Lily is resource guarding just about anything you give her.  If she wants it, within 5 seconds of giving her something, she'll star with the teeth and all that...  What am I to do?

Other than that, she is just the move lovey dog ever...

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With toys, i would always trade for a treat or another really good toy. With food just offer more, if she growls dont give it to her. The idea is to teach her that humans near her stuff is a good thing.

I agree. If safe you could try hand feeding her some things as well. Once she is used to you being near her while eating you can increase your contact, such as gently touching her with an object first if necessary, then progressing to your hands,while she eats, provided you are very sure it is safe to do so. In a short time you will probably be surprised at how easily she learns to relax about the guarding until you can actually take something out of her mouth if she happens to get into something dangerous. Again,you want to be positive you can do so safely, but the tips offered and the link provided should be pretty helpful.

Great resource. Towards the bottom of the blog is a link to an older blog with more information and instructions.

She loves playing tug of war and knows the difference between those objects she growls over and we play with vs. something she just conquers for herself.  When I hand out kibble when she's being "demon dog", she is quite indecisive if she wants the kibble or hold on to her resource.  She'll shyly eat the kibble then run back to her resource.

Things don't just happen in a vacuum and you can't fix this complex behavior by only looking at the one aspect you ask about.  The dog is guarding FROM YOU, which means she does not trust you nor see you as above her in the pack order.  Your description of her on your profile suggests that she was not affectionate to begin with ( this may have changed by now).  She may have received mixed signals from you, such as in the tug of war game, which I would definitely discontinue.  Also not sure at what age you got her from the breeder and how old she is now.  I would suggest formal obedience work ( a good positive reinforcement class plus daily practice ), only gentle handling, including "gentling" exercises where she learns to just relax while you slowly pet her and handle her in a soothing manner, no direct body contact play, and getting rid of anything she feels the need to guard, except for her food at the appointed time, at which time I would leave her to eat in peace. She needs to unlearn this knee jerk response she's gotten into, which may take a couple of months if you follow through with all of the above.  If she growls or shows teeth under other circumstances, you have a bigger problem, but, since you say she is otherwise loving,  hopefully she will relax.  Taking things from her, at this stage, will only aggravate things IMO.  If she is possessive of her space as well ( for instance the couch) then she would only be allowed on the floor, period.

Formal obedience work, if done in a positive way, is a great confidence builder for the dog, as it clearly defines roles for both dog and owner in situations outside the home, with other people and dogs around.  It builds trust as well because the dog learns that consistent responses bring consistent results that are pleasing and predictable.  Too many people think that being pack leader is about being forceful and "showing the dog who's boss", but this is the approach taken by them to solve things that have already gone wrong! What is needed is a learned behavior of respect, trust, understanding and reasonable rules, plus adequate exercise and time with one's people.

We got her right before her 2nd birthday and from a good breeder.  This is something she has developed since then.

Lily is the most loving dog to everyone and has it had it on easy street from a puppy.  I tend not to give her anything she will be possessive with.  Most times she'll be on the couch and not protective; only two big pillows in the corner she likes as "hers".  I don't think I could give up tug-of-war as she is runs to get her toys and wants to play that game with us.  She looks forward to that all day.  I can take the bowl of food away from her if I am quick enough (dog eats like she's never been fed).  She is very friendly with strangers to point I think she'd go home with anyone that has food.

Some others have suggested spraying her with a water bottle when she shows teeth and just take whatever it is away...  I haven't tried that one yet.  She is quick to learn and has very strong herding tendencies.  She is "hyper-corgi" in traits.  Stubborn and will ankle nip some times at new people in the house.  She is also good with the commands she knows. 

She's much different than our last Corgi, Camber... RIP

I found most of the tips from this site were really helpful when I adopted my three year old corgi who displayed some resource guarding about her things and "her" people. Anna was one of the people that offered great tips for this issue as she has had much more experience with dogs than I. My dog was not confident and she was on hyper-alert. I also sought help from an animal behavior major student at a nearby college which helped me learn which behaviors helped or harmed her confidence and which behaviors demonstrated lack of confidence. Over time as she became confident in me as a gentle but assertive owner she grew to trust and became MUCH more relaxed. As I mentioned in another post, I do not play tug of war with her for those reasons. I hope you are able to see some positive change and get a chance to try some of the suggestions so you can see her sweet side all the time.

I'm kinda with Anna on this. I'd be concerned about the impression that she's guarding from the humans..."you're not the boss of me now"????  Wrong, dawg!

Have you looked objectively at your own attitude and posture around the dog? In my observation (I'm not an expert...just a lady who's had too many dogs over too many years), people who are really, REALLY good with dogs display a kind of quiet confidence that seems to say "...and of course we always do things my way" ("but of course you'll jump over the barn cupola...doesn't everybody?"). It's the sense of calm self-confidence that seems to be the key.

