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"Protective" vs "Resource Guarding"

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ladyjubilee
Green Dog
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

"Protective" vs "Resource Guarding"

Post by ladyjubilee » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:18 am

I've been trying to understand Bramble's behavior and have been reading online articles. Now I'm even more baffled.

Bramble appears to be very protective of my son. For instance, we had two men working on our backyard. She greeted the men,loved the attention, was totally relaxed. When my son came out, her posture changed, her ears went up and she took up position on the porch where she could keep an eye on my son and both men. When either of the men "got too close", she left the porch and put herself right in front of the entrance to the trampoline. When they moved off, she went back to her perch on the porch....then back down when they entered the "zone".

And she really does not like for dogs to get "too" close to him, especially if it scares my son.

But several articles indicate that dogs aren't really protective, that it is the pack leader's role to protect, not the packmate's. Instead, the articles suggest that what people see as protective is resource guarding.

I'm perplexed because Bramble doesn't do this with me or other adults, and he isn't her food source. She does obey him, though, when he "asks" her to do something (no where near a command and not a trained behavior.)

So what is the source of the behavior?
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

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Dutchringgirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
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Re: "Protective" vs "Resource Guarding"

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:20 pm

she wont do it with you because she knows you wont hurt him. I wouldn't worry too much about analysing it as to work with it and culture it so she does not hurt anyone. Its guarding. See if Leerburg has anything on that but I think I would put her in a down/stay when others are around and stay with her and train the behavior you want from her. Do you want her to put herself in the middle of a stranger and your son? What do you want her to do?
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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SEL
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Tell us about yourself: I live in Arizona and have an 8 year old female Dutch Shepherd

Re: "Protective" vs "Resource Guarding"

Post by SEL » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:18 pm

That's really interesting that she's doing that. If you're just out on a walk and your son is walking her, will she react if a person approaches or gets close to your son? If she did in that situation, then could possibly be resource guarding. You mentioned though that she doesn't like dogs to get too close to him, especially if he's scared. Could she be picking up on that from him and then carrying over to when people are around him also? I'm wondering if she's doing something like "splitting" like the last dog does in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ74oFctP_g and putting herself between your son and a perceived possible threat. I guess you could tell by how she reacts when strangers come up to your son in other various situations also. Idna doesn't resource guard me, but she has done something like splitting before. We go to the park twice a day and talk to different people there all the time. People also walk through the park, or bike ride, jog, etc. and she doesn't care. But there was one morning when we were there by ourselves, not another person around. There's a path that goes by the side of the park that people typically stay on if they're just out for a walk. That particular morning a guy comes walking along the path and we were down the hill on the grass. He was by himself, didn't have a dog. For some reason he starts coming down the hill onto the grass towards us. Well I was getting creeped out and thinking why would he come off the path right by us, come down on the grass when he doesn't have a dog and heading towards us?? Maybe he didn't see Idna right away or realize what kind of dog I had. But Idna picked up on the weirdness of it too (partly picking up on it from me I'm sure) and went a few steps ahead of me. She wasn't on a leash because we were training. So she stopped dead in her tracks there a few feet in front of me, head up, ears up, standing there staring this guy down, assessing a threat. He then stopped in his tracks and didn't say a word. I didn't call her back because I didn't want her turning her back and taking her eyes off of this guy, instead I told her to stay and went and put the leash on her. Then I said sorry to the guy (he never did say a word which is part of what made it so weird!) and he walked by and we got the hell out of there. It really creeped me out! But she did exactly what I would have wanted her to do in that moment, she put herself between me and that creepy guy coming towards us. I don't know why he was coming towards us, but maybe that was enough to keep him away from us.
Idna in AZ, (8 yrs)
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ladyjubilee
Green Dog
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: "Protective" vs "Resource Guarding"

Post by ladyjubilee » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:09 pm

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:20 pm
Do you want her to put herself in the middle of a stranger and your son? What do you want her to do?
I initially thought I should actively discourage it since she is going to do service work. I don't want her biting anyone, which she hasn't done or been in anyway aggressive with a human. I don't mind her being alert; but definitely am not looking for protection training or anything. The trainer seems to think it is a positive behaviour.

She behaved much like Idna described. Alert, but not aggressive. As soon as they stepped out of the zone, she was all happy and relaxed and wanted their attention. Back in the zone and she was back on duty.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

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Dutchringgirl
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 5691
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: "Protective" vs "Resource Guarding"

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:26 pm

but she is being protective and that is protection training. The terminology is getting in the way. Focus on what you want her to do and pay attention to unwanted behavior. If she is doing what you want, thats good.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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