November 16, 2019
There's a myth that feeding a dog raw meat or blood will make him "crazy", and while it's true that giving a dog anything he really likes may make him posessive, feeding your dog raw meat will not change his personality. The idea that dogs become bloodthirsty when given raw meat is actually rooted in sound observation - wolves, coyotes, wild dogs, and other canine cousins are natural hunters and scavengers, and will hunt prey and defend kills in order to survive.
Posessive growling is not the same as a dog becoming "crazy" or bloodthirsty, and the idea that dogs would suddenly become a killer after being given raw meat is a complete myth. Dogs are no more affected by eating raw meat than we are eating a nice burger - except it's much healthier for them! In fact, raw meat is what generations of dogs ate before commercial kibble was invented, and they did just fine.
Fresh, raw, meat and blood contains many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients essential for a healthy body. If your dog growls or becomes overly posessive of his food, it's a good idea to practice obedience training exercises like sit & stay before meals. Putting food down while your dog is in a sit-stay encourages him to be calm about his meals and not overly posessive. Feeding smaller meals more frequently gives you more time to practice training, encouraging your dog to build new habits around mealtimes. Instead of being tense and protective of his food, he'll be patient and relaxed.
Similarly, feeding your dog in a private area like the outside patio, or his kennel can make food aggression less of an issue. Simply put, if there's no reason to bother your dog while he's eating, posessive behavior can easily be managed by keeping your dog crated while he eats. This can also help your dog feel more secure, and less likely to growl defensively when people pass by. For some dogs, professional training can help reduce the tendancy to be aggressive and make your dog overall more comfortable around meals.
Guarding valuable things for people or other animals is normal dog behavior. In the wild, wolves who successfully protect their resources, such as territory and food, are more likely to survive than those who don't.
If your dog is so protective that he might bite you, you should seek the help of a professional trainer and not try to resolve the issue on your own. Never underestimate a stressed animals propensity to defend itself.
With that being said, if your dogs posessive behavior is fairly mild, one easy way to discourage it is to feed your dogs meal in 5-6 portions, so that you have to refill his bowl several times in one meal. Give your dog a tiny amount of dog food and let him finish, then pick the bowl up and do it again until he's had a complete meal. The idea is to encourage your dog to be OK with giving up his bowl, and not be so concerned when someone reaches in to grab it, by doing it more often.
If your dog growls or guards his food, make sure to manage his behavior around guests and family members. Do not allow your dog to eat in an area where people might disturb him. Instead, feed him in his kennel or outside and make sure you are vocal in telling people not to bother your dog while he's eating.
With training, posessive behavior can be very successfully adjusted, but it usually takes time to see noticable change. The ASPCA offers multiple training tips that they describe as as fairly complex and detailed because each exercise is done in steps, and requires a good understanding of a dogs body language.