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First signs of resource guarding!

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Maggie Mul, May 13, 2018.

  1. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    So over the weekend we had our first experience of some resource guarding. Over the past couple of weeks our 7mth puppy had shown signs of passive resource guarding which I had been keeping an eye on. When she had a toy/bone she had left around she would run and snatch it if she thought we were going to take it away, which of course we wouldn't. We never take her food away from her, or toys in the house. However, we have had to take bones off her that she has picked up numerous times when out walking. She never gives these up voluntarily, and tries to eat them as quickly as possible or clamps down very hard on them. No amount of chicken or anything will make her drop them. ANyway, last night she picked up some type of bone off the sidewalk and my husband didn't notice until he got home. She had been walking with it for about 3 blocks. Maggie would not drop it. He eventually opened her mouth with his hands and removed it but whist he was doing this, she snapped at him and drew blood. :( Obviously he shouldnt have removed it the way he did but what is the method to take things they shouldnt have off them? Does this one incident mean she is a 'resource guarder'? How do we go about preventing this again? Resource guarding is something I know very little about. Any help grateful. Thanks.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    My dog isn't a resource guarder but he will scavenge discarded food and be reluctant to give it up. Depending on risk, I sometimes leave him to get on with it (remains of sandwiches are fine, bones I assume are cooked and are not fine). @JudyN has a lot of experience and has written a great article here Turns really vicious over foraged food
     
  3. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thank you @JoanneF :)

    Yes, do have a read of the article in the link JoanneF gave. In all honesty, I think the best thing for you do do when she picks up a bone is to let her keep it, even if she eats it. If she doesn't eat it, walk her home with her carrying it if necessary, and wait till she's forgotten it. Yes, eating cooked bones is dangerous, but she's probably more at risk from the consequences if she should develop into an intransigent resource guarder.

    If you're not happy with this - which is understandable - an alternative is to muzzle her on walks. My dog is always muzzled on walks as he's a bit 'special';) and is completely used to it and happy with it. If you think you'd like to try this, we can advise on the best sort of muzzle and how to get her used to it - just ask. Don't even think of getting a muzzle that holds her mouth completely shut though - they are both dangerous and unpleasant for the dog.
     
  4. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    Ok thank you. Maggie is a complete scavenger when out walking and is constantly on the look out for cat poo:)eek::eek::eek:) or anything else she can pick up! She is doing well at following 'leave it' with tissues and such and is rewarded when she drops it. However, she seems to have found a lot of bones of late, (all seem cooked) and there is no way she will let those go. I had a whole tub of chicken yesterday, and she still wouldn't drop it. We have practiced a lot of 'leave it' in the house today and when I see her toys, I pick them up and go and give them to her so she gets the idea that she doesn't need to guard them. Whenever she had stuff before, she would let me take it out of her mouth but after seeing her reaction with my husband yesterday, I am a bit nervous to do that now. I will have a read of the article too. Thank you!
     
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  5. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    ‘Resource guarding refers to a dog displaying behavior (growling, snapping, etc.) intended to convince other dogs or humans to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a place (a bed or favorite chair), or occasionally a person. Basically, a resource is anything that is considered by the dog to be of high value.’ ((Info Source))


    Good link- https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/resource-guarding/


    Some ways you can teach that resource guarding isn’t needed:

    • Feed your dog by hand

    • While your dog is eating you could trough some tasty hot dogs into the bowl

    • NEVER take things away from her without some sort of trade – this just teaches the dog that you WILL take things away, which will serve as motivation for the dog to guard things from you.

    • Teach your dog a “drop it” and/or a “leave-it” command.


      Tips:

    • NEVER walk up to the dog and take her resource (bones, chewies, etc). ALWAYS approach with treats, and do not loom over the dog or make direct eye contact (as these are very challenging postures). Hand her a treat and walk away.

    • If you need to take a resource from her, throw a handful of treats AWAY from her chewy. Once your dog turns to scarf up the treats, remove her chewy.

      (Info Source)


     
  6. Sezzy

    Sezzy Well-Known Member Registered

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    When Misty has picked something up that she knows she shouldn’t have (be it food or something of mine :eek:); she won’t give it up for anything, no treats will work when she’s in the clamped mouth mode. If it’s something I know she won’t actually eat I have found that ignoring her is the best option, as once she realises she’s not getting attention she tends to get bored and drop it on her own accord. However, when she’s got something off the street I’m afraid we do resort to teaming up with OH prising her jaws open and me getting whatever disgusting thing out :eek:
     
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  7. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    Yes, the latter is what we did yesterday and we were quite shocked by her reaction. We didn't expect her to be so snappy to the extent she drew blood. I am hoping it is a one off but I will be looking at everything on the floor now!!
     
