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Lisa
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Discussion Starter #1
Bailey took a Matchbox car from a pile he wasn't supposed to be able to reach and retreated underneath the dining table to chew it. I grabbed the end sticking out of his mouth and said, "Drop it." He growled at me, but I refused to let it go. We sat like that for a minute with him growling, then he tried to get a better grip on it and dropped it. I grabbed it, and he lunged forward, growling, and bit me twice!

He is 14 weeks old.

Is this resource guarding? And would it have been better to trade him for a high value treat? My instinct was to get it away from him before he ate part of it. Is it time to read "Mine"?
 

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I always have treats in my pockets.....always!!! I really need to be prepared for Riley to grab something he shouldn't have. So need to have something he likes better on hand!!! Otherwise, there is going to be a battle of wills! He's been pretty good so far when it comes to 'give'. But again, I always have a higher value treat on hand.
You should see how some of my clothes come out of the wash!!!! Sometimes they have to go right back in, depending on the treat that was 'forgotten' in the pockets!
 

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growling and snapping is not play. Bailey went to a "safe" spot to claim his toy. Does he know "drop it" at 14 weeks?
I would personally try to trade him and while you are worried that he may have chewed it, if you did not have something on you, I would have caught his attention with a happy happy high pitched voice - Who wants a snack? and hopefully he will try to follow the voice.
I would also try to make sure that he does not repeat the behavior.
 

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A dog's growl should never be disregarded, (nor punished) it is their way of saying 'Give me some space. Please!', it is in our best interests to do just that.
Yes, this is resource guarding and encouraging him to trade would have been a better solution. The book 'Mine' is a valuable resource and guide to understanding, prevention and working with 'guarding' issues in dogs.
 

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Wakefield would have gotten into a lot of trouble if I hadn't taught him to trade. Every dog will pick up something potentially dangerous, and the higher the value (dead critters, my sheepskin slippers etc.) the more difficult it is to get the dog to give up his treasure. I don't always have treats with me in the house, but he'll drop most anything in his mouth at the very mention of "trade". He'll sit there with a goofy grin until I get his treat. I always carry treats when walking with him.
 

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Since we brought Buddy home at three months, I have always had treats in my pocket. I have always swapped whatever he should not have in his mouth with a treat. I keep them on my left side in my pocket. It has saved me chasing him down when he has something that I'm afraid he will swallow. He is now two, and when he sees my hand go into the pocket he automatically drops whatever he should not have.
 

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Lisa
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the good advice. Bailey is usually so good at "drop it" that I haven't bothered to offer treats in a while, because he declines them (I know, crazy!) So I will start carrying high-value treats around, just in case.

I think we also need to start working on trading. We haven't done this yet, and living in a household where he will encounter children's toys (I pick everything up, but he is good at ferreting stuff out that I miss under couch cushions, etc.), it would be a good idea to learn to trade.

It was upsetting to have him warn me off and then snap, drawing blood, but it was a good reminder that he IS a dog, no matter how well he's doing in his training. And he is doing very, very well in his training.

I have to say, I am very grateful he has puppy playdates lined up for the next two days. He is teething extra hard this week, and he needs to burn off some of that stress with another dog.
 

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Wyatt Earp
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From day one both our pups were taught to share. Whether it is treats, bone or even dinner I have from day one given them their goodies and always held out my hand to let me share, pick up the treat and pretend like I am enjoying it and give it back. Never had an issue with resource guarding. I still do this and Wyatt is almost 4 and will continue like I did with our first golden for the rest of their life. They learn to trust early on. As far as something dangerous they learn drop it early on from retrieving.
 

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From day one both our pups were taught to share. Whether it is treats, bone or even dinner I have from day one given them their goodies and always held out my hand to let me share, pick up the treat and pretend like I am enjoying it and give it back. Never had an issue with resource guarding. I still do this and Wyatt is almost 4 and will continue like I did with our first golden for the rest of their life. They learn to trust early on. As far as something dangerous they learn drop it early on from retrieving.
This is what I do with my girl and she is willing to share anything with me and my BF. She doesn't necessarily do this with the other dog though. She does share with everything BUT a soup bone. The other dog can just grab things out of her mouth and from under her and she doesn't care EXCEPT for the soup bone. I guess I can't blame her for that. She will let me take the soup bone though. Anyway, both my BF and I will randomly give them stuff, take it away, and then give it back again.
 

