I cannot express how strongly I AGREE that dogs should be let to eat in peace. Dr. Ed Bailey, an animal behaviourist and dog lover, agrees too. he says this:
Do not interrupt his eating. Set his food down and let him eat without wondering when you are going to stop him. Your wife must set the food down and not reach into the dish as though she is taking it away. Dogs don't like being jerked around any more than people do. Mostly, dogs prefer things to be organized, predictable and consistent.
The bold is mine.
Joan Orr and Teresa Lewin, founders of Doggone Safe and the Doggone Crazy board game, also agree it is VERY BAD to mess with and take away a dog's food while it is eating. They say:
Many people are of the unfounded belief that taking the bowl (or other high value object) away and giving it back is a way to teach the dog to accept this. Actually this teaches the dog to mistrust people coming near the bowl. The action that occurs immediately following the approach of the person is the taking of the desired object. Even if the object is subsequently returned, it is the taking away that becomes associated with the approach of a person. Using this approach could increase bite risk for children and visitors to the home since the dog will assume that any person intends to take his treasures and he may be less tolerant than with the ruling adult.
Note this article is at the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and obviously they endorse this thinking as well.
Here is the Doggone Safe website for more information on how to achieve safe interactions between children and dogs. http://www.doggonesafe.com/
My thinking is, just suppose an owner does use the taking food away method. Who has such a parent given the duty of the safety of their child to? The dog. The dog? The dog is now responsible for the safety of the child? Come on, parents, do your job. Your child's safety is your responsiblity. Parents must supervise their small children around their dog, whether the dog is eating or not, but especially while it is eating.