What to do about your Puppy’s Resource Guarding
by Alpha Dog Training
When dogs guard stuff (e.g., their food, bones, toys, crates, sticks, their humans, trash and other items they steal)the term we usevis“Resource Guarding.” They are guarding what they think is a valuable, prized resource and they don’t want anyone to even try to take it away.
Resource Guarding is actually a “normal” canine behavior. It’s a survival technique. However, when it happens it can become a dangerous behavior.
If you have a puppy that is between 8 and 12 weeks old, Alpha Dog Training offers you the following protocol to follow.
PUPPY FOOD BOWL EXERCISES:
Never isolate your dog outside for meals or make him eat away from people. Do not make a habit of taking things away from your puppy because he should just give it up, or annoying your puppy at mealtimes.
It is vitally important that your puppy knows “good things happen to me when people and kids are around me when I’m eating my meals or chewing on bones.”
While your puppy is eating, approach him, call his name, and stroke him ONCE, then walk away. Also, while your puppy is eating, approach him, call his name and reach toward the food dish and place a treat in the bowl. Then walk away.
While he's eating, sit on the floor a little away from him and keep puppy company while he’s eating. Don’t bother him though! Just let him eat in peace.
Also, while your puppy is eating, call his name, then show him a special treat and throw it away from the bowl. Quickly pick his bowl up before he comes back to you. When he returns to you, immediately place the bowl back on the floor. And never take your puppy’s food away for no reason.
1. While puppy is chewing on his bone or other chew toy, place a treat over his nose. When he opens his mouth to get the treat, say, “leave it.” Give him the treat and give him his chew toy back immediately. Practice teaching your pup the “Leave It” cue.
2. While your puppy is chewing on something, call his name, then toss a treat away from where he’s eating his chew toy.
When he goes to retrieve the treat, pick up the bone or chew toy he’s been chewing on and place it behind your back. When he comes back for it, give it back to him immediately.
3. Anytime you have to take something of his away (bones, Kongs, favorite toys, something he stole) or out of his mouth, make a food exchange for it. This will teach your puppy that whenever you take his stuff, he can get something even better. Also, teach your children never to pester your puppy while he’s eating.
At Alpha Dog Training we have lots of ways to teach your dog the “leave it” command. Feel free to contact us at any time for free info. alpha-dog-training-slc.com (801) 910-1700.