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I have been dealing with my dog's resource guarding for sometime now and it is only getting to be more of an issue. I adopted my dog three years ago now and at the time he was estimated to by around 6 months. He is said to be half hound and half German shepherd. When I adopted him he had no real issues other than being very mischievous for a long time. I can finally leave him alone in the house when I go out without worrying that he will destroy the house or try to escape, but over a year ago he developed resource guarding with animals. I first noticed small signs of at the dog park. He would hover over the water dish and block other dogs without being very aggressive. I didn't think too much of it at the time, but tried to discourage him hogging the water dish when I saw him doing it. The next winter (over a year ago) I took him to the dog park and he immediately started guarding a ball and snapped at another dog. I left and since then I haven't been able to take him to another dog park. I am now in a situation where if he has food, water, a stick, or anything else in his possession and another dog comes by (sometimes even a cat) he'll growl and snap at the animal. If the animal doesn't back down it turns into a fight. Nothing too serious has happened yet, but I'm on constant alert when he is around other dogs. When we go for hikes I have to make sure he doesn't try to carry around a stick and that I give him water and food only when no other dog is around. He has NEVER shown even the slightest sign of aggression towards a human though, this is strictly with other animals. He has gotten into a few fights with my parents' pitbull when in the past, but we avoid issues mainly by feeding them separately. He seems to be a lot less on guard with my parents' two dogs, but strange dogs are an issue. The other day we were out at the park and I had just given him water. I put the dish and water back in my backpack and a little while later when a dog passed by he growled and barked at the dog with the backpack nearby. Later when we walked away he went up nicely to another dog and kissed it on the face and kept walking. This is strictly a resource problem. Take the resources away and he has zero issues with other animals.

I'm just not sure what to do here. He is so sweet and well behaved with people. He gets along very well with other dogs as long as no resources are involved. I have read multiple articles, but the situation is very hard for me. I can't practice with him myself or with another person because he doesn't have any issues with people. I don't have another dog to bring over and practice with either. The two dogs I do have access to he usually doesn't have an issue with. It is also impossible to control the situation when it happens because he goes from zero to ten in one second when that other animal approaches.
 

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This is a hard situation because it is difficult to set the situation up safely in order to work on it.

Years ago I had a dog who resource guarded food primarily against my cats and to a lesser extent dogs, but never people. With their own food it was easy enough to simply feed everyone separately, but she would even guard OUR food when we were eating and the cats would happen to wander into the room. What sounds different from your situation is that she would start with very small signs - lip curl, growl, for example - so it was easy to intervene at an early stage. It's possible that your dog is giving off some of these early signals, just so subtly or quickly that you don't see them. Watch for "freezing" as the first, very subtle sign.

What we did was this, if she was hanging around while we were eating and showed even the slightest sign of RG if she saw a cat, she had to go lie down on her bed across the room until we were done. As long as her body language was relaxed and there was no guarding, she could stay near us and she would get a bite of our food when we were done eating. You guard, you go away and you don't get what you want. You don't guard, you get some of what you want. Even still, we were always extremely diligent about food. We couldn't leave food lying around, ever. We couldn't walk away from a plate of food even to get the salt or whatever. It has to become habitual to just always be aware of food.

So if you can identify an earlier sign like freezing or a subtle lip curl, you may be able to do something similar. You freeze up when that dog walks by my backpack? Whoops, time to leave the park. Or maybe even whoops, we're going to go lie down over here and the backpack stays over there. I think it would be a good idea to consult with a behavior consult or veterinary behaviorist to help guide you so you can do this safely. Good luck.
 
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