The Pawsitive Post in Conversation by Companion Animal Psychology

Understanding resource guarding in dogs and how to fix it with Lisa Skavienski

May 23, 2023 Zazie Todd & Kristi Benson Episode 8
The Pawsitive Post in Conversation by Companion Animal Psychology
Understanding resource guarding in dogs and how to fix it with Lisa Skavienski
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Resource Guarding in Dogs

We talk with Lisa about what resource guarding is and the body language that you should look for to spot it. People often have an emotional response to resource guarding—it can be a shock if your dog growls at you—and we talk about why you shouldn’t punish the growl and how to deal with those completely normal feelings. 

We discuss how to fix resource guarding issues and why aversive methods are not the answer. Kristi and Zazie both share stories about their own dogs’ resource guarding behaviour, and we also talk about how to prevent it in the first place.

Finally, we talk about the books we are reading right now. 

Lisa Skavienski is the owner of Dog Educated in Rochester, NY, where she specializes in classes, workshops, and private consultation for dog owners. She is deeply invested in animal welfare, participating at the local community level, as well as holding a seat on the Pet Professional Guild’s Shelter and Rescue Committee. Lisa studied with behavior expert Jean Donaldson at the highly acclaimed Academy for Dog Trainers. She is also a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer and Fear free certified.

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The books:

Zazie Todd's Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and her upcoming book Shiver. 

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong was the Animal Book Club’s choice for February and March.

The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times (Global Icons Series) by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams with Gail Hudson.

The Roller Derby Blueprint by Scott Meyer.

Still I Cannot Save You by Kelly S. Thompson.

Read highlights of the chat here

About the co-hosts:

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers and has her PCBC-A from the Pet Professional Accreditation Board. She lives in beautiful northern British Columbia, where she helps dog guardians through online teaching and consultations. Kristi is on staff at the Academy for Dog Trainers, helping to shape the next generation of canine professionals. Kristi’s dogs are rescue sled dogs, mostly retired and thoroughly enjoying a good snooze in front of the woodstove.

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Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and one cat.

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How Lisa got into dog training
The signs of resource guarding
How people feel when it happens
How to stay safe
Acquired bite inhibition
Little dogs vs big dogs
Changes in how we see resource guarding
The fallout of aversives
Preventing resource guarding
News about Zazie's third book
Books