Is it possible to train out resource guarding while they’re a puppy? (xpost from puppy101)

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/ijc1lt/is_it_possible_to_train_out_resource_guarding/

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Today I gave my dogs each a pig ear. We don't often get pig ears because they're hard on the digestive tract (apparently, I don't really know, I know rawhides are). Normally we get carrots, apples, bully sticks, and churpi chews/yak cheese chews and we're all fine. I can pick those up, toss them, play with them, whatever.

With the pig ear, something weird happened. My 3.5 month old female Australian Cattle Dog puppy went berserk. I'm trying to get her used to getting brushed so I use this rubber palm brush while she's chewing, but this time she snapped at my brush. Curious, I went to pet her and she snapped at me and contacted my hand. She's still small so I didn't flinch, and pet her anyway (I used to have a fear aggressive dog who bit me and I never flinched, biting = you don't succeed with me but he was also only a 35lb shiba) She started growling. I'm not joking when I say this behavior in a big dog or her at her adult size would be "rehome this dog" type of behavior. Completely unacceptable. I've had her for three weeks to the day and this is the first time I have ever seen her act like this at all, ever, over anything.

I have two other large dogs, and for the most part everyone leaves each other alone when they have chews. My older female dog walked by and my puppy snapped at her, which is bad news – female dog will happily put her in her place if she needs to, this time she just ignored her, but it could have been worse.

So I got some hotdog treats which are puppy's favorite, and sat down in front of her with the chew. I decided now was a good time to do some simultaneous resource guarding training and some "drop it" training.

I took the pig ear from her, which she snarled and bit me for, but I didn't flinch, said drop it as I did it, clicked when it left her mouth and gave her a hot dog piece. Then I gave her back her chew.

I repeated this for about 5-8 minutes or until I ran out of treats in my hand. I also alternated between giving it back to her, and just holding it for her to chew. She stopped biting me and snarling, but she wasn't willingly giving it up.

I ended the training with a large handful of hotdogs and then put the pig ear away.

Can someone tell me if what I'm doing with this is correct? I probably shouldn't be letting her bite me or learning that bites have no consequence, but I also don't want her to learn that biting is how we get what we want. She normally is mouthy during play but not biting, her normal bite inhibition is good.

If I can train this out of her now, I would like to. It might just be that we never have pig ears again though.

(I should be clear I do not have kids and do not plan on having kids, and under normal circumstances kids are never at our home)

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