Considerations

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When working with dog-dog Resource Guarding cases, my first step is to assess other risk factors that might affect the outcome. 

If there are children in the home or the parents are expecting, and the resource guarding has the likelihood of redirecting onto the humans, I am prompted to assess with a more serious approach where we also discuss the option to re-home the dog as the risk to children is too high to ethically accept. 

If there are people in the home who are health-compromised (immunosuppression) or are physically unable to manage quickly (mobility or developmental limitations), I am prompted to assess with a more serious approach where we also discuss the option to re-home the dog as the risk to these members of the family is too high to ethically accept. 

If there is another dog in the home who is under 6mo, a senior/geriatric, has a health condition, or is otherwise suffering from anxiety/stress, resulting in a low-quality of life due to the stress induced by the other dog's guarding, Additionally, if there is another pet in the home, such as a cat, whose safety and quality of life is suffering.

If there is a history a level 4 bite or above I will not attempt to modify the behaviour - I would be more likely to assess with a more serious approach where we also discuss the option to re-home the dog as the risk to the other dog would be too high to ethically accept. 

If the dog is unwell (brain tumour, seizures, etc) and the illness is the underlying factor for the resource guarding, I will work with the Veterinarian to determine whether or not the illness is one that will realistically be "cured" or resolved, or if this is lifelong. If it is lifelong, it is unlikely that we will resolve the resource guarding and as a result, we must look at other, more difficult options. 

If you find yourself in any of these situations, continue on to the following two lessons in order to make an educated decision on next steps: 

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