Friday, February 24, 2012

How Comfy is Your Best Chair?

Photo (c) 2012 Faith Hague

Leo, a Spinone Italiano mix, has learned to behave well when he's in a comfy spot, thanks to resource guarding behavior modification training through Bravo Dog Training (boy, that's a mouthful!).  Resource guarding is a natural behavior that occurs when a dog wants to protect something he finds valuable - like a great sleeping spot or a rawhide bone.  Dogs can resource guard any number of objects, including food, toys, beds, bones and even people.

Changing the behavior is about changing the dog's perception of our approach and interaction when the dog has something he feels is worth guarding.  Contrary to long held beliefs, the best way to stop resouce guarding behavior in dogs is not to challenge the dog and "put him in his place," but to make him see our presence as a good, safe thing.  Does Leo look like he feels safe?

For additional information on resource guarding, check out the January 2011 issue of The Bravo Bark: Thanks to Faith Hague of Camden, Maine for the great photo!

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