Rehabilitating Resource Guarding in Dogs

Rehabilitating Resource Guarding in Dogs

Resource Guarding in Dogs can be Fixed with the Right Approach

Our staff of professional dog trainers are often presented with a dog that suffers from some behavioral issue and one that we deal with quite frequently is possessive aggression, also known as resource guarding.  Rehabilitating resource guarding in dogs can be a challenging process for the novice and is a situation where people can easily get hurt if the situation is not handled properly.  On a positive note, rehabilitating resource guarding in dogs is something that is possible and can usually be fixed in a relatively short period of time.

If you are looking for help to correct resource guarding and browse around books, videos or on the internet, you will most always find advice that has a common theme.  The theme is one that sounds very similar to the one below that is quoted from Dr. Sophia Yin.

Avoid all situations that trigger a battle. This is a war of wills where you supposedly outsmart your less cerebral companion. If furniture is one of the resources Fido guards, then all human furniture is off bounds. Deny access to the room containing the cherished chair, barricade the bed with uncomfortable books or booby trap it with the electostatically charged Scatmat.

Again, most of this advice always warns you to stay away from the dog when it is in a position where it is guarding something or to place it in another room to feed it while it guards its food.  For example, if the dog will attack if you get within 5 feet of his food bowl, then the solution is to simply stay 6 feet away from his food while he is eating.

resource guarding in dogsAnother common approach is to simply state that “Resource guarding in dogs is a natural behavior and some guarding behavior should be expected.”  The belief is that an undomesticated canid would simply not survive long in the wild if it never guarded food, sleeping space, etc.

I don’t believe that either of these approaches actually rehabilitate resource guarding in dogs.  To that point, most of the articles that you find on the subject are titled, “Managing resource guarding in dogs” or “Living with ….” etc.  The goal of our professional trainers is to rehabilitate this behavior so that it no longer occurs.  Our goal is not to live with or manage the behavior at all.  We believe that rehabilitating resource guarding is something that should be accomplished either by a professional dog trainer or with the assistance of a professional dog trainer that has a considerable amount of experience with these types of dogs.  Our School for Dog Trainers teaches attendees a variety of approaches to rehabilitating a number of dog behavioral issues, including possessive aggression.  Our dog training courses teach students how to accurately identify problem behaviors through a comprehensive behavioral analysis to ensure that they are treating the root cause of the problem.  We also teach students sound methods of working with these types of dogs and their owners to eliminate the problem so that it is not longer an issue.

If you would like further information on rehabilitating resource guarding in dogs, or would like to know more about becoming a professional dog trainer, feel free to contact us at 866.200.2207 or email us at learntotraindogs@highlandcanine.com

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  1. […] or chasing a cat. At times these behaviors are more serious and include; biting, fighting, nipping, resource guarding, fear of people, fear of dogs, dominance and territorial […]

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