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.
I have lived with, Pinball, the ‘Super Villain of Resource Guarding’ and have posted an excerpt about my strategies for working through his issues from my book “Please Don’t Bite the Baby, and Please Don’t Chase the Dogs.”
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.