While I do send many of my Resource Guarding cases to a Veterinarian, there are some situations where a trip to a Veterinary Behaviourist is in order.
A Veterinary Behaviourist is a Veterinarian who is board certified in behaviour. Most Veterinarians have a basic understanding of behaviour but do not specialise in it, so they rely on a specialist just like a human doctor would rely on a Psychiatrist for a patient with mental health concerns.
A Veterinary Behaviourist will assess your dog's health AND behaviour, give a solid management and training plan, potentially prescribe medication to assist in the process, and be available for follow up.
If your dog:
- has any medical conditions AND are showing signs of resource guarding,
- has general anxiety or compounding behaviour concerns AND are showing signs of resource guarding, a trip to the Veterinary Behaviourist is in order
A trip to the Veterinary Behaviourist is in order as many medical conditions and underlying anxiety can cause and/or exacerbate resource guarding behaviours.
- If your dog has a bite history of a level 4 or higher with people OR dogs, related to resource guarding incidents
- If there are children in the home or the parents are expecting, and the resource guarding is directed towards humans
- If your dog is unpredictable with their resource guarding, meaning you cannot pin down the resources or triggers that prompt an incident, or the resources and/or triggers change and increase in numbers
A trip to the Veterinary Behaviourist is in order as they are the most qualified to determine your dog's prognosis and the next steps.