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Do puppies grow out of resource guarding?

an angry puppy sat snarling with the caption Do puppies grow out of resource guarding

Do puppies grow out of resource guarding? This is a question that many puppy owners ask. In some cases, puppies do grow out of this behavior. However, in other cases, the behavior may continue to develop and become more serious.

Contents of this article:

  1. Do puppies grow out of resource guarding?
  2. What is resource guarding and why do puppies do it?
  3. How can I help my puppy with resource guarding?
  4. What are some things to avoid doing that could make the problem worse?
  5. Do puppies grow out of resource guarding?

Do puppies grow out of resource guarding?

Whether you are a first time puppy parent or an experienced one, you may be wondering if your pup will eventually “grow out of” his resource guarding behavior.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what causes resource guarding and what you can do to help your pup overcome it. Keep reading for helpful tips on how to handle this common issue!

What is resource guarding and why do puppies do it?

Resource guarding is a natural canine behavior. It occurs when a puppy feels that he or she needs to protect a valuable resource, such as food, toys, or affection, from other dogs or people.

While resource guarding can be a useful behavior in the wild, it can cause problems in homes and families. Puppies may start to show signs of resource guarding as early as 8 weeks old, when they begin to compete with their littermates for food and attention.

Although it is not fully understood why some puppies develop this behavior, there are several theories. One theory is that resource guarding is a survival instinct that helps puppies to survive in the wild. By protecting their food and resources, they are more likely to have enough to eat and stay alive.

Whatever the reason, resource guarding is a normal behavior for some puppies, and there are several ways to manage it. With patience and positive reinforcement, many puppies can overcome this problem.

How can I help my puppy with resource guarding?

Dogs are naturally protective of their food, toys, and other belongings. This behavior, known as resource guarding, is perfectly normal. However, it can become a problem if your dog becomes overly possessive or aggressive.

If you suspect that your puppy is resource guarding, there are some things you can do to help.

Teach your puppy that hands come to give. When they are eating, stay at a distance where they are relaxed and throw high value food into their dish. As they get used to this, you should be able to get closer without them reacting. If they show any signs of guarding during this exercise, you’ve gone too fast, so take it back a notch.

Always trade upwards. If your puppy is has something they want to hang onto, give them something higher value to teach them its worth their while to give up what they’ve got.

With a few simple changes, you can help your puppy overcome resource guarding behavior.

What are some things to avoid doing that could make the problem worse?

First, it’s important to never punish your puppy for growling or snapping when someone approaches his food bowl. This will only make the problem worse by teaching him that he needs to be even more aggressive in order to protect his resources. 

Second, never try to take away a bone or toy from your puppy’s mouth. This is likely to result in a bite, as your puppy feels that he needs to protect his prized possession.

With a little patience and positive reinforcement, your puppy can learn to overcome this behavior.

Do puppies grow out of resource guarding?

The jury is still out on puppies growing out of resource guarding. Some experts say that it’s possible, while others maintain that the behavior is ingrained and will always be a part of the dog’s personality.

If you have a puppy who guards his resources, don’t despair! There are ways to help him learn how to share and still keep his valuable possessions.

Work with an experienced, qualified trainer who can help you manage and overcome this issue.

Remember, the key is patience and consistency – these changes won’t happen overnight, but with time and effort they can be successful.

If you’re looking for professional help with resource guarding but an in-person trainer isn’t an option right now, why not try this online course on resource guarding from Canine Principles.

The resource guarding online course is also available within the Skill-Hub Subscription, for which there is a FREE 3 day trial available, so sign up today!

Here are some more articles on resource guarding:

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