In my continuing Resource Guarding Series, I’ve already covered prevention, what not to do and some myths. Today I’m talking about some of the training options available. It’s important to note here that all this training here was done by a certified and credentialed behavior consultant (me!) and for aggression and fear cases, it’s important to work under the guidance of a professional, for the best results and to make sure you don’t make issues worse. While some of this may look easy or simple, I’m following a standardized plan and these videos have been edited for demonstration purposes. These videos do not show the entire training process but more are example of what can be accomplished with systematic, professional training. For instance, we NEVER begin training with a guarded item. We always have to set the dog up for success and work up to the dog’s most valuable possession.
When your dog resource guards, remember this is a completely normal behavior. Your dog is guarding because he has something valuable and is afraid to lose it. Resource guarders are fearful dogs. It may be hard to see that if your dog is growling or trying to bite, but underneath it all, your dog is afraid.
How do we help them be less afraid?
We approach it two different ways. We address the underlying fear and help him be more comfortable with people approaching when he has something valuable. You can see examples of that in these videos of me working with a dog who would growl if you tried to take her bully stick away.
And we can also address it by training the dog to drop, leave it or recall away from the object he’s guarding, removing the need for you to attempt to remove whatever object he has and is guarding. Here is a video sample, including an owner submitted before video, and some leave it, drop it, and some object removals. This is a good example video as it shows a little of all the ways to help a guarder and often it’s best to work on the underlying emotional fear in combination with the more basic obedience behaviors for the best results. You can see more examples here.
If you have a guarder, whether it’s food, toys, location, favorite person or high value chews, reach out to me for help. These sessions are easily done via remote video sessions so it doesn’t matter where you are in world – I can help you! You may also be interested in my other blog posts How To Help A Dog Who Guards Bully Sticks and How To Help A Dog Who Food Guards.