Another important topic in puppy class is safety. I know that does not look or sound fancy but unsafe dogs don’t live very long.
We all want safe dogs. However, dogs can develop the tendency to guard things (food, toys, humans, places). It is most often seen with food. A resource guarding dog is a dog who stiffens up, cowers, growls and snaps when people approach ‘his’ food. Or what he perceives as his. The first two signs and other stress signs are often missed.
To prevent this we need to teach the puppy very early that is a good thing to give up things they have. In the video you will see what we call ‘exchange’. The puppy has something we would like and we offer the puppy something else in return. This will eventually lead to a ‘leave it’ cue. But first we let them know it is just ok to give things up.
The second one is the ‘food bowl’ exercise. Don’t get me wrong every dog deserves to eat in peace but dogs who bite when approached while eating are dangerous.
It is very important to make sure they perceive hands coming close as a positive thing. In this exercise the dog learns that hands BRING more good things and do not take it away.
If your dog or puppy goes stiff, cowers or growls stop immediately and talk to an appropriately qualified and experienced trainer.