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Beneath the Surface: Understanding Resource Guarding

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

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.

Comment your thoughts or issues you may be having regarding resource guarding and I'll reply to your question as best as possible! Remember this is a safe place to share your journey with your pet. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date and receive more FREE information!

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