Hi everyone! I just introduced bones/chews to my 4 month old golden puppy this week and have had some problems with potential resource guarding. I bought a new chew with chicken (his first meat chew) in the center and went to take it out of his mouth when I noticed he had started eating it (I wanted to monitor how much he was eating so he wouldn't get diarrhea, which he ended up having anyway). He gave a low growl when I went to pull it out of his mouth, and I moved my hand away in shock. I took it away and gave it back awhile later. I continued trying to take it away to see what he would do and once in awhile he would growl again, usually when he just started chewing on the center. Whenever he growled I still took it out of his mouth to see what he would do (I wasn't too worried about getting bit because he can be a landshark at times anyway when playing) and I was able to take it out of his mouth without him doing anything. I looked up some tips on this site and started teaching him to "drop it" while trading another item and giving the bone back. At times he drops it and at other times I pull it out of his mouth, occasionally with him growling. I'll still pull the bone away when he growls and give him the treat to show that I just want to trade, which he happily accepts. His behavior has really worried me because I really didn't want an aggressive dog. However, I'm not sure how "aggressive" this behavior is considered or if it's somewhat normal since I was literally pulling the chew out of his mouth while he was eating it and it was the first meat chew he's ever had. My trainer recommended buying multiples of the same chew and trading them so he sees they are not a scarcity that requires guarding. In general he is a very sweet puppy who came to us with an excellent temperament - strangers are often telling us how calm and well-behaved he is. He hasn't guarded anything else of his yet. He eats literally everything he finds on the ground and I've had no problems sticking my hand in his mouth to take them out or forcing open his mouth to loosen his grip on any clothing items he's grabbed. Since adopting him I have been hand feeding him a meal daily and putting my hand in his bowl while adding more food to get him used to us being around his food. He typically likes to chew his bone near our feet so we have no problems approaching him or petting him while he chews it, since he's used to us being near, only when I try grabbing it from his mouth. I haven't had this problem yet with the Yak cheese chew. Do you think I should be worried or am I overreacting? Anyone else have this problem with "mild" resource guarding, and did it escalate? Thanks for your help!
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