Resource guarding is a habit that many dogs develop because of circumstances or a lack of proper training. This is seen when any dog exhibits aggressive behaviors, including growling, lunging, or even biting, when their food or toys are threatened by people or other animals. This is also sometimes called possessive aggression. It can occur in any breed of dog and there are several reasons that it happens, as well as many things you can do to help reduce or eliminate the bad habit.
If a dog is exhibiting signs of resource guarding, they believe that there is some kind of threat (real or perceived) that could take away one of its valuable resources. Many experts say that training dogs on sharing and not being aggressive about food or toys as early as possible is the best way to avoid this issue.
There are some cases, of course, where it either wasn’t addressed or perhaps wasn’t an issue but now suddenly has become a problem. Resource guarding has gotten dogs removed from families after biting a little one that was playing in the kibble. It’s also surely been the reason for some pets being put down over the years. And it’s usually through no fault of their own.
Dogs don’t deserve to be put down for behaviors like this. For starters, they don’t necessarily see what they’re doing as bad. They are protecting their resources, as they are bred to do. In a domestic setting, it may be hard for some dogs to see that there’s no need for that protective nature. That’s when resource guarding usually occurs.
Professional training is available for dogs whose resource guarding has become too problematic or for owners who worry that they may be injured as a result of trying to break their dogs off the habit. The biggest part of the process is taking the toys or interfering with the food while they’re eating to remind them that they’re safe, but also that they don’t need to be aggressive with food or toys.
Trainers can do this with a fake hand, protecting people from potential injury until they’re sure the dog has broken the habit. If your dog is aggressive, you shouldn’t stick your hands anywhere near his or her food or favorite toys for the risk of accidentally getting bitten. If you’re not having any luck breaking the habit yourself, it may be time to call in a trainer from Dog Training Now Charleston.