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OH NO YOU DON’T……….. Building a strong & well balanced relationship your dog...

A little jack protecting his bone from his owner
Building trust with your dog

Ever been told it’s a good idea to take food from your dog to ensure they don’t food guard? I certainly was with my first dog and I have even seen a video of a very famous dog whisperer doing exactly that, ultimately with unexpected results!

Now don’t get me wrong here, I can take pretty much anything from any of my dogs, largely because they simply trust me and have learnt from experience to do so………however I respect that trust and do not abuse it …….otherwise it is very much a case of ‘abuse it and lose it’

PLEASE NOTE the word TRUST… it is integral to a building a strong and well balanced relationship with your dog....

So Picture the scenario:-

Owner –  "I must teach my dog it is ok for me to take his food/bone/toy etc to made absolutely sure he does not develop a habit of guarding things, as we are planning on having children soon!!"

So owner gives dog food in bowl – goes over and picks up the bowl before the dog has finished, retains it for a short while before giving it back –

  • Day one , no problem dog is happy if a little confused.

  • Day two – same again, day three same again – no issues – aren’t we doing well!

  • Day four is a little different – the dog keeps his head in the bowl and freezes, owner carries on as usual and takes the bowl.

  • Day five, same routine but this time dog freezes and issues a low growl – owner is angry at such insubordination, how dare he show aggression to the owner!! The owner keeps the bowl for longer this time and tells the dog off!

  • Day 6 - things are hotting up – this time the dog issues a really loud warning growl and a lip lift, showing teeth. Now the owner is really angry he takes the bowl and throws the food in the bin – that will teach the dog !!

  • DAY 7– BINGO!! The owner goes to take the bowl , thinking, that damn dog must have learnt his lesson last time – YES HE HAD – the dog had learnt that his owner was unpredictable , his food was not safe when the owner was around as he tried to take it and the icing in the cake was that despite several warnings of increasing intensity about his owners rude behaviour he carried on anyway – leaving the dog with no choice but to defend his food with his teeth.

What a clever owner – he has just created a dog who is now prepared to use aggression to protect what is his!! Not quite the outcome the owner was perhaps hoping for!!

Note: some dogs are essentially of a disposition that they would simply accept their owners behaviour......others are not. Some dogs are more likely to guard/protect their resources (food or other items) than others. We use tried and tested methods based on creating and maintaining trust to deal with dogs who have a tendency to resource guard anything.......create trust, not distrust!!

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