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Preventing Resource Guarding in Puppies

Simple Strategies to Prevent Resource Guarding in Puppies

Resource guarding is a normal canine behaviour. Dogs guard stuff – just like we guard our possessions too (we lock our houses and have PINS on our credit cards). 

So, you have a new puppy – can you be sure they won’t become a resource guarder? No! Behaviour is an interplay of lots of things – genetics and the environment are two, but also experiences and learning. We can teach puppies that they don’t need to stress about having things taken off them. Then your puppy can learn that it’s worth their while to swap items.

Our tips to start with puppies:

1. Learn to read canine body language and the subtle signs of resource guarding.
2. Make sure your puppy has a safe space to eat meals peacefully and in their own time, away from other pets or children.
3. ADD high value food to their bowl/toy while they are eating (drop or toss it in from a distance if your puppy is uncomfortable with your hand coming too close to their food).
4. Let your puppy eat high value chews such as a raw bones in peace.
5. Practice ‘exchanging’ items – low value for high value.
6. Teach impulse control skills such as ‘leave it’ and ‘wait’.

Please DON’T:

❌ Play with your puppy’s food while they are eating
❌ Touch your puppy while they are eating
❌ Take your puppy’s food away while they are eating

Your presence around your puppy when they are eating should mean good things and your aim is to teach your puppy to look forward to you coming near them when they eat.

Reach out to us for help with your puppy's behaviour today!