Alyse used iSpeakDog's three-step formula to figure out what was going on:
1. (What is the dog doing?) Cookie barked and growled.
2. (What is the dog's body language?) She bared her teeth and froze in place.
3. (What is going on?) She was eating a bully stick when it happened.
With these answers, Alyse was able to work out that Cookie was resource guarding. Cookie thought that Alyse was coming to take her beloved bully stick, and so Cookie's fight-or-flight instinct kicked in.
Alyse understood that the barking and growling were Cookie's way of asking her to "please move away from me and my beloved bully stick." So Alyse gave Cookie the space she needed.
"I was so glad to understand what was going on, so I could avoid upsetting both of us!" Alyse says.
We are too! Cookie is lucky to have you.
Resource guarding is a perfectly natural behavior that some dogs have inherited from their wild ancestor, the gray wolf. Now that she knows what's going on, Alyse can simply give Cookie space when she's eating something, or she could train Cookie to feel comfortable when people (or other animals) come near her food.
How has iSpeakDog helped you and your pooch? Do you have a story to share? We'd love to hear from you.