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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've taken in a stray Great Pyrenees with some behavior that folks on a Texas Ag forum identified as resource guarding. I've only seen issues over food (I have two other dogs) so I'm feeding them in separate rooms and keeping my food out of the family area just to avoid temptation. The guys on the Ag forum say to get a trainer, Dog Forums says to find a behaviorist, but I can't afford a behaviorist if the fees Google is showing are even close, and I really can't afford to even take a shot in the dark with a random trainer. I love the Pyr, I'm keeping the Pyr, so I have to do this myself somehow.

Can I get just some basic advice that I can begin applying? I'm perfectly happy modifying the household routine to accommodate the Pyr's needs.

I guess my first specific question is whether I should continue treating my three dogs (including the Pyr) together. She's been here nine days, my other dogs are food crazy so I feed a bit less so I can treat a bit more... and she's never shown the slightest anxiety at treat time. Am I pressing my luck, or is it good for her to gain experience taking her treats with the group in a happy, less stressful setting like that?

Any thoughts would be very helpful.
 

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Separate the dogs when food is present. This is not a thing to train out of a dog. Most dogs will resource guard food. Most, (not all) dogs are food crazy. If you are using treats to train, separate the dog you are training from the other dogs.
Feed each dog in a separate place (crates or rooms). The notion dogs should eat together at the same table and be polite is a human notion and not a dog notion. The rule years back was to LEAVE THE DOG ALONE WHEN EATING.

Having more than one dog around and adding something of value (such as food or a toy) to the group is a recipe for dog fights and problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Separate the dogs when food is present. [...] Having more than one dog around and adding something of value (such as food or a toy) to the group is a recipe for dog fights and problems.
Thanks 3GSD4IPO. I'll be taking your advice starting today.
 

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Resource guarding comes in many "flavors." Some only guard high value chews, some will guard a sock they found on the floor. Some only guard items from other dogs, some guard items from all animals and humans.

Definitely continue to separate the dogs while they are eating their meals, and keep them separate until they are finished. Pick up their food bowls afterward. Make sure nothing the Pyr considers high value is left out. If you're giving treats that are quickly swallowed, perhaps she doesn't fear any of the other dogs getting to it, but that might change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Resource guarding comes in many "flavors." Some only guard high value chews, some will guard a sock they found on the floor. Some only guard items from other dogs, some guard items from all animals and humans.

Definitely continue to separate the dogs while they are eating their meals, and keep them separate until they are finished. Pick up their food bowls afterward. Make sure nothing the Pyr considers high value is left out. If you're giving treats that are quickly swallowed, perhaps she doesn't fear any of the other dogs getting to it, but that might change.
A very nice perspective @Lillith, thank you. The Pyr will continue to eat alone (or with my company) on the porch... forever,,, and there's no need to separate my other dogs from one another. I like the "out of sight, out of mind" thinking of taking up their bowls after meals and have just collected and put away all their breakfast dishes. I've also removed the Nylabones I've kept laying around for my pups to tinker with when the mood strikes. They can learn to live wihtout them,and there are no other toys in the mix.

I love treating my guys (they just get so darned HAPPY!) and would love to continue treating them together, so I may just cautiously proceed with group treats, or I might just take @3GSD4IPO's advice and segregate them at treat time, too.

Thanks again!!
 

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Mat/place training might help separate them for quick goodies like treat time, you'd ask the dogs to go to their respective 'place', which could be beds or crates or as simple as old towels spread apart far enough that nobody feels like any other dog is getting into their space, then give them each their treat as they stay on their spot. Once it's trained, it'll be less of a pain than putting each dog in a physically separated room to give a quick treat, it just takes some work to get there!

This isn't something I'd suggest for situations like feeding time, where you already know your dog will get guardy - that's definitely when you want physical barriers to keep everyone safe and happy. But as a preventative in a situation where your dog hasn't yet shown guardy/possessive behavior but you want to keep it that way, training the dogs to give each other space so nobody feels the need to escalate can be really helpful.

I also suggest the book 'Mine!' by Jean Donaldson as a great primer on resource guarding, why it happens, and how to work with it. It sounds like you're doing a great job keeping the situation under control, but having a resource that can give you a better idea of what to watch for and how to do preventative training to keep guarding behavior to a minimum can't hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mat/place training might help
This isn't something I'd suggest for situations like feeding time
I also suggest the book 'Mine!' by Jean Donaldson
Thanks for including the author of Mine! I almost bought someone else's E-book by the same name! I bought the right Kindle version on Amazon, just gotta figure out how to .epub it.

I like the mat idea and would like to move in that direction, but I haven't even thought about training the Pyr yet. I'm lucky if she'll even glance in my direction when I call her name or wave a treat under her lazy-a$$ nose (she LOVES my air conditioning and has been sleeping in in the living room for nine days!), and I don't want to start harassing the poor girl yet beyond getting her a little practice on the leash and in the car so I can vet her. I'm sure I'll get some pushback, but beyond immediate and obvious needs with the new pup, I don't have much of a reason to "train" my pups. I'm with them 24/7, we do virtually everything together, the yard's a fenced, wooded, acre and a half and everyone knows everybody else and all of the drills... it's a veritable doggie Shangri-La here at the homestead. The new Pyr pup is already showing slooooow signs of recognizing some of the routines and showing a willingness to join in on occasion.

Thanks so much and I'll take a run at the mats, but I don't expect my new girl to have the slightest idea what I'm asking of her!

And thanks to all on the thread with me. You've all been so helpful and kind, especially given that I barged into someone else's thread! I don't recall ever posting to a legit dog forum like this and not getting a self-righteous beatdown for my trouble, so kudos!

@DaySleepers, @Lillith, @3GSD4IPO
 
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