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Old 12-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Resource guarding

So Jackson suddenly this morning decided that he was going to start guarding certain resources, ie- the bone that "santa paws" gave him for Christmas. He got snarly with my husband, and with me, and having recently had to put down a dog that had started biting before we got him, we want to deal with this behaviour BEFORE it gets to a point of no return. We regularly play the trading game and such with other bones that have been around for a while, and he does absolutely fine with it usually. I think that we did too well finding a bone that he REALLY likes. I suspect that some of how we dealt with the situation this morning was not quite right, but I wanted to see if any of our resident experts have any good tips. He doesn't guard most things- I've even been able to take a whole baby bird right out of his mouth before, but he can be pretty scary when he chooses to be, and we really, really, really, don't want to end up with another biter. (Remember- Austin came to us that way, and we tried and tried to help him get over it, but in the end we couldn't)
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have any advice for you on this, but I remember what you went through with Austin and really hope you can prevent that happening with Jackson.

I think that since this is something new and not an established long-term problem like it was with Austin, you have a much better chance of fixing the problem this time.

Hopefully one of the experts will be on soon. Good luck!
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hopefully, someone else with more expert advise will chime in.... My advise would be to not ever give something of such high "value" that Jackson feels he needs to guard it so aggressively. Lyla got pretty aggressive towards Cooper when given a "good" bone (with meat), even though I gave each of them one. She wants both, and is pretty mean about it. She doesn't do it with us, though-- we can take it from her without a problem. I just want to keep the peace with between the hounds, so just prevent the situation from arising now. Has this happened with anything else, or just this one bone?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to give my dogs marrow bones which had some meat on them...over a period of time, Barney got to a point where he wanted both of them....then the day came when he lunged at me when I went in the area he was at...to be truthful, he scared me. I threw out all my reserve bones in the freezer and the only ones they get are old ones which I stuff....no problem with these...evidently not high value enough to act like a jerk....these bassets seem to have an extremely strong personality...do I trust him??? Once I saw what he was capable of doing, I'd say 98% of the time...now my beagle, I'd give her 100%...As far as advice, I just wouldn't give him anything high value...I just can't imagine training Barney enough to give it up but am sure other people can.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've ordered a book that a lot of people have recommended on dealing with resource guarding, called "Mine!" The guarding has only happened with "High value" treats and chews, so worst case scenario, we simply don't give him anything that high value. I would like to work with him early, though, so that I know that he is safe in the "just in case" situations. He is excellent about giving up most things, we even practice him giving us his food when asked without issue. It was just an upsetting and scary situation, and, yes, Wioleta, I think that this is definitely still where we can deal with it and have our wonderful boy with us for years to come.
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