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Thread: Resource Guarding in Puppy

  1. #1
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    Resource Guarding in Puppy

    Hi, All!

    Need some advice on my approach to my puppy's resource guarding.

    Astrid is 15 weeks old and will growl when she has a high-value treat, like a bully stick, etc. Both my son and my daughter, 21 and 17 respectively, bent down to pet her when she was chewing a treat on her bed next to my desk and she growled, loudly! I immediately said no in a loud, firm voice and proceeded to take the item away from her. She growled at me as well, but I didn't back down. Once she released the item, I proceeded to give it to my son/daughter, and then had them make her "work" for it. Once she went through the paces, they gave it back to her. After she got it back, I then asked her to release it again, which she did, and then I gave it back. We have been working on out, but it works much better when it's just a toy she's trading for a bite-sized treat at this point, if you know what I mean. Am I on the right track here?

    I appreciate your feedback.

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  3. #2
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    You are on the right track...but be careful. Teach her a "drop it" command using a trade. You need to trade a bully stick for something even more tasty...like a piece of cheese, or piece of cooked roast beef or chicken. I would tell you family to stop bugging, or trying to pet your pup when she has a bone or treat to chew. By touching her, and then taking it away from her...you are putting her on the defensive. Sometimes you do need to take something away from them in an emergency, or if they have snagged something off the floor that they should not have. " Drop it"...should be a command that you need to work on, and it will come in useful for the rest of her life.

    If the family does not listen...then either don't give her any high value treats to chew...or only give them to her in her crate.

    Have you got her in obedience classes?? This is something that you should discuss with a trainer. Is she o.k with people near her food when she is eating??
    Eirian's Fancy Gem CGN TT HIC (April 2009-August 2020) "Jemma"

  4. #3
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    My family will certainly not seek to tease her or deliberately set her off. They each had come into my office on separate occasions and just went to say hello to her. We've always had dogs, including a Rottweiler that was still around when they were toddlers, so they both are dog savvy. I think because she's still so little, they never gave it a thought, nor did I, that she would growl at them.

    As for her food bowl, we've had no issues. She's such a busy body that she often leaves her food bowl to quickly pop in the kitchen and den area to see if she's missing out on anything before she dashes back to eat.

    Her formal puppy obedience class begins next week. I think COVID has disrupted most of the class schedules so we had to wait a few weeks for availability. In the meantime, we've been working on the basic commands: sit, down, come, heel, leave, etc. We're also currently attending a puppy socialization class for puppies up to 20 weeks of age.

    In your experience, is this type of behavior amenable through training?

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  6. #4
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    Sounds like you are doing well with her. I would just put it to everyone in the family...if the pup is chewing on a bone, or treat....leave her alone. No petting, no loving...just let her be.
    Keep working on the "drop it" command, and her obedience spot on and she will be fine. A growl means that she is uncomfortable...she's telling you the only way she knows how.
    Eirian's Fancy Gem CGN TT HIC (April 2009-August 2020) "Jemma"

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