Object Guarding

Food Aggression

Dogs that become protective of their food, toys, or even stolen human items can cause a whole host of problems for their owners. This guarding behaviour is not exclusive to objects however, and can manifest with whole areas and even people. I often come across cases where people have aggression issues simply because the dog has had the behaviour of guarding their owner reinforced.


The issue here is that dogs feel the need to claim objects, for fear they will be taken away from them. The psychology behind this can get a lot more complexed depending on the context of the behaviour of course, however the basic mind set is ‘this is mine, you can’t have it.‘ This is a very natural behaviour, observed regularly in littles of puppies from a very early age even. Unfortunately, when this manifests in dogs living in the human world, especially around young children and babies it can be a very serious and dangerous problem. Food aggression can occur due to limited resources at a young age, a lack of structured training from the owners and sometimes certain dogs are even just more predisposed towards this behaviour due to genetics. That is not to say that any dog cant develop this behaviour! I have successfully treated resource guarding in breeds ranging from puppies-10 years old.



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