Left to themselves many dogs will become resource guarders. They may growl and show their teeth to anyone who approaches and/or tries to take a valued object – whether it be food, a bone, a favourite chew-toy, or even a sleeping place or owner. To prevent this behaviour from surfacing in your adult dog take steps now to show your pup that your presence around his food is not a threat.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR PUP FROM BECOMING A FOOD GUARDER
- Sit next to him while he eats his dinner, petting him while he eats, and occasionally taking food out of his bowl and hand-feeding him.
- Feed him some of his meals in small instalments to show him that your hand approaching the dish predicts more food.
- Take his dish away mid-meal and add a tasty morsel.
- Walk up to your pup while he is eating and drop a tasty titbit into the bowl.
- Let people other than yourself do these food-bowl exercises to generalize the no-guarding response.
This exercise will help to build his self-confidence. You are teaching him that it is no big deal and can even be pleasant.