Are you nervous enough about the teeth-baring that sub-consciously you expect it? Could that subtly communicate a message like "eeek! I think you're going to bare your teeth at me"? Think about how you approach the dog and think if there's a slightly different take you could adopt.

With kids, I learned that annoying behaviors often can be short-circuited with an abrupt change in routine. You do "A" all the time? Okay, suddenly do "B." It's not abusive or anything crazy; it's just enough of a change to disorient the little malefactor enough to interrupt the behavior briefly, which gives you a chance to distract in the direction you'd like them to go or to congratulate them for desirable behavior (which can simply be not doing whatever was making you nuts).

I've tried this on dogs and found it less successful -- they don't interact with humans in quite the same way human kids interact with adult humans -- but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Possibly...when you're going to give her something (treat, toy, food), give it to her someplace other than where you ordinarily would fork it over (e.g., I give Ruby and Cassie treats in the kitchen because that's where the treat jar is -- I might move out onto the back porch or into the living room to hand them over). And for sure, ask the dog to DO something before she gets the treat, the food, or the object. "Sit" is easy. Ruby now assumes the "sit" position without being asked, whenever she wants a treat. "Wait" is another good command that might fit this situation.

And actual, formal obedience training is just SO good. It not only socializes the dogs with other animals, it aids and abets your interaction with your dog and helps you and the dog learn to "talk" through commands and behavior.  Agility training is useful, too, if you have time for it.

Resource guarding is very common and, fortunately, fairly easy to treat.   It is commonly seen as dominance or lack of respect, but research does not back this up.  Observations of wild wolf packs show that even very junior or young members of the pack will guard food they have in their possession from wolves with higher status.   Status determines who gets first choice of the food, but high status wolves do not normally take away food that lower status wolves already have, and low status wolves will most certainly try to guard that food if another wolf tries to take it.  In short, it's just something that dogs do.   Correcting her will just reinforce the idea that she has formed that nothing is safe from people.   

I always find it interesting that people are so alarmed by behavior that we exhibit ourselves. Safety demands we work on the problem, but often it is an indicator of nothing much.  It doesn't signify a larger problem.  If our boss came to our desk every day and tried to take our lunch, we'd think he was a bully.  We'd protest strongly, then we'd go to HR, and then we'd probably quit just to avoid the weird scary boss.   If we went to a restaurant and ordered dessert and the waiter came and took it away mid-forkful, we'd probably say "Hey" or "give that back!!" or something and complain to management.

But ah, imagine instead of taking our delicious lunch, our boss saw us there eating our PB&J and said "Hey, how about a nice cheese steak.  My treat?"   Or if all you could afford on the dessert menu was an Oreo cookie and the waiter upgraded you (for free!!) to the delicious pie ala mode?   Hmmm, now we might welcome THAT intrusion on our stuff, right?   

So that's how we treat resource guarding: through counter-conditioning, we make the dog think that any time we approach when she has a valued item, we might bring something better.  The nice thing about this is you don't force unwanted behavior into hiding with fear of punishment.  You truly replace the desire to guard with happiness at your approach.

When Jack was a puppy and growled over his food bowl, I used a sped-up version of the ASPCA approach;  I sped it up because he was a tiny puppy and the behavior was not ingrained.  With an adult dog, I'd follow it carefully, step by step.

Great comments Beth. I mentioned touching the dog with an object and tapping her gently once and awhile during her meals to get her used to someone approaching and realizing that her food is safe without fear of putting yourself in potential danger of getting nipped. I certainly don't mean to touch her aggressively. I did it to Sully let her know that all good things come from my hands, never any harm. Seems to have been effective, but she still guards against other animals getting attention from any of her many "special people" which I always treat as a major infraction so she learns, I hope, that it always gets her removed from the fun if she doesn't stop growling when asked. Then she gets to come back and stay with no growling. She did stop snapping at least. Odd because she is so mellow, but I do think some dogs became more demanding and aggressive, for lack of better word, if the issue is ignored, tolerated, or if the owners respond too severely. I did find it easier to manage than I expected. I do love the ASPCA site.

Holly, I usually think of guarding people or furniture as a slightly different motivation.  Guarding people seems to rise more from jealousy, since even submissive dogs show signs of unhappiness when their people are showing attention to others.   I agree removing the dog from the situation is the safest approach.

Guarding furniture or spaces is, I think, often just dogs who are cranky about being crowded.  Jack always grumbled if you moved when he was on lap or couch and I'd immediately put him on the ground. So now he still grumbles, but jumps down himself.  He'll even grumble and move if Maddie crowds him, even though he otherwise outranks Maddie when it comes to just about everything else!

We started reading up on resourcing guarding more and she has all the classic symptoms, lol... 

She's great with other dogs and gets around them all the time. 


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