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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I have an almost 11 week old Golden Retriever/Lab cross who appears to have issues with resource guarding. In my opinion, Kira is very much so the Alpha dog in any situation with other dogs. Kira does NOT have any issues with people and her food (i.e. I put my hand in her food bowl and can take away a bone with no problem).

However, today I took her on a puppy play date and when we gave them both a small treat and the other pup (who is 4 months old) went over to Kira while she was nibbling on it, Kira snapped at the other pup and I think she may have actually nipped her b/c the other pup cried for a second (although we couldn't find a cut or blood).

I'm glad I've seen this behavior early on and can deal with it now, but how do I stop the guarding? The problem is, I don't own another dog, so it's not like I can practice it. The other pups owner said she'd have no problem trying it again the next time we meet, but I don't want to put her pup in harms way.

How do I stop the guarding?
Will it actually go away b/c she is naturally the alpha dog?

Again, she doesnt do this at all with people, only other dogs apparently (she is also great with children).

The LAST thing I want is to own an dog who is aggressive to other dogs...help!

Thanks,
Ashley.
 

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Resource guarding and all the techniques to prevent it are intended for human/dog interaction. The techniques do not apply to dog-on-dog or to teach them to share nicely.
Eleven week old puppies have no concept of Alpha....they're not out to conquer the world/dominate/lead....they just want to survive. They're brash, they get by with bad manners (with other dogs) and are still learning the social graces. Alphas know the social graces...with just a look they calm nervous dogs, with just a look they stop fights before they happen. Alphas will even step between two dogs bickering (who are NOT in his/her pack) to cool things down. They are calm and assertive.
Dogs who try to dominate other dogs are not being Alpha....they're being bullies.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, well from what I've seen, then I'd call her dominant? I've been making a huge effort to socialize her since the day I got her (taking her to the pet store, the dog park at less busy hours, the barn where I keep my horse, the neighbours house, car rides...), and so far she's gotten along with every dog. However, she does seem to want to be the "boss".

If resource guarding does not apply to dog-on-dog interaction, then I can I stop this behaviour?
 

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I think you're over analyzing the behavior. The concept of sharing isn't in their nature and it's very common to tell another dog to back off...Hey, this piece is mine! That's all part of the socialization skills....giving a warning, understanding and respecting those warnings. What would be inappropriate is for a dog to not heed that caution or to try and take it by force or for the 'guarder' to give no warning whatsoever and just go into a full blown attack.
Typical puppy behavior is bratty, brash and ill-mannered. To us, it looks like they're taunting, pushing, pouncing and the older dogs seem to defer to them. They do..they see them as babies but, that will change in the next couple of weeks when her 'puppy license' expiries. Older dogs will stop her in her tracks rather harshly if she doesn't show the proper respect. That's all part of growing up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess I could be over reacting...

I'm probably just a bit sensative about the aggression topic b/c I was attacked by a dog last year, and one of my greatest fears is having my dog grow up to be aggressive towards other dogs and people (young and old).

In this situation, both of them are puppies, so one doesn't know "better" than the other. Thanks for the advice though :)
 
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