How to Stop a Saint Bernard From Resource Guarding

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 5, 2017

Bernie is a four-year-old St Bernard who was just adopted into his fifth home in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. His new guardian set up this dog behavior training session with me to train him to stop resource guarding.

Developing control is important for any dog, but when you have a giant breed, its imperative as you will not be able to physically stop them.

Knowing that we were about to meet a potentially aggressive dog, I brought along my dog behaviorist apprentice Sam and used a number of dog behavior secrets during the greeting. You can see whether or not they worked in the video below.

It only took us a few moments to see that this was not a case of dog aggression. While he needed a little polishing, I did not spot any signs of aggression during our three hour session.

I ran through some dog training tips and ways to help Bernie develop some self control and respect for human’s personal space with his guardians before turning my attention to a problem this big dog did have; resource guarding.

Resource guarding is not an aggressive behavior; even though a dog will act out aggressively if his warning are not respected. I go through my process of rehabilitating a dog with a resource guarding problem in the video below.

By helping Bernie learn that a human is no threat to his possessions, location or food, we can help the dog develop more confidence and eliminate their perception that they need to protect their stuff.

Teaching Bernie to drop things on command combined with the anti resource guarding strategy that I outlined in the above video should give his guardians all the tools they need to get him to stop resource guarding for good.

I was really pleased with this session. Not only did Bernie respond well to all the dog behavior techniques we introduced, it was great to see someone with the appropriate setup reach out and rescue this dog. Bernie is a really great dog, he was just in the wrong homes and environment. Now that he has a great guardian, plenty of room to run and some other dogs his same size to play and socialize with, he is in the perfect place which is always great to see.

We wrapped up the session with a Roadmap to Success video where I cover all the highlights we went over in the course of this session. You can watch it and get some additional positive dog training tips by clicking the video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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