Dogs Who Guard Valued Objects

Dogs Who Guard Valued Objects


Some dogs can be very possessive about certain items such as their favorite toy or bone.  They may also guard objects which appear to have no value to you (such as common household objects, trash, etc).  These dogs will normally carry these items to a secure area.  Any attempt to remove the item from the dog may be met with aggression.  Please do not ignore this warning as the dog may even try to bite you.

This behaviour may begin as a game when they are puppies but eventually develop into a problem.  A dog will perform this behaviour to attract your attention.  They will steal objects in front of you and run off with them.  The dog may continue this behaviour until it receives a reaction from you.  Do not encourage this behaviour with ANY response.

Guarding behaviour is not a sign of dominance because it is seen in both submissive and dominant dogs.  The best way to deal with this unwanted behaviour is to prevent it.  If your dog retreats to the same spot, block it off to prevent him access.  Also teach your dog to “fetch” and ensure he gives you the object by using the command “drop it” or “let go”.  Making this a fun experience will teach him to give you objects on command.  Start with objects that are not a priority to the dog.  As he becomes comfortable with the command, begin using more favorable items.  Another obedience exercise is to train your dog to leave an item until you have given the “okay” for him to use it or eat it.  This can be done daily by making him sit and stay and he can only begin to eat the food once you have given the command.

If your dog has an object that you do not want him to guard, you do not want to challenge him.  To ignore your pet but still get the item away from him, coax your pet over to you with a more valuable item or treat.  Once he is away from the item, remove it.

These simple training exercises can help eliminate this unwanted behaviour from your furry friend.

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