Preventing resource guarding

Hi folks! I thought I'd do a post about resource guarding, since someone asked about it.

Resource guarding is when a dog growls, barks, or nips—guards—when you try to take away something it values—a resource. We use this protocol with our puppies to teach them that it’s ok—and even great!—when a person takes away a valued item. Families may need to repeat the exercise at home a few times, but it shouldn’t take much to get the puppy happy and excited about giving up its favorite resources.

Here's a video showing how we work with our litters to teach them the Resource Guarding Prevention Protocol:

This works in three quick and easy steps:

1. Get some of their most favorite treat (a tasty piece of meat or hot dog pieces work well—something super delicious like this, not just any old cookie)

2. With one hand remove the toy (or whatever she's guarding) and with the other hand simultaneously stuff the treat in her mouth.

3. Before she is done with the treat, give her the toy back.

This changes her perception in a couple of important ways:

1. When someone takes one of her favorite things, then she gets something even better in exchange.

2. Then she even