Getting a new puppy is an exciting and fun time in any home. Taking precautions in any new relationship is appropriate - especially when your new addition speaks a different language than you - DOG Language!
One area of our focus towards new puppies and dogs of all ages too - is preventing unwanted behaviors from taking place.
When dog resource guard they are guarding what they consider to be a valuable resource. Such as toys, food, people, areas, cars, chew toys.
How we can prevent this behavior from becoming a problem is teaching your dog that you are not a threat around these items. How we do that is easy - with each resource there will be formula to adhere to - here is an example of food bowl exercises....
Moving the food bowl
While your puppy / dog eats - hold the bowl with your hand. Keeping the bowl on the floor
Place a tasty treat next to the bowl with the other hand - something yummy like a small piece of cheese or hot dog. When your puppy or dog goes for the tasty treat - pick the bowl up and return the bowl back to them once the treat is gone.
Repeat this 5 - 10 times without much time delay before returning the bowl.
Progress to picking up the bowl prior to offering a treat distraction.
After a few sessions of this game. Your dog will understand that their bowl moving away means that a tasty treat is on its way!
Treats in the food bowl
As a puppy is eating dry kibble from their bowl, quickly put your hand in the bowl and drop in a tasty treat. Chicken, cheese, hot dog... etc.
Allow your dog to enjoy what you have just given them and to return to re-investigate the dry kibble to check for more treats, and to start eating again.
Repeat by dropping a treat quickly in their food bowl.
Repeat several times.
Your dog with soon love to see movement and hands around their food bowl!
When your pup is eating at their food bowl - ask friends or family members to walk by - as they do - you place a scoop of canned tasty food into their kibble.
Repeat a few times so every time someone comes near their eating area - a tasty spoonful of canned food is added to their dish.
Your pup will love to see approaching people - their attention will be waiting for the tasty spoonful to show up.
At the next mealtime - have a friend or family member walk up to your pups bowl and serve up a treat into their food bowl!
The slow service counter for dogs
Place your dog's meal allotment kibble in a bowl on the counter and give your dog 1 kibble into their bowl on the floor.
Leave the dog to wonder where the rest of their food is - ignore them for a few moments - then return to offer them their next order.
Proceed to pick up their food bowl and add one more kibble. Ask the dog to do something for this - like sit and then give them their bowl back.
Repeat until they have had their entire meal - teaches patience and to chew their food too!
Any questions or concerns regarding your dog's behavoir around their food or any guarding behavior - please contact a professional for an assessment immediately!