Resource guarding refers to a dog displaying behavior intended to convince other dogs or humans to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a, or occasionally a person.
Resource guarding is normal dog behavior. Dogs have evolved as opportunistic feeders, and it’s natural for them to protect what they consider to be “theirs” from potential takers. The displays of growling and related body language are the dog’s way of saying, “Back off! This is mine, and I don’t intend to give it up.” In most cases, the dogs are simply communicating, and one dog will back down. If, however, the dogs fight over resources or if a more timid dog feels stressed, you should separate the dogs around desired objects, like food, bones, and toys.
That said, resource guarding can be a serious problem if a dog threatens to bite his human family when they try to take something away. Dogs must be willing to give up things they would rather keep. Resource guarding is a major cause of aggression toward humans, particularly toward children. Children, especially small children, carry around toys and food where the dog can reach them. Children are less likely to understand the importance of respecting the dog’s possessions and are likely to grab for them.
Solution: When it comes to working on resource guarding with your dog we recommend starting off with a private session. Within a private session we can focus on what your dogs triggers are, how to avoid injury to family members and how to help your dog be comfortable eating or playing with toys around your family.
Call Jason at 541-608-2857 Email: JasonLake@charter.net.