How to prevent and manage resource aggression with your dog
Guarding food, or any resource such as toys or a sleeping space, is a natural reaction. In a ‘wild’ situation, these resources can run out or be stolen, and therefore need to be protected. Teaching our dogs that their resources are safe is important, as guarding behaviour can become aggressive and difficult to control if left unmanaged.Read about territorial aggression Find a practice
More about food guarding
Resource aggression is a commonly seen form of guarding. Food aggression/guarding is one of the most commonly seen, although dogs can develop possessive instincts over anything.
Resource aggression is seen as a puppy or dog growling or barking if someone approaches their resource, and is a warning that this is ‘mine’ and not to take it. Approaching food before they have finished is a common trigger for this kind of response. They may also snap at whoever they feel is ‘threatening’ their access to the resource.
This is often seen as undesirable, and can even become dangerous, especially in households with children.
Resource aggression can start very young, especially in large litters. Food aggression especially may develop in this period; often larger puppies can bully smaller puppies, by eating their own food fastest and then moving in on the food bowls of others. Naturally this creates competition, and a need to protect food from others in the area