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Resource Guarding


Guest lasharp1209
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Guest lasharp1209

We have a current foster who is a resource guarder with major food treats like rawhides, etc. (anything that takes him a long time to eat). He is fine with his regular food, we can pick it up, stick our hands in it, no problem. He is fine with toys, and he is fine with small treats that he eats in a couple of bites. When we give him a rawhide or something like that that he has to work on for a while, he takes it back to his bed. At that point, he'll growl if we touch his back and if someone tries to take it from him, he'll snap. He has bitten a couple of people and so we want to stop this behavior now before it really becomes a habit. He seems to have a little possessiveness of his bed too (he has growled at the cats occasionally if they've gotten too close), but that is it.

 

He is pretty fresh from the track, and has been in a couple of homes since then, for just a few weeks each. So for one thing, we're hoping that the longer he is with us in a stable environment, the more he will learn to trust us. We are moving his bed around every few days to give him the message that the bed belongs to us, not to him. He knows "sit" so we are making him sit before he gets his food, before getting his leash put on, etc.

 

I'd love to know how people would approach this issue. He is a fantastic dog in every other way, and if we can get him over this hurdle I will feel better about placing him in a home. Thanks!

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Guest AGirlNamedMe

Bella is the same way about the kong and toys.

 

What we're doing seems to be helping.

 

First, we don't give her long with the prize before we approach her. This behavior seems to be at its worst when she has had the item for a longer period of time - when she's good and settled and knows its hers to have forever.

 

Then, when we do approach her, we say "leave it" in a calm voice with a hand reaching out. (She knows we're coming for it at this point.)

 

If she growls even a little, she gets the Voice of God. (We're trying not to laugh at this point - neither of us are really the yelling type.) And we retrieve the item.

 

After just a few times of this, Bella is so much better. Now, when she sees us coming with a hand out, and saying "leave it," she actually gets up and walks away from her beloved item.

 

Good luck with this. It was shocking the first time Bella did this - she's so laid back about everything.

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Guest PiagetsMom

Trade up - someone here recommended it, and it's always worked for us. Our trade up is usually a piece of cheese, but it should be something that the pup is especially fond of. When I'm ready or needing to take our most favorite chew, bully sticks, away, I offer a piece of cheese and they're more than happy to trade their bully stick for their cheese.

 

edited to add: I don't usually mess with my pups when they're chewing their treats......I give them the bully stick, supervise while they chew so there's no squabble between them (sometimes Piaget will want to trade), and then decide when it's time to take them by trading up.

Edited by PiagetsMom
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Yep, do a search on "trading up" in this forum and you'll find some good descriptions of the process. It's a technique for teaching a nice, reliable "Leave it!" command. No fuss, no muss, no threats to anybody. :) Usually preferable to teach this way than to scold because scolding can result in a dog that is *more* likely to guard and/or to snap without growling and/or to flee and gobble rather than cheerfully drop the object you want.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest lasharp1209

Thanks for the responses. I've tried doing some trading with him, but he's very keen on keeping what he's got... I will try something like cheese and see how that goes.

 

I've been walking by once he is settled with his bone and handing him a treat to start. I thought maybe I can get him to associate my arrival with something good. My thought was to gradually progress to touching the bone with one hand, dropping treats with the other, until I can eventually remove it with no problem. But it will probably take lots of time to do it that way and I honestly don't know how well it will work. Plus, with any training I know repetition is key and it may not be the best thing to give him a rawhide bone every day :/

 

Thanks again!

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Personally if your hound is new to your home, I wouldnt give high value treats. Let your hound settle in, as well as get some obedience under your belt. Establish a relationship with your hound before you expect him to relinquish high value treats. Maybe 6 months or so before you give bones and such. Just another way to help the situation.

 

Chad

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I've tried doing some trading with him, but he's very keen on keeping what he's got...

 

For the training, you want to use something he DOESN'T want. A grungy old toy (or a washcloth, or a magazine ...) that he might take from you or might not but doesn't really care about. If he won't take it, set it down between his front feet, "Leave it!", take the toy, "Good boy!" and treat, give the toy back. Repeat repeat repeat. Work your way up from undesirable items like that to somewhat desirable items, etc.

 

:)

 

ETA, as Chad noted, until he's settled in and had some training, don't give him things he can't consume in one sitting. Then you're not reinforcing undesirable behavior before he's ready to learn about it.

Edited by Batmom

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest AGirlNamedMe

I actually think this is the best advice.

 

When Bella first got here, we were so excited. We had toys and treats and chewies, oh my. And it was just too much.

 

I'd definitely go a different route if we had to do it over again.

 

 

 

Personally if your hound is new to your home, I wouldnt give high value treats. Let your hound settle in, as well as get some obedience under your belt. Establish a relationship with your hound before you expect him to relinquish high value treats. Maybe 6 months or so before you give bones and such. Just another way to help the situation.

 

Chad

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Guest lasharp1209

Great advice. Thanks to everyone. I know that's one of the key things with him - settling in and developing trust. We will continue to work on that and some basic obedience, and Batmom, your advice helps a ton on how to go about training. He is an enormous food hog so I think he'll be more than willing to trade lots of things for anything edible :lol

 

He is such a GOOD dog, wonderful in just about every other aspect. Cat friendly, housebroken, sweet, and loves his crate. Counter-surfing is his only other downfall but I'll save that one for another day :) He's not allowed in the kitchen for now, so it's not an issue.

Edited by lasharp1209
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