Instead, it is better to correct the problem using dog psychology. This relies on changing the dog's perception of people as a threat to his food, and instead help him view people as providers.
Never rush this training or place yourself in danger. Also, be prepared to take baby steps and only progress once the dog has been relaxed on at least 10 consecutive meal times. If you force the pace, at best all your good work will be undone in an instant and at worst you may get badly bitten.
Also, know that prevention is better than cure. The methods listed below are also ideal to use with a new puppy so that he gets off on the right paw from the start.
You will need: