Puppy Problems: Controlling Your Dog’s Excessive Guarding

Dogs are a part of our family and a huge responsibility. They require love and attention as well as proper training to be good family members. Unacceptable behaviors that get out of control are as much your problem as they are your dogs. And it is only up to you to implement changes in behavior.

 

Remember that dogs are pack animals and you are “alpha dog” or leader of the pack. Your dog needs to know that everything they get comes from you, from toys to food and love, to rides in the car. This is important in getting your dog to obey. If your dog guards their food excessively there are a few things you can do to break them from this behavior.

 

Do not put food bowls and dishes in an isolated spot. Keep them central, where there is a lot of traffic. Get your dog used to eating around others. Make them lay down and get calm before feeding. Train him to drop food on your command, reinforcing your “alpha” status. Do your best to not feed your dog from the table. Maintain your posture of being in control.

 

If you have a puppy, start this training right away. In addition to the tips above, touch or pat your puppy when he begins eating and maybe even add a little food to his bowl while he is eating. This will get him used to having you near his dish, and he won’t feel as protective of his food.

 

You need to be sensitive to and aware of cues from your dog. If they growl or bite when you come near their favorite toy, put them on a leash and once again establish your dominance. Reward good behavior with words and treats. If they has a toy that brings out the devil and they won’t be broken of their guarding, throw it away.

 

Dogs can be like children and need limits and a certain amount of containment. You will find that you will earn their trust this way, because you will make them feel safe. Feeling safe comes from your being in control. An out of control dog is basically telling you that they don’t feel safe. Dogs are people pleasers and want your approval. If you give praise and rewards only for good behavior, and remain as pack leader all the time, your dog will listen to you and be a wonderful addition to your family.