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Frequently Asked Questions

What is resource guarding?

Resource guarding is motivated by the defense of valuable resources, as perceived by the dog such as food, toys, or people/attention. The dog can exhibit protective behaviors that usually escalate in severity; stiffening, placing body between the resource and those trying to take it, growling, showing teeth, if continually provoked may resort to biting.

This is a very common behavior and reaction from dogs. They can feel as if something is being stolen from them. Especially with dogs that are adopted from a shelter environment, they likely lived a majority of their lives uncertain of when they would receive their next meal, unsure if they would have toys, and unsure how much love and attention they would receive. They have a learned history of things either being taken away from them or not lasting for long. This fosters a very understandable instinct to protect and guard the things that matter.

Oftentimes, the way to manage this behavior is very simple: once you give food to the dog, do not touch or try to take it away until the dog is finished, or provide an abundance of toys so that if one is missing it is not noticed.

However, those are not always options in every situation, which is where behavior management training comes into play.  

Managing this behavior can take different forms depending on the resource in question:  

Food Guarding Management Resource: 

Toy Guarding Management Resource:  

People Guarding Management Resource:  

If you still need assistance with resource guarding, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our recommended trainers.

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