Miss Lucy the Minpin is here at Good Karma Training for a two week board and train. She has an issue with resource guarding. I will be working with her on all of basic obedience first, then I will work her through the resource guarding issue with her remote collar on. The goal here is for me to train her to behave safely around resources. Miss Lucy has been in four homes in the very short five months that she has been alive. She arrived with some seriously pushy crate behaviors including trying to push her way out of the door, and non-stop barking. Her current owners had never seen her behave this aggressively over resources before. I attribute this behavior to the fact that she knows I have been challenging her to learn commands, and hold the command until released. Dogs are natural resource guarders. When we encounter rescued or adopted dogs that guard resources we all have a tendency to attribute the bad behavior to the dog's story. What might have happened? Maybe Lucy had to struggle for food at one point in her five month old life? I must say, that is unlikely. She is very well fed, her coat is shinny, her eyes are clear, she is very energetic, and inquisitive, she appears very well nourished. So why would she behave this way if she wasn't abused or neglected? A logical answer is this behavior, the growling, staring, lording over her bone, and lunging to bite my hand, has worked for Lucy in the past. I believe dogs operate in a world of pressure and release. When a dog perceives pressure, and the pressure builds to a level of discomfort, the dog chooses to release that pressure by behaving in many different ways. I believe her resource guarding behavior is her attempt at reliving pressure by growling and lunging at me so that I back off of her resource. Domineering pups in the litter behave in this way. People will often excuse bad behavior like this and say "she must be the runt of the litter." In fact, the runt of the litter rarely is confident enough to display these behaviors. After working with her, I believe Lucy's confidence indicates she likely ranked quite high within her litter. I see many other instances of dog's using pressure and release to manipulate their world, this is just one example. The great news is that by communicating in the dog's language of using pressure and release, we can calmly and safely train the dog to behave as a calm family dog. Doing this prevents dog bites, and keeps the dog alive and in its home. I am so proud of Lucy's owners for getting her the training she needs, and not just passing her along for another couple or family to struggle. For the full video of her behaving badly over this bone, check out Good Karma Training on Facebook.