If puppies have plenty of proper toys to play with, it is easy to teach them to ‘leave-it’ and ‘drop-it’ and tell them “all done” when it comes to the items we don’t want them chewing.
Puppies need to play. Like our human children, their job during development is PLAY!
Don’t limit their toys.
Instead, expand their horizons because they need to explore and chew in order to learn what is and is not appropriate.
Because of this, we can use this play to teach them how to leave their toys, drop them, ignore them, and hopefully not guard them. And, we can prevent them finding toys like boots, shoes, socks, etc.
If they have plenty of proper toys to play with, it is easy to teach them to ‘leave-it’ and ‘drop-it’ and tell them “all done” when it comes to the items we don’t want them chewing.
Pax’e is a nine week old AussieDoodle. In teaching her to tug at my sock, she learns that commands can be fun. She learns socks are boring. And, while she may have wanted to tug with that sock instead of giving it up at first, the ‘drop-it’ command worked.
It’s never too early to start teaching, playing, having fun, and building your relationship with your pup.
Over the next several weeks/months Pax’e’s training exploits will be showcased. Sometimes with success and sometimes, maybe not.
Regardless of success, it will always be a learning process.
If you subscribe to The Whole Dog Journal, you will see this month’s March 2018 edition with the article: “Kidding Around, Combining kids and dogs in your family can be magical and heartwarming, or cause a devastating tragedy…”
If you don’t subscribe to WDJ, I highly recommend you do, and not just for this article, there is so much more. At least a half a dozen times a month I recommend WDJ to new dog families and even established dog families for the journal’s ongoing commitment to information on training, behavior, health, various products from harnesses to toys, and the annual food guides are invaluable.
Resource Guarding can be one of the trickiest behavioral issues to modify and manage because there are so many variations.
Some dogs only guard their food
Some guard toys
Some guard bones
Some guard anything that hits the floor
Some guard whatever it was they just stole
Regardless of what your dog guards and to what degree, the process is the same. There will be adjustments for management and time needed to modify the behavior, but ultimately it is all about teaching your dog that giving up something is far more profitable then guarding it.
And, occasionally, the guarding will pop up for the rest of your dog’s life during stressful periods, or high energy/excited play, but by keeping your dog’s skills in good working order, you will be able to easily resolve any guarding issues.
We were all a bit worried when our son arrived in our home with the ‘Super villain of Resource Guarding’ living there. However, by teaching Pinball good solid commands, and slowly allow him and my son to spend managed time together, we saw things we never expected to see. This video where Charlie Brown Takes a Dive is a great example of how far a resource guarding dog can come with some skills, management, and persistence.
In the end, if your dog guards things, training good skills then working with a good behavior consultant is essential to take those skills and turn them into more positive behaviors.