In general, unless a dog is charging to attack, I try to avoid ever giving physical corrections. HOWEVER, working hard on the look at me/leave it command til you get 100 percent at home, then going to a park or having a friend help with dropping food or toys or whatever and work on it there. Animals build neural paths to behaviors and the more you work, the more situations you introduce where you can get Oakley to put his eyes and attention ON YOU no matter what is going on, the better.
Sonnyboy- I remember you saying you got in to see Dr. Dodman, I have heard good things about him. Certainly I am looking for certified behaviorists/ professionalisms who specialize in food directed aggression/ possession. I want to have names and numbers in my pocket for sure, especially because I know this is going to be a long turnaround process. Eeefarm and Debra, good suggestions: I did take him home after the chip/person incident, it was late and we were there at least 1.5-2 hours at that point and you could tell being "over it" had something to do with the how far he took it. The physical correction is one I'm not comfortable with, I have in the past grabbed his muzzle (like the other night) to close it during a growl and saying no..but I don't think it's the correct response, as he then seems to use that as spite the next time..besides taking him from the situation is it appropriate to raise tone and say "no" or "leave it" ?
Very appropriate to say a stern no and leave it. For some, holding the muzzle is also okay, but if it escalates his behavior, obviously not for him.
I just feel the more you work with him consistently that food is NOT his, not at home, not on the street, not out, the less he will react to it. Once you reset his mind to "the only food I get is what I am given" the better it will be. And although not an issue at home generally, starting at home all the time with work for food, well it will lay the foundation.
Working with Oakley..progress is slow but had promising results during our "boarder stay"…he instantly remember the dog who we had as a 8-12 week puppy...he had moments of snarkiness which are very typical for him, coming too Close when he's sleeping, after he's played for awhile..as far as the food goes it was better than expected. He seemed ok to eat in the kitchen with her as long as he ate first...the only troublesome moments were in anticipation of the meal as I was fixing their bowls, he would go after her and snark and bite but not viciously..it was stern, don't get me wrong but he seemed not to take it to the next level which he would have done with a dog he didn't know. The bigger issue was when "I" was eating..my food sparked definite territorialsm, he would get aggressive but still with a stop filter..he wouldn't allow her near me and she knew to backoff and stay alway. I did end up crating him during my meals when he got too stimulated. Overall, I was surprised to see he didn't viciously try to hurt her but he definitely displayed inappropriate behaviors (for what I'd want to see in the future). I'm pleased it was better than expected and have a better direction in training