Guardians of Possessions: Exploring the Canine Behavior of Resource Guarding
Resource guarding is a common behavior in dogs that can sometimes take owners by surprise. It's important to recognize and understand this behavior to ensure a harmonious relationship with your furry friend. In this blog post, we'll explain what resource guarding is, and why it happens. Stay tuned for a future blog post about how to effectively manage these behaviors.
What is Resource Guarding?
Resource guarding, also known as possessive aggression, is a behavior exhibited by dogs when they become protective or defensive over certain items, spaces, or even people. These resources can include food, toys, bones, a favorite spot on the couch, or even a family member.
Also, be aware of cached or hidden items. You may see your pet showing signs of resource guarding with nothing particularly valuable in sight. This might be a great time to search for hidden items, and physically "show" your dog you are putting the toy away somewhere, like in a drawer.
Why Do Dogs Engage in Resource Guarding?
Resource guarding often stems from a dog's natural instincts. In the wild, dogs needed to protect their valuable resources like food to survive. Domesticated dogs still carry some of these ancestral behaviors. Resource guarding can also be a result of past negative experiences, fear, or insecurity. It's important to note that resource guarding is not necessarily a sign of aggression or a "bad" dog; it's simply a behavior that can be managed and modified.
Common Signs of Resource Guarding
When a dog guards a resource, they may display warning signs such as:
-tense facial expressions
-snapping or lunging
-biting to keep others away
Resource guarding is a common canine behavior, and understanding its roots and triggers can help dog owners manage it effectively. By using positive reinforcement techniques and promoting a culture of sharing, you can help your dog feel more secure and reduce instances of resource guarding. If you're ever in doubt, consult a professional to ensure a safe and happy relationship with your furry companion.
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