Help, my dog is a resource guarder! Part 2

Resource guarding (food, toys, etc.) is a common problem among dog owners. In the first post I talked about how we define resource guarding, what does it look like and what are the usual causes. Now we will discuss the options you have if your dog is a resource guarder:

  • management – making everyone safe again
  • emergency interventions
  • training

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Help, my dog is a resource guarder! Part 1

Resource guarding (of food, toys etc.) is a common problem. It can crop up in rescue as well as purebred dogs, sometimes already when the dog is a puppy. I believe that the better we understand our dog’s behavior, the more effectively we can help them. In this post we will cover the basics:

  • What are resources and what is resource guarding?
  • What does it look like?
  • What causes resource guarding?
  • What factors influence the prognosis for behavior modification?
  • How can you prevent resource guarding in your dog?

If your dog already guards resources, read how to deal with it in the next post.

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10 creative ways to give food to your dog

Giving food doesn’t have to always look the same. Actually, changing the way you deliver it can make the food more valuable to your dog. It’s a very useful trick if your dog can only eat a few types of food or if they have just done something amazing and you only have kibble on you.

straight from your hand

This is the simplest way of delivering treats, but simple doesn’t mean bad. Giving treats in the same place (for example in front of you or by your leg) and with the same speed creates a predictable pattern and it can help keep the arousal level down. Well-planned reward delivery can make training faster and more precise.

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10 reasons to use food on walks

Food is just so very useful! You can use it to…

…figure out how stressed your dog is

If the dog is refusing food they are probably quite stressed! Get out of that situation and rethink your options! (Tip: can you increase the distance from the trigger, lower its intensity or shorten the exposure time?)

…calm them down

Sniffing for food is as natural an activity as it gets (dogs are scavengers first and hunters by necessity!). It provides information about the environment and has an overall calming effect on dogs. Looking for treats also helps them boost their confidence, they find them all on their own 🙂 If your dog is new to this, remember to start with larger, more smelly treats.

If your dog is too nervous to sniff, you can try giving them a chew toy. Chewing also calms them down.

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Giving meds to your dog

Giving pills to dogs (and other animals) frequently turns into a battle. Sadly, a lot of “advice” found on the internet calls for aversive methods to “win” it. You probably heard that one person should grab the dog, the other force their mouth open, push the medication in… I’ll spare you the rest.

Unsurprisingly, the situation gets worse and worse and in the end both dog and human hate it. As a result, owners start avoiding giving medication to their dog. And let’s not even talk about what happens to their relationship…

In this blog post I will share tips and tricks that will make giving medication to your dog if not fun, then at least much, much less stressful or all parties involved.

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