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Resource guarding.. Any hints and tips?!

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Hi guys, 

Me again! I just can't stay away 😂

Our almost 2 year old, gorgeous boy who's been with us just over 10 weeks has started displaying some resource guarding behaviours - mainly freezing and growling. It's not constant and seems to be with things like shoes, clothes he manages to get hold of, bags etc. He's currently OK with toys and food, although if he has a particularly high value treat, like a pigs ear, he lets you know not to get too close. The rest of the time he's an absolute dream. 

We know not to chase/approach when he starts displaying this behaviour and, at present, we've been 'trading up' by offering a tasty treat which works every time. I've also started teaching him 'drop it' command. 

My question would be is trading up the right thing to do? Or is it just reinforcing a behaviour that isn't ideal? I'm hoping being consistent with 'drop it' training will help - am I on the right track? 

There's just so much advice online, much of it conflicting, and I want to make sure I'm doing the best I can for him and I don't want it to escelate. Or is this just something that could happen now and again and we live with it/manage it?


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I think the timing of the tasty treat is important. You need to be rewarding him for leaving the thing he's guarding not because he's guarding it, if that makes sense. Keep on with the drop it training and reward him as soon as he drops it. 

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Thanks @HeyRunDogfor the great advice 😊

Just had a mini victory. He had my husbands cap and I just stood back calmly, told him to drop it which he did briefly. In that moment I rewarded him with a treat. Cap went back into mouth and again I told him to drop it, which he did. Another treat. After a couple more rounds of that he just let me take it with no growling. I think it's all about being 'on it' but not confrontational. 

Does this seem to be on the right track and to continue in this way? 

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