Stopping Dog Bites By Fixing Hope’s Resource Guarding Problem

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 12, 2018

For this Omaha dog training session we helped a dog guardian who has become fearful of her own dog after 2 year old Springer Spaniel Hope started biting her and other people due to some resource guarding.

The guardian was on edge when I arrived for the session, cautioning me multiple times that she was concerned id get bit. I kept looking for signs of aggression, territoriality, etc but aside from not showing respect for personal space, Harper’s behavior was fine.

As I chatted with the guardian, I become convinced we were dealing with two issues; a dog who thinks he has the same rank as her humans, and a resource guarding problem.

One of the bites occurred when the guardian tried to correct Hope from rolling in a flower bed. The other biting incident was with a neighbor while outside on a stoop. While we were discussing that the guardian said the behavior mirrored how Hope acts when she goes into her kennel at night. That description was a spot on match for what we call Resource Guarding.

I started out by showing the guardian how to add structure and ways to start acting like a leader in the dog’s eyes. Simple things like introducing and enforcing rules can go a long way towards a dog seeing us acting like a leader.

I also suggested the guardian start asking Hope earn pets and affection by sitting, or laying down first (petting with a purpose) as well as rewarding desired actions by petting the dog any time it sits, comes, lays down, etc (Passive training).

It will take a few weeks before Hope starts to develop a healthy respect for her guardian as a leader rather than a peer. Once this is the case, then the dog will no longer think its appropriate to correct or disagree with the human.

Next we headed to the bedroom where Hope’s kennel was located so I could shot the guardian how to help the dog get over its Resource Guarding issue.

Resource Guarding looks pretty scary in person and after needing stitches to fix her attempt to disagree with the dog from rolling in the flowers, its no surprise the guardian was on edge with her dog. I have had a lot of clients ask me to show them how to stop resource guarding in dogs and I know its a huge relief for all of them.

The good news is stopping a dog from resource guarding is not all that difficult. If the guardian follows the steps I outlined in the above free dog behavior training video she should be able to teach the dog there is no need to guard resources like her kennel.

I always hate to see nice people have aggression related issues with dogs. Fortunately Hope’s case of resource guarding was on the milder side of what I have seen in the past.

To help the guardian remember all the dog rehabilitation tips we shared in this at home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video.

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