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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I was looking through threads etc and realized that many of the resource guarding threads only get started when the dog/puppy has already escalated to a lunge or even a bite in a resource guarding scenario.

There are many great threads about how to modify the behaviour, but I think that the biggest issue has been the dog's human not recognizing the early signs of RG. Early on is the best time to start behaviour mod, not after the dog has had the opportunity to practice the escalation and cement the behaviours.

Firstly, it is most common for dogs to guard food/food area and bowls, but they CAN and will guard anything at anytime that THEY deem a valuable resource. This can mean access to areas, furniture, other pets, people, or even pieces of dust bunny in extreme cases.

This is what early RG tends to look like: You approach and the dog freezes and stiffens. If they are chewing something they will either swallow it VERY quickly or stop chewing and lurk over the item. They will often have their head pointed towards the object, but their EYES will be on you (showing whale eye). If you continue to approach the warnings will escalate to a lip curl, a low growl and then very likely a lunge or bite. If you recognize the very early sign (the stiffening) you can back off, prevent an escalation and then set up a training plan to modify the tendency to guard.

This site has some great pictures of it, and some good information too.
http://www.wagsandwiggles.com/resource.shtml

I wish I had some non copyright photos to post in the thread itself, but cannot find any that can be linked.

All I can say is that regardless of whether your dog or puppy is exhibiting these early signs (but especially if they ARE) you need to instill a good Give/Trade program to prevent this serious behaviour problem.

Happy Training!
 

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I avoid RG with puppies that I raise by being PROACTIVE. :D As soon as my puppies are up and about, my hand goes towards them often to hand out tiny delicious goodies. I especially try to do this when they have toys, and when they are eating.

I have puppies now (2) that are 16 weeks old, and they have ZERO anxiety with regard to toys, food, bones, or any other high value items. I regularly open the crate doors when they are eating and hand feed a treat or add things to their bowl. Sometimes I just pass a treat through the crate when they are eating.

I play tug and reward puppies for coming to me when they have an item they are interested in. If I want the toy, I TRADE a treat for it. As soon as the pup starts spitting out what they have to take the treat, I name this behavior. Out.

I have never, I repeat NEVER EVER had any form of RG issues with any of my dogs. My dogs are safe with anyone approaching them, even if they are eating or have something great, even big raw bones.

This works, without fail, if you shape puppies from early that hands coming towards them BRING, they do not take away.

:)
 

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So, I was looking through threads etc and realized that many of the resource guarding threads only get started when the dog/puppy has already escalated to a lunge or even a bite in a resource guarding scenario.

There are many great threads about how to modify the behaviour, but I think that the biggest issue has been the dog's human not recognizing the early signs of RG. Early on is the best time to start behaviour mod, not after the dog has had the opportunity to practice the escalation and cement the behaviours.

Firstly, it is most common for dogs to guard food/food area and bowls, but they CAN and will guard anything at anytime that THEY deem a valuable resource. This can mean access to areas, furniture, other pets, people, or even pieces of dust bunny in extreme cases.

This is what early RG tends to look like: You approach and the dog freezes and stiffens. If they are chewing something they will either swallow it VERY quickly or stop chewing and lurk over the item. They will often have their head pointed towards the object, but their EYES will be on you (showing whale eye). If you continue to approach the warnings will escalate to a lip curl, a low growl and then very likely a lunge or bite. If you recognize the very early sign (the stiffening) you can back off, prevent an escalation and then set up a training plan to modify the tendency to guard.

This site has some great pictures of it, and some good information too.
http://www.wagsandwiggles.com/resource.shtml

I wish I had some non copyright photos to post in the thread itself, but cannot find any that can be linked.

All I can say is that regardless of whether your dog or puppy is exhibiting these early signs (but especially if they ARE) you need to instill a good Give/Trade program to prevent this serious behaviour problem.

Happy Training!
This is true. And like Red mentioned, being proactive and teaching them that Human Hands + Cool Thing = Something Even Better is vital (but unfortunately often ignored). If you wait until your dog gets a hold of something they shouldn't have and then do your darndest to swipe it away, you're also underlining the dogs' idea that whatever they got is REALLY cool because you've got so much interest in taking it away.
I did what Red does with her puppies when Auz was young, and Auz will spit out whatever he has when I tell him. My previous RG'er (who was REALLY bad, he'd skip right to lunging) was helped with this method as well. I can see Tag having the predisposition for being a RG'er, because he's SO food and treat motivated. He'll whale eye the cats, and does the "I see you" with people...he stops eating, looks at you, then goes back to eating a bit faster, wagging his tail. He "nose punches" the bowl (eating VERY quickly, slamming his nose into the bowl as he does) if another animal gets too close to him. Luckily, I've no problems picking up the bowl or removing a bone from him, but I imagine had it gone unchecked he would be a pretty powerful resource guarder by now.
The only thing he ever RG'ed from me was a toy, which was nipped in the bud immediately.
 
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