Resource Guarding – not for me!!

I am so proud of Loki today.  We were walking along the lower Galena Trail this morning and just before getting back to the car, Marley found a nice deer bone.  I was about 10 feet away when I realized that Marley was lying on the ground chewing on the bone and Loki was standing politely behind him.  I called Loki, she came and we had a huge treat party.  We played ‘catch’ and ‘get yer treats’ for almost five minutes while Marley enjoyed his chew.  This made my day!!

Five years ago as we were leaving the shelter with our newly adopted dog, the shelter owner casually called out the Loki was a resource guarder.  Being an inexperienced dog owner I didn’t understand the importance of that statement.  Part way home, Mike and I stopped and picked up a treat for both dogs.  They were sitting side by side in the vehicle when we presented the treats.  Well Loki turned on Marley with a ferocious snarl.  After getting her home, it took one or two incidents of her pinning Marley to the ground for me to realize that I had a problem.  With help from Jeanne Shaw of Love2Play and doing some research on the internet, I was able to start a simple management program while I started the process of teaching Loki that when good things happen to Marley, good things happen to Loki.

I found a wide variety of excellent articles on the internet with the following three being the most helpful for me:

How to Prevent Resource Guarding in a Multiple-dog Household

How to React When Your Dog Begins Resource Guarding Against Other Dogs

Resource Guarding, Dog to Dog

Over time Loki learned impulse control and how to relax around Marley when food and toys were available.  As time went on, I could offer treats with both dogs sitting side by side, I could play with Marley and a toy while Loki waited her turn, and I could take a food bowl away from Loki without her curling her lip at me.

Today though, Loki gave me the greatest gift possible; a totally relaxed dog, politely waiting while Marley enjoyed an extremely high value outdoor treasure.

%d bloggers like this: