Teddy is an incredibly friendly little Cockapoo who just adores playing, receiving cuddles, and soaking up attention. He has shown some strange aggressive behaviours and has bitten one of his owners a couple of times, and he gets a bit growly at unusual things, like his owner picking up and reading a newspaper, or dusting a countertop.
Quite peculiar, indeed.
Teddy has also nipped while resource guarding, an issue we've been working on. We started counter-conditioning his resource-guarding tendencies. Like, when he's eating his food, we take a step towards him, toss some high-value food into his bowl, and then gradually get closer over time. This way, he learns that someone approaching his bowl is a good thing; he's not going to lose something, rather, he's only going to receive something better.
For scenarios like dusting countertops, we place treats on top, so as the owner dusts, treats fall off, turning it into a positive experience. Teddy practices resource guarding frequently during play, so to obtain a significant improvement, we had to alter his play style. Instead of chasing him for the ball or engaging in his little garden games where he drops something and races back to get it, we refrain from playing with him during these moments. We either wait for him to drop the ball and leave it, or we introduce another toy and wait for him to come to us and switch over to that other toy. Essentially, while he is practicing guarding, we don’t play his game. He reaps no benefits from guarding, only from dropping and leaving.
Teddy has made fantastic progress; we haven't really had any incidents since starting the training. His owners are much happier, especially since they've had a baby, which was the catalyst for initiating the training. Ultimately, Teddy has morphed into a very, very good pet, and the owners have done exceedingly well with their training regimen.
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