Gracie on Food/Toy Possessiveness

GraceSince I got to come home with Barbara and Wayne, I’ve accumulated quite a stash of nice stuff. I’ve got stuffy toys, rubber toys, food toys and more tennis balls than you can shake a fetch stick at! One thing I’ve had to learn is how to share my stuff with my sister and brother, and the occasional boarder that comes through the place.

Now nobody should really expect any dog to just give up all their good stuff to another dog without a protest. A dog that doesn’t protect their good stuff, well, doesn’t have any good stuff! What kind of sense does that make?

Dogs enjoy their stuff as much as anybody (I LOVE my babies!), so it’s really not surprising to know that we don’t want to just give our stuff up to whoever comes along. Protecting food and belongings from other dogs is totally normal, and sometimes a well-phrased growl or a meaningful lip curl is just the right message the other dog needs to back off of my stash!

But when the dogs are fighting over stuff, or somebody’s getting hurt, that’s where the problems begin. And if your dog is guarding stuff from you, well, that’s just not right!

If your dogs are fighting over toys or food, you can make that better! If your dog is growling, snarling or snapping at you over toys (yours or his!), you can make that better too! Guarding behavior can be some of the most dangerous (for the dog and the people!), but can be some of the easiest to fix.