Teaching a Rottweiler to Stop Resource Guarding its Kennel

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 9, 2018

For this Omaha dog training session, we shared tips to stop 3 year-old Rottweiler Bronx from resource guarding his kennel area.

Because Bronx weighs over 100 pounds and had reacted to a few people with bites, I asked his guardians to take him out for some exercise prior to our session.

When I arrived, Bronx was very “in your face,” showing almost no respect for my personal space. He also was quite pushy / aggressive in terms of asking for attention and affection. I refrained from petting him each time he nudged or jumped up on me but noticed that his guardians often would pet him when he did the same to them. But if you pet a dog when it offers you that behavior, you are rewarding it and ensuring the dog will do it again in the future.

I went over my petting with a purpose philosophy with the guardians and suggested that they stop petting Brox completely unless he does something to earn that affection like sit or lay down. This will be important to help Bronx start to see and respect them as authority figures, instead of personal petting assistants!

Next I suggested a few additional rules for them to put into place. These were very small in stature, but because they should be repeated frequently throughout the day, they will have a cumulative impact on the dog. That is, if the humans adopt and enforce them consistently.

I also suggested the guardians start to pet or reward Bronx each time he offers desired behaviors voluntarily. I call this passive training and it is probably one of the easiest ways you can train any dog.

Next I asked the guardians to go over Bronx’s nipping incidents. The more details I got from the guardians, the more I became certain that this was a case of resource guarding the kennel.

Dogs who resource guard things are very likely to bite someone who does not move away or continues to try to take the item or location from the dog. I am pretty certain that that was the case here.

I pulled out my phone and had the guardians put Bronx in his kennel area so that I could share tips to stop dogs from resource guarding.

Stopping a dog from resource guarding is all about teaching the dog that when a human approaches, they are not going to take the dog’s stuff. In fact when the human approaches, the dog should think it is a good thing because of the positive reinforcers that appear at the same time. This is the key to helping a dog learn to stop resource guarding.

Hopefully the guardians will use these tips to stop Bronx from resource guarding ever again. It’s going to require them to practice in short sessions a few times a day every day for a few weeks. Gradually getting closer and closer as the dog learns their approach is actually a good thing when he is in the kennel area.

If they follow the instructions I outlined in the above free dog training video, they should help Bronx learn that he does not have to guard his resources any longer.

I also stressed that it will be important for them to practice the drop exercise anytime Bronx has a low value item. One of the times that Bronx bit of a human was when the human was trying to take a rag out of his mouth. Teaching the dog to drop will ensure that the humans don’t have to take anything else away from him again. If you have a dog that resource guards, forcibly removing the items from them is about the worst thing you can do.

To help the guardians remember all of the dog behavior tips that I shared in this in home dog training session, we filmed a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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