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dog food bowl with crackers on topThe biggest problem with all the sh*t out there about how to change a dog’s behavior is that it delays someone getting science-based, logical and ethical information that has been shown to work.

Resource guarding is a common challenge with dogs, and one with a well-established protocol for correcting. A protocol that is not based on crazy sh*t, but rather on how we change how a dog feels  and behaves using science-based training methods. Jean Donaldson’s book MINE! addresses the issue.

Eileen Anderson shares this story–

In 2006 I adopted a dog from a small town shelter who only had one more day before she would be euthanized. Soon after that I found I had my hands full. Summer was 10 months old, under socialized, and she fought with my other dog, who was less than half her size. I was very worried that she would hurt Cricket and I didn’t know what to do.

I scoured the internet and the library for information and books about aggression and other problem dog behaviors. Almost everything I read said that I needed to show my dog in various ways that I was boss and had priority to everything.

I learned, among other things, that I must never let my dogs eat before me. Ideally I should eat my own meal first. But if that was inconvenient, I could be sure to eat a few bites out of her Summer’s bowl before giving it to her. I didn’t want to eat dog food, but I read one more helpful tip. I could put some crackers or something else on top of her food and eat them before giving her her bowl. And I needed to make sure that she saw me do this.

I made a practice of this for several weeks. I was very careful to let Summer see me eat something out of her bowl before putting it down. But you know what? Summer didn’t stop aggressing towards Cricket.

People really do make up some crazy sh*t about dogs. Did I really think that the next time Summer was on the verge of launching into the smaller dog, she would stop, thinking, “Oh, better not! Eileen eats my food before I do!”