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Mine, Mine and Mine Too! Resource Guarding is it an issue or not?

The Collector

Dogs love things, things have value, things are fun. At what point to we have an issue? Tug game and our hand not the rope is the target? Keep away, awe I'm gonna get it...? MY model Dog for this post is my Dear Boy Oscar (not his real name, what I call him, because he's like the Oscar fish, and owns all he wants and loves). This is a working dog with an "out | drop it | leave it" problem. It's fixed now but I have scars, owner did an ER visit or two just from tossing the obsession.

Working dogs, we love this, we train to it, make it a focus, it's what we do. We build on drives; play, prey, defense, and it's a crazy fine line to get it right. The result, an amazing working dog to compete with. Get it wrong, lots of 1st aid.

Your furry buddy has this drive, obsession naturally built in its DNA too. It was bred into them. the need to seek, destroy and kill. Why else would squeaky toys only last 1-5 minutes...(we giggle at the destruction, encourage it sometimes). What we worry about is the "Keep" "Mine, get away, I will bite you if you don't." We see it with toys, food, people, furniture, and things...silly things a dog finds odd value in.

So is it ok or not? To a point. You can work around it; with trade games. Gimmie that I give you this, ok you can have it back too. Let's trade more. We can withhold all valued items, and make them ours. As in we control the play, games etc.

When it comes to the That's my human, no touchy, nope not sharing the bed, couch, chair. They don't get to get up there unless they follow the rules. stop letting them. Invites only and they must tolerate the stuff they dislike, otherwise it's banishment to the floor, place,bed or crate. Dogs are smart, honestly they are. Rules they like, just like we do. If we follow through, stay consistent in our rules and consequences, they will respect them. When we are not consistent, that is when they push the line to see how far they can get. Then things can get out of hand, or in hand a bloody one at that.

This boy, Oscar my Boy. Well he's a friends working dog that had, out issues as I said, could put 6 pine cones in his mouth and never drop them. Find all the toys in the yard, pile them up and hord them like a pirates treasure. You could not get near the treasure. We fixed it. The boy now spits things at command. He tries the rules on and off as most dogs do, then remembers the discomfort in doing so. Yes, discomfort, not pain.

We often confuse discomfort with pain. nagging with punishment. So how do I the non-working dog owner deal with the same issues? Not to mention the food bowl, gulping, growling and stiff body ready to bite over my food, toys human.

We start by deprivation, of all things of value including affection. We become the robot.Not the dog. The Robot owns it all, provides, allows, gives and takes away. Sets the rules. Rewards following the rules, takes away when not followed. Hand feed the food, it's 10-15 minutes of bonding. toys and games, ended on your turns not the dogs. It's taking time when you get home to ignore the crated dog, barking it's head off...Take time to empty your pockets, change clothes read the mail, heck take that shower you want, the dog can wait. Then let the dog out, give it 100 of you on your terms, not theirs. Leadership if you want.

Find the Balance. The Give and Take. The Ownership. Yes, technically you "OWN" your dog. You are responsible for it's behavior. If it is not desirable it is on you to fix. Get help if you need to, there is no shame in that. A good trainer will be happy to help. Write me, call me, if you are local schedule an appointment. This issue is more common then anyone like to admit. Owner caused yes, absolutely. Unknowingly 100%. But I do not hold fault.

You see, we love our dogs, we treat them like children, we humanize them. Society has told us this is what we should do. Cute videos of behaviors on cue (we are unknowing it's a trained dog) we think it's ok. I'm not going to lecture on this as the backlash last time was crazy. I just want you to think. Understand your dog, it's breed, it's tendencies based on those factors. Understand you are responsible for that thing it does that is cute now and ugly later.

Rules, boundaries can be fun and yes dogs, fur babies respect them. Make the rules yours. Make everything on your terms not theirs. Only then will your "Coexist ideals" work for both of you. Master of the Beast, is not acceptable now, as the beast is equal, in current society. Pack Leader is a term that some accept more so, but not many. Punishment for ill behavior is tolerated, misunderstood but tolerated. Do not be the next person who's out of control baby gets confiscated for a preventable bite. Understand the nature of your dog.

So it's up to you, to find common ground that you can accept. Find a trainer that you are comfortable with, your style to help you. If your are in my area, Jacksonville Florida and are at a loss call me, I'll find you a trainer that can help if I'm not the right fit. My goal is happy owners keeping their dogs, shelters and rescues are full of "I gave up Pups" I'm not about draining your funds, I can help or find you someone who will. I Promise. But you have to give a little too.

You made a promise to that fur baby, dog that you would protect, love and cherish it until it's end of days. Let me help you keep that promise.

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