Dog resource guarding is a common trait that is present in a large majority of our four legged friends.
But what is it? Why does it happen? And what can you do about it?
Simply put, resource guarding is any action taken by an animal to guard what they find valuable.
This isn’t something that is specific to any breed of dog or even any animal.
Take for example, human beings, when we leave our home for the day we set our alarms and lock our doors. Effectively guarding what we find to be valuable. Our car doors- we lock them. Cell phones- locked and secured!
For an animal the act of guarding a resource can actually keep them alive.
Think of a wild animal- they locate food and need it to sustain life. You better believe they will guard that food and exhibit what we call “resource guarding.”
This behavior is natural and is deeply ingrained in many animals that we choose to cohabitate with.
Most people think of food or toys that a dog will resource guard, but did you know that dogs also commonly resource guard people, objects, and even space.
What resource the animal deems valuable enough to guard is up to that animal and also dependent on the situation.
It is incredibly specific to each animal.
If it is safe to do so, there are a couple training techniques that can help your dog better manage their resource guarding tendencies.
These include, teaching a reliable recall. Be able to call your dog away from even the most distracting and engaging scenario.
Or teach your dog to trade- they have an object and trade for a better thing.
If at any point your dog’s behavior scares you, get in contact with a professional trainer immediately.
Your trainers will instruct you how to perform necessary training scenarios to ensure your dog’s resource guarding is managed correctly.
Make sure to follow these guidelines and structure to a T.
The trainers at Happy With Dogs would be thrilled to assist you in learning how to live a better, safer life with your dog.