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Thanks for all the good advice. Bailey is usually so good at "drop it" that I haven't bothered to offer treats in a while, because he declines them (I know, crazy!) So I will start carrying high-value treats around, just in case.
I'd wonder what you are using for treats if a 14 week old GR isnt interested? Freeze dried beef liver and dried beef hearts are my two high value treats for my 13 week old. The very sight of the bag will give me her complete and entire attention for as long as I want it. We call her our little piglet as she will sit politely waiting while making little grunting oink oink sounds. Fourth golden I've had but first time I've ever heard quite this type of sound from one.

If you have an organ meat treat like this and it is not working I suppose it is possible you have the rarest of birds - a toy motivated GR? Try a tug of war rope or favorite stuffy? I use toys for training sometimes when I think they are getting overly treat fixated.
 

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As I remember 12-14 weeks was when Amber thought she had rights to things. Maddie never resource guarded, so it wasn't an issue.

It is a normal age behavior. It needs to be extinguished by whatever means works best, but it is comforting that this is the time it often first rears its head, er teeth.
 

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Baxter has never guarded on me... but I've also done as was suggested here and forced him to share everything with me from the moment he got home. I've taken his food up (and always given it back with praise or an extra treat), held his bones/chews while he enjoyed them and sometimes force a trade, and fed him out of my hands at least a couple of times a week since he came home.

The only kinda guard-y thing he does is grab plastic/paper/whatever junk that's blown into the front yard and play keep away. He gets punished with a stern drop-it and the end of playtime when that happens even.

Have you been doing the "uncomfortable" things Deb suggested with him daily? (Roll him on his side until he goes limp, tug his ears, squeeze his paws like you're grooming them, etc.).
 

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Lisa
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Discussion Starter #15
10dot, we do all those things. Bailey is not thrilled with all of them, but he doesn't growl and bite.

CRS250, that is a very good point about the treat value. I bet I am *not* using high enough value treats. After multiple vet visits and a round of antibiotics, our vet discovered that Bailey just does not tolerate changes to his diet very well. Even small amounts of zukes upset his stomach. The vet recommended that we stick to kibble and Cheerios for the moment. On dog class days, we use tiny, tiny little bits of cheese alternating with the kibble to keep him focused.

I am going to start keeping sweet potato jerky bits in my pocket at all times, which he can usually handle, and we are going to work on trading.

And because I am always posting Bailey's problems, I have to say something very good about him: his recall is a-mazing. He will sprint for me across football fields if he sees me give the signal to run. He's a sweet and smart boy whose biggest obstacle is his inexperienced handler.:doh:
 

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Lisa
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Discussion Starter #17
Yesterday, we worked on trading. I used mini Zukes, chicken flavor, because he loves them like crazy and we never use them anymore, now that we know they're hard for him to handle. But it's been about two weeks, and I thought we could handle maybe 10.

Nope. Bailey could not. Up every one-two hours with poop problems. :doh:

So... I won't be doing that again. However, it worked. He picked up a piece of mulch, and when I said "trade," he practically spit it across the yard in his eagerness to get the treat (which was a Cheerio, sorry dude).

Someone PM'd me with a fantastic idea, which is to keep the Cheerios in a container with tastier treats so that the Cheerios take on the smell. Thank you so much for that suggestion; I am going to get some liver treats today and store them with the Cheerios. (And I am sorry I can't thank you by name; it's not listed in the email, but I will get it somehow and thank you properly).

Bailey is also happy and active today and wants to play with me and his toys, and yesterday, he wasn't interested. I wonder if he was also just having an off day yesterday, but I'm grateful that it led us to the important idea of trading. Whew! Never a dull moment!
 
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