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Guarding Resources

Do you lock your doors when you leave the house? If so, you are resource guarding your home. This is a very normal behavior. For dogs, resource guarding is also normal but in some circumstances it can be dangerous if taken to the extreme. It can be the equivalent of you locking your doors and posting large, armed security guards at every entry to your house.  In dogs, resource guarding is a behavior that occurs when they don’t want anyone near them when there is something important near. Resource guarding can occur with objects such as a full, or even an empty food bowl, bones, a special toy, or all toys. It can occur with locations, too. Some dogs guard certain places in the home such as a couch, bed, or kennel. Some dogs will guard a particular human. Dogs can guard from other animals in the household or it can be from humans. That low hanging head or perhaps a growl is a signal that the dog is very uncomfortable. As per our previous Words of WOOFdom, we don’t want to punish the growl but help the dog feel comfortable so the growl does not escalate into a bite. Resource guarding is typically very treatable and something we work with often. It is very helpful to note the details around the behavior, including the context of the guarding behaviors, so we can assist  your canine companions not feel the need to do this.

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