Here’s what you need to know. Subtle Signs of Resource Guarding #dogtrainer #dogtraining #dogs

As a dog owner, it’s essential to understand the behavior of your furry friend to develop a healthy bond with them. While dogs are known for their affectionate nature, they can also display signs of resource guarding. Resource guarding can be subtle and challenging to detect, but it’s crucial to recognize these behaviors to nip them in the bud. In this blog post, we will discuss the subtle signs of resource guarding to help you become a better dog owner. So, whether you are a dog trainer or a pet lover, keep reading and learn what you need to know to keep your furry friend happy and safe!


Resource guarding is a common behavioral issue in dogs. It is the act of a dog becoming hostile or aggressive when it perceives a threat to its resources, such as food, toys, or space. As a dog trainer, it is important to be able to recognize the subtle signs of resource guarding before it escalates into something more dangerous. In this article, we will explore the various signs of resource guarding and provide some tips on how to address this behavior in your furry friend.

Signs of Resource Guarding

  1. Growling: Growling is a clear sign that a dog is uncomfortable with the situation. If your dog growls while eating, playing with a toy, or being petted, it may be resource guarding.

  2. Stiff body language: A stiff and rigid body is another sign of resource guarding. When a dog is guarding its resources, it may become tense and still.

  3. Snapping: Snapping is a warning sign that your dog is uncomfortable with the situation. If your dog snaps at you when you try to approach its food bowl or toy, it may be resource guarding.

  4. Lunging: Lunging is a more aggressive sign of resource guarding. If your dog lunges at someone when they approach its resources, it may be trying to protect its belongings.

  5. Freezing: When a dog freezes, it means that it is unsure or uncomfortable with the situation. If your dog freezes when approached by someone while eating or playing with a toy, it may be resource guarding.

How to Address Resource Guarding

  1. Start with basic obedience training: Basic obedience training can help build a stronger bond between you and your dog. It can also help your dog learn how to behave in different situations.

  2. Teach your dog to relax around resources: Encourage your dog to relax around its food bowl or toys by rewarding it when it remains calm.

  3. Practice trading: Teach your dog to trade its resources for something more valuable. This can help your dog learn that giving up its resources is not a bad thing.

  4. Avoid punishment: Punishment can make resource guarding worse. Instead, try to redirect your dog’s behavior and reward good behavior.

  5. Seek professional help: If your dog’s resource guarding behavior is severe, consider seeking the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.


Resource guarding is a common behavioral issue in dogs, but it can be addressed with proper training and patience. By recognizing the subtle signs of resource guarding and following the tips provided, you can help your furry friend overcome this behavior and live a happy and healthy life.


  1. Can resource guarding be trained out of a dog?

Yes, resource guarding can be addressed with training and patience. Basic obedience training, relaxing around resources, practicing trading, avoiding punishment, and seeking professional help are all effective ways to train a dog out of resource guarding behavior.

  1. What are some of the resources that dogs may guard?

Dogs may guard resources such as food, toys, beds, spaces, or even people.

  1. Is resource guarding more common in certain breeds of dogs?

Resource guarding can occur in any breed of dog, but it may be more common in breeds that were originally bred for guarding or protection.

  1. At what age do dogs begin to exhibit resource guarding behavior?

Dogs can begin to exhibit resource guarding behavior as early as 3 months of age.

  1. Is resource guarding a sign of aggression?

Resource guarding can escalate into aggression if not addressed, but it is not necessarily a sign of aggression in itself. It is simply a behavior that dogs use to protect their resources.