Ever had a dog who won’t give you his bone or chew toy if you try to take it from him? Or one who gets uncomfortable or growls if you get close to him when he’s eating his dog food? Or snaps at you if he’s on the sofa and you want him off? Or lifts his lip in a snarl if your friend tries to get close to you?
Answer yes to any of the above, and you’ve successfully diagnosed your dog as having a guarding issue. The catch-all, technical term is “resource-guarding,” and can include guarding of dog food bowls (or food), place (dog crate, dog bed, sofa, etc.) items (rawhide, bones, balls, tissues, etc.) and less commonly, people.
Resource-guarding simply means that a dog gets uncomfortable when we (or other humans) are around him when he had “his stuff.” He’s nervous that we’re going to take it away, so he tries to warn us off in a variety of ways, ranging from simply consuming his food faster, to an all-out bite.
For more advice on how to recognize the signs of resource-guarding and ways to reduce, eliminate and prevent it, purchase and download the ebook from Whole Dog Journal, Resource Guarding.