Friday, May 25, 2012

Resource Guarding

Creating a Resource Guarding Issue
Nicole Wilde

I often get calls from people whose dogs guard food, treats, toys and, sometimes, even people. Resource guarding isn’t uncommon, and it’s understandable. If a dog has a bone in his possession and another dog comes along, chances are the first dog will do what he needs to in order to keep it. In the canine world, possession is nine tenths of the law–but in a human household, some dogs must be taught that it’s not okay to play by those rules. Although reported resource guarding doesn’t faze me, What does surprise me is something I hear all too often. It’s especially popular with puppy owners, and goes something like this: “To teach him that we’re in charge, we’re taking his food away while he’s eating.” Really? Because if you took my pizza away while I was biting into it, it’d teach me a thing or two about you, but that you’re in charge wouldn’t be one of them. Or, there’s the ever-popular, “We take his bone away while he’s chewing it.” The responses of the dogs in these scenarios ranges from not minding, to getting a bit growly or eating more quickly or determinedly, to snapping at or biting the owners. But are the owners really teaching the dog they are in charge? Or are they imparting another lesson: When people come near my stuff, bad things happen. I say it’s the latter. These owners are actually creating a resource guarding issue where one might never have existed. Read the entire article

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