  8. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Some dogs you can prise things off, some dogs you can't - the best way to avoid guarding escalating is by assuming it's not a one-off and not taking things off her (this isn't to suggest you shouldn't be doing this, Sezzy - you know your dog:)).
     
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  9. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    IMO all dogs are resource guarders! It's in their nature to find food and either eat it then or if that's not possible keep/hide it. I never make an issue of picked up food. I have walked home through the village with a small fluffy dog grasping the gone-off carcase of half a rabbit. The smell brought tears to the eyes! At the door he ate the entire thing while I was getting my key out and wondering what to do next. No ill effects either.
    In the house I ignore anything stolen, food, socks, favourite underwear, the lot. I wouldn't even make an issue out of a cooked chicken remains: just watch and wait and hope it doesn't require the vet. Still better than A&E for me.
     
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  10. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Some of my dogs will let go of a 'prize' when told to 'drop it!', having been taught that and knowing they get something in return from me, but also some will eat quicker or just swallow rather than giving it up, so I leave them be in most cases, I would rather they ate something properly, as in chewing, hopefully less likely to cause a problem than just swallowing something whole..so I think it's about knowing your dog and which way they will go. Or as JudyN says use a muzzle to prevent picking up in the first place if it is a big problem. Dogs do mostly have pretty tough digestive systems! But also thankfully none of my dogs show aggression with this...
     
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  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    introducing a box-muzzle properly, as a happy thing:



    don't forget to teach the dog to put their OWN nose into the muzzle, & stand nicely as it's fastened!

    Also B4 purchasing, look to be sure the muzzle has a small loop at the back, to run the collar thru & secure it - or at a crucial moment, the dog will thumb-off the muzzle & leave it dangling under their chin, or even fallen to the ground.

    All well-made muzzles buckle at the back of the head, with a tongue-buckle or a snap-in nylon buckle that must be pinched on both sides to open it; they also have 2 other loops, UNDER THE JAW & AT THE BACK, where the collar runs thru to hold them in place.
    For fussy dogs, i take off the collar, run it thru both loops, then teach the dog to stick their face in, & i buckle the muzzle at the same time that i fasten their collar again. ;) Much better than fiddling with the collar & trying to feed it thru loops, as a dog fidgets & ducks, eager to leave for their walk!

    - terry

    .
     
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  12. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Jasper and I have come to an understanding when he finds a rabbit. We go to a fenced area with a gate and I go through, shutting the gate on him. I then explain to him (through 'drop', 'leave it', and either opening the gate, closing it again, or walking a little way off) that either he comes through the gate without the rabbit, or I shall leave him and walk off on my own. Negotiations are rather bad tempered on his side, but eventually he decides that he does love - or at least need - me more than he loves the rabbit, and comes through the gate without it, though the language he uses as he comes through is shocking!!! Once we walk on, though, he's back to normal straight away.

    If he ever realises he's capable of jumping those fences I'll have to come up with a new plan:D
     
  13. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Can I just say it's horses for courses?- and in Ricky's case he'd lost 3 previous homes for RG. The first month we had him we were both in the surgery for stitching up and ant-tetanus jabs. (Otherwise quite a nice Christmas!) Teaching the drop command or leave should certainly be worth trying.
     
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  14. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    Such helpful replies!! ( and gave me a few chuckles too!!) We have decided to go down the road of not fussing about it. Maggie got a sock yesterday and I left her with it and eventually she dropped it. She also got a Tupperware dish and we eventually Managed to trade for hotdogs!! It took a while but she gave it up freely rather than us taking it off her!!!
     
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  15. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's brilliant :) It's a long time since Jasper guarded non-food items but he still presents me with socks, dropped hankies, dishcloths etc. because he knows he'll get a treat in return (even if he's nicked them out of the laundry pile or off the worktop). If he has had something like a yoghurt pot or the cat's food tray to lick clean he also brings me them which can be quite useful at times!

    The first time I came home and he wanted to give me the Kong I'd left him with so I could scrape out the bits he couldn't get for him, I nearly wept with joy:oops::D
     
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