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My dog guards my belongings(3 Posts)
My dog (5 year old male cockapoo) has developed a habit of guarding my belongings when we are out of the house. He never guards anything from me or my husband, but when we visit friends or family he will guard my handbag, coat, shoes and his lead. He clearly becomes very anxious and will growl when anyone (apart from me) goes near him and the object. There have occasions when he has snapped. If I’m sat in a different room to my bags he will become fixated on getting to the room with the bags in so he can sit with them. I’ve tried to get my family members to call him away repeatedly with treats, or walk past him and drop treats. He will take the treats and then goes back to guarding.
The tricky part of this is achieving any consistency in training as this isn’t a behaviour he performs at home with me and my husband. So it’s only when we are visiting other people that I have the opportunity to put any training in practice.
Does anyone have any suggestions about how to approach this? It’s becoming very stressful for us to take him out with us, and it’s horrible to see him so stressed and anxious too.
I'm afraid I don't have any advice but could you pracrtice training in a local park or similar, away from other people with a friend to help? So you could put a bag/coat on the ground, walk away and get your friend to walk by and see what behaviour the dog displays?
Do you always have to bring him when you visit friends/family? Maybe he'd be happier at home.
My family live 200 miles away and we visit them once a month, so we have no choice but take him with us (he is much more anxious and unhappy when left with a dog sitter).
I will try with a friend in local park as you’ve suggested though!