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Help for first time owner - Resource guarding

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Hi,

just looking for some guidance from experienced owners.  We recently (4 months) adopted a lovely 5.5 year old grey bitch who only retired from racing in December.  We love her to pieces and she is lovely with us but there is a problem brewing that we need to get on top of ASAP.

We laid down some good ground rules I think, she has her own bed in the kitchen, she comes into the lounge with us and has another bed in there when we settle down on an evening but she is not allowed on the couch and is never allowed upstairs so our beds are out of the question.  She gets plenty of exercise with a morning 20 min walk and 1 hour plus in the evening which she loves.

so the problem... and this has only recently started in the last month or so.  She has access to the hallway and the kitchen on an evening and during the day when we’re out at work and often will choose to sleep on a blanket in the hallway, she has started resource guarding this space but never with us, this problem really only occurs with visitors to the house.  From what I have read it's typical resource guarding behaviour of growling and then snapping at anyone who doesn’t back off!  It’s also a bit hit and miss, 3 days a week we have a dog walker who comes in at midday and has done since the first week we adopted, this lady is lovely and gets on really well with our dog but now some days she is fine and others she will retreat into the hallway and growl if approached.  Any visitors to the house such as family or friends or even workmen are becoming a real issue.  We really don’t want to be trapped into not ever being able to go away for any period of time because our dog won’t allow others to look after her.

As I said away from the house she is fine although always muzzled to be safe.  She never growls at us and will allow us into her space without issue when on her beds but we are always cautious and don’t disturb her sleeping.

any tips on how we stop this behaviour which is getting worse by the week?

Thanks

 

 

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My first instinct would be to remove that blanket and, depending on the layout of your house, gate off that hallway so that she can't be there when you aren't home. If she's treating an area like it's her space but it can't safely be her space, then she shouldn't be there (whether it be the couch, a human bed, or just a specific place like this).

But, I also wonder if this isn't so much a "this is my space" thing, as it is a "you are a stranger and I'm guarding the entrance to my house" thing. Again, depends on the layout of your house. A behaviorist doing a home visit could probably see a lot more accurately what exactly is going on, your adoption group probably has someone in your area they could recommend. But you'll do different training if it's resource guarding versus fear of strangers entering the house.

Is she never in a crate? If it's a safe space she is craving, then maybe think about transitioning away from this enclosed hallway space to a crate.

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Thanks for the reply.  No improvement yet but we are trying.  She doesn't have a blanket in the hallway now and we have put a crate in the kitchen for her.  She will lay outside it but hasn’t ventured into it yet.  The strange thing here is the fact that people she has known come into our house since day 1 when we adopted her are also a problem, we’re having to tell people just to ignore her when they enter the house and leave it up to her if she wants to come over for a stroke.  At present this never really happens.  She is a perfect and lovely dog for me and my partner.  Seeking a good behaviourist to help.

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You've received good info above. Throwing this out there but I would consult the vet to check that your pup's eyesight is not compromised, as well as doing bloodwork to ensure that all levels are within the normal ranges.

I reread your post and see that your girl is not allowed upstairs at night with you. She doesn't need to sleep in your bed , is it possible for you to put one of her dog beds upstairs so that she can be with her family, which she sees as her pack mates. At five yo she retired late and she's only known the company of other greyhounds for all that time.

Edited by FiveRoooooers

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:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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