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For your first question, I'd advise more exercise for your dog. Some dogs just need more than you think. Niko gets a six mile walk/run in the AM, two hours of free play in the mid-day, and an hour walk in the evening. He's very well-behaved in the house and has never gotten the zoomies (in the house). Now with your dog, you may need to do even more than that. Also don't forget mental stimulation. Challenge him to figure out new things, be it new treat puzzle toys, or new commands/tricks.

It's great that you are doing NILIF, if it makes you feel any better, I suspect your dog would be even more difficult if you had not done that.

When you need to take a high value treat or toy, remember to trade up. Meaning if he's got a yummy bone, trade him for it with a piece of steak or something. Then give it right back to him, so he knows that you taking it away doesn't mean it's gone forever. Then trade it again. Teach him "drop it" with something not so high value. Always give it back to your dog after rewarding him for doing the drop it. Gradually increase the value of the item you are using during drop it, and also increase the value of the reward when he does drop it. Eventually you should be able to use the drop it command on those high value items. Over time you can use the drop it command and not return the item, but give a hefty reward.

Personally, I leave my dogs alone when they eat. I stand right there, keeping the bowl still with my feet, but I don't put my hands on them or anything like that. I don't have much experience with food aggression, so maybe someone else can help you better with that.
 

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You should add NLIY, nothing in life is yours (his).

You need to pin (alpha roll) your dog ASAP.
Who's the boss, anyway? Your dog should NEVER growl at you, it should not enter his mind.
At 8 months you have a big dog with a puppy's brain and he is beginning to assert himself.
You can't allow him to dictate to you for ANYTHING.
With all due respect, I must disagree with the need for alpha rolling. For one, its merits as a training tool are debatable, and secondly, if done in such a way that the dog feels frightened or threatened, it can be extremely dangerous to the person doing it, not to mention the effect it has on the trust between dog and owner. I do agree with your statement that the dog is beginning to assert himself and test his limits. This is where all the hard work in training you did when he was young and compliant comes in to play. Continue to be consistent with the rules, be firm but fair.
 
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