Scary night and busy week

The other night, I suggested that A trying petting Ben, our dog, while he was eating. Ben has lately gotten quite psycho about his food - something he hadn't ever been before. His attitude toward food used to be a "take it or leave it" mentality. Notsomuch anymore. Lately, he's really fixated on you when it comes time to fill up his bowl, will sit and wait perfectly for you to release him to eat, but will whine and warble if you make him wait too long.

So anyways, a couple of days ago, A tried to pet him, and Ben got growly at him. He became stern with him and popped him a little, and Ben calmed down, but continued wolfing his food. Last night, as A was walking a movie back to the store, I was feeding Ben and decided to try to pet him.

Just like the night before, he got growly at me. I told him 'no' and continued to pet him as he ate, and he got even worse. I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and he went nutty on me. After throwing him to the ground, and grabbing all four of his legs, he snapped at me. I picked up his food and made him "sit" and "watch me." Once he started to behave, I put his food back down and tried again. Again, he got snarly at me - worse than I have ever seen him before. Enough so that he scared me. I put him in the dark bathroom and waited for A to get home (not without a slightly-hysterical phone call that left my husband really afraid we had a rabid dog that would have to be put down).

After a stern talking-to, A let Ben out and gave him the rest of his food and tried to pet him some. Ben got a little vocal again, but A just told him "No" and he seemed to stop. Later, so I could go to bed and not be afraid of the dog I have had for 3 years, I hand-fed Ben another scoop of food and worked mightily on obedience with him between every bite. We both did OK with that :)

So....any thoughts? Have any of you had a food-aggressive dog that you had to deal with? Other than hand-feeding and re-establishing my "alpha-ness," any suggestions? Ben needs to know I'm the alpha (he understands that A is....but I think he thinks I'm lower in the "pack pecking order" than he is), so I try to assert that all the time with him.

Other than this, and some on-leash anxiety about seeing other dogs, Ben's turning out to be a decent dog. Last night's little episode just really scared me. So, any suggestions, other than continually messing with him while eating, establishing my dominance and hand-feeding for a while, what can you recommend?

I don't want to live with a crazy dog! Especially this week - It will be just me and Benny for a few days as A has a job at a tennis tournament. Meanwhile, I'll be running around like crazy, covering all the fun events happening at SEBTS this week - BOV/BOT meetings, special chapel services and global missions week activities, to name a few. Then, Lord willing, I'll be heading to the beach for the day on Saturday with a couple of girlfriends to enjoy some sunshine and seafood! Hello spring :) You're crazy, but I love you.



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I'm a 20-something transplanted Southerner - in love with my Savior and in love with my husband. As we move from urban-loft dwellers to home-owners and parents, feel free to share in the happenings around the VanderHouse.

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