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Published date: 18 September 2023

Resource guarding around the food bowl is a behavioural issue every dog owner wants to prevent. Surprisingly, there is one common thing that most of us do which inadvertently increases the chance of resource guarding. Today, I'm going to show you one simple technique that can help decrease the likelihood of this problematic behaviour.

Understanding Resource Guarding

Resource guarding can emerge due to one of three primary reasons: physical pain, a lack of trust and relationship, or as a learned behaviour. In the case of learned behaviour, a dog may guard their resources because they anticipate negative experiences.

This last cause is quite prevalent and is often inadvertently encouraged by pet owners. Many people interfere with their dog's food or even the dog itself while the dog is eating, all under the pretext of training or play. Unfortunately, what this communicates to the dog is: "Hey, every time you're eating, bad things happen when I come around!"

The Simple Solution

So, how can we adjust our actions to reduce the chances of resource guarding? The answer lies in shifting the association your dog has with your approach during mealtime. Consider this: if every time you walk past your dog while they're eating, you touch them or take their food bowl away, you inadvertently increase the risk of resource guarding. Your dog learns to see your approach as a threat to their resources.

Conversely, if you walk by and add food to their bowl, you create a positive association. Over time, your dog learns that your presence during mealtime means good things are coming. Thus, by simply adding food instead of taking it away or disrupting the meal, we can help our canine friends associate our presence with positive experiences and reduce the chance of resource guarding.

The Verdict

By fostering positive associations, we're not just addressing the symptoms of problems like resource guarding — we're getting to their root and preventing them from occurring in the first place. So, remember, as a human to your furry companion, you represent good things. You OK with that?

The Value of Quality Information

Countless practices are unknowingly being adopted by pet owners, complicating matters further, but in the future, so no one ever notices it’s them that’s causing the issues. This is where the beauty of learning from a qualified and accredited source truly shines. Accurate information helps you better understand your pet's behaviour and equips you to handle the challenges that come along with it.

More Than Just Resource Guarding

But what if your goal extends beyond preventing resource guarding? Perhaps you want to help, understand, or maintain your dog's mental health. That's where excels.

We aim to provide comprehensive guidance for dog owners, addressing a wide range of behavioural issues and promoting overall mental well-being for your canine companions.


Written by Max at MK9Plus

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