Food Guarding at Pawcation

Puppy Feeding

Pawcation is a Dog Hotel that encourages free roaming socialisation between our dog guests. While socialisation is a healthy activity and we firmly believe our guests should participate in it, incidents that cause injuries can happen. Hence, we have implemented several precautions to reduce that risk.

One of the measures we have taken is the implementation of the temperament test. In our temperament test, we ensure that our hotel guests can socialise and play safely with our other guests. You can read more about our temperament test here. Another measure we implemented was directed at possible misunderstanding during feeding because of the behaviour of Food Guarding.

Food Guarding is Natural

While food guarding is not acceptable behaviour for domesticated dogs, what most dog owners don’t realise is that food guarding is a natural behaviour in dogs. Dogs in the wild survive only through resource guarding. If you observed a pack of dogs living in the wild, the dogs never steal the food from another dog. It is an unwritten rule in the “Doggy Code” to not steal food from other dogs.

So with this knowledge, it seems that the onus here is for dog owners to train their dogs not to beg, or steal, from another dog. However, this behaviour is hard to teach and, even more, difficult to correct. One reason many domesticated dogs are not trained to honour the “Doggy Code” of not stealing other dog’s food, mainly because they do not have other dogs to “teach” them when they were puppies.

Measures We Have at Pawcation

Our precautions begin from food preparation. During food preparation, we require all dogs to be in their rooms. The reason for this is because if dogs were allowed to roam during the preparation of food, some dogs might perceive that the food being prepared is “rightfully” theirs and begin their food guarding behaviour. When this happens, all it might take is an innocent dog simply walking by to cause a misunderstanding and possibly starting a fight.

Once the food is prepared, we bring the food to the dogs in their rooms and allow them to feed privately. It is only after the dogs are done with their meal that we allow them out of the room to continue with play.

The safety and wellbeing of our hotel guests are of utmost importance to us. Through our temperament test, we ensure that dogs coming into the hotel can safely play with the other guests. Also, with the measures in place during feeding time, we have also reduced the likelihood of injuries through misunderstandings during food guarding.

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