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Discussion Starter #1
Cody just turned one last week. Crazy, full of energy. Major problem with resource guarding. I read mine and started with some of the exercises but does anyone have any suggestions. His gurading is not his food or water bowl but his bones or Himalayan bar or previously a rawhide(which he no longer gets). After celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday at my house the last of my company has left and I am sure that they all think I am crazy for keeping my dog. We love him and want to help him and would love to hear your suggestions. Thanks.
 

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I agree with Penny's Mom but sometimes that isn't enough. Bella at one point guarded everything from food to toys. It scared me but we're slowly breaking her.

The quickest and most efficient thing to help curb Bella's guarding is making her work and "wait" for EVERYTHING she gets. Food, toys, you name it. Before going outside, before going to bed, anytime. I snatch something away in no time if she doesn't wait, then I'll give it back once she does.

The only time she growls or snaps now is when she takes something behind the couch or in a corner to hoard it. And then we "trade".

Any time Bella has something she's guarding, we trade with her for a cookie. In fact, I usually have to throw the cookie away from the thing she guarding so I can grab it without her freaking out.

Good luck with your pup!


Edit: Rereading my post, I'd like to add some things. Now after all the waiting, Bella oftentimes doesn't even growl when she's hoarding something. (She used to growl, bite, snap and be mean). I look at her now and take whatever she has and give her a cookie. I no longer have to ask. She is learning nothing is hers and everything comes from her mama.

Also if she doesn't wait for a cookie and puts in her mouth, I take that sucker out and put it right back on her nose or paws or floor where she can wait for it until I'm ready. I'm a mean mama, but she does NOT get treats without waiting or performing a trick.



Edit again: That video embedded but I didn't want to take up the space. http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-videos/104110-my-girl-has-mastered-wait.html There is the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for responding. I will try all of your suggestions!

We bought the special bones so that he was calm when out of his crate and we were relaxing in the evening. But maybe the bones should be packed away until we can work this out.
 

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Sometimes, it's easiest for me to hold Bella's bone or toy while she chews on it. Anything new or higher value, I only let her chew on it if I'm holding it.
 

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Kristy
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Nothing in life is free is a wonderful program. Please consider consulting a professional trainer or behavioralist if you don't feel that what you learned in the book "mine" is working for you. If he is allowed up on furniture you need to remove that privilege. You are smart to work hard on this. Best of luck.
 

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Mulligan & Samantha's Mom
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I wish I could offer more advice but we've only had some resource guarding with Samantha and other dogs... never with people. We did teach her "drop it" from an early age, a necessity when you live in an apartment and walk where people occasionally litter. :(

Her resource guarding with dogs has pretty much always been rawhides. We don't give them to her, but occasionally she's encountered them at someone else's house and gets quite nasty when another dog tries to take it... or even come near her. Our solution has been to tell anyone's house that we take her to that rawhides need to be put away before we show up to avoid a fight. I was very worried about her guarding her bones and toys when we brought Mulligan home but we hid the high value toys and such for a month or so and bought Mulligan his own food bowl so that he's not eating out of one of "hers" and she's never allowed to eat out of his.

Interestingly the other day I accidentally put the bowl in the wrong places. They both looked at me as if to say "That's not my bowl Mom!"

I hope you are able to straighten things up and that I wasn't too wordy. I really like the drop it command as I worry about inadvertently reinforcing the behavior with trading. I'm sure you'll get a lot more great advice here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for the great advice.

I know this is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Our immediate family is aware of his issues but my fear is when someone visits and somehow does something to cause him to behave in his guarding manner someone will get hurt. I wasn't crazy about "mine". But I will pick up the other book that was mentioned. I also plan to see the visiting behaviorist at CherryBrook tomorrow. Thank you for your suggestions!
 

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Sam used to have some resource guarding issue, and it happened around your dog's age. We pulled off it quickly.

Here's what we did:
1. Exchange - when he's into something that you know he guards, give him other things he 'loves' too in exchange. So he knows, you are not just taking that object away, and he's getting something more exciting/fun.

2. Disrupt - use a party horn, a big bang, do something crazy to draw his attention away. As soon as he release the object, please and treat (clicker training is going to work great on this)

We also tell him to stop eating his meal (be careful with this), used our body to block him, and get him away from the bowl, then put yummy things in bowl, like cheese. So he knows, when he's being stop, he'll only get more and better, not being taken away.

Training takes time, good luck!!
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Having lived with a resource guarder for years...it can be managed and the behavior significantly improved - but IMHO not 100% cured.
The best advice I can give is to never let your guard down especially if you have guests in the house...even if it has been a loooong time without an incident...all it takes is one perfect storm for a bite to happen.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I should have qualified ...Lexi is a dog that learned that using her teeth worked to get people to back off.....if a pup that was still at the stiff body or growling stage....the outlook should be much better
 
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