Each of these steps is done for a minimum of two weeks:
The dog that guards food may escalate to guarding other things as his possessions – the bed, toys, rawhides, even people. These are dogs that can benefit greatly from positive obedience classes. IMPORTANT – Correction or taking things out of their mouths tends to make them more aggressive!
Often, they are dogs that have learned that growling/snapping gets the human to back off. Sometimes, the humans have accidentally taught the dog that they want all his stuff when they grabbed at the shoe he stole as a puppy, or ran after him while he was shredding a sock, instead of teaching him the “trade” game. The “trade” exercise teaches the dog to relinquish a prize – something better than kibble, perhaps a rawhide or a bone. The human retains possession of one end of the object, and offers the other end to the dog. The dog begins to chew on the “human’s rawhide” (ownership is important, remember?). Then, the human offers a piece of liverwurst, tripe, turkey or steak and says “trade?” Rover should spit out the rawhide to accept the treat, and the human says “good trade”. Repeat often. If you have any problems, consult your trainer.
NILIF – Nothing in Life is Free, Resource guarders are good candidates for this way of life. They must learn to earn their “pay”, just as we do. Fido, wanna go out? Fine, but “sit” first – only then will the almighty being with the opposable thumbs will grant your wish.