Updated: Jun 26
Resource guarding issues are among the most common problems LGD owners have with their dogs. This behavior is learned – that is an important point. It is also a VERY easy behavior to prevent. This does not ever involve scolding the dog. Dogs that worry about needing to protect their resources are frightened or insecure. Telling them they shouldn’t feel that way, or behave that way, doesn’t make sense to them, doesn’t change the facts as they see them, and increases the magnitude of the problem.
Can you tell this is a hot button for me? Resource guarding is often where learned aggressive behaviors begin to show up. Aggression is the #1 reason for euthanasia of dogs in this country. Protect your pups!
Teaching your puppies food exchanges helps them to see you as a partner and provider of resources. They can learn that you will always care for them, always prevent livestock or other dogs from stealing their food, and that they can trust you; they can relax and just enjoy a nice meal. This does not need to be a time of high drama.