Guarding behavior!
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Thread: Guarding behavior!

  1. #1
    Jorymay is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    DefaultGuarding behavior!

    Just wondering if anyone else has experience a lab who guards. Silas guards stolen can be anything like a plastic bag, gloves, dishtowels(a favorite).
    He is our 6th dog, and this is a first. He had bitten my daughter once, and lunges aggressively if you try to take away the object the "wrong" way.
    We have paid hundreds of dollars working with a PHD animal behaviorist, and just when I think its getting better we take some steps back.
    It is so hard and frustrating. Other times, he is the sweetest thing you ever could meet. He gets lots of exercise, but his social interactions are limited due to his humping relentlessly behavior which we cant seem to correct. Just wondering if anyone else has ever dealt with this. We want to keep him!


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  3. #2
    ScoutsMom18 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018


    I have know some to be more guarding of food, but no labs aggressively guarding objects. If you ignore him when he is in 'guarding mode' does he lose interest? There was a previous thread on this forum with some good tips for a pet that plays keep away with things, however their lab did more of a playful growl not showing real aggression. On that thread many people suggest teaching the pet the 'drop it' or 'leave it' command, and refusing to participate in the keep away. The older thread is called growling and I would suggest checking that out. Hope things get better for your pup and your family!

  4. #3
    BBD2 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015


    I don't know if you're still looking for advice with this dog, but I have questions. Is he neutered? Has he been through obedience or any other sort of formal training? I assume that the behaviorist tried having you trade the item has guarding for a high value item like a hot dog piece or a piece of chicken?

    I would consider the bite to be a major escalation. I would have a muzzle on this dog at all times if you're going to have him in your home with children. This is not a correct Labrador temperament at all and sometimes temperament issues are not fixable.

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  6. #4
    Jorymay is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017


    Hi, Yes he is neutered, and yes he has had formal training. The humping has improved 75% fortunately. He gets lots of exercise in fact his tracker says that in the last 2 1/2 months we have walked him 500 miles. He is now 1 3/4 years old. He was always a high strung puppy with a bad table surfing habit that we could not seem to resolve. We have tried clearing surfaces,etc. And yes we are doing the following. Ignoring with items not of value (sometimes when he has such an item he is absolutely miserable). He will even fall asleep guarding an envelope. Leave it works 25% but is improving. This is if we catch him immediately with the item. And trade for an item that is either of value to us or can hurt him. We have followed the behaviorist's advice calling him away from the object with the treat of high value then snatching it up. This is stable...he will go through "good times" when he does this less, and bad times. Silas is our 3rd lab btw. His recall is steadily improving. It is really challenging and stressful. The behaviorist says that he is considered a mild guarder, and progress sometimes is not steady...they can revert. He actually is very sweet with people, and they would never guess his issues. He also is now socializing well with daily interaction with other dogs off leash. Also, the behaviorist says that there is a genetic component to this. Of course we blame ourselves. After getting him my husband was diagnosed with cancer, which has been treated successfully after surgery. Naturally there was alot of stress in the household, but we have tried our very best. All in all I think the dog seems bored. But he honestly gets 1 1/2 hrs of exercise daily minimum usually more. Also one on one interaction. We try the nothing is free and make him be polite...sit before a treat, down, stay, etc. We both work. Oh, also the behaviorist says that this is something that can be controlled but never really solved 100%.

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