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Hello all I’m new and in need of a lot of help. I have a 1 year old golden retriever Loon and we just got a 9 week old golden puppy Moose. Loon is very high strung and very much still a puppy. Loon is jealous of Moose and we are trying to stop it. Loon will steal Moose’s treats and run away leaving Moose empty handed. At first moose didn’t mind as he’s a puppy and he has other things on his mind. But today when I went to pet Moose he growled at me for the first time. He had a yummy chew in his mouth and was not going to let anyone steal it. That was the first incident and I need help stopping resource guarding before it escalates. As of now we have not been keeping Loon and Moose separate entirely just supervised play and eat and separate areas for sleep. Please help!!!
 

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Resource guarding is a normal & natural behavior. I'd suggest working to prevent Loon from taking things away from Moose so he doesn't learn that he needs to protect his stuff from others. Continue to keep them primarily separated (this will also help you form a better relationship with Moose, rather than have him bond more closely with the other dog) with periods of supervised play. At a bare minimum, separate entirely for training, eating & sleeping. The book 'Mine' is really good & deals with working on resource guarding, so you might want to pick up a copy, but the first step here is going to be preventing the need to guard.
 

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Best way to stop resource guarding is to never give the dog a reason to guard.

This means fed in separate places, preferably separate rooms in crates. This means food, once gotten, is the dog's (no taking it away or bothering the dog when it has food including bothering by another dog).

It also means if the dog has something you want, you trade for something better so it's a "better deal" for the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Resource guarding is a normal & natural behavior. I'd suggest working to prevent Loon from taking things away from Moose so he doesn't learn that he needs to protect his stuff from others. Continue to keep them primarily separated (this will also help you form a better relationship with Moose, rather than have him bond more closely with the other dog) with periods of supervised play. At a bare minimum, separate entirely for training, eating & sleeping. The book 'Mine' is really good & deals with working on resource guarding, so you might want to pick up a copy, but the first step here is going to be preventing the need to guard.
Thank you! At what point or age can I allow them to be together rather than separate?
 

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Here's what happens when it goes wrong.

We have a feisty 27 pound mutt. My son has a young, powerful cattle dog mix who must be about 60 pounds. They came to visit and, to our surprise, they played very well together (closely supervised.) The bigger dog was very gentle with Franklin.

Monty, my son's dog, has a known issue with resource guarding toys, so we put away all toys before his arrival. When they were not directly supervised, Monty was crated. The two of them were playing when Franklin happened to walk past a toy we had missed under a blanket, without even looking at it. Monty was on him in a flash. I was sitting three feet away and was able to separate them quickly, sustaining a significant bite on my leg. Franklin (bless his little delusional heart) was trying to fight back. I am quite sure that, if I hadn't been right there, Franklin would be dead.

I was the only one injured and Monty was immediately crated. The two dogs have not been together since and my son is working with a behaviorist.

Other than a total lack of respect for personal space, this is Monty's only fault, but it's a big one. I sent my son a copy a few months ago of the book 'Mine' that BKay mentioned. My impression is that this is very tough to fix. I don't think dogs just outgrow it, and I'm not confident that an average trainer has the skills to help. Eliminating opportunities seems to be the only safe thing to do.
 
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Agree with all of the advice above - being really on top of separating them when there's any food or high-value treat, chew, or toy involved so that your puppy feels safe and secure will be really important, as is building that trust and relationship with you one-on-one. Working on trading games where you start with low-value toys or items Moose is unlikely to guard, and 'trade' him a higher-value treat for it, then - and this is important - give the original item back. Doing this frequently and with a wide variety of items, working your way up to higher value ones, will teach him that not only does he get awesome rewards for giving you his less-awesome stuff, he gets his stuff back in the end 99% of the time anyway! That 1% will be when you have to take something dangerous or inappropriate from him and can't give it back, so you want to be really good at making sure it's a rare occurrence to ensure he doesn't see a pattern of losing his stuff if he gives it to you.
 

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I will add that I expect EVERY dog to resource guard. It is their nature. I remove opportunity from the outset. This removes resource guarding from the conversation.
 

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Thank you! At what point or age can I allow them to be together rather than separate?
Well, that's a bit difficult to predict. Separating during meals & chews/treats will most likely have to go on indefinitely. Train basic behaviors (sit, down, stay, come, etc...) separately until they both have a solid handle on everything. Do extensive 'mat/place' training, because this could be a way to allow them to enjoy a chew in the same room, but 'separated' by being on their own places. Also, with a bomb-proof 'place', you can work with them in the same room but using the other dog as a 'distraction', by having one stay on his mat while you run the other one through some basic ob. skills or tricks. But they have to have the basics down solid first - they have to learn to pay attention to YOU, rather than always prefer to obsess over the other dog. Six months? A year? Part of this will come down to how much time & effort you put in to the process, but right now you've got one baby puppy & one adolescent. That's quite a challenge.

Even when you get to the point of being one big happy family who shares space pretty much all the time, I'd strongly suggest continuing to spend one-on-one time with each dog daily, or at least several times each week. Separate classes, separate outings, etc... I think it's really important for dogs in a multi dog home be able to have special time with their humans on a regular basis.
 
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