Veterinary Behavioural Medicine

Veterinary Behavioural Medicine

Is concerned with the diagnosis & treatment of animal behaviourial issues.

VBM is a branch of veterinary medicine that is concerned with the diagnosis & treatment of behaviour problems in animals.



Phone consultations are also available. Contact us for more information

Animal Behaviour Consultations is a veterinary behavioural practice operating across Victoria. Treatments used are safe, practical, humane and sympathetic and…



Problem solving and environmental enrichment for your animals

Get more information on preventing problems and enriching your pets environment

Contact Us

Contact Us

Contact Dr Jacqui Ley to discuss your pets behaviour

Contact Dr Jacqui Ley to discuss your pets behaviour or book an in person or over the phone consultation

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Aggression at Dinner Time

Food Aggression Food related aggression is a potentially dangerous problem for some families.  Some dogs feel the need to protect and defend their food from people or from other animals. 
This is probably genetically programmed into the dog’s survival instincts, which is why it can be difficult to treat.
Some dogs will begin to growl softly when approached while eating.  The growl will become louder and more intense, the closer the intruder gets to the dog.  Other dogs will frantically gulp their food and growl. 
Others will try and stare down intruders while eating and growling.
Food related aggression needs to be managed to keep everyone safe when the dog is feed.
Managing Food Related Aggression
Managing food related aggression It requires active avoidance of situations that provoke the aggression.
It is not just tolerating the aggression.  When dogs are allowed to behave aggressively, they are learning that this behaviour is effective and appropriate.
Avoidance includes the following steps:
The dog is not allowed access to its bowl except at discrete meal times.  At all other times the bowl must be removed and be in a save place.
Create a place for the dog to be fed. This may be a pen or a room in the house or a dog crate. 
If you have children or other pets or just a busy household, consider making the feeding area lockable and using signs to avoid people walking accidentally walking into the dog’s feeding space.
The dog must not be fed from the table or while food is being prepared.  There must be no exceptions to this rule
The dog is to be confined during meals, gatherings and barbecues.  Do not feel guilty about this. 
You will be more relaxed and enjoy yourself if you are not worrying about the dog biting someone.
When it is time for the dog to be fed, it can either be restrained in another place until the bowl is on the floor or it can be told to sit and stay until the bowl is on the floor.  All people and other pets must leave the area until the dog has finished eating.
If you wish to feed treats and snacks to your dog, use ones that it can finish in a few minutes. 
The treats must be fed in the dog’s bowl in the meal area under the same conditions as meals.  If your dog hides biscuits or other treats, consider not feeding them.  They are not essential for your dog’s health.
Be aware that some dogs will attempt to hide highly valued treats, such as bones, pig’s ears or biscuits. 
They then will become aggressive if these treasures are approached.  It is common sense not to feed these dogs treats