Tips to Stop Resource Guarding in Dogs and Puppies

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 19, 2017

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with 4 year-old female Boxer mix Zoe’s room mate Jax a 5 month-old Catahoula / Heeler mix who is showing some potential resource guarding behavior.

Shortly after shooting the above video I showed the guardians my preferred method to stop a dog from jumping up.

While jumping on guests is a nuisance problem, I was more concerned by Jax’s stand-offish and reactive behavior. A 5 month old puppy should not be this anxious around new people and it tells me that he didn’t get socialized enough around new (unknown) people before he turned 3 months old.

Puppies go through a fear period from 3 to 12-16 weeks called the Critical Socialization Period (CSP). This is the most important developmental period a puppy goes through. If you don’t get your dog exposed to new people, places, animals and things, they can become fearful of them later in life.

After explaining this to his family, I strongly recommended they enroll him into doggy day care as soon as possible (at a place that does prescreening of all dogs) and arrange to have a minimum of three new people come to visit for the next few weeks. Although he is not in his CSP, he is still young enough to overcome this problem relatively easily by meeting as many new people as possible until he is about 9 months old. Failure to do so may result in a dog who is fearful, reactive and potentially aggressive as a defense mechanism for the rest of his life.

Frankly the socialization experience is far more of a problem than resource guarding. While that can be a very pressing problem, from what the humans described, it sounded more like a communication to back off when the puppy was eating or had a higher value item.

To make sure the humans had the tools to a positive dog training technique to address this dog behavior problem, we filmed a tutorial video that outlines how to stop resource guarding in dogs.

While I don’t think that this is a dog resource guarding problem, the drop technique I go over in the free dog training video will be invaluable as the puppy grows up and gets into things his family doesn’t want it to have.

Stopping resource guarding in dogs is all about teaching a dog that when a human or dog approached, they aren’t going to take things away, they are going to make things better.

I shared a number of puppy and adult behavior tips and a ton of positive dog training tricks to help eliminate some of the other problems the dogs have. Im optimistic that these dogs wont need a follow up visit but made sure to communicate that the guardians need to let me know if things don’t continue the way we want so we can make some adjustments.

To make sure they remember all the tips and secrets I shared with them, I filmed a roadmap to success video to help them remember. You can watch it yourself by clicking the box below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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