Resource Guarding

Resource Guarding
Are you an owner who is scared to approach your dog at mealtimes? Or even scared to feed your dog at all?!

Food is one of the most important resources to our canine friends. And they love us because we provide it!

However, some dogs are very protective of their food, treats and even chews and can growl or even snap when approached. Sadly guarding is a very successful strategy for a dog – she will soon learn that if she growls or snaps you will back away so the technique works. And we certainly would never want to test her to see if she will follow through with a bite!

More traditional techniques of insisting that you can ‘take anything off your dog’ simply serve to reinforce her belief that you are a threat around one of her most prized resources. If you tell your dog off for guarding it will only give her more reason to guard. And if the problem isn’t worked on guarding behaviours can become much more serious, to the extent that they are dangerous. Over time guarding can even generalise to other things apart from food – your car, toys, her bed, even stolen items!

We need to teach our dogs that we are not threat to their food or treasured resources, and we will provide them rather than take them away. And if we do want to take something away we will always swap them for something just as good!

To find out the most effective way to deal with your guarding problems please get in touch to see how we can help.

But don’t just take our word for it! Read this case study, recommendation and reference from one Contented Canine and his happy owner!

Chester is a beautiful bouncy Golden Retriever puppy. At the age of just 6 months his owner Sarah noticed the very early stages of food guarding. As a mum with two young children she was extremely worried as the guarding continued to get worse – Chester began to guard not only around Sarah, but also around the children and the cats. Fearing for her and her own children’s safety Sarah got in touch with me.

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I first got into contact with Contented PetCare after hearing fabulous reviews off various local sites. My Golden Retriever Chester, then 6 months old had terrible food aggression. It had got to the point where he was growling at my cats and children if any of them dared to go near him when he was eating. I didn't know what to expect before Nicola came round. I was very nervous as she was our last hope. When Nicola arrived she got to know us, our background, Chester's daily routine etc. Nicola also spotted that Chester was being over walked and was not getting enough sleep for a young puppy, this was adding to his behaviour problems. With regards to the food aggression we were shown how to hand feed him mouthful by mouthful and also to make him sit and wait to eat it. It took some getting used to and was time consuming but the results were amazing. Gone were any growls or snarls. The good quality food we started to feed him calmed him down, made his coat softer and helped him grow into a beautiful strong adult. I would recommend Nicola to anybody. You sometimes find dog trainers are more dog people and aren't very good at interacting with us humans but I can assure you Nicola makes you feel so at ease and is so funny and lovely. 8 months on and Chester is the perfect family dog.
Thank you Nicola.

Sarah Jones with Chester