Resource Guarding Owner

By Sally Bradbury

One of my dogs started to resource guard me when he was younger and would growl and grumble if the other dogs approached when we were interacting.

Instinct tells you to walk away and leave him so that he has nothing to guard, but all that does is confirm that he was right. The approach of another dog means I lose Mum.

So, I counter-conditioned him by giving him high-value treats when other dogs approached until he was practically inviting them over.

I started with Moss in a crate and would call a dog over, making sure to leave enough distance between the two that Moss would not react. I fed them both treats, but with Moss getting the lion’s share. Before long we could do it without a crate.

Man in Brown Jacket Holding White Long Coated Small Dog

I also had the issue of him grumbling when he was on the bed and another dog wanted to come up, so I used ear massages as his ‘good thing’ to associate with the approach of another dog.