Feeding time in this house is a very controlled event. It has to be when you have a pack of dogs and one food crazed jack russell. Jessie has an auto immune disorder so she is on prednisone for the rest of her life, this added to the fact that she is a Jack Russell makes her somewhat of a tiny white shark. But she is a very smart tiny white shark.
Jessie will eat just about anything that seems to be edible so when it is actually time to eat she is a little out of control. If I just threw my hands in the air and said this is crazy or I'm just too lazy someone would definitely get hurt, and that someone would probably be Jessie.
I am the boss and the dogs know this fact, so that means I control the food. Each dog has their own bowl and their own spot where that bowls is put down for them to eat. The dogs are fed in the same order at every meal. This act itself eliminates any mixed signals of whose bowl is whose. It may seem like a little overboard but it sure makes feeding time a breeze. No one tries to eat someone elses food and no one is in a panic, except Jessie that is. But even though she is a whirling white food eater she is controlled in that she knows her bowl and her spot.
No sooner is Jessie's food down, its gone. She is fed first as the present "top dog," then Tilley and lastly Luke. It works out well this way but as soon as that little shark is done inhaling her food she is circling. Jessie is no fool but she sure is a dare devil and she has and does make death defying dives for the tiniest morsel of food. The poodles know that I will not allow her to take their food and that only a small growl is needed to give me a heads up that she is moving in on their food.
Because I love to watch canine behavior I find feeding time to be very entertaining. Luke now knows that the circling Jessie will not take his food because I will not let her so he occasionally will walk several feet away, turn around and come back to his food, because he can. I'm pretty sure it makes him feel like a big guy when he does this. But this does show that there is calm in the kitchen at meal time which is what you want.
In all of my years with dogs we have never had a fight over food, there is no need for any fighting. The dogs know the rules and know that anything outside of those rules is not allowed. They sometimes eat outside but in the same order and same bowls. It is very routine and structured but because of it I have no over excited or grabbing behavior at meal time.