Training To Prevent Resource Guarding
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
Dogs care about what is immediately rewarding; resource guarding is a survival skill. If an animal doesn’t have enough to eat he may die.
If you think about resource guarding with these facts in mind it is easy to understand that a dog guarding a resource isn’t “being a bad dog”, rather, he is looking after himself in a way that makes sense to him.
If a dog believes resources are plentiful he feels less of a need to protect/defend them. If he believes I will absolutely make sure that he has all the food he needs and that I will not allow any animal to take it away from him I become even more important to him as a ranch partner.
Resource guarding is a product of a dog’s insecurity. If a dog is scolded for guarding something he values he feels even less control of his world and he may become more insecure. If he is reassured that he has nothing to worry about, that you have his back, he’s likely to relax a bit and have some trust.
Realize too that LGDs are genetically selected to be resource guarders! The resources owners most appreciate having guarded are livestock and property; for the dog this is less narrow.
The video below shows my feeding strategy for my dogs, and in particular two of my more challenging dogs. In starting and training pups it is so easy to teach them to relax and enjoy their meals. It takes a little time and effort on the part of the owner. In my opinion this is time very well spent!