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Resource Guarding

Like with most things, it is easier to address potential problems when a puppy is young in age. Doing so regularly prior to twelve weeks of age is perfect for bringing about a good conditioned emotional response.

We can all understand that resource guarding is a perfectly natural behaviour for dogs in the wild. It facilitates survival of the fittest. In our home, however, we want dogs to trust that it is ok to remove their bone, food bowl or favourite toy without all hell breaking lose.

It's actually quite important to teach your puppy that it is ok to take a chicken neck (bone, food bowl etc) from them. Stroke the puppy's back and speak in a soothing tone. Have a very good treat ( something you know your puppy really likes -eg. BBQ chicken or cheese) on hand. Quietly and calmly remove the neck while saying "swap" and quickly give the puppy the treat. Immediately give back the neck. The puppy will start to see that threatening things can be good. Repeat this often.

Another thing to try doing is adding food to the dog bowl while they are eating. Making sure it is something yummier than what is already in the bowl will do the trick.

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