Resource Guarding; Why Dogs Protect Their Stuff

By: Beverly Ulbrich, Guest Writer

Most people have heard that you should mess with a puppy’s food when he’s young to ensure he doesn’t growl at or bite you. But did you know that you need to keep doing this throughout your dog’s life?

Yellow Dog chewing on a bully stick

You should be able to grab a bone from your dog’s mouth without him growling or otherwise reacting to you taking it away.

You never know when you’ll need to grab something dangerous from your dog’s mouth, or when someone might try to pet your dog while he’s chewing on something. So you need to make sure your dog knows that it’s okay.

Make sure your dog doesn’t react in any of the following situations:

  • Put your hand in his food bowl and take the bowl away while he’s eating
  • Pet him while he’s eating food
  • Pet him when he’s chewing on a bone or other chew toy
  • Take away anything he’s chewing on or playing with
  • Once you’re assured he’s safe, ask other household members or friends to do the same actions

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How to Speak Dog; Communication is Key

Have you ever been at a dog park and seen two dogs get in a fight? Or heard of a dog that viciously attacked another dog “out of nowhere?” In reality, it’s never out of nowhere. These dogs show signs of fear and/or aggression, signs that often go undetected or get overlooked.

Dogs obviously do not speak English but they do have their own communication clues that you as a pet parent are responsible for learning. This will prevent so many problems and may save your pet’s life.

dogsonbeach

Happy and confident dogs keep their tails and heads high.

“Knowing when your dog is fearful or agitated or even in pain are all important things to learn,” behavioral therapist and expert dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich says. “You want to teach your dog to be relaxed and comfortable so they don’t do harm to themselves or others when they are not feeling well, emotionally or physically.”

Let’s go over some signs you should look out for; if you see your dog exhibiting these behaviors, you should address it immediately.

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