Pet Care & News
Preventing resource guarding
Preventing Resource Guarding
Some young puppies are prone to guarding behaviour because they have had to compete with their littermates for limited amounts of food. Teaching your puppy to eat when you are around will prevent aggressive food guarding later on in life.
How to prevent food guarding:
- Hand feed puppy some of his meals; while hand feeding him speak to him in a pleasant voice and stroke/pat his body.
- Feed pup while holding his bowl on the ground or in your lap; again speak to him in a pleasant voice and pat him.
- Once pup is comfortable having you feed him put his bowl on the floor and as he eats approach him and drop some extra tasty treats into his bowl.
After you have practised these steps and your puppy is happy when you are around while he is eating you can take his bowl away and add treats to it then give him the bowl back to him to continue eating.
Please note: Children should not approach a dog while he is eating unless properly supervised. We want your puppy to learn that if anyone approaches him while he is eating it is a good thing. Allow children to be part of this training process under strict supervision and only after you are very confident that your puppy is happy with you around his food bowl.
Preventing toy guarding is very important. We can teach our puppies to give up their toy so that they will give up any item we ask that may be of high value to us or dangerous for our puppy. The best way to teach the “let go” and the “take it” command is through play.
How to prevent toy guarding:
- Offer a toy to your puppy and when he takes the toy say “take it” and let him play with the toy.
- Have a similar toy ready and begin to play with this toy making it seem more exciting than the toy he has.
- When your puppy drops his toy to play with your toy say “let go” and swap toys saying “take it”.
- Continue to play with your pup swapping toys and each time your pup drops one toy say “let go” and when he picks up the other toy say “take it” (Note: do not grab the toy in your puppy’s mouth, we want him drop the toy and not play tug of war).
- While your puppy is playing with the toy remember to pat him.
- If you don’t have another toy or if your puppy picks up an item you don’t want him to have offer him a treat and as soon as pup drops the item say “let go” and give him the treat and praise.
Speak to the team at your local Best Friends for more pet care advice.