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Resources guarding beds against other dog

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Hi all, hoping to get some advice. We have a dog at home and got a new greyhound about a week ago. We have two dog beds in the living areas and a crate for the greyhound. Our new greyhound has started resource guarding the dog beds (not a specific one, whichever one she is on at the moment). When our other dog approaches, she will growl, bark, etc. If she is in her crate and the other dog approaches, she will bark. So far, we have just been monitoring them whenever they are free roaming in the house and re-directing our old dog if she gets near the new greyhound so no problems arise. We have had no issues between the two of them otherwise i.e. on walks, roaming the house, roaming the backyard, and we feed them separately. Obviously, our goal is to stop the behavior so everyone is safe and happy. I realize it's still early since we haven't had her long, but I was looking for training advice or any other suggestions because she is such a good dog otherwise. TIA!

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Time and patience at this point.  Remember, unless your new dog has been in a house before, this is the first time she has had a space she can call her own that is able to be challenged by another dog.  She's feeling anxious already, moving to a new environment, and now this other dog wants to get close to *her* space!!  Some guarding and growling and even barking is entirely normal - they are all sounds dogs use between each other to communicate, they just sound angry to humans bacause we don't understand them.  

So I would not punish her for feeling a warranted feeling.  It could cause her to jump right over the warning and head for a snap or bite.  Keep their beds as far apart a possible, and redirect your older dog to another bed as soon as you see it happening.  In addition, keep a pocketful of small training-style treats and reward the new girl when she's on "her" bed and laying quietly.  When the older dog starts to come over to her, catch the new dog's attention with the treat and give her a command word - like "watch me" or "settle" or whatever word you want to use to help her cope.  If she stays calm while you redirect the older dog, she gets a treat.  If she gets more anxious/nervous, or vocalizes, she doesn't.  Reward the behavior you want, ignore the behavior you don't.  The guarding behavior may extinguish itself as she gets more comfortable and settled in to this new environment.  Or you may need to work a bit harder keeping your older dog safe until she learns to leave the new dog alone.

Remember the Rule of Three - three days, three weeks, three years.  Those are the checkpoints for new dogs in new homes for settling in and becoming comfortable.  Don't expect what she can't quite give you at any one point.  There are two books by noted dog trainer Patricia McConnell where you may also find some help: "Feisty Fido" and "The Cautious Canine."  Feisty Fido is more for leash reactivity, but a lot of the strategies outlined will work with resource guarding too.

Good Luck!


  • Thanks 2

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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