How to Stop Dog Barking When We Are Eating

Why can’t you just enjoy a meal in peace? You love your four-legged friend so much but it’s completely obnoxious when your dog won’t stop barking when you’re eating with your family. Why do they do this? And what does it mean if they take things even further, and your dog growls when you’re eating? Should you give your dog food if they bark during your meals or just ignore them?

Well, you can relax because this will all soon be behind you. Today, you’re going to get all the information you’re looking for, and most importantly we’ll tell you how to stop this annoying behavior. So without further ado, keep reading and we’ll fill you in on what you wanted to learn in this article “How to Stop Dog Barking When We Are Eating.”

Why Do Dogs Bark When We Are Eating?

How to Stop Dog Barking When We Are Eating

Dogs bark when we are eating because they are hungry and see you having a meal as an opportunity for them to get some food. If you or someone else has been rewarding this type of behavior (by giving in and giving your dog food), then it’s no surprise that they would continue to do it.

While it may not seem like a big deal, you need to be very careful about indulging your dog when they’re doing this type of demand barking. If allowed (and more importantly, rewarded), your dog will see that it works and soon you’ll have them barking when you prepare food, or maybe even barking in the early morning so that you can get up and make them something.

Dogs are pack animals (having descended from wolves) and food is an important way that they view who is where on the family hierarchy. Giving into your dog’s food demands causes them to think that they are the pack leader, which leads to all sorts of other definitely negative behaviors.

Since you already have your dog barking at you when you’re eating, your dog almost certainly is viewing itself as the one in charge in your household. You should begin addressing this right away through behavioral training before their problems grow and escalate. Continue to the last section of this article where we’ll cover how to do that.

Why Does My Dog Growl at Us When We Are Eating?

Your dog growls at you when you are eating because they are having significant problems with aggression. Remember that we discussed earlier how dogs are pack animals, and food is an important way that they view who is where on the family pack ladder. When your dog growls when you have food, they are clearly displaying that they think they are the pack leader.

That’s because a pack leader gets their choice of food in a pack and eats first, so when they see you eating and start growling, they are getting angry because they see someone (you) who should be submissive to them trying to take over their role. You must immediately begin correcting this through behavioral training before they start lashing out and biting.

We’ll fill you in on how to do this in the last section of this article, which you can skip to now.

Should We Give Our Dog Food if They Bark When We Are Eating?

You should not give your dog food if they bark when you are eating. Doing so might feel right because you love your dog and want to share things with them, but it will only cause you problems down the road. That’s because you’re rewarding a negative behavior, which causes your dog to think that they are doing something good.

So it’s only natural that if you give your dog food when they bark when you are eating that they will continue doing that. You may think that you’re fine with that, but if you indulge them in this way then they’ll think that they’re in charge of you, and will begin misbehaving in other areas that you will certainly not find cute or harmless.

How to Stop Your Dog Barking When You Are Eating

To stop your dog barking when you are eating, the next time that they do, you should immediately calmly but firmly give them a “quiet” command. If they fail to listen, then take them into another room or to their crate for a timeout until you are finished eating. Be consistent and they should quickly learn that barking at you when you’re eating does not get rewarded.

But you’ll still need to address what was causing this behavior in the first place at the root. We spoke earlier about how dogs are pack animals, and that your dog demanding food when you are eating is a sign that they feel like they are the pack leader. This is the core problem you’ll need to fix.

By showing your dog that you — and you alone — are the family pack leader, not them, you’ll be able to stop all the behavioral problems you’re currently experiencing, including barking when you’re eating. But if you fail to do so, then this problem will grow and escalate, with other problems popping up too.

Since you’re already reading this, it’s clear which choice you’ve made, so let’s now talk about how you’ll go about showing your dog that you are their pack leader.

These sorts of things are best learned by watching rather than reading, which is why I’d recommend an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan on this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In it, he’ll show you everything you need to know in ways that are very easy to understand and to teach to your own dog.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t worry if you’re busy, because the series was made exactly for people like you. Dan doesn’t waste time, he just gets right to the point so that you can start seeing real noticeable results with your dog in a hurry.

Stressed that you might have to be mean? Don’t be! Dan uses only 100% humane and loving training methods at all times, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the only way to achieve fast and permanent results with your dog.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to seeing these wonderful changes in your four-legged friend, so I’ll let you get started on things. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading this article “How to Stop Dog Barking When We Are Eating!”

The Author



Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge on dog training and behavior, while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.