Tips to Stop a German Shepherd From Resource Guarding a Room

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 17, 2017

In this Omaha dog training session we worked with a pair of German Shepherds (Maya left, and Knox) with a Resource Guarding problem.

Many people confuse resource guarding with dog aggression which seems logical if you have ever seen a dog in resource guarding mode. However, as a dog behavior expert I can assure you that the behavior itself is not considered aggression as once the item is removed, the dog’s aggressive actions cease.

That said, if you try to approach a dog who is resource guarding, they will absolutely bite you if you get too close or don’t back away. If you have a dog with this behavior, you need to seek resource guarding help from a dog behaviorist like myself or a dog trainer who only uses positive reinforcement. Trainers who practice “balanced training” or force based methods will only make matters worse which is why reputable trainers stopped using those approaches years ago.

Resource guarding behavior is not indicative of a poorly trained or socialized dog. Its a natural instinct that helps dogs survive in the wild. But after we domesticated dogs and provide for them, they no longer need to guard their items.

After spending an hour going over a number of dog training tips and secrets that will help both dogs with other behavior and obedience problems, I was ready to address these German Shepherd’s resource guarding problem.

By systematically approaching the dog and using a positive reinforcer as detailed in the above video, Knox’s guardians can help him learn that they don’t want to take the item, or in this case infringe on his kitchen territory to take it away. In fact, the more the humans repeat this positive dog training approach, the more the dog think their arrival is a good thing.

The guardians can use the same approach for Molly’s food guarding problem with Knox. But in that case, they will be approaching her while Knox is on lead.

By the end of the session, the dogs were starting to voluntarily follow some of the new rules we only introduced an hour earlier. They were looking to their humans for guidance and following their commands and corrections right away.

We wrapped up the session by shooting a roadmap to success video. This one is longer than usual as one of the guardians wasn’t able to be present for the session due to a work conflict. Hopefully between the video summary and the info the other guardian got during this in home dog training session will do the trick and get these dogs to stop resource guarding for good.

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