A visit with friends turned tragic when a child approached a family dog with a bone. You hear about this sort of thing all of the time, but too often, people “correct” the dog by telling it not to growl, rather than changing the emotionally charge of the situation. Now the dog is still angry or fearful, but it’s been told not to growl at people any more. Then we get the Silent Biter – the dog who shows no warning before biting.
I was called up by King 5 to shed some light on the recent tragedy. Unfortunately, I needed a bit more time than prime time news can give to explain what should be done.
Resource guarding tends to show up in puppies and people think the dog will “grow out of it.” They don’t, but dogs can be taught that humans approaching their bones is a win-win situation. For more info, please read my article on Resource Guarding.
See the King 5 News Interview.
The dog in the interview is my dog Peanut, who is a resource guarder by nature. Note that he allows me to take the Very Valuable Dinosaur Bone (okay, it’s Ostrich). The interview was at the Mud Bay Granary in Burien. The news crew went to Ballard, called me, and then found out I was in Burien. They then drove all the way down to interview, which gave me enough time to buy Peanut the ostrich bone from Mud Bay.