Dog resource guarding is when a dog becomes protective and defensive over a particular item, belonging, or even person that they treasure. This may involve growling, lunging or even biting.
The dog is trying to protect what is theirs and discourage another from removing their prize. Initially, the dog may exhibit quite subtle behaviours, like a head turn.
However, if these behaviours are not dealt with, over time this could evolve further. Other guarding behaviours that the dog may exhibit are staring, eating faster, bracing their body over an object, lip curling, ears pinned back, backing off, growling, barking, snapping, lunging and biting.
Such possessiveness can occur in dogs of any breed and age.
A key factor in discouraging resource guarding behaviours is trust between dog and owner. We need to actively work with our dogs so that they learn to share their possessions with us.
The human behaviours that they witness from their owners also play a significant role in causing dogs to become possessive. We need to be careful in our actions that the dog does not perceive us to be someone who steals their possessions from them, thereby encouraging guarding behaviours.
If your dog is demonstrating resource guarding behaviours, it is important to address it. Get in touch with Sean Hyden Dog Trainer today to find out more about dog training in Battersea and the surrounding areas.