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First time resource guarding - advice(20 Posts)
We have a very friendly soppy 8
Month old pup, today my husband got him a marrow bone, obviously it’s delicious and he’s been sat with it in the garden for while, one of my kids went to stroke him and he growled, then my husband did the same and he really growled. This is very unlike him so assuming resource guarding as he’s never done this before, so out of character. We’ve taught him swap, so my husband swapped it for a sprat and he was fine.
What’s the best way to deal with this situation, is it just because it was new and super delicious? I really don’t want him growling at us - is ‘swapping’ with another treat the best way to deal with it if it happens again?
Any advice gratefully received x
Raw meaty bones are so valuable to a dog that it's not unusual for a dog with no history to resource guard it. It is, however, really good that your dog can do a swap.
It's a natural, but not desirable behaviour, and not one you want the dog to practice. I would either leave the dog thoroughly in peace when given a marrowbone, until all the goodness has been chewed and the dog has lost interest (then remove the bone when the dog is out of sight) or if that's not practical then avoid giving marrowbones.
Thanks for replying, maybe I will only give him one when we are going out so he can be left in peace!!
Firstly, Is the marrowbone raw?
Or is it one of those cooked white or smoked type ones from the pet shop?
Non raw/cooked bones are extremely dangerous, they are liable to shatter into sharp pieces that can cause gut perforation and all sorts.
Secondly, no bone should be given to a dog unattended in case they choke or get the bone stuck.
And lastly, marrowbones are heavy, weight bearing bones.
Unless your dog is enormous and/or a very strong chewer they are not really advisable as they are one of the few bones that run a risk of cracking teeth as the marrow inside is extremely rich and fattening and can cause stomach upset or even pancreatitis in some dogs.
On the resource guarding issue, I think it is extremely important you are able to remove anything from the dog for safety’s sake.
I think that is especially important with things like bones where there is a small risk of choking or lodging.
Until you manage to get this issue sorted I don’t think you should be giving any more bones.
My lovely and non aggressive lab only resource guards filled bones when she gets them. We can remove her food as she is eating but not her bone. We have learned to leave her alone to have a good chew.
We can remove her food as she is eating but not her bone. We have learned to leave her alone to have a good chew
So what will you do if she suddenly chokes?
Stand by and let her die...?
Allow yourself to be severely bitten...?
Nah. We can move the bone aside with something then get her to come away. Have done this before. In fact if we told her to put it down and go to bed she would. I just wouldn't swoop in and take it off her.
I wouldn’t leave a dog on its own when chewing a bone! It could easily choke.
My dog loves pizzle sticks (don’t google if you don’t know what they are) but she knows I mean business when I say leave it in a firm voice. Antlers she’s not bothered about. To be fair I’ve never tried giving her a marrow bone so she may not give it up easily. Keep up with the swapping & then gradually decrease the swapping to stop the resource guarding.
I would teach your kids to leave the dog alone when eating.
Yes keep up with switch. We did have a dog that behaved like this with pig ears. So he never got one!
Thanks! Don’t think we will bother with raw bones again, he doesn’t do this with any other high value treat (pigs ears, pizzles) I didn’t actually know they were dangerous for their teeth (dog trainer suggested!).
Easier just to get rid!!
Definitely easier. I raw feed so do give bones. But smaller ones she can crunch up.
I also hand fed when she was a pup. (Not for long!) I also drop extra food in her bowl occasionally when she’s eating. Shows her that hands near food don’t take food so no threat.
You can go the other way and give more bones so the value drops and there is no need to guard. Scarcity of any reward increases the value. I would never actively interfere with a dog eating anything though, as long as they can trade for something and ignore people being near them when enjoying something tasty, that seems fair enough!
We just strictly said no and removed the desired object, it soon stopped. He now just abandons even bones in the middle of the garden and yesterday was rather cross because a crow stole it!
So what will you do if she suddenly chokes?
*Stand by and let her die...?
Allow yourself to be severely bitten...?*
I’d love to know how the breathless choking dog will have the energy to bite?
train your kids to leave the dog alone when eating and sleeping - it’s good practice and everyone deserves some time out - even the dog
To be fair if you tried to steal my favourite food I’d likely do more than growl at you!
Bones can be good for teeth as they help to clean them (my vet recommended them). However, marrow bones (and weight bearing bones) tend to be very very hard and hence to pose a risk to their teeth.
Bones that are raw and not as hard as the dog's teeth are good for dental health.
I'll not claim to be an expert on these matters (DDog only gets them as a treat really) but there are some suggestions here
Raw poultry bones, for instance, are always going to be pretty soft and easy to chew up.
If he’s raw fed then necks and wings and feet are good! Also easier to chomp down so won’t hang around and be a resource guarding issue.
Mine also likes lamb spine and neck or rib. Or chicken or duck carcass.
Yes we have several dog freezers!
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