Resource Guarding - It's mine.


Most people have encountered a dog that protects his possessions. This behavior is called “resource guarding” and is actually quite common though frequently misunderstood. Many think the dog is attempting to dominate their human counterparts. This misjudgment usually leads to a forceful correction escalating the behavior with every incident. In some cases, these dogs can become aggressive and dangerous when in possession of something they see as valuable.

What is resource guarding?

This tendency is actually an instinct in dogs. Dogs come programmed with certain genetics diluted from their wolf lineage as part of their behavioral inheritance. Resources may be in short supply at certain times of year or in certain environments, and are therefore valuable. In order to survive, gorging on available food and guarding from other animals is critical to stay alive.

Domestic dogs will also protect their resources. Instead of a deer carcass, it could be anything the dog has attached a value to like food, bones, toys, etc. Resources are not limited to food items; it can be anything that the dog considers valuable - owner, couch or a novel item. Dogs do guard from other dogs all of the time. Naturally, male dogs will keep competing males away from reproducing females. Dogs, regardless of gender, age or