Cathy is certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, holding both the CPDT-KA and CBCC-KA designations. Cathy is a Fear Free Certified Certified Professional, a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild, and the Dog Writers Association of America.
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When shes not geeking out about dogs, you can find her reading, hiking with her two Cardigan Welsh Corgis, or paddleboarding.
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As Preventive Vets dog behavior expert and lead trainer at Pupstanding Academy, Cathy focuses on helping humans and their pets build a strong relationship based on trust, clear communication, and the use of positive reinforcement and force-free methods. With over 13 years of experience, she has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of dogs on a wide variety of training and behavior issues. Beyond her one-on-one consultations through Pupstanding Academy, she also teaches group dog training classes at Seattle Humane. Her specialties include dog aggression, resource guarding, separation anxiety, and puppy socialization.
Can a dog resource guard their owners?
Yes, a dog can resource guard their owners. This is usually seen in dogs who are very attached to their owner. The dog may become territorial and protect their owner from other people or animals.
If you think your dog is resource guarding you, consult with a professional trainer to help address the behavior.
Dogs may guard their resources because they’re afraid of losing them.
While it’s easy to assume that dogs guard their resources out of a sense of possessiveness, the reality may be more complicated.
In many cases, dogs may be guarding their resources because they’re afraid of losing them. This fear of loss often stems from previous experience of having items removed that they view as valuable. As a result, dogs may view guarding as a way to protect themselves from this happening again.
Of course, this doesn’t excuse aggressive behavior, but it does help to explain why some dogs feel the need to guard their belongings.
With patience and positive reinforcement, however, most dogs can learn to tolerate others being near their resources without feeling threatened.
Resource Guarding – How to FIX and PREVENT IT
This is a difficult question to answer because human feelings are being used to describe a dog’s reaction. Many pet owners feel their dogs are protecting them from threats. It’s a comforting feeling for humans, but dogs feel frustrated. When dogs growl at people approaching, while sitting in their pet owner’s lap, this is called resource guarding. Yes, your growling dog is protecting his resource, which is you, but protective dog behavior is dangerous that will get worse, if not addressed quickly.
Guarding valuable resources is a natural dog behavior, but it can cause issues within human homes. Dogs will guard beds, food bowls, high value toys, treats, space and people. Every dog has a different personality, but most will resource guard whatever they find valuable to a degree. Humans are certainly valuable because they put food in dog bowls, provide treats and toys, keep them safe, and can open doors.
Some dogs can bond so deeply with a specific person that they will start to resource guard her from other dogs, people and even children. Sometimes, resource guarding goes undetected until another person or dog enters the home, and then the chaos ensues. Resource guarding should certainly be addressed as soon as possible, as it can result in biting behavior. Plus, no one wants to live with a bully.