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By January 3, 2018Uncategorized

Resource Guarding in Dogs.

What is resource guarding in dogs?

Resource guarding can be normal behavior dogs display, stemming from the mentality of keeping valuable items from others. Items of value to your dog can vary greatly. Typical items include toys, food, and places (comfortable spots on the couch, cozy spots on the bed, and their own dog bed).

Growling, snipping, and biting are just some examples of behavior dogs will show when guarding favored items. Dogs will do these behaviors to warn off people and/or dogs from what they think is theirs. These behaviors can become quite serious leading to injury to both furry and human family members.

Helping your pet with resource guarding.

Do NOT punish your dog for displays of resource guarding. Dogs generally start with small behavioral problems, such as growling, if growling is harshly corrected without the proper guidance to desired behavior he/she may jump immediately to increased aggression like biting without warning.

**If your dog has serious guarding issues please consult a behavioral trainer before proceeding on your own for your family’s safety. **

There are many steps to take to help your dog who may currently have or may not have habit of resource guarding. The ultimate goal of the following behavioral training is to teach your pet that humans and dog friends provide good, high value treats/fun by being present.

When first bringing your dog home, hand feeding them can help build a good relationship between you and your pet. Also for more than just behavioral health, it is a great idea to start your pet with scheduled feeding times. This allows your pet to understand that his/her family members are the source of food. Training your dog with a ‘leave it’ or ‘drop it’ command can also help your pet know when an object is not appropriate to chew on. Having your pet know this command makes it easy for family members to take away the object.

If your dog is guarding possessions from other dogs you can begin training him/her by giving treats to the companion dog then to the pet that is showing guarding behavior. This allows for the dog who is guarding to realize when other dogs get treats he/she gets good things too.

Never take a dog beyond their threshold when training. If your pet is already excited and showing signs of aggression, it is hard for them to be open to learning. Start slowly and work towards moving the pets closer each day allowing the guarding pet to get more comfortable each time you train with them.

When should I seek outside help?

If you at anytime feel that yourself, family members, or furry family members are in danger from being bitten contact outside help. Reach out to your veterinarian for aid and information of names for trainers who can help you. Remember modifying behavior in any pet takes time, patience, and consistency.

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