What would you do if someone tries to steal your wallet? Would you try to get it back or would you let it go? What about your phone? The chances of you reacting on impulse and protect your resources are far greater than feeling safe and thinking rationally in this moment.Our dogs also protect things that are important to them. There’s just one difference. When they try to protect their territory or guard a favorite toy or blanket, they are punished.
Protecting things that are high value to us is normal and expected.We put alarms in our homes and cars.We build gates around houses and keep money in the bank. We get angry when someone uses violence against people we love or takes things we value highly. Dogs do the same thing. Our four legged friends have evolved as opportunistic feeders and it is natural for them to protect what they consider “theirs” from potential adopters.When something of value is taken from them. They may let you take it or they may warn you to stay away by raising their lip, exposing their teeth, growling,snapping or biting if you don’t pay attention to their warning language.
Even though their guarding behavior is normal it becomes a problem in our homes especially when the dog bites.Punishing your dog for guarding a ball, blanket, or food will make him more insecure and he can stop giving warnings altogether and go directly to more aggressive behavior.The best way to stop a dog from guarding their resources is to teach them to share the things they value rather than guarding them. Show your dog that you are the access to all resources and that your being around makes good things happen.