Some Tips to Stop a Dog From Resource Guarding a Room or Person

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 1, 2021

For this Marina del Mar dog behavior session, we worked with 11 year-old Beagle mix brothers Porter (right) and Heff; sharing tips to stop Porter from guarding one of his guardians.

The guardians reached out to me after a possible resource guarding incident with Porter. He went after one of his guardians when she went into the bedroom of another family member that Porter was hanging out with.

Because this was the first and only time that Porter had gone after the guardian this way, I asked a number of questions about the incident to determine what was going on. I can’t say definitively, but from what I learned in our conversation, Im leaning towards it being a resource guarding behavior from the dog.

Stopping a dog from resource guarding is all about helping the dog understand that we are not there to take whatever it is they are guarding. Dogs who guard things do so because they are concerned someone is going to take their resource. In this case, I believe the dog was guarding either the other guardian, her room or bed.

After sharing a number of foundational tips in the living room, we headed up to the bedroom where The dog had displayed this guarding behavior so that I could show the guardian a positive dog training exercise to make sure that he doesn’t feel the need to guard the bed, room or guardian. If you have a dog that has a resource guarding problem, check out the free positive dog training video below.

The great thing about this easy way to stop the dog from resource guarding is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a professional Beagle dog trainer to do it, just time, patience and some really tasty treats. It was great to see how quickly Porter and his guardian responded to this exercise to stop resource guarding. I’d like to see the guardian practice this exercise 2 to 3 times a day, every day for a week. Each time she does so, a dozen or so treats should be sufficient.

I also showed the guardian how to practice a leave it exercise and a hand targeting game which is a nice way to gauge whether or not you have a dog’s consent. In this case, I think there were a number of small things that happened where the dogs disagrees and the humans didnt interpret it that way. I’d like to see the guardian that Porter went after practicing both of these exercises once a day with him for a week (or until learned completely) as well. It would be beneficial to do it with Heff too even though he is the easier dog.

Another impulse control exercise we didnt get a chance to introduce due to time is called Its Yer Choice. This game helps the dog learn how to be patient and passive; waiting for the guardian to give the dog a treat waiting in their open hand. Once the guardian has taught the dogs the leave it and hand targeting exercises, this is the next one to tackle.

Because the guardian had been standoffish with Porter after he went after her, it’s important that they have some positive interactions together. Teaching Porter to leave it and to target her hand on cue are great ways to establish this, while simultaneously building up a few skills that will help the dogs in many other areas.

To help the guardians remember all the other dogs behavior tips I shared in this in-home Marina del Rey dog training session, we recorded